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Del Carmen Legacy

Santiagos marriage to Eulogia del Carmen y Gador not only gave him the reason to settle permanently in Moalboal, but also gave him the connection to the towns history.  The Gadors, due to their connections  were and are still pure Moalboalanons.  The del Carmens were not.  The del Carmen family, according to records, originally came from Panay Island, as the name of Don Pio Quinto del Carmen was at one point listed as Don Pio Quinto del Carmen, originales de Batang de Capiz. (LDS Records, 1996)  Don Pio Quinto del Carmen came to Moalboal in the early 1850s, and stayed there permanently when he married Petrona Gador.

 

     The ruling class of pre-Hispanic Philippines were given the positions of Gobernadorcillo and Cabeza de Barangay when the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines. (Jose Endriga, 1999) Although, as time passed, the position of cabeza de barangay became appointive and later elective.  The Gadors, together with some other prominent families in Moalboal, headed the different barangays in the town during the Spanish era.  Thus, the marriage of Santiago G. Sales to Eulogia del Carmen y Gador gave the Sales family the connection to the people and town of Moalboal.

 

     According to one great-granddaughter, Don Pio Quinto came to Moalboal from Capiz.  Records from the microfilm collection of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have shown several roots of Pio Quinto.  Some records say that he came from Negros.  Others say that he was from Kalibo, Aklan.  Whichever of these is true, there is no doubt that he came from one of the provinces in the Panay Islands.  It is further said that he accompanied several high-ranking Spanish officials in Moalboal, and was perhaps a Spaniard himself.  He, however, never left Moalboal as he fell in love with Petrona Gador and married her. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     1852 was the year that Moalboal officially became a pueblo, or a town.  Don Pio Quinto del Carmen was one of the founding fathers of the town, together with other prominent men from Panay and Bohol, as records of the town seem to point to these places as the origins of the oldest families in Moalboal.

 

     The marriage of Don Pio Quinto del Carmen and Doņa Petrona Gador resulted to ten children.  These children were Eulogia, (1854 1896), Bartolome (1857 1914), Benedicta (1857 1910), Tecla (1859 1902), Filomeno (1860 1892), Rosa (1862 1925), Teodorica (1864 1935), Nasario (1866 1869), Perpetua (1867 1897), and Jovito (1868 1902).

 

     Although it no longer stands today, the family of Pio Quinto and Petrona lived in a huge stone and terracotta house which, according to descendants today, was as big as four or five houses combined.  It must have been truly big, for the residents of Moalboal referred to it as the dakong bay (big house).   This house used to stand beside the present municipal building.  Although no photographs exist, the memories of the great-grandchildren of Pio Quinto still serve as eyes to the wonderful things that were contained in the house.  The house was made of big and sturdy mahogany trees and other hardwoods, and the house all throughout had many intricate carvings and decors.  There was a grand piano, Spanish and European furniture.  There was a very tall and large clock that stood in the sala.  Antique paintings and decorations filled the room, coupled with large, sturdy tables and chairs for special occasions.  Then there was also an abundance of silverware and crystal glasses.  Indeed, the family lived in utter opulence and grandeur. (Lola Doning, Lola Masing, and Lolo Ramon, 2003).

 

     The del Carmen family was also very involved in the politics and religious affairs of Moalboal.  Pio Quinto, as one of the founding fathers of Moalboal, was once a capitan municipal (municipal captain or municipal mayor today) during the early days of the establishment of Moalboal.  Apparently, a street near or along the municipal hall and the del Carmen ancestral house was named Kapitan P. del Carmen Street, but this was later changed after the Second World War.  While being a politician kept him busy, Pio Quinto was also said to have been a generous patron of the San Juan Nepomuceno church.  He and his wife were constant figures in church affairs, and they raised their children to be God-fearing and devout Catholics. (Lola Doning, 2003).

 

     This is probably why their  son became a man of God.  At an early age the boy Bartolome spent most of his time in the church, serving in his free time as sacristan.  He later nurtured this devotion to the church when he proceeded to study at a seminary, probably in Manila or Cebu, and he later became a priest by the 1870s. 

 

     Bartolomes role in the Sales family history is pivotal and extremely significant.  Had it not been for this priest, the bond shared today by the numerous descendants of Santiago would not have been possible.  But because of a simple act, the Sales family today remains as close as ever.

 

     After his ordination, sometime in 1874,  Fr. Don Bartolome del Carmen requested a missionary friend from Spain to purchase for him two identical statues of the Santo Intierro, or the Dead Christ.  These statues arrived sometime later, and he gave one of the statues to his mother, perhaps as a thank-you gift for giving him the chance to study in the seminary and becoming a priest.  It is not known why he chose the santo intierro as a fitting family saint.  It could be because his father had died earlier on 6 September 1873.  (The records of Moalboal show that Pio Quinto was already an old man by the time he died). The other statue he kept for himself, to be brought to wherever he would be assigned as parish priest. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     His first and last assignment was as an assistant priest, and later as Parish Priest, in Argao, Cebu.  There he became involved with a scion of one of the most prominent families of the town, Doņa Basilia B. Lucero, who later gave birth  to  their daughter  Teopista.   Father  Bartolome later succeeded as parish rector in 1897, and became one of the most loved priests in the history of the town.  He reorganized the church choir and improved the town fiesta.  He remained on friendly terms with Basilia Lucero and was said to have frequented her house even in their old age.  He died in 1914, and his remains are buried in Argao.  His descendants through his daughter Teopista are the Campaners of Argao, Cebu. (Todd Lucero Sales, 2002).

 

     It would seem that for many years the Sales family, as descended from Fr. Bartolomes sister Eulogia, lost track of the whereabouts of the Santo Intierro in Argao.  It was only recently discovered that the statue was left to the family of a brother of Basilia Lucero, and is now held by the descendants of this brother.  It is not known whether the statue still exists, whether in the hands of the Lucero family or in the custody of the church. (Tito Rodolfo Paracuelles, 2003)

 

     The Santo Intierro, which Bartolome gave his mother, became a centerpiece in the del Carmen familys altar. Doņa Petrona and her children began a yearly devotion to this blessed statue, and their family became in charged with the preparations for the carrosa for the Dead Christ during the Lenten procession on Good Friday.  The carrosa used to be simple and small, and was borne upon the shoulders of four men.  This practice of taking charge of the Dead Christ carrosa soon became a yearly practice, and pretty soon the Santo Intierro became associated with the del Carmen, and then later the Sales family.  After Doņa Petrona died of beriberi on 3 March 1903, her children took over the preparations for the blessed idol. Teodorica, known as Nanay Icay to her many great-nephews and nieces, became the head of the family at her parents deaths, being the eldest unmarried daughter of the del Carmens. She was  very strict, the archetype of an old maid or dalagang ulay, although she bore an illegitimate daughter, Patricia, in 1904.  Patricia del Carmen lived only for five weeks as she died of fever. (LDS Records, 2003) The tragic loss of her daughter must have drove her to concentrate on her family, specifically her sisters, Eulogia, children, who were orphaned early when Eulogia died from cholera in 1896.  Since most of her nephews and nieces lived in the Big House after Eulogias death, she would always insist that the children would come inside the house at the strike of six in the evening, or during the oracion, and kiss her and the other elders hands.  Then she would insist on having everyone join in the praying of the Angelus and then later the rosary, which was very lengthy.  A child who failed to come to the house at six or failed to join the prayers would get a sharp reprimand and a painful kusi at the waist. (Lola Doning, Lola Masing, and Lolo Ramon)

 

     Indeed, her great-nephews and nieces viewed her with awe and fear. She believed that children should always be called by their first name, and thus she refused to call her great-nephews and nieces by their nicknames.  She was a tireless woman, always seeing to it that the huge parcels of  farmlands left by her parents were not left idle.  In her younger years she herself oversaw the management of these lands, but in her later years she appointed her favorite nephew, Gorgonio, to be the overseer.  She became even stricter in her later years, refusing to come out of the house except to attend the early morning mass and other church holidays.  However, she was also generous to her family, and allowed anyone in the family to get whatever they needed from the farm. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     Her devotion to the Santo Intierro and to her family was truly tireless.  She shelled out hundreds of pesos for the preparations of the carrosa.  Each Good Friday morning, she would gather all the members of the family to work on the decorations of the carrosa.  She and her sisters Eulogia and Rosa supervised and did the flower arrangements and other decorations.  Later, Eufemia and Aniceta, the elder Sales daughters succeeded them.  Later, members of the family with requests or intentions would insert petitions beneath the statue.  After the preparations, the whole family would cross to the church to bring the Santo Intierro and to attend the mass.  Later, the family, together with many people, would follow the carrosa of the Santo Intierro during the procession.  Before, as today, the Santo Intierro always had the largest number of devotees, for which statue best symbolizes the meaning of Good Friday but that of the Dead Christ himself.  At past 6 in the evening, Teodorica would once more gather all the family members and a large feast would ensue.  There was never a shortage of delicious foods, as Rosa del Carmen was said to be a master chef.  She amused her family with her cakes, mamons, candies, fruit salads, tortas and rosquillos.  She took charge of the menu, and never was there a time when one complained of her cooking.  Throughout the night a group of  people would do the passion, lasting into midnight.  Also throughout the night people from all over Moalboal would congregate at the house to kiss the Santo Intierro. (ibid.)

 

     Black Saturday was always spent quietly, for it was considered to be utter disrespect and blasphemous to do anything loud on the day that Christ was still dead.  And so, the family would stay in the house, with the children staring achingly outside the huge windows, itching to continue playing.  Throughout the day, the older members of the family would be seen mumbling silent prayers.  Later, however, the teenage great-nephews would always group together and go out, almost always sneaking out to grab a couple of drinks. (Lolo Ramon, 2003)

 

     Easter Sunday indeed proved to be a glorious day for all members of the family.  Early in the morning the whole family would be roused by Teodorica to attend the sugat, or the reenactment of the meeting of the Risen Christ and his mother Mary.  After the sugat and the mass, the whole family would troop at the back of the big house to spend the entire day at the beach.  Once more, there would be an abundance of food and drinks. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     This tradition, started approximately around 1874 by  Doņa Petrona, has continued to this very day.  After Teodoricas death, Eufemia Sales Jainar became tasked with the observance of the tradition, being the eldest among the Sales brood.  When the family decided to tear down the big house before the outbreak of the second world war, the Santo Intierro was transferred to Eufemias house, where it has remained in the custody of her descendants since.  Without fail, each year, members of the Sales family would flock to Eufemias house to pay homage to the blessed statue, and to carry on the family tradition.  (ibid.)

 

     Several changes have been made throughout the years.  The carrosa was added another layer, and tires were also added so that members of the family would no longer have to carry the carrosa and instead just pull it.  The elevation of the carrosa also proved to be useful, as people would always flock and grab flowers from the carrosa after the procession.  These flowers, it is believed, have healing powers.  Recently, also, the process of bagging  (inserting the flower stems on to a small piece of plastic cellophane filled with water to allow the flowers to last longer) was introduced.  And instead of working on Good Friday, the family has decided to start the bagging and the decorating on Holy Thursday, as many members already live in the city and there would be lesser time if done on Friday.  Also, some members of the family go to the beach on Saturday instead of Sunday, since those who live outside Moalboal still have to travel home on Sunday.  Similarly, the younger generation towards the 1980s started the tradition of doing a Way of the Cross inside the Church.  (Lola Doning and Tonet Paracuelles, 2003)

 

     Despite the changes, the tradition pretty much remains the same.  The family continues to work together, the teens working on the flowers, the grown-ups taking care of the food and other preparations, while the older ones are allowed to relax and observe everything, perhaps allowing them the opportunity to just sit back and reminisce.  The bagging of the flowers allows distant cousins to get to know each other, and later in the more liberal years the youngsters would have a case of beer in hand to help them socialize with their cousins better.

 

     And of course, at the heart of all these is the Santo Intierro, the reason for all these celebrations.  Six generations of del Carmen-Saleses have devoted their Holy Week on the family saint.  One member aptly described everything: The Santo Intierro is the uniting factor of the Sales family; it is what brings us together and gives us a sense of being a family. (Tita Fe Linda S. Dabalos, 2003)

 

Santiagos marriage to Eulogia del Carmen y Gador not only gave him the reason to settle permanently in Moalboal, but also gave him the connection to the towns history.  The Gadors, due to their connections  were and are still pure Moalboalanons.  The del Carmens were not.  The del Carmen family, according to records, originally came from Panay Island, as the name of Don Pio Quinto del Carmen was at one point listed as Don Pio Quinto del Carmen, originales de Batang de Capiz. (LDS Records, 1996)  Don Pio Quinto del Carmen came to Moalboal in the early 1850s, and stayed there permanently when he married Petrona Gador.

 

     The ruling class of pre-Hispanic Philippines were given the positions of Gobernadorcillo and Cabeza de Barangay when the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines. (Jose Endriga, 1999) Although, as time passed, the position of cabeza de barangay became appointive and later elective.  The Gadors, together with some other prominent families in Moalboal, headed the different barangays in the town during the Spanish era.  Thus, the marriage of Santiago G. Sales to Eulogia del Carmen y Gador gave the Sales family the connection to the people and town of Moalboal.

 

     According to one great-granddaughter, Don Pio Quinto came to Moalboal from Capiz.  Records from the microfilm collection of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have shown several roots of Pio Quinto.  Some records say that he came from Negros.  Others say that he was from Kalibo, Aklan.  Whichever of these is true, there is no doubt that he came from one of the provinces in the Panay Islands.  It is further said that he accompanied several high-ranking Spanish officials in Moalboal, and was perhaps a Spaniard himself.  He, however, never left Moalboal as he fell in love with Petrona Gador and married her. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     1852 was the year that Moalboal officially became a pueblo, or a town.  Don Pio Quinto del Carmen was one of the founding fathers of the town, together with other prominent men from Panay and Bohol, as records of the town seem to point to these places as the origins of the oldest families in Moalboal.

 

     The marriage of Don Pio Quinto del Carmen and Doņa Petrona Gador resulted to ten children.  These children were Eulogia, (1854 1896), Bartolome (1857 1914), Benedicta (1857 1910), Tecla (1859 1902), Filomeno (1860 1892), Rosa (1862 1925), Teodorica (1864 1935), Nasario (1866 1869), Perpetua (1867 1897), and Jovito (1868 1902).

 

     Although it no longer stands today, the family of Pio Quinto and Petrona lived in a huge stone and terracotta house which, according to descendants today, was as big as four or five houses combined.  It must have been truly big, for the residents of Moalboal referred to it as the dakong bay (big house).   This house used to stand beside the present municipal building.  Although no photographs exist, the memories of the great-grandchildren of Pio Quinto still serve as eyes to the wonderful things that were contained in the house.  The house was made of big and sturdy mahogany trees and other hardwoods, and the house all throughout had many intricate carvings and decors.  There was a grand piano, Spanish and European furniture.  There was a very tall and large clock that stood in the sala.  Antique paintings and decorations filled the room, coupled with large, sturdy tables and chairs for special occasions.  Then there was also an abundance of silverware and crystal glasses.  Indeed, the family lived in utter opulence and grandeur. (Lola Doning, Lola Masing, and Lolo Ramon, 2003).

 

     The del Carmen family was also very involved in the politics and religious affairs of Moalboal.  Pio Quinto, as one of the founding fathers of Moalboal, was once a capitan municipal (municipal captain or municipal mayor today) during the early days of the establishment of Moalboal.  Apparently, a street near or along the municipal hall and the del Carmen ancestral house was named Kapitan P. del Carmen Street, but this was later changed after the Second World War.  While being a politician kept him busy, Pio Quinto was also said to have been a generous patron of the San Juan Nepomuceno church.  He and his wife were constant figures in church affairs, and they raised their children to be God-fearing and devout Catholics. (Lola Doning, 2003).

 

     This is probably why their  son became a man of God.  At an early age the boy Bartolome spent most of his time in the church, serving in his free time as sacristan.  He later nurtured this devotion to the church when he proceeded to study at a seminary, probably in Manila or Cebu, and he later became a priest by the 1870s. 

 

     Bartolomes role in the Sales family history is pivotal and extremely significant.  Had it not been for this priest, the bond shared today by the numerous descendants of Santiago would not have been possible.  But because of a simple act, the Sales family today remains as close as ever.

 

     After his ordination, sometime in 1874,  Fr. Don Bartolome del Carmen requested a missionary friend from Spain to purchase for him two identical statues of the Santo Intierro, or the Dead Christ.  These statues arrived sometime later, and he gave one of the statues to his mother, perhaps as a thank-you gift for giving him the chance to study in the seminary and becoming a priest.  It is not known why he chose the santo intierro as a fitting family saint.  It could be because his father had died earlier on 6 September 1873.  (The records of Moalboal show that Pio Quinto was already an old man by the time he died). The other statue he kept for himself, to be brought to wherever he would be assigned as parish priest. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     His first and last assignment was as an assistant priest, and later as Parish Priest, in Argao, Cebu.  There he became involved with a scion of one of the most prominent families of the town, Doņa Basilia B. Lucero, who later gave birth  to  their daughter  Teopista.   Father  Bartolome later succeeded as parish rector in 1897, and became one of the most loved priests in the history of the town.  He reorganized the church choir and improved the town fiesta.  He remained on friendly terms with Basilia Lucero and was said to have frequented her house even in their old age.  He died in 1914, and his remains are buried in Argao.  His descendants through his daughter Teopista are the Campaners of Argao, Cebu. (Todd Lucero Sales, 2002).

 

     It would seem that for many years the Sales family, as descended from Fr. Bartolomes sister Eulogia, lost track of the whereabouts of the Santo Intierro in Argao.  It was only recently discovered that the statue was left to the family of a brother of Basilia Lucero, and is now held by the descendants of this brother.  It is not known whether the statue still exists, whether in the hands of the Lucero family or in the custody of the church. (Tito Rodolfo Paracuelles, 2003)

 

     The Santo Intierro, which Bartolome gave his mother, became a centerpiece in the del Carmen familys altar. Doņa Petrona and her children began a yearly devotion to this blessed statue, and their family became in charged with the preparations for the carrosa for the Dead Christ during the Lenten procession on Good Friday.  The carrosa used to be simple and small, and was borne upon the shoulders of four men.  This practice of taking charge of the Dead Christ carrosa soon became a yearly practice, and pretty soon the Santo Intierro became associated with the del Carmen, and then later the Sales family.  After Doņa Petrona died of beriberi on 3 March 1903, her children took over the preparations for the blessed idol. Teodorica, known as Nanay Icay to her many great-nephews and nieces, became the head of the family at her parents deaths, being the eldest unmarried daughter of the del Carmens. She was  very strict, the archetype of an old maid or dalagang ulay, although she bore an illegitimate daughter, Patricia, in 1904.  Patricia del Carmen lived only for five weeks as she died of fever. (LDS Records, 2003) The tragic loss of her daughter must have drove her to concentrate on her family, specifically her sisters, Eulogia, children, who were orphaned early when Eulogia died from cholera in 1896.  Since most of her nephews and nieces lived in the Big House after Eulogias death, she would always insist that the children would come inside the house at the strike of six in the evening, or during the oracion, and kiss her and the other elders hands.  Then she would insist on having everyone join in the praying of the Angelus and then later the rosary, which was very lengthy.  A child who failed to come to the house at six or failed to join the prayers would get a sharp reprimand and a painful kusi at the waist. (Lola Doning, Lola Masing, and Lolo Ramon)

 

     Indeed, her great-nephews and nieces viewed her with awe and fear. She believed that children should always be called by their first name, and thus she refused to call her great-nephews and nieces by their nicknames.  She was a tireless woman, always seeing to it that the huge parcels of  farmlands left by her parents were not left idle.  In her younger years she herself oversaw the management of these lands, but in her later years she appointed her favorite nephew, Gorgonio, to be the overseer.  She became even stricter in her later years, refusing to come out of the house except to attend the early morning mass and other church holidays.  However, she was also generous to her family, and allowed anyone in the family to get whatever they needed from the farm. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     Her devotion to the Santo Intierro and to her family was truly tireless.  She shelled out hundreds of pesos for the preparations of the carrosa.  Each Good Friday morning, she would gather all the members of the family to work on the decorations of the carrosa.  She and her sisters Eulogia and Rosa supervised and did the flower arrangements and other decorations.  Later, Eufemia and Aniceta, the elder Sales daughters succeeded them.  Later, members of the family with requests or intentions would insert petitions beneath the statue.  After the preparations, the whole family would cross to the church to bring the Santo Intierro and to attend the mass.  Later, the family, together with many people, would follow the carrosa of the Santo Intierro during the procession.  Before, as today, the Santo Intierro always had the largest number of devotees, for which statue best symbolizes the meaning of Good Friday but that of the Dead Christ himself.  At past 6 in the evening, Teodorica would once more gather all the family members and a large feast would ensue.  There was never a shortage of delicious foods, as Rosa del Carmen was said to be a master chef.  She amused her family with her cakes, mamons, candies, fruit salads, tortas and rosquillos.  She took charge of the menu, and never was there a time when one complained of her cooking.  Throughout the night a group of  people would do the passion, lasting into midnight.  Also throughout the night people from all over Moalboal would congregate at the house to kiss the Santo Intierro. (ibid.)

 

     Black Saturday was always spent quietly, for it was considered to be utter disrespect and blasphemous to do anything loud on the day that Christ was still dead.  And so, the family would stay in the house, with the children staring achingly outside the huge windows, itching to continue playing.  Throughout the day, the older members of the family would be seen mumbling silent prayers.  Later, however, the teenage great-nephews would always group together and go out, almost always sneaking out to grab a couple of drinks. (Lolo Ramon, 2003)

 

     Easter Sunday indeed proved to be a glorious day for all members of the family.  Early in the morning the whole family would be roused by Teodorica to attend the sugat, or the reenactment of the meeting of the Risen Christ and his mother Mary.  After the sugat and the mass, the whole family would troop at the back of the big house to spend the entire day at the beach.  Once more, there would be an abundance of food and drinks. (Lola Doning, 2003)

 

     This tradition, started approximately around 1874 by  Doņa Petrona, has continued to this very day.  After Teodoricas death, Eufemia Sales Jainar became tasked with the observance of the tradition, being the eldest among the Sales brood.  When the family decided to tear down the big house before the outbreak of the second world war, the Santo Intierro was transferred to Eufemias house, where it has remained in the custody of her descendants since.  Without fail, each year, members of the Sales family would flock to Eufemias house to pay homage to the blessed statue, and to carry on the family tradition.  (ibid.)

 

     Several changes have been made throughout the years.  The carrosa was added another layer, and tires were also added so that members of the family would no longer have to carry the carrosa and instead just pull it.  The elevation of the carrosa also proved to be useful, as people would always flock and grab flowers from the carrosa after the procession.  These flowers, it is believed, have healing powers.  Recently, also, the process of bagging  (inserting the flower stems on to a small piece of plastic cellophane filled with water to allow the flowers to last longer) was introduced.  And instead of working on Good Friday, the family has decided to start the bagging and the decorating on Holy Thursday, as many members already live in the city and there would be lesser time if done on Friday.  Also, some members of the family go to the beach on Saturday instead of Sunday, since those who live outside Moalboal still have to travel home on Sunday.  Similarly, the younger generation towards the 1980s started the tradition of doing a Way of the Cross inside the Church.  (Lola Doning and Tonet Paracuelles, 2003)

 

     Despite the changes, the tradition pretty much remains the same.  The family continues to work together, the teens working on the flowers, the grown-ups taking care of the food and other preparations, while the older ones are allowed to relax and observe everything, perhaps allowing them the opportunity to just sit back and reminisce.  The bagging of the flowers allows distant cousins to get to know each other, and later in the more liberal years the youngsters would have a case of beer in hand to help them socialize with their cousins better.

 

     And of course, at the heart of all these is the Santo Intierro, the reason for all these celebrations.  Six generations of del Carmen-Saleses have devoted their Holy Week on the family saint.  One member aptly described everything: The Santo Intierro is the uniting factor of the Sales family; it is what brings us together and gives us a sense of being a family. (Tita Fe Linda S. Dabalos, 2003)