NOYNOY Aquino is not the only public official who's pressured to preserve the honor and legacy of a family name.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City also has heroes and saints in his genealogy-a fact that should assure his constituents that he'll never do anything to stain his illustrious, even sanctified, family name (it means "someone to obey" and it's there in Ibpa Mi-"mipamintuan ing lub Mu keti sulip anti banua"-and one branch of the family tree is actually surnamed Panalangin, "prayer").

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Ed Pamintuan is one of five Pamintuans who became mayor of Angeles, two of whom with repeat terms like him: Alejandro Pamintuan, the town's second mayor (1831 and again 1841), Filomeno Pamintuan (1869 and again 1898), Mariano Pamintuan (1875-1877), Florentino Pamintuan (1900), and Edgardo Pamintuan (1992-1998 and again 2010).

Vicente Pamintuan, Alejandro's son, married twice: from the first family descended Florentino Pamintuan, owner-builder of the Pamintuan Mansion (he also married twice), and from the second family descended Teresa Gomez, wife of Juan D. Nepomuceno.

Actually, the Pamintuan family tree has branched out so extensively it's become quite difficult to trace how the branches and twigs are interconnected. The names Faustino, Von Heiland, Quiogue, Tioseco, Fabella, Celdran, Garchitorena, Rabat, Mesina, Velasco, Laperal, Hizon, Viegelmann, Lane, and even Kennedy all appear in the Pamintuan genealogy.

The grand dame of Philippine fashion, Patis Tesoro; Jesuit Bishop Federico Escaler, Ambassador Narcisa “Ching” Escaler, filmmaker Mike de Leon, who directed Sister Stella L., Kisapmata, Itim, Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising and other modern classics-they're all Pamintuans.

The Pamintuans of Angeles are actually the latter-day kins of the more ancient Pamintuans of the Macabebe-Calumpit area. They moved north as part of the wave of frontiersmen seeking new lands to till and to own, staying first in Bacolor where a Maria Pamintuan married a landed Chinese named Gregorio Tuason after the British Occupation in 1762-64.

(Their six-year-old daughter Escolastica was abducted by Muslim pirates who sailed through Guagua River, spirited away to Mindanao and returned only after a ransom had been paid-but by then she was already 14 years old!)

It was probably the branch of Pamintuans who had moved on to San Fernando that joined former San Fernando mayor Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda in clearing Kuliat in the late 1700s and founding the new town of Angeles in 1829.

All these wealthy, adventurous Pamintuans could actually trace their roots to the noble families who ruled the ancient territories in the Kapampangan-Manila region.

These families were led Prince Balagtas, whose wife Panginuan had a brother named Sri Lela (or Salalila) whose children Lakan Dula, Rajah Matanda and Rajah Mura (some scholars think he was Rajah Soliman) were the rulers of Tondo and Manila at the time of the Spanish Conquest in 1571.

Panginuan also had a sister named Lahat, whose children were Mandik, Monmon, Gat Bonton, Gat Chalian, Gat Maitan, Gat Maitim, Gat Dula (names that survived to this day) and Makaralaga.

Panginuan herself had three children by Prince Balagtas: Malangsi, Dapatmagmamanuk and Lady Makayabongdili, who married their cousins Lady Mandik, Lady Monmon, and Gat Bonton, respectively.

The Malangsi-Mandik marriage produced Pansomun who was baptized Fernando Malang Balagtas when the Spaniards arrived in Manila in 1571. (It was Pansomun who wrote down all these names and drew the boundaries of ancient Pampanga in his last will and testament, the authenticity of which is still being debated today).

The Dapatmagmamanuk-Monmon marriage, on the other hand, resulted in the founding of the ancient town of Bakulud (Bacolor), while the Makayabongdili-Gat Bonton marriage produced five children that included Kapitangan (who founded the town of Apalit) and Pampalong, who is better known as Makapagal (it was probably this connection that motivated President Diosdado Macapagal's administration to pursue the Sabah claim).

Where do the Pamintuans get into the picture?

A Juan Lucas Pamintuan supposedly married Pansomun's great-granddaughter Ana Sinakunan; they had three children: Lucas Balagtas, Sebastiana Clara and Domingo Tongol.

Pansomun's cousin Makaralaga had a great-great-grandson named Juan Talangpaz of Calumpit, who married Juana Mallari of Macabebe. They had a son, Andres Talangpaz, born November 30, 1651.

This Andres Talangpaz married Isabel Constanza Pamintuan, also of Macabebe, probably descended from the same Juan Lucas Pamintuan, great-grandson of Gat Bonton.

Her father was actually a Sonsong-Agustin Sonsong-and her mother was Nicolasina Salgado. Agustin and Nicolasina changed their respective surnames to Pamintuan and Panalangin, probably to avoid censure after joining the failed Kapampangan Revolt of 1660.

The Sonsongs of Macabebe were known for three things: their loyal service to Spain, their subsequent rebellion, and Felipe Sonsong.

Agustin's father and namesake, Don Agustin Sonsong, was captain of the royal infantry that guarded the walled city of Manila and quelled a rebellion in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. For this he was awarded the highest military title that could be conferred on a native officer, the maestre de campo.

The younger Agustin was Francisco Maniago's emissary to Ilocos and Pangasinan during the Kapampangan Revolt. When Maniago capitulated to Spanish peace overtures, Sonsong joined a breakaway group that carried on the resistance (sunsung is Kapampangan for "to go against").

The Spaniards, led by Gov. Sabiniano Manrique de Lara (with help from a Kapampangan chieftain from Arayat named Juan Macapagal), put down the rebellion and executed the leaders, including Maniago. Agustin Sonsong was spared, probably because of his father's distinguished military service.

Agustin's uncle (Don Agustin's brother), Felipe Sonsong, also a soldier, gave up all worldly possessions after the Kapampangan Revolt and joined the Jesuit mission to the Marianas (the group of Blessed Diego de San Vitores and Blessed Pedro Calungsod). Sonsong's saintliness was widely admired so that when he died in 1685 (from neck and head injuries caused by a Chamorro tribe's attack), the Spanish governor of Marianas and ranking military officers carried his casket

A Spanish Jesuit wrote in 1686 that Felipe Sonsong's "solid virtues were an example to his countrymen and he is now, we believe, from his blameless life, a most notable citizen of the realm of Heaven." Macabebe parishioners today are pushing for his beatification.

Felipe Sonsong is not the only saint in the Pamintuan family tree.

Isabel Constanza Pamintuan's two daughters (Agustin's granddaughters), Dionisia and Cecila Talangpaz, co-founded the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters, the oldest non-contemplative religious community for women in the Augustinian Recollect Order. The cause for their beatification was launched in 1999 and is now being processed in the Vatican.

Mayor Ed Pamintuan, recipient of the Order of Lakandula last April, may have actually descended from Lakandula, but more important than his royal lineage is the legacy of heroic sanctity that he inherited from his Pamintuan ancestors.

(Sources: Stars of Peace by Dr. Luciano Santiago, Paz: A 20th Century Chronicle by Ma. Paz Eugenia Pamintuan; Remembrance of Things Awry by Toto Gonzalez; additional notes from Ian Alfonso)