2009 Jun 15
Aurelio Tigley Aleonar-Dolores Rodecindo de Veyra House
442 Gen. Luna St. Erected: 1934 Feb. 21 Builders: Timoteo and/or son Bartolome Ybañez, carpenters (present owners: Heirs of son Peary G. Aleonar) -------
Nearly four months ago, February 21, my grandfather’s house on 442 General Luna st. in Carcar celebrated its 75th birthday. Circumstances did not allow, and so the house just quietly passed what should have been a bling milestone.
February 21, 1934. My father said that it was his own father, Aurelio Aleonar, who’d etched the date himself on the side of the concrete stairway leading to the front door of the house—whether to commemorate when the construction started, or when it was finished—he was not sure. My father would have been only 8 years old then and Grandfather Aurelio, 36.
The house shares the same birthyear as the Archdiocese of Cebu, Donald Duck, Flash Gordon and Hitler’s assumption of the title Führer.
The most immediately striking element of the house itself, an element present in certain other Carcar houses of the period as well, are the interior ventilation friezes. The houses were still outstanding copies of the ornate glories that were the earlier Dispensary building and St. Catherine’s School. Only a carpenter could have produced those, since there was not a mass production of it at that time. And only master carpenters could have designed and executed the imaginative designs of the Carcar friezes.
High and wide windows on three sides made for a very airy sala. Precisely because of this unimpeded free air-conditioning, when I do sleep over there today, the sala is everything, more than any of the two bedrooms. The photo below, taken 1953, shows how much higher still the windows towered over the head of my six-foot father (of course, the tallest person looking out).
(photo by Emigdio Sedon for Fe Studio, 1953 Apr-17)
Carcar’s master carpenters. I have always stressed quite obstinately that Carcar heritage should honor the town’s architects and craftsmen who created the heritage houses, maybe even more than their owners themselves. A house can change ownerships any number of times, and many Carcar houses have in fact, but the architect, designer and builder are inseparably linked to the house itself.
But in our house’s case, it’s said that it was only a carpenter or two and my grandfather who wrestled with the house. And then, only a nickname here and there was handed down to us and through time we could easily have mixed them up. Anyway, the lore was that the master carpenter was nicknamed either Oming or Tiyoy.
I asked around extensively about these nicknames and managed to come up with the name of carpenter Oming Ybañez. What I also found out subsequently from my records jaunts was that a Bartolome Ybañez was born 1904 and thus would be around 30 at the time. And his father was Timoteo Ybañez! Oming or Tiyoy! I guess either of the two will do because the honor stays in their family.
Although Ybañez is a very old Carcar surname, this Ybañez family reportedly came from Dalaguete and Timoteo’s wife, Victoria Mancia was from Talisay. Bartolome got married only 5 years after our house, in 1939, to Leoncia Baraquia.
The Owners. My grandfather, Aurelio Aleonar (1897-1966) had little memory of his father, Pedro, who died in 1905 and when Aurelio’s youngest brother was only 3. At the time of Pedro’s death, there were 6 living children, plus 4 from the father’s first marriage. Pedro was a scribe, had been a cabeza and a secretario municipal of Carcar. His first wife was Anacleta Tangarorang (see Kabkad* in the time if Kolera); his second, Paula Vergara Tigley, was from Barili.
Aurelio’s wife, Dolores Rodecindo de Veyra, was a city girl orphaned by her mother as a baby who was later brought to live in Carcar by her mother’s sisters, guardian-aunts spinster Cristobalena and Nepomucena Duterte Rodecindo, after the latter got married to Carcaranon Marcelino (Inô) Ramos Tenchavez. Her father had gone back to Tanauan, Leyte, and father and daughter were reunited only after Dolores already had her own two sons, and only after which she began using de Veyra (Rodecindo de Veyra actually) as her middle name, per order of the father. Thus, she wrote her name Dolores R.V. Aleonar, as did her younger son Fr. Benjamin R.V. Aleonar. My father, who had a second name, used that as his middle, Peary G. (Gumersindo) Aleonar.
Their Rodecindo family had a past connection to Carcar where their granduncle, Don Dionisio Alo, died here in 1887. A native and resident of Cebu City, Dionisio had land in Carcar as shown by documents of sale by his widow and three children in 1888 of two lots in Bolinawan to Don Pedro Cui. The lots were bordered by Alcover properties. My grandmother’s grandfather, Nicolas Rodecindo, apparently was related to Alo’s wife, Eleuteria Solon Rodecindo (born c. 1826 in Parian or Cebu City). They must have been closely related because Dionisio and Eleuteria’s direct descendants in Parian–the Alo-Santillan, Noel and Medalle families of Bonifacio st.–maintained close links with my grandmother and during WWII many of those families even evacuated to Carcar to be with my grandfather’s family.
Dolores graduated at Upland in Carcar where she presumably met her future husband and the two became public school teachers and brought up the two sons, my father, a civil engineer-lawyer who became an RTC judge and the priest who died at age 42. If I remember correctly from a class reunion of theirs where I drove her to and fetched her from the town tennis court, Dolores’s Upland elementary classmates included educators Elpidio Padin (a second cousin of Aurelio on the Tigley side) and future wife Primitiva Alfafara, future pharmacist Natividad Alfafara-Enriquez and future mayor Abundio Aldemita among others.