DON Antonio Alunan Lizares, a former governor of Negros Occidental, was a holy and virtuous man. Together with his wife Doña Carmen Rodriguez, they brought up their children with an emphasis on moral values.
They had strong church ties and were supportive to the needs of the clergy as well as to the community. A legacy Don Antonio wanted to inculcate amongst his children and to be filtered down to his grandchildren was the value of family and to sustain and strengthen the bond among family members. He is remembered as compassionate, generous and sociable.
Don Antonio, a doctor by profession, was likewise a good businessman. He was a pioneer in land banking and had invested in properties, one of which was in the Libertad area.
The Libertad Market became one of the city's major melting pot of commerce, and adjacent to it the seat of education, the University of Negros Occidental now known as UNO-R after donating the property to the Recoletos Friars.
There had been many other generous donations to the church and Doña Carmen was likewise actively involved in her many charities.
Another acquisition was this piece of land by the shore where Don Antonio "Toñing" would bring his wife and their nine children to just be by themselves on weekends or on holidays. That family grew to 65 grandchildren and it was a place of respite and recreation for the big family to be away from city life and yet remain within the perimeter of the city.
Later opening the property to the public, it became known as San Antonio Beach.
Today, 20 years later, that once upon a time private beach has evolved into Palmas del Mar, a resort hotel that was named as one of the "Top 25 Hotels for Families in the Philippines" on February 2015. Trip Advisor has ranked Palmas del Mar as the 24th hotel in the mentioned award.
Don Antonio was a visionary who looked far beyond his time. The resort's 20th anniversary was celebrated on January 17, the birthday of its founder.
It may be many years since the passing away of Don Antonio and Doña Carmen. But the indoctrination of family values and the value of family lives on especially in Palmas del Mar.
Palmas del Mar is a place where family can bond and make meaningful memories.
Congratulations Palmas del Mar!