Monday, December 19, 2011

Gen. Servillano Aquino (Grandfather of Ninoy Aquino) and Capas Tarlac: The Untold Origin

What is the untold origin of  Capas and Bamban Tarlac and the Servillano Aquino Estate?

Servillano Aquino was the grandfather of Ninoy Aquino, and the great grandfather of Noynoy Aquino III, the president of the Philippines (from 2010-)

Servillano Aquino y Aguilar (April 20, 1874 – February 2, 1959) was a Filipino general during the Philippine Revolution against Spain(1896–1898), and the Philippine-American War (1898–1902). He served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress and was the grandfather of Benigno S. "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.

Servillano "Minaong" Aquino was born on April 20, 1874 to Don Braulio Aquino and Doña Petrona Hipolito Aguilar. He had his early education from a private tutor in Mexico, Pampanga. He moved to Manila, and entered the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and later, theUniversity of Santo Tomas.

During this time, he married Guadalupe Quiambao, with whom he had three children, namely Gonzalo (born 1893), future Philippine Speaker Benigno (born 1894), and Amando (born 1896). Later on, he would marry his sister-in-law, Belen Sanchez, and have a child with her, future Philippine Congressman Herminio (born 1949).
In 1896, Aquino became a mason and joined the Katipunan. He was also elected mayor of Mucia, Tarlac and, under General Francisco Makabulos, he organized the Filipino revolutionary forces against the Americans. He was promoted to major, but was defeated in the battle at Mount Sinukuan in Arayat, Pampanga. After the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed, Aquino was exiled to Hong Kong together with Emilio Aguinaldo and the revolutionary government. He returned to the Philippines in 1898, and joined General Antonio Luna to fight against the American forces. Together they attacked Manila but retreated to Mount Sinukuan. On September 1902, he surrendered and was jailed in Bilibid Prison, and sentenced to hang. However,United States President Theodore Roosevelt gave Aquino pardon after two years.
On February 3, 1959, at the age of 84, Aquino died of a heart attack.

The Aquinos, forebears of the late Benigno Aquino, Jr., came from lower Pampanga like most Tarlac settlers. The family of General Servillano Aquino settled in the town of Concepcion, still then a part of Pampanga. Present – day Aquinos trace their Tarlac, Tarlac connections to one of the “original” families of this capital town, the Tañedo’s General Aquino married Doña Lorensa Tañedo Quiambao and later, when he lost his wife in one of the tragic episodes of the revolution, married his wife’s widowed elder sister Doña Saturnina Tañedo-Quiambao de Estrada, grandmother of former Senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw. The latter’s bloodline is therefore not Aquino but Tañedo –Quiambao, which she shares with the late Ninoy Aquino, her second cousin.

Capas is a first class municipality in the province of TarlacPhilippines.[1] According to the latest census, it has a population of 122,084 people in 18,333 households. It is a part of the Third Municipal district of Tarlac with Mayor Antonio "TJ" Capitulo Rodriguez, Jr. as its incumbent Mayor and Hon. Jeci A. Lapus as its Congressman.
Originally a part of Zambales and Pampanga, the municipality contains the Capas National Shrine an Obelisk with a central bell, which was built and is maintained by the Philippine government as a memorial to the Filipino and American soldiers who died in Camp O'Donnellat Barangay Navy. during the end of the Bataan Death March. This is an important site related to Veterans Day in the Philippines, every April 9, the anniversary of the surrender of the combined US and Philippine forces to the Japanese in 1942. Capas is Bordered by San Jose, Tarlac on the North, Tarlac City on the North-East, Concepcion, Tarlac on the East, Botolan, Zambales on the West and South West and Bamban, Tarlac on the rest of the southern parts.
The feast day of San Nicolas De Tolentino is held every 10 September; the origin of the name Capas is disputed but has two prominent sources, it is said that town was either named after the edible plant called Capas-Capas or was taken from the first three letters of the surnames Capitulo, Capunfuerza, Capunpue, Capili, Capongga, Capunpun, Capati, Capadosa, Capil and Capuno etc. then adding the letters "a" and "s" hence forming "Capas".

Bamban is a 3rd class municipality in the province of TarlacPhilippines.[1] According to the latest census, it has a population of 61,644 people in 9,113 households.
The municipality of Bamban is the southernmost gateway of the melting pot province of Tarlac in the Central Plain of Luzon in the Philippines. The Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption and the subsequent flow of lava and mud to the lowlands of Bamban forced residents to move out or to stay at the Dapdap Resettlement Area, which is on higher grounds.
Being the southernmost town, it has a common boundary with Mabalacat, Pampanga, and in the west, with Zambales. The boundary is defined by the Parua River, which is a source of irrigation water, food, and sand and gravel for infrastructure projects. The mountainous region situated in the western part comprises almost two-thirds of the total land area, which used to be within the US Military Reservations. Nestled in this part are the BLISS projects and to the north, the MAR settlement project, which when completely developed will be a source of livelihood and food supplies for Central Luzon.

Long before settlers came, the place which was to become the town of Bamban, was a vast track of wild land extending eastward; and on the west side, composed of foothills and mountains lush with vegetation and tall trees extending deep into the Zambales ranges. The thick forest and mountains were then inhabited by the Aetas (locally known as Baluga), and the Sambals, both of whom subsisted only on fishing and native or wild animals which abounded in the place. Occasionally, daring traders from Pampanga and the Tagalog province, mostly enterprising Chinese, braved the wilderness to go northward to Capas and Tarlac.
Before the advent of the Spanish era, small settlers came, attracted by the fertile land and the glittering silver of the river that cut through the mountain to spill down the flat land, making it fertile. The settlers started small clearings in the thick growth of bamban plants which covered vast portions of the land bordering the river a small distance from the foothills.(because of these plants, the place was eventually named Bamban).
Settlers upon settlers came to carve clearings in the land, and soon a small community was formed. About 1700, Agustinian Recollects came and established the Mission de Pueblos de Bamban. But the pueblo was then a part of Pampanga. In 1837, a new boundary line was established, thereby permanently making Bamban part of the province of Tarlac.
Official recognition as a town was sanctioned by the gobernadorcillo in the town of Tarlac. Don Martin Sibal was subsequently appointed head and commissioned with the rank of "Capitan". Among the first settlers were the Sibals, Lugtu, Dayrit, Macale, Vergara, Manipon, and Dela Cruz clans. During the revolution of 1896, Bamban was one of the first towns to take up arms against the Spaniards. Northwest of the town situated among the hills are remnants of strongholds built by brave bands of Bambanenses who joined Gen. Servilliano Aquino in the uprising in Tarlac. Up to this time, a portion of the foothills in the area is called "Batiawan" or look-out point. Many a brave son died in this movement for liberation.
When the Americans came in 1900, the small pueblo gradually grew into a teeming town. The Bamban Sugar Central was established and further gave impetus to its growth. Don Pablo Lagman was the first to be appointed presidente and Don Laureano Campo as vice-presidente under the American military government. Other prominent families then took over the helm of government. During the Commonwealth era, the Sibals, the Lumboys, the Santoses, the Punsalangs, to mention a few, enjoyed political power until the outbreak of World War II.
Bamban is like the legendary phoenix, which must be resurrected from its ashes. The whole poblacion was devastated and burned during the liberation. Undaunted, the people returned from hiding and began rebuilding even while the campaign was raging deep in the mountains. Growth was fast because of proximity of Clark Air Base. But Bamban can not be the same again. The aftermath of the war was felt for a long time. Consequently, prominent families left the town for the city to establish big business and names for themselves.

This is the untold history of Capas and Bamban Tarlac and the Servillano Aquino Estate.

Here are some of my recent findings, not as a professional historian, but as a curious individual.

These findings are based on commercial and legal documents whose original purposes were for documentation as required by law and contracts.

Yet, such documents are a very important source of history.

After all, history is sourced from documents, not the other way around.

Now, let us proceed to the untold history.

Here is what history books do not tell us. This origin is taken from a document. Remember, documents were not written for history. There were encoded and entered as transactions in the ordinary course of business on a day to day basis. Unlike history, documents do not make up angles or perspectives or interpretations.

One document, a certificate of land title, numbered OCT-01-4 which was created formally in 1764 (yes, it's that old), was preserved, and re-constituted, and re-created and re-registered whenever the land registration laws changed over the years, contains certain annotations at the back.

One such annotation is relevant to:

Capas and Bamban Tarlac and the Servillano Aquino Estate.

This annotation was dated Feb 7, 1899 and the annotation was numbered DC-074 S-2-7-1899.

Entry No EDC 073-S-2-6 1898, Real Estate Mortgage amounting to U.S. dollar 20,000,000.00 secured by this Land Title OCT No. T-01-4, embracing the area of Hacienda Mabiga, Pampanga, Kuliat and Capaz, Tarlac to Banco Español-Filipino has been cancelled and this released forever of Real Estate Mortgage has been executed by the Bank in favor of the owner with the full payment of said principal loan and an interest US Dollar 2,000,000.00, the payment of which has broken as follows: General Miguel Malvar correspondingly acquired the area of Tanauan, Batangas and had paid the account of US Dollar 3,300,000.00; Don Servillano Aquino acquired the whole area of Bamban and Capaz, Tarlac and correspondingly paid the account the sum of US Dollar 3,300,000.00; General Antonio Luna acquired the whole San Miguel, Tarlac and La Paz, Tarlac and he paid the account of US Dollar 2,000,000.00, the land was given as a gift to his girlfriend, Miss Luisita Cojuangco: Don Mariano Tayag acquired the area of Kuliat and Mabiga 1,500 hectares (Pampanga) correspondingly paid the account, the sum of US Dollar 3,300,000.00; Don Francisco Macabulos acquired the area of Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac and had paid correspondingly the account, the sum of US Dollar 2,400,000.00; Don Juan Ejercito acquired absolutely the San Juan Del Monte Hacienda embracing up to Sitio Mandaluyong consisting an area of 3,154 hectares and had correspondingly paid the account of US Dollar 3,300,000.00 and DonEsteban Benitez Tallano (Tagean) maintained his rights being the owner over the unacquired Estate and had paid the balance of 6,600,000.00 U.S. Dollar.
Ad Interim Land Registrar
February 7, 1899

What does the above transactional annotation document in the land title OCT-01-4 tell us?

It tells us what history books have failed to capture.

1. Don Servillano Aquino had US$3.3 million.

(He was the grandfather of Ninoy Aquino, and the great grandfather of Noynoy Aquino III, the president of the Philippines from 2010-)

2.  We did not know how he obtained such amount.

This annotation is about the redemption of Hacienda Mabiga from Banco Espanol-Filipino with a principal loan amount of $20 million with interest of US$2 million per annum.

Note the names of the people involved in this annotation. General Servillano Aquino, and Francisco Macabulos, General Antonio Luna were revolutionary generals.

Where did these generals get millions of dollars?

And how come these generals were the ones who redeemed the Real Estate Mortgage of Hacienda Mabiga from Banco Espanol-Filipino (now Bank of the Philippine Islands or BPI?)

In an earlier annotation to this title, in fact the immediately preceding annotation, the Tallano mortgaged Hacienda Mabiga to Banco Espano-Filipino (now BPI). (See separate article on this annotation).

Note that Hacienda Mabiga was mortaged by Tallano family with Banco Espanol-Filipino for US$20 million and this amount was the same money used by the US government to the Spain as payment for the Philippines under the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.

Also, note that this annotation was dated Feb 7, 1899. This was after the Treaty of Paris (Dec 10, 1898) for which the United States paid US$20 million to Spain.

In another annotation, you will be able to cross-corroborate that the Tallano family was the source of the US$20 million used by the Americans to pay the Spaniards!

In another notation, you will also be able to cross-correlate the money paid to the Revolutionary Leaders also came from the Tallano Family.

3.  Don Servillano Aquino  purchased land from the  Esteban Benitez Tallano.

4. The total land area covered Bamban and Capaz, Tarlac.

Today, Bamban is about 25,200 hectares and Capas is about 37,600 hectares. Note the boundaries in 1899 does not necessarily coincide with today's boundaries.

5. The annotation was signed by Benito Legarda, the ad interim Land Registar.

As you have noticed, the annotations and the history accounts dovetail in agreement.

This is what the history books failed to capture, but in reality was documented not by a historian, but by an officer who was doing his work in the ordinary course of business on day to day basis.

And this is a validation, once again, of the existence, the validity, and the authenticity of Torrens Title OCT-01-4 issued in favor of

"Prince Lacan Acuña Tallano Tagean (formerly Tagean Clan), married with
Princess Rowena Ma. Elizabeth Overbeck Macleod of Austria,
the owner in Fee simple of certain lands, known as HACIENDA FILIPINA"

(email me to get a scanned copy of the title issued by the register of deeds)

Note: The early transcriptions were in Spanish but the government had its translated into English through the efforts of then Solicitor General Felix Makasiar under Pres. Diosdado Macapagal (who later become Chief Justice under Marcos). Therefore, the government itself has consistently recognized the validity and the authenticity of OCT 01-4.

History from original source documents! What a refreshing perspective!


  1. Its great to know this. hahaha . . Where did these revolutionary leaders get their millions of US dollars? Looted from the Spanish regime and not surrendered to the revolutionary government? I could imagine how Aguinaldo had as his share. And may be this was among the causes of the conspiracy to oust and murder Andres Bonifacio.

  2. Its great to know this. hahaha . . Where did these revolutionary leaders get their millions of US dollars? Looted from the Spanish regime and not surrendered to the revolutionary government? I could imagine how Aguinaldo had as his share. And may be this was among the causes of the conspiracy to oust and murder Andres Bonifacio.

  3. Where did these revolutionary leaders get their millions of US dollars to pay for the haciendas? Looted from the Spanish regime and not surrendered to the revolutionary government? I could imagine how much was the share of Emilio Aguinaldo. Was this a major cause in a conspiracy to oust and murder Andres Bonifacio?

  4. Anonymous12:12 AM

    I supposed some self-declared heroes were murderers with personal vested interest.