My family in Bicol Region is bigger than in Bukidnon

By Marcial Estevez Tuanqui, Jr.


“So, this explains why, I always had a soft spot, for Albay, in my heart. My Family here is larger than back home in Bukidnon. If Albayanos only knew that I have been here many times, just to hang out, help out and unwind.” As Senator Migz Zubiri reads thru the documents from the “Metuanqui historical files”. So, my great-great-great-grandfather is Ignacio Calleja, so that establishes my relationship with the intellectual Calleja Family, as he continued to scan and ask questions mesmerized by the biggest and longest family tree in his latest book – and the provinces’ first, on local genealogy in Bicol Region, claimed by renowned Bicol historian Dr. Danny Gerona.

The Imperial-Sarte-Estevez-Tuanqui family historian, Marcial Lito Estevez Tuanqui Jr. the former Vice Governor of Albay, president of Albay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Vice President & Board Member of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a banker turned history enthusiast who will release his new edition book this Christmas. “The Old Family Trees of Albay Province” features a detailed and enhanced genealogy book of thirty prominent families that helped make Albay what it is today.


“The Old Family Trees of Albay Province” features the much bigger and deeper CALLEJA FAMILY, that now includes the Zubiri connection to Albay roots in the 8th generation. Sen. Migz Zubiri maternal ancestors in the Municipal of Libon in the province of Albay is traced to Juan Calleja and his wife, Sylvestra Casitas, the progenitor of the Calleja Family in Libon, Albay in 1853. The union bore three children. Salome Calleja-Libon, Albay, Naga Ctiy, Camarines Sur & Camarines Norte, Andres Calleja (Bacacay, Sto Domingo, Albay & Leyte lineage), and Marcial Calleja, where the Malinao and Bacacay, Legazpi City, Albay, Sorsogon lineage are presently located. This lineage, among others, produced Albay Governors, Gov. Manuel M. Callija & Nicanor Seva Jr., Dr. Homobono Calleja, a renowned cardiologist, and at present, nationally known lawyer, Atty Howard Calleja.


A son of Salome Calleja, Ignacio Calleja, married Aquilina Maronilla and their offsprings were Albay Governor Manuel Calleja and Pilar M. Calleja who married Bartolome Fernandez, whose parents were Manuel P. Fernandez and Mamerta Seda. Bartolome’s sister, Lina S. Fernandez was married to David Imperial, whose offspring founded the Imperials of Daraga, Albay- the local town officials who became national figures in the Philippine government from the turn of the century to the present.


Bartolome and Pilar Calleja Fernandez produced seven (7) children. Ramon Sr., Felix, Augusto, Herminia, Lourdes, Bartolome Jr. and Dr. Manuel C. Fernandez Sr. The eldest Ramon Fernandez became the Secretary of Justice` and later on Supreme Court Justice.


His brother, Dr. Manuel Fernandez Sr. is the pioneer of the Makati Medical Center in Makati City. He married Rosita Ocampo and their union bore three children. Their only son is Dr. Manuel O. Fernandez, who was one-time head of the Cosmetic Surgery Section of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center and was the first to introduce liposuction in the Philippines in 1983.


One of his two sisters, Ma. Victoria O. Fernandez was married to Governor Jose Maria Rubin Zubiri Jr.. This blissful marriage produced two daughters named Beatrice and Stephanie while their three sons, now follow the footsteps of their father in government service. Jose F. Zubiri III, Manuel F. Zubiri and Juan Miguel “MIGS” F. Zubiri, who is now a senator of the Philippines.


The featured Albay families (30) have been reviewed and praised by Bishop Joel Baylon of Diocese of Legazpi, and internationally renowned Bicol historian, Danny Gerona. The glossy pages hardbound coffee table book is a well-balanced content with 327 photo illustrations of the families of Albay who have contributed to the peace and progress in the Province of Albay. The first-ever genealogy-focused book can be ordered thru the author’s email address metuanqui@yahoo.com