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.  Further, 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 18 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 be 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, no indication of the residents of two family members is given in the records.  These findings identify prosperous members of the Cabahug family and show that the center of family activity was in 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.  The records of the churches in Bogo, Liloan and San Remigio have been most helpful and, as mentioned above, the records from Liloan helped identify one of the earliest family members.

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 Bogo, Liloan and San Remigio each yielded several early members of the Cabahug family.  The earliest are three brothers, Juan, Blas and Francisco Cabahug who lived in Liloan, and were the children of Josef Silvestre.  The brothers each had an extensive families, which are documented elsewhere. 

The records from San Remigio also contain several members of the Cabahug family who lived there as early as 1865.  The entry pertaining to Domingo Cabahug indicates he was born in San Remigio, which implies his parents were in San Remigio in the early 1800's.  For other family members, the records indicate they came from Bohol:  Francisco Cabahug and Vidal Cabahug from Tubigon and Antonio from Maribojoc.  These entries raise interesting questions concerning their relation to other family members.

Finally, 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.  This and other information show that Cabahug family members were in Bogo and Tabogon significantly earlier then the dates shown in Table II.

Civil Register:  The information available in the Protocols and the Church Records suggest that the Cabahug family of the 19th century lived along the northeastern and northern coasts of Cebu, with a large part of the family living in Mandaue.  However, these records are incomplete in there coverage.  To further study the distribution of family members, we surveyed the set of Civil Registers preserved in the Philippine National Archives in Manila.  These Registers approximately cover the years 1922 to 1932 and are available for nearly all towns and cities in Cebu.  Determining the number of marriages for a Cabahug family member, 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 results show the largest concentration of Cabahug family members is found in the towns of Mandaue, Consolacion, and Liloan, which comprised the original town of Mandaue.  It is here that the earliest known family members lived; one in Mandaue proper and one in Liloan.  A second sizable group of family members is found the northern Cebu, comprising the towns of Borbon, Tabogon, Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin and Daanbantayan.  Finally, two smaller groups, are found in Carmen and Catmon and in Balamban and Toledo.

In considering these results, it is important to know whether the Cabahug bride or groom was born in that town.  Only locally born individuals would indicate a local Cabahug population in the community.  In most cases, however, the individuals born elsewhere are from a neighboring town and the difference has little affect.  Such is case for Consolacion, where five of the Cabahug partners were born in Liloan.  The concentration of Cabahug families in Mandaue, Consolacion and Liloan is unaffected.

The birthplace of the Cabahug partner is significant for the towns of Aloguisan, Opon and Talisay and for Cebu City.  In these cases, the results suggest the absence of a local Cabahug population in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  This conclusion is reasonable for Aloguisan, Naga, Opon and Talisay, but the result for Cebu City must be considered further.  True, all five marriages found in Cebu City involved a Cabahug partner from elsewhere, however, the available Registers only covered the years 1922, 1923 and 1925.  This is about one-third of the coverage for the other locations studied and it is easy to imagine several marriages might be found in missing years.  Still, considering the relatively large population of Cebu City, it is surprising no local marriages were found, even with the limited coverage.

Conclusion: Overall, the information presented above, shows that, at the end of the 1800's, Cabahug family members lived in the northern and northeastern coasts of Cebu, with their major concentration of population and prosperous family members in the original town of Mandaue.  Further, this was likely the distribution of family members in Cebu during the second half of the 19th century.  Our thoughts on these results are presented on an accompanying page.

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