Early Members of the Cabahug Family

Population Distribution

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Records from the Spanish period in the Philippines contain significant information on the early history of the Cabahug family.  The "Protocolus", which is similar to Notary records, contains entries for land transactions, wills, grants of power-of-attorney, while church records shows family relations.  The information gained from these records gives a glimpse of the Cabahug family in the 19th century and allows speculation on family activity and movement.  In preparing this story of the Cabahug family, we relied critically on the assumption that all individuals with Cabahug ancestry are part of one family.

The Earliest Family Members:  The 19th century Spanish records give us the names of two Cabahug ancestors who were born in the last half of the 18th century.  In the Protocols, a 1869 will of Maria Nazarena Cabahug declares her parents to be Jacinto Andres and Maria Estefa, while the 1845 marriage record of Francisco Manuel (later Francisco Cabahug) at the Church in Liloan includes his parents, Josef Silvestre and Beronica Isabel.  For both Jacinto Andres and Josef Silvestre, the respective records state that they were born in and were of residents (naturales y vecinos) of Mandaue.  Note that prior to 1945, Liloan was part of Mandaue.  Finally, a 1843 copy of the baptismal record of Maria Estefa shows that she was baptized at St. Joseph's in Mandaue in 1782.  This last record is proof that at least one of these early family members was born in Mandaue.

Protocolos Entries:  The Protocolos covers the period from 1818 to 1902, however, it is rare that family members can be identified in these records prior to 1850.  In addition, because of the nature of the records, only relatively wealthy individuals recorded their transactions in the Protocolos.  Fortunately, members of the Cabahug family were among the prosperous residents of Cebu.

Members of the Cabahug family found in the Protocolos are listed in Table 1.  Most of these entries deal with the purchase and sale of land, or record the grant of a power-of-attorney.  The records identify 22 different family members who lived in the last half of the 19th century.  Of these, ten are recorded as residents of Mandaue and two others owned land in Mandaue and are likely to have been residents.  Of the remaining family members, four lived elsewhere; Felix Cabahug in Cebu City, likely in the Parian, Juan Cabahug in Liloan, Mariano Cabahug in Tabogon, a town in northern Cebu and Telesforo Cabahug, in Libulan, a town in Negros, near Dumaguete City.  Finally, Antonio Cabahug and two of his daughters appear in the Protocolos records of Negros and Iloilo.  They were residents of Cadiz in northern Negros.

These findings show a prosperous Cabahug family well established in Mandaue by the second half of the 19th century.  They also give indications of possible movement of family members to other areas of Cebu and neighboring islands.  In particular, both Bartolome and Modesto Cabahug owned land in Borbon, showing family interest in the northern towns.  And, church records indicate that Mariano Cabahug, though a resident of Tabogon, was a native of Mandaue.

Church Records:   Church records provide an alternate view of the Cabahug family in the 19th century.  These records have the advantage of including family members from all levels of society.  However, the records of many churches have been lost, often due to the ravages of World War II.  Most unfortunately, this is the case for the records of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Mandaue.  Church records from Bogo, Liloan and San Remigio in Cebu have been most helpful and, as mentioned above, the records from Liloan helped identify one of the earliest family members.  In addition, the records from Loay, in Bohol and of Allen, in Northern Samar, have established the early presence of Cabahug families on those islands.

Table II lists members of the Cabahug family found in the church records.  In this case, only the earliest member of each family is listed, usually identified as the parent of his or her child.  The list starts with an exceptional record of the baptism of Maria Estefa at St. Joseph's Church in Mandaue in 1872.  The record shows that Maria Estefa, who was the wife of Jacinto Andres, was born in Mandaue and was a mestiza.

The church records from Liloan, Bogo and San Remigio each yielded several early members of the Cabahug family.  Records from Liloan not only idenify the families of Juan, Blas and Francisco Cabahug, but also lead to the names of their parents, Josef Silvestre and Beronica Maria.  Both Silvestre and Beronica were born before 1800, very likely in Historic Mandaue, placing them with the earliest known ancestors of the Cabahug fammily.

The records from Bogo contain entries for Cabahug family members starting in the late 1800's.  This is, however, deceptive, since many of these individuals lived in Tabogon, the town south of Bogo and the baptisms recorded in Bogo are not for their first child.  For example, Felisa was the 8th child of Hilario Cabahug.  Further, the record of Hilario's death indicates he was born in Tabogon about 1857.  Hilario was the son of Mariano Cabahug, who appears in the Protocolos in 1875 as a resident of Tabogon.  Importantly, the marriage record of Mariano's son, Felix Cabahug, states that Felix was born in Mandaue, about.  This raises interesting questions about the when Mariano arrived in northern Cebu.

Several other Cabahug individuals are from the records of the Bogo church are included in Table II.  A number of these are from Tabogon and are presumed to be children of Mariano Cabahug.  Two important exceptions are Cristina Cabahug and Benito Cabahug.  Cristina Cabajug was the daughter of Julio Cabahug and Catalina, both residents of Pinamungahan, Cebu.  Benito Cabahug was the son of Januario Cabahug and Felisicima Barte, who resided in Mandaue, thus providing another connection to the Cabahug family of Mandaue.

The records from San Remigio, also contain several Cabahug families, add a new twist to our search.  The main Cabahug family found in these records is that of Francisco Cabahug.  He apparently came to San Remigio well before 1865 with a large family.  He is the father or grandfather of most of the individuals found in the church records prior to 1900.  Most interesting, several entries indicate that Francisco came from Bohol, though the exact location varies.  This unexpected mention of Bohol makes it likely that Francisco and family lived in Bohol prior to arriving in San Remigio.

Three other individuals found in the church records are mentioned in Table II; Vidal Cabahug, Gabino Cabahug and Antonio Cabahug.  Both Vidal and Antonio also came from Bohol, as indicated in the records.  In contrast, Gabino Cabahug came from Liloan and was the son of Blas Cabahug.  Gabino represents another example of family members relocating to northern Cebu.

Church records from Loay, Bohol and Allen, Samar add add additional complexity to the distrbution of Cabahug families in the late 1800s.  For Loay, Table II lists six individuals found in the Loay, Bohol church records, who represent the earliest member of their respective families.  The first four individuals had children born in Loay after 1852, the earliest birth records available.  This suggests they were born no later than 1840, and in most cases considerably earlier.  Elias Cabajog and Gabriel Cabajog are only mentioned in the baptismal record of their grandchild.  Based on the records these last two individuals would have been born in the early 1800.  Since the surname of their wives is common in Loay, it is likely all of these individuals were long time residents of that town and most were likely born there.

Finally, Table II lists three Cabahug individuals found in the church records of Allen, Northern Samar.  Since these records begin in 1905, the information available very limited.  However, Pablo Cabajog, whose granddaughter was baptized in Allen, died their in 1920.  His death records gives his age as 90 years and names his parents as Pedro Cabajog and Maria Fenes, both natives of Matnog, Sorsogon.  Even if Pablo's age was incorrect, which is often the case in early records, he was likely born in the early 1800's and that Pedro Cabajog was probably born before 1800.

Civil Register:  To gain a more comprehensive picture of where Cabahug families lived at the end of the 19th century, we used the Civil Register for the period 1922-1932, which are preserved in the Philippine National Archives in Manila.  This set of Registers cover nearly all towns and cities in the Philippines.  Determining the number of marriages for a Cabahug family member, defined as a person who has a parent with the Cabahug surname, gives an indication of where family members were living in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

The results of our survey are presented in Table III.  The largest concentration of Cabahug family members in the towns of Mandaue, Consolacion, and Liloan, which comprise the original town of Mandaue.  It is here that the earliest known family members lived; one in Mandaue proper and one in Liloan an outlying settleent.  In addition to Historic Manadue, the towns of Borbon, Tabogon, Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin and Daabantayan in northern Cebu, had a significant population of Cabahug families.  A few marriages of indigenous inhabitants are also found in Balamban, Carmen, Catmon, and Toledo. 

Outside Cebu concentrations of Cabahug families are found in Allen, Northern Samar; Bilar, Loay, and Sevilla, in south central Bohol; Cadiz, in Negros; and Ormoc, Leyte.  of these locations still have a significant population of Cabahug families.

Finally, it is important to note the absence of evidence of a population of Cabahug families in Cebu City, where all the Cabahug partners were born elsewhere in Cebu. This is of interest, because the Cabahug family of Historic Mandaue was undoubtedly of Chinese ancestry and Chinese residents and their mesitzo descendants were restricted to the Parian until the late 1700s (see Historical Background. The result imply that the ancestral family who founded the Cabahug Clan moved to Historic Mandaue did not leave any family members in the Parian. Thus, when the Cabajug name was adopted in 1850, no close relatives were living in Cebu City. This also suggests that Felix Cabahug, who was an resident of the Parian in the later 1800's, probably relocated there from Mandaue after he became a prominent lawyer.

Conclusions:  The information summarized above gives a picture of the Cabahug family in the 19th century. It shows the prominence of the family in Mandaue in terms of wealth and social status. It identies two early ancestors of the family, who, very likely, were born in Historic Mandaue in the late 1700's. Further, these early ancestors were probably members of single family which migrated out of the Parian shortly after 1760.

In addition to the Cabahug family of Historic Mandaue, we have identified seven other locations in the Visayan Islands which had populations of Cabahug families. They are the towns of Borbon, Tabogon and Bogo, in north eastern Cebu; San Remigio, Medellin and Daabantayan, in northern Cebu; Cadiz, in Negros; Allen, in Samar; Ormoc, in Leyte; Sevilla and Bilar in central Bohol; and Loay in south central Bohol. This grouping is based on details in the information from Table I, Table II and Table III.

A key question and one of the driving forces of the study is: Do all these Cabahug families belong to one, connected family. This assumption was important in the efforts of the late Dr. Bonifacio Cabahug, Jr., who founded and energized the Cabahug Clan of Mandaue. The information presented here gives some evidenc which connects several families in northern Cebu to Mandaue. However, in other cases it identifies families whose origin dates also to the early 1800's with no indication of a connection to Mandaue. Further discussion of this question is found at this link.

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