It is of course very difficult to build an exact portrait of the persons that Santiago Sales and Eulogia del Carmen
were. Both died before the first world war, and none of the living older Saleses
today were around when Santiago and
Eulogia were still alive. But, culling from fragmented records of the town, together
with the collateral stories attributed to the two, we may still be able to see these people a little clearly today.
It is important to note that Santiago Sales, while originally from the city of Cebu, must
have already been coming to Moalboal for some years. Before he married Eulogia
del Carmen, Santiago was already married to a certain Paterna Gabunada Templas, certainly of Moalboalanon descent as she was
listed in a record as naturales de este pueblo.
They had one child, Marcelo Sales, who died in 1880. It is possible that
Santiago met Paterna in Moalboal, as his mother, Felipa Galan, was most
certainly from the town as there was an abundance of Galans in Moalboal during those times.
However, he certainly did not stay permanently in Moalboal as he was always identified as naturales de cabecera de cebu. Or perhaps he took Paterna to the
city with him. We do not know.
Santiago was also listed in records as a traficante, a dealer. It is perhaps a big probability that he worked
as a traveling businessman, and probably dealt with the local business people of Moalboal.
We have no way of knowing when Paterna Templas died, but what we do know is that by 1877 Santiago married
twenty-three-year old Eulogia del Carmen. It is possible that he had already
met or seen Eulogia around when he visited Moalboal. There were very few people
in Moalboal by that time, and certainly Eulogia was one of the most eligible women in the town, being a member of one of the
founding families of Moalboal. Their first child, Fabreciana Sales, was born
on August 17, 1878.
By the time they married, Eulogias father was already deceased. It is
not known how the conservative Doņa Petrona reacted to her eldest daughters marriage to a widower, who seemed to be a decade
older than Eulogia. Certainly, the fact that Santiago was
a traveling dealer was already a minus-point. However, like most of the del Carmen
children, Eulogia was clearly independent minded. And the fact that Santiago probably
cut a dashing figure pushed her even further. She followed her heart and married
the equally independent minded Santiago, who decided to build a humble house
a few meters away from the big house of the del Carmens. Clearly, the matriarch
Petrona must have asked her beloved daughter to stay in the big house as all her other children lived there. But the newly-weds decided to make their own home.
In the next thirteen years, Eulogia gave birth to several children. Fabreciana
was followed by Carolina, Timoteo, Eufemia, Aniceta, Gorgonio, Juana, Maria, twins Wenceslao and Sofia (there seemed to be
a lot of multiple births in Moalboal, and most of the twins in those times were from the families that came from Bohol), and
Sancho. There were probably several other children, though these can no longer
be found out as some records of Moalboal were destroyed.
Eulogia, in between the painful birth-giving, also had to nurse several of her children who fell sick due to fever. Sadly, Timoteo and Carolina died from fever in 1883.
Although she had decided to support her husband in living away from the big house, she usually spent her days with
her mother and other siblings in the dakong bay.
Bartolome was also always visiting, sometimes staying for days to as long as a month.
And because her husband was always away, her children grew up in the big house and perhaps considered the palatial
house to be more of a home than the one Santiago built for his family. Clearly,
the del Carmen family became even more involved in the education of the Sales children.
All the Sales kids were sent to school, and at least three or four graduated from college. Fr. Bartolome himself took under his care Sofia, Wenceslaos twin, and took her to Argao with him after
The last years of the nineteenth century saw the dwindling control of the Spaniards in the archipelago, but Santiagos
and Eulogias families had other problems to take care of. The last years of the
1800s up to the early 1900s were marked by a spread of cholera in the southern part of the Philippines. Clearly, towns were decimated due to the deaths caused by the epidemic.
Several of the Saleses and the del Carmens fell prey to this water-borne disease.
Slowly, the list of cholera related deaths in the family grew. Petrona
saw many of her cousins and other relatives die of the disease, and her pain grew further with the death of her own children
and grandchildren. The first to die was Eulogia, whose immune system was weakened
by the years of frequent birth-giving and nursing her sick kids, in 1896. Perpetua,
Eulogias youngest sister, died the following year. After that, it seemed that
the family was finally spared from the horrors of the epidemic. They were wrong. Five years after Perpetuas death, in 1902, four more members of the family died. Tecla del Carmen died in November while her brother Jovito and nieces Fabreciana and
Juana followed a month after.
Clearly, the deaths strained everyone. The aging Doņa Petrona lost four
children and two grandchildren to the disease in a span of six years. During
that span of time, she partook in taking care of the invalids, and forgot to look after her own health. Her pain at the loss of many of her family members, coupled with the way she most probably forgot to take
care of herself, finally took its toll on her. She fell ill with beriberi and
finally died in 1903, at the age of 75. It is ironic that despite her advanced
age, she did not die of the cholera epidemic. It is very possible that had the
epidemic not spread in Moalboal, Petrona would have lived well into the 1920s, as there is a long record of longevity in her
The remaining sisters of Eulogia decided to adopt the orphaned Sales children.
By the deaths of Fabreciana and Juana, Santiago had already taken another wife, Sabina Bajao, also of Moalboal. He took her to live with him in the house which he shared with Eulogia, and this displeased
her del Carmen in-laws. Without a doubt, this cold treatment was shared by Santiagos
children by Eulogia, as it was said that they never warmed up to Catalino Sales, the only child to survive from the union
of Santiago and Sabina.
Records do not show when exactly Santiago died, or where. In a 1907 record
he was still listed as alive. A year later, records indicated that he already
died. But his death is not listed in the church records of Moalboal. It can only be presumed that he never lost his thirst for travel, and perhaps still went on his visits
to his sibling in Dumanjug or other relatives in the City. It is therefore safe
to conclude that he died sometime in 1907 1908, and probably a victim also of cholera, as this is what his grandchildren would
claim he died from.
Although it was only twelve years later that Santiago followed Eulogia to the grave, the del Carmens had already earlier
on taken on the responsibility of raising Eulogias children. They grew up in
the big house and were sent to school. Sofia, as already stated, was taken by
Bartolome to Argao. It was a prevailing belief in those times that twins should
not be raised under the same roof, much more the same town. So Fr. Bartolome
took Sofia and placed her under the care of several Lucero women in Argao. She,
like her other siblings, was sent to school and was fortunate enough to have finished up to the tertiary level.
The Sales children grew up to be as independent minded and adventurous as their parents and ancestors. Eufemia, with the help of Gorgonio, took on the responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings. Aniceta was somewhat a character. In
her late teens she fell in love with the parish rector of Moalboal, Fr. Ubaldo Enriquez.
They carried on a not so discreet love affair and she bore him at least five children, all bearing the surname Sales. Sadly, four of these died due to infections from tetanus, and only Miguel, her youngest
by Enriquez, survived to adulthood. Gorgonio also helped Teodorica manage the
farmlands which Pio Quinto and Petrona left. He oversaw the harvesting of the
crops and its selling. He also made sure, in later years, that the families of
her brothers and sisters and their other relatives were given ample supply of the harvested crops. Wenceslao definitely inherited his fathers dashing character and his wanderlust. He lived in the house that his father built, and later passed it on to his daughter out of wedlock. When his wife, Carmen Legaspi, failed to give birth to a son first, he was so disappointed
he decided to sow his oats elsewhere. In affairs he had, he fathered one son
and one daughter. Later, he took his whole family and migrated to Davao City. Sofia, after finisher her education,
went back to Moalboal and met Santiago Vaņo Uy, a Filipino-Chinese whose family owned a big store in the town. He was an engineering graduate of Silliman University and
was soon contracted by the town officials to build the Rizal monument that still stands to this very day beside the old municipal building. She died at an early age,
around 62. Sancho married a Cabaron, and like his sister Sofia, he died quite
young. He was said to have been a smart and quiet boy who always looked up to
his elder siblings.
In their later years, the Sales siblings instilled into their own children the value of independence and love of family. This is clearly indicated in the way their descendants have continued to carve their
own destinies and make their mark in the world, together with their continuous pilgrimage to Moalboal each Lenten season to
pay homage to the family saint. Truly, although Santiago and
Eulogia were not really given much time on earth, it is without a doubt that they would have been happy to see what had become
of their own brood.