Wednesday, February 07, 2007

3. Kinfolks

Eriberta Rodriguez Ner

Narciso Ner
 My grandfather was Narciso Ner. His father was Andres Ner who was married to a lady from the Jimenez family named Honora. The Ners were among the prominent and respected clans in the province of Cavite. My grandmother’s name was Eriberta Rodriguez. The Rodriguezes were not originally from Cavite. She had two sisters, Lola Kakang and Lola Isang and a brother, Horacio, who was a dentist. My grandmother’s parents were Marcelo and Patricia Rodriguez. Marcelo was once the provincial treasurer of Cavite. Their forebears must have been from Manila. I can remember her stories about the grand “bailes” they attended in their relatives’ houses in the Binondo area, the enclave of the merchants’ class, in the heart of Manila. My eldest sister, Nita, recalls stories that would have pointed to the province of Rizal as the source of our grandmother’s ancestry.My grandfather who was an optician and an optometrist by profession but a politician by avocation had played godfather to so many christenings and weddings. In Wawa almost all of the people around were related to us either by blood or by affinity. The family really felt at home in this place.


Andrea Ner
 During the war the relatives in Wawa were glad to see the return of Andeng, my mother, their one time beauty queen, together with her husband, Micoy and their brood.When she was single my mother was a schoolteacher who taught at the provincial high schools in Indang and Tagaytay, towns in upland Cavite. She had an Education degree from the State University where she met my father when she enrolled in my father’s mathematics class. Smitten by the beautiful Cavite lass, he launched a determined courtship that led him to do regular visits to barrio Wawa despite the difficulty of travel during those days. He was a prolific writer of letters professing his affections. Mother kept all these and filed them in beribboned bundles arranged in chronological order. The letters were still with her until her death at the age of ninety-seven.
Federico Roa

 My father was held in high esteem by my mother’s relatives and the simple folks in Wawa because of his being a professor in the State University. It was not so at first. Being from a remote barrio the folks speculated that he could be a “moro”, a Muslim bandit, as he was from Mindanao and may have other wives in his province as they thought “moros” were wont to do. In truth my grandfather,

FR: Rafael, Concepcion, Federico
2nd R: Luciana Chavez Roa, Mercedes
3rd Row: Pedro Racines Roa, Antonio, Tecla Emeterio, Ramon, Juan, Manuel

Pedro Roa

Don Pedro Roa y Racines and his wife, Luciana Chaves, belonged to the landed few of Cagayan de Oro. However, of the reputed large family estate not a square inch of land ever reached our generation.I remember, though vaguely, a family squabble involving inheritance claims to the land that was left by my great grandfather in Balulang, somewhere near Cagayan de Oro. The name Balulang, according to stories of those native to the place referred to my grandfather who was a widower or in the dialect a "balu". When somebody asked whose land the place belonged to the the answer was "balulang" which roughly translates as "it's only the widower's land". One side of the family laid claim to the land with a tale of a sales transaction transferring the property to them was executed and they had documents in support of this. They alleged that there was a transfer of ownership to them some fifty to sixty years ago because of a default on payment for a loan that my great grandfather took to pay off gambling debts. My eldest brother, Cocoy, who was

Luciana Chavez Roa
taking up a law course together with cousins, Totong and Tuching, pursued their claim on the disputed land. The conflict was causing divisiveness in the clan. Both parties were hurling threats of suits and the animosity had grown to immense proportions. My father put his foot down and ordered my brother to desist from making further action on the matter. He said that it was not worth the aggravation besides this only made us covetous of something that we did not earn through the sweat of our brows. My brother and cousins desisted but grudgingly.

Kindness and uprightness were some of my father’s more unequivocal traits. These won over the older folks in my mother’s family on their very first encounter with him. My father was probably the last of his ilk. He was the type of person who would insist on going through the procedural routines in transactions involving government agencies such as driver’s license renewals, tax payments, car registrations, etc. without engaging the services of the ubiquitous “fixer”. Everyone knows that these procedures were designed to be exceedingly slow so that “express” handling may be availed of for a paltry emolument.My father also did not believe in the padrino system, a feudal way of life ingrained in most Filipinos. He discouraged us from seeking endorsements from influential persons to get hired in a job or to get things done, generally. He did seem ridiculous and anachronistic at times but to me he was inspirational. My father was a model of an uprightness that I would forever be in admiration of but hard put to follow.

Emeterio Roa, Tecla Roa Cosin, Federico Roa

The Roa family had the reputation of rearing some of the best minds in Cagayan de Oro. In his high school graduating class my father was the salutatorian while a first cousin, Miling Roa, who later on married Justice Arsenio Solidum, was the valedictorian. He and most of his siblings were highly numerate. My father was one of four actuaries in the Roa clan.

Andrea Roa, Tia Nene, Ti Tonio Roa

An older brother, Emeterio Roa, Sr. was the first Filipino actuary. He was among the first “pensionados” who were given a scholarship to study in the US. In the University of Michigan where he earned a PhD in Actuarial Science he had established a record of having a perfect grade of 1.0 in all his subjects, a record which may not have been topped to this time.
His sons, Dodo and Aki followed his footsteps and became actuaries, too. In the late fities there were only seven members in the Philippine Actuarial Society (founded by my father)and four of them were Roas. Another notable cousin made his mark in business and politics. The son of Tio Anton an older brother of my father, Pedro “Oloy” Roa was the richest man in Cagayan de Oro at the time that his logging business was flourishing. He also became a Congressman in their district and later on mayor of Cagayan de Oro.

1947 family picture in Maria Cristina

Other successful cousins were Frank and Percy, sons of Manuel Roa, who became members of the Ayala executive pool. On our side of the family my brothers excelled in media work, Cocoy our eldest was part of Geny Lopez’s executive pool as an executive of the now defunct newspaper, the Manila Chronicle. He was married to Praxedes Estanislao of Tarlac. His eldest son, Rico, is a successful advertising executive. My brother Dado was a popular radio disk jockey at Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZMB at the time radio was king. Dado is married to Mari, one of the Cuerva sisters who were known for their pulchritude. The eldest among the Cuerva sisters, Vicky, is married to the basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga, while another, Tina was married to the popular pelotari Filipino Sanchez. Dado’s daughter, Lydia, is married to Ariel Ureta, the tv talk show host.
Anniversary picture
Another brother, Pete, became the host of the first ever teenage dance program on television “Dance-o-Rama” in Channel 5 during the infancy of television in the country. This was where he met his wife, Boots Anson, daughter of the movie idol, Oscar Moreno. She, herself, is a popular movie actress and TV host, civic worker and sometime but reluctant politician. Their daughter, Chiqui, who is now married to Congressman Robbie Puno, is active in television doing hosting work and program production. Jay Lazaro,the son of my eldest sister, Nita, an AIM graduate became a director of a multinational Foods company at a young age. Nita, who was married to Engineer Juanito Lazaro, runs a successful preschool establishment in Marikina.
2006: Tito,Nits,Patty,Dado, Boots, Pete, Ed, Alma, Angge, Nen
I have two sisters abroad. Patty, third to the eldest, is married to an Indian businessman, Chandrakant Patel, who owned a brewery and coffee plantations in Uganda but lost them all during the change of dictatorship from Obote to Amin. Amin was among the first African despots who expelled Asian merchants in Africa. They tried to recover their holdings when Obote made a comeback but this proved to be a futile attempt. They now reside in East Brompton, Ontario, Canada. Angge, our youngest and eighth in the family, worked in the United Nations for more than twenty years, resides in New Jersey, USA. Her husband, Desmond Montemayor is a Senior Vice President in a multinational bank in New York, one of the few Asians who have shattered the glass ceiling in western business organizations.
Weekend at Bundok
Our second to the eldest, Tito, is a low-key type of person who for several years ran a successful insurance agency with his wife, Ising. His success as a person comes from his unselfish dedication to serving the community through church service and organizing, as well as raising funds, to grant scholarships for the talented children of impoverished families in the Sampaloc district of Manila. He was truly a man for others. And of course, my own contribution to the Roa notables, Eric my eldest son was married to Dulce Chua, also an architect like him, until her early demise in 2003. Eric has a successful practice as an architect while my daughter, Lyn, is now in Vietnam with husband Andy Belmonte. He is with the

Eric, Ed, Alma & Lyn
Starwoods Hotel chain as a top expatriate director in the HCM Sheraton. Lyn is a plain housewife whose claim to fame is achieving an average grade of 1.2 when she took up her masterals in Child Psychology at the State University. Even with all the unsolicited but well-meaning advice she gets from me she refuses to put to practice her expertise in psychology as a professional. She said that her young family requires her undivided attention.
Saigon at Li Bai: Alma, Lyn, Dus, Andy & David
My wife, Alma San Juan was in the rag trade for several years and by the time she retired from the business, she had three outlets in operation. The main shop was in Paraaque while the branches were in Alabang and Shaw Boulevard.
I have earned my right to be with the Roa notables by my having contributed, together with my wife Alma, two of the world’s greatest grandsons, Eric’s Dustin and Lyn’s David. Dustin at the moment seems bent on becoming a Ferrari racecar driver in the mold of Michael Shumacker while David’s aptitude points towards languages. At the age of six he has attempted to write poems and produce picture books. These two give the indubitable assurance that the family pride of rearing the best minds and achievers will be carried on for posterity



FR: Felisa, Francisca
2nd R: Eriberta, Eugenia (niece)


Dulcinea said...

Tito, I cam across your blog after I googled my dad's name. It caught my attention immediately as you prefaced your blog with "my grandfather is Narciso Ner". I never had the opportunity to know lolo Ciso since he past away the day that I was born. You must have a lot of fond recollections of him. I would love to hear about it. I thought it so neat that your blogging! : ) Anyway, hugs to tita Alma.

wayfarer said...

Hi Dulce,

Thanks for visiting my blogspot. There are two more chapters in the autobiography about Lolo Siso, My grandfather the Hero and My Grandfather the Prankster. I hope you will enjoy reading them.

Our regards to you and the family.

Tito Ed and Tita Alma

Macedonian said...

Ed, go to search and type rosario cavite for more info on our ancestors.
On October 22, 1845, Spanish Governor General Narciso Claveria promulgated a Decree for the establishment of a new town comprising Salinas Leiton and Tierra Alta of San Francisco de Malabon, what is now the town of Gen. Trias. On October 27, Don Juan Arlegui, Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Manila informed the Politico-Military Governor of Cavite Don Miguel Roca, that he was designated by the Governor General to look for a person of unquestionable integrity who will be entrusted with the money for the construction of the church building. On November 3, 1845 presbyter Don Mamerto Ner who was at that time one of the best priests of the Curia of Manila, was appointed parish priest and served until December 1866.

Carlos said...

I guess I'll preface this similarly to your original blog:

My great-grandfather is Narciso Ner. (On my mother's side.) I also never knew Lolo Ciso, as he passed away about a year before I was born, and to make matters even muddier, we moved to the United States in 1983. However, I had the privilege and honor of having his son, my grandfather, Pacifico Ner Sr., as a central part of my life for the first few years I lived here in America.

Since I have literally no connection to my paternal family, the Ner family is my greatest tie to my homeland, so any story I hear of those who came before us is precious and, indeed, necessary, in my mind and heart.

All the best from Orlando, Florida!

wayfarer said...

Carlos, I remember you when we came over to Jun Ner's house in West Covina during the late eighties. You were still a young boy at that time playing with your cousins Marc and Rachel. Rachel got married a year or two ago while Marc will be tying the knot this month.
I am glad to hear from you. Hope everything is fine.

wayfarer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carlos said...

I was actually just at Marc and Flo's wedding with my parents and girlfriend this week, and attended Rachel and Albart's wedding before that. I'm still close with Marc and Rachel, even though it's been a long time since we've lived in the same city.

Here's a little catch-up for you:

In 1989, my parents and I moved east to Chandler, Arizona, where I graduated from high school. When my parents moved elsewhere, I stayed behind at Arizona State University to pursue further education. After a long and arduous journey (the details of which are best left elsewhere), I graduated with a B.A. in Asian Languages-Japanese, and now work as a bell services dispatcher at Walt Disney World in Florida.

All the best to the you and the family!

Dulcinea said...

I've been receiving the comments that are made to your site, tito. And that includes comments from Carlos.It seems to me we should have one big family reunion. My husband and I were planning to go to Marc and Flo's wedding, but couldn't since we just had a baby recently. I got to meet lolo Pacifico awhile back when we first moved to US and I recall him to be a very sharp dresser. :)

Anyway, tito, kudos to you for keeping this geneaology in story format via blog. You're helping our generation understand our family tree and personalities behind it.

wayfarer said...

Marc and Flo's must have been a beautiful wedding under the glorious Hawaiian sun. It is regrettable that my wife and I missed it. At our age the old bones do not travel well anymore. We had the opportunity to meet Albar when the whole Ner family visited the Philippines shortly after Rachel's wedding.
I am glad to hear that you are doing well in Orlando. It must be fun working in Disneyland...every little child's dream.
Thanks from your Tito Ed

wayfarer said...

Hi Dulce,
It's nice to hear from you again. Yes, it would be nice to have a reunion specially for us who are now on in years. If we are not able to organize one a visit from you when you are in the Philippines will truly be appreciated.
I am going to make revisions on the things I wrote about Lolo Siso. He was not mayor of Rosario during the Japanese occupation but a few years before the war and once again after the war as liberation mayor (your Dad told me about this and this was further confirmed in a write up about Rosario). Nevertheless, the heroic deeds I have written about him, as I recollect, are factual.

Best regards to you and the family.

Tito Ed and Tita Alma

Ernestine Gayban said...

any chance u r related to the late Atty. Digno Roa - married to Lydia Roa from Cagayan de Oro.

their son Jerome is a dear friend and when I saw the Armas de Roa on your site i began to wonder because I've seen that from Jerome.
we plan to visit Roa, Spain late this year (Nov) to trace his roots.
ty for any info u could provide.

wayfarer said...

Hi Ernestine,
I'm sure were related to Digno and Lydia Roa although I do not know them personally. I grew up in Manila but my roots are from Cagayan de Oro.
The Roa family originated from the north of Spain in the autonomous region of Castille and Leon. It was in the town of Burgos (now a city) were the first known records of the family could be traced.
Burgos may be reached through the Valladolid airport which is about 122 kms. from Burgos. From Madrid it would be about 225 kms. away.
I hope this is helpful.


Macedonian said...

Hi Ed! My newest and third apo Isaiah and the first child of Dulcinea Sitjar Ner and Giancarlo Ramas Lujan celebrated his first natal day last May 12 in Irvine, Calif and among the guests were Marc Ner and wife Flo who by the way is expecting her first baby next month. I learned from them that it was Fr. Sunny Ner who officiated in their Hawaiian wedding. A priest and a physician, Fr. Sunny has a sibling who also wears the habit (following the foosteps of our lolo Pare Don Mamerto Ner), Sister Lily whom I met in San Diego with her cousins, the children of kuya Big Boy Ner of Biwas, Tanza, Cavite.
By the way, Carlos and his wife were at the Ner reunion I organized and hosted by Jun and Ruth (Razon) Kimpo in Mission Viejo, Calif a few years back. Jun is the grandson of Sofia Ner Gonzalez who is the first cousin of your lolo Siso. She married Judge Lamberto Tirol of Aklan. Sofia's father, Dr. Cipriano Gonzalez was the first provincial doctor of Panay which later became the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Antique.

Macedonian said...

Hi Ed! My newest and third apo Isaiah and the first child of Dulcinea Sitjar Ner and Giancarlo Ramas Lujan celebrated his first natal day last May 12 in Irvine, Calif and among the guests were Marc Ner and wife Flo who by the way is expecting her first baby next month. I learned from them that it was Fr. Sunny Ner who officiated in their Hawaiian wedding. A priest and a physician, Fr. Sunny has a sibling who also wears the habit (following the footsteps of our lolo Pare Don Mamerto Ner), Sister Lily whom I met in San Diego with her cousins, the children of kuya Big Boy Ner of Biwas, Tanza, Cavite.

By the way, Carlos and his wife were at the reunion I organized and hosted by Jun and Ruth (Razon) Kimpo in Mission Viejo, Calif a few years back. Jun is the grandson of Sofia Ner Gonzalez and Judge Lamberto Tirol of Aklan. Sofia's father, Dr. Cipriano Gonzalez was the first provincial doctor of Panay which later became the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Antique.

Piepie Roa said...

Greetings from Cagayan de Oro! My grandfather was the late Oloy Roa, son of Antonio Roa. This would be the third picture I have seen of Lolo Tonio--a very heart-warming moment. And even reading about his family! Thank you for this. By the way, Lolo Tonio was never the school/academic type (from what I've heard from previous generations) compared to his brothers. :) -Piepie

Adworks Inc. said...

gooday Mr. Ed Roa, i am Paolo Roa from QC i dont know if im connected with you, but my grandfather's nickname is ED, his real name is Eduardo Roa. anyway, just passin by. have a nice day sir!

ps Me and my brother and uncles are plannin to have a tattoo done at our back "Armas de Roa. crest.

wayfarer said...

Hi Paolo,
Thanks for dropping in. If your lolo, who is my namesake, is from Cagayan de Oro chances are we are related.
Having the "armas de roa" tattooed on your back is a nice idea, but, I'm afraid I'm too old for that.

Radel Pangilinan said...

I never thought I would see a story on the Internet about the clan of Ner and Jimenez of Cavite. My grandmother often tell stories about her Clan. The full name of my grandmother is Lapaz Jimenez Hernandez and we are currently residing here in Rosario, Cavite while some of our family members are now residing in the USA and Australia. I think we are related to each other. wow! =) i remember when she told us stories about the first Gobernadorcillo of Rosario, Cavite who is, according to my Granny, one of our forefathers.

Radel Pangilinan said...

my lola will surely love to read this story about our family! thanks for your stories and more power! =)))

Radel Pangilinan said...

just showed your stories to my Lola. she told me that her Honora is her grandmother. my Lola Lapaz's mother's name is Gregoria Ner Jimenez.. she even told me stories about Lolo Ciso and on how he became the town leader of Rosario, Cavite.

butchroa said...

Tito Ed,
Would you mind posting yours pics in the new bacefook group Armas de Roa. Especially, the 1 with all the siblings identified (Federico, Emeterio et al).
We had this pic yesterday in the reunion but could not identify our ancestors.
Please post other pics and your narratives, too.
You have a very nice blog.
Mabuhay ka.