EARLY EXPLANATIONS ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE FIEL CLAN IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Edict of Claveria was imposed on the Filipinos on November 21, 1849. This was the Spanish colonial decree establishing the systematic distribution of family names and the imposition of the Spanish naming system on the inhabitants of the Philippines. The surnames were culled from many Philippine languages, including Tagalog and Cebuano. Spanish, however, provided the bulk of the surnames.
Prudencio Tan Fiel, grandson of Antero Fiel of Ormoc, shared that when he was taking his EIT (Engineering In Training) studies at the University of Southern California, he met a Spanish historian, paleontologist, archeologist taking doctorate studies in paleontology in that school. He asked Pru how he got his last name.
“I told him probably it was of Spanish origin,” Pru narrated.
The Spanish historian explained that normally Spanish surnames are named after towns, villages, and communities where a person comes from. For example, Madrid, Villahermosa, Barcelona, Sevilla, etc. and also normally they are nouns, i.e., names of places and things like Gracia, Mesa, Laguna, Luna etc. and very rarely adjectives like Fiel. But from this guy's experience, he noted that in places that the Spaniards and Portuguese have colonized like South America, the natives were designated adjective word surnames like Bueno (good), Malo (bad), Delgado (thin), to indicate personalities and characteristics because the colonizers did not know the names of the places where the natives came from.
Assuming that we were only given designated Fiel surname, then our ancestors must have been very good people because Fiel means loyal, faithful and true.
However, it is surprising that in the list of surnames in that Edict of Claveria ,the Fiel surname was not listed! Meaning, our surname was not designated by the Spaniards to several people of a certain area. This Fiel surname, therefore, had a bearer(!) and was already existent prior to the Philippine distribution of surnames.
When I first asked my Lolo and Lola where did the Fiel Clan originated, they told me that the Fiel Clan were originally from Guimbangco-an, Sibonga, Cebu. They said that Cebu during the early 20th century was a very poor province. The composition of the soil is mostly rocky and so, the crops they planted almost produce no yield. That is why, the Fiel families transferred to Mindanao where corn plants grew higher than the farmers!
However, the Borromeo Clan of Cebu had also their explanation about the origin of the Fiel Clan. They claimed that sometime in the not-so-distant past, a relative of theirs with a Borromeo last name was trying to escape the arms of the law, settled in Ormoc. To make his identity change complete, he changed his last name to Fiel and married an Ormocana. In short, they claimed that the Fiels in Ormoc are actually Borromeos. Assuming that this claim is true, it can never claim to be the origin of all the Fiel families in Ormoc and all Fiels in general. It can only be rightly said that one of their kind decided to be one of us.
THE FACT ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE FIEL CLAN IN THE PHILIPPINES
The first Fiel to arrive in the Philippines was a prayle from the Augustinian Order. He was Fr. Felizardo Fiel, OSA. From Spain, he was sent to Cebu for a mission. His two brothers Favian Fiel and Andres Fiel who were non-priests followed him but they did not stay in Cebu. They preferred to stay in Dumaguete in Negros. As expected, many ladies fell to their natural charm because they were handsome mestizos. It was not surprising then that Favian was nicknamed “Terong.” Etymologically, terongon in deep Sugbuanon dialect means "to father many children."
From Dumaguete, they transferred to Ormoc. It proved to be a wise move. Favian became the first cabeza de barangay of Ormoc back in 1860s when it was still a barangay. He must have been very influential! He initiated the construction of a bridge called “Fuente dela Reina” adjacent to where the city hall of Ormoc stands today. This bridge is still existing and efforts were made to preserve it because the name of Favian Fiel was on it. His brother Andres, on the other hand, settled in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte and spent the rest of his life in that place together with his family. One of our Fiel descendants asked the superiors of the Order of St. Augustine (OSA) congregation if we could be given more information about him.
However, he was told that it would not be good to extract the histories of their confreres who were long dead. Perhaps the OSA congregation was also very careful because the history of Fr. Felizardo might awaken the media’s interest of excavating the scandals of the clergy during the times of Spanish conquest.
Fr. Felizardo Fiel and his brother Favian Fiel and Andres Fiel were the three great grand patriarchs of the Fiel Clan in the Philippines.
A warning to the readers before we proceed: Please scan the pages with open mind. The stories you will read here are sacred stories. These are the stories that formed the greater part of who we are today. However imperfect, they are full of lessons and inspirations. They can serve as our story guide to be better individuals in our time, and hopefully good models for the Fiel generations to come.
Fr. Felizardo Fiel, OSA had a relationship with the young cook in his mission area. Generosa Lucero, a lass from Argao, Cebu, became pregnant. According to Amir Nasser Dela Cruz Salamat, “When she was asked by her female kin, why she allowed herself to get pregnant by Fr. Felizardo Fiel, out of innocence, she was afraid of the wrath of eternal punishment..She faced a lot of trials in her life while pregnant of her child. She was disowned by her family. She received maledictions. There were a lot of attempts from her kin to abort the child in her womb because the child's father was a priest who for them was a sinless and holy man. But, Generosa never took the courage to be tempted and to commit abortion.” The child, who was named Augustin, would soon become one of the great Juan De Marco of the Clan.
AUGUSTIN LUCERO FIEL, THE CLAN'S JUAN DE MARCO
Augustin Lucero Fiel grew up as an intelligent handsome man who knowledgeable in business, astronomy and music. However, true to his name, he was also a great lover of women. He married the beautiful and religious Teodora Bangoy of Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines. The marriage was brought to the test many times because of Augustin’s womanizing.
One day, Augustin brought his concubine the 15-year-old Magdalena Gelbolingo in their home in Sibonga. Amir Nasser Dela Cruz Salamat, one of our clan historians narrated: “This made the pregnant Teodora furious of jealousy. In order to be welcomed in the Fiel place, Magdalena fabricated a story that Teodora had another man in Carcar, Cebu whom she met secretly. This made the Fiel household in doubt of Teodora's fidelity to Augustin. Unknown to others, the man in Carcar was Francisco Bangoy, the elder brother of Teodora who had dried fish and fried pig intestine business. Francisco Bangoy was the father of Gabriel Bangoy whose wife was Alejandra Porta. When Teodora gave birth to her own son, Generosa put Magdalena as the mother of the newly born child and of course, Augustin as the father! This made Teodora left Sibonga because after giving birth, she was disowned by the Fiel household. She went back home to Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines weeping and never returned to Sibonga for several years until she was informed that Augustin died due to heart attack. Teodora saw and met again his son Lucas Fiel on the day of her grandson Faustino Embrado Fiel's wedding to Doña Ysabel Sauza Guidote.”
For the record, Augustin had the distinction of having the most number of (documented) wives, and he had children from all of her seven wives! All in all, he had 29 children! Truly, a great philanderer!
A. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Teodora Bangoy (first wife)
1. Lucas Bangoy (Gelbolingo) Fiel
B. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Magdalena Gelbolingo (second wife)
2. Crispulo Gelbolingo Fiel
3. Cayetano Gelbolingo Fiel
4. Fausto Gelbolingo Fiel
5. Juan Gelbolingo Fiel
6. Patricia Gelbolingo Fiel
7. Placido Gelbolingo Fiel 8.
Concha Gelbolingo Fiel
9. Lucia Gelbolingo Fiel
10. Mariana Gelbolingo Fiel
11. Trinidad Gelbolingo Fiel
C. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Angustias Cabiling (third wife)
12. Dioscoro Cabiling Fiel
D. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Ester Teves (fourth wife)
13. Aquilino Teves Fiel
14. Pascual Teves Fiel
15. Eustaquio Teves Fiel
16. Agueda Teves Fiel
E. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Abelarda Yap (fifth wife)
17. Balbino Yap Fiel
18. Fructouso Yap Fiel
19. Gerardo Yap Fiel
20. Marcelino Yap Fiel
F. Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Zita Rocha (sixth wife)
21. Jose Manuel Rocha Fiel
22. Jose Ernesto Rocha Fiel
23. Jose Matias Rocha Fiel
24. Maria de la Paz Rocha Fiel
25. Maria de las Victorias Rocha Fiel
Children of Augustine Lucero Fiel – Jacoba Suarez (seventh wife)
26. Adolfo Suarez Fiel
27. Nemesio Suarez Fiel
28. Quirino Suarez Fiel
29. Angeles Suarez Fiel
Zita Rocha (sixth wife) and Jacoba Suarez (seventh wife) were known cousins from Sitio Ubos in Tagbilaran, Bohol. According to Fr. Eduardo “Jingjong” Rocha, SVD – today there stands an ancestral house of the Rocha-Suarez clan in Sitio Ubos. This place, however, is not yet explored by any of our Fiel Clan historians.