I'd just like to share this great blog article i found. I only knew after reading it that the Osmena/Cuenco/Climaco/Durano..etc are part of a one big clan.
GO - SY-GAISANO - GOKONGWEI - GOTIANUNThe Velosos Hundred Years of Politics
by Cirilo Veloso
Some political families have grown so big and extensive that they have established family associations to organize reunions and keep in touch with each other the Veloso Association of the Philippines whose members count many important politicians
The Veloso family traces its roots to an adventurous Portuguese trader who established a profitable business in China & the Philippines in the mid 1700′s.He sired five children in the Philippines most of whom settled in Cebu’s Parian district.He had other children in China who later on migrated to Cebu and become wealthy and politically prominent
Maximo Veloso a grandson of the Portuguese Veloso had 12 children. His second son Domingo married Juana Lopez they had a daughter who took the name Rosario Lopez who married Mariano Cuenco in the latter half of the 1800′s from this marriage came the the Cuenco political family of Cebu Manuel Cuneco married Milagros Veloso. Milagros is a descendants of Gabino Veloso the younger brother of Maximo one of the wealthiest Cebuanos during his time.
Domingo and Juana Veloso’s other son Jose Married Catalina Costas they had ten children the second of whom married Anastacio Loreto. Anastacio and Juanita’s eldest son is former Leyte Congressman Eriberto Loreto their third child is Baybay Mayor Carmen Loreto who married Feipe Cari a fourth child is Remedios Petilla former Congresswoman of Leyte who married former Governor Leopoldo Petilla
Maximo Veloso fourth son was Mariano who in turn named a son Maximo nicknamed Baliting.Baliting had seven children by his first marriage to Manuela Laurente their first child was Vicente Veloso who became Leyte Vice Governor.Vicente married Salud Sanico and their fourth child is Alberto Veloso a Congressman Vicente’s younger brother was Ismael Veloso who migrated to Davao where be became three term congressman from 1949 to 1957 and from 1961 to 1965.
Maximo Veloso’s tenth son by a second wife surnamed Duterte was Isabelo Veleso y Duterte he had four children who took the name duterte his eldest son Facundo Duterte who married Zoila Gonzalez and had five children one one of Facundo’s grandson Ronald Duterte who opposed Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena
Isabelo’s second child was Severo Duterte who married Felisa Ypil had seven children their third child was Beatriz Duterte who married Ramon Durano Sr one of Cebu’s top politician and business leader in the post war period this marriage established the Durano political dynasty in Danao Ramon and Beatriz had seven children the eldest was also named Beatriz she married Cebu Congressman Emerito Calderon. The fifth child Rosemarie married another Cebu Congressman Celestino Sybico The Durano sons have also become top Cebuano politicians
Another grandson of the original Portuguese Veloso was Gabino Veloso according to Cebu historian Michael Culliane Gabino was the wealthiest mestizo merchant in Cebu in the 1870′s he was so powerful that he even won in a conflict with a Spanish Governor when he died in 1881 his influence in Cebu and Manila was all encompassing Gabino had 13 children his sixth was Rafael Veloso who married Josefina dela Cerna one of their grandchild was Aniceta Veloso who married Potenciano Larrazabal a political kingpin in Leyte their second child Emeterio married Adelina Yrastorza who became Leyte Governor their sixth child is Victoria who became mayor of Ormoc she married Carmelo Locsin a Leyte Congressman who comes from a political clan in Iloilo
Gabino youngest brother was Catalino the first lawyer of Cebu Catalino’s second child was Lazaro Veloso who had a daughter Dolores Veloso who married Jose Ayala from this marriage came the wealthy Ayala family of Davao.
Catalino’s fifth child was Manuel Veloso. Manuel’s eldest was Jose Ma. the most important Veloso politician 1912 to 1946 he served various post as Leyte Governor, Congressman, Senator, Constitutional Convention Delegate
Manuel second son was also named Manuel he became Leyte Congressman from 1916 to 1919 and married Paz Rono of another political family in Samar their eldest son Fernando Veloso a former Samar Congressman and Governor their second son Marcelino was the pre-martial law House Majority Floor Leader
The elder Manuel Veloso had two daughters who married prominent politicians Soledad married Esteban Singson a Senator from 1916 to 1922 Consolacion Married Pastor Salazar a Senator from 1925 to 1928 another child Juan Veloso congressman of Leyte’s 1st district from 1925 to 1928
Catalino Veloso’s seventh child Benito married Gliceria Reutires their fifth child was Antonio who married Brigida Jopson and had a daughter named Lourdes who is married to Muslim Politician Rep Michael Mastura of Maguindanao
Catalino’s third child was Paulina Veloso who married Juan Borromeo they had 16 children the 14th of whom was Antonio Borromeo. Antonio first marriage to Consuelo Roxas produced three children the eldest Miguel married Felisa Chan and had a daughter Melanie who married Deputy Speaker Raul Del Mar. Raul Del Mar his himself a Veloso his mother Rosario Chiong Veloso who belong to the Chinese side of the Veloso family tree she is a grand daughter of Nicasio Chiong Veloso described as one of the wealthiest Chinese resident during the 1900′s one of Nicasio’s daughters Estefania married a lawyer named Sergio Osmena who rose to become President of the Philippines and established his own political family in Cebu
Sergio and Estefania son was the first Emilio Osmena a medical doctor killed by the Japanese during World War II he married Mary Renner and had a son John who became a Senator.John youngest brother Emlio was elected Cebu Governor
There are many other members of the Veleso Family who became wealthy and politically prominent in their respective provinces where they acquired vast landholdings many intermarried with other prominent families establishing through several generations intertwined family and business ties that extend from central and eastern Visayas to some parts of Mindanao.
by Todd Lucero Sales
What do the GO (owners of the University of Cebu and Elizabeth Mall), the SY-GAISANO (owners of the veritable Gaisano group of companies), the GOKONGWEI (owners of Robinson’s Mall, JG Summit, Cebu Pacific, and Sun Cellular), the GOTIANUN (owners of FILINVEST Group and East-West Bank), and if rumors are true, the OSMEŅA families have in common, other than being five of the richest and most influential families of Cebu City? They also happen to be descendants of the GO family of Kei-tang, Fukien, China, who came to the city of Cebu in the late nineteenth century and established a wealth that continues to this very day.
From a humble origin in the Fukien province of China, the enterprising young man Go Bon Tiao, known more commonly today as Don Pedro Singson Gotiaoco, went on to become known as one of the 19th-century Cebu wealthiest taipans. His story is not unlike those of many prominent Filipino-Chinese businessmen with their quite literally rags to riches story. But what sets Pedro Gotiaoco apart from the rest of his Chinese brethren is not only the continuation of the family wealth to the present generation, but also the diversification of the business enterprises in not one, two, or even just three families but in 5 financially entrenched families in the country today with their influence stretching in all corners of society. Truly, the rise to wealth of the Go family and their contribution to the economy of the Philippines is indeed a story worth telling.
In an interview with Atty. Augusto Go, the President of the University of Cebu and the Honorary Consul of South Korea to Cebu, he depicts his grandfather Don Pedro Gotiaoco as a pioneering man who left his feudal homeland to search for the proverbial greener pastures here in Cebu City. Late nineteenth century China was still pretty much feudal, with the lords living prosperously while the peasants barely able to make ends meet. The Go family was one of those who had to toil the land for survival, and, added to this dismal poverty, Pedro Gotiaoco’s life was further burdened by his step-mother, who always managed to find fault in the young Chinese man. Thus, with all these happening, the young Gotiaoco decided to leave China and seek his fortune elsewhere.
But there was also a more pressing reason why he had to flee his hometown, and it was this reason, above all, that precipitated the young Gotiaoco’s escape from China. According to Atty. Go, who is the considered the best authority regarding the history of the family, Pedro Gotiaoco had accidentally shot a cousin and wanted to escape prosecution by running away. Indeed, if Pedro Gotiaoco had been arrested in Kei-tang, he would most probably have languished in jail and the Go dynasty of Cebu would never have been created. Thus, with barely anything to his name, Gotiaoco ventured the unknown and arrived in Cebu City during the late nineteenth century.
Start in Cebu
Like most of the Chinese population in the country, Pedro Gotiaoco started in the lowest wrung of the social ladder. The Chinese were already considered second-class citizens in late Spanish-colonial Philippines, and it must have indeed been difficult for a newcomer such as Gotiaoco to establish himself in the already crowded market of Cebu City. Displaying ingenuity and patience, Gotiaoco started from peddling oil and upgraded to selling rice which was consigned to him by a Vietnamese merchant. Upon the return of the Vietnamese, Gotiaoco informed the merchant that he was unable to sell all sacks of rice but, instead of getting mad, the Vietnamese instead gave the remaining sacks of rice to Gotiaoco as commission and even further consigned to him more sacks to be sold. This arrangement suited Gotiaoco, and, pretty soon, he was a trusted vendor for the Vietnamese merchant. At one point, Gotiaoco casually asked the merchant what made him trust Gotiaoco with his goods. The Vietnamese said that one night, as Gotiaoco was sleeping, he noticed that he had his hand on his heart, and, to the Vietnamese people, those who sleep with their hand upon their chest is an indication of honesty. Indeed, Pedro Gotiaoco remained an honest businessman, and pretty soon, with enough capital, he began to sell his own rice and, even when the selling of opium was legalized, he refused to sell it because of its addictive and negative effects. Thus was his business started in Cebu. He later called his products “JO”, in allusion to the hook-and-ring which he used to carry his sacks of rice when he still peddled.
Rags to Riches
Pretty soon, Pedro Gotiaoco decided to assimilate with mainstream Chinese-Filipino communities by being baptized in the Christian faith. According to American culture historian on the Philippines, Michael Cullinane, Don Pedro Gotiaoco was baptized with Don Mariano Singson, from the prominent Chinese mestizo family of the Parian, as a sponsor. Thus Don Pedro was also known as Don Pedro Singson Go Tiaoco, with his influential baptismal sponsor’s name incorporated with his own, after the fashion of the times. A “padrino” was deemed a necessary protector for an immigrant like Don Pedro. The sponsor’s son, Don Segundo Singson, was later on the brother-in-law of the late Philippine president, Don Sergio Osmeņa. Singson’s second wife Eleuteria Chiong-Veloso was the sister of Osmeņa’s first, Estefania. A Singson lady also became a mistress of Pedro Gotiaoco and conceived his only daughter, Modesta.
Similarly, the ennobling title of “Don” soon became attached to Gotiaco’s name. Don Pedro Go Tiaoco, according Southwall magazine’s Arts and Culture Editor Gavin Sanson Bagares, was a “Chino Cristiano” or Christianized Chinese who got his honorific title of “don” from some form of service to the Spanish Crown, most probably as a”teniente” or an adjutant of the Chinese “gremio” or tax ward. In the available list, he does not appear to have been a “capitan” or “gobernadorcillo” (a position equivalent to that of mayor today) of the said ward. The “co” on his adopted Hispanized surname also appears to indicate some form of influence; although the word “CO” is also a Chinese last surname, when it appears as part of a three-syllable Chinese-Filipino surname it then corresponds to a title or distinction given to affluent citizens, similar to the “DON/DONA” titles used by Spanish aristocratic mestizos. Says Hector Santos, an expert on indigenous Filipino/Chinese-Filipino names, “co was a title of respect given to someone like an elder, or an older brother. However, Co was also a valid name so that it would be hard to say whether the “Co” in the name was part of the original Chinese name or was an honorific. Generally speaking, if it is at the end it would have been an honorific.”
Progeny and Prodigy
It would seem that after becoming prosperous in the Philippines, Don Pedro Gotiaoco repeatedly returned to China and there married a woman whose name we know only today as “Disy”. Go Disy was the mother of four children, three boys and a girl. The girl, however, died young. The three sons were Go Chong Tut, Go Tian Uy, and Go Chong An. It would also seem that Don Pedro also had other children outside marriage. The first and verifiable child was Doņa Modesta Singson, whose mother was believed to have been a Chinese-Italiana mestiza who bore Don Pedro a daughter. When she was 13 years of age, Doņa Modesta was taken by Don Pedro to China to be adopted by Disy, who was grief-stricken over the death of her daughter and who was lonely as all three of her sons decided to seek their own fortune in the Philippines. The other alleged child of Don Pedro was Don Sergio Osmeņa. Although Atty. Augusto Go categorically denies having proof that former President Osmeņa is another Don Pedro son, it cannot be denied that Atty. Go’s father, Don Manuel Gotianuy, was very close to Don Sergio and they treated each other like brothers. Up to today, the parentage of Don Sergio Osmeņa remains a controversy, with some historian claiming that he was a son of Don Pedro Gotiaoco, while others claiming that his father was another prominent Chino-Christiano.
Whatever the truth about Don Sergio, Don Pedro Gotiaoco and his brother Go Kiam Co (who later followed his brother to Cebu City) have left many descendants who are well-known in Philippine society. Prominent among these are Atty. Augusto Go, grandson of Don Pedro Gotiaoco and the President of the University of Cebu; John Gokongwei, Jr., a great-grandson of Don Pedro Gotiaoco and the owner of Cebu Pacific, Robinson’s Mall, JG Summit, and many more; and the Sy-Gaisano family, who operate chains of shopping malls all over Visayas and Mindanao. A grandson of the brother of Don Pedro is Andrew Gotianun, who owns FILINVEST Group and East West Bank.
Indeed, the family of Don Pedro Gotiaoco has gone a long way. From humble origins the enterprising and honest Don Pedro Gotiaoco ventured the unknown to become one of the pillars of the Chinese community in Cebu and has left men and women who are similarly respected in their own fields.