Saturday, May 28, 2005

Genealogy: The Osmeña Family of Cebu

Pictured above is a clearer graph of the Osmena family tree, only as far as I am able to provide with names from reliable sources.  One can look at the names and maybe relate them to known ancestors.  Updated this 4th day of March 2013.

*******UPDATES BELOW*******

The Old Parian, a still extant district though now largely in the minds of the old folks of Cebu was home to many of Cebu’s old families. Present descendants of these families have now scattered to different cities and provinces of the archipelago, and even locally, have dispersed across the now burgeoning metropolitan areas of Cebu province.

But many can trace their lineage to that history-rich, very well defined as to be exclusive, and very patriarchical district that once dominated the economic activities of the old city. Its ethnic composition then was as varied and diverse as societies go when many ethnic groups start living together. Mestizos of different mixtures – from Spanish and Chinese, To Spanish and Filipino, to even peninsular Spanish with insular Spanish, and what have you.

Out of that sizzling melting pot came the family of my mother, the Osmeña family, carrying the unique ethnic label of Mestizo-Sangley. That would be Chinese and Spanish or other Asian mixture.

For this one particular Old Parian family, its present recorded history begins in the 1800s, with one Severino Osmeña, who had married twice in his lifetime. The first wife was Vicenta Rita, who must have died before Severino took on second wife, Paula Suico.

My maternal grandmother, Fernanda Osmeña, came from Severino’s first marriage, one generation later. And she had six other siblings in her family.

On the other hand, the most famous of the Osmeñas, Sergio Osmeña, Sr., second President of the Philippine Commonwealth, owed his origins to Severino’s second union, again one generation later. Similarly, Sergio, Sr., also had two wives during his lifetime.

Sergio, Sr. now graces the fifty-peso bill of the present Republic of the Philippines, with a countenance that clearly shows his Chinese origins.

Sergio, Jr., a son of Sergio, Sr., was no less noted, becoming a Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and figuring prominently during the chaotic regime of the virtual dictator Marcos.

At present, Sergio III, a son of Sergio, Jr., proudly continues the much heralded political tradition of the family, sitting as a revered Senator in the Philippine Senate. Another son, Tomas, is the mayor of the city.

UPDATES: February 24, 2008

Book cover of Life in Old Parian, written by Concepcion G. Briones, whose own family once lived in Parian.

Below is a crude graph showing the Osmena genealogy starting with Severino Osmena, who was married twice - first to Vicenta Rita then to Paula Sunico.

From the inside leaf covers of the Old Parian book are two maps, one a street map and another in 3D relief.

Click on Graphics for larger views.

Here's a rare picture of my grandmother, Fernanda Osmena Velez, with one of her three daughters, my mother.


  1. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Hi! I'm the great grandson of the brother of Sergio Osmeña Sr. I'm Earl Gordon Osmeña.

  2. Hi, Earl:

    Can you provide us with more names of your ancestors so I can include them in the Osmena family tree?

    Thanks in advance and it is nice to know your acquaintance.

  3. Anonymous7:47 AM

    This is Earl again... I'm gonna ask my Dad about the family.

  4. Anonymous5:00 AM

    My dad also lives in CA! in Corona. :] -Earl Gordon Osmeña

  5. That's nice, Earl.

    But right now I am on an extended stay in the old hometown.

    While a sister still lives in Cebu, I yet have to visit the original place of the Osmenas.

  6. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Hi! I'm just wondering who is that Jose Osmena with a question mark below Sergio Sr.? (From the Osmena family tree illustration). Where did he come from? Can you please give me more details about him because I used to have a certain great grand pa named Jose Pepito Osmena but we couldn't trace him to the family? Have you also heard of a Osmena who was a nun? Thanks!!! Ed from Texas.

  7. Most of the old entries in that tree were taken from the book, Life in Old Parian (mentioned in the blog entry). And I am stumped. I do not know why there is a question mark. Unfortunately my copy of that book is in the US, and I am right now here in Cagayan de Oro.

    Since it is written by a Cebuana, copies I believe can be obtained in Cebu.

  8. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Thanks a lot!

  9. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Hi I'm also wondering who is that Jose Osmeña with the question mark on it. There is a note that nephew of TOMAS. As I carefully study the illustration they have a relative that is a Sister Clarette. My grand mother used to tell me that my great grand father is JOSE PEPITO OSMEÑA. They used to have an acienda in CARCAR. His Mother was a Nun. My grand mother told me that my great grand father JOSE OSMEÑA was adopted by SERGIO OSMEÑA Sr. because it will be a shame in the OSMEÑA clan that an OSMEÑA Nun was pregnant. I saw there in the note that ( ?JOSE OSMEÑA to CARCAR, Nephew of TOMAS). My Grand Father is PAULINO CABILAO OSMEÑA Sr (Former Mandaue City Engineer and Administrative Consultant of DPWH Region7). My Grand Mother is MARIA ERLINDA LUCOB OSMEÑA.

    I hope you can help me with more info. -Michael

    1. Anonymous7:59 AM

      Hello, i hope this could be a little helpful to you...Tomas Osmena,the uncle of Don Sergio had two daughters. One was a nun named Madre Catalina....She looks more Spanish than native Filipino or Sangley/ Chinese.I saw her picture.Her sister,i didn't quite got her name," died of a broken heart..."I got this info from my late grandmother whose mother was a sibling of "Ya Nanday/Fernanda......By the way, the late Sr. Clarette Osmena Ramirez,SSpS has a foundation named after her helping indigenous peoples,women,children,men,giving scholarships....u can visit the site......the sisters clarette and rosario(mercado) foundation.-------(",)

    2. Ya Nanday was my maternal grandmother and is pictured above. So are you descended from Ya Pepang Ramirez?

  10. Michael:

    Here's an excerpt from the book:

    "Another Osmena was Don Jose Osmena who, like Don Pedro Osmena, lived all his life in Carcar. He married Dona Manuela Sarmiento, also of Carcar. No records are available now but knowledgeable Carcaranon oldtimers suggest that Don Jose Osmena could well have been a nephew of either Don Pedro or Don Guillermo, the two sons of Don Severino who really put down their roots in Carcar."

  11. Anonymous11:47 AM

    thank you for that information.

    Jose Vicente "Pepito" Osmeña.... Also I ask my mom about it. She told me that before, when my great grand father died, all of the Osmeña clan went to our Great Grand Father house to pay respect.

    I forgot to mentioned this to you, that we also have an hacienda in Pinamungajan. I hope we can trace this root. -mik

  12. Anonymous9:18 PM

    very good info..

  13. Anonymous6:22 PM

    hi! good day,ako po si jerry, student po ng legal mgt. dito sa cebu sa unibersidad ng san carlos, nais ko po sanang malaman kung kailan namatay ang iyong lolo na severino osmena at vicenta rita, pati na ang iyong lola na c fernanda osmena, kasi may project ko kami ng history, kailangan ko kasi e indicate ung date ng death nila, isa po ang promeninteng pamilyang osmena ang napili sa grupo namin,,,,, sana po, were po, proud that osmena po ang nagpapayaman ng cebu... tanks jerry

  14. Jerry, sorry that I cannot provide dates as you requested, even that of my maternal grandmother Fernanda Osmena who died in the 60's. She is buried in Queen City cemetery in the reclamation area, I believe. Will inquire from my Cebuano relatives.

    Other Osmena relatives in Cebu should be able to provide these.

  15. Anonymous6:53 AM

    Hello Jerry, Severino Osmeña died 1860.

    Hope this will help you.


  16. Anonymous9:14 AM

    tnx poh sir, amadeo, kahit papaanu, meron kaming ma indicate sa year of death nila,, nabasa ko narin poh ung book na glipmse of old Pari An, at ung may akda, ay kamag anak,nunyo. andun poh, ung mga detalye sa na pilit naming namalan, pati nga poh, sa tunay na buhay sa datin nating pres. na si sergio osmena sr. at iba pa.....

    tnx po sa ulit, at sa iyo mik... Godbless

  17. Anonymous10:18 AM

    were almost done, napoh, sa ginagawa naming project, especially family tree poh ng mga osmena, 80% complete nayung project namin, basi poh g research namin, Don Severino Osmena married 2 times, first wife: Don Vicenta Rita at ung second Wife: Paula Suico,tama poh bah Ako, na sa first marriage poh, ni Don Severino Osmena he begot 8 children, and His Second marriage he begot 2 Children:namely, lazaro and Juana Osmena, ina sa yumao nating dating Pres. na c sergio Osmena Sr. nabasa napo namin ung book na isinulatng apo, na direct descendant Ni Eduvige Osmena Anak nina Don Severino at Dona Rita... Kompleto poh kasi ung detalye doon, sinu poh ung magulang ni Donya Fernada? at kailan poh ito namatay?

    Pagkatapus puh namin makuha ung lahat na informasyun, i su-submmit poh namin ito sa Office of the history at CEBU STUDY CENTER, University Of San Carlos Cebu City.

  18. My grandmother's (Fernanda)parents were Victoriano Osmena who married Januaria Cabrera. We can only surmise their years by knowing that a brother (Pedro) of Victoriano died in 1876.

  19. Anonymous2:33 PM

    tnx poh sir! amadeo, sa mga info,,were almost done nah!!!sa project namin,,,,,,

    May God Guide U Always and ur family!!


  20. Anonymous9:32 AM

    last question nlng poh sir Amadeo!!! for submission to our project, when was your grandmother januaria and Victoriano osmena died respectively?

    tnx for helping with us!!

  21. Anonymous8:07 AM

    Hi, I have a question. Do you happened to know a sister of Don Sergio who is a Nun and her name is Selerina (Celerina) Osmeña. She died when she gave birth to Jose Osmeña.

    I would like to confirm this.

    Thank you.

  22. Sorry, I do not have available data on the siblings of Sergio, Sr. But a comment above should be helpful regarding the Osmenas who settled in Carcar.

  23. Anonymous2:41 AM

    Hi, i am thankful for this blog about the genealogy of the osmena's. i was searching for my great grandmother's father. Based on my mother's story ....the name guillermo osmena was my grandmother's father. my great great grandmother served as one of their househelp her name is leoncia concepcion and her daughter is clemencia concepcion my grandmother's mother. I used to search for the documents but can't find one. However, the late pres. osmena and clemencia concepcion used to go to school at the same time they called it interno and interna. Just like to ask if Guillermo Osmena had been married? thanks.

  24. Sorry, Anon 2:41am, I have no info on Guillermo Osmena, though his descendants who read this may be able to provide that.

  25. Anonymous2:42 AM

    earl osmena here... who here knows Manuel A. Osmeña? my dad

  26. Just wondering if someone can help me. My great grandmother's name is Romana Osmena. One of the hidden secret of the Osmena?....she is ? an illegetimate daughter. Apparently she is the first degree cousin of the late President. They said that Sergio even used to visit them sometimes in Ormoc City, Leyte then. It will be good to have the mystery about my connections to the Osmenas of Cebu know. Thanks

    1. How is Romana Osmena related to Faustino Osmena? Father Sergio Sevilla Osmena-Arevalo-Sevilla clan of Leyte? Even Gloria Sevilla, the singer?

  27. Anonymous3:21 AM

    I am very interested to know if Guillermo Osmena had been married and begot children. Because the late President Don Sergio Osmena, Sr. recognized my great grandmother Clemencia Concepcion. He even send his executive secretary Mr. Lozada to Dumanjug, Cebu to look for my great grand mother. However, it was my grandmother and my mother who went to his Office, when they met my mother was given a recommendation by then Pres. Osmena to work in Manila at the Board of Liquidators which is under the Office of the President. So, I am looking for a link in my genealogy with the osmena. My great-grandmother and Pres. Osemena had a blow up picture as if they are twins. So somebody help me this. thanks.

  28. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Hi. My maiden name is Jestine Velez Teehera. My great grandfather was Rodrigo Velez (Married to Felisa). I have always been told that he/we were related to the Osmenas in some way, but I could not see his name on the tree. Could you perhaps give me more information on this please? Thanks.

  29. Jestine, please give me time to go over my voluminous Velez genealogy records to find out about your ancestry. Right now, I have no actionable clue.

  30. Jestine, your family definitely has an Osmena connection. Rodrigo Osmena Velez' (who married Felisa Valencia) parents were Cresencio Velez Climaco (1870-1918} and Maria Osmena. Rodrigo had 10 offspring. So who were your grandparents?

  31. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Hi my name is JP Pasaol Donaire, we are descendant of Paula Gonzalez Osmena in Danao city,,, but we can't trace beyond her information,,, the ancestors Severino is familar to my Mother and so as Pres. Sergio Osmena as 1st cousin of my Great grand mother " paula"> My mother remembered during the death of "Paula" the Osmena's of Cebu was there to pay there respect.

    i would appreciate any added information

  32. Hi Amadeo. I stumbled across your blog several months ago. Only now have I seen the connection I have to you. Your grandma, Fernanda, was the daughter of Victoriano Osmena and Januaria Cabrera, right? Januaria was born Januaria Taguenca-Cabrera y Lucero in Argao and a first cousin of my great (3X)-grandfather Jose Lucero. I can give you your descent from the earliest Luceros to your lola. I think I also have a copy of Victoriano's and Januaria's marriage, which happened in Argao on February 7, 1866.

    1. Anonymous8:57 AM

      Thanks.I can see the family connection more clearly...I always knew we had relatives in Argao.
      For a time there was a steady supply of torta and chicos from that place...My grandmother had a favorite "cousin" well there were two,Lola Susing and her sister Nena(?)...who was from Argao.I asked my elders how did we become relatives with them but no one knew....even my grandaunt
      couldn't answer my question

      I also heard from my grandmother that she heard from her elders that her lola Januaria Cabrera Osmena was a fraile's child....Is there any truth to this?

    2. Hi. Sorry it took me long to answer you. Nah, Januaria was the daughter of Don Geronimo Luis Taguenca Cabrera from Parian and Dona Mauricia Francisca Lucero of Argao. I think the family lore about her being a daughter of a friar was due to her Spanish features. Mauricia was 1/4 Spanish while Geronimo Luis was about one-half Spanish.

    3. Hi. Sorry it took me long to answer you. Nah, Januaria was the daughter of Don Geronimo Luis Taguenca Cabrera from Parian and Dona Mauricia Francisca Lucero of Argao. I think the family lore about her being a daughter of a friar was due to her Spanish features. Mauricia was 1/4 Spanish while Geronimo Luis was about one-half Spanish.

  33. Hi Amadeo, I was wondering if you had more info about the Osmenas. My grandfather is Apolonio Osmena, who was a mayor in cebu and supposedly cousin of Sergio Osmena. I'm trying to put together a family tree but my mom never really talked about her side of the family and now that she's older, it's difficult to get information. Any info you can share is greatly appreciated


    1. Anonymous2:52 PM

      My grandfather is also Apolonio Osmeña, Father of Mario Osmeña, who is my father... who just passed last week ( June 03 2013 ) . Is this Beverly?

      Dan Osmeña

  34. Ccasti05:
    Please look at the updated tree on top of the page and see if you can match the names with any of your known ancestors. The name Apolonio Osmena is not mentioned but maybe his parents can be matched with the other names. Regards.

  35. Anonymous10:25 PM

    any information on the side of lazaro osmena?

  36. My name is David Murillo, the son of Romeo Osmena Murillo, the son of Susan(a) Osmena who was married to Santos Cortes Murillo ca. 1930. I am researching my Lola Susans's side of the family as well as Lolo Santos' side. Any help on this matter is very much appreciated. All I know is she was a descendant from the Gandionco side. Thank you so much.

  37. Anonymous5:58 PM

    david..,, if im correct your father is married to clarita?, and that the late lazaro who is married to celestina has 7 children namely ambrosio, apolonio gregorio, juan, marciano(my lolo) susana and simeona.


    1. Anonymous12:11 PM

      Bing, you are right, Clarita Delima Cordova. What is your full name? We are related?

    2. Anonymous10:30 PM

      bing osmena gumban

  38. Hi there, I *just* found out that my relatives are connected to Pres. Sergio Osmena, the connection is below. I viewed your family tree and am not seeing my relative, Luisa Cala y Suico, listed. Do you happen to have her mentioned anywere? Thanks for any help...Caren de la Cruz (Maria Jahrling Rodriguez is my great grandmother)

    We are realated to Pres. Sergio Osmena. Your
    > grandmother Maria Jahrling Rodriguez and my Dad Valerio were the cousins of
    > Sergio because Sergio's mother Juana Osmena was a first cousin of Maria and
    > Valerio's mother, Luisa Cala y Suico.

  39. It appears your relationship is with the Suicos since the mother of Juana was named Paula Suico. And I do not have names for the Suicos. Good luck in your search. Or maybe somebody reading this may be able to provide the connections.

  40. Hi . Im Jose Paulo Osmeña , my Grandfather name is Dominador Osmeña i dont know if we are related to the Osmeña Clan. But based on my grandma`s story my Grandfather Dominador Osmeña is with Sergio Osmeña jr in Plaza miranda to support him.. that was the day when the plaza miranda bombing happen.


  41. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Hi Mr. Amadeo, just like to know if you have any information regarding the wife of tomas osmeña (is it faustina or agustina rafols?) as shown in the family tree and the nun and the mercado's.


  42. bing please contact me :

  43. Aloha ! My grandfather is Rodrigo Osmena Velez . And he used to lived at 47 El Filibisterismo St. Cebu City , Philippines . And my grandfather's mother was Maria Osmena . I heard that my grandfather's family were aristocrats ? Please give me more information about my great grandmother Maria Osmena . Mahalo .

  44. Dear Amadeo ,
    Can you please give some more information about my great grandmother Maria Osmena the mother of Rodrigo Osmena Velez Like how many siblings did she had ? Where was she born ? Her parents occupation ? How old was she got married ? Did she have Spanish & Chinese blood ? You got the idea . Thanks a lot .

  45. Lilian, what we have are those written about here. Hopefully somebody who knows reads this comment of yours. My mother was also an Osmena Velez. Her father originally from Palompon, Leyte. I have a cousin whose maiden name is Mary Deen Osmena, who may have been named after a Maria.


Welcome. Your comments are appreciated.