The old Jaro Cathedral-only a few minutes walk from my Parents residence on Arguelles Street, 1934-1941
During my Internet search relating my to article on my great, great grand parents Don Manuel Javellana and Dona Gertrudis Lopez of Jaro, Iloilo, I found the following three sites interesting reads. I have completely identified with the pictures and articles in these 3 sites. It reminded me of my childhood years. If you love history, these three sites are worth your time, especially if you are an Illongo or have ancestral roots in Iloilo.
Here is one interesting excerpts from readers comments in the above site:
"Jaro, they said, was the town then known as populated by residents whose surnames can all be pronounced phonetically as “he,he, he”. Those surnames which began with the letter “J” were first allocated to those living around the Jaro Plaza. Those which started with letter “H” to those who lived across the Jaro River (and towards now Leganes township. Those which started with letter “G” to those who lived south of Ungka creek (now part of Pavia township). To the West was the township of Mandurriao, and they were allocated the letter “M’. Now La Paz district of Iloilo City was intermittently a barrio of Jaro or a separate township and they were allocated the letter “L”. Through time the surnames began mixing through the different areas of Jaro. Iloilo City proper was given the letter “Y” but later evolved as just “I”. The letter “V” was also Iloilo City. Arevalo was letter “A”. Molo was a “miscolansa” as it was the “Parian” or the designated Chinatown, hence there was no fixed first letter, just whatever Chinese surname that was common. Also, if you visit the old churches, you would see “lapidas” of the dead dating as far back as 1860. You would also find many of the surnames mentioned in this blog in those lapidas ".
After reading entries from the above site #1, I concluded that the Javellanas and Lopezes were two of most affluent and influential families from Jaro at that time. Other influential families were the Ledesmas, Hechanovas, Hofilenas, Montinolas and the Jalandonis.
Excerpts from the above site:
"Graciano Lopez-Jaena went to live in Negros to escape the fury of the Spanish authorities in Iloilo after he wrote Fray Botod. It was never officially published, but a copy was widely circulated in the region to the ire of the friars, fortunately for Lopez they could never prove that he wrote it. However because he was openly defiant against authorities and fought for justice, he got threats to his life. He decided to leave Iloilo and stayed with relatives in Silay and Saravia. With the help of his cousin Estaquio, Graciano Lopez fled to Barcelona Spain after staying in Silay for two years. While in Spain it was said that Eustaquio sent him regular financial support. Eventually, Graciano feared that his relatives in Negros will be persecuted so, he added 'Jaena' to his surname to separate himself from the them and thereby sparing his family from suspicion. His family through his uncle in Saravia in gratitude for his help, gave Eustaquio a wooden Santo Niño which has since become a family heirloom and has been passed on to my family in 1981. What is ironic is that we only confirmed this as fact more than a hundred years later, when we were able to connect with Graciano Lopez Jaena's descendants - those of his brothers' families. You see, Eustaquio Lopez is my great-great grandfather".
The Lizares Mansion
Excerpts from the above site:
" Iloilo is known for its Dinagyang Festival, La Paz Batchoy, colonial churches and old houses. And when we speak of this city’s old houses, they are are not just your typical ancestral houses or bahay na bato. This city is home to many mansions built by sugar barons way back in pre-war era. Some are still standing with some old people or caretakers residing while some are now used as schools.
If you are traveling or visiting the City of Love, bring your camera and wear your most comfortable shoes and discover these old houses and mansions in Iloilo. There are many of them in the city and what I have here are just a few of them. I am featuring those famous old houses and mansions but it is easy to spot many old abodes as you explore Iloilo. If you don’t know where to start, just go to the main plazas in the city – Jaro, Molo and Libertad. In accordance to the Spanish status quo, those living close to the plaza are the most affluent ones. So aside from taking shots or visiting old churches, you can also check out these ancestral and heritage houses of Iloilo.
Those located around Jaro Plaza are the grandest and there are still plenty of them. Still, you can see many old houses in Molo and even Arevalo. For this post, majority of these houses are located around the district of Jaro ".
Note: The Lizares mansion and the Nelly Gardens were my two of my most favorite mansions when I was a child in Jaro, Iloilo. My childhood dream of seeing the inside of the house had never been realized, but now I am happy just reading it in the above blog. Thank you for the tour, Valerie!