Posted by: vip | July 30, 2009

Carcar surnames spellings

In a previous post about the Claveria decree and Carcar surnames spellings (Keeping our records straight 3: the Claveria decree) we went over names as they are spelled now, compared to what was prescribed in the catalogo.

“Abellaneda ([compared to]Avellaneda), Alcachupas (Alcachofas, meaning artichokes), Alcos (Alcuz), Alcoseba (Alcoceba), Alcuires (Alcuiriz),  Aldemita (Aldelmeta), Aldipolla (Aldipulla), Aldocente (Aldosente), Aldueso (Alduezo), Aleguiojo (Alegueojo), Alemios (Alemeuz), Alenteojo (Alentejo), Aleser (Alescer), Alicaya (Alecaya), Alinsugay (Alensogay);

“Barawidan (Baraoidan), Barberos/Barbiros (Barbeiros), Barcastigue (Barcastegui), Bardilas (Bardelas), Bardinas was sometimes also Bardenas even on the same record, Bargeo (Barheu), Barluado (Barloado), Camomot (Camotmot), Camotes (Camatis), Campacion (Campasion), Campañon (Campoñon), Campugan (Campogan), Camuta (Camota), Cananayon (Canayon), Cananea (Canania), Cui (Cue, p. 34/6);

“Deitec (Daytec), Dayanco (Dayancu), Diapera (Dayapira), Embalsado (Embalzado), Embarnace (Embarnase), Embrado (Emrado), Embuscado (Emboscado), Emnace (Emnase), Emnacen (Emnasen),  Enad was Henad in early records, Francisquete (Francisqueti, p.50/2), Genoveagon (Genaveagon), Gucor (Gucur, p.60/4);

“Laosa (Laossa), Lapincao (Lapingcao), Laure (Laore), Manlisi (Manlisic), Manuguran (Manoguran), Mangiao (Mangyao), Manguray (Mangoray), Mangruban (Mangroban), Warnac (Oarnac), Wasawas (Oasaoas), Wasay (Oasay), Watin (Oatin), Pananganan (Pananganau), Paningsoro (Paningisoro), Paraz (Paras, p.101/3);

“Remolisan (Remolizan), Remorque (Remurque), Satinitigan (Satinititigan), Sato (Satut), Tancay (Tangcay), Tangarorang (Tangarucan), Tanque (Tangque), Varga (Barga).”

Although many people do not care much to know anything about their surnames, some have sort of made it their life mission to dig up at least that part of their makeup: what is the history of our family name?

The latter knows about the Claveria decree and many are on to those spelling differences mentioned above.

For instance, when and for what reason (if any) was Alcoceba (per the catalogo) changed to Alcoseba in Carcar? Even Msgr. Cesar Alcoseba already wondered about this in his Alcoseba Family Tree preface.

To find the answer to his and most other families’ speculations, we can trace the surnames’ paths back to what the Carcar church clerk(s) wrote during that crucial period. We can go back to the books of the year 1850, to when the surnames were just starting to appear and to how the escribientes spelled them. In the case of Alcoseba, on 31-Aug-1850, Rosa Alcoseba was recorded already with that spelling in the Baptism book.  So were the subsequent others in the family, if I may add.

I take these records as evidence that, strictly speaking, there never was a change, because right from the start Alcoseba was already “mis-“spelled that way. We can impute all sorts of incompetence on our clerks then but to be fair (or in fairness, as everybody now puts it), we cannot now identify the conditions then obtaining that may have caused these “errors”. For instance, if the list was right there in front of them, I doubt there would have been these many deviations, unless they were just insufferably careless, strongly given to apnea, or God forbid, just thought they knew better than the list–to which trait Carcar is certainly not immune (more of that towards the end below).

But indeed the modification from “c” to “s” in the case of Alcoseba by Carcar church clerks is intriguing because exactly the opposite happened with the Embarnace, Emnace, Emnacen and Aldocente–surnames which, in fact, had all been spelled with “s” in the catálogo.

Maybe “s” or “c” or even “z” was not an issue for Filipino clerks because the three letters sound alike, except if you insist on the Spanish -th sound for the c and z. Similarly, the catalogo’s Alduezo never got off the block and it was Aldueso (and the even earlier Alduesa).  Same thing with Alcuiris and Alemeus (and Alemios).

That being said, the more “substantial” changes are decidedly those of Aldelmeta to Aldemita, Camatis to Camotes, Camotmot to Camomot, Emrado to Embrado, Dayanan-Daytec-Dayapira to Dainan, Deitec and Diapera, Paningisoro to Paningsoro, Satinititigan to Satinitigan, Satut to Sato, Tangarucan to Tangarorang, Barga to Varga.

Like Alcoseba, Aldemita, Aldueso, Camomot, Embrado (started as Emvrrado) and Satinitigan never followed the catálogo right from the start. And through the years, Dainan-Deitec-Diapera just simply underwent variations. Tangarorang (the majority) and Tangarucan were interchangeable for a very short time; a Barili branch stuck it out with Tangarucan but the preponderance of the Carcar spelling must have persuaded them, and Pinamungahan, to join in, too. But Camotes, Sato and Varga were pretty 20th-century alterations; whether deliberate on the part of the family or not cannot now be traced. And if it was just one person who decided for his family, nobody can say.

I have not more closely traced the Cabañete surname but that spelling, too, never existed until the 20th-century. My hunch at this time is the family was originally the Gabinete (sometimes spelt Gavinete) family who came from San Nicolas. Gabinete is of course Spanish for cabinet, often now mistakenly pronounced as cabinete (ex. GMA’s cabinete) by unknowing newcasters.

[Cabinete belongs to Spanish words mongrelized by a mixup with their English equivalents: simtomas (for síntomas), translacion (traslación), responsibilidad (responsabilidad), maintain-ar (mantenir), batones (botones), dollar (dol-yar, when the Spanish is dólar), protect-ar (proteger), vagrancia (vagancia) and others.

[Similarly, the beautiful low relief Stations of the Cross in the Carcar church–said to be the work of our own sculptor Roman Sarmiento–are in Spanish, and the eighth says “Jesus consuela a las hijas de Jerusalen.” For decades it had hung there serenely in the church along with the other stations, impervious even to Vatican II, until someone who’d discerned the “n” in Jerusalen, without asking simply decided it was wrong because all he or she knew of the word was Jerusalem, obviously from his or her English experience.  Must have been someone with some clout, too, and so had “m” painted over the correct  “n”, which had been sitting there innocently unaware that the Spanish language and Philippine history would soon give way to Carcar’s thought-they-knew-better.]

Jesus, console the daughters of Cárcar.



  1. i love the punchline!

    • I didn’t mean you about the daughters of Carcar…

  2. Not just Carcar but a Superbalita recently headlined: Pacquiao impresivo! The headline editor was of the idea that a Spanish-sounding word would fit a Cebuano-language daily better than just using the more well-known English word impressive. But then, the Spanish for impressive is impresionante!

  3. I’m looking for my father Ricardo Lapates Oamilda’s relatives who was born in Carcar, Cebu, if any. His father was Pablo Lapates Oamilda. My grandmother was Eusibia. Don’t know her maiden name. They are deceased.

    • thread redirected to Search Forum.

  4. Outstanding work VIP!

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