Ninong Ronnie just passed away… our thoughts and prayers are with him and may he rest in peace…
With him we have lost another one of the strongest pillars of Asuncion family. But he lives in our memories…
We sustain the family’s stability by being connected ever more. For what’s the use if we took everything for granted and if we kept secret the things we know about our history? Knowing and appreciating one’s history strengthens identity and connectedness to one’s roots.
And one way of doing this is to continue the work that we have started here which is actually based on the early works of Dr. Ronnie Asuncion, et al.
So, pass around every helpful Asuncion “tidbit” if you have it. The article Tidbits from Sor Marissa was actually an e-mail which I received from my cousin Ed Rojas. I thank Sor Marissa for these tidbits which she shared to Ed. I mean these tidbits must be shared so that they won’t get lost forever. Dr. Ronnie had shared to us what he knew and so I really thank him so much.
With Zacharias, the Asuncions became connected with the town of Bulan. Coming from Sta. Cruz, Manila, I wondered how he must have felt on his first day in Bulan. I suspect well that his motivation in coming to Bulan was not business but his love – if Zalvedia was a Bulaneña. He must have met Juana Zalvedia – or any of these three women – somewhere in Manila and went to Bulan after this woman had left Manila for Bulan. Without internet and skype technology at that time, meeting her in Manila was really the only way possible.
I don’t support the theory that he came to Bulan then in search of business for at that time- and even now- Bulan sounds like a place so far away from civilization. And the enormous exertions to travel with public transportation would surely kill your initial motivation. Unless it’s love- as we all know- for love moves mountains, conquers time and space.
So, if it was love then that explains why we love Bulan that much.
“Some tidbits from Sor Marissa:
1) Zacharias had a second wife after Juana Zalvidea & before his wife Remedios Ramirez. Her surname was Loilo. They had a child, but the child died, and in the Asuncion family tree we have, no mention of their names appeared.
2) Zacharias must have done well in Bulan, as he was able to send his children to Manila to pursue higher education. According to Sor Marissa, when Kenerino came back to Bulan after college in UP, he was shocked that his elementary classmates never got to higher education (no high school and no college). That inspired him to establish the Southern Luzon Institute, which later became SLI-KRAMS.
The information is interesting; because we know our great grandparents (generation of the children of Zacharias) got to finish college, so that must have been in Manila . And if there was no high school in Bulan then, they must have been shipped to Manila for high school at an early age and on to college.
In a past family get together, Auntie Nellie Intengan Jocson remembers her mother Consuelo Asuncion and aunt Ghia Asuncion (both daughters of Zacharias with Juana Zalvidea) were brought up by their unmarried aunt Benita, the older sister of Zacharias. Since Consuelo & Ghia knew Bicolano, can we assume they took their elementary schooling in Bulan? Was their aunt Benita also in Bulan during their elementary school days?
Or was Benita the guardian of Consuelo and Ghia when they had to go to Manila for high school? Who took care of their siblings Jacobo, Adonis, Justiniano, Kenerino, Rodolfo when they too had to go to Manila for high school and college?”
If Juana Zalvedia was from Bulan this would explain why her daughters Consuelo and Ghia Asuncion could speak the Bicol dialect and it’s highly probable that Consuelo and Ghia Asuncion grew up and did their elementary schooling in Bulan. Remember that Zacharias- speaking for sure only Tagalog and Spanish- also had to learn the Bulan dialect. So I don’t think he was to be credited much for his daughters’ Bicol language acquisition. Still, it needs to be clarified precisely which kind of Bicol dialect had Cosuelo and Ghia spoken for it would show with certainty the origin of their mother Zalvedia- and if Consuelo and Ghia really grew up in Bulan.
With Benita, the daughter of Justiniano and older sister of Zacharias, I assume she came with her ageing Father and Master Artist Justiniano to Bulan. An unmarried daughter usually looks after her ageing parents and – under favorable circumstances – also becoming a guardian to her own nephews and nieces. Such was the case of Benita – and this information is new to me and I’m really grateful to Benita- and to Consuelo and Ghia- for probably also looking after my little lolo Adonis when he was a highschool and college student in Manila!
Bulan is such a significant place for the Asuncion of Justiniano’s line. In the meantime so many Asuncions have already left Bulan. For those Asuncions who are still in Bulan, learn to treasure your history and abide by the Asuncion’s heritage of hard work, scholarship, bravery and honest public service. Corruption is not an Asuncion trait.
As I have said, many have left Bulan but who knows how many will be coming back? The moon is not yet round. Goodbye Tio Ronnie…
Addendum (December 18, 2012)
Last November I met two relatives in Manila who came from the Ghia line. They were Ed and Noel Rojas. From them I have learned that Juana Zalvedia (first wife of Zacharias) and Zacharias were cousins! This overturned my assumption that Zalvedia hailed from Bulan. Zalvedia could only come from Manila- unless she and/or her family were already there in Bulan before Zacharias (This would discard then our knowledge that Zacharias was the first Asuncion who came to Bulan!). Or was Zacharias not alone but in the company of Zalvedia when he came to Bulan? Until now I have assumed that Zacharias came to Bulan all alone in search of his beloved. In the light of this new information that they were relatives, I now assume that Zacharias came to Bulan in search not for business opportunities in the first place but for a remote hideaway where he could live with his cousin and wife Zalvedia in peace, away from the Asuncions in Manila. I just assume as I please since this is my privilege being an Asuncion. I would be more than beyond the moon, however, if my assumption would turn out true or not. For that would mean we have moved a step forward again in our search for these tidbits of our past.