WHAT BEING A “DOBLE ZETA” MEANS TO ME

If you reside in San Francisco, living your own life, what is the benefit of knowing you are a “Doble Zeta”?

If you live in Baliuag, and know that, somehow, you are related to the personage that the main street is named after, Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez? Does it help your life?

If you find out that these celebrities—Vicky Belo, Ryan Agoncillo, and Gene Gonzalez—they are related to you, what does that mean to you?

If you are a student of La Salle University, and find out that the newest building is named after Brother Andrew Gonzalez, and you are related to him—does your heart swell with pride?

It’s been 202 years since Friar Fausto Lopez, the ancestor of the Gonzalez Doble Zeta, was born in Valladolid, Spain.  He travelled to the Philippines when he was 18 years old, fresh from the seminary. He was assigned to Cebu initially, then to Plaridel, Bulacan.  When he was 34, he was reassigned to Bulacan, this time to Baliuag. There he met his match,  the beauteous Mariquita Gonzalez.  She came from a wealthy and landed family. She was strong-willed, intelligent and considered unconventional for her time. Their romantic liaison produced six children—Soledad, Jose, Joaquin, Carmen, Rita and Francisco.  Since Mariquita and Friar Lopez were not married, the children took the name of their mother, “Gonzalez”.  The “Doble Zeta” is because Gonzalez is spelled with two “z’s” , or “doble zeta” in Spanish.

Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez became well-known in Baliuag, Bulacan because he represented Bulacan in the 1835  Constitutional Convention. The marker in Baliuag says that, “after Mariano Ponce, Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez is the next favorite son of Baliuag.”

Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez moved to the next town Apalit, Pampanga  when he married Florencia Sioco, the daughter of a wealthy businessman.  They had ten sons who gave them 82  grandchildren.

Table 1. FOUR GENERATIONS OF THE GONZALEZ DOBLE ZETAS

Total

First Generation Friar Fausto Lopez

1

Second Generation

Soledad

Jose

Joaquin

Carmen

Rita

Francisco

6

Soledad

Jose

Joaquin

Carmen

Rita

Francisco

Third Generation

6

6

10

0

0

11

33

Fourth Generation

24

18

82

0

0

22

146

Alive from 4th Gen

1

2

20

0

0

5

28

My mother, Eglantine, was the third eldest child among the Fourth Generation of the Gonzalez clan.   She would have turned 100 years old this 2013.  The eldest among the Fourth Generation children was Rogerio Gonzalez, son of Augusto Gonzalez.  The second eldest among the Fourth Generation was Eglantine’s brother, Amaury Gonzalez. Eglantine and Amaury were children of Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez’ eldest child, Dr. Fernando Gonzalez.

It was my mother who drummed into my mind the importance of being a Gonzalez.  She often said that the Gonzalez had “the bluest blood running in their veins.”  Even if it probably meant “the royalty” among the people of Baliuag and Apalit,  in my innocent mind, it  felt like royalty among the people of the whole Philippines, nay, even of the whole world.

My mother also told me to be proud of being a Gonzalez. It wasn’t too hard, since Brother Andrew Gonzalez’ block-long ancestral house was close to ours. It’s like saying, “We’re rich, too!” Brother Andrew was the son of Augusto “Bosio” Gonzalez, the millionaire brother of my mother’s father.  When Augusto made his first million pesos, he built and donated the Municipal Hall of Apalit, Pampanga. He named it after his mother, Florencia Sioco Gonzalez. My mother didn’t say it, but I could tell that her uncle Lolo Bosio was her idol.  She wanted to be rich like him one day.

When I was preparing to study at the University of the Philippines, my mother proudly pointed out to me that  her Uncle, Bienvenido “Bindo” Gonzalez, the brother of her father, was  the Sixth President of the University of the Philippines.  Lolo Bindo moved the University of the Philippines from Manila to Diliman, Quezon City, just before the war broke out.  He was a highly principled man who refused to give a Doctorate Honoris Causa at the UP  to someone he considered a “rebel”, and therefore unworthy of the honor,  — the then president of Indonesia, President Sukarno.  If I remember right, Lolo Bindo was almost replaced from his job for this action.  But he had the support of the students, who shared his strong sense of “honor”.  They put up banners and staged rallies.  He was reinstated shortly after.

My mother also spoke tenderly of another brother of her father, Pampanga Representative Fausto Gonzalez, who was not only handsome and charismatic; he was also popular as a politician. I used the adverb “tenderly” with regard to Lolo Fausto, because he was so good-looking, he had women fighting over him.

Well, it wasn’t hard to look for Heroes among my mother’s TEN uncles.  They were so many to choose from. Then, my mother had 82 first cousins, many of them brilliant and successful as their parents.  From  her grandfather’s siblings, she had a total of 146 cousins.

Now the baton has passed on to me. My son doesn’t share my mother’s views. He says, “What is so great about coming from an illicit relationship with a priest who broke his vows?”

I have to ask your opinion.