In the Philippines, much of family history is passed down in the form of oral tradition. This is because written
histories are not easily available, as record keeping during the Spanish times were spotty (most especially in the provinces).
And during the Japanese Occupation, a lot of records were also lost. So it is through this oral tradition that most
Filipinos know about their forbears and their relatives. Some elements of these oral traditions can be properly researched
and confirmed; otherwise, they simply have to be taken in faith.
Family oral tradition relates that two Mosquera brothers set sail from Barcelona in the late 18th century
to seek adventure and fortune in Las Islas Filipinas. At that time, Barcelona was already becoming an industrial
and trading center of importance -- and soon, Spain's chief port and center of import-export activity that fueled much of
its commercial and manufacturing industries. Somehow, the brothers made their way to the Visayas, and one of them
eventually established himself in the untamed wilds of Antique (or Hamtik, as
it was known then, and much later, Hantique) Province*, which was under Spanish military administration.
What is certain is that by the latter half of the 1800's, the Mosquera through marriage have become part of
a rising political and hacendero clan, the Manzanilla and the Salvani of Patno˝gon.
The Manzanilla were active in the town of Patno˝gon
during the late 19th century, and were reputed to be the largest landowners in the province. In fact, Ramon Manzanilla
was the gobernadorcillo of the town in 1887. As gobernadorcillo, he had absolute power over the town,
and he was the one responsible for having the stone bridge spanning Patno˝gon
River built. He was also instrumental in the building of a new stone church, with Mass first celebrated there
The Salvani gave their name to Hacienda Salvani, which, at its most expansive, covered more than 400 hectares.
It still occupies a large area of Patno˝gon, and its muscovado mill
in Poblacion Patno˝gon was
still operational even during the 1990's. The most famous of this family was Enrique Salvani, who married
Teopista Manzanilla, a daughter of the formidable Don Ramon. He started his career as mayor of Patno˝gon
in 1898, and eventually became governor of the province from 1922-1931 during the time of the American Governor-General Leonard
Wood. Governor Salvani's close friendship with the governor-general was legendary; Leonard Wood (who was arguably
the most powerful man in the islands) even made the arduous trip to the family hacienda. This was more than
just a symbolic gesture, since at that time, it took as much as eight hours to make the trip from Iloilo City over unpaved
roads and unspanned rivers, not to mention the lurking dangers from armed bandits! As a result of that close friendship,
Antique was provided with the funds for much-need public works during that period.
It was during this time that Juan Mosquera y Manzanilla, a grandson of Don Ramon through his son
Juancho Manzanilla, functioned as treasurer, and made his home in the neighboring town of Culasi. He married Jovita
Cadiao y Lacson, who was a member of the town's educated and propertied native elite.
His brother-in-law, Captain Silverio Cadiao y Lacson, headed the famous Company "K" of the Philippine guerilla
forces that operated around the area of Culasi during the Japanese Occupation in World War II. Company "K" successfully
resisted the Japanese forces in their area of operations, and assisted in the submarine landing by American naval operatives
of ammunition and supplies in Lipata Point for guerilla forces operating in Panay. A local hero, his statue is located
in a place of honor at the Culasi town plaza.
Another brother-in-law, Josue Cadiao y Lacson, became governor of Antique from 1955-1963. He also served
as Commissioner of the Public Service (now the Civil Service Commission) from 1965-1971, and then a Commissioner of the Philippine
Sugar Commission (PHILSUCOM) during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Historically, the name Cadiao entered the history books in the late 16th century, when a Datu Cadiao in
Negros Island provided men and material support to consecutive expeditions to neighboring Panay led by the Spanish explorers
Mateo del Sanz and Luis de la Haya in 1565 and 1566. They were part of the colonizers who had sailed from
Spain under the leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to re-establish the claims of the Spanish Crown after a long
absence, following the failed efforts of Fernando Magallanes (1521), Esteban Gomez (1524), Juan Garcia Jofre
de Loaisa (1525) and Juan de Saavedra (1527). The Spaniards, looking for relief from a famine that affected
Cebu, had evidently heard about an island of fertile soil and abundant harvests that provided stable resources far better
than Cebu and Negros.
Thus, through marriage with the Manzanilla, the Mosquera became part of an extended clan that also included
the Salvani, among others. While a bit difficult for foreigners to understand, since they are used to small family
units, the larger extended family is a uniquely Filipino phenomenon. It is most evident in the provinces, where the
extended family provided, and continues to provide, a social and economic support system; aside from being farmer-politicians,
the clan also supplied much of the seasonal sacada manpower needed to harvest the sugarcane in the sprawling haciendas
of Negros Occidental in the early 20th century, thus contributing to much-needed job employment among Antique˝os.
The benefits of this extend family arrangement were also clearly seen during election time. It goes without saying that
members of the
Filipino extended family know each other, especially the intricacies of how they are related to one another.
This is certainly the case with the Mosquera of Antique.
Only a handful of the new generation remains in farming and politics. Sadly, the aristocratic and caudillo
lifestyle enjoyed by the earlier generations is almost a memory. Given the bleak option of genteel poverty,
most of the present generation have chosen to be entrepreneurs or professionals -- as accountants, doctors, engineers,
lawyers, nurses or teachers. Thus, from their bailiwicks in Patno˝gon and Culasi in Antique, members of the clan have
spread out to Iloilo and Metro Manila, and abroad to the United States, Germany, England and China.