A History of the old Families of Cagayan de Oro city, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao island
           by Antonio Gaane Faustino II y Chaloner

Article 1: Cruz Family

The history of the Spanish-Mestizo "Cruz" family of Cagayan de Oro started when an intrepid Spanish soldier, Don Gaspar Cruz I was born in 1858 in the city of Badajoz of the rugged Extremadura province of Spain. After enlisting in the Spanish Army(Ejercito de Espanya) in the 1870s, he arrived in the Philippines in 1875, and was stationed at Intramuros in Manila.

In 1878, Don Gaspar Cruz I was stationed in Cagayan de Oro, and was assigned to a Hunter(Cazador) battalion known as the "Los Garbozos"(the elegant ones). During his army stint, he met a Mestiza-Spaniard, Donya Ana Garcia , the daughter of the Gobernadorcillo of Cagayan de Oro during that era by which they had a son, Antonio Cruz. After his service in the "Ejercito de Espanya"(Spanish Army), Don Gaspar Cruz I was given a land grant of 300 hectares by the Spanish crown in Pangasihan, Gingoog city, Misamis Oriental which he put to good use as a coconut plantation. He also owned a ship, the "SS Dalingding" which he used to transport goods that he sold and traded along the coastlines of Mindanao and the Visayas islands.

During the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Spanish garrison in Cagayan de Oro after learning of the surrender of Admiral Montojo in Manila Bay decided to leave their guns and equipment with Don Gaspar , now a civilian, for safekeeping. Filipino revolutionaries in Cagayan de Oro at one point demanded that Gaspar I surrender the Spanish armoury of Cagayan de Oro, but he refused because he was instructed by Spanish authorities to give the arms only to the Americans, and he sincerely believed that the Spaniards lost to the Americans so he figured that the arms should only be turned over to the Americans. This incident became an issue later on in Cagayan de Oro history when a local historian, Mr. Bautista accused Gaspar I of being a traitor. The Cruz family nearly sued the historian for defamation because Mr. Bautista's account was based solely on the oral account of Apolinar Velez, a Cagayanon that participated in the revolution of 1898, and the Cruz' side of the story was never presented. Don Gaspar Cruz I died in Cebu city in the house of his only son, Antonio Cruz in 1930.

Antonio Cruz went on to marry a Mestiza-Chinese, Donya Mercedez Camara y Reyes. Donya Camara's father, Don Sixto Camara, also had a native tribal consort or mistress from the Higaunon highlander tribe of Mindanao island, southern Philippines with whom he sired a son, Ricardo Camara who later on became the overall chieftain of the Higaunon highlander tribes in the 1970s. Ricardo then became known as Datu Ricardo "El Sultan" Camara, also known as "Datu Mabalao" to his Higaunon tribesmen followers. In 1977, he was kidnapped by a group of communist guerillas in the forests of Agusan Del Sur province, and he was never found again.

The marriage of Don Antonio Cruz, and Donya Mercedes Camara produced five kids namely Mario, Carolina, Estela, Ema, Gaspar II, and Raul.

Ema Cruz married Salvador Abiera from Antique province, and owned the 'Compania ISECOR', a shipyard and machine shop in Cebu city, Cebu province.

Raul Cruz engaged in various businesses including the exclusive franchise to the car insurance of American servicemen at Clark Air Base, Wholesale tire retread business for Firestone Tires, and supplier of pigheart valves to an American Heart valve manufacturer. He is now retired in Australia.

Gaspar Cruz II was engaged in various farm and food businesses, including a meat market in Cagayan de Oro, and managing the Cruz clan hacienda in Pangasihan, Gingoog city, province of Misamis Oriental. He also fought in World War II against Japanese forces as a second lieutenant at the young age of 19 years old under Colonel Ruperto Kangleon's command in Leyte island. Gaspar Cruz II, also known as 'Lolo Niting' is known for his fearlessness. In the 1980s, at the height of the communist insurgency in Mindanao when people were abandoning their farms to the communists,he stood by the family hacienda in Gingoog city. In fact, a seven(7) man communist squad tried to attack the family farm in 1985, but 'lolo Niting', and his Encargador(farm manager) fought off the communist attackers killing three(3) of the rebels. He is now enjoying his retirement years with his beautiful wife, Caesarea Garcia in San Diego, California with whom he has 8 children, Gaspar Cruz III, Francis, Miguel, Mabel, Jose,...to be continued.....

Article 2: The Neri Family

One of the ancestors of the Neri family was the famous royal chieftain of Lanao province, Datu Samporna.....to be continued...

Article 3: The Wilkomm Family

The Wilkomm family patriarch was a German national who married a Mestiza-Visayan. He started a construction business that counts the Provincial Capitol of Cagayan de Oro city as one of its completed projects. He also ventured into the logging business, and bought an airplane that he used for surveying his logging interests in Mindanao island.....to be continued.....

Article 4: The Gaane-Chaloner family

The Chaloner family traces their origins to the royal Prince Madocryme of Wales, England whose descendants settled in Chalon, France then immigrated to the United States. To this day, the Prince' descendants now living in Montana, United States still have the royal coat of arms..... One of the Chaloner descendants, John Charles Chaloner ended up in Cagayan de Oro, and married Matilda Valdehueza....John Charles Chaloner had a cattle ranch in Bukidnon...to be continued... ....The Gaane family patriarch, Cesareo Caharian Gaane I traces his ancestry to the Indonesian island group of Mollucas. In fact, to this day, there is a Gaane district in the Mollucas island group. The district of Gaane is located in the southern tip of Halmahera island which is part of the Mollucas or Spice island group of Indonesia. It is the only place in the whole world that is called Gaane. Halmahera island is sandwiched midway between northern Sulawesi island and the western tip of Irian Jaya.(See the three maps) Interestingly, the Mollucas island group is the only area in predominantly muslim Indonesia that has a Christian majority. The Mollucas or spice islands is also the scene of ongoing violent communal fighting between Christians and Muslim Jihad groups.

To give you an idea of how close Halmahera island is to Mindanao, the nearby big island of Sulawesi is only 18 hours by boat from General Santos city in Cotabato province, Mindanao. Travel time is much shorter now specially since Aboitiz Air Transport started operating a route between Sulawesi island and General Santos city.

Indonesian immigration to the Philippines has been recorded historically in at least two instances. The more recent instance occurred only in the last four decades. According to a survey conducted by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration, there are currently more than 7,200 Indonesians in Mindanao who entered the country without proper documents. It was found out that many of them have lived in Mindanao for more than three decades, had married Filipino spouses and had assimilated into Philippine society. As such, many prefer to stay as legalized aliens rather than be repatriated. The largest concentration of Indonesians can be found in Saranggani Province – about 3,000 live there – while others can be found in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and North Cotabato.

We also have some historical information of another much earlier instance of Indonesian immigration. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Ternate island was the most important of the Mollucas islands in Indonesia. Ternate island is right off the coast of nearby Halmahera island where the town of Gaane is also located. At that time, several of the colonizing countries of rope quarreled over their claim to get hold of the monopoly of the spice trade of the world. In 1655, however, the Spaniards had to withdraw from the Moluccas in order to concentrate their forces in Manila. This was to fortify themselves against the threatened attack of a Chinese warlord, Koxinga.

In moving out of the Moluccas, the Spanish missionary who went with the troops took along with him some 200 Mollucan Christians, better known as Márdikas. To this band of 200 Mollucan Indonesian immigrants can be traced the origin of Chabacano or Creole Spanish in the Philippines.

The Mollucan immigrants settled in Ermita, Manila for a short time. By 1700, The Spaniards decided to move the Mollucans to the mouth of the river of the Tagalog town of Maragondon, Cavite because they got into frequent fights with the Tagalog tribe. It is a place about 50 miles south of Manila, opposite the island of Corregidor, right at the entry of Manila Bay. The immigrants called this new settlement, Ternate, after their own homeland in the Moluccas.

IN a 1973 study, there were 8,000 inhabitants of the town of Ternate who speak Ternatenyo, a form of Creole Spanish. It has not been ascertained if these people invented the language that they speak now or if they adapted a Spanish military pidgin or a Portuguese Pidgin brought from the Moluccas. Large numbers of Ternatenyos also moved to Cavite where they were employed in the Spanish naval shipyard. Overtime, another Spanish-Creole arose called Cavitenyo that was enriched by daily contact with Spanish sailors and soldiers. There were 5,000 Cavitenyo speakers according to a 1956 study. Both Spanish creoles are now popularly reffered to as Chabacano de Cavite.

While, some scholars claim that the Creole-Spanish spoken currently by 800,000 Visayans and Muslims in Zamboanga developed independently, the fact remains that Cavitenyos, Ternatenyos, Mexican, and Spanish soldiers sent to Zamboanga departed from either Cavite naval base or Manila so it was inevitable that were was at least some intermixing of the two Chabacanos. Furthermore, over time, Ternatenyos did immigrate separately to the Visayas islands as well as to Mindanao, independent of any Spanish military expeditions to Zamboanga. Vicente Gaane I, the grandfather of Cesareo Gaane I, sailed to Panay then to Cebu, and finally to Cagayan de Oro in the early 1800s where he married a lady from the Neri family clan. His son, Vicente Gaane II married Pia Caharian also of Cagayan de Oro. Due to his fluency of the Spanish language, Vicente Gaane I worked for the Spanish Gobernadorcillo of Misamis in the late 19th century as a writer.

This is the historical background of the Gaane Family clan as retold by the Gaane patriarch Cesareo Caharian Gaane I, and corroborated by his wife, Carrie Chaloner Gaane, one of the daughters of John Charles Chaloner.

Cesareo I's eldest son was Colonel Cesareo Chaloner Gaane II who served in the Philippine Army's Scout Ranger Regiment. While stationed with the Philippine Army's "Task Force Agusan" in eastern Mindanao in the 1970s he was offered the honorary tribal chief rank of "Datu" for helping the Higaunon highlander tribes fight the communist rebels in their tribal lands.It was during this time that Colonel Gaane also met, and became a friend of the Mestizo-Higaunon highlander Datu Ricardo Camara before the good Datu was kidnapped by communist guerillas. Colonel Cesareo Gaane I later on became one of the organizers of the abortive coup attempt of Colonel Alexander Noble of the Philippine Army, and ex-Cagayan de Oro city Mayor, Reuben Canoy, to secede from the Philippines, and declare the "Independent Republic of Mindanao" in the late 1980s.....On the other hand, Cesareo Gaane's eldest daughter, Nancy Chaloner Gaane did post-graduate studies in Israel, and went on to become at one time a Training consultant for the German Government Technical Agency, Gesellschaft Technische Zusamenarbeit(GTZ), and a Physical Fitness trainor to the diplomatic community in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. She is also the author of the diet and nutrition book, "The Food Jungle".....to be continued.....

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