EMILIO COSME GONZALEZ Y SIOCO[1]

(1886 – 1925)

            Emilio Cosme Gonzalez y Sioco was the third among the Gonzalez brothers.  He was born in Apalit on September 27, 1866. His parents were Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez and Florencia Sioco.

Like his brothers, Emilio went abroad  to take further studies.  He went to the foremost university in Japan at that time, to study Pharmacy.  After his studies, he opened a botica,  a pharmacy store, next to his older brother Dr. Jesus Gonzalez’ clinic. Dr. Jesus was a very famous doctor, and had many patients. So, whenever Dr. Jesus prescribed a medicine, it was inevitable that the patient would go next door to the botica of Emilio, to fill up the prescription.  It was a good partnership between brothers.

The handsome Gonzalez brothers were well-sought after in Pampanga’s  important social gatherings. They interacted  with all the buena familias  and who invariably were blood relatives with them. So it was no surprise to everyone that Emilio proposed marriage to Rosario “Charing” Valdez   y Liongson, another member of the rich families in Apalit. They got married on October 8, 1916 when Emilio was already 30 years old and Charing was a young 23 year old.

Emilio and Rosario

They had six children in succession, four boys and two girls. They were Joaquin “Jake” Thomas de Aquinas ( o 1918, and +1952), Romeo (o 1919 and +1988), Erlinda (o 1921), Rodolfo (o 1922 and +1952),  Raquel (o 1924 and + 2013) and Emilio Jr. (o 1926 and +2012), three of whom are alive to this date. [2]

Emilio died in 1925 due to complications arising from diabetes. He was 39 years old.

His young widow, 31- year old Doña Charing Valdez Gonzalez, became sad and depressed after this death.  Their  youngest son, Emilio, was born 7 months after the death of his father.   So, Augusto bought the house of Emilio in Sulipan, Apalit, and moved the widow and her children to Barrio Sta. Lucia,  San Fernando, ( capital of Pampanga)  where there were more people and activities to distract her. They just rented a house while they were there.

Doña Charing was only three years in San Fernando when her aunt, Florentina Valdez inherited a house in Baculud (now known as Bacolor) from Don Jose Talag. Florentina convinced Doña Charing to also buy a house in Baculud. This is where the children lived until they grew up. When they were living in Sta. Lucia, the children would just walk to school. When they moved to Baculud, they had to become interns “interna” and go home only during weekends.

JOAQUIN THOMAS DE AQUINAS GONZALEZ

Joaquin “Jake” Thomas de Aquinas Gonzalez was the eldest of the children of Emilio and Rosario Valdez.  He had a good career, married a girl from the affluent dela Rama family in Iloilo, and was socially active. He became the National President of the JAYCEE, a social group. He was on his way to Baguio for the National Convention to get reelected, when death overtook him.  His plane crashed in the mountains of Baguio and ended his life.

Jake and his wife had difficulty in  having children.  But at the time of the accident, his wife, Lourdes, had become pregnant with their first child.  So they decided that Jake take the trip to Baguio alone.  They were really looking forward to having the child and raising it. The child, Anne Marie, was born three months after Jake’s death.

Jake was 34 years old when he died in 1952.

ERLINDA GONZALEZ-RODRIGUEZ

(Erlinda was the third child of Emilio and Doña Charing.  She is the one who is narrating this story, so we continue with the story…..)

It was in Baculud (Bacolor) that Erlinda, or “Erly” as she was called, met her husband.  Her husband is  Jose Rodriguez, whose mother Victoria, comes from the wealthy  Hizon-Singian family from San Fernando. He had three aunts who were spinsters living in Baculud who were daughters of Godofredo Rodriguez, related to the mother of Florencia Sioco y Rodriguez, Matea Rodriguez.   In their family, the boys took care of the old people, so Jose took care  of his mother, Victoria Hizon, until her death.

When Erly’s mother died in 1976, she gave Erly the house. The house was a very classical antique house, and someone fell in love with it.  Erly sold the house before 1991, before the Mt. Pinatubo lava explosion buried all the houses in Bacolor.  The buyer hired a Jewish expert who dismantled the house piece by piece and brought it to Cavite where it now stands.

Erly and Pepe live in Quezon City. They have three sons and daughters who are all grown up and have families of their own.


[1] As narrated by Emilio’s daughter, Erlinda Gonzalez Rodriguez, to the author on November 12, 2011.

[2]  I have put a “o” to indicate the date of birth, and a “+” to indicate the date of death.