The Asuncions of Bulan, Sorsogon

When I started my work on the Imperials of Albay, many encouraged me to write also on a number of local clans and families. These include the Maronillas who, apparently, are our distant relatives by affinity. But while research works like these are interesting, the availability of resources are not.

But the members of the Benito Clan, unintentionally, showed us how to build patches of history — that is, through  information-sharing. What they did is actually a model in knowledge development. Dakul an natatakot na mag-share ki information for a number of reasons pero an dai ninda aram, when one shares a set of information and another adds what he knows, a new set of information is developed. Bako arog kan pagkaon o ano pa man na bagay. When two kinds of food are set on the table, nothing new is developed. Pag kinaon pa, nawawara na. An inpormasyon, kun dai hihilomon, lalo pang nabibilog sa sarong bagong kaaraman.


The work of the younger Benitos is also being done now by Jun Asuncion of Bulan Observer. Just lately, he published an article trying to clarify some gray areas in his roots. Entitled “The Noodle in Asuncion’s Soup“, the article validates the reports on the intermarriage between the locals, the Chinese and the Spaniards. Puwede pa nganing sabihon na an mga Bikolano kaito, bakong mga racists. If Jose Rizal’s novels indeed reflect the situation of his time, we can decipher some form of racism and discrimination against the Chinese.  (Never mind the Filipinos. Discriminated na talaga sinda bilang mga “indio”).

Proofs of the absence of racism in Bicol are the following: 1. The intermarriage of the locals (and mestizos) and the Chinese (see Jun Asuncion’s article here, and Biklish’s article on the Imperials), and (2) the lack of Chinatown in the region.

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4 thoughts on “The Asuncions of Bulan, Sorsogon

  1. As promised, one Filipino poem in my baul:

    Epilogo sa Isang walang Hanggan

    Tinatangay ka sa hibla ng mga alaalang
    nagkukubli sa gayad ng nakaraan.
    Tinitingnan kita at sinasalat ko

    ang kabang laging kumakatok
    sa dibdib ko tuwing kaharap ka.
    Hindi na nga ako kinakabahan.

    At nakakatakot pala iyon—
    ang isang araw gumising
    kang hindi mo na kailangan

    ang taong pinili mong buuhin
    ang iyong walang hanggan.
    Inaanod ka na kasama ng mga

    pangarap na nilaro natin.
    Hindi mo kasi magawang
    kumapit sa lubid na minsan

    nating hinabi upang tumawid
    sa milya-milya nating
    Pagitan. Parang pangitaing

    binura ang lahat-lahat sa laot
    ng puso nating nilayag ng takot.
    Nawawala ka nang unti-unti

    kahit noon pang tinatahi
    natin ang ating mga labi.
    Ah! Napakahirap mangulilala

    sa tulad mong hindi mawawala.
    Umiiyak ako tuwing mararamdaman
    kita kahit di kita nakikita

    Ngunit matapos ang lahat, nakakalitong
    Ikaw ay narito sa aking harapan
    Ngunit di na kita maramdaman.

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