Maria, Bitoon sa Kadagatan (Stella Maris)

Sung by Joan Peconcillo and Marlo John Arnante
Musical supervision, Vocal arrangement and orchestration by Maestro Ronaldo Dolor



Estudiantinas de Baao (photos by Bernadette De Los Santos)

The Estudiantinas started in the pre-war years as a rondalla ensemble that accompanied the Soledad procession on Good Friday. Composed mainly of young students (hence, the name), they played the traditional music of the Soledad composed by Jorge Barlin II, Jose Fajardo and Betty Gonzaga. Today, under the leadership of Bernadette De Los Santos et al., the band has incorporated other kinds of musical instruments to augment the dwindling number of string instrument players. Beyond playing music, the association has fostered friendship, discipline and religious devotion among the youth of Baao.

Photos of Baao Lake (courtesy of Michael B. Gaite)

Click on this link for more photos of Baao Lake by Michael B. Gaite.

Baao Lake is a shallow freshwater lake located in Baao, Camarines Sur in Bicol Region, Luzon, Philippines. It has an estimated surface area of 177 hectares (1.77 km²) and reaches an average of only 1 meter deep. During summer months (March-May), the surface area of the lake shrinks leaving only one third of its original size, about 60 ha (0.60 km2). The lake is fed by local run-off and several small rivers, the most important of which is the Tabao River, which flows from another lake, Lake Buhi. The water from the lake then drains west into the Bicol River.


Burikbutikan: Arts Exhibit & Poetry Reading

"A group of Baaeño visual artists, converged with Bikol Poets/Palanca Awardees Kristian Cordero & Frank Peñones Jr. at the Cafe des Artes on April 2, 2011. An art exhibit, local music and poetry reading were held, featuring the works of prime Baaoeno writer, Luis G. Dato. congrats everyone..I am looking forward to more events like this.I hope we can radiate this to the younger genS. iselebrar ag suportahan a tunay na dunong ag talento ka taga Baao." - Bernadette de los Santos

Links to photos of the event:


Baao Children’s Choir Wins NAMCYA 2010

In the recently concluded 2010 National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) National Final Competitions held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Baao District Children’s Choir from Baao, Camarines Sur, led by Conductor Virgilio Briones, was victorious in the Children's Choir Category, winning 1st place and the Best Interpretation Award of the contest piece “Salve Regina,” composed by Alejandro Consolacion.  The NAMCYA Children's Choir Competition was chaired by Maria Lourdes-Hermo.

Links to other songs of the choir:
“A Choral Flourish”
 “Laudamus Te”
“Salva Regina” (contest piece)

Angel growing up in the Philippines


Burikbutikan: Showcase for Artists of Baao

BURIKBUTIKAN: Baao artists now have a place to showcase their works in the gallery housed at the Cafe des Artes, Villa Esperanza, Barrio San Nicolas of Baao, Camarines Sur, Philippines.




Newly Recorded Marian Song: "Ina"

This is a recording of a song composed by Felipe Fruto Ll. Ramirez, SJ, in honor of INA, Our Lady of Penafrancia. Floyd Tena of the Ateneo de Naga University Choir sang the piece. Prof. Joseph B. Reburiano orchestrated the music. The song is part of the repertoire of liturgical music published by the ADNU Choir in the CD "Kamurawayan sa Dios" to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of Our Lady of Penafrancia and the 70th Foundation Year of ADNU.

Featured Songs: "Ina" and "Hesus, Tinapay nin Buhay"


"Finding My Roots" by Marj Mesoga Palencia

About Finding My Roots

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” -- Jane Howard, "Families"

Hello! My name is Marjueve Mesoga Palencia, a Philosophy and Humanities Professor at Far Eastern University (FEU), Manila, Philippines, and I am doing a genealogical research on the following families which have originated from Baao, Camarines Sur, Philippines, namely:

1. Juan Palencia and Paula Sta Maria Dato (b. 1820)
2. Francisca Palencia and Vicente Sta. Maria Dato (b. 1824)
3. Francisco Palencia and Patricia Esplana (b. 1900s)
4. Venancio Palencia and Margarita Bricia (b. 1900s)
5. Carlos Andres Esplana and Vicenta Asuncion Barrameda (b. 1800s)
6. Cerapio Barrameda and Ambrosia Vargas (b. 1900s)
7. Cornelio Breboneria Mesoga and Fortunata Bascuña Baesa (b. 1900s)

This site aims to present the genealogy of the above mentioned families which spans two hundred eleven (211) years of eight generations from 1798 to 2009. The family tree contains more than 5,000 names. Many living family members still reside in Baao, Camarines Sur, while others have settled elsewhere.

This site is primarily for the family members so that we may learn more about our family history, about each other and about our own selves. It is hoped that this will allow us to keep track of each other’s families as well as the new members of our expanding family and hopefully bring us closer together.

Click this to go to the site:


As most of us have experienced a “diaspora” of some sorts, family members leaving home for reason of work, opportunity or necessity, this tracing of our members makes some sense. This genealogy may also contribute to tie together the many loose ends in the family.

While the web makes it easy and convenient to share information, trace and interact with one another in spite of the great physical distances between and among family members, the same technology allows exploitation of the available information about an individual. This site respects and supports the right of individuals to privacy. Hence, this site has suppressed the personal details of all living family members. If you find any information here that you feel violates your right to privacy, please notify the webmaster by e-mail.

A genealogical research such as this never really gets finished or completed. It is always ongoing, without having to mention the errors or missing links and details on the family trees. If you are a family member, you can greatly help enrich our family trees by requesting membership to this site on the right menu button of this page, or by sending me an e-mail. I would be glad to get in touch with you.

Brief Background of this Family Research

In the 1960s, poet laureate Luis G. Dato started to chronicle the big families residing in Baao, Camarines Sur. He got these family trees published in the Baao Town Fiesta Souvenir Programs annually until 1966. At that time, there were just a few hundred names.

For the Palencia Reunion in May 22, 1971 at San Roque, Baao, Camarines Sur, Ernesto B. Palencia started to chronicle the descendands of Jorge Balayboa Palencia and Genoveba Bagaporo Malonda.

Then in 2000, Mr. Ernesto B. Palencia expanded his research to include all the Palencia in Baao, with Juan Palencia and Paula Sta Maria Dato (b. 1820), Francisca Palencia and Vicente Sta. Maria Dato (b. 1824), Francisco Palencia and Patricia Esplana (b. 1900s), and Venancio Palencia – Margarita Bricia (b. 1900s) as points of reference. As a result, the annual family reunions held every summer grew bigger and bigger.

The Esplana Family Tree which was started by Luis G. Dato, with the family of Carlos Andres Esplana and Vicenta Asuncion Barrameda (b. 1800s) as point of reference is now expanded by Ernesto B. Palencia and Marjueve M. Palencia.

Recently, we have started to document the family members of Cerapio Barrameda and Ambrosia Vargas (b. 1900s) and Cornelio Breboneria Mesoga and Fortunata Bascuña Baesa (b. 1900s).

To date, we have documented more than 5,000 family members and the family tree is available on this site and at MyHeritage.

Please request membership to the site to gain full access.

Thank you for visiting.

“No matter where you live, brothers are brothers and sisters are sisters. The bonds that keep family close are the same no matter where you are.” -- Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005


Remembering Papa Manuel

By Aida B. del Rosario

When did we, his immediate nieces and nephews, start calling him Papa Manuel? I've never thought of this before because it was just so. Children are followers and are not supposed to ask questions. Maybe it was because he was an idealist, a perfectionist and very strict like a pope that the family teased him by calling him Pope (Papa in Spanish) Manuel. Or is it short for papay, a title before the name of an uncle in Baao. There were times when I heard whispers from friends – Is he her father? - when they heard me say Papa instead of tio or tiyong. There are two answers to that question: Biologically – no, emotionally – certainly yes.

I can't remember when I learned that Papa Manuel was born prematurely, that he had a wet nurse because his mother died after giving birth, that he was so tiny, he had to be kept warm with a rubber hot water bottle; that he was left-handed and had to learn to be right-handed when he entered the seminary because in those days, this was considered not only as an abnormality that is frowned on but also the belief that the left hand is the devil's instrument or something like that.

I've read years ago about how difficult it is to change from left to right-handedness, that it could create behavior problems since it was ingrained in the fetal brain. Did the devil do that??? Whenever I see someone writing with the left hand, like President Barack Obama, Papa Manuel comes to my mind. I strongly believe that his short tempered behavior may be the result of being trained to be “perfect”!!! His irritable behavior made a negative impact on priests and others who were affected by it. I know that many despised him and it worried me.

The earliest memory I have of him was in Salvacion, when I asked my Lola (Grandma, his stepmother) what those two furry animals are and where they came from, as she allowed me to feed them with kangkong. She said that they are cuneos (rabbits) and Papa Manuel brought them for us, the same answer I got at different times when I asked what “these” are (uvas - grapes) or “that" (manzanas -apples); the Hershey's kisses and the Almond Roca were just dulces. Those were some of the goodies that appeared when he came to visit his parents. I've always wondered where he got those rabbits.

When he became the Rector of the Peñafrancia shrine, he made Papa move our family to Naga. We stayed in one of the big rooms of the combento. It was surprising to find bats almost everywhere especially inside the dark shrine. They were exterminated with the renovation and the shrine was painted inside and out in preparation for the silver jubilee of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

The silver jubilee celebration was the biggest event I've ever experienced. My parents were greatly involved with the food preparation, while I helped with setting the very long table. After the high mass, the Papal Nuncio and the bishops in red robes and other dignitaries congregated in the big hall of the convent, socializing while waiting to be seated for breakfast, which was closer to lunch. It seemed as if all the bishops in the country left their diocese to come to Naga. Had I kissed all the bishop's rings, I could have accumulated enough indulgences to last a lifetime.

He started to travel to the US and Europe in the 1950s to raise funds for a church renovation or to build a seminary. He usually had something for us on his return, like my first camera from the US, a filigreed golden butterfly brooch from Spain, a small bottle of perfume from France, and my favorite – a pin with a dangling tiny golden bell that tinkled when I moved; it had an etching of St. Peter's Square and Basilica around it.

After I left the country, I realized that Gubat Sorsogon, Virac Catanduanes, and Calbayog Samar all had beautiful beaches and I wondered if he had the influence to get those appointments so that his nieces and nephews could vacation there. I had my first airplane ride from Virac, alone in a small plane that jumped through air pockets, to return home in time for our teenage group's party in San Nicolas. The scariest storm I experienced was in Gubat. I thought we would be blown away in the night with the nipa hut we were occupying near the seashore. After I passed the nurses' board exams, he invited me to the town fiesta in Calbayog. He introduced me to the medical director of the new hospital, who was also from Bicol (Sorsogon), who offered me a job there. I bet Papa Manuel had something to do with the offer I couldn't refuse.

I heard from my brother that he had visited remote barrios and islands by motorized banca, where the people had not seen a priest, much less a bishop; that he baptized and confirmed children and old people.

He visited me when I was in Minnesota and again in Canada, either on his way to Rome to attend Vatican II or from there going home.

He was in Rome when I wrote that I was getting married. He immediately replied that he was coming to officiate at the wedding. His wedding gifts were three crucifixes, one for each bedroom for a new house and a crystal bead rosary, all “blessed by the Pope” he said. The next time he came to visit me, I had two children. Although he was now their lolo (grand-uncle), I preferred that they call him Papa Manuel. It broke my heart to see him walk with a limp, with his arm (can't remember if it was the right or left) in a sling. This was the result of a stroke while he was in Rome. His speech was slurred but understandable. He always had a chewing gum to keep the saliva flowing to help his speech.

We went to Mt. Rainier, a popular tourist spot here. It was summer, (July) but the mountain was covered with snow, “...just like the Alps.” he said. My sister Salve and his priest attendant made snowballs and threw them to each other. Before he left, two of my friends asked him to bless their new house and he did, limping through the rituals.

Sadly, I became a big disappointment to him by getting divorced. He came for the last time. As soon as his volcanic sermon started, I went into a survival stance by bowing, and repeated in my head - “Lord, forgive him for I don't know if I can; forgive him for he knows not that there was a wedding but no marriage, that if I continue to be both father and mother to my three children and stay married, it would be suicide and that is a sin, so which is the bigger sin - divorce or suicide; and I don't want my kids to go through what I went through – losing my mother and step-mother before their children were grown; that I was wedded to one who was so sure somebody like me will never get a divorce no matter what.” I can't remember what was said before and after “...sayang ang pinag-aralan... you went to the best Catholic schools...” Life is full of irony, so I had to learn to smile with the punches.

My favorite funny story was told by my brother and male cousins who have served him at Mass – that he would get very upset at any little mistake and would scold them in Baaeño right there at the altar while his head was bowed, and since nobody else could understand the language, the other servers thought he was saying a special prayer.

When I was at UST, he came to visit me at the Nurses' Home. The Spanish nun-dorm-matron, who had never been face to face with a bishop, could hardly talk to tell me to go downstairs pronto, pronto! Since I was the only one there, I thought there was a medical emergency. With pursed lips, she signaled me with her eyes to the waiting room. And there was Papa Manuel pacing faster than an expectant father. Before I could kneel to kiss his ring, he had started to scold me - “Ono ta mala mong uban na pasini?” (Why did it take so long for you to come here?) What else could I do but to listen, that he had to hurry back to the seminary, that I better hurry and tell him what I needed for my graduation. Can you imagine seeing a bishop in a white flowing garb, walking from the seminary located at one end of the huge campus to the opposite end where I was!

That was my beloved Papa Manuel. There are many more stories, like bringing a green mango for me from the Philippines when I was in Canada. Maybe next time, I'll tell you how he got through customs inspection.

I used to feel bad and intensely frustrated that I was not available to take care of him, who anticipated my needs and gave me so much for a better future.

I am most grateful for the chance to have filed the fingernails and tied the shoe laces of the specially made boots of “the little bishop that could.”

Historical Note:

I thought it best to include the following note to show the inaccurate online news reports:
The Second Vatican Council was opened on October 11, 1962 by Pope John XX111 (after four years of planning since 1959). There were four sessions. The last three sessions were in 1963 - 1965 presided by Pope Paul V1 ( following Pope John).The final session opened - September 14, 1965, and closed - December 8, 1965. Papa Manuel could have had the stroke after 1964 because that was the year I was married.

Oldest Filipino Bishop Laid to Rest

MALOLOS, Bulacan, March 27, 2009— The country’s oldest bishop and the only living participant to the Vatican II, Bishop Manuel Del Rosario, was laid to rest Friday at the crypt of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, here.

The ceremony was led by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams with Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, Balanga Bishop Socrates B. Villegas, Daet Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera, Calbayog Bishop Isabelo C. Abarquez, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias S. Iniguez, Batanes Bishop Camilo D. Gregorio, Virac Bishop Manolo A. Delos Santos, Malolos Bishop Emeritus Cirilo Almario, Malolos Bishop Jose F. Oliveros and several other bishops as concelebrants.

In his homily, Archbishop Adams praised Bishop Del Rosario for being “a priest for 70 years, a bishop for 53 years and a Christian for the past 93 years.”

He added “now our brother, priest and bishop has gone ahead of us” and “death has come close to us again.”

He said “when someone we know dies the thought of their living in another dimension strengthens us in our sorrow.”

He added “we cannot but think of the life of our brother bishop, Bishop Del Rosario, who in so many ways had faith in his existence serving God – as a priest and as a bishop.” He said the late bishop never wavered “in his trust with our Lord God as Bishop Manuel is a child of God.

He concluded by saying the late prelate is “the exponent of hope” for “even in his illness, he served the Lord.”

The country’s oldest and one of the world’s oldest bishops died peacefully at Yanga Hospital in Bocaue, Bulacan early Monday morning after contracting pneumonia.

From CBCP News http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/8073

In Paradisum: A Tribute to Bp. Manuel Del Rosario


A Tribute to Msgr. Del Rosario

To All the People of Baao:
Bishop Manuel Del Rosario was born in Salvacion, Baao, Camarines Sur, according to some written articles about him. We should therefore honour him for his achievement and his service to the catholic church in the country, especially in Salvacion where he was born and the whole of Baao and the country. He should be in our history book to be honoured and remembered in his death. Our sympathy and condolences goes to his his immediate family and to the church he loves.
May he Rest in Peace with our Lord!
Antonio Badiola & Famiy


+ Bishop Manuel P. Del Rosario (1915-2009)





1 Jul 1915




25 Mar 1939


Ordained Priest

Priest of Sorsogon, Philippines

24 May 1955



Coadj. Bp. of Calbayog, Philippines

24 May 1955



Titular Bishop of Zerta

25 Jul 1955


Ordained Bishop

Titular Bishop of Zerta

25 Jul 1958



Bishop of Calbayog, Philippines

11 Dec 1961



Bishop of Malolos, Philippines

11 Mar 1962



Bishop of Malolos, Philippines

15 Dec 1977



Bishop of Malolos, Philippines

23 Mar 2009



In Malolos


A 1957 Photo of Children's Party to Celebrate Fred Perdon's 5th Birthday

An old photo, taken at the Imperial's residence in Santa Cruz, of a children's party to celebrate Fred Perdon's 5th birthday on 18 December 1957. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)