A Visit to Sibil Cemetery in Bulan , Sorsogon : Reconnecting My Family Roots

Bulan , Sorsogon province -Philippines

MRRL Trading and General Merchandise

It is my first time to visit and stayed in the town of Bulan , Sorsogon , We stayed with my second cousin’s home and hardware store at C. Gotladera street . It used to be known as Manuel Trading and was recently renamed to MRRL Trading and General Merchandise   .

 

C. Gotladera street corner Z.  Asuncion street 

Maternal Great Grandparents

Our maternal family genealogy  can be traced over a century ago, as recounted by my maternal aunts and cousins .  The story started when my maternal great grandfather ( Lolo sa Tuhod ) – Patricio Villanueva Lim from Zamboanga province and maternal great grandmother ( Lola sa Tuhod)  Cristina Tankiko / Tangkeko ( or Tangueco )  who hails from Malabon , Rizal married resulting in the birth of 7  female and 1 male with total of 8 children . The names of the children were  Victorina T. Lim,  Dionisio T. Lim ,  Agueda T. Lim , Otilla T. Lim, Maria T. Lim ,  Rosario T. Lim , Lola Torribia T. Lim and  Asuncion T. Lim. Lola Asuncion or known as Yaya Susoy.  My great grandmother died shortly after she was born .  My maternal grandmother is Lola Torribia T. Lim was born on May 17, 1910.

They settled and stayed in the town of Bulan and their old house is one of the first that got galvanized roof. ( de- galvanizado ) . They also acquired some lands within Bulan and nearby towns . They are considered as one of the prominent families of the place.

marble stoup donated by Mr and Mrs. Juan  R. Grillego and lower marker indicates the name Mrs. Torribia Lim viyuda De Vera 1966 at the Bulan Church

The Bulan church foundation ( one of the pillar ) have the name of my maternal grandmother ( the name of the people who donated to the construction of the church had their name etched in a marker – reconstruction started from 1965 to 1967 ) Unfortunately, the marble marker had been repainted and the donors name cannot be visibly seen .

My maternal grandmother , Lola Torribia Lim- De Vera is one of the siblings of the union. ( Please visit related link : Manila Chinese Cemetery  )

Lola sa Tuhod Cristina Tankiko / Tangkeko  ( or Tangueco ) -Lim is a well -bred mestiza woman , ( Tagala – Chinese lineage ) from Malabon , Rizal – Ms. Myna Uy ( my second cousin ) recounted that she had the privilege to visit the place several decades ago and there were some long lost relatives which visited her few years back from Malabon . She somehow have forgotten the exact barangay and could not recollect . According to her , the family is landed and fairly educated . She probably died around 1912  due to miscarriage, She was between 30 to 35 years-old .She was buried somewhere in Malabon .

According to the stories of my aunts and second cousins, Some of the relatives and nephews of my maternal grandmother would visit them in the mid -1950’s ( around 1954 or 1955 ) in their upholstery store in Gandara aka Sabino Padilla street. They could only remember Mr. Moises Tankiko /Tangkeko ( Tangueco) was around late 40’s  and Mr. Rene Tangkiko/ Tangkeko ( Tangueco) in his late teens.

Lolo sa Tuhod Patricio Villanueva -Lim my maternal great grand father is a mix of Chavacano , Spanish and Chinese who hails somewhere from Zamboanga province. He was probably born around 1860 , since some of my aunts had met him . They told me that he was about 86 years-old in 1946 when they met him. He died a year later in 1947.

My maternal great grandmother died young and my maternal great grand father remarried twice the second wife died shortly . My maternal aunts could not recount her name . I think they have 1 to 2 children .

Lola Tomasa Giro-Lim ( Lola Masa ) from Bulan – They have 2 siblings – Mr. Maximiano Lim and Ms. Salud Lim .

According to the stories of my second cousins: Ms. Myrna Uy and his brothers , My maternal great grandfather  and maternal step great grandmother might have been buried somewhere within this cemetery or was it at the other Catholic cemetery.

l-r Mr.Raymond L. De Vera , Mrs. Nenita L. De Vera and Vice Mayor Tessie Lim-Guran

I think they belonged to the LIM and De Vera family clan . We also paid a visit to the current vice mayor of the town of Bulan and have a courtesy call to Honorable Tessie G. Lim- Guran and her sister whom our maternal lineage are related ( great grandfather is also the same with her ) She is known as ” Para-Bulong ”  sort of faith healer , practicing it for over 30 years ! She lived in Luyo / Loyo or Zone 8  and we saw dozens of people would lined-up and wait for her .

I knew that she would inherit some qualities , since some people would tell us that the family is quite mystical and my maternal grandmother would also conduct some faith-healing session with the locals.

entrance to the civil or sibil cemetery

We have visited the Civil or Sibil cemetery to pay our respects to our Tsinoy fore bearers and to the UY family clan members that were interred at the cemetery . However due to time constrains , We were not able to locate the exact burial location.

 Chinese Martyrs Monument of June 13, 1942 erected on June 13, 1946 during the incumbency of Salvador Escudero – provincial governor 

So Tian Syo Leocadio Corro- Merchant

So Hong Su – Principal

Yap Tiong Kiat – School Teacher

Tan Ka Leong – Merchant

Te Yan Koy – Merchant

Lim Koy Han – Merchant

So Kun Siok – Student

Lee Kim Tian – Student

Tan Lin Siu- Student

Tan Liong Siu – Student

Chinese grave with inscription

Chinese businessmen and students who were shot by the Japanese at the  gate on suspicion of being guerillas or collaborators. Here also lies as the resting place of  many underground guerillas , patriots, fighters and others , both identified and not were interred.

chinese style pagoda entrance

Those who were killed during the many military encounters in Bulan between 1972-76, and hastily buried within the cemetery grounds. .

Mr. Tony Ariado and Mr. Fenito Guan are also buried within the cemetery and  countless of teachers and brave soldiers.

One can easily identify the prominent clans of Bulan, to the west the Geronas, the Galiases, and the De Castro to the eastern portion, the Gillegos and the Gotladeras.

The Sibil / Civil is the resting place of all others, especially of the Tsinoys. In the mid 19th and early 20th century ,  it was only in the  Romano or Campo Santo de Bulan  referring to the old Roman Catholic Cemetery where masses and blessings of the dead were held, but no longer this time. They now say mass in the Sibil.

A visit to the town surely gave a some time to trace my ancestral roots and i think more will surely unravel if i can trace my lost relatives in Malabon , Zamboanga and Sorsogon. Who knows there are more relatives out there .

 

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