Domingo Lam-Co

Domingo LAM-CO (1662 – ) was Socorro’s 6th great grandfather.  He was also Jose Rizal’s 2nd great grandfather

Domingo Lam-co was born in Siong-que, (Qiongque, pronounced ”Zhang Guo” in Mandarin) in Losan district, Jinjiang, Fujian province, China.   Church records show that Cue Yi Lam was baptized as Domingo Lamco at the age of 35 in Manila in 1697 and that his birthplace was Siongque village in China.  Hi.s parents were SIANG-CO Cua and Zun-nio [__?__] . He married Ines De la ROSA.

Jinjiang, Fujian Province.  The Taiwanese coast is the the southeast corner of the map.  The dashed lines circle islands controlled by Taiwan near the Chinese coast.

Google map of Jinjiang, Quanzhou, Fujian  I couldn’t quite find the village of Siong-que, but here’s the town of Luoshan.   When President Estrada visited the ancestral village in 2000, Jinjiang City announced it hoped to spend more of its own money to expand it to a 20-hectare park complete with a new museum dedicated to Lam-co’s descendant Jose Rizal.   The monument was completed in Dec 2002.  It is a slightly larger replica of the one standing at the Luneta, now Rizal Park in Manila. It stands 18.61 meters high, representing the year of Dr. Rizal’s birth, 1861. Like the original in Manila, the monument in Jinjiang City also features a bronze statue of the national hero as its centerpiece.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signs the Guest Book after offering a wreath at the foot of the Rizal Monument in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province on Oct 28, 2006.

Ines de la Rosa was born xx. Her parents were Agustin CHINCO and Jacinta Rafaela [__?__].

Children of Domingo and Ines:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Francisco MERCADO 1731 in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines. Bernarda MONICHA
26 May 1771
Calamba, Laguna, Philippines
2. Josepha Didnio 1741
Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
1741 in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines.

Eusebio Lopez and his cousin Jose Rizal were descendents of Domingo Lam-co. (traditional Chinese: 柯儀南) a Chinese immigrant entrepreneur who sailed to the Philippines from JinjiangQuanzhou in the mid-17th century.

Jose Rizal Pedigree

Domingo Lam-co’s Genealogy

Generation                All Surnamed Cua
1st          ShanWeng
2nd        Nian Chi Zhi Zheng
3rd         Yun Cong
4th          Zhi Gong
5th          Song Lo
6th          Szu Gong
7th          Wan Ching
8th          Zong Xian
9th          Men Gong
10th        Hong Gong
11th        Zhong Guo
12th        Ting Zuo
13th        Bai Xia
14th        He Fu
15th        Cai Jing
16th        Cong You
17th        Zhang Ly
18th        Na
19th    Lam (Cua-Lam or Domingo Lam-co)

Source: Cua Genealogy, Siongque, China.

The above Chinese genealogy shows that Socorro was a 28th -generation Cua of Siongque, (pronounced ”Zhang Guo” in Mandarin) in Losan district, Jinjiang, Fujian province, south China

The Cua clan of south China and Asia trace their origins 3,000 years ago to patriarch Chua Siok-To in the Yellow River basin of central China, in that area now called Henan province. Duke Chua Siok-To was the fifth son of the political genius who founded the Chou Dynasty and his eldest brother later became the king. This era was before the rise of a unified China under first Emperor Chin Shih Huang-Ti. Descendants of Chua (also pronounced ”Tsai” in Mandarin or ”Choy” in Cantonese) include some of the world’s richest billionaires according to Forbes magazine–Taiwanese Tsai Wan-Lin of Cathay Life Group and Indonesian ‘Tobacco King’ Rachman Halim (Chua To-Hing) of Gudang Garam Group. Another clan member was the late Philippine ‘Sugar King’ and philanthropist Antonio Roxas-Chua. Another heir of patriarch Chua Siok-To started the clan of Cua (pronounced ”Ke” in Mandarin, also spelled as ”Qua” or ”Koa,” of which Domingo Lamco and Dr. Jose Rizal were direct male descendants

In 1697, at the age of 35, Lam-co was baptized at the San Gabriel Church in the predominantly Chinese community of Binondo.  In his baptismal record, his parents were simply listed as  SIONG-co and JUN-nio.

Domingo Lam-co Baptismal Record

In these church records, he specified his home village to be Siongque  near Quanzhou, Fujian Province.  He was the 19th generation of the first Cua who settled in Siongque.  The rural areas of Jinjiang , Lamoa, Hui-Wa, Chio-Sai, An-Khue and others under Quanzhou are the ancestral places of 80 percent of the top Chinese-Filipino entrepreneurs.

He adopted “Domingo” his baptismal day, as his first name.  He married a Chinese mestiza said to be half his age named Ines de la ROSA, Lam-co married Inez de la ROSA, a Sangley of Luzon. who belonged to an entrepreneurial family in Binondo.  Ines was the daughter of Agustin CHIN-co and Jacinta RAFAELA, a Chinese mestiza resident of the Parian.

Children of Agustin and Jacinta:

i Magdalena Vergara (—)
ii Josepha (—)
iii. Cristoval de la Trinidad (—)
iv. Juan Batista (—) .
v. Francisco Hong-Sun (—)
vi. Ines de la ROSA

With the rigid social stratification prevailing at that time, it was evident that Lam-co came from a good family.  Through his association with two Spanish friars, Fr. Francisco Marquez, authority on Chinese grammar, and Fr. Juan Caballero, he was invited to settle in the Dominican estate of San Isidro Labrador in Biñan, Laguna.  Lam-co was said to have been instrumental in the building of the irrigation works known as Tubigan, which made the area where it was situated the richest part of the estate.  He and his family lived in the estate along with fellow immigrants from Chin-chew, China.

Map of Binan, Laguna

Sangley History

The Spanish colonization of the Philippines required more skilled laborers and they recruited Chinese immigrants from the islands. The economy became highly dependent upon the Chinese for their economic role as traders and artisans. Most of the Chinese living in the Manila area settled in a place called the Parían near Intramuros.

The Spanish founded the Parían in 1581 in what became Manila as the official marketplace and designated residence for the unconverted sangleys. Circumventing a royal decree outlawing the sangleys, as governor-general of the Philippines, Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas created Binondo in 1594 for the Catholic sangleys and their indio wives and their mestizos de sangley children and descendants. He gave the sangleys and mestizo de sangleys a land grant in perpetuity. They were allowed to establish a self-governing organization, called Gremio de Mestizos de Binondo (Guild of Mestizos of Binondo).

The Spanish colonists attempted to assimilate the sangleys into the Hispanic culture and converted many to Catholicism. They allowed Catholic sangleys to intermarry with indio women, but did not recognize marriages of the unconverted sangleys, as they did not officially sanction marriages among subjects that were performed outside the Catholic Church.

Beginning in 1600, the first generation of mestizos de sangley formed a small community of several hundred in Binondo. This is whereSan Lorenzo Ruiz grew up. He later was beatified by the Catholic Church as the first Filipino saint. During the 17th century, the Spaniards carried out four Great Massacres and Expulsions against the unconverted sangleys in response to real or imagined fears of an imminent invasion from China. In the aftermath, many sangleys converted at least nominally to Catholicism, adopted Hispanized names, and intermarried with indio women.

The Spanish encouraged the Chinese to convert to Catholicism. Many of the Chinese men married native women, and over time the multi-cultural mestizo de sangley caste developed. Although the colonial government never imposed on them the adoption of Spanish surnames and were allowed to keep their Chinese surnames, in many cases they chose to change them to the likes of Lopez, Palanca, Paterno, Rizal, Laurel, Osmeña, etc., or to made them look Hispanic by concatenation, for example: Lacson, Biazon, Tuazon, Ongpin, Yuchengco, Quebengco, Cojuangco, Cukingnan, Cuyegkeng, Yaptinchay, Yupangco, Tanchanco, Tiongson, Tanbengco, Tanjuatco, Locsin, Tetangco, etc.

In 1574, a few years after the Spaniards established Manila as the colonial capital of the Philippines, the Chinese pirate Limahong (traditional Chinese: 林風) attacked Manila and burned it to the ground, retreating later to other places around the Luzon coast where his forces continued the killings and looting. Some of them deserted Limahong, settled down and interbred with the locals.

In 1603 a Chinese revolt took place led by Juan Suntay, a wealthy Catholic Chinese. It was put down by joint Spanish and native forces led by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. In the aftermath most of the 20,000 Chinese that composed the colony were killed. The revolt took place right after a visit to Manila by three official Chinese representatives who disclosed they were searching for “a mountain of gold”. This strange claim prompted the Spanish to conclude that there was an imminent invasion from China in the making. At the time the local Chinese outnumbered the Spaniards by twenty to one, and Spanish authorities feared that they would join the invading forces.  The Chinese afterward played down those events in an attempt to preserve their commercial interests, and in 1605 a Fukien official issued a letter claiming that the Chinese who had participated in the revolt were unworthy of China’s protection, describing them as “deserters of the tombs of their ancestors.

The insurrection was put down by joint Spanish, native and Japanese forces led by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. A large number of the 20,000 Chinese that composed the colony were killed during the revolt. In the aftermath, the Chinese Ming government played down those events in an attempt to preserve their commercial interests, and in 1605 a Fukien official issued a letter claiming that the Chinese who had participated in the revolt were unworthy of China’s protection anyway, describing them as “deserters of the tombs of their ancestors”.

In 1662, the Chinese pirate, Cheng Ch’eng-kung, (Koxinga), attacked several towns on Luzon’s coast and demanded tribute from the colonial government, threatening to attack Manila if his demands were not met. The Spanish refused to pay the tribute and reinforced the garrisons around Manila.  Although most of the Manila Chinese distanced themselves from the pretensions of Koxinga, and in the end the invasion did not materialize, an increasing anti-Chinese sentiment grew within much of the population and hordes of locals massacred hundreds of Chinese in the Manila area

Most of the sangleys worked as skilled artisans or petty traders. Aside from shopkeeping, the sangleys earned their livelihood as carpenters, tailors, cobblers, locksmiths, masons, metalsmiths, weavers, bakers, carvers and other skilled craftsmen. As metalsmiths, they helped to build the Spanish galleons in shipyards located in Cavite. As masons, they built Intramuros and its numerous structures.

The Spanish gave the mestizos de sangley special rights and privileges as colonial subjects of the Spanish Crown and as baptized converts to the Catholic Church. They were given preference to handle the domestic trade of the islands and to lease land from the friar estates through the inquilino or lessee system, that allowed them to sublet those lands.

Later, the mestizos de sangley came to acquire many native lands, chiefly through a legal instrument called pacto de retro or contract of retrocession. In this scheme, a moneylender extended loans to farmers, who in exchange for cash, pawned their land with the option of buying it back. In the event of default, the moneylender recovered the loan by foreclosing the land from the farmer. Many local farmers lost their lands to mestizos de sangley in this manner.

The Spanish Galleon Trade [1565–1815], tied China to Europe via Manila and Acapulco, Mexico. Acting as a transshipment port, Manila attracted Chinese traders from Xiamen (Amoy) who arrived in armed ships, called Chinese junks, to trade with the Spanish. Chinese luxury goods, such as silk, porcelain and finely crafted furniture, were exchanged for silver from Mexican and Peruvian mines. Twice a year the galleons sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Manila to Acapulco and back. The goods were later taken to Spain via Veracruz, Mexico.


In food, Chinese-Filipinos adapted Hokkien food from Fujian. They used indigenous ingredients and Spanish names to improvise what became part of Filipino cuisine. During the 19th century, noodle shops called panciterias serving comida China (Chinese food) dotted the islands. The ubiquitous pancit (meaning “noodle” from the Hokkien word pian-e-sit) became pancit luglog and lomi (flavored with sauce); mami (served with broth); pancit molo (cooked as pasta) and pancit Malabon (mixed with seafood). The rice staple (and wet-rice agriculture) common to East Asia originated in China, as did the rice porridge called arroz caldo. Other well-known Filipino dishes such as lumpia (egg-roll), maki (soup dish), kiampong (fried rice) and ma-chang (sticky rice,) among others, trace their origins to the culinary arts of the Hokkien migrants settling in the islands over the centuries.


Posted in -9th Generation, Socorro | 4 Comments

Francisco Mercado

Francisco MERCADO (1731 – 1801) was Socorro’s 5th great grandfather.  He was also Jose Rizal’s great grandfather

Francisco Mercado was born 1731 in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines. His parents were Domingo LAM-CO  and Ines de la ROSA. He married on 26 May 1771 in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines to Bernarda MONICHA.  Francisco died in 1801.

Biñan, Laguna, Philippines

Bernarda Monicha was a Chinese Mestiza born in  San Pedro Tunasan  or Biñan,  Laguna Philippines.   Not much is known of Bernarda save she was an orphan girl generally thought of as a relative of a certain coadjutor priest in Biñan,.  She was known for her sweet and lovable nature.

Children of Francisco and Bernarda:

Name Born Married Departed
Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
2. Clemente Mercado

Domingo and Ines named their son Francisco Mercado believed as a gesture of gratitude to  a family friend Friar Francisco Marquez and Mercado,  a Spanish mestizo friar renowned for his botanical studies.  The surname “Mercado”, which means “market” in Spanish, was quite appropriate, too, since many ethnic Chinese were merchants, and many having adopted the same surname. This Spanish name saved the son from prejudice against Chinese surnames yet retaining a link to the Chinese merchant.

Francisco Mercado turned out to be a well-to-do rancher with a large herd of carabaos.

In 1771, Francisco Mercado married Bernarda MONICA, a native of the nearby hacienda of San Pedro Tunasan, then, like Biñan, was populated by many Chinese migrants, or Chinese mestizos.  They had two sons named Juan and Clemente.  For a short period, he settled his family at the hacienda of San Juan Bautista in Calamba.  However, hostility towards the Chinese immigrants as well as natives of Chinese descent- a backlash from the British invasion of Manila in 1762, during which the local Chinese supported the British against the Spaniards- forced Francisco Mercado to return his family to Biñan.

Francisco Mercado owned the largest herd of carabaos in Biñan.  He was active in local politics.  He was elected as the town’s capitan del pueblo around 1783.  Popular and good-natured, he often stood as godfather during baptisms and weddings, as Biñan’s church records revealed.

Francisco Mercado owned the largest herd of carabaos in Biñan

Since his early manhood, he became a familiar figure in court litigations involving agrarian disputes with the religious orders of Biñan.  It was the characteristic uprightness and courage of Francisco in the face of overwhelming odds that gave currency to the reputation of the Mercado clan as irreconcilable foes of rapacity and  injustice.


Doctor Jose Rizal and the writing of his story By Valdez, Et Al

Posted in -8th Generation, Socorro | 3 Comments

World Visitors

One of the most rewarding aspects of this project is sharing what I learn with my (very) extended family.  Three-quarters of visitors have been from the United States, but visitors from many other countries have taken a look.

*COUNTRIES with an immigrant ancestor

Country Visitors  thru Mar 25, 2012 Population Population per Visitor
Niue (NZ) 3 1,000 333
*Maine (State with highest per capita visits) 1,323 1,328,188 1,004
Suriname                365                      529,000                     1,449
Falkland Islands (UK)                    2                           3,000                     1,500
Anguilla (UK)                    8                        15,236                     1,905
Tuvalu                    5                        10,000                     2,000
British Virgin Islands (UK)                  13                        28,213                     2,170
Montserrat (UK)                    2                           4,932                     2,466
Bermuda (UK)                  25                        64,237                     2,569
Faroe Islands (Denmark)                  15                        48,372                     3,225
Northern Mariana Islands (USA)                  13                        53,883                     4,145
Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)                  10                        44,493                     4,449
Cayman Islands (UK)                  12                        54,878                     4,573
Saint Kitts and Nevis                  11                        51,970                     4,725
Antigua and Barbuda                  18                        86,295                     4,794
*UNITED STATES 63,611 313,241,000 4,924
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                  18                      100,892                     5,605
US Virgin Islands                  18                      106,405                     5,911
Aruba (the Netherlands)                  17                      101,484                     5,970
Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)                    1                           6,082                     6,082
Grenada                  14                      103,328                     7,381
*Netherlands Antilles (CURAÇAO)                  22                      170,810                     7,764
Guernsey (UK)                    8                        62,431                     7,804
Dominica                    9                        71,293                     7,921
Jersey (UK)                  12                        97,857                     8,155
*CANADA            4,213                34,747,900                     8,248
American Samoa                    6                        55,519                     9,253
 Åland Islands                    3                        28,355                     9,452
Guam (USA)                  16                      159,358                     9,960
*BARBADOS                  25                      274,200                  10,968
 Monaco                    3                        35,881                  11,960
Iceland                  26                      319,575                  12,291
Saint Lucia                  13                      166,526                  12,810
French Guiana                  17                      224,469                  13,204
*UNITED KINGDOM            4,644                62,300,000                  13,415
*NETHERLANDS            1,220                16,728,091                  13,712
Isle of Man (UK)                    6                        84,497                  14,083
Greenland (Denmark)                    4                        56,749                  14,187
New Zealand                308                  4,430,440                  14,385
 Gibraltar (UK)                    2                        29,441                  14,721
 Bahamas                  24                      353,658                  14,736
Mississippi (State with lowest per capita visits 198 2,978,512    15,043
 Malta                  26                      417,617                  16,062
 Australia            1,352                22,867,848                  16,914
 Cook Islands (NZ)                    1                        17,791                  17,791
 Andorra                    4                        78,115                  19,529
 Palau                    1                        21,000                  21,000
*Quebec (Province with lowest per capita visits) 372 7,903,001    21,245
 Luxembourg                  24                      511,840                  21,327
*IRELAND                209                  4,581,269                  21,920
*BELGIUM                415                10,839,905                  26,120
Marshall Islands                    2                        54,305                  27,153
Belize                  11                      312,971                  28,452
Seychelles                    3                        90,945                  30,315
San Marino                    1                        32,252                  32,252
Guadeloupe (France)                  12                      401,554                  33,463
Tonga                    3                      103,036                  34,345
Liechtenstein                    1                        36,157                  36,157
Montenegro                  15                      620,029                  41,335
*NORWAY                120                  5,001,100                  41,676
 Cyprus                  18                      838,897                  46,605
 Estonia                  27                  1,316,541                  48,761
 Macau (China)                  11                      560,100                  50,918
 Micronesia                    2                      102,624                  51,312
 Brunei                    8                      422,700                  52,838
Trinidad and Tobago                  23                  1,317,714                  57,292
 Vanuatu                    4                      234,023                  58,506
 Denmark                  81                  5,580,516                  68,895
 Guyana                  11                      784,894                  71,354
 Fiji                  12                      868,000                  72,333
 Jamaica                  37                  2,705,800                  73,130
 Switzerland                104                  7,870,100                  75,674
 Puerto Rico                  48                  3,725,789                  77,621
 Maldives                    4                      317,280                  79,320
 Singapore                  65                  5,183,700                  79,749
World 83,921 6,873,417,682 81,903
Bahrain                  15                  1,234,571                  82,305
Latvia                  25                  2,067,887                  82,715
Czech Republic                126                10,548,527                  83,718
Sweden                113                  9,486,591                  83,952
São Tomé and Príncipe                    2                      169,000                  84,500
Lithuania                  35                  3,192,800                  91,223
Panama                  37                  3,405,813                  92,049
Samoa                    2                      186,340                  93,170
Taiwan                243                23,234,003                  95,613
Cape Verde                    5                      491,875                  98,375
 Qatar                  17                  1,699,435                  99,967
 Kiribati                    1                      101,000                101,000
 Finland                  52                  5,405,850                103,959
 Slovenia                  19                  2,057,210                108,274
 Macedonia                  18                  2,057,284                114,294
 Namibia                  20                  2,324,000                116,200
Costa Rica                  37                  4,301,712                116,262
Israel                  67                  7,848,800                117,146
Greece                  91                10,787,690                118,546
New Caledonia (France)                    2                      245,580                122,790
Croatia                  34                  4,290,612                126,194
Hungary                  79                  9,985,722                126,402
Georgia                  35                  4,469,200                127,691
Austria                  65                  8,452,835                130,044
Martinique (France)                    3                      396,404                132,135
Slovakia                  41                  5,445,324                132,813
French Polynesia                    2                      274,000                137,000
Gabon                  11                  1,534,000                139,455
Portugal                  72                10,561,614                146,689
 Albania                  19                  2,831,741                149,039
Bulgaria                  49                  7,364,570                150,297
*GERMANY                499                81,831,000                163,990
 Serbia                  42                  7,120,666                169,540
 Romania                112                19,042,936                170,026
 Kuwait                  21                  3,582,054                170,574
*FRANCE                384                65,800,000                171,354
 Oman                  16                  2,773,479                173,342
 Bhutan                    4                      720,679                180,170
 Hong Kong (China)                  39                  7,108,100                182,259
 Botswana                  11                  2,038,228                185,293
 Uruguay                  17                  3,251,526                191,266
 Bosnia and Herzegovina                  20                  3,839,737                191,987
 Moldova                  18                  3,560,400                197,800
United Arab Emirates                  41                  8,264,070                201,563
 Lebanon                  21                  4,259,000                202,810
 Armenia                  16                  3,268,500                204,281
Mayotte (France)                    1                      211,000                211,000
 Spain                214                46,196,278                215,870
 Italy                263                60,776,531                231,089
Dominican Republic                  38                  9,378,818                246,811
 Mauritius                    5                  1,280,924                256,185
 Djibouti                    3                      818,159                272,720
*POLAND                141                38,501,000                273,057
South Africa                168                50,586,757                301,112
 Jordan                  20                  6,280,600                314,030
 Mongolia                    8                  2,736,800                342,100
 El Salvador                  18                  6,183,000                343,500
 *PHILIPPINES                267                94,013,200                352,109
 Malaysia                  80                28,334,135                354,177
Palestinian territories                  12                  4,293,309                357,776
 Chile                  41                17,248,450                420,694
 Honduras                  19                  8,215,313                432,385
 Lesotho                    5                  2,194,000                438,800
 Paraguay                  14                  6,337,127                452,652
 Libya                  13                  6,423,000                494,077
 Belarus                  19                  9,463,000                498,053
 South Korea                  95                48,580,000                511,368
 Ukraine                  87                45,644,419                524,648
 Nicaragua                  11                  5,815,524                528,684
 Timor-Leste                    2                  1,066,409                533,205
Solomon Islands                    1                      553,935                553,935
 Liberia                    6                  3,476,608                579,435
 Argentina                  68                40,117,096                589,957
 Gambia                    3                  1,776,000                592,000
 Swaziland                    2                  1,203,000                601,500
 Colombia                  74                46,441,000                627,581
 Thailand                104                65,479,453                629,610
 Tunisia                  16                10,673,800                667,113
 Comoros                    1                      669,300                669,300
 Turkey                108                74,724,269                691,891
 Russia                204              143,030,106                701,128
 Mexico                157              112,336,538                715,519
Equatorial Guinea                    1                      720,000                720,000
 Ecuador                  20                14,483,499                724,175
 Peru                  41                30,135,875                735,021
 Brazil                246              192,376,496                782,018
Venezuela                  34                27,150,095                798,532
Réunion (France)                    1                      816,364                816,364
 Haiti                  12                10,085,214                840,435
 Guatemala                  17                14,713,763                865,515
 Japan                138              127,650,000                925,000
 Saudi Arabia                  29                27,136,977                935,758
 Bolivia                  11                10,426,154                947,832
 Kazakhstan                  16                16,698,000            1,043,625
 Egypt                  67                81,726,000            1,219,791
 Kenya                  31                38,610,097            1,245,487
 Ghana                  19                24,223,431            1,274,917
 Algeria                  29                37,100,000            1,279,310
 Angola                  16                20,609,294            1,288,081
 Sri Lanka                  16                20,653,000            1,290,813
 Madagascar                  16                20,696,070            1,293,504
 Rwanda                    8                10,718,379            1,339,797
 Cameroon                  14                19,406,100            1,386,150
 Morocco                  22                32,503,100            1,477,414
 Uganda                  22                32,939,800            1,497,264
 Azerbaijan                    6                  9,111,100            1,518,517
 Zambia                    8                13,046,508            1,630,814
Papua New Guinea                    4                  7,014,000            1,753,500
 Mali                    8                14,528,662            1,816,083
 Kyrgyzstan                    3                  5,477,600            1,825,867
 Cambodia                    7                13,395,682            1,913,669
 Sudan                  16                30,894,000            1,930,875
 Vietnam                  44                87,840,000            1,996,364
 Burundi                    4                  8,038,618            2,009,655
 Indonesia                112              237,641,326            2,121,798
 Côte d’Ivoire                  10                21,395,000            2,139,500
 Turkmenistan                    2                  5,105,000            2,552,500
 Eritrea                    2                  5,415,000            2,707,500
 Cuba                    4                11,241,161            2,810,290
 Sierra Leone                    2                  5,997,000            2,998,500
 Benin                    3                  9,100,000            3,033,333
 Tanzania                  14                43,188,000            3,084,857
 Laos                    2                  6,465,800            3,232,900
 Pakistan                  55              179,090,000            3,256,182
 Mauritania                    1                  3,340,627            3,340,627
 Nepal                    7                26,620,809            3,802,973
 Tajikistan                    2                  7,616,000            3,808,000
Republic of the Congo                    1                  4,140,000            4,140,000
 Iraq                    8                33,330,000            4,166,250
 Iran                  18                76,239,000            4,235,500
 Senegal                    3                12,855,153            4,285,051
Central African Republic                    1                  4,487,000            4,487,000
 Mozambique                    5                23,049,621            4,609,924
 Uzbekistan                    6                28,000,000            4,666,667
 Ethiopia                  18                84,320,987            4,684,499
 Yemen                    5                24,527,000            4,905,400
 Guinea                    2                10,217,591            5,108,796
 Niger                    3                16,274,738            5,424,913
 India                219          1,210,193,422            5,525,997
 Togo                    1                  6,191,155            6,191,155
 Zimbabwe                    2                12,754,000            6,377,000
 Nigeria                  25              162,471,000            6,498,840
 Malawi                    2                13,077,160            6,538,580
 Bangladesh                  16              142,319,000            8,894,938
 Somalia                    1                  9,331,000            9,331,000
 Syria                    2                21,498,000          10,749,000
 Afghanistan                    2                24,485,600          12,242,800
 Burkina Faso                    1                15,730,977          15,730,977
 China                  74          1,347,350,000          18,207,432
 North Korea                    1                24,052,231          24,052,231
 Myanmar                    2                48,337,000          24,168,500
Democratic Republic of the Congo                    2                67,758,000          33,879,000
 Pitcairn Islands (UK) 0  66  na
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia) 0 605  na
 Vatican City 0 800  na
 Tokelau (NZ) 0 1,411  na
Christmas Island (Australia) 0 1,462  na
Norfolk Island (Australia) 0 2,302  na
Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Norway 0 2,495  na
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK) 0 4,000  na
Sint Maarten (the Netherlands) 0 7,429  na
Saint Barthélemy (France) 0 8,902  na
Nauru 0 10,000  na
Wallis and Futuna (France) 0 13,445  na
 Saint Martin (France) 0 36,824  na
 Western Sahara 0 548,000  na
 Guinea-Bissau 0 1,520,830  na
 South Sudan 0 8,260,490  na
 Chad 0 11,274,106  na



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North American Visitors

One of the most rewarding aspects of this project is sharing what I learn with my (very) extended family.

I was curious where these distant relations were  coming from. I put a visitor counter on the site and saw that California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas and Florida had the most visitors, but by and large those are just the largest states.  I put together this little analysis to see where people were most interested.

State/ Province Visitors   thru Mar 24, 2012  Population Jul 1 2011 Pop per Visitor
*Maine 1,323 1,328,188 1,004
*New Hampshire 1,015 1,318,194 1,299
*New Brunswick 488 751,171       1,539
*Vermont 394 626,431       1,590
*Massachusetts 3,809 6,587,536       1,729
Iowa 1,749 3,062,309       1,751
*Rhode Island 549 1,051,302       1,915
District of Columbia 276 617,996       2,239
*Connecticut 1,424 3,580,709       2,515
Utah 1,078 2,817,222       2,613
Washington 2,556 6,830,038       2,672
Yukon 12 33,897       2,825
*Nova Scotia 268 921,727       3,439
Idaho 444 1,584,985       3,570
Oregon 988 3,871,859       3,919
Prince Edward Island 34 140,204       4,124
Georgia 2,284 9,815,210       4,297
Alaska 163 722,718       4,434
Colorado 1,097 5,116,769       4,664
*New York 4,055 19,465,197       4,800
*Montana 206 998,199       4,846
*California 7,647 37,691,912       4,929
*Virginia 1,620 8,096,604       4,998
United States  60,227 311,591,890       5,174
Kansas 541 2,871,238      5,307
North America
64,396 345,068,578       5,359
*Nebraska 342 1,842,641      5,388
*South Carolina 859 4,679,230      5,447
Michigan 1,776 9,876,187      5,561
Ohio 2,024 11,544,951      5,704
*Wisconsin 975 5,711,767      5,858
Wyoming 94 568,158      6,044
New Jersey 1,448 8,821,155      6,092
Arizona 1,062 6,482,505      6,104
Delaware 145 907,135      6,256
North Carolina 1,541 9,656,401      6,266
*Minnesota 848 5,344,861      6,303
British Columbia 691 4,400,057      6,368
*Missouri 918 6,010,688      6,548
Maryland 879 5,828,289      6,631
*Pennsylvania 1,882 12,742,886      6,771
Florida 2,761 19,057,542      6,902
Nevada 373 2,723,322      7,301
Hawaii 183 1,374,810      7,513
South Dakota 108 824,082      7,630
Indiana 846 6,516,922      7,703
Ontario 1,628 12,851,821      7,894
Illinois 1,604 12,869,257      8,023
Canada  4,169 3,476,688      8,030
North Dakota 84 683,932      8,142
Tennessee 782 6,403,353      8,188
West Virginia 224 1,855,364      8,283
Oklahoma 444 3,791,508      8,539
Arkansas 343 2,937,979      8,566
New Mexico 241 2,082,224      8,640
Alberta 410 3,645,257      8,891
*Kentucky 490 4,369,356      8,917
Texas 2,778 25,674,681      9,242
Saskatchewan 110 1,033,381      9,394
Newfoundland and Labrador 48 514,536    10,720
Alabama 439 4,802,740    10,940
Manitoba 103 1,208,268    11,731
Northwest Territories 3 41,462    13,821
Louisiana 318 4,574,836    14,386
Mississippi 198 2,978,512    15,043
Nunavut 2 31,906    15,953
*Quebec 372 7,903,001    21,245

* State/ Province where an ancestor was born 



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Juan Mercado

Juan MERCADO (17xx –  1826) was Socorro’s 4nd great grandfather.  He was also Jose Rizal’s grandfather

Juan (or Capitan Juan as he was called) Mercado was born in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines.  His parents were Francisco MERCADO and Bernarda MONICA.  He married Cirila ALEJANDRA. at the age of 22.  Juan died in 1826.

Biñan, Laguna, Philippines

Cirila Alejandra was a Chinese Mestiza,  daughter of one of Domingo Lam-co’s godsons, and who hailed from Tubigan.  Her parents were Juan SIONG-CO  (Syongco) and Maria CONIO of Biñan.

Children of Gregorio and Remegia:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Gavino Mercado
2. Potenciana Mercado  Unmarried  1847
3. Leoncio Mercado
4. Fausto Mercado
5. Barcelisa Mercado Hermenegildo Austria
6. Gabriel Mercado
7. Julian Mercado
8. Gregorio Fernando MERCADO Eulalia TRIVINO
Remegia Abarientos
9. Casimiro Mercado
10. Petrona Mercado Gregorio Neri
11. Tomasa Mercado F. de Guzman
12. Cornelia Mercado
13. Francisco Engracio Mercado (Rizal) 1818
Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
Teodora Alonso Realonda de Quintos 1898
Calamba, Laguna, Philippines

Juan and Cirila had 13 children.  They lived in large house made of stone in the center of Biñan.  (One of his children, Francisco Engracio, born in Biñan sometime in April 1818 was the father of Jose Rizal).

Like his father, Juan Mercado also served as the town’s capitan del pueblo (gobernadorcillo of Biñan) in 1808, 1813, and 1823.  On many occasions, “Capitan Juan”, as his town mates referred to him, was the hermano mayor in religious and social affairs.  Like his wife, he was benevolent and hardworking.  His status earned him the privilege of electing the Philippine representative to the Spanish parliament in 1812.

After Mexico became independent in 1821, Spain took over direct control of the Philippines. It had been governed by the Virreinato de Nueva España or Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico). Coinciding with the advent of steamships and the consequent expansion of the global economy, the Spaniards decided to open up the Philippines to foreign trade. As the subsistence economy shifted to an export crop economy, in 1834 the Spanish allowed both non-Spanish Westerners and Chinese immigrants to settle anywhere in the islands.

The mestizos de sangley largely abandoned wholesale and retail trading altogether. They converted their capital into larger landholdings, and cultivated sugar plantations for a commodity crop for the new export market, particularly in Central Luzon, Cebu, Iloilo and Negros. The mestizos de sangley took advantage of the rapid changes as the colonial economy was integrated into the markets of the Western world.

Many prominent mestizo de sangley families belonging to the landlord class acquired vast landholdings during this period. Their holdings were second only to those of the Catholic religious orders, who owned the most land in the Philippines. As landholders, the mestizo sangleys acquired more power than they has in their economic role as colonial merchants of the Spanish Colonial Period. The middleman role became filled chiefly by new Chinese immigrant traders. In the years to come, mestizo sangleys in the countryside became a kind of feudal power.

In the 19th century, the population of mestizos de sangley grew rapidly over the years as more Chinese male immigrants arrived, converted to Catholicism, settled in Binondo and intermarried with indio or mestizo de sangley women. With no legal restrictions on their movement, mestizos de sangley migrated to other areas in the course of work and business, such as Tondo, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Capiz, etc. The number of unconverted sangleys dropped from a high of 25,000 prior to the First Great Massacre of 1603 to below 10,000 by 1850. From 1810-1894, the population figures for the Philippine islands were as follows:.

Race Population (1810) Population (1850) Population (1894)
indio 2,395,677 4,725,000 6,768,000
mestizo de sangley 120,621 240,000 500,000
sangley 7,000 10,000 100,000
Peninsular (from Spain) 4,000 25,000 35,000
Total 2,527,298 5,000,000 7,403,000

Today Chinese mestizos of mixed Chinese and either indigenous Malay or Spanish ancestry make up 20% of the country’s total population

With the continuous expansion of Metro Manila, the city of Biñan is now included in Manila built up area which reaches Lipa CityBatangas in its southernmost part. Biñan City is also part of the new metropolitan area of the province of Laguna, known as Laguna West Metro.

The City of Biñan is located in the Philippine province of Laguna, about 34 kilometers south of Manila. It is bounded on the north by San Pedro on the south by Santa Rosa City and on the west by CarmonaCavite. On the eastern and northern horizon lies the Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country.


8. Gregorio Fernando MERCADO (See his page)

10. Petrona Mercado

Petrona, for some years had been a dressgoods merchant in nearby Kalamba, on an estate that had recently come under the same ownership as Biñan. There she later married, and shortly after was widowed. Possibly upon their mother’s death, Potenciana and Francisco removed to Kalamba; though Petrona died not long after, her brother
and sister continued to make their home there.

13. Francisco Mercado

Juan Mercado died when his son, Francisco Engracio Mercado, was only eight years old. With his sisters and brothers, Francisco Engracio helped his widowed mother in managing the family’s business.

Francisco, in spite of his youth, became a tenant of the estate as did some others of his family, for their Binan holdings were not large enough to give farms to all Captain Juan’s many sons. The landlords early recognized the agricultural skill of the Mercados by further allotments, as they could bring more land under cultivation. Sometimes Francisco was able to buy the holdings of others who proved less successful in their management and became discouraged.

The pioneer farming, clearing the miasmatic forests especially, was dangerous work, and there were few families that did not buy their land with the lives of some of its members. In 1847 the Mercados had funerals, of brothers and nephews of Francisco, and, chief among them, of that elder sister who had devoted her life to him, Potenciana. She had always prompted and inspired the young man, and Francisco’s success in life was largely due to her wise counsels and her devoted encouragement of his industry and ambition. Her thrifty management of the home, too, was sadly missed.

He married Teodora Alonso Realonda de Quintos, a daughter of one of Manila’s most distinguished families in 1848.   Teodora Alonzo was the daughter of Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo and Brigida de Quintos .  Lorenzo was described as “very chinese” in appearance. Brigida was the daughter of Manuel de Qunitos, a Manila attorney whose family were Chinese Mestizos of Pangasinan.

It is said that Doña Teodora’s family descended from Lakandula, the last native king Tondo. Her great-grandfather, Rizal’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Eugenio Ursua (of Japanese ancestry), who married a Filipina named Benigna (surname unknown). Their daughter, Regina, married Manuel de Quintos, Filipino-Chinese lawyer from Pangasinan. One of the daughters of Atty. Quintos and Regina was Brigida, who married Lorenzo Alberto Alonso, a prominent Spanish-Filipino mestizo of Biñan. Their children were Narcisa, Teodora (Rizal’s mother), Gregorio, Manuel, and Jose.

Sometime after 1849, in compliance with Governor Claveria’s decree ordering Filipinos to adopt Spanish surnames (to facilitate documentation, for, many Filipino families shared the same family name such as “De La Cruz”, etc.)   Francisco adopted the surname “Rizal” (originally Ricial,  the green of young growth or green fields), which was suggested to him by a provincial governor, or as José had described him, “a friend of the family”. However, the name change caused confusion in the business affairs of Francisco, most of which were begun under the old name. After a few years, he settled on the name “Rizal Mercado” as a compromise, but usually just used the original surname “Mercado”.

Francisco moved his family to Calamba, where he farmed lands leased from the Dominican friars, growing sugar cane, rice and indigo.  He also started a mixed orchard engaged in trade, raised poultry, in all of which he was assisted by his wife Teodora.  In time, Franciso’s family became one of the wealthiest in Calamba.

Francisco  changed his surname to Rizal to avoid being implicated in the 1872 Cavite Mutiny, as his son, Paciano Rizal Mercado,, was a student of Fr. Burgos.

Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado (1818–1898)

Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda de Quintos, were prosperous farmers who were granted lease of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans. Jose Rizal was the seventh child of their eleven children namely:

i. Saturnina (Neneng) (1850–1913),  She was married to Manuel T. Hidalgo, a native and one of the richest persons in TanauanBatangas. She was known as Neneng..

ii. Paciano (1851–1930)

iii. Narcisa (Sisa) (1852–1939)

iv. Olimpia, Lucia (1857–1919)

v. María (Biang) (1859–1945)

vi.  José Protasio (19 Jun 1861 Calamba, Laguna–1896) soon to become  José Rizal   He was classified as mestizo de sangley due to his Chinese ancestry, although he also had Japanese and Spanish ancestors.  He is famous for asking to classified as indio prior to his execution.

Calamba, Laguna, Philippines

vii. Concepción (Concha) (1862–1865)

viii. Josefa (Panggoy) (1865–1945)

ix. Trinidad (1868–1951)

x. Soledad (Choleng) (1870–1929).

In 1849, the then Governor-General of the Philippines,  Narciso Claveria, issued a Decree by which native Filipino and immigrant families were to adopt Spanish surnames from a list of Spanish family names. Although the Chino Mestizos were allowed to hold on to their Chinese surnames, Lam-co changed his surname to the Spanish “Mercado” (market), possibly to indicate their Chinese merchant roots. José’s father Francisco adopted the surname “Rizal” (originally Ricial, the green of young growth or green fields), which was suggested to him by a provincial governor, or as José had described him, “a friend of the family”. However, the name change caused confusion in the business affairs of Francisco, most of which were begun under the old name. After a few years, he settled on the name “Rizal Mercado” as a compromise, but usually just used the original surname “Mercado”.

Jose Rizal (1861-1896)

Upon enrolling at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, José dropped the last three names that make up his full name, on the advice of his brother, Paciano Rizal Mercado, and the Rizal Mercado family, thus rendering his name as “José Protasio Rizal”. Of this, Rizal writes:“My family never paid much attention [to our second surname Rizal], but now I had to use it, thus giving me the appearance of an illegitimate child!”  This was to enable him to travel freely and disassociate him from his brother, who had gained notoriety with his earlier links with native priests who were sentenced to death as subversives.

For the difference in the names, Rizal gave the following explanation to his friend Blumentritt:

When you write to my brother, address him Paciano Mercado . . . After the sad catastrophe (1872), he had to leave the university since he was a liberal and the friars did not like him because of his having lived with Burgos. At that time, I had to go to Manila to study, and in order not to have difficulties in my studies, I was advised to use our second name, Rizal. For some time, I am the only Rizal because at home my parents, my sisters, my brother, and my relatives always preferred the old surname Mercado. Our father’s name was in effect Mercado; but in the Philippines there are many Mercados who are not our relatives. There was an alcalde, a friend of the family, who used our name Rizal. My family, however, did not mind this, because even now I alone use the name. Accordingly, does it not appear as if I were an illegitimate son?

My father and all my family remain valiantly united permanently loyal to the Filipino party, and my brother is much braver in exile than he was before. My whole family now carries the name Rizal instead of Mercado because the name Rizal signifies persecution. Good. I want also to stick with them and be worthy of the name of the family. . . ..


Doctor Jose Rizal and the writing of his story By Valdez, Et Al

Posted in -7th Generation, Socorro | 3 Comments

Gregorio Fernando A. Mercado

Gregorio Fernando A. MERCADO (1 ) was Socorro’s 3nd great grandfather.  He was also Jose Rizal’s uncle.

Gregorio Fernando A. Mercado was born xx. His parents were Juan MERCADO and Cirila ALEJANDRO.He first married Eulalia TRIVIÑO. He next married Remegia Abarientos. Gregorio died xx.

Eulalia Triviño was born xx.

Remegia Abarientos was born xx.

Children of Gregorio and Eulalia:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Jose Triviño MERCADO Dorotea Moxica QUIZON


Children of Gregorio and Remegia:

Name Born Married Departed
2. Restituto Mercado Crescencia Yamson Fuentes
3. Filomeno A. Mercado Consolacion ch. Neri
4. Francisca. A. Mercado
5. Monica A. Mercado Leon R. Chavez
6. Doroteo A. Mercado Carmen P. Zayas
7. Aquilina A. Mercado Macrobio R. Chaves
8. Demetria A. Mercado Nicolas Pelaez
9. Hermana A. Mercado
10. Cresencia A. Mercado Pedro Neri

Other sources state that Juan Mercado and Cirila Alejandro had 14 children: Gregorio Fernando becoming Gregorio and Fernando, two separate persons.

Jose Rizal’s uncles were forced by Spanish harassment  to move.  Gregorio Mercado  ended up in San Juan and married  Eulaia Trivino.

The Mercado-Quizon family has their ancestral properties in the northeastern part of San Juan including some in the adjacent towns of Quezon just across the Malaquing Ilog

Gregorio de Mercado may have been elected gobernadorcillo of San Juan in 1856.

San Juan Batangas was a relatively new place, not settled until the mid 1800’s.  The Angkan families evolved their own local culture of common survival and existence. As emigrants to the new place, many found it socially convenient to rely more on each other if only to maintain their regional customs and expand family holdings. Clearly, they had strong respect for family ties and territorial rights that may have influenced their active nationalism when it was expected of them during times of crisis. The fact that many early Angkan members came from the same region (sharing the same values and customs) and were related to each other through marriage helped further this process along and ensure harmony in the place.

“The Triviño’s are one of San Juan’s oldest families.” (Martin Tinio Jr., Batangas Forged in Fire, p. 189). The Triviño roots were originally from Tiaong (Quezon) who intermarried with the Quizon, Maralit, Mercado, and Perez families of San Juan.

Tiaong, Quezon

The roster of town Tinientes includes a Mamerto Triviño (1839-1840) and a Juan Triviño (1843). Hipolito Mercado, a cabeza de barangay of one of San Juan’s original barangay in 1848, married Maria Triviño. In 1878, Santiago Triviño and Francisco Triviño were cabezas de barangay. Approaching the year 1900, Ciriaco Triviño was a punong bayan of the town. By the 1920s, neighboring heritage houses along Rizal Street leading to the church were built by brothers Emilio and Liduvino Triviño for their families. Some in the Triviño clan moved on and settled in Naga City after the war where they made a name for themselves.

The early San Juan community started in what is now the barangay of Pinagbayanan (the old town site) along the coast of Tayabas Bay. The original immigrants to San Juan mostly appropriated the surrounding virgin territory for themselves and established the first haciendas in the town. The first indication about the profile of those who were responsible for shaping San Juan’s landscape is partly provided through parish and town records. In 1836, a census of the town showed that it had a population of 6,508 residents.


For more on San Juan, click here for The San Juan Batangas Legacy.pdf  by Leon Mayo.

Posted in -6th Generation, Socorro | 5 Comments

José Triviño Mercado

José Triviño MERCADO (18xx –  ) was Socorro’s 2nd great grandfather.  He was also José Rizal’s first cousin.

José Triviño Mercado was born 18xx. His parents were Gregorio Fernando A. MERCADO and Eulalia TRIVIÑO. He married Dorotea Moxica QUIZON. Santos died xx.

Dorotea Moxica Quizon was born in 1857. Her parents were Vicente QUIZON and Gregoria MOXICA. Dorotea died 18 Feb 1929 San Juan, Calabarzon, Philippines.

Dorotea Moxica Quizon

Dorotea had two brothers and six sisters, named Regino, Juan Sr., Evarista, Urbana, Lutgarda, Estanislawa, Julia and Maxima. She was the youngest of the nine children. Married Jose when she was 13. Became a widow at 21. She died at the age of 72 on February 18th, 1929. Buried in San Juan, Batangas.

Children of José and Dorotea:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Maria MERCADO Santos LOPEZ
2. Leon Quizon Mercado

Three other children died of small pox.

Dorotea’s mother was Gregoria Moxica.  The Moxica family was one  of the earliest landlords in San Juan. “The Moxicas had a lot of land, properties said to have come from Fray Damaso Moxica, the friar who built the town’s (earlier) church.” (Martin Tinio Jr., Batangas Forged in Fire, p. 188). The Fray who came from his previous post in Imus, Cavite arrived in San Juan in 1847 and was the town parish priest for more than 30 years. Lore has it that four children whom the Fray brought with him from Cavite may have descended from the Fray. Later, another child born in San Juan was also said to be a descendant of the Fray. The Mojica children (interchangeable with Moxica) were however mostly female and thus the name is not found in San Juan today. The line however helped produced some of the oldest and wealthiest Angkan families in San Juan including the  Quizon, Mercado, Javier and Magtibay families. This Angkan’s ancestral lands are found in the  northeastern quadrant of the town and include areas of Quezon province close to the Malaking Ilog


1. Maria MERCADO (See Santos LOPEZ‘s page)

2. Leon Quizon Mercado

Leon Quizon Mercado, also known as “Kapitan Leon”, was a Katipunero from San Juan who joined the Revolution at age seventeen. He studied in Letran and was fluent in Latin and Greek. He joined the Revolution at seventeen and was known as Kapitan Leon.

The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinosi in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés BonifacioTeodoro PlataLadislao Diwa, and others on the night of July 7, when Filipino writer José Rizal was to be banished to Dapitan. Initially, the Katipunan was a secret organization until its discovery in 1896 that led to the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution.

Flag of the Katipunan in 1897

The word “katipunan”, literally meaning ‘association’, comes from the root word “tipon”, a Tagalog word meaning “gather together” or society

Being a secret organization, its members were subjected to the utmost secrecy and were expected to abide with the rules established by the society.   Aspirant applicants were given standard initiation rites to become members of the society. At first, membership in the Katipunan was only open to male Filipinos; later, women were accepted in the society. The Katipunan had its own publication, Kalayaan (Liberty) that had its first and last print on March 1896. Revolutionary ideals and works flourished within the society, and Philippine literature were expanded by some of its prominent members.

In planning the revolution, Bonifacio contacted Rizal for his full-fledged support for the Katipunan in exchange for a promise of rescuing Rizal from his detainment. On May 1896, a delegation was sent to the Emperor of Japan to solicit funds and military arms. The Katipunan’s existence was revealed to the Spanish authorities after a member named Teodoro Patiño confessed the Katipunan’s illegal activities to his sister, and finally to the mother portress of Mandaluyong Orphanage. Seven days after the Spanish authorities learned of the existence of the secret society, on August 26, 1896, Bonifacio and his men tore their cedúlas during the infamous Cry of Balintawak that started the Philippine Revolution.

(Wikipedia says – “Kapitan” Leon Quizon Mercado – Katipunero, Participated in the insurrection against the US, Farmer, “Coconut King of Batangas” till the early 1960’s)

After the revolution against Spain, Leon also participated in the Philippine-American War (1899-1902).

Leon Quizon Mercado was a young katipunero who served out his term as one of the appointed punong-bayan of San Juan Batangas between the revolutionary years 1892-1899.

In each province where there were Katipunan members, a provincial council called Sangguniang Bayan was established and in each town was an organized popular council called Sangguniang Balangay. Each Bayan and Balangay had its own set of elected officials: Pangulo (president); Kalihim (secretary); Tagausig (fiscal); Tagaingat-yaman (treasurer); Pangalawang Pangulo (vice president); Pangalawang Kalihim (vice secretary); mga kasanguni (councilors); Mabalasig (terrible brother);  Taliba (guard); Maniningil (collector/auditor); Tagapamahala ng Basahan ng Bayan(custodian of the People’s Library);   Tagapangasiwa (administrator);   Manunulat (clerk);   Tagatulong sa Pagsulat (assistant clerk); Tagalaan (warden); and Tagalibot (patroller).   Each Balangay were given a chance to expand their own spheres of influence, through a triangle system in order to elevate their status to Sangguniang Bayan.    Every Balangay that did not gain Sanggunian Bayan status were dissolved and annexed by greater provincial or popular councils.

During the war it is said that Leon captured an American soldier and spared his life. In exchange, the American soldier taught Leon how to speak English.

“Among the other towns in the province of Batangas, San Juan fought harder against the
Americans that it necessitated an order from Gen. Franklin Bell to activate the repressive zona system in the town. This caused hardship to San Juan where perhaps in the whole Tagalog  region, San Juan lost the most number of people (from disease, if not from battle wounds).”  In an account of the Philippine-American war  it was written that “one (zona) camp 2 miles wide by one mile long housed 8,000 Filipinos and sometimes over 200 were confined to one building. In camps in Lobo and San  Juan, over 20% of the population died.”

The 1903 census declared mortality rates in Batangas  Province as follows:

Town Population (1903 Census) Mortality Pct
San Juan  11,853 3,276 27.6%
Taal  17,525 1,971 11.2%
San Jose   8,996 1,061 11.8%
Rosario   8,326    864 10.4%
Lobo  5,781    805 13.9%
Total Batangas Province  52,481 7,977 15.2%

An account of the Philippine-American War in 1899-1902 in the province of Batangas. Glenn Anthony May, an Oregon History Professor fuels controversy in this examination of the Philippine-American War. He rejects  previously accepted explanations , popularized by Teodoro Agoncillo, that the Philippine Revolution was a revolt of the masses. Instead, he argues that the experience of Batangas was unique because it was the political and economic elite of the province who became the backbone of local resistance, serving as military leaders and extending financial and other forms of assistance to the revolutionary troops.
(Yale University Press, 1991.).

Once the war with the Americans was over, Leon became a successful farmer and was known as the “Coconut King of Batangas”.  Like the Triviño and Marasigan families, Leon Mercado also invested in more coconut plantations in Naga City after the war. Leon Mercado and his wife Emiliana Sales built the Mercado heritage house Casa Leon along Burgos Street in the north side of town. Leon died in the 1960s.

The Bahay na bato, the colonial Filipino house, followed the nipa hut’s arrangements such as open ventilation and elevated apartments. The most obvious difference between the two houses would be the materials that was used to build them. The bahay na bato was constructed out of brick and stone rather than the traditional bamboo materials. It is a mixture of native Filipino, Spanish and Chinese influences.

He had twelve children including Dominador Mercado who developed Corinthian Gardens and Tahanan Village, and Leon Antonio Mercado, architect of Legaspi Towers.

(Wikipedia says: Architect Leon Sales Mercado Jr. – Philippine Architect. Founder/Principal Architect/President of LAS Mercado and Associates from the 1960’s to the 90’s, a firm that specialized/pioneered in the design of large residential development/condominium complexes and private residences in the greater Manila area and suburbs (First to break the 20 floor barrier for high-rise construction in the Philippines). Designer of various higher education facilities (UP). President and founder of “Rainbow Philippines” a citizen’s band radio organization in the 70’s. Youngest son of “Kapitan” Leon Quizon Mercado)

Leon’s children include Angie Marasigan (the grandmother of the famous talented jeweler Ciara Marasigan), Rosing Mayo (f), Dedes (f), Mameng Manalo (f), Ines Gonzales, Pepe Meracdo, Daddy Mercado, Goring Mercado, Bandok Mercado, Loring Mercado and Tony Mercado (the architect who built Legaspi Towers).


For more on San Juan, click here for The San Juan Batangas Legacy.pdf  by Leon Mayo.

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