The 19th Century Founding of a
Philippine Chinese Mestizo Family

Compiled and Edited by Raul A. Boncan y Limjap

Volume One

Introduction


Daily, each family's history is made by its individual members. Yet, we don't usually recognize the importance of many of these family events until it's too late to recapture them. However, the recording of family history is one of the most important types of historical preservation. For, it is our ancestors who blaze the trails before us, who inspire us, and from whom we learn much of what eventually makes us who and what we are. Thus, how can we begin to know and understand ourselves unless we attempt to know and understand those who went before us?

The reason we wanted to put together this booklet is to share the bits and pieces of knowledge we all have, and to attempt to gather more information which will help us to understand the first and second generations of Limjaps and the times in which they lived.

If we had started our project twenty years ago, the knowledge of the third generation of Limjaps about their parents and grandparents would have filled volumes and volumes. Much vital information which only they could have given us is now probably gone forever. We have lost the details of our ancestors' character traits, their habits, their daily routines, and the numerous "kwento" which all families have that brings its family members to life. Instead, we are left with a skeleton of facts and we must dig hard and deep for more facts that will add flesh to our subjects. When we find new facts, we sometimes have to try to figure out what they mean.

There are other problems. The ravages of time, three wars and other calamities have destroyed much important information. Many family letters, photos, and scrapbooks have been lost. Our own memories about stories we've heard have dimmed as well. There are also gaps in public and private historical collections. One example of this is that, after finally locating a microfilmed newspaper article from the 1890s about Mariano Limjap, we quickly discovered that the microfilm had deteriorated completely and nothing could be read on that roll. Another frustration concerns our search for the early Binondo parish records, which we hoped might give us information on Ling Cong Jap's baptism, his marriage to Policarpia Nolasco and the subsequent baptism of their children, among other information. Each clue leads to a source that points us in another direction to another source. But, as each doors closes, others open, and we still haven't lost hope of finding these records.

That, however, will take more time than we have for this book. Although we started our research in April and worked almost daily through October, we can already see that several more years will be needed to ensure as much as is humanly possible at all avenues have been thoroughly researched. We need to look deeper into the Spanish era documents, many of which are in the National Archives, where many documents have never being sure exactly what we'll find.

By our next reunion in the year 2000, we anticipate being able to add more information on Jaoquin and Policarpia Nolasco Limjap, on Mariano and Maria Escolar Cochay Limjap, and on Jacinto and Clotilde Alonzo Limjap, perhaps in Volume II of The House of Limjap. However, the focus of that volume will be on the third generation of Limjaps, with each family member's life story being told. For that, we propose now that we agree that we, the fourth generation, will do the research on our parents with supplemental information to be provided by our children and others who also knew them. We must not lose our chance to do this now before it's too late-for the sake of all the Limjaps who will follow.

And we should, over and above what I already have gathered, start thinking of collecting all our information and storing it on CD-ROMs. Even books, photos, clippings and scrapbook information can be out on them, which would provide a more economical way of storing the information and one which would permit access by all of us.

I've tremendously enjoyed the time spent on putting this volume together and the time I've spent talking to and comparing notes with my cousins and close friends of the family. I feel I now have a clearer understanding of our Limjap ancestors, and an even greater appreciation for the lives they lived, the achievements they attained.

Very special thanks must go to the following people, without whose assistance and participation, this volume would not have been possible. I thank my daughter Riz Boncan Marsella for suggesting that I write this book, for providing assistance on the layout and the cover design. I thank my sons, Marcelo who computer scanned the Aguinaldo letters, and Raul, Jr. who computer scanned all the pictures and took charge of the layout, cover design, and printing. To my cousins, nephews and nieces listed below who provided information, translations from Spanish to English, pictures, letters, paintings, other documents, and recollections, I offer my heartfelt thanks: Jose Limjap, Mariano Limjap, Nahum Limjap, Popoy Limjap, Lydia Limjap Mandac, Naz Limjap Mandac, Mary Limjap Santos, Monching Limjap Osmena, Ate Lulu Limjap, Marita Escolar Alfonso, Charito Escolar Alfonso, Ambassador Manuel Yan, Marita Limjap Ubaldo Marasigan, Pacita Limjap Ubaldo Filart, Johnny Rodriguez, Florencio Azarraga, Rose Santos, Inez Santos Ancheta, Marilou Ubaldo Bautista, Lia Osmena Valencia, Ching Limjap and Ofie Limjap Vitek.

To family friends Ben Javier and Dr. Rosalino Reyes, I extend my appreciation for providing their recollections, particularly those about Lola Angoy. I am grateful to Felix Maramba, Jr., Fiona Paua, and my sister Chit Boncan Herbosa for providing important reference books. My special thanks go to Evelyn Limjap Ignacio, Connie Limjap Lichauco, Kelly Boncan, and Riz Boncan Marsella for taking the time to read the first draft of the manuscript and for making invaluable suggestions and for the title suggestions. I thank Betty Yangco Daly, granddaughter of Luis R. Yangco and a close family friend, for confirmation of information on her grandfather. I would like to thank Mrs. Uy Pit Yong and Charlie Uy for translating information from Chinese to English and for helping in the search for records in China which is still underway. I am grateful to Jose Lim Chu Tick, who assisted us in reaching the Se Jo Tong (The Lim Family Association), and to the personnel there who provided assistance to us. I also would like to extend my appreciation to Mrs. Peter Lim and her husband Peter, my good friend who, sadly, died during the time of this book's preparation. Their translation of English to Chinese on certain documents, and their other advice was invaluable. To all of these people and to others from whom they may have received information and assistance, thank for taking the time to help complete this project. If I have inadvertently omitted to mention others who have helped in this work or failed to include information, I apologize for any such oversights. In case there are errors or omissions in the book, kindly let me know so we can list the corrections, hopefully in Volume II.

My special acknowledgement to Gracia San Miguel for researching tirelessly to gather invaluable information from virtually all the libraries and archives in Manila.

Finally, at the suggestions of my daughter Kelly, I have placed a list after this introduction of Limjap family members of the first, second and third generations. This should help guide the younger Limjaps to better identify the relationships of the personalities involved. So, now, I say let us plan to build further our story of the House of Limjap, and until our next reunion.

LIMJAPS, MABUHAY!!!
Raul A. Boncan y Limjap

Manila, Philippines
November 30, 1997

The First Three Generations of Limjaps


Lim Cong Jap, who upon his baptism became Joaquin Barrera Limjap, was the founder of the Limjap family. He married Policarpia Nolasco and they had three sons, Mariano, Jacinto, and Apolonio. Mariano Limjap y Nolasco first married Dona Juana Siaosingco. Three children died. Two, Marianito and Gregorio survived to adulthood. After his first wife died, Mariano married Dona Maria Escolar Cochay. They also had three children who died, and seven who lived to be adults. Jacinto Limjap y Nolasco married Clotilde Alonzo. They had one child. Apolonio Limjap y Nolasco died at the age 20.

Mariano's children were:

Jacinto had one child, German, who married Paz Del Prado.

The Tomb of Lim Cong Jap on Kulangsu Island, Amoy, China, now Gulangxu, Xiamen.

LIM CONG JAP AS DESCRIBED 77 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR:

"... Joaquin Barera Limjap, a prosperous sugar, tobacco, and hemp merchant originally from Fukien, who founded a prominent mestizo family in Manila."

Edgar Wickberg,
Author of the Chinese in the Philippine Life - 1850 - 1898

Chapter 1: The Legend Of Lim Cong Jap


L im Cong Jap's early life in Amoy (now Xiamen), China and his travels with the British merchant are a family legend, with the details we so long for lost to the mists of time. The apprenticeship, a long establish tradition in England and continental Europe, became a very young Lim Cong Jap's ticket to adventure, education, economic freedom, to a new life in a new country, to a new name and a new life identity.

The well-known Chinese saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step could not have been more true for Lim Cong Jap, and countless Chinese immigrants before and after him. Making that decision, taking that one step and then another and another and another led him into a different life that perhaps he never could have imagined. Not only would he prosper and bring honor to his family, but his son would be part of a new nation in the making and among the first people of a new nationality, the Filipino.

What forces propelled him from his homeland? Why would he want to settle in a land that under Spanish rule had discriminated against the Chinese, had expelled them en masse a number of times, and had massacred in vast numbers century after century?

Lim Cong Jap was born in Amoy in 1832 during the latter years of the Ch'ing (or Qing) Dynasty (1644-1911). In the 19th century, China became increasingly isolated and underdeveloped. Consequently, the Chinese people suffered and many sought a better life elsewhere.

To the Chinese, particularly to those from Fukien Province, the Philippines, which they called "Nanyang", had long been known as a nearby paradise of warm islands where food was plentiful and opportunity abounded. This contrasted sharply with life in China at that time.

Chapter 2: Lim Cong Jap Settles In Manila


Judging by early reported accounts, entering Manila Bay and its harbor area for the first time must have been a pleasant experience for Lim Cong Jap, one which, perhaps, could be seen as an omen for his future life there. Its early visitors found it breathtakingly beautiful. Manila was an attractive port city, surrounded by unpolluted rivers and thickly forested mountains, which could be clearly seen from the Bay since there was no air pollution. The Frenchman Lafond de Lurcy wrote "There are few bays in the world that are as beautiful as Manila's". To this land of beauty, bounty and opportunity came Lim Cong Jap.

When the Spanish first arrived in Manila, there was a small group of about 150 Chinese men, women and children, one of the last settlements of complete Chinese family units permitted by the Spanish. Afterwards, Spanish colonial empire, its administrators divided the population into ethnic divisions.

In the Philippines, Spaniards born in Spain were called Peninsulares, Spaniards born in the Philippines were called Insulares or Filipinos, natives were called Indios. Chinese were Chinos. The Chinese were divided further into non-Christianized and Christianized Chinese. The decision that only Chinese men could reside in the Philippines led to the creation of another official category, the mestizo de Chino or the Chinese mestizo.

It's interesting to note that some authorities believe that, because of centuries of Chinese assimilation before the Spanish arrived, a large percentage of the native population were, in fact, already part Chinese. Of course, another theory is that most Southeast Asian peoples actually originated in southern China anyway.

The Chinese steadily increased. We don't have population figures for 1850, but in 1749, there were about 40,000 Chinese in the Philippines and by 1886 almost 67,000, most in Manila.

Even if Lim Cong Jap had not known a single person in the Philippines before he arrived, upon arrival, the Chinese community would have assisted him in finding a job, negotiating the Spanish bureaucracy, and beginning a new life.

Unfortunately, we don't know how long he worked for the British trader. However, obtaining work in Manila, apparently, was not a problem, especially for the industrious Chinese and Chinese mestizo. They virtually controlled the retail trade, the arts and crafts trades, and a countrywide network of Chinese purchasing agents, who bought agricultural commodities at source, and sold them to the foreign trading firms. They had begun to enter the field of inter-island trade as well, having already established their hold on inter-island shipping.

Over the years, there were also many community organizations among the Manila Chinese. Initially, informal gatherings occurred among those from the same provincial areas. Later, there were family clan gatherings. Subsequently, some of those formed into organized associations and one of the oldest is the Se Jo Tong, also known as the Lim Family Association, founded in 1908. Other organizations included trade guilds, known as gremios, various other community-wide associations, and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

The most prominent community association over the years has been the Chinese Charitable Association. It was founded in 1877, and then as now it had oversight responsibilities for the Chinese General Hospital and the Chinese Cemetery (originally located in Binondo).

Lim Cong Jap was a Director of this charitable organization. "Limjap Street" in the Chinese Cemetery named in memory of him and his charitable work for others.

Thus, from the cradle to the grave, the Manila Chinese worked together almost as one unit to protect and support their own. This unity was one of their greatest strengths and a major reason for their commercial success as well. Their success did not come to them by connections only and without effort, however, but by their hard work, thrifty habits, and by being prepared for opportunities when they arose.

So, Lim Cong Jap would have quickly become part of a vast network of family and business ties that would be of importance to him and to his future family as well. Throughout the Philippines, ties formed a century and a half ago have in many, many cases continued to this day. For example, as we'll see in later chapters, Telesforo Chuidian, Luis Yangco and Mariano were together in various situations. Today, their grandchildren are still good friends.

Chapter 3: The First Limjap: His Milestones


We may tend to think that Spain's desire for economic gain in the Philippines was its main reason for being there. Actually, from the beginning, the Spanish also saw their occupation of the Philippines as being a religious mission of the utmost importance. In addition, Spain wanted to get its toe into China and establish religious missions there. It hoped to convert Chinese nationals in Manila to Christianity and to maintain such good terms with them that China would permit Spain's entry into that country as well and it hoped some of the Christianized Chinese would become missionaries to China.

The Dominican Church of San Gabriel was built within the Parian (abolished in the 18th century) to minister to the Chinese and convert them. Later on, the Dominicans established Binondo Church and the Jesuits the Santa Cruz Church to serve the Christianized Chinese communities there. Conversion, baptism, and marriage were the first steps to assimilation. For example, marriage between a Chinese immigrant and a Catholic mestiza or india could not occur until the immigrant was baptized.

Baptisms were not necessarily individual affairs, at least in the early years. When Lam-Co, who was from Fukien Province and who eventually became the great-great grandfather of Jose Rizal, was baptized in 1697, there were other converts also baptized in the same ceremony.

When the immigrant was baptized, he took a new name as well as a new religion. In Lam-Co's case, he took the name Domingo since he was baptized on a Sunday. Other converts frequently took their godparent's name either as their first and middle names or as their last name. We believe that Lim Cong Jap's godfather may have been a Barrera. He may have even been named Joaquin Barrera, which are the names Lim Cong Jap took as his first and second names.

Some immigrants combined their Chinese names into one to create a new family name. This is partially what Lim Cong Jap did by eliminating the Cong and joining Lim and Jap into one. In some published work, Limjap is written as Limhap. However, under Spanish pronunciation that is used in the Philippines, "h" would have been silent and the name would have been spoken as "Limap", thus the Limhap spelling is incorrect.

Incidentally, Lim is the Fukienese family name and is written first as is the Chinese custom. The Chinese characters translate into English as follows: Lim means "woods", Cong means "light", and Jap means "togetherness". The same family name Lim is written Lin in Mandarin and Lam in Cantonese.

After his baptism, Lim Cong Jap was Joaquin Barrera Limjap, and he would now be permitted to marry a Christian mestiza, which he did when he married Policarpia Nolasco from Binondo. Unfortunately, we don't have any details of their wedding ceremony, but we surmise that it was held sometime in 1855. According to the unwritten rules of the day, we can also assume that they were of the same economic and social standing.

According to Austin Craig, the Chinese men were considered good catches - hard-working, good providers, who were thoughtful of their wives, and who were known to be good fathers. Craig notes that the socially prominent Bisayans, who were Manila leaders before the Spanish arrived, were eager for their daughters to marry Chinese husbands.

The Dominicans had high hopes for the newly baptized Chinese. Naturally, they were expected to marry and, since Spanish policy did not permit Chinese women to live in the Philippines, intermarriage between cultures, with religion as the unifying factor, became a desirable aim of the Order, and was therefore acceptable in the culture.

Go betweens were often used, especially in the early years. It is believed that this custom of go betweens, once Filipino custom, originated with the Chinese. After the families had agreed upon the match, the parish priest sought to ensure there were no impediments to the marriage. Once the priest was satisfied, banns were read in the parish church for three consecutive Sundays. Only after all of these proceedings were completed could the wedding ceremony be held.

Mestizo children naturally followed marriages. In the Limjap family, Mariano was the eldest and was born on October 19, 1856. Jacinto was born on August 30, 1865, nine years later. Apolonio, the youngest son, was born February 9, 1869. Since Mariano mentions Jacinto and Apolonio in his will but no other brothers or sisters, we assume there were none.

Mariano Limjap y Nolasco
Born - October 19, 1856

Jacinto Limjap y Nolasco
Born - August 30, 1865

Apolonio Limjap y Nolasco
(Photo Unavailable)
Born - February 9, 1869

Early on, the Christianized Chinese were given extra privileges. For example, whenever the Spanish decided there were too many Chinese (who during most of Spanish colonial rule outnumbered the Spanish), they would deport large numbers of non-Christians back to China. Those who were Christians were permitted to stay. Naturally, those who got to stay were able to take over the jobs of those who were deported. They were given other incentives as well.

For example, in 1594, Binondo was founded as an area for the land tax-free. Later on, when natives and others moved to Binondo, they had to pay rent to the Christianized Chinese. Santa Cruz was founded later along similar lines, but with Jesuit priests.

There were centuries of persecution, all well documented. Overall, however, from the late 18th century up to the late 19th century, the Spanish official policies toward the Philippine Chinese were more positive than negative, especially when compared with previous years. These more positive policies worked to the advantage of those who arrived in the Philippines at mid-19th century as Lim Cong Jap apparently did.

Almost from the beginning of their rule, the Spanish needed the skilled Chinese workers for virtually all the work done in Manila. Without them, they would not have had their luxurious colonial lifestyle. At that stage, the Spanish believed that the indios, who were still primarily engaged in agricultural and fishing activities, did not yet have the business expertise that the Chinese artisans and traders had. This was another reason that mestizo and indio parents desired Chinese husbands for their daughters because the Chinese having more business training and experience had more opportunities for employment and would provide better for their daughters and their eventual offspring.

As mentioned earlier, by mid-19th century, the Chinese controlled much of the business sector. By the 1840s, the Philippine Chinese were exporting products that included rice, tobacco, and cotton, mahogany, abaca, and indigo. By the 1850s, exports also included coffee, sugar, and coconut oil and increased exports of other products. Therefore, the export trade greatly expanded. The years 1850 to 1896 were years of phenomenal change and economic growth in the Philippines.

The Chinese began to start their own trading firms and by doing that created the beginnings of their later virtual monopolies in commodities trading. The Philippine economy was expanding through its export trade. For example, hemp in which Joaquin traded, was the Philippine's largest export crop in the 19th century, when it was heavily used for cordage and ship's riggings.

There were not enough banks to assist farmers. Joaquin began his business by making crop loans on agricultural products much in demand for export. Like the foreign traders, Joaquin, and other Chinese who invested in this manner, spurred growth in agriculture and in exports.

As Wickberg has written, Joaquin also became a trader in the lucrative sugar and tobacco commodities. He probably dealt in other agricultural commodities as well. At some point, Joaquin founded the Siu Liong Company, trading firm, to handle this business. He was involved in this trading during a time of incredible booms and became very prosperous. Sui Liong also provided marine insurance, not through a formal type of insurance company, but by making advances on the cargoes that they traded on and taking some sort of risk in the process.

We don't know very much about Policarpia's life, however we will try to get more information about her from the Nolascos from Cebu. In addition to raising her children, it's possible that she had some business interests of her own and/or had received an inheritance since she left quite a large inheritance when she died at the relatively young age of 44 in 1875.

Mariano was 19 when she died. As the "Kuya", no doubt he helped guide his younger brothers as they grew up without their mother. Incidentally, the Filipino custom of designating children by their order in the family, such as Kuya, Ate, Diche, etc. is derived from the Chinese designating children by their order from the Chinese.

Joaquin was involved in serving his community, and became a respected community leader, who was involved with many charitable activities, including the Chinese Charitable Association, already noted.

According to Wickberg's information, in 1886 Joaquin was one of only four top businessmen from Manila who traveled to Hong Kong to present a petition to the Chinese Ambassador to Spain, Chang Yin-huan, who was passing by Hong Kong on his way to his post.

This indicates that Joaquin was one of the most esteemed and most influential businessmen of his community. The petition requested that a Chinese consulate be established in Manila. There were thousands of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines, but no Chinese officials to assist them. Their petition was eventually granted and establishment of this consulate was an important event for the Philippine Government as well.

Despite Joaquin's success and assimilation in the Philippines, the deeply held belief among his generation was that, no matter how long they had lived abroad, they must return to China in order to die on Chinese soil. At an early retirement age, Joaquin apparently left his business interests in the hands of Mariano and returned to China to retire.

He bought a large house (30-40 rooms) and was well settled into the foreign settlement area on Kulangsu (now Gulangyu) Island, off Amoy, now Xiamen where consulates were located. Like Shanghai's international settlement area, Kulangsu was also a European-influenced foreign business community, composed of a sophisticated, elite class which was used to an opulent lifestyle.

Fittingly, Joaquin Barrera Limjap, who had lived a cosmopolitan adult lifestyle died in the international enclave on Kulangsu Island. He was 56 years of age when he died on the last day of January in 1888. At some later point, his bones were brought back by his grandsons to Manila and placed in the Limjap Chapel, North Cemetery, which Mariano had constructed in 1913. According to several printed sources, Antonio Osorio, described as the richest man in Cavite Province at that time and who had once been a business associate of Joaquin's, bought out his business interests after his death.

Although we lack so much information about his life, it's easy to see that Joaquin succeeded in every way. He had left China with little financially and had become a top business leader in the Philippines. He had become a Catholic, had married and started a family. He was a respected community leader who had conducted his life with integrity and honor. He had served God, his community, and his nation well. Finally, as his parents would have wished, he had returned to China so that he could die on Chinese soil.

In addition to all his accomplishments, Joaquin succeeded in achieving one thing that no one else in the world had ever achieved before or could achieve afterwards - he became the first LIMJAP.

By doing that, he had also started the "House of Limjap".

Chapter 4: Mariano's Education And Career


Most written sources state that Mariano's basic education was obtained from his father. These appear to have been taken from Mariano's biography published in the Dictionary of Philippine Biography (DPB), Volume I. The information for that bio was provided by his children Leonarda and Francisco and would seem to be conclusive.

However, among Mariano's contemporaries, it was getting to be more usual to attend either Letran or Ateneo or both, although not necessarily to graduate. Many prominent Chinese mestizo families also employed private tutors for their children. A private tutor could have provided a very good education. Possibly Mariano, Jacinto and Apolonio followed this path and their children didn't think it important enough to mention if they did not graduate.

We must remember that a college degree was not in any way a necessity in the 19th century. That's an idea more common to the 20th century. After all, even some early American presidents did not attend or did not graduate from college. At any rate, the Philippine university educational curriculum at that time was at best very limited, something which the reformists later on would seek to improve.

Definitely, the generation after Mariano's generation had many more options. Besides studying at U.S.T., many went to Europe for their education. For example, Mariano's sons, Marianito, Gregorio, Jose, Francisco, and a nephew, Agapito Escolar, all attended schools in London, and some also in the United States.

Even if they did attend school, Mariano's generation of Chinese mestizos often also worked in family firms as well. We know that Mariano began by working for his father. Probably Jacinto did as well. In the 19th century, it was the custom around most of the world for young men to work in a family firm, learning all the ropes in an informal sort of apprenticeship. Having learned the basics from his father, Mariano was probably eager to get more involved in the company once he was in his teens. Joaquin was a very successful import-export trader and could have taught his sons everything they needed to know about business. Obviously, Mariano learned his lessons well.

Almost every writer who has written about him mentions Mariano's numerous business interests, his blue-chip investments, his pioneering efforts in various fields of Philippine business. Yet few give us complete information.

The ever well-dressed Mariano taken when he was much younger.

In the Index of Vol. I of the DPB, Mariano is listed as one of the leading business people of the time with ten other businessmen and with one businesswoman, Margarita Roxas Ayala. Out of all the people the author Esperidion Arsenio Manuel interviewed and wrote about for that volume, only twelve are listed under this category. That, in itself, is significant and shows that Mariano was among the top Philippine business people then.

It's also interesting to note that, once again, Mariano is included there with fellow businessmen Telesforo Chuidian and Luis Yangco. Time and time again, the three of them were involved together in various undertakings as we will see in subsequent chapters.

From Mariano's 1922 will, we have learned that he inherited assets, in similar large amounts, from both his father and his mother. Although we don't know if the two events are related from his will, we also know that Joaquin died in January 1888, and that, by February or March of 1888, Mariano started Limjap y Cia. At some point, he established an Iloilo branch office. It is confirmed from various other sources that, by 1890 or earlier, Mariano had established an independent company and was a participant in the Philippines' rapidly expanding importing and exporting trade, trading in the commodities that had made his father a fortune. That early, Mariano was already involved in international trade.

Wickberg, who did extensive research on the Philippine Chinese mestizos, further confirms this, and provides us information about Limjap y Cia's pioneering work involving the lucrative marine insurance business, previously only handled by the foreign trading companies. He states in his book, The Chinese in Philippine Life - 1850-1898:

"The foreign trade of the Philippine Chinese had changed in another way by the 1890s. By 1891 (and possibly earlier than that) a Chinese owned marine insurance firm in Hong Kong had established an agency in Manila. By the turn of the century some of the most important Chinese and mestizo commission agent firms in Manila were acting as agents of other Hong Kong insurance firms....Limjap and Company, a commission house operated by the mestizo sons of Joaquin Barrera Limjap, besides being agent for Penang Khean Guan Insurance Company, Ltd., represented Po On and Chai On Marine Insurance Companies of Hong Kong."

From this we can see that Jacinto was also involved in Limjap y Cia. We don't yet know if Limjap y Cia continued in the same manner after the Philippine-American War.

In 1903 at least, the business for Penang Khean Guan Marine Insurance Company, Ltd. was still being conducted from Mariano's office at 12 Hormiga Street, Binondo.

Except for the period of his imprisonment and the war years, Mariano continually prospered. It seems that he had unique vision and decisiveness, attributes that allowed him not just to cope with the economic changes of the 19th and 20th centuries but to seize business opportunities created by the changes. For example, when trading in agricultural commodities was no longer profitable for Chinese mestizos, he appears to have been out of it and into new ventures.

After the Philippine-American War ended, Mariano saw the need for real estate development and was one of the Philippine's earliest real estate developers. Additionally, we know from various printed sources that he was an early investor in new firms that have since become major Philippine corporations, such as San Miguel Corporation, Filipinas Compania de Seguros, now part of Ayala's FGU Group, and China Banking Corporation. San Miguel was founded in 1890. Filipinas was organized in 1913, at an initial subscription of P277,000, with its incorporators being members of prominent Manila families. China Bank was founded in 1920.

Mariano with Bank of the Philippine Islands 1908 officers and fellow members of BPI's Board of Directors

Mariano with Bank of the Philippine Islands 1908 officers and fellow members of BPI's Board of Directors. (Mariano as circled in photo)

From 1908 to 1913, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Since he was a Director of the first BPI Board under its re-chartering of 1907, he is often said to be a founder of the BPI. Of course, the BPI a formerly the Banco Espanol Filipino, first established in 1851.

Many printed sources have indicated that Mariano was also a heavy investor of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation.

He pursued agricultural development by buying rice plantations and rice mills in Nueva Ecija, later left to his sons.

Mariano had numerous other businesses and interests, including La Perla Tobacco Company.

While a sawmill may not sound as impressive as Manila's banking and manufacturing sectors, actually it must have been quite profitable. It's noteworthy that in 1903 only 14 sawmills were operating in all of the Philippines, and this was at a period when construction was beginning to boom. By 1930, there were 90, which again shows the wisdom of Mariano's business decisions.

We may never know the extent of his business interests and investments. Naturally, over the years, numerous other business interests were bought and sold. For example, we know when the inheritance taxes were due after Mariano's death, the Limjap family decided it more prudent to hold onto real property and instead to sell Mariano's large share of San Miguel stocks.

It's unclear what Mariano's business activities were in the years before his death. Monching Osmena remembers when he was about two years old sitting on his Lolo Mariano's lap while Mariano was in a wheel chair. So, obviously, he was ill, but we don't know from what. Perhaps by then, he was retired or semi-retired. He could have also worked from his home since, even during the Philippine Revolution and probably before, he also had an office set up there, one which his older grandchildren remember well. During the Revolution, he had two telephones, numbers 104 and 181, and a telegraph address, "Limjap-Manila". This we have from his letterhead on a letter he wrote on November 26, 1898.

At the end of his life, his business reputation was, and had long been, very secure. His business acumen was respected and his prosperity was well known. He had pioneered in major sectors of the economy and was one of the top business leaders of the nation. However, Mariano was more than a business leader. He was a family man who also became a patriot.

Letter of Mariano Limjap to President Emilio Aguinaldo dated November 26, 1898 during the Philippine Revolution.

Letter of Mariano Limjap to President Emilio Aguinaldo dated November 26, 1898 during the Philippine Revolution.

Group picture with all nine children of Mariano Limjap and Maria Escobar with daughters-in-law, son-in-law, and grandchildren. Ate Monang and Achay, a relative of Lola Angoy, are also included.

Chapter 5: Mariano's Family


From his will, we know that Mariano's first wife was Dona Juana Siaosingco. She was born in 1858, two years after he was born, and she died on February 23, 1885, at age 27. A memorial tablet for her has been placed in the Limjap Chapel at North Cemetery.

They had three children who died before age three. As he lists them in his 1922 will, they were Maria Narcisa Limjap y Siaosingco, Joaquin Maria Bernabe Limjap y Siaosingco, and Eusebio Andres Limjap y Siaosingco. Thankfully, two other children, Marianito and Gregorio had long and healthy lives.

We don't know the cause of the other children's deaths but Manila had many, many epidemics in the 19th century and the mortality rate for children was exceedingly high. At that time, women frequently died in childbirth as well. Mariano's second wife, Maria Escolar Cochay, loved all the children and grandchildren as her own and is now known fondly to all the Limjap family as their Lola Angoy.

A formal picture with Jose standing in the middle together with Felisa, Paciencia, Pedro and Francisco.

A formal picture with Jose standing in the middle together with Felisa, Paciencia, Pedro and Francisco.

Maria's parents were Ildefonsa Carreon and Pedro Escolar Cochay. It's likely that her mother was a Spanish mestiza and her father a Chinese mestizo. One family member remembers that the Escolar-Cochays were considered wealthy, perhaps even more so than the Limjaps, or at least initially. At any rate, they must have been from the same social strata. Otherwise, their marriage would not have been allowed. Since Maria later had a prosperous casco boat business, it's possible she inherited that from her father. The casco boat business was then a very lucrative one. Almost all goods were brought from Manila port to other areas via the Pasig River and the numerous esteros, resulting in a virtual non-stop delivery service. Her mother was born in 1842 and her father in 1825, thus, there was a difference of 17 years between their ages. Maria, an only child, was born in 1865.

She and Mariano were married on May 2, 1886. Their early years of married life must have been bittersweet when their first two children died in infancy and their fourth child died at age two. Again, from Mariano's will, we learn that the eldest was Josefa Hermenegilda who was born April, 3 1888, and, died that year on December 22, 1888. Manuel Apolonio Domingo was born July 23, 1889, and, also, died the same year in November 3, 1889. Leonarda Rufina was born in 1890. About one year later in November 18, 1891, Maria Isabel was born and, sad to say, she died on November 5, 1893. Their first Christmases, in particular, must have been sad ones indeed for the young married couple. However, what a joy it must have been for them when they knew Leonarda was healthy and that, at last, they had the beginnings of the rest of their family, the Limjaps y Escolar.

Jose Gonzalo Joaquin was born in 1892, Maria Esperanza in 1894, Joaquina Pacienca in 1896, Francisco Isabelo in 1898, Felisa Encarnacion at the turn of the century in January 1900, and the youngest Pedro Arsenio in 1902.

In 1889, three years after Maria and Mariano married, Mariano's youngest brother, Apolonio, died at age 20, So far, unfortunately, we've discovered nothing else about Apolonio.

With their children circa 1905 or 1906 judging by the age Pedro and Felisa. Jose is not in the picture since he began studying in london from high school. Agapito Escolar, a favorite nephew of Lola Angoy, is at the top row, far right.

With their children circa 1905 or 1906 judging by the age Pedro and Felisa. Jose is not in the picture since he began studying in london from high school. Agapito Escolar, a favorite nephew of Lola Angoy, is at the top row, far right.

Chapter 6: Jacinto's Family


As we've seen, initially, the two brothers Limjap apparently worked together but it seems that later on they took different career paths, perhaps after the Philippine-American War. Jacinto became involved in livestock breeding, which became more important during the early American era.

So far, we have learned that Jacinto was asked to give fund to the Cuerpo Compromisarios, that in 1896 he and Mariano donated a million pesos to fund the Manila battalion and that they were both imprisoned by the Spanish. We also know that Jacinto was appointed as tax collector for the Revolutionary Government and that this was a sensitive post, which was given to prominent persons who were also trustworthy. It's very likely that the Spanish authorities confiscated his property and froze his assets after they arrested him in 1896. Some of the properties that were confiscated then were not returned until after the Philippine-American War.

It's obvious that Jacinto freely gave of himself and his financial resources to his country during those difficult times. When he agreed to serve as one of the tax collectors for the revolutionary government, he took on an important task. The new government needed the revenue to help fund its activities. Since some of the tax collection records have been catalogued in the National Archives, we have hopes of eventually getting more details on Jacinto's contributions to this very necessary endeavor. The people throughout the country supported the Revolution and the Philippine American War and, apparently, wholeheartedly paid their taxes and license fees. However, someone had to be willing to go out, to collect, and to turn them over to the Treasury. There were definite risks involved in that.

 Bodas de plata luncheon held on the second day of their anniversary celebration in 1911

Bodas de plata luncheon held on the second day of their anniversary celebration in 1911. At the head table from left to right, Lolo Jacinto, American Governor-General Cameron Forbes, Lolo Mariano, Lola Angoy. The young man in front of Lola Angoy is German, only son of Lolo Jacinto.

Most reference books discovered so far mention more details about Mariano than about Jacinto. Unfortunately, there is still so much we don't know and we can only hope that future research will provide more details of his life.

Luckily, we received the following information from Nahum Limjap, a grandson of Jacinto. This has helped us to learn more about Jacinto and his family. Nahum was seven and his brother Joaquin was nine when their Lolo Jacinto died. However, over the years, they heard many family stories about Jacinto, which are included here.

Nahum wrote that his Lolo Jacinto was a very loving, thoughtful, generous and charitable person to his family and to his employees. Jacinto was a popular man. As he walked the streets of Carriedo each day, everybody would be greeting him. In the fashion of the day, he was, of course, known as Don Jacinto.

Jacinto married Clotilde Alonzo, a daughter of a jeweler from Santa Cruz, who, according to their family's unwritten history, was a relative of Dr. Jose Rizal through his mother, Mrs. Teodora Alonzo Rizal who came from a prominent family.

Nahum remembers that, until 1949, his mother kept wooden dolls which he understands were carved by Dr. Rizal while he was in exile in Dapitan. From printed sources, we have read of several instances of Dr. Rizal giving his carvings away to those friends and family for whom he cared the most.

German and wife Paz Del Prado posing with Nahum standing, and Joaquin.

German and wife Paz Del Prado posing with Nahum standing, and Joaquin.

The Jacinto Limjaps had one son, German, and they lived for a long time in a large house in Santa Cruz District on the corner of Sales Street and Estero Cegado. The house had two entrances, one on each side. Lolo Jacinto was a good provider to his family and he lived the lifestyle of the rich man he was. German married Paz del Prado and they had two sons, Joaquin and Nahum. German and his family lived in their ancestral home until 1924.

Awards given to Jacinto, which they still have, indicate he was one of the top livestock breeders during the early American era, and was therefore a pioneer in that field. During the Philippine Expositions of 1912 and 1914, the U.S. Government awarded him five awards. In 1912, he was presented the First Prize and Gold Medal for Imported Dairy Bulls, Second Prize and Bronze Medal for Foreign Breed, Native Bred Cows, and First Prize and Gold Medal Foreign Breed, Native Bred Bulls, Foreign Breed, Native Bred Heifers, and active Cows. In 1914, Jacinto was given two awards for recognition of his services as a Committee Member on Live Stock Exhibits at the Philippine Exposition of 1914.

Jacinto also owned a stable and employed many "cocheros". Cocheros were used as the drivers of caratellas, so, apparently, Jacinto also had a caratella business.

Jacinto had a big heart for the poorer people and was very close to the masses, whom he loved. He knew by name many of the tough guys and beggars that plied their trade on the streets near Quiapo Church. Once he was a victim of a pickpocket who ran away with his gold watch. The next day, he was surprised by the leader of the pickpockets who came to return the watch and who apologized to him.

1912 Award presented to Jacinto during the Philippines Exposition for various prize he won as one of the Philippines's leading livestock breeders.

1912 Award presented to Jacinto during the Philippines Exposition for various prize he won as one of the Philippines's leading livestock breeders.

Lolo Jacinto was a very religious man, who attended mass every day and who was a generous contributor to many churches in Quiapo and Intramuros. At one church the priest would not start the mass until Don Jacinto arrived. Even when the church was closed, if Jacinto arrived and knocked on the door with his cane, the parish priest would open the door and start the mass instantly.

German and wife Paz Del Prado posing in their saya at baro and camisa chino with Nahum(Left w/ circle) and Joaquin(right w/ circle) and relatives & friends.

German and wife Paz Del Prado posing in their saya at baro and camisa chino with Nahum(Left w/ circle) and Joaquin(right w/ circle) and relatives & friends.

However, Nahum notes that while Jacinto was religious he was also human, and was a regular guy whose amusements were hunting, cockfighting and gambling. He often went to Marikina for hunting and cockfighting. Jacinto kept close family ties, and a Nahum remembers his Lolo taking him to have Sunday family lunches with his Kuya Mariano, or Lolo "Nano" to Nahum, and Lola Angoy.

It was a sad day for the Limjaps and especially for Nahum's family when their Lolo Jacinto died from heart disease at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, then in Intramuros, on December 7, 1923.

Group picture with family and friends, taken around 1905-1906 judging by the age of Felisa and Pedro, in front of the seguan at the San Miguel house. Lolo Mariano is standing fourth from the left in last row while Lolo Jacinto is standing from the right in row four.

Chapter 7: The Peaceful Years


Like his father, Mariano was always interested in helping his community and his nation. He followed in Joaquin's footsteps, but he also made strides of his own. As an adult, Mariano was involved in many facets of Manila life. The DPB's Index also lists Mariano as one of four philanthropists from his age. The other three listed were Margarita Roxas de Ayala, Benigno Cui and Pedro Cui.

He served his community as Cabeza de Barangay and as Gobernadorcillo in Binondo. The Cabeza de Barangay served as a liaison between his community and the Spanish authorities. He also collected taxes, made various administrative reports, helped maintain order in his community, and was expected to encourage good moral behavior among his constituents. He was given two assistants to help him. The Gobernadorcillo reported to the Provincial Governor and was responsible for settling petty disputes and for his community's timely tax payments. Gobernadorcillos were also called "Capitan", and in Binondo in the late 1800s the position was an esteemed and powerful one. Since the Gobernadorcillos had to bear the costs of their official expenses which always exceeded their nominal salary, wealthy persons were preferred to avoid extortion by office holders.

Like Joaquin, Mariano was concerned for those in need. One of the ways he helped was by supporting many poor students who had potential and who wanted to pursue professional studies. These he sent to the University of the Philippines and other schools, providing all expenses, free tuition, fees, board and lodging and other incidental expenses. His only condition was that the student did not fail in any of his subjects.

The recipients of his scholarships included Buenaventura Adriano, in Commerce, Liceo de Manila; Amado Javier, in Commerce, Jose Rizal College; Pacifico Javier, Pedro Baello, Pharmacy Medicine; Eulalio Adriano, in Commerce; Arsenio Nolasco, in Commerce; Agapito Escolar in London; Cesario Santa Ana, in Medicine, University of the Philippines; Jesus Perlas, in Engineering, University of the Philippines; Miguel Manresa, in Veterinary Science, University of the Philippines; and Fedelino Rodriguez, in Engineering, University of the Philippines.

For Mariano's civic contributions, in 1895 the Spanish Government honored him by awarding him the distinction of Caballero de la Real Orden Americana de Isabel La Catolica. Not surprisingly, Telesforo Chuidian was a fellow awardee. Less than a year after that, they were both arrested by the Spanish.

In the early American era, he served on the Rizal Monument Commission. Tomas G. del Rosario was the Commission's president until his death. After that, Teodoro Yangco replaced del Rosario as president. Other commission members were Juan Tecson, Pascual Poblete, Paciano Rizal, Maximina Paterno (who was arrested with Mariano by the Spanish), and Ramon Genato.

The monument was erected in the Luneta near the spot of Rizal's execution and is now the national monument of the Philippines. Rizal's poignant farewell poem, "Ultimo Mi Dios" is inscribed in Spanish, Tagalog and English and on another side the names of those who worked for establishment of the monument are listed, including Mariano's. Today, world leaders pay their respects to the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal by laying their country's memorial wreaths there immediately after arriving in Manila for their official visits.

Apparently, Mariano honored Dr. Rizal in another way, one seldom mentioned. In 1898, Mariano, Martin Ocampo and others were founding patrons of the Orquesta Rizal, obviously named in honor of Dr. Rizal. Jose A. Estella was its director. We don't know if this orchestra was revived after the war years.

One of the many Limjap family parties in the grand sala at the San Miguel residence

One of the many Limjap family parties in the grand sala at the San Miguel residence. At the back is the painting of "Primavera" by Resurrection Hidalgo that won 1st prize in St. Louis Exposition.

Mariano was also a patron of the fine arts, and he collected many fine paintings, including some important ones that were painted by Philippine masters. In his collection, there were a number of Juan Luna's paintings, including "The Harvesting of Rice". Another of the Luna paintings owned by Mariano was "Haycutters", which is not often mentioned in printed sources. This was a painting showing a scene in a rural area of what is now Rizal Province. It has been noted that, while most of Luna's paintings show the influence of French impressionism, "Haycutters" had a distinct Luna originality. Among the collection were Fabian de Ia Rosa's painting, "Rice Planting", and Resurreccion Hidalgo's "Bosque de Bolonia" and "Primavera". "Primavera" won the first place in the 1903-1904 St. Louis Exposition. The painting was bequeathed to Mariano's son Pedro and his daughter, Connie Limjap Lichauco, vividly remembers this painting because the eyes of the figure which represented "Spring" seemed to follow the viewer from any direction. According to family members, these exquisite, priceless paintings were stored in the National Archives during the Japanese occupation in World War II, and were, unfortunately, burned during the liberation of Manila in February 1945.

Life-size white marble busts of Lolo Mariano and Lola Angoy sculpted by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino in 1925 and 1926 respectively.

While obviously the Limjaps appreciated the art of these Philippine masterpieces, the fact that many of the artists had also been involved in the Philippines' struggle for freedom was, without a doubt, of much more significance. Juan Luna, of course, was imprisoned by the Spanish with Mariano in Fort Santiago.

In 1925, Guillermo Tolentino sculpted a marble bust of Mariano and, in 1926, a marble bust of Lola Angoy. The busts survived World War II and are still in the family's possession. Tolentino also sculpted eleven bronze statues of Lolo Mariano, which were given to his children. Each statue is about one foot high, and shows Lolo Mariano standing, with a cane in his hand. Most of the statues are still in the family, although we heard that one is no longer with the family after it was offered for sale at a rather large amount. In 1973, Tolentino was awarded the designation of Philippine National Artist.

Even at the Limjap Chapel in North Cemetery, the Limjaps' appreciation for fine artistry is clear. In addition to the handsome architecture of the chapel itself, Mariano imported five stained glass windows from France. Two are on each side and a larger one is behind the altar. They are signed "L. Collinet - Peintre. Verrie-Paris".

The Limjaps frequently traveled. Unfortunately, we don't have much information on their various trips. One that is noted in several write-ups is their European trip of 1893. Elpi Valencia, in his book entitled President Sergio Osmena, wrote that Don Mariano was one of the most traveled persons of his time. We can only assume that besides European trips, they traveled to Hong Kong, where Mariano had business connections, and to Amoy (Xiamen) where the Limjaps had a house.

The Limjaps were among Manila's social leaders. Many sources mention the Limjaps' weekly soirees where hundreds of guests were entertained and at which Manila's best orchestras often played.

The Limjap mansion on Calle Echague was constructed before the Revolution. This was in the San Miguel District, then the most elegant neighborhood of Manila. The houses of the Roxases and the Sorianos on General Solano Street were across the street which led up to Ayala Bridge. The Limjaps' residence had a boat landing for guests who wanted to arrive by private boat or to fish in the unpolluted Pasig River. Of course, Malacanang was practically around the corner, and in the same neighborhood were houses of other prominent families. Later on, the Jose Gonzalo Limjaps resided on Aviles Street.

Lola Angoy and Lolo Mariano enjoying the sea breezes on deck during one of their many boat trip abroad.

Many sources report that the three-story Limjap house was palatial, its European and Chinese furnishings elegant and its art collection priceless. The house fronted Calle Echague and continued all the way to the Pasig River. It has been said that when hundreds of guests dined at the Limjaps, they were served on the best porcelain, silver and crystal from Europe.

One family member recalls seeing man-size porcelain Chinese vases as being among the many exquisite decorative items. Almost as soon as modern conveniences were invented, they were added to the household. There was a swimming pool, a small bowling alley, a basketball court in an area which was the size of two basketball courts.

In addition to its fine furnishings and paintings, the Limjaps also hired Toribio Antillion, who was then the Philippines' foremost decorative and scenographic painter to paint murals. Antillion also decorated the interiors of the houses of Joaquin Inchausti, Gregorio Araneta, Moreno Lacalle, Arcadio Arellano, Eduardo Litongjua, Ireneo Felix, Ildefonso Tambunting, Felipe R. Hidalgo, and many others. Apparently, Antillion had an extraordinary command of perspective, and was adept at the art of aquarelle, or drawing in transparent watercolors.

No one knew it then, but the fate of the San Miguel house would be sealed from the moment the Japanese occupied it in World War II. The Japanese established a shipyard in the back of the property that opened into the Pasig River and their Navy office in the house. When the Americans returned, the Japanese decided to destroy the shipyard and the house, rather than leave it for the Americans. First, they tried to burn them but the durable residence constructed of marble and of the hardest of woods would not burn. The Japanese then laid dynamite and blew up the shipyard and the house. Unfortunately, the grand old house, an architectural treasure that had survived earthquakes, other natural calamities, and an earlier war, was totally destroyed.

During the prosperous and socially active early 1890s, no one could have imagined the 20th century wars that would follow nor of another one so near, a revolutionary period that would change their lives and their nation forever. But, events were unfolding that soon would bring the lilting music of the 1890s to a sudden halt.

Chapter 8: Turning Point: The Spanish Arrests


Like the Philippines itself, from. mid-1896 into 1900, Mariano and his family, were involved in a period of terrible turmoil. To better understand some small part of what they must have endured during the pre-Revolutionary period, the subsequent Revolution, and the Philippine-American War that followed that, some basic historical facts are included here together with some of the Limjap's contributions in this era.

There had been discrimination, conflicts, uprisings, and revolts through the centuries of Spanish rule which slowly convinced most of the non-Spaniards in the Philippines that changes were needed. However, most historians cite the January 1872 Cavite Mutiny and subsequent Spanish executions of the three priests, Father Jose Burgos, Father Mariano Gomez and Father Jacinto Zamora, as the catalyst that led, first, to movements seeking reforms from Spain and, later, to those seeking complete independence. The execution of the priests was extremely shocking to the public and was enough to convince many that change was needed. Mariano would have been 15 years old in January, 1872 and old enough for these events to have made a deep impression on him.

By the 1880s, the reformists were busy informing people in the Philippines and abroad about proposed reforms. A number of sources state that it was the Chinese community, particularly the mestizos, who could afford to back the propaganda movement. Roman Ongpin was providing much assistance to those involved in the propaganda movement in the Philippines. He allowed his store, El 82, to be used as a center for distribution of pamphlets. He also contributed heavily to the propaganda movement and later to the war efforts. If the Spanish suspected the areas of Binondo, Santa Cruz, Tondo, and surrounding areas were hot beds of revolution, they were right.

From a booklet provided by Chit Boncan Herbosa, we have learned that Mariano was one of the financiers of La Liga Filipina, which Dr. Jose Rizal organized in 1892. The members first met in the home of a Chinese, Dorotea Ongjunco, at 176 Ilaya Street, Binondo. Telesforo Chuidian and Luis Yangco are also listed as Liga financier together with other Chinese mestizos that included Antonio and Juan Luna, Felipe Zamora, Pedro and Francisco Roxas, Eduardo Litonjua, Marcelino de los Santos, Maximina Paterno, Isaac F. Rios and Nazario Constantino. This group must have been one of close friends and family because such activities were dangerous and those involved had to know that they could trust each other.

We don't have any written information about Mariano's political beliefs but we know that, by supporting the Liga, he was a supporter of Dr. Rizal. That is bolstered by the fact that later he helped to raise funds for the Rizal Monument, that he named an orchestra in honor of Dr. Rizal, and that as a founding member of Club Filipino, he honored Dr. Rizal on his death anniversary by wearing black even when it was ill-advised to do so. Initially at least, it seems he was in favor of seeking reforms from Spain, rather than outright revolution. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, his brother Jacinto was married to Clotilde Alonzo, who was related to Dr. Rizal's mother.

The Spanish authorities, who were already watching everything that Dr. Jose Rizal did, now began to watch those around him, including the Liga members who were also put under surveillance. Then, also within June, Dr. Rizal was sent into exile at Dapitan. From there, he still was able to keep in touch; however, without him, La Liga fell into disarray.

Two groups were then formed from the Liga. Those who desired to continue to press for reforms formed the Cuerpo de Compromisarios and those who felt revolution was now the only way joined the Katipunan. We don't know if Mariano or Jacinto joined the Compromisarios. However, it seems clear they did not join the Katipunan. The Katipunan, which needed funds, tried to get Liga members to join their organization, but most sources state they were not very successful in this.

The Compromisarios, of course, also needed funds. T.A. Agoncillo wrote that "Ariston Bautista Lin, Domingo Franco, Telesforo Chuidian, Jacinto Limjap, Felipe Barreto and others were prevailed upon to give their support to the new association." While we don't have any confirmation in writing that Jacinto or Mariano donated funds to the Compromisarios the odds are that the Limjaps, and probably others in their peer group, did provide the requested funds.

Most sources state that La Liga's members were from the well-to-do or the aristocracy, that the Cuerpo Compromisarios were from the middle class, and the Katipunan were from the largest group, the masses. Still, this may be too simplistic since there were crossovers in all groups.

Then events occurred at such a rapid pace that soon almost everyone, regardless of personal affiliations or ideology, was affected. During the last week of August 1896, the first Katipunan uprisings occurred. Unfortunately for him, Dr. Rizal arrived in Manila around this time from Dapitan. He was on his way to work as a doctor in the yellow fever epidemic in Cuba. His enemies accused him of plotting the uprisings, but eventually he was permitted to leave Manila.

On September 12th, Francisco Osorio' a son of Joaquin's friend and former business associate Antonio Osorio, was executed by the Spanish in Cavite. He and the other twelve persons, now known as the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite were all Chinese mestizos. On September 15, Mariano and Jacinto donated what was then "a staggering one million pesos for the battalion of Manila volunteers!"

On the next evening, September 16, 1896, Mariano and Jacinto were arrested by the Spanish authorities. T.M. Kalaw has written that Mariano and 21 other members of the Philippine elite, including Telesforo Chuidian and Luis Yangco, "well known for their wealth, culture, and social position, were also thrown into prison and tortured." Kalaw described Chuidian as "a rich merchant, popular in the exclusive social set of his day, whose hospitality and entertainments were known to Spaniards of every description." Kalaw also wrote that "Mariano Limjap, [was] another rich merchant, no less hospitable than the former. His palatial home was always open to his Spanish friends. He also held responsible positions in the Filipino Government."

According to Kalaw, the other nineteen persons who were arrested with them on that day were: Lorenzo del Rosario, Pedro Casimiro, Ambrosio Salvador, Bonifacio Arevalo, Maximo Paterno, Ambrosio Rianzares-Bautista, Nazario Constantino, Antonio Salazar, Juan Luna, Dr. Jose Luna, Antonio Luna, Isidro Soto Villaruel, Dr. Felipe Zamora, Numeriano Adriano, Ambrosio Flores, Dr. Jose Albert, Isaac Fernando Rios, Marcelino de los Santos, and Rosario Villaruel, the Liga, and 3 were Masons. At least 8 subsequently became founders or members of Club Filipino.

T.A. Agoncillo's list is similar but he includes Jacinto Limjap and Eduardo Litonjua as two others who were also arrested that day. Agoncillo also notes that those on his list included a painter, a dentist, a pharmacist, lawyers, physicians, a shipping magnate (Yangco), and businessmen (including Chuidian and the Limjaps).

What has since been called the "Spanish Reign of Terror" followed the uprising. Hundreds and hundreds of others were added to those already arrested, including prominent citizens from most towns on Luzon. The small Fort Santiago immediately became overcrowded to the point where it was exceedingly unsanitary.

The Spanish froze assets and confiscated properties of those suspected of being katipuneros. Since Mariano and Jacinto were arrested on suspicion of being involved with the Katipunan Uprising, even if they were not, it's likely their properties were confiscated and their bank accounts were frozen.

Why were they arrested if they were supporters of La Liga and not of the Katipunan? According to Club Filipino's history, Fountain of Gold, by Felice Sta. Maria, Andres Bonifacio purposely left behind a list of elite members' names from whom the Katipunan had been trying to solicit funds. Some believe Bonifacio did this to divert attention from himself; others feel he did this to get the mestizos to commit to revolution. In any event, Mariano and Jacinto had funded the Manila battalion, so even if they were not Katipunan members, that would have made them the enemy of the Spanish regime.

The reign of terror escalated. By now other prisons were overcrowded as well. Prisoners were subjected to some of the cruelest forms of torture. Mock trials were held. Public executions were held so often that soon even the Spanish civilian population could not tolerate them. The Spanish then began executing prisoners privately inside the prisons.

Dr. Rizal did not reach Cuba, but was returned to Manila. He arrived in Manila on November 3. His summary court-martial began on December 16. At dawn, on December 30, 1896, Dr. Jose Rizal was executed by the Spanish.

We cannot even begin to imagine the thoughts of Mariano and Jacinto who were still being held in Fort Santiago. This had to have been a somber, sad time especially for supporters of Dr. Rizal.

On January 11, 1897, other prisoners, some Liga members included, were executed. Numeriano Adriano, who had been arrested with Don Mariano, was one of those executed on that day, as were millionaire Francisco Roxas and Faustino Villaruel who was the father of Rosario. Adriano was also the brother-in-law of Francisco Osorio.

Those remaining in prison must have been devastated, and this period must have been one of deep reflection. During his imprisonment by the Spanish, Juan Luna painted his "Ecce Homo", referred to as "a sublime painting of Christ." In the months of detention, many had died from malnutrition. Hundreds had suffocated. Some guards accepted bribes and permitted prisoners brief periods in relatively less crowded area. But at night, everyone was again packed in like sardines, often only able to stand but not to lie down to sleep. Some of those who managed to survive the imprisonment caught illnesses in Fort Santiago that caused their early deaths. According to his DPB bio, Telesforo Chuidian contracted tuberculosis of the larynx there where he was imprisoned for about six months. He died in 1903, at age 48.

To survive one day meant that there was some hope that they would be alive the next. Still, as the months dragged on, things must have looked pretty bleak for those still in prison.

Mariano and Luis R. Yangco were finally released on March 29, 1897, or a little over six months after their arrest. We can only assume Jacinto served a similar sentence. Juan Luna was in prison for over eight months. He was released by a pardon on May 27, 1897 which was the birth anniversary of King Alfonso XIII. That seems to have been a general pardon when others may have been released as well.

We don't know what Lola Angoy went through during this period, but it must have been a terrible time of anxiety and adversity for her and for their children who were still quite young. If Mariano's properties were confiscated, we can only hope that perhaps she still had income from her casco cargo business.

Life often presents us with heartbreaking events. When Mariano was a prisoner in Fort Santiago in 1896, surely he might have thought that if he and Jacinto ever got out of prison that they would be the last Limjaps imprisoned there. However, Mariano's youngest son, Pedro Arsenio Limjap, was taken there as a prisoner by the infamous Japanese secret police, the Kempeitei, just days before liberation, because of his guerilla activities. He was held in the equally infamous Fort Santiago dungeon and was never heard from again. A memorial marker is located on Fort Santiago's garden grounds in honor of Pedro and the other brave Filipinos who died there during that period of World War II.

After centuries of putting down uprisings, the Spanish may have thought all would once again be forgiven. But this time they had gone too far. None of the non-Spanish in Manila could ever trust the Spanish authorities again. A special event took place during a brief, relatively peaceful interlude after the surrender of the Spanish and before the Philippine-American War began. That was the November 6, 1898 founding of the Club Filipino Independiente, which bears special mention since its founding was more of a political statement than a social one. Although the matter of who was the country's ruling government was unsettled at the time, the founders were now at liberty to use the word "Filipino" in their club's name.

Mariano was one of its founding fathers, along with Telesforo Chuidian. Other founders included some of those arrested with Mariano and Jacinto by the Spanish. These were Dr. Jose Albert, Bonifacio Arevalo, Antonio Luna, Jose Luna, Juan Luna, and Maximino Paterno.

Club Filipino's inaugural ceremony and ball was the first major social event, unrelated directly to government, that the elite who supported the revolution held together. It was one of the grandest affairs in Philippine history. The club did not yet have a clubhouse, so the affair was held in the elegant residence of the Valentin Guidote family. Hundreds of people arrived from all over the Philippines. The Guidotes and Juan Luna decorated the house for the occasion. Telesforo Chuidian, the first Club President, gave his inaugural address. In honor of Dr. Jose Rizal, Rizal's "Ultimo Mi Dios" was recited that evening. The finest foods were served and orchestras played for an evening of ballroom dancing. It was a night like no other. Although Americans attended the festivities, when the Philippine-American War began in February 1899, Club Filipino members were among the first to rally around Emilio Aguinaldo.

Chapter 9: A Revolution And Then A War


Letter of President Emilio Aguinaldo written in Tarlac June 30, 1899 to Mariano Limjap during the Philippine-American War.

The basic facts of the Philippine Revolution (August 1896-February 1899) and the Philippine-American War (February 4, 1899-September 8, 1902) are so well known that we haven't included them here. It was only after the Spanish-American War that America began to emerge as a world leader. Therefore, it should be noted that the Philippines was the first nation to fight this new super power.

Instead of a review of the events of the revolution and war, we've focused on the various roles Mariano and Jacinto played during these turbulent periods. Highlights of General Arthur MacArthur's campaign of October-November 1899 are included because, as we will see in this chapter, this campaign affected Mariano, and it seems other members of the Limjap family.

Mariano wore many hats during these war-time years. He was named to a high-level, three-man finance committee, which also included Telesforo Chuidian and Pedro Paterno. They were authorized to sign paper currency in denominations of one, two, five, twenty, fifty, and one hundred pesos.

Mariano was also named Inspector General of the Railroad. The Manila-Dagupan Railway played an important part in transporting troops, supplies, and government officials to Malolos, then to Tarlac, and finally to Pangasinan. Thus, battles for control of the Manila-Dagupan Railroad were crucial. Copies of some letters from and to Mariano about his duties as the Railroad Inspector General are included in the photo section. One of these is from President Emilio Aguinaldo.

Jacinto was named tax collector for Manila. Because the new government needed funds to operate, as they gained control of the countryside, the insurgent forces began immediately collecting the same taxes, including license fees that the Spanish had collected. There is every indication, that while the non-Spanish citizens had felt burdened by Spanish taxation, they freely and gladly gave to the rebel forces. An additional voluntary war tax was also collected. It was essential, of course, to have trustworthy individuals collecting the taxes and that's why often prominent persons were selected. For example, the Philippine patriot General Jose Ignacio Paua, the only Chinese (as opposed to Chinese-Mestizo) General in the war, also helped collect taxes in his area.

When the seat of the revolutionary government was transferred to Tarlac on June 21, 1899, Mariano was one of the new members of Congress appointed to succeed those who were unable to reach Tarlac to attend the sessions, or those who had been captured, or who had already surrendered to the Americans. He was named the only representative of the Tarlac Congress from Manila where previously there had been four. The Tarlac Congress first met on July 14. Among other acts, this Congress passed laws reorganizing the country's finances. This was something to which Mariano could have contributed a great deal.

When American forces advanced closer to Tarlac, the revolutionary government retreated aboard the Manila-Dagupan Railroad to Dagupan and, then, to Bayambang, Pangasinan.

On the way, Mariano, as Inspector General of the Railroad, had the railroad behind them destroyed to delay American forces and provide more time for President Aguinaldo to escape once they reached Pangasinan.

Beginning in October 1899, the Americans launched a major offensive on Luzon, with the intention of capturing President Aguinaldo, and forcing the revolutionary government to surrender. It was a three-pronged attack plan to be conducted by American Army Generals Lawton, Wheaton, and MacArthur. General Lawton was to proceed northward up the Rio Grande River, then westward and head for Dagupan. General Wheaton was to sail from Manila to Lingayen Gulf and proceed with his column also to Dagupan, which was the end of the railroad line. General Arthur MacArthur was to proceed northward from Manila along the railroad line. Since most of Luzon's revolutionary forces were in central Luzon, the plan was to keep pushing them northward until all forces met in Pangasinan. It was a plan that worked only too well.

As MacArthur's forces pushed northward, taking town after town, they forced President Aguinaldo, his military forces and officials to retreat northward on the railroad line, unaware at first that the other two generals were approaching from the other side.

From Harper's History of the War, we have excerpts from some of the despatches sent by U.S. Commanding Philippine General Elwell S. Otis almost daily by wire to Washington. These provide us the status of the Luzon battles from an American perspective, and some information about Mariano's actions.

November 13 [1899]: "...MacArthur succeeded in getting forward to Capas yesterday and will have command in Tarlac today, his advance pushing forward to save as much of railroad as possible, which enemy trying to destroy on retreat...."

November 16: "MacArthur has railroad between Bamban and Tarlac in operation; 5 miles. Road south Bamban being reconstructed. Removed rails found north of Tarlac...."

November 18: "General MacArthur entered Gerona yesterday and pushed advance to Paniqui... Railroad intact from washout north of Tarlac to Paniqui, but engines and cars partially destroyed by insurgents on retreating... rolling stock can be repaired to ensure railroad service...."

November 20: "MacArthur advanced within 5 miles of Dagupan, at which point railroads intact from Bamban, excepting Tarlac break. The northern 5 miles destroyed, but rails recovered. Large quantity rolling stock destroyed along line...."

November 25: "MacArthur [now in Bayambang] has captured insurgent director of railroads, who endeavored to destroy the railroad to Dagupan; also Captain Lawrence, Englishman, who served in Aguinaldo's Artillery. ... "[Signed] "Otis" (Although there were a few exceptions, these despatches usually did not provide the name of the person captured but rather that person's title or rank.)

General Arthur MacArthur's forces had taken Bayambang, by then the seat of the Aguinaldo Government, on November 19, 1899. The despatches, although sent almost daily, were reporting events that sometimes had occurred a day or two before. Given that fact perhaps Mariano had managed to elude American forces for a day or two after they took Bayambang, but ultimately he was captured.

It's clear Mariano stayed with the revolutionary government and at his post to the end, doing all he could to give more time to President Aguinaldo, the military forces, and other revolutionary government officials to escape.

Surely, in 1899, General MacArthur could not have foreseen that his son, Douglas, would be the Supreme Allied Commanding General in the Allies' efforts to free Asia forty-five years later. Neither, in 1899, would Mariano have thought his daughter, Esperanza, would be First Lady of the Philippines forty-five years later.

Mariano's DPB bio states he was captured in Pangasinan with family members. Pangasinan is the correct place although a few written sources state he was captured in Tarlac. We don't know which family members were with him. These must have been trying times for the Limjaps. Their children were young, and Lola Angoy was expecting Felisa who would be born in January 1900 while, apparently, Mariano was in prison. Additionally, they were from Manila, which had long been under American control. In addition, many properties that were confiscated under the Spanish were not released until after the Americans took over the government. We don't know if Mariano's and Jacinto's properties were returned to them after their release by the Spanish or held until after the Philippine-American War. So, if his entire family was not with him, where were they? Written accounts report that President Aguinaldo's mother, sister, wife and children were with him, and that his mother and a child were captured in Pangasinan. Aguinaldo's youngest child, who had just been christened in Tarlac before the retreat, died and was buried in Bayambang, Pangasinan. President Aguinaldo's wife went with him to the mountains. Therefore, it's very possible the entire Limjap family was together as well. We assume that Mariano and any other Limjaps with him were brought back to Manila by steamer from Lingayen Gulf as were some other captured officials.

The only good news that November was that the American's trap had not succeeded in capturing President Aguinaldo who had escaped to Palanan, lsabela. It, would take almost three more years before the Americans captured him and officially ended the war. Fighting, however, continued for years and the Philippine-American War now compared in many ways with America's involvement in Vietnam.

Once in Manila, Mariano was imprisoned again. We believe that Jacinto was, too, but haven't yet found anything in writing on that. Telesforo Chuidian was put in prison at what sources state was Fort Bonifacio. But that must have been called Fort McKinley then. Most probably Mariano and Jacinto were imprisoned at Fort McKinley as well. We don't yet have the term of Mariano's imprisonment nor his release date from the Americans. We don't know the length of Telesforo Chuidian's prison term under the American, however, from his DPB biography, we know it was for less than the Spanish prison term. On December 6, 1900, Roman Ongpin was imprisoned by the Americans at Fort McKinley. Then, he was transferred to the Ermita American military headquarters, and finally released on March 23, 1901, or over three months later. Possibly, Jacinto's and Mariano's term was similar in length. Mr. Ongpin never forgave the Americans and refused to serve them in his store. Before being released prisoners had to sign an oath of allegiance to the United States Government.

It seems in general the American imprisonments were not as harsh as those of the Spanish in 1896 and 1897. Still, any time in prison is intolerable. It could not have been easy for the prisoners or their families, especially when their only "crime" was patriotism.

With the end of the war, a new era in Philippine history had begun. Some have criticized the mestizos, saying they did not fight the Americans after the war but, instead, became their friends and business associates. It's true that the early years of American occupation were years of strong economic growth. For the first time, there were opportunities for all that had not existed under the Spanish. And even though the Chinese mestizo had contributed heavily from their own funds to the revolution and the war, they were still in a better position to re-start their businesses and to take advantage of this new period of growth than many others were. Naturally, being among the national business leaders of the day, they were soon introduced to the American businessmen and government officials. Of course, the businesses the mestizos embarked upon after the war added employment for others, a fact seldom mentioned.

At Bayambang, Pangasinan, General Aguinaldo had requested his soldiers and officials to switch from regular warfare to guerilla activities. The guerilla war continued for years because the people supported it. It's possible that, despite their oaths of allegiance, many of Aguinaldo's officials and military personnel also continued to help the guerillas in whatever way they could.

In any case, at war's end, surely Mariano, Jacinto and the others had given their all. They had supported the move for reforms, had endured the Spanish arrests and the reign of terror. During the three years of war, they had devoted themselves, and their families, in every way they could in the struggle for Philippine independence. Their properties and assets had probably been confiscated. They had gladly given much of their fortunes, their brainpower, physical abilities and their time to the Philippines' struggle for independence. At the end of the war, they had again endured their arrests, this time by the Americans. Like all Filipinos of the time, their families had gone through tremendous upheaval and sacrifice. It's hard to see what else they could have given.

After all, Mariano and Jacinto were not politicians but businessmen who tried to serve their country to the best of their abilities. If they were pragmatic, it was probably because they knew what America's financial and military might was, they knew the Americans had gained control of the Philippines. They knew they were defeated and they did not want to shed more Filipino blood needlessly. What else to do, for the sake of their families and fellow countrymen, but to seek peace?

During the period from 1900 to 1920, Mariano again shifted gears, changed direction, and met the changing times head-on. He had not lost his business vision during the war years.

The new Philippine Government had lost the war, but those involved in the struggle had hopes of eventually winning the peace, not just for themselves but for all Filipinos. What they had gained made up for the loss - for they had gained a new nationality, a right to call themselves - no longer indios or mestizos - but at last Filipinos.

Chapter 10: Mariano's Last Decades


After his release, Mariano accomplished a great deal as we have read in the section about his business career. But, perhaps his greatest pleasures came from his family, from seeing the Limjap children grow up and begin to spread their own wings.

Still, his devotion to country, to community remained throughout his life. He also continued to assist needy students. It was during this time, he contributed toward putting up the Rizal National Monument in the Luneta.

He especially enjoyed his friendships, one of which was with Architect Tomas Arguelles. They got together very often. Among his many other achievements, Tomas Arguelles later was President of Philippine Tannery, Inc., where Mariano had investments. Their families are still friends today.

Mariano also again enjoyed his social clubs, such as Club Filipino, which was then the "In" club, the Manila Jockey Club, another club with an elite membership, and a newer club, the Cosmos Club. In 1924, he was a Director of the Cosmos Club, which was located in the China Bank Building. During that year, Teodoro R. Yangco was its President, Gabriel Lao its Secretary, and Vicente Madrigal also a Director.

After the war, the Limjaps were again in Manila's social whirl. The following two accounts provide a glimpse into their position in the rarefied world of Manila high society during the early part of the 20th century. These two receptions, described below, were held about one week apart and are just two among countless others they hosted.

The first was a reception which Mariano hosted in 1907 for U.S. Secretary of War William Howard Taft and Mrs. Taft, who were on a return visit to Manila for the opening of the First Philippine National Assembly. The Limjaps and the Tafts had known each other from the time Taft was Governor-General of the Philippines. Subsequently, Taft became U.S. President and then Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The November 6, 1907 edition of the Cablenews American newspaper had the following account of it:

Headlines: "Chinese Hosts" and "Splendid Reception at Mariano Limjap's to Secretary and Mrs. Taft" "Another of the long list of receptions in honor of the Secretary and Mrs. William H. Taft, has come and gone. Last evening at the palatial residence of Mariano Limjap, one of Manila's wealthiest native residents, a magnificent reception was given by the Chinese Consul General and the leading China-men [as written] in the city."

"The wealth and beauty of Manila was in attendance. In the receiving line from Five O'Clock till Seven, stood the Secretary of War I William Howard Taft, the Chinese Consul General Su Yu Tsu, assisted by Benito Si Cobieng, the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and Tan Chu Tee, the instructor in English in the Chinese School."

Edgar Wickberg noted the second one in his book (mentioned earlier). It concerns a Manchu emissary Yang Shih-chi, the Junior Vice President of the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Trade, who also carried the title, Imperial Commissioner, who headed a delegation that paid an official visit to the Philippines. While there, he was entertained by the Limjaps, as well as by high government officials at other times during their visit. Twenty-one years earlier, Joaquin had assisted in making a request for a Chinese Consulate for Manila. Now his son Mariano gave one of the first groups of official Chinese visitors a royal welcome.

Wickberg wrote, "During its stay in Manila, the members of the mission were officially received by the Governor General of the Islands, were wined and dined by Chinese millionaire Mariano Limjap, in a mammoth reception that included the cosmopolitan crowd, and were entertained by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce."

Again, it made news in the Cablenews American, this time from the November 14, 1907 edition:

The Headline: "Brilliant Reception Given at Handsome Residence of Mariano Limjap"

"Only a superabundance of superlatives could fittingly describe the oriental richness of the reception last night at the home of Mariano Limjap in honor of the Chinese dignitaries now in the city. A committee of local Chinese gentlemen met the visitors at the main entrance, and smilingly escorted them to the grand stairway. Major Robert H. Noble, Aide to the Governor-General, presented the visitors with his accustomed facility. In the receiving line were Consul General Su Yu Tchu [different spelling from previous excerpt]; Hon. H.E. Yang Shih Chi, the royal trade commissioner; Mrs. Lim Jap [as written]; Taotai Mue Yew Chung, former Consul General here and now deputy director-general of the Shanghai Nanking Railroad; Commodore Shen, commanding the Chinese cruiser Hai Chi; and the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Manila."

"The guests of whom hundreds crowded the beautiful mansion for three hours, included the Governor-General, members of the Commission, Assemblymen, Supreme Court Justices, the Consular Corps, all the prominent British, German, French, Swiss, Spanish, Filipino and American families, officers of the army and navy and many prominent civil officials. A score or more of the officers of the Hai Chi were present in their dazzling white uniforms with gold epaulets."

1886-1911 Bodas de Plata de los Sres. de Limjap. Recepcion en la noche del dia 2 de Mayo.

1886-1911 Bodas de Plata de los Sres. de Limjap. Recepcion en la noche del dia 2 de Mayo.

"A band of 20 pieces from the cruiser Hai Chi. was stationed before the house. Their instruments were brasses and flutes. Under the direction of a leader of their own race [as written] the players sent forth sweet music throughout the reception. A good local band occupied the central court."

"Mr. Limjap and his charming daughter [Note: Possibly, this was Leonarda, the eldest.] were busy all the evening looking after the comfort of their guests, and received countless felicitations because of the manifest success of the occasion. The illumination was beautiful. All four sides of the handsome residence in San Miguel were covered with white incandescents. Red and blue light circled one of the fountains in the main conservatory, strings of lights stretched from the rear balcony, and even in the trees in the yard shone myriads of red and blue lights. The other decorations consisted of immense silken banners of the Yellow Dragon of China, American flags and bunting, and ferns and potted plants."

A dining room especially constructed in the courtyard near the Pasig River behind the San Miguel residence for the 1911 bodas de plata of Mariano Limjap and Maria Escolar

A dining room especially constructed in the courtyard near the Pasig River behind the San Miguel residence for the 1911 bodas de plata of Mariano Limjap and Maria Escolar. The photo was taken as dinner tables were setup but still without chairs before the party began.

In 1911, Mariano and Maria Escolar's 25th wedding anniversary was an elaborate celebration that began on the May 2nd anniversary date with additional celebrations held on May 3rd. The American Governor General W. Cameron Forbes was one of hundreds of guests.

In the early American era, the Limjaps continued to travel although we don't have records of all the trips. One was a steamer trip to Japan and China that Lola Angoy made in 1918, together with three of her daughters, Esperanza, Paciencia, and Felisa.

Perhaps during this time, Mariano's thoughts were beginning to turn to his own mortality for he bought the large Limjap land area in the North Cemetery, when that opened and, in 1913, constructed the Limjap Chapel, which still stands today. Adjacent to it is a large lot owned by the Ongpins. Each contains over 20 regular size lots. An interesting side note to that is that in 1997, when we made a search at the Manila City Hall Office of Cemeteries to verify the documentation of the Limjap plot, officials could not believe that two such large lots still belonged to only two families. On February 28, 1922, Mariano signed his will, and on March 8, 1923, he attached a codicil.

 Familia Limjap Chapel, build 1913, at the North Cementery.

Familia Limjap Chapel, build 1913, at the North Cementery.

In 1923, his brother Jacinto died on December 7th at the San Juan de Dias Hospital. He was buried at the Limjap plot where a memorial tablet was placed for him in the Limjap Chapel. When Mariano died on March 4, 1926, his will became news and was printed in many newspapers. One headline in The Independent, dated March 20, 1926, read, "Testamento De Un Millonario" The full text of his will was printed.

It appears he was in ill health and, at least for a while before his death, was confined to a wheelchair. Mariano Limjap y Nolasco - a business pioneer and a patriot - was buried on the left side of the Limjap Chapel.

Lolo Mariano and Lola Angoy

Lolo Mariano and Lola Angoy. Note Lolo Mariano's stylish white shoes and the modern pose capturing him in a casual, bouyant, carefree manner.

Lolo Mariano had adversities in life, particularly the deaths of family members and friends. Apparently, like others, he had financial losses during both the Spanish and American war years. But, all in all, it seems he led a very happy and very productive life. At the end of his life, he was surrounded by a large and loving family. He also had an extended family, for whom he cared and provided as if they were his own. He had friends with whom he enjoyed much fellowship. He had helped numerous people in less fortunate circumstances. He had achieved great success in business and his astute business acumen was well recognized. He had known a life of abundance and privilege and yet he was not a selfish or spoiled person. He was well respected by his peers and all who knew him. Before, during and after the Revolution and Philippine-American War, he committed himself and his resources with resolve and dedication to serving his country. He endured two imprisonments and emerged undaunted. He was truly a courageous man with the moral fiber required in such perilous times.

He had been born in the Spanish society of mid-19th century Philippines and he had seen the beginnings of a modern American-influenced 20th century. When he died, it was truly the end of a very, very special era. But it was the beginning of an era he had fought so hard to bring about for Lolo Mariano had begun life as a Chinese mestizo but had died as a Filipino.

Lolo Mariano's will was printed as news in The Independent shortly after his death in 1926.

Lolo Mariano's will was printed as news in The Independent shortly after his death in 1926.

Chapter 11: Lola Angoy's Years: 1926 To 1941


Here, Lola Angoy, in the earliest photograph of her found so far, is the epitome of a fashionable young lady of the 19th century.

Here, Lola Angoy, in the earliest photograph of her found so far, is the epitome of a fashionable young lady of the 19th century.

Perhaps Lola Angoy needed a respite from the hectic life she and Lolo Mariano had enjoyed. During the 1930s, after Mariano's death, Lola Angoy built a house in Santa Mesa adjacent to the one Lolo Mariano had given the Osmenas. In addition, she built a house behind hers for her favorite nephew, Agapito Escolar and his family. Fewer family members remained at home and less space was required. Santa Mesa, although also a large, spacious house, was not as much of a palace as the San Miguel house. Neither did it require as much maintenance.

But when some of her children - Francisco and his family and, subsequently, the widowed Paciencia and her family decided to move back in with her, she returned to San Miguel. In both homes, the family, particularly the grandchildren, had wonderful years of whole days spent at Lola Angoys on Thursdays (then a Catholic school holiday) and Sundays and of the memorable lunches they enjoyed together.

There were also yearly vacations for the whole Limjap family, especially to Baguio where she had a huge house and to Antipolo where the Limjaps also had another summer house. Moving all the family members, their belongings and the helpers back and forth for these vacations was something like transporting a small army with Ate Monang as the very able supervising general.

Lola Angoy had frequent visits from her cousins, Lola Marcelina "Ninay" Que Viuda de Rodriguez, Lola Isabel Carreon and Lola Julia Catot. It is reported by Marita Escolar Alfonso that Lola Angoy is also related to Dominga Escolar Co Gue Fue who is the paternal grandmother of Ambassador Manuel Yan. From Floring Azarraga and Johnny Rodriguez, we learned more about the cousins. Lola Ninay was a Spanish-Chinese mestiza, and Lola Angoy's first cousin on the Carreon side. Their mothers were sisters. She was the grandmother of Floring Azarraga and Johnny Rodriguez. Lola Ninay was Lola Angoy's Ate and, as such, received deferential treatment by our Lola Angoy. When Lola Ninay came to visit at San Miguel, Lola Angoy was waiting up by the stairs with the other members of the family and with the servants. Lola Ninay died in 1944, at age 82, and a memorial tablet for her is in the Limjap Chapel. Lola Isabel was a piano teacher and never married.

Eventually, she stayed with the Ubaldos until she died. Perhaps Maria Isabel, the Limjaps fourth child who died at aged two, was named for her. Lola Julia Catot was a cousin, and probably also on the Carreon side although no one can say for sure. Both Lola Isabel and Lola Julia were very Spanish looking.

Lola Angoy continued to provide college educations for a number of people, including Dr. Rosalino Reyes, Amado Javier, Pacifico Javier, and two priests, Father Rufino and Father Felipe.

The sculptor Guillermo Tolentino recommended Dr. Reyes to Lolo Mariano, who spoke briefly with the young man to tell him that he would be a Limjap scholar in Medicine at UP. However, a few days later, Lolo Mariano died and with him the dreams of the student. At the wake, he assisted the family by listing all the flowers that had been sent. After the period of mourning, Lola Angoy told him that whatever Lolo Mariano had promised him was still a good promise. He said his spirits then soared to new heights. He lived with the Limjaps in San Miguel, where his daily chores were to give Lola Angoy her insulin shots and to accompany her in the early morning hours when she enjoyed tending her garden. Subsequently, after finishing Medicine, Dr. Reyes took up law and became the Medico Legal Officer of the old National Bureau of Investigation. He is now 94 years old, and the only surviving Limjap scholar.

Lola Angoy dressed for a custome party then in vogue.

During this period, Lola Angoy suffered from increasing ill health. She had severe diabetes and needed daily insulin shots, which were given to her at home by Dr. Reyes and later by Amado Javier. We are indebted to Ben Javier, with whom the Limjaps are very close, for providing more details of the earlier relationships between the two families. Amado and his brother Pacifico were scholars of Lola Angoy. After high school, both stayed with the Limjaps and after their college graduation, Amado and Pacifico both worked for PLDT. Their father managed a motor boat owned by Don Mariano named the Dona Angoy, which towed fishing vessels. Their other brother, Alfredo, was the Dona Angoy's Engineer and the Javier's employee Pascual Roque was the captain. Their mother Antonia would collect the earnings, which she would turn over to Lola Angoy. Ben remembers going with his mother to visit Lola Angoy at the San Miguel house. At his mother's request, Ben stayed with Jose Limjap's family from December 1941 to January 1942, but because World War II had broken out, Ben returned to their house to be with his mother. Ben now has a very successful commercial fishing venture and exports tuna fish to Japan.

Lola Angoy relaxing in Tagaytay

Relaxing in Tagaytay, Lola Angoy and Tia Monang, who was then pregnant with Monina Limjap Alvarez.

On April 7, 1941, Lola Angoy died while at her Baguio summer home just before the annual trek to Antipolo. Shortly before she went up to Baguio, a picture was taken which shows her relaxing at Tagaytay with her daughter-in-law Simona Ablaza Limjap, who was pregnant at the time with Monina Limjap Alvarez. Little did anyone suspect then that Simona would die on March 25, 1941, after giving birth to Monina, and that Lola Angoy would die less than a month later. Lola Angoy was a disciplinarian, but she had a caring, loving heart for those she loved and also for the less fortunate. This is part of her legacy to us. During the Revolution and the Philippine-American War, Lola had also lived through times that were harrowing, particularly when her husband was in prison and she had small children who needed her care. These were times which would have devastated a weaker person. And she had suffered from her diabetic condition. Lola Angoy is the matriarch we remember, the one who set the standards for our behavior, the one who cared enough to be the disciplinarian and set an example we could follow all our lives.

Remembering My Lola Angoy

By: Monching Osmena


Picture of Lola Angoy which perhaps was used by Guillermo Tolentino as his photographic model for her marble bust.

I recall that I was about two years of age when I rode on a wheelchair with my grandfather, Mariano Limjap. Later in life, I asked my mother how come I grew up with my grandmother (whom l called Lola Angoy). She told me that at the time of my grandfather's death, she and father were abroad and when they returned to Manila, they noticed that my Lola became very attached to me so that they did not have the heart to take me back. My Lola took me with her wherever she went - to church (Santo Domingo, in Intramuros) every Tuesday and Sunday, which I did not relish because she woke me up at four in the morning, to religious processions, to afternoon spins in the car and to visit her friends, especially Dona Chayong Imperial. She would make me show tricks like moving my ears and making my ears stick to the side of my head.

My grandmother was a disciplinarian. She was very strict especially at the dining table and was very observant about the way are ate and the manner in which we handled the silverware. She would continually repeat that we should know how to eat properly so that we would not be embarrassed when eating in a banquet when we grew up. Dinner time to her was very important. She would have a gong sounded and everyone had to come immediately. Everyone had to sit and eat at the same time and also leave the dining table at the same time. Every night, before retiring, we prayed the Rosary in Spanish.

Although my relatives believed that I was a favorite grandchild, I did not think so at the time because I got punished very often. Punishment meant the "plumero" on the buttock which hurt a lot. Afterwards, my Ate Monang would apply a "contusion" solution on the affected area. While spanking me, my Iola would cry and would keep repeating that it was hurting her more than it did me. Of course, I did not think so, but could not say so.

Lola did not believe in pocket money as "baon" so I had to bring a sandwich to school. And, at lunch lime, our driver had to bring my lunch all the way from Santa Mesa, pick me up at De La Salle College in Taft Avenue, and drive to Fort Abad at the end of Dewey Boulevard to eat my lunch. In the afternoons, Lola would pick me up in school, ask the driver to make a spin at the Luneta and then drive home. One thing my Lola did not believe in was the "barkada," so I had none. She was so strict with me and watched all my movements that some of my relatives called me "ang dalaga nang Lola." Lola also did not believe in the movies, but my mother would have me picked up every Thursday (we had no classes) to go to the dentist, but actually took me to the movies. I had a feeling that Lola knew all along and referred to my mother as a "consentidora." As a young boy I resented the strict treatment I got, but later on in life, I realized that my grandmother was right. Considering the number of times I was punished, I probably would have been a problem later on in life if my Lola was not as strict as she was. Just imagine - when I was in the second grade, my grades in one particular month were so bad that I falsified my lola's signature in the monthly report card. Of course, I got caught and the succeeding punishment followed.

When I was eighteen years of age, Lola decided to return me to my mother. She told me that my sister, Rosie, who was starting to go on dates would be needing a chaperon. I was jumping for joy when I got to my mother's house in the afternoon from school before I realized that my Lola was there crying and took me back with her. The next day, however, she took me back to my mother's house and said that what she did the previous day was wrong.

My Lola Angoy died that summer in her summer house in Baguio, where she was spending the summer in her eight bedroom summer house with her seven children and their families as she did every year. Unfortunately, I was not there since I was at Camp Murphy (now Camp Aguinaldo) as a member of the first batch of High School Graduate trainees.

Looking back, I am all praise for what my Lola Angoy has done for me. She would tell me, time and again of an old saying in Tagalog and I quote - "Ang alaga nang lola ay alaga ng demonio."

Limjap Family Residences

by Pacita Ubaldo Filart


The San Miguel House

The Limjap residence in San Miguel was at the foot of Ayala bridge on the corner of Echague Street The entrance of the mansion had a big gate, on the left side of the gate was a circular fountain, and around the fountain was a pathway to the main entrance of the house.

On both sides of the first floor there was a line of bedrooms for the boys, Lolo Mariano's office and other facilities.

Upon entering the door of the house, there was a big entresuelo leading to two marble stairways with huge wooden balustrades, one on the left and another on the right. At the landing, these two stairways met each other in the center and became one very wide stairway going to the second floor.

The very spacious and long second floor anteroom led to a very large living room that consisted of the whole width of the house fronting Calle Echague. The wood used for floors was perhaps a meter wide for each piece. The furniture and statues were from Europe, and large porcelain vases were from China. On the walls were tapestries also from Europe and paintings by noted painters. One of these was Amorsolo's "Harvest Time." The curtains were of velvet.

The house had two dining rooms, also on the second floor. The largest dining room was vast and had a long, long table, with elaborate carvings, which could seat at least 50 people, and was made of one piece of prize mahogany. Around the dining room walls were tall, freestanding china cabinets, which held European porcelain plate sets decorated with flowers, and with Lolo Mariano's initials, M.L. in gold. These plates were only used on very special occasions or for fiestas. The everyday dining room used by adults was also very large and there was a smaller, separate dining room just for the use of the grandchildren.

The second floor had two large bedrooms, one was the master's bedroom and the other was for the girls. In that era, bedrooms were only for sleeping and so there were also spacious dressing rooms for them. The kitchen was huge and as located near the dining rooms and had a separate stairway leading down to the servants' quarters and the garage.

There were many people employed in the household staff. For the upkeep of the house, there were houseboys and housemaids. There was also a Master Chef with other helper assigned just to help the cook. On the third floor, accessed through a spiral cast iron staircase, imported from Europe, which had many detailed designs, was a gallery, called the mirador. This was, in fact, a roof garden and a large room where the grandchildren stayed when they visited. It was also used as a cardroom for social gatherings during Mariano's lifetime.

During the numerous parties, children were not to be seen or heard. So, we would watch the parties below from the third-floor mirador where we could also see what was happening in the garden.

In the garden, we had our own big playhouse where we played bahay-bahayan. Here, there was also a big space that was paved which was used for parties and, later, was used as a basketball court or a tennis court. The garage held one of the first cars in the Philippines. Over the years, the cars included a Metallurgic car, the latest Hudsons, seven-seater Dodges, a small Austin, and some vintage touring cars as well.

The Baguio Vacation House

Our grandparents' home in Baguio had eight bedrooms, a master's bed room and one for each son and daughter. This house also had two dining rooms, one for the adults and the other for the grandchildren. The grandchildren were always fed first by their parents and, when they were finished, the adults would eat. The grandchildren would go up to Baguio with their grandparents, ahead of their parents. Every Holy Week the house was filled with family and friends. In those days, it started to rain in Baguio in the month of April. When the rains came, the whole family would go down to another summer house in Antipolo for the May festivities.

The Antipolo Summer House

Antipolo was noted then as now for the Miraculous Lady of Peace and Good Voyage which is enshrined in the Church of Antipolo. Tourists and devotees would fill the church during these times. Every year, we would stay in Antipolo for two novenas (18 days) during the month of May.

House in Antipolo.

The house had rooms large enough to accommodate family and friends from Manila who would come to visit during that time. There was also a nearby family ranch, called "Langhaya", located outside Antipolo. Every year we would go there for picnics. To get there, some would ride on paragos, a wheel-less cart pulled by a carabao, and others would ride horses. From the ranch, a calf would be selected for the barbecue held for family and friends back in town.

At the town's procession, the young people would dress up. The girls would wear a Balintawak and the boys camisa de chino, which is printed and very colorful. In the evening after the procession, everyone went to "May Time", a place for socializing, dancing and eating.

After these events every year, the family would go down to Manila to get ready for the school year that began in June.

What I remember about these houses is that the mansion in San Miguel, which was turned into a headquarters and a shipyard by the Japanese, was burned and dynamited by the Japanese before they left. The residence in Baguio was burned during liberation. Meanwhile, the Antipolo summer house was not bombed nor burned but was subsequently looted up to the last post as it was abandoned during the war years.

My Recollections Of Lola Angoy

By Raul A. Boncan


My first recollection of Lola Angoy is in the house in Santa Mesa. That must have been when I was about five years old, or about 1933. She was then to me a very imposing woman who we respected with awe.

I remember her dog Soda, a fox terrier, who liked to chase the grandchildren. Soda scratched my nose with his teeth once when I pulled his tail while he was eating. Lola Angoy, however, did not get angry at Soda. Instead, she gave me the feeling that it was my fault! The rule of the house and I think this carried over to all the Limjap households was that, if you hurt yourself through your own fault, you'd get spanked only if you cried. So, there was very little crying that you would hear in the Limjap households.

I remember that every Thursday there would be a long line (about 30 or 4O) of mendicants who would sit down on both sides of the driveway from Santa Mesa Street to the house, and my Lola would come out and give each person one or two centavos. She also had a pet monkey at the back of the house. The yard and garden were very big and at night when we played "kick the can", if you were the first "It", most likely, you would be "It" for the whole night.

My cousin Monching lived with Lola Angoy even if their own house was right beside hers in Santa Mesa. The Escolars' house was right behind the Osmena's and contiguous to Lola Angoy's without any fence.

I remember lauriat parties in Santa Mesa. We, the grandchildren, were allowed to join at a separate table in the corner. I, for one, did not know how to partake of a lauriat feast where there would be about ten or twelve different courses. I would gobble up the first two or three dishes and could not eat anymore for the next eight to ten dishes. The caterer would always be Chua, and he would be working together with all his cooks and waiters right in the back yard where all their kitchen paraphernalia to cook for about 100 people were located.

Lola Angoy was very well loved and respected by our parents. We, the grandchildren, would only talk to her when we were spoken to. I do not remember exactly the transfer back to San Miguel. All I can remember is that we would be going to San Miguel instead of to Santa Mesa on Thursdays and Sundays. In fact, for a while, I lived with my Lola Angoy in San Miguel when my parents went to Europe or the United States for about two months.

I later found out from my mother that she left some money with Ate Monang, who it seems hated to spend money, for my gustillos - like mongo con hielo or sarsaparilla. However, when they returned, the whole amount was given back to her, which means I did not get all the mongo con hielo or sarsaparilla that I could have had since I was not given the money for them. By that time, Monching Osmena, and Naning and Mon Santos were also staying there, and so were Amado and Pequing Javier.

I remember that Lola Angoy had a black 7-seater Dodge, a Ford station wagon, and a small Austin. We almost always used the Ford or the Austin. It was very seldom that we used the Dodge. While Lola Angoy reigned in both houses, it was Ate Monang who ruled the households insofar as the grandchildren were concerned.

Ate Monang was very strict with the grandchildren, particularly the boys. She dominated our lives with regards to the goodies. She would allow us each one face of the mango or two "buto". She would ration us about five lanzones each. So, to make it worthwhile eating them, we boys would pool the lanzones and bet it all on a basketball game - winner take all! After Lola Angoy died, Ate Monang lived ultimately with Lonnie Ubaldo Tirona.

Once when Lola Angoy went to Hong Kong for a long vacation, I remember that a number of older grandchildren and some parents went too, but Monching and I stayed behind in Hong Kong with her and we went to school there. I was in kindergarten at Maryknoll's and Monching went to St. Joseph's (LaSalle) across the street. We brought the Ford station wagon, which we rode to school, as there were hardly any cars in Hong Kong then as the mode of transportation was the rickshaw. We stayed at the Kowloon Hotel, behind the Peninsula.

We were occupying almost the entire floor. The driver, whose name, if I remember correctly, was Bonifacio was also a good cook of Filipino food. Ate Monang was, of course, also with us and always took care of all our needs. We must have stayed there for at least six months. Could this perhaps have been when she was in the process of transferring back to San Miguel? During that time, my parents would just visit us from Manila.

Towards the late 1930s and early 1940s, Lola Angoy was not as active anymore. I do not remember any lauriats in San Miguel. She would sit on a deck chair with canvass in the smaller dining room in San Miguel or inside her big bedroom in Baguio during summer vacations. She smoked the long black, cigarettes and would always have pate de foie gras, which she liked very much, in the fridge, available when she decided to have some.

She ate the crust but did not eat the "masa" of the bread and would fashion them into small animals, like ducks or dogs. I also got into the same habit as I do not also eat the masa of the bread and I still do fashion the masa into all sorts of shapes. She had an elevator installed so she did not have to climb the long high stairs in San Miguel. I always tried to ride with her on the elevator for 5:00 A.M. Sunday mass at the Santo Domingo Church. Otherwise, I had to run, after making the sign of the cross, all the way down in the frightening darkness, and had to open the very heavy, gigantic church-like doors to get to where the car was waiting.

We, the grandchildren, did not dare come up to Lola Angoy and outright ask her for anything that we wanted unlike the grandchildren of today. We feared that we might offend her as she was a disciplinarian. I could not understand then why my cousins would always ask me to ask Lola Angoy for something that we would all like. Perhaps I was more daring or just plain naive.

When asked by them, I would approach Lola Angoy hesitatingly, and ask her in a roundabout way. I would start by saying, "Lola, kung gusto po ninyo, palagyan po natin nang tubig ang swimming pool" ("Lola, if you would want to, let us put some water in the swimming pool") And, almost always, she would say yes and that would make all of us very happy except Ate Monang. This would entail a lot of water since there was no filtering system available then and the water would have to be thrown away after a week when algae started to turn the water green.

This would cost a lot of money. Ate Monang would ask us not to open the outlet valve too strong as she thought this would mean more water consumed. She would be watching from the second floor window. We would instead put two or three garden hoses full blast from an angle that she could not see in order to get the pool filled quickly.

For Christmas gifts to her grandchildren, Lola Angoy would, through one of my uncles, order them from a mail-order catalog in the U.S. There were over thirty grandchildren. All the boys of the same age would get the same thing and all of the girls, by age group also, would get the same thing, too. Our presents were always the latest designs from the States. Once we got skatings that looked very futuristic unlike the ordinary ones that were being sold in the Philippines at that time. After doing all the skating we wanted to at Burnham Skating Rink in Baguio, we would rent out our much in demand skates to others for pocket money.

Another time, Lola Angoy gave each of her children's family a horse. I was still too small to ride by myself. A servant would hold me on top of the horse while he walked and ran the horse around. My parents did not know how to care for a horse. We did not even have a stable. Unfortunately, I think the horse died of pneumonia.

One of Lola Angoy's favorite spots when we would take a spin in the Ford was at the big open ground of Fort San Antonio Abad, which then encompassed the space now filled by Ospital ng Manila, Harrison Plaza all the way to Vito Cruz. The sea was where Roxas Boulevard is now in front of the Central Bank Complex. The fort is still there behind the Central Bank building. It was a wide open, breezy place where we loved to fly our gurion fighting kites. At San Miguel, we also flew our kites on the third floor roof deck since the wind was always strong at that height.

I remember that Lola Angoy loved to look at her collection of loose diamonds which were kept in boxes with felt trays. She would move one diamond from left to the middle and look at it from different angles and then move it to the right. After she has finished one tray, she would start with another. Her "alajera" - Aling Charing - visited Lola Angoy regularly. Aling Charing's husband did the actual fashioning of the different kinds of jewelry. She continued to be the alajera of our parents. After the war, she lived in Pasay and I often accompanied my mother there.

All laundry was done by outside contractors, who washed the laundry on the river banks of the San Juan or Marikina Rivers. This was quite a detailed procedure. The laundry was taken out of a big "hamper" where sometimes we would hide when playing hide and seek. The laundry would be sorted and every piece counted and recorded with Ate Monang supervising. The dirty laundry would then be put together on bedsheets and the ends tied together and mounted on a karetella. When the laundry was returned, every single item was counted again to ensure it conformed to the last list of outgoing laundry.

And this was only one area of housekeeping. Now, I appreciate the tasks and responsibilities that Ate Monang had. However, then the cousins enjoyed trying to outwit Ate Monang. She had to keep track of all the household inventory bought in bulk, such as the chichariyas, groceries and fruits in the huge household bodega, and she closely guarded the keys to it. So we, the cousins, would go into the bodega with Ate Monang when she would go in to retrieve some things. We would then try to confuse her and one of us would hide behind the boxes and when she left with the others and locked the door, the one inside would later open the door from the inside and we would raid the bodega.

While Ate Monang was very stingy with us, we now appreciate that we had to be handled the way we were handled. It has instilled in me the habit of not being wasteful.

Lola Angoy died suddenly in Baguio while we were on vacation. They had to round up all the grandchildren all over town since all of us had to go down to Manila the very same day. It was a sad day for all of us. Our lives were never the same.

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A Tribute To Our Limjap Ancestors


House of Limjap

The Chinese saying,
"May you live in interesting times!"
has certainly more than applied to the lives of the Limjaps
and to the House of Limjap.

As a final tribute to our Limjap ancestors
and particularly to
Lim Cong Jap (Joaquin Barera Limjap) and Policarpia Nolasco,
and to their children,
Mariano and Maria Escolar and Jacinto and Clotilde Alonzo,
we applaud their exemplary lives.

When called upon,
they gladly sacrificed for their nation.
In peacetime, they set examples for us
by their religious beliefs, their love of family,
their industriousness, and their service to their communities.
And, they also taughtus to laugh, to enjoy life,
to appreciate the goodness that life has to offer.

When World War II came,
we could bear it all
because they had shown us how.
After the war, just as they had,
we could also forgive
and go on with our lives.

The Chinese mestizo family that
Lim Cong Jap and Policarpia Nolasco
Started is now a clan of
about 500 members.

Salamat Po

This is a story of an immigrant who became a successful businessman; his children who risked the fruits of their family's labor as well as their entire family's safety and well being to contribute to the Philippine Revolution for a country they called their home.

During these tumultuous times, it is ok to step out of your comfort zone and contribute to society in ways you normally would never dream of doing. To pass on your hopes and dreams of what you would like your country to be like for your children as well as your children's children is a courageous and selfless act. To risk tremendously for the sake of love of humanity is the greatest legacy our future can inherit.

To Raul A Boncan y Limjap. Thank you for granting me the permission to share our family history to the world. Thank you to your family for dedicating the time, resources and energy to share this important piece of Filipino history.

Maraming Salamat Po!
- Vincent Limjap

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