List of Bios:
The Escaler Family Saga
Compiled by Ginger Tabora
The illustrious town of Apalit of the Province of Pampanga in the Philippines prides itself of being the center of Philippine high society and government officialdom outside the capital city of Manila in the mid-19th century to the early years of the 20th century. The wealthy and prominent families of the town such as the Arnedo, the Carlos, the Escaler, the Espiritu, the Galang, the Gonzalez, the Santos, the Sioco, the Tanjutco and many others left unforgettable memories and contributions to the economic development of their communities and to the country in general. In Apalit alone, the municipal government building, the central elementary school building, the parish church of St. Peter, the beautiful municipal park and many landmarks were built through the generosity of these illustrious families. They strongly supported the Philippine cause for independence both from Spain and from the United States of America.
From the same families, many served the municipal, provincial and national government in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government service.
The Escaler Family in the 1760s
Antonio and Gregorio Tuason
During the British invasion of the Spanish Manila in 1762, Governor General Simon de Anda moved the colonial capital to the town of Bacolor in Pampanga.
Antonio Tuason was a Sangley merchant loyal to the Spanish colonial authorities. He placed his resources in the service of the Spanish defenders.
After the British invasion ended in 1764, Antonio Tuason was rewarded a land grant and a noble title of "mayorazgo" by the Spanish Crown. This elevated the Tuason family to the ranks of Spanish peerage.
Antonio Tuason returned to Manila to resume his commercial activities. His brother Gregorio remained in Bacolor to pursue agriculture.
Gregorio Tuason married Maria Pamintuan and they had two daughters:
Escolastica Tuason y Rodriguez
Dona Escolastica Tuason inherited a hacienda in Bacolor, which yielded
2,000 piculs of sugar and 1,000 cavans of rice yearly. She married Don
Olegario Rodriguez, also from Bacolor.
Dona Escolastica Tuason de Rodriguez died in 1850.
Don Olegario Rodriguez was Capitan Natural in 1842 & 1853. His father,
Don Francisco Rodriguez was Capitan Natural in 1830. The Rodriguez family
migrated to Bacolor from Bataan around 1800. Also related to the Banson
family of Bataan.
Don Olegario Rodriguez died on June 3, 1874.
Dona Prisca Ines Rodriguez y Tuason married Don Justo Escaler of Balanga,
Bataan. They had the following three children:
Dona Prisca Ines Rodriguez de Escaler died on May 3, 1894, at the age
of 60. Her remains are in one wall of the Gospel transept of the Apalit
Don Manuel Escaler y Rodriguez went to Barrio Sulipan to manage his uncle
Don Josef Sioco's many parcels of land. There he married his first cousin
Dona Sabina Sioco y Rodriguez (daughter of Don Josef Sioco and Dona Matea
Rodriguez de Sioco). They had the following six children:
Jose Escaler y Sioco
Don Jose Escaler y Sioco, attorney, industrialist, and business executive,
was born on January 19, 1885 in the old mansion house of the Escaler family
in the barrio of Sulipan, in Apalit, Pampanga. He was the oldest of six
children. His parents, Don Manuel Escaler and Dona Sabina Sioco de Escaler
belonged to wealthy families in the province. Jose received his early
education from private tutors, and later from the town school. In 1895,
he was sent to Manila and he enrolled in San Juan de Letran where he finished
the Segunda Ensenanza at the head of his class in 1897. The Filipino-American
war put a stop to his studies. Returning home, he found the family mansion
the quarters of revolutionists. After the establishment of peace, he continued
in the newly opened school of Liceo de Manila where he received his Bachelor's
degree with highest honors in April 1903. From the Escuela de Derecho,
he obtained his jurisprudence degree at the head of his class in April
1905. Then he sailed for the United States, continued his studies in Yale
University. He was unable to finish his graduate degree because of the
illness of his father, which called him back home. When news reached him
that his father had recovered, he was on his way via Europe. At Oxford,
he took graduate subjects in law and economics. After touring France,
Germany and Italy, he sailed for Manila arriving there in 1909. In the
same year, he passed the bar examination.
His rise was steady from that time on. On July 1, 1916, Jose Escaler
was made the first Assistant Director of Education. His illness, however,
did not enable him to stay long in the service, and he had to leave it
after four months. He was called again to the public service on January
15, 1917, this time as Undersecretary of Justice to Victorino Mapa (q.v.),
this position he held until December 15, 1919 when he resigned. On December
28, 1918, Jose Escaler was chosen acting president of the University of
the Philippines, a position that he filled until the opening of the following
academic year. This appointment came as a reward for efficient service
and in recognition of his intellectual attainment. Since 1911, he had
been serving as member of the board of regents of the institution, and
for two terms was a professorial lecturer in Comparative Jurisprudence
in the College of Law. At the same time, he was also actively engaged
in various civico-social organizations among which was the Philippine
Council of Hygiene, as member; the Philippine Orphanage Association, as
president; and the Sixth Philippine Agricultural Congress, as president.
Bishop Federico Escaler was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1954 at the Fordham Chapel in Fordham, New York City. He was ordained bishop on July 31, 1976 at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila. He became the Bishop Ordinary of Prelature of Kidapawan. He was once the Assistant to Jesuit Provincial, Superior in La Ignaciana Retreat House, President and Rector of the Ateneo de Davao in Davao City, Treasurer of Jesuit Province in Manila, and became the President and Rector of Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.
Dona Matea Rodriguez y Tuason, was the second child of Don Olegario Rodriguez
and Dona Escolastic Tuason de Rodriguez.
After the death of Don Josef Sioco, Dona Matea Rodriguez, viuda de Sioco, married Don Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco. Their marriage did not produce any children. After Don Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz' death, she inherited all his properties, which, many years later, she left to her two surviving daughters from Don Josef Sioco: Dona Sabina Sioco de Escaler and Dona Florencia Sioco de Gonzalez.
The remains of Dona Matea Rodriguez, viuda de Sioco, viuda de Arnedo-Cruz, are in the Escaler mausoleum at the Cementerio del Norte.
Dona Florencia Sioco married Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez y Lopez of Baliuag, Bulacan, the son of Fray Fausto Lopez, O.S.A. of Valladolid, Espana, and Dona Maria Amparo Gonzalez y de los Angeles of Baliuag.
The Sioco family had settled in the towns of Bocaue and Santa Maria in
Bulacan from Bataan. They were originally from Lingayen, Pangasinan. Family
legend has it that the Siocos are descended from Sho Ko, a Japanese pirate
who was the right hand man of
Don Josef Sioco (born January 24, 1786), migrated to Barrio Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga in 1840 from Bocaue, Bulacan. He was a Chinese Meztizo wealthy landowner and trader. Because of his severe frugality, the old people in Apalit called him "Joseng Daga" because he stashed everything away, like a rat. In his house, there was a small corner room stacked with jars filled with gold coins from floor to ceiling.
Don Josef Sioco's first wife was the daughter of a neighbor in Barrio Sulipan, Dona Juana Carlos, with whom he had a daughter: Maria Sioco y Carlos.
Dona Maria Sioco y Carlos married Don Juan Tanjutco by whom she had a daughter: Crispina Tanjutco y Sioco.
He was in his early 70s when he paid court to Dona Marta Rodriguez y Tuason (younger sister of Dona Matea) of Bacolor who was in her early 20s. She was not receptive of his courtship. Matea, an elder sister, less attractive but more intelligent, presented herself to be his bride.
Don Josef Sioco died on December 26, 1864, at the age of 78. His remains are in one wall of the Gospel transept of Bacolor Church, now under meters of lahar.
Don Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco was the first cousin of Don Josef
Sioco. The Arnedo family migrated to Barrio Sulipan from Hagonoy, Bulacan.