THE Ledesma Family celebrated the great legacy of its ancestors in its second grand reunion held in Iloilo last May 19 to 21.
The first known Ledesma to come to the Philippines was Spanish Jesuit missionary Valerio Ledesma in 1595. Another Ledesma, priest Pedro Ledesma of the Dominicans, was recorded to arrive in 1596. And still another Ledesma, Jesuit Andres Ledesma, in 1632.
But the Ledesmas in the Philippines trace its roots starting from Don Fernando Ledesma and his wife Anastacia Melliza from the pueblo of Jaro, Iloilo in the 18th century. They had five children: Domindo, Luis, Mariano, Emetrio and Ynocencio and from whom all Ledesma family clans in the Philippines connect to.
The five reunion colors (blue, red, green, orange and yellow) are based on these five siblings.
Family historian Ramon Conlu documents over 10,000 Ledesma descendants as of today.
This Ledesma heritage has since then produced many of the country’s who’s who in various fields of business, politics, agriculture, religious and the arts.
Successful Ledesmas in business include: Julio and Cesar Ledesma of Negros Navigation, Oscar Hilado on PHINMA Corp, Joey Concepcion of RFP Corp. and more.
In politics, the family has Senator Oscar Ledesma, Secretary Placido Mapa, Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Undersecretary Paeng Golez, Governor Bitay Lacson, Governor Dading Ledesma, Vice Governor Bong Lacson, Congressman Monsour del Rosario, Congressman Jules Ledesma, Board Member Mardi Mapa-Suplido, Mayor Monico Puentevella, Mayor Mark Golez, Vice Mayor Celso Ledesma, Vice Mayor Ramiro Garcia, Councilor Mike Maravilla and many others.
Since the initial Ledesmas came from the religious sector, there are many as well over the years: Archbishop Alberto Piamonte, Archbishop Tony Ledesma, Redemptorist Fr. Louie Hechanova, Fr. John Ledesma, Mother Cristina Ledesma, Mother Gloria Jalandoni, Sr. Pilar Ledesma, Sr. Teresita Ledesma, Sr. Regivic Yulo, Sr. Mary Joseph Concepcion, and Sr. Mary Cecilia Claparols to name a few.
In the world of entertainment there is singer Kuh Ledesma, Wolf Gemora of Wolfgang band, Ernie Severino of Side A, Dancers Janette and Georgina Sanchez, actor PJ Abellana, choreographer Rene Hofilena, director Jay Abello, TV host RJ Ledesma, singer Markki Stroem, and child performer Daniel Drilon with new budding talents rising.
During the 2017 reunion mass, quoting Bishop Tony: “Our family is like a tree - our branches spread out in all directions, but all still from the same trunk, all of us with same roots. So no matter what, we are really all still connected and how important we stay connected to our roots. The great Ledesma legacy (great life and work, values, sacrifices) our ancestors left us was their gift to us. Thus, how important we continue to live their legacy as this is our gift to our children, and our world.”
Acknowledgement to Mardi Mapa Suplido for her inputs.