The Lizareses of Talisay

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Lizares Family will be having its 4th Grand Reunion on the 29th and 30th of December with the theme: “The Lizares Family through the Decades.”

“Every family has a place, be it a town, a barrio or a sitio, to which it holds a certain attachment—a place which provides the family a setting for fond memories, for fun and sad times, the gatherings big and small. . . a place which it can almost claim as its own. For the Lizares family, the place is the city of Talisay, Negros Occidental, Philippines.”

The family and the town’s history is so entwined that many Talisaynons, then and now, casually calling one another ‘primo’ or ‘prima without really knowing why.’ So it is the aim of this reunion to familiarize members who are friends but are not aware that they are family.


The Lizares genealogy starts with Rufino Lizares. Rufino Lizares was born in 1804 and was married to Bernavela Treyes. Rufino and Bernavela had six children. The eldest was Jacinto. Juana the 3rd child married Francisco Asis de Oca. Efigenio, the 5th child, married Enrica Alunan. Faustina, Agueda and Flordeliza were childless thereby producing no heirs.

Jacinto was among the first with the trait common to many Lizareses, which is to be blessed with plenty of children. His union with Antonia Montebon produced 9 children but only three were married: Francisco, Simon and Salustiano.

Francisco Lizares was commonly known then as Tan Ico because he was the Capitan Municipal (equivalent to town Mayor of Talisay). He was an officer of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, a very successful farmer, a highly respected member of the community.

His younger brother, Simon, was a general in the Philippine Revoluntionary Army, he was in command of a brigade composed of close to a thousand men. When he died in 1935, he was accorded a military funeral. Like his brother Francisco, he was a highly successful haciendero and businessman and above all a charitable individual.

In contrast to the two brothers who had public careers, the 6th child, Salustiano, was quiet and unassuming. He had 13 children. His male children had two things in common: they were first class athletes, many of them achieving national prominence, and they were gifted with unusual dexterity for things mechanical, possessing a natural talent for tackling with ease complex engineering problems.

Juana Lizares de Oca’s descendants started the trek to Concepcion in Talisay for the best tasting lanzones. Eldest son Mariano de Oca (married to Miguela Delgado) and brother Julian (married Clara Ynge and later Patricia Alunan) propagated the fruit tree which made the barrio famous and prosperous.

Daughter Felisa de Oca was the embodiment of a real Filipino Florence Nightingale and the Puericulture Center of Talisay was the focus of her life. She assisted almost thousands of indigent mothers and a plaque of appreciation was presented to her in a solemn ceremony in Malacañang.
Luis and Rosario died in infancy while Demoncrita and Librada were childless.

Mamerto and Angela Infante had 4 children: Gil, Demetria, Aniceto and Francisco.

Cipriana was married to Segundo Granada, a successful businessman and haciendero and together they had 8 children Luz, Walterio, Gloria, Caridad, Flory, Roberto, Segundo Jr and Aldredo Granada. Their chidren are well settled in Bacolod and Talisay and some have migrated and doing well in Europe and the United States.

Pedro proved to be a successful haciendero. He married Emiliana M. Lacson also of Talisay and they have 9 children: Hernando, Alicia, Pedro, Angelina, Rodolfo, Jesus, Azela, Renato and Armando. Tita Alice and Tita Ikli are still very much with us.

Efigenio Lizares served as Capitan Municipal and was known as Capitan Inyong. As was the custom in those days, his wife, Enrica Alunan, shared his title and was called Capitana Dicang. They had 17 children however 3 died in infancy. Tan Inyong passed away in 1902 leaving Tana Dicang a single parent to 14 young Lizareses.

Vicente the eldest died young but left a daughter Maria L. Misa.
Simplicio served as Presidente Municipal of Talisay and a delegate of the 1935 Constitutional Convention. His son, Mario, has the record of being the longest serving Mayor in office in Talisay and another son, Amelo, became Mayor and served 3 terms after. Amelo’s son, Anthony served as Mayor until his early demise without finishing his third term.

Nicolas was the architect of the family corporate entrepreneurial activity. His highly productive life was cut short by American shrapnel during the bombing of Baguio City in 1945.

Emiliano was successful in sugar trading, financing and export, palay marketing, warehousing, stevedoring and operation of sea vessels, and other diversified investments.

Antonio was the most versatile of the brothers being a physician, a politician, centralista, realtor, and educator. He was the founder of UNO.

Enrique lived long enough to see some political action. He died in office as Presidente Municipal (mayor) of Talisay. He was well esteemed by many.

Adela married Dionisio Mapa. She outlived him for 30 years. Singlehandedly, she put up the Iloilo Hotel which became a landmark in the city.

Celsa also settled in Iloilo after her marriage to Dr. Eugenio Kilayko and likewise became a single parent to 9 Kilaykos under very trying circumstances.

Efigenia settled in Manila with her husband Dr. Alfredo Paredes. She too became a single mother to 2 daughters.

Dolores married Ricardo Nolan, an American attorney. She died in 1933.
Maria died single but is remembered for her charities and her innumerable religious parish activities.

Felisa married rather late in life to Jose H. Jalandoni from Dingle, Iloilo.

Encarnacion settled in Mexico, Pampanga as a young bride of Adriano Panlilio. Years after her husband’s death, she returned to Talisay to involve herself in agriculture and a crack at local politics.
Remedios, the youngest, married Leon Guinto Sr, former governor of Quezon Province and Mayor of Manila likewise, returned home to Negros after her husband’s demise where she was socially and culturally active.

That in a nutshell is our lineage. A big family characterized with many children. For the men, they were politicians, generals, athletes, business entrepreneurs, educators, sugar farmers and professionals-skilled engineers and mechanics with a good heart. The women were strong and feisty who were mostly widowed but nonetheless did not merely cope with single parenthood but made a difference in their own fields of endeavor.

We celebrate our 4th Lizares Grand Reunion this Dec 29-30 at the Nature’s Village Resort Hotel, in Talisay City to familiarize the new generation of their rich legacy; to honor our elders and to bond in familial love especially during this beautiful season of Christ’s coming!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 27, 2012.


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