Monday, December 29, 2014

Touching Base with Our Pangasinan Roots

My sister, Betta, decided to spend her annual (2014) one week time-share at an unlikely location--the Municipality of Lingayen in the Province of Pangasinan. She booked six nights at the El Puerto Marina Beach Resort. She and her son, Sijbren, stayed the first three nights and she gifted me and Selina the latter three nights.

Lingayen is best known as the American liberation landing site (mostly US Navy and some Royal Australian Navy) in January 1945 at the latter part of World War 2 (less than a year before the Japanese officially surrendered in September 1945).

During the initial landing, 68,000 troops were landed. A total of 203,608 landed in subsequent landings. Once ashore, MacArthur commanded over 280,000 men (more than Eisenhower in Europe). Lingayen then served as a vast supply depot for the Battle of Luzon until the end of the War (and, incidentally, led to the name of MacArthur Highway, which stretches from Aringay, La Union to Caloocan, Metro Manila).

In my case, Lingayen has greater significance than its WW2 exploits. It is the birthplace of my mother's paternal family line--the Padilla Family--and perhaps the most influential in terms of my upbringing. No doubt, Betta brought Sijbren to Lingayen not only to enjoy the local scenery but also to touch base with our Pangasinan roots.

The following quote in italics was written entirely by my first cousin, Lucas Antonio Madamba Padilla (

"My Padilla line is from Pangasinan (Lingayen, Sual, and Bugallon) and descends from one Maria Padilla (we took her surname). Her son is Vicente Padilla who in turn had two sons, Narciso and Tomas. Narciso, a lawyer, moved to Manila and became a regidor in the Royal Audencia and a rather prosperous landowner especially along what is now known as Escolta. Narciso had a son and a daughter. His son, Jose Sabino Padilla, became a canon of the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral. Narciso's daughter, Maria Barbara, married a lawyer by the name of Eduardo Resurreccion-Hidalgo. One of their children is the painter Felix Resurreccion-Hidalgo, contemporary and friend of Juan Luna.

Narciso's brother Tomas remained in Pangasinan where he was a prosperous businessman engaged in shipping and rice trading. He had several offspring, among them are Bishop Antonio Ma. Padilla, Padre Tomas Padilla, and my great-grandfather, Nicanor Escobar Padilla, one of the first doctors produced by the University of Santo Tomas.

Dr. Nicanor Escobar Padilla was also a colonel and Chief of the Medical Corps in the army of General Antonio Luna. He was called upon to served his province and country as a member of the Philippine Assembly of 1907 representing Pangasinan.

Nicanor Escobar Padilla (born 1851 and died 1936) was married twice. His first wife died in the cholera epidemic of 1888. His second wife was Ysabel Pena Bibby. From this union came the following offspring: Narciso B. Padilla (married to Concepcion Paterno), Justice Sabino B. Padilla (married to Dominga de los Reyes), Augusto B. Padilla (married to Natividad Angeles), Congressman Benedicto B. Padilla (married to Ingeborg Shutze), Felix B. Padilla (married to Noemi Guerrero), Carmen B. Padilla (married to Eduardo Lesaca), Dra. Florencia B. Padilla (married to Dr. Jose N. Dualan), Senator Ambrosio B. Padilla (married to Lourdes de las Alas), and Dr. Nicanor B. Padilla Jr. (married to Lourdes Potenciano). They also have an older half-sister (from Nicanor's first marriage), Aurora Padilla (married to Dr. Hilarion Caniza).

My particular line is descended from Justice Sabino B. Padilla and Dominga de los Reyes."

Highlights of our visit to Lingayen include crossing Dr. Nicanor Padilla Bridge, visiting Padilla Elementary School (former residence of Dr. Nicanor Padilla and donated by the Padilla Family to the government public school system) and driving along Don Nicanor and Padilla Streets in the heart of Lingayen. Note the Lingayen Airport, which is about 40 minutes away from Rancho Caridad by air on my ultralight aircraft.

Dr. Nicanor Padilla Bridge

Looking for the Historical Plaque

The Historical Plaque on the Bridge

The rest of our tour of Northwestern Pangasinan--from Lingayen to Sual, Alaminos (Hundred Islands), Anda and Bolinao
El Puerto Marina's Pet Arapaima (native to the Amazon River), around 5 feet long with a girth larger than my thigh
Note how far the breakwater (deep water and strong waves) is located
Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort, Bolinao
Resident turtles at Puerto Del Sol
Coastline along Bolinao; another potential landing location for an amphibious plane ;)

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