Past Governors of Bicol – Albay

It’s hard to recall the past when you are not a part of it. For this reason, I am sharing a listing of the past governors of Albay to aide future researchers and maybe compensate for the lack of initiative of our Bicolano teachers and professors who prefer to teach their students on the facts and profiles of the different states of the US rather than the facts and profiles of the Bicol provinces where they and their students live.

1900 Gen. William Kobbe
1901 Gen. James M. Bell
1902 – 1904 Gen. Arlington Betts
1904 – 1906 Ramon Santos
1906 – 1908 Charles H. Reynolds
1908 – 1912 Domingo Samson
1913 – 1916 Leoncio Duran Imperial

1916             Rufino Sarte Tuanqui
1917 – 1919 Timoteo Alcala
1920 – 1922 Jose Vera
1922 – 1924 Leoncio Duran Imperial
1925 – 1929 Mariano Anson Locsin
1930 – 1934 Mariano Anson Locsin
1934 – 1937 Jose Samson Imperial
1937 – 1940 Manuel Calleja
1941 – 1945 Saturnino Benito
1946             Saturnino Benito
1946 – 1951 Venancio Prieto Ziga
1952 – 1955 Manuel Serrano Calleja
1956 – 1962 Nicanor Maronilla Seva
1962 – 1971 Jose Sapalicio Estevez, Sr.
1972 – 1986 Felix Stedja Imperial Jr.
1987             Jose Lozano Sarte Jr.
1987 – 1988 Crispin Jacob Rayala
1988 – 1992 Romeo Rayala Salalima
1992 – 1994 Romeo Rayala Salalima
1994 – 1995 Dominador Imperial Lim
1995             Victor San Andres Ziga
1995 – 1998 Al Francis del Castillo Bichara
1998 – 2001 Al Francis del Castillo Bichara
2001 – 2004 Al Francis del Castillo Bichara
2004 – 2007 Fernando Vallejo Gonzalez
2007 – 2010 Jose Ma. Clemente Sarte Salceda
2010 – 2010 Jose Ma. Clemente Sarte Salceda
2013 – 2016 Jose Ma. Clemente Sarte Salceda
2016 – ?       Al Francis del Castillo Bichara

I hope in the coming days, we can also have at least their basic biographies. Medyo silensiyo kaya an satuyang mga miyembro kan local historical and cultural commission sa Bicol. Kun silensiyo, duwang bagay lang an: Nag-iisip nin todo para magibo ninda an saindang mga trabaho… o turog!

(Note: This post is updated to include the recent elections and a name that is unintentionally excluded. Thanks to former Vice Gov. Lito Tuanqui for pointing out the missing name.)


133 thoughts on “Past Governors of Bicol – Albay

  1. Thanks for this valuable historical data! Of course with their basic biographies it would be far more interesting for the Bik-Lish readers. The people from the local cultural and historical commission are perhaps really engrossed in deep thinking but they also should wake up now and start working. Time is gold!

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for this very interesting post. Maybe if the living descendants of these past politicians will cooperate with educators to provide information about their prominent ancestor, then we can know more about these people than just a list of unfamiliar names.

    O wait, but there isn’t any initiative to learn more about Bicol’s past leaders, is there? Boo.

    When will we ever have a healthy sense of history? We could learn a lot from these past leaders: their successes and failures.


  3. @ juan and sumguy:

    Saturnino Benito, apart from being a governor, is also known for creating (and owning) LEALDA Electric Company which provides electricity to Legazpi, Albay District and Daraga in the Province of Albay. The Benitos are also known for owning large tracts of lands both in Albay and in Sorsogon.

    As for the Maronillas, what I know is that they are based in the Third District of Albay particularly in the town of Libon. A significant number of the Maronilla clan are politicians and have served in elective posts since the American period. Most of the posts they occupied, however, are municipal posts from mayor down to councilor. Exceptions are Manuel Calleja and Nicanor Seva whose mothers are Maronillas. Both Calleja and Seva served as governors of the province of Albay.

    Well… there is also a new Maronilla that’s stirring the airwaves and broadsheets. His name is Adrian “Adi” Maronilla, the alleged “boy wonder” who, at the age of two or three, can speak English well, name the capital cities of the different countries of the world and shows signs of being a genius. There are reports that his parents are from the town of Libon, Albay, the hometown of the Maronillas. 🙂

  4. ok, i just have to break it down to y’all

    Saturnino benito is my mom’s grandpa so that makes me a living descendant…

    Though i have little knowledge of them because i was born in 91 and they died sometime i dont know… in the 70’s or 80’s maybe. From what i know according to my mom he bought an electric company which pretty much had problems with the commissioner whatsoever i couldn’t understand… but i know that it is a state-owned company now

    They also had this Production house called the Benito Brothers Pictures and have produced three movies

    oh yes, i remember mom spoke of their lands in Albay and sorsogon

    what i didn’t know ia that my great-grandpa ruled during the war… must’ve suck to rule in that period

    oh, where did you get those informations btw haha…
    i’ve been desperately trying to know my family history and have failed gathering photos and informations of my grandpa as my aunties and uncles claim they have been destroyed by the Milenyo typhoon. My mum seems to be a little bit clueless about his dad as grandma and grandpa separated for some reasons (i’m not sure if this is a family secret or something lol)… We have even visited the family mausoleum last may and we couldn’t even find grandpa there… or he could be there but his name isn’t there

    The Benitos btw, are now common people living common lives with common jobs 😀

    if ever you have found some info about the past of the Benitos (if possible, deep into the spanish regime), it would be nice if you could possible share the info to me as i really need it to complete my family’s history

    Thanks alot 😀

    1. For your family history, please try contact or write Mr. Augusto ‘Ching’ Benito c/o Albay Bakery, Old Albay District, Legazpi City, he could help you. He is a grandson of Gov. SATURNINO BENITO, well known person in Legazpi City.

  5. oh and… i think Benjammin Benito, My grandfather ran for the elections too. My mother would say he lost the elections as my grandma campaigned for his opponent for the reason she doesn’t like the family to be in politics

  6. @ sumguy,

    Yeah, Saturnino bought LEALDA, registered it as a corporation and sold the shares to his brothers. I’ll go back to my notes later and share with you the names of Saturnino’s brothers. I am not so sure if this LEALDA is now the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO). My hunch says, it is.

    I heard an oldie from Daraga, Albay who mentioned that movie productions is not exclusive to the people of Catanduanes from the war and onwards. It’s from Albay courtesy of the Benitos. This corroborates your claim of the Benito Brothers Pictures.

    About my sources, the Albay Provincial Library has some notes but I usually correlate the same with oral accounts as well as passages from various books written by non-Bicolano authors.

    Apo Gonzales of the Bicol Chronicle suggests Julio Napal who also knows a lot of the unwritten history of Albay province and its people including the past governors. Maybe he can also help you in constructing your genealogy and family history. 🙂

  7. Any idea what elective post? I know a source that holds the data of election results from as early as 1907. It’s the Political Mapping Center of the Institute for Popular democracy based in Quezon City.

  8. i’m not sure on what position he was running for, all i know is that lolo benjamin lost an election :S

    and yes, aleco was lealda… we passed the aleco office on our way to the cemetery and mum said that it was the office of lealda… She would sometimes claim that the marcos regime took over the company the reason why the company is now state owned… i’m still looking for the history of this plant to confirm how it got out of the family’s hands (possibility that grandpa sold it or the regime really took over) all i’ve seen in the net were angry frustration of bicolanos about the plant today where they are talking about power failures and other sorts of problem in it’s current system.

    Saturnino btw is the father of benjamin, mario and alfredo 🙂
    saturnino have a sister named Adela Benito, i think there are only two of them…

    Mum also said that Saturnino isn’t a Bicolano at all, they were from Cavite who migrated to Bicol after marrying a Bicolana

  9. wow! you know, the surname benito does not seem organic in Albay so this answers the question hovering my head… that is, where are benitos really from.

    despite being a stranger, your great grandfather, however, proved how beautiful bicolano women are, didn’t he? 😀

    about LEALDA, the company was first owned by Julian Locsin Anson starting 1915. this was sold to your great grandfather benito who sold the same to a corporation composed of him, his brothers and a few non-clan members. i think there was a problem raised sometime in the 1940s about tax payments. this eventually paved the way for the government to acquire the property. don’t worry, your great grandfather is not a tax evader. the issue then was not tax evasion but on the interpretation of the company’s charter on how much should be paid to the government in terms of franchise taxes, etc., and it appears that the court decided in favor of the government.

    about the company being sequestered by Marcos, i have no idea as there are evidences pointing out that the company was dissolved before the Marcos period. ALECO, the successor of LEALDA, was already in operation even before Marcos became the president. something like that.

    don’t worry i’ll share more stories about LEALDA and your clan from time to time. thanks for being a regular visitor in my blog.

  10. oh thanks,

    i can get the Marcos theory out of my notes now haha

    i’m still wondering what happened in 1946, was he like elected then Ziga got up to impeach him?

    My mother’s family history always fascinate me.

  11. impeachment is only true when leaders are corrupt. LOL!

    prior to the war, the regular term of office of local officials is generally three years. but because of the war, his term was extended and extended and extended. whether he was close to the japs, i don’t know hehehe. but in camarines sur, governor mariano villafuerte (grandfather of incumbent governor L-Ray villafuerte) who was close to the japs was beheaded along with his wife and a kid. the perpetrators were the bicolano guerillas. and the culture of the people of camarines and albay are almost the same. thus, maybe he’s not purely a pro-japs as mariano was and this could explain why he remained in the office until the first post-war regular election — 1946.

  12. I’m interested about the three movies that Benito Brothers Pictures produced. I hope there are still copies of them, though that is very unlikely.

  13. I’m not sure if my family still has a copy
    Try checking out the local libraries or something

    Isinanlang Pagibig

    i forgot what the other two was… haha

  14. Maronilla’s are one of the prominent political clans in Bicol Region.They are from Libon, Albay.Most of them are Philantrophist

  15. Man, I’m so glad I googled my great grampa’s name today (for some miraculous clairvoyance) & clicked the first search result. J.A., I commend your efforts to gather more info on our region’s history.

    [addressed to ‘sumguy’:]

    Sumguy, I’m so interested in superimposing my family tree with yours and see how we come to have the same great grandfather.

    You said you were born in 91, that makes you 17? I’m curious who your parents are.

    Yes, indeed. LeAlDa is now ALECO. I have seen a photo of my grandma seated on the lawn in front of the old Lealda. They had picket fences then.

    I have an uncle who has a photo of Benjamin by the hood of their old Chevy, and in the background there’s a poster that read Lealda. I wanted that photo for myself…hehe

    Most of the things you mentioned are true, although I believe I know more of the details than you care to know. I can’t lay them down here as it could be incriminating…No, just kidding. I just think there are some things that should be dicussed amongst kin only.

    And don’t be too haste in sending the Marcos theory to the trash bin, I’ve heard the same thing from my mom and that counts for a half-truth, which we can delve into, right?

    Just drop me a line or two. Glad to know someone’s as ardent with his maternal lineage.



  16. we are really interested to maronilla clan of libon, Albay.Is it posible to provide us additional details about that clan?They said that it is one of the most prominent family in the region before.tnx

  17. @DTN

    oh curious… It’s probable that you’re the 2nd cousin of mine living just meters away from our house here in QC. My sis-in-law said that one of you payed a visit looking for mum but we were living overseas.

    i’m almost 18 and i should be the youngest of the Benitos but an aunt of mine recently gave birth haha. My curiosity of the family’s history was because of me looking for a grandpa (yup, i got jealous of my peers having grandparents back when i was young) 😀 and i found a good story handed down orally from my mum.

  18. @sumguy: hey hey! i thought you were a long lost cousin but it turns out, you’re my dear cousin whom I’ve known since you were a boy. hehe… And that li’l girl who beat your post as the “youngest” in the clan (as far as our degree of consanguinity is concerned) is my sister! tsk tsk… I still don’t have that sepia photograph. Our moms’ half-brother in GenSan has it. I’m gonna have them email me a copy.

    @dex: The movies produced by Benitos Bros. were: HULING CONCIERTO & IROG PAALAM. Thanks to Tita Fe for this info. She also said:
    *Accdg to critics they were quite good movies, nang panahon na iyon. They stopped producing Sayang nga kasi they did well, at least that’s what i heard, I was 6 yrs old when we all came to Manila.
    *Lealda was Lealda until 1977 when it was sequestered by the government.

  19. ok here’s a compiled… well short and summarized history of the Benitos i wrote for my history class… i thought i wanted to share it here (baka sabihin ng professor i copied it from here and get a grade of 5.. nyaahh!)… tweaked some parts of it as they were too personal to be shared XD

    This is an information from “Tita f” and mum

    The Benitos back then (estimates at the mid 1800’s) were ship merchants (or i must’ve misheard it, could be ship builders lol) in the Cavite region, since they are of Caucasian-Malay race or mestizos at that time with wit and influence; they managed to acquire land and wealth that soon grew bigger. The Benito family then had a hacienda or plantation, a Power plant (Lealda Electric, Now Aleco – a Government company) in the Bicol region that serves Legazpi, Daraga and Albay and a movie production house (Benito Brothers Production) that produced three movies i.e. Isinanlang Pag-ibig, Huling Concierto and Huling Paalam. The Benitos were in height of power during the World War 2 with Don Saturnino Benito as governor for two terms as new constitution allowed him to rule that long. Though he’s completely anti-Japanese, he never took part with the underground but instead, negotiated with the Japanese top officials (who were his friends since before the war) for the safety of his family. The passing of the comprehensive agrarian reform program and the mismanagement of wealth and businesses of Don Saturnino’s sons marks the end of the Benito’s status in the upper class. Every bit of hacienda’s lands was given to the farmers who served for the Benitos as the law requires after the passing of Carp. The Marcos Administration took over the Lealda Electric Company (ok, an information i couldn’t let go since both mum and auntie holds firm on this… and dtn’s mum too, my other aunt) thus making it public till today. Since the death of Don Benjamin Benito, one of the three sons of Don Saturnino his sons, daughters and illegitimate children lived apart with others moving to Manila. They will be known as the present Benitos.

    feel free to blog it if you’re interested 🙂

  20. apparently my pamangkins are very interested about their ancestors. Actually I’m gathering more facts from my aunts, my dad’s cousins. My great grandfather, lolo tse, the father of my grandfather, Saturnino Benito, was a full blooded chinese. In fact, acc. to my mother, Tinay Benito, he had long braided hair typical of chinese during those times. In 1950 or perhaps 1951 the Benito Bros. Production was born. They produced 3 movies, which were considered quality pictures during that time. Saturnino Benito, my grandpa had to call off the production due to the brothers’ extravagant lifestyle. I was 6 years old then , and already recalled some of the events. I went to school at the now defunct “Instituto de mujeres” at Gov. Forbes just accross UST. Lebran Studios have the copies of these movies. In fact during the 70’S one of the movies was shown several times on television. I wasn’t sure if it was channel 2 or 4

  21. its so astonishing to know a lot about the benitos of bicol. Benjamin Benito is my grandfather, my dad’s father. i even have a cousin named after him. i have an uncle who lives in GenSan. I also have a photo of Daddy Ben in his chevy with the Lealda background. I know there are a lot of Benitos in bicol or in manila for that matter and i’d be more than happy if we’ll all be given the chance to finally meet.

  22. to gayon from iron lady

    may i know your dad’s name please? I am a legitimate daughter of benjamin benito. Is your father legit benito or not

  23. to ironlady

    i dont know who’s legit and who’s not. daddy ben died long before i was born and his story was something that my grandmother won’t talk about. my grandma died 15yrs ago and it left me with so many unanswered questions. im not being nozy, im just curious and i just wanna know where the half part of me came from. i wanna know who my other uncles and my aunts are, how many are they, where are they now, what they look like, are they also tall like us, do they share same features like us. you know, these simple questions whose answers would mean a great deal for me. I think i already belong to the third generation of benitos, and not long from now i will have my own children, and i want them to know who they are and i want them to be acquainted with the family where they came from.

  24. to gayon,

    I would be delighted to meet you personally if you are in manila. I wish you told me your dad and your mom’s name so i won’t be wondering who you really are. Let me guess, are you from Tanay, Rizal? If you are then I know your mother. Anyway wheter legit or not you are welcome to the Benito clan. I recall a friend who said ” maganda ang race nyo kasi wala pa akong nakikitang pangit” Well? If daddy Ben is your lolo, then I am your aunt, Ok?

  25. to ironlady

    we’re from libon, albay where i was born and raised. one of papa’s brother also lives there and the other one is in General Santos. I would be more than happy to finally meet one of my father’s siblings. It’s like a dream come true, and the anticipation is even more exciting than joining a beauty pageant. 😉 I will find a way to personally meet you on my next vacation in the philippines. even my sister who is also working overseas is keeping track on this, and she too is excited. When and how i stumbled upon this is like a miracle, it comes when you least expect it. 😉

  26. to gayon,

    I’m happy to hear from you again. You must be the daughter

    of Renee, one of my brothers in libon. Yes, I met your

    grandmother several times when I was a kid. Sad to say I

    met him a couple of times only when I was a kid. I am much

    closer to Arthur, because he was more persistent to see and

    communicate with us. They, virgie & art, stayed with us for a

    couple of days during Joana’s graduation last year. Yes, feel

  27. It’s elating to note that apart from re-tracing the history of Bicol, Bik-lish is also helping retrace genealogical ties and connect bloodlines.

    Always feel free to use Bik-Lish in whatever way it can be of use. (Sasabihon ko kuta, feel free to invite me sa reunion hehehe. Joke!)

    Mabuhay kita gabos!

  28. to J.A Carizo

    nasa enotan ka kang listahan ko kung magkaigwa man kami ki reunion. 😉 if not because of you i wont be able to know the people whom i’ve been longing to meet, and i give you credit for that. Salute!

  29. to ironlady

    we’re the only Benitos in libon so no doubt that it was so easy to trace us. 😉 rene and arthur are my uncles. Im Jenny’s eldest daughter. im just wondering why it wasn’t a priority for the siblings to at least get to know each other. Papa would tell us that you have an uncle here, uncle there, etc., but always just like that. We’ve never really met any of them so we don’t have even the slightest idea who they are and what they look like. And now time just took its course and gave us the chance to finally meet after all these years. 🙂

  30. to gayon

    Sorry for that unfinished message. The power went off and I lost continuity.
    It’s really surprising why your father never introduced you and your siblings to kuya boy when in fact, during his teens he used to go to legazpi and stay there for a few days. Marhay pa si arthur, because when he’s in Bicol he never missed seeing my brother and sister and even another brother who lives in San Miguel Island in Tabaco. On your next visit to the Philippines, feel free to come over, I want to meet you personally. Sumguy and DTN are your cousins. You can say hi to them, and they are very accomodating.

  31. I was very much surprised to see my greatgrandfather’s name (Timote Alcala) on the net after googling his name just for fun.

    Needless to say, we are all proud of being connected to this illustrous person.

    Ditas Alcala

  32. to ironlady

    I’ve already told my father what I’ve stumbled upon and he too was so surprised on how i came to know all these things. maybe i will just take the initiative to meet all of you personally. 🙂 hagadon ko na lang po number nindo kay papa arthur sa masunod kong pag uli. im really excited to meet you personally, including my cousins. 🙂 sa wakas, madadagdagan na ang pinsan ko sa benito side, ta sa libon lima sana kaming magpirinsan na benito, 3 kami plus si duwang aki ni papa ren. 🙂 si papa arthur harayo man.

  33. to gayon

    looking forward to meet you, very soon , I hope. Yea, Arthur has my no. you can ask it from him. Surely, you’ll meet your cousins. You can browse one of your cousin’s blog, just type ” disciple to none ” which is also included on the blogroll of biklish, all about the author, and perhaps make a comment on that. Also, she submitted 3 poems at “” which you may want to browse also.

  34. j.a.
    can you change my blog, i.e. the oragonx, to this

    idto tabing nagsusungkat sa familia kan maronilla, nagluwas po an libon nin sarong libro na yaon duman an istorya ninda.

    is ely, our artist colleague, descendant of the benitos too?



  35. For the Benitos, here are some additional info:
    Saturnino is mentioned in Maria Lilia F. Realubit’s Bikols of the Philippines, as well as in Rufus Rodriguez’ Constitutionalism in the Philippines, where he was one of the delegates of Albay to the 1934 Constitutional Convention (which drafted the Constitution overturned by the Marcos Constitution of 1971 o entrench himself for years), along with Ambrosio Calleja, Braulio Leonardo, Francisco Munoz, Jose Conejero, Jesus Surban, Jose Bonto and Toribio Perez.

    There are two cases in the Supreme Court, all dealing with land where Saturnino is mentioned, i.e. GR L5238 and GR L31426.

    All three movies produced by the Benito Bros. were made in 1951. Huling Konsiyerto starred Rosa Aguirre, who is a fixture in all three, and Carmen Rosales; Isinanlang Pag-ibig, apart from Aguirre also starred a certain Tony Camonte (; and Irog Paalam, was directed by Tony Cayado and again, featured Aguirre. You can check this out in IMDB, the web-based resource for movies.

    Tibaad makatabang saindo. Mabalos.


  36. to frank penones

    Thanks for the information about my grandfather, saturnino benito, and also about the movies produced by benito brothers.
    If you mean ely benito, the sculptor from legazpi city, yes he is my uncle, the youngest son of saturnino benito, half brother of my father, benjamin benito and uncles mario and alfredo benito.
    Thanks for the informations.

  37. @ ironlady

    I am not a member of your clan but I knew Benito’s in Tabaco… Kan sinabi mong taga San Miguel naglaog tulos sa isip sina Maybel… si tugang nindang si Nestor nakaklase ko pa sa Aquinas University… Good to know that your clan’s too big to spread over the rest of Albay and the Phil too… Maybel’s my sister’s bestfriend in high school sa Catholic Central School….

  38. joseph,

    hi! this is iron lady. you’re right, nestor benito is my youngest brother, who is married to letty from san miguel island. yes, mabel is one of his daughters. everytime i go home to bicol, I never miss staying in san mig. i love that place so much. it’s so quiet and peaceful unlike here in mm where there is too much noise and pollution. last fiesta, i was there. hopefully in a few months time i’l be spending my vacation there again. it’s my second home.

  39. Good day everyone.

    Hello Ironlady! Haven’t seen (nor heard from) you for a long time. I guess I need not introduce myself to you. My handle can speak for itself. Hehe.

    Hello din to sumguy, gayon and dtn.

    To sumguy, we first met sometime last year when your family came over to Legazpi for a vacation.

    To dtn, “where are you?” It’s been so long since I saw you (too long, I don’t even remember the last time we talked). hehehe. I am still playing badminton with your two bros (they were my mentors).

    To gayon, I know your dad. I met him a long time ago when he paid my dad a visit here in Legazpi. The last time I saw him was during the wake of our grandpa Ben (we refer to him as “Lolo Daddy”). Modesty aside, I can never deny the fact that your dad is an uncle because of his good looks (just like my Dad and Tito Toy). Please do say hi to your dad for me.

    Equally charming and smart are Ironlady, Tita Elena and Tita Whinna (sumguy’s and dtn’s moms). And of course, I’ll never forget my other two lovely and kind-hearted aunts, Tita Minda and Tita Ludy (they’re following this blog from up above. I invited them to shed more light to our quest, hehe).

    To sumguy and gayon, as to why I used “saturn” for a handle. You guys figure it out. hehehe. 1st to give the right answer receives a parcel of land in Cumadcad, Sorsogon. LOL

    I’ll never forget the first day of my 4th year HS English class in 1983. My teacher, Ms Aida Bongon (she was in her mid-60’s then), started calling out names during roll call. When it was time for my name to be called, she blurted “governor benito, is it really you?”, then she smiled.

    It was only one of the numerous incidents where people (mostly septuagenarians, hehe), jokingly addressed me as governor. I have to tell you people, it felt good, it was an ego booster of some sort and I was really proud. I guess it contributed a lot to my having a very strong personality.

    There’s even a street in Cumadcad named after me, harharhar. As to why a street was named after my great grandpa is still a mystery. Maybe ironlady here can answer that. Maybe I’ll ask my dad.

  40. saturn, did you forget that 1/4 of cumadcad was owned by the benitos then, so don’t ever wonder why the streets were named after dad, benjamin and lolo sat.
    sumguy is back in manila taking up nursing and he’ll be sophomore this coming june. As for dtn, she works in a call center in shaw, mandaluyung.
    I missed you a lot sat, your jokes especially. sana maghilingan kita when i go to legaspi. It’s nice to hear from you.

  41. saturn, i forgot to mention to you that liza works in a cruise ship, norwegian gem
    right now she is in new york, bahamas route.
    very soon she will be in europe, along barcelona, ajaccio, cannes route and the french riviera
    last august she was on the northern part of europe, london, germany, holland, scandinavia and russia

    1. Hi tita. Sorry for the late reply. It’s just now that I was able to browse the net. Been busy the past weeks at the office. I have a major project to tend to.
      Miss you din so much. When was the last time we saw each other? I can’t even recall the year. hehehe.
      Anyway, where are you staying right now? I go to manila frequently (at least twice a month) for coordination meetings in ft. bonifacio. Maybe we can go out for lunch or dinner.
      Do give me a call or send me an sms. My number is 09178116484. Can I ask for Liza’s email address?
      Luvya!!! TC

  42. Great site this and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  43. to ja carizo

    I would like to make some clarifications with regards to whether the benitos were close to the japs or not.

    Few years before the japanese war erupted, Uncle Mario Benito took up flying lessons in Japan. Unfortunately he met an accident, so that’s how he was paralyzed waste down. While in Japan he made friends with some prominent Japanese. And when the war broke, there were a few Japanese officers who were his friends way back during his student days in Japan. So that explains why they were quite close to the Japanese officers assigned in Bicol. In fact, according to my mother, whenever there were air raids, they were informed to leave and stay in a safe place. My mother mentioned several times a place called, Nagangcob, that’s were they hid. As to its exact location, I don’t have any idea.She also said that the Japanese officers were nice. It was the soldiers who were mean, because, according to some stories, these soldiers were Korean prisoners of the Japanese, whom they engaged to become soldiers during the war. Whether this is true or not, i can’t tell personally. I only heard this stories, from the old folks then. I was born in 1945 during the liberation. Lucky for my family, because they never had problem with food during the occupation. Unlike some people who had no choice but to eat sisid rice. These are sacks and sacks of rice thrown into the sea because the Japanese would go over their place and took all the rice they find. As soon as the japs left, the people recovered the rice and dry them.

  44. to ja carizo

    I would like to make some clarifications with regards to whether the benitos were close to the japs or not.

    Few years before the japanese war erupted, Uncle Mario Benito took up flying lessons in Japan. Unfortunately he met an accident, so that’s how he was paralyzed waste down. While in Japan he made friends with some prominent Japanese. And when the war broke, there were a few Japanese officers who were his friends way back during his student days in Japan. So that explains why they were quite close to the Japanese officers assigned in Bicol. In fact, according to my mother, whenever there were air raids, they were informed to leave and stay in a safe place. My mother mentioned several times a place called, Nagangcob, that’s were they hid. As to its exact location, I don’t have any idea.She also said that the Japanese officers were nice. It was the soldiers who were mean, because, according to some stories, these soldiers were Korean prisoners of the Japanese, whom they engaged to become soldiers during the war. Whether this is true or not, i can’t tell personally. I only heard this stories, from the old folks then. I was born in 1945 during the liberation. Lucky for my family, because they never had problem with food during the occupation. Unlike some people who had no choice but to eat sisid rice. These are sacks and sacks of rice thrown into the sea because the Japanese would go over their place and took all the rice they find. As soon as the japs left, the people recovered the rice and dry them.

    Meanwhile, my uncle Mario stayed in the USA during the japanese occupation.

  45. Hello:

    This is for those who are inquiring into Maronilla’s family. There are Maronillas everywhere and many of them are in Law field, including my dad and cousins. Over the years, I’ve searched and searched on internet for any Maronillas and in recent years, I came across this site : Ang Aming Angkan and it is managed by Mona Veluz. She’s got some extensive finding there and has a long line of genealogy tree there. I’ve found so much info from her and I’ve also started communicating with some 2nd cousins and on who I’ve never met and found more info about the family.

  46. According to Fe Benito:

    -“It was the soldiers who were mean, because, according to some stories, these soldiers were Korean prisoners of the Japanese, whom they engaged to become soldiers during the war”

    So, the South Koreans were the ones killing the Filipinos;

    -“These are sacks and sacks of rice thrown into the sea because the Japanese would go over their place and took all the rice they find. As soon as the japs left, the people recovered the rice and dry them. ”

    The Japanese officers were just eating the rice of the Filipinos.

    So the teamwork was perfect enough to kill the Filipinos -by either beheading them or by taking their rice……

    At first, I had trouble accepting the idea that Korean prisoners forced to serve the Japanese could be very loyal to the Japanese by showing their meanness- or brutality- to the innocent Filipinos. Kiling for freedom?

    But when I thought of the Japanes collaborators (Filipinos who cooperated and worked for the Japanese), my blood boils for these were not only traitors but cowards and opportunists.

    I don’t know if the Japanese also used Filipino prisoners as soldiers in other countries occupied then by the Imperial Japan. If there were, had they also been that mean and brutal let’s say to the occupied South Koreans? Killing for freedom?

    It’s a fact that many Filipinos collaborated with the Japanese and gained wealth such as money and vast land properties.

    This argument is even made complicated by the fact that in South Korea many Koreans also collaborated with the Japanese and they also were rewarded with money, tiltles and vast land properties.

    But the Philippines amnestied all who were accused of collaboration with the Japanese Empire in World War II. But not so in South Korea today for they still are in Hot pursuit of their war collaborators.

    For me, it’s a kind of collaboration with the modern Japan’s denial and downplaying of history if today some of us assume a simplified and exonerating interpretation of the Japanese atrocities in the Bicol region during the 2nd World War.

    That the Philippines amnestied all who were accused of collaboration was also a form of collaboration (paid?) with the Japanese and a grave injustice to those real victims and their families, indeed an exoneration for those real collaborators and their families- some of whom may still be living with us today.

  47. My apologies for being careless with my Philippine history.
    Sisid rice – tons of rice discovered by sea divers in cargo holds of the sunken japanese ships at the Manila Bay during the japanese occupation. Due to scarcity of food, rice specially during the war, the people resorted to this foul smelling rice. Perhaps, some “ka barangays” who were in Manila then during that time, had sisid rice.

  48. To the author I wish to extend my profound Thank you…Your pieces not only provided interesting knowledge of our bicol heritage but as well as a bridge of some sort to the Benito bloodline.

    A new addition to the Benitos yet another makuapo signing in! Aka Viajera…

    Dtn you of all kin should be able to unravel my true identity he3! To kuya Saturn it’s been years since our last meet and greet! Time does fly! I hear you visit my mom and hang with my badminton junkie brothers he3!

    About the street being named after lolo daddy from what I was told by my tita (iron lady) they owned cumadcad or a large portion of the place or something. I think we should leave it to Iron lady to fill in the historical blanks.

    I might be off the grid a little while but I will definitely see you soon kuya! Have fun scanning your memory, I come from a big family…take your pick! He3!

    1. Hahaha. Hi Tin!!! Garo man su dipisilon ang pigpapaukod mo sakuya.
      Kumusta na. Where on earth are you right now? Give me a call or send me an sms (if you’re here in pinas). My number is 09178116484.
      If you’re in manila, then we can go out with tita fe and the rest of the gang (sumguy & dtn). Give me your number so I can inform you of my manila trips.
      Ingat and God Bless!!!

      1. I forgot to invite gayon. To gayon, hope we get to meet soonest. Warmest greetings to your family.

  49. To Mr Frank Peñones thank you for the information…btw I know your niece joy…she is one of my close friends…

    To gayon, I look forward to meeting you…if you get in touch with iron lady you may get my number if you wish or from tito art…

    1. oh yeah because she also attended b.u. you can track where she is through facebook. the last time she was in south america, viajera just like your name. hahhaha


    2. good, because she also attended b.u. you can track where she is through facebook. the last time she was in south america, viajera just like your name. hahhaha


  50. To my dear pamangkins, dtn, sumguy, saturn, viajera, and also gayon, warmest greeting
    In 1995, with the help of the mayor of Castilla (sorry I forgot his name, because of old age probably?) I was able to secure from the registry of deed in Sorsogon the mother title of that hacienda in Cumadcad, a sitio of Castilla. Is sitio the right word? correct me if i am wrong.
    Sorry I forgot the exact area but the hacienda was about 560 plus hectares, and if divided among the three siblings we could have at least a share of 186 hectares of land.
    But to my dismay at the back of that title I read that the brothers Benjamin and Mario Benito gave the power of attorney to their eldest brother Alfredo Benito. So that explains why we lost everything. A part of it was given to the tenants when the agrarian reforms was implemented. So if you happen to go to Cumadcad, you’ll find a street named after Benjamin Benito, and Saturnino Benito. Saturn passes this place everyday since he works at PNOC in Bacon. Lucky for him he was named after lolo Nino, and for as long as the street name is unchanged his name hangs there. As for the rest of the story of the hacienda, perhaps I’ll just relate it to dtn, for her to relay the history. I’m not a good writer

    1. Thanks, Paris and the rest of the Benito Clan. The information you shared are very interesting. Hope we can publish them here for the rest of the Bikolanos and the world to read. You know, one reason why Bikolanos don’t appreciate their past is because they know nothing about it. May Bik-Lish be one of the venues for sharing and eventual appreciation of Bikol’s past.

      Thanks again

      1. JAC, I got a couple of reasons to thank you.
        First, for starting Bik-Lish.
        Secondly, for giving me a reason to browse the internet again. Hehehe. I got tired of browsing the net a long time ago.
        Third, for providing us (Benito’s) a bridge where we can discuss family history, exhange ideas as well as pleasantries.
        Lastly, but obviously the most important reason why I should thank you, is for providing us a place in cyberspace where we can reach out to other Benito’s wherever they are in this place called earth.
        Thank you very much.
        PS Definitely, you’ll be the guest of honor during our (“first”) reunion. When? The soonest possible time.
        To ironlady, sumguy, dtn and viajera: LET’S PLAN THE REUNION.

  51. great site this great to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  52. to saturn, i met your brother jun in legaspi before through our mutual friend jovic. he really looks benito, like my uncles, handsome. 🙂

    to viajera, i’d be more than happy to meet you too. coz i only have one female cousin that i know, papa ren’s daughter. at least there’s two now. 🙂

    tita fe, my papa sends his regards to you. i hope we can all make up for the lost time, and its a lot. and i dont want to waste another 27 years of my life not knowing the family where i came from. its not too late for all of us.


    1. To gayon, when did you and jun met? If I am not mistaken, your mutual friend’s surname is Altea? Right? Do say hi to your dad for me.

  53. to j a carizo

    are you friends with ulysis digal? maybe you are the jay that i know from BU. 🙂 i graduated from BU-ICCS.

    1. I came from BUCAS… i have friends from BU-ICCS so maybe we met already. 🙂 Di ko sure if Digal ang surname ng isa sa mga kilala kong Ulysis. From BU din siya?

  54. Uly is from BUCENG. He used to be my boardmate as well. Probably we’ve already met. I give you all the credits for authoring Bik-Lish. i wasn’t fully aware of my background until i stumbled upon your site. Divine intervention as how i wanna call it. I wish you all the best and more power. You made Bicol University proud. 🙂 Matibayon.

  55. To gayon

    What a small world ain’t it? What do you know, we come from the same university and same dept if you’re a journalism graduate but I was not aware really that you were there..I graduated 2004, sure would like to know more about you..We probably haven’t met because I carry a different last name, you see my mom is the youngest of the seven benitos that is..Maybe you know her or have met her I’m not sure..But if you often attend family gatherings especially during holy week then perhaps yes..

  56. to viajera

    i haven’t really met any of my father’s other siblings in legaspi. i only know papa ren and papa arthur. Anyway i graduated 2001. Audio Visual major. Try to dig the ICCS “archive” and probably you’ll find me there. 🙂

  57. to saturn

    viajera just left for qatar last april 23. Right now she is staying with ur ta len. I’ll give you a ring very soon, even sooner than u open your biklish.

  58. to j a

    I just talked to an aunt so I could gather more infos about Saturnino Benito, my grandfather. But I have to leave the compilations to dtn as she is the writer of our clan. No one in the family can write better than her.

  59. Отлично Как по мне то не мешало было бы картинок или иллюстраций побольше. Чего вы стесняетесь ребята, вас читают!

    1. That’s a good suggestion. we hope the site owner would really incorporate more illustrations and pics on the site. But since we have really limited resources, may we suggest other readers to contribute whatever pics they have too.

  60. To Saturn,

    Kuya I’ve taken a new path, I’m in search of a better future.
    I go where the wind takes me I guess, but so far it has not been all that great. It’s still a bumpy but hopefully a rewarding ride…
    Soon as I get back though I’d like it very much if we could meet and catch up…It’s been years since I last saw you hehehe…Via con dios!

  61. To Fpj,

    Yes sir we are very much under the same page, joy and I.
    Traveling around in search of something a better and brighter future. We do keep in touch and I hear she’ll be home soon.

  62. Hi! Do you by chance have any information about Domingo Samson?? And was he the one who was lost at sea?? Thanks to anyone who can provide the info!!!

  63. Asia’s Wonder Kids with Adi Maronilla Jr.will be shown on 28th October at these times on Channel News Asia, sky cable. 7.30pm and 12.30am on Wednesday 10.30am on Thursday and 2.30pm on Friday respectively.

  64. to gayon

    hi advance merry christmas to you.
    this is your auntie, wonder if you’re coming home for christmas. If you do, just let me know

  65. Very informative, Mr. Carizo. One very good observation : Joey Salceda is the first and only gay governor of Albay and Bicol

  66. Can you hepl me out pls. If you can provide us the mayors

    LA ( Ligao Albay ) Same as what you did with the past

    Governors. and also some history of it.

  67. hello my middle name is Benito, my grandfather’s name is Arturo. he cud probably be the other son of Don Saturnino. the stories relayed by many of the Benito’s here on your blog are so similar from what my mother used to tell us. at first I dont believe that her uncles had movie production, until I saw a news article she was keeping with her (she’s in pinas) and im in U.S. anyways, it was exactly the same stories from the old man Don Saturnino to the sons Mario who was paralysed, etc. My mom said she used to work as theater cashier in their movie production, the old man wants all his relatives in the workforce. However I think my grandfather Arturo was one of his illegitimate sons, when he passed away we went to Lola Adela’s hse (I was still young cant remember why we went there) apparently to tell her of my lolos passing, etc…I remembered lately my mother’s siblings were fighting for some inheritance but not successful.

  68. Dear Elsa,

    I’m very glad to hear a kin resurface here in Biklish, thanks to J A Carizo. I hope many more would come out. I’ve heard my mom and dad mentioned the name “Arturo Benito” way
    way back when I was a child. Or perhaps he might have come to our place, although I don’t recall much anymore. I met so many kins before but I don’t remember their faces anymore. But as soon as I hear names, it rings a bell.

    Thanks for coming out. Let’s meet when you come home to the Philippines. I’m eager to meet long lost relatives. What is your mother’s name and her address. perhaps I could pay her a visit and reminisce those happy times.

    Your auntie,

  69. Hi Auntie Fe, I got so excited when I recvd ur msg, let alone knowing an aunt. My mother’s name is Remedios. Does her name ring a bell to you?. If you dont mind Auntie, can u pls tell me who your parents are and siblings?, so when I get the chance to talk to my nanay I will ask her. My nanay is having trouble remembering sometimes coz she’s very old. On your reply you sounded a lot younger than my mother who is 82 yrs old now. My mother has no way be able to type nor communicate straight English. Btw, there are lots of Benitos (my cousins) who are now living in Italy. I will encourage them to post here. Thanks po and best regards

  70. Like your mother, my memory is starting to fail me. It comes back after a while though, when I don’t think about it anymore, Well, I’m just as excited as you are. Sorry, i don/t know the children of Arturo, but I’m more than glad to meet all my kins. I’m 66 now. and my siblings are, Romeo, Minda, Ludy, Nestor , Elena and Whinna. My father is Benjamin Benito. I don’t think your mother knows us. I would be delighted to hear from all of your cousins.

  71. Hello again Auntie Fe, tnx 4ur reply. I hv some more questions, is ur father Benjamin the youngest of Lolo Saturnino?. My lolas name is Macaria the wife of Arturo my lolo. I got confused when u said u’re only 66 y/o which means if my lolo was one of the illigits, he was born ahead of ur father. Sorry to open this up. Btw, are u searchable on facebook?, coz there is a group site for Benito clan. If you are, then perhaps we can all link each other and enlighten as all the Benito kins about how the ancentry begun just like what I have from my father side.

  72. search fe benito in facebook – that’s my account’ Yess your lolo was much older than my dad. In fact he was the youngest among the brood. We can chat on face book.

  73. Hi again A.Fe, I reqst add as friend on fb but am not sure if its the right one, coz there are two Fe Benito accts. Hope to connect with you. Best regards.

  74. I ask a questions regarding to the list of governors of albay you posted. If dominador imperial lim became a governor of albay? Because I know at that time, it was vice governor danilo azana succeeded the unfinished term of governor romeo rayala salalima.

    1. Thanks, janrayjustin. I also remember danny azana succeeding romy salalima. I got the listing from the albay library and provincial capitol files. Something must have happened that azana was not included in the official list. This can be a subject of a research

  75. It’s wonderful to see my Family Tree finally getting into shape, BTW I’m a descendant of Alfredo Benito, one of Saturnino Benito’s Children.

  76. I have somewhat forgotten that i used to participate in this thread. It’s amazing to see so many of my relatives here. But id like to share with you guys this piece of History i found in the National Library

    It turns out, Saturnino Benito didnt quite rule for most of his time. He was briefly suspended for 30 days by Malacanan for Abuse of authority during the first year of his service in 1941 (Insert OMG Emoji here)(1). Then by December 9, the Japanese launched the invasion of the Philippines. A document uploaded by the national library (2) narrates that the Bicol Peninsula was overwhelmed by the Japanese sometime in the early 1942. He was replaced by the Japanese and appointed previous governor Mariano Locsin as Occupation Governor until 1944 although he “remained under the helm” of the provincial government until 1945 before liberation. This is in contrast to the History write up of Barangay Bano in Legazpi City by Salustiano Zamora (3). The author claimed that Saturnino Benito stepped down during the Japanese occupation to become a private citizen to manage LEALDA instead. He was only reinstated back to his post in 1945 after the liberation.

    I was quite relieved to know that according to the author of the third citation, My ancestors weren’t actually Japanese Collaborators.





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