An Alo family of Parian and a Burial record in Carcar
Carmen Alo Santillan-Yap, whom I address as “Tita”, takes care of her family mausoleum at the Osmeña-Lorega cemetery. Some years back, thieves had plucked out all the brass markings from the headstones in it. But no matter, her years of loving care for her dead ancestors ensured she had memorized all the dates on them.
I call her Tita not just because her husband is my mother’s second cousin but because we’ve always been made to understand that she herself, along with a particular Bonifacio Noel family, was related to my father.
Which relation is the reason I thought my father’s grandmother was herself also an Alo, an Alo Rodecindo.
And so, interviewing Tita Carmen, I was able to reconstruct her Alo family tree up to her grandparents, Marcos Alo and Telesfora Sindiong, and Marcos’s sister, Fortunata Alo and her husband, Maximino Noel. For Carcar readers familiar with the latter name, this is not the same Maximino who was a congressman. This Maximino was older by almost 20 years.
It was sometime after that I read on a blog site* about a larger-than-life Don Dionisio Alo who was capitan of Parian and the gremio de mestizos (Sangley) who around the 1870s fought passionately against the abolition of the parish that the Spanish authorities were bent on pursuing. He was very emotional in his defense of the parish and church, and could be considered some kind of hero who demonstrated resistance against foreigners ruling his land. I was proud to have any relation to him, even just from my grandmother’s sharing his surname.
In any event, in the course of my reading the old Carcar church books, I had a little surprise that a record was there that Don Dionisio Alo was buried in Carcar in 1887. His age was not mentioned, but the names of his parents were, as well as that of his wife’s, Eleuteria Rodecindo. That put the issue to rest, that my grandmother’s relation to this clan was through Don Dionisio’s wife, since my grandmother’s mother was a Rodecindo.
But I still could not make a rightful connection about Dionisio and Eleuteria with Tita Carmen and her Alo-Noel clan living in Bonifacio st.
Until the ever thoughtful Mike Cullinane emailed me a record he’d extricated from the protócolos of 1888, a deed of sale where Don Dionisio’s heirs sold some parcels of land in Bolinauan (still spelled that way), Carcar, to Don Pedro Cui. Along with his widow, Eleuteria, Don Dionisio’s children were naturally mentioned as co-vendors.
And the children? Rafaela (unmarried), Marcos! And Fortunata!
This means, Tita Carmen was a direct descendant of Don Dionisio Alo. And I am related to the latter’s wife.
I learned all this in December, 2008, 121 years after Don Dionisio Alo’s death.
Last Saturday, 8-August, at the Museo sa Parian, historian Fe Susan Go, gave a lecture on the ecclesiastical history of Parian and mentioned Don Dionisio Alo and his role in glowing terms. I did not err in having invited Dr. Evangeline Medalle-Mercader. She was a great-great-granddaughter of Don Dionisio and before that had not heard the name of her ancestor, nor his noble exploits. There couldn’t have been a more satisfying conclusion than to be witness to her thrill at this new knowledge.
By the way, Tita Carmen died last June, not having been told that her great-grandfather was Don Dionisio Alo.