by Carliloso T Anasco
Writing of a family history is noteworthy and remarkable achievement. It is from there we could trace the origin of our roots; the birth of our great-great grandparents, the lineage of our ancestors; where they came from, when and why they came, how they came, what they did and their achievements and exploits in the place they settled. It is from a written document of genealogy that the succeeding generation would be able to know who their forefathers and relatives were.
In our generation few of us have been lucky enough to have known relatively our grandparents for example. This shows one of the common ways of learning about ourselves is by word of mouth, the so called oral tradition which does not accurately reflect the lineage of the past generation. Many of us, our children and grand children do not know each other so that some close relatives whose hearts have been hard hit and deeply pierced by cupid’s arrow ended in the united holy matrimony which is preposterous and absurd. Had there been a written record of family history or pedigree, marriages of close relatives which are against the teachings of the Catholic Church could have been prevented or minimized.
This ancestral heritage of our forefathers came from a humble and modest beginning that became the source and forerunner of one of the largest families in Inabanga Bohol that permeated to spread not only in Inabanga but in neighboring towns of Carmen, Loon, Tubigon, Sagbayan, to other provinces in the Philippines and even in the United States, Canada and other parts of the world.
This adventurous young man who became the founder and organizer of the town of Inabanga was a stranger and a stowaway concededly the original forefather of the Torrefranca clan in Inabanga. His name was Quirit Torrefranca a Spanish mestizo. He came from Tigbauan, Iloilo circa in the early part of the 18th century. He was wanted by the Spanish authorities in that island province because he formed a secret organization against the Spanish rule. Somehow and in some ways he managed himself to hide in Cebu. After several months of hiding he found out that he was not safe in Cebu. He thought of moving to a safer place and managed himself to take refuge in another island of Bohol and drifted to Inabanga town. While walking one day along the port of Cebu, he saw a sail boat unloading nipa thatches. He sneaked into the boat and hid under the deck. He arrived in a place unknown to him called later Inabanga and stayed among the natives.
He had a pleasing personality and possessed qualities of a good leader who could easily attract and draw people at his side. He was friendly and a good mixer to all irrespective of age and status. Because of his good-looking nature he was idolized by young women. He had an illegitimate son by the name of Fabian whose mother was an Aparicio after whose surname he took. This smart father married to one Sibuya Lofranco, a daughter of a prominent leader of the town with whom he had five children namely; Antonio, Cipriano, Ignacio, Juan and Cecilia. Hence, Fabian was their half-brother.
His coming to Inabanga was a blessing in disguise to the townsfolk for he could easily win the good graces of the parish priest of the town and to the inhabitants because he spoke the local dialect and Spanish language fluently. His exemplary ability in public speaking and in oratory had earned him to become over-all captain, spokesman and liaison officer of the people. He proved his mettle when he was commissioned as a liaison officer to negotiate the complete surrender of the remaining followers of Francisco Dagohoy who were holed in their mountain hideouts. His prowess in public speaking and his art in persuading people to come to his side were so effective that led to the successful and complete surrender of the followers of Dagohoy and some of his trusted leaders. It took him several days to confer with the remaining rebels and to persuade them to come down to the Poblacion and to settle peacefully.
Influenced by his diplomatic tack and ability, the rebels trekked to the Poblacion by wave and settled down with their families in the fertile flood planes along the bank of Inabanga River. The priests not only succeeded in having the people returned to the service of God and His Majesty, they also succeeded in making them live peacefully and independently. Thus the town of Inabanga was formally organized by the fathers under the leadership of Quirit Torrefranca.
Quirit Torrefranca became the first honorary gobernadorcillo and eventually became the first elected kapitan when that office became elective. Inabanga then had its first leader a man whose descendants still wield some kind of political power up to this time in Inabanga through his children, Antonio, Ignacio, grandchildren Hermogenes and other descendants who move to other towns. Baudillo Torrefranca founder of the town of Sagbayan and the first appointed mayor of the said town was the great grandson of Quirit Torrefranca.
Lucresio Torrefranca succeeded his father, Baudillo, as the municipal mayor of Sagbayan when the latter retired from politics. Rosendo Lopez, Sr., a lawyer, who was elected mayor of Loon was another great grandson of Quirit and was succeeded by his son, Rosendo Lopez, Jr., a doctor, as mayor of Loon when his father (Rosendo Sr.) retired from politics. Dr. Caesar Tomas Lopez, grandson of Rosendo Sr., is the incumbent vice mayor of Loon Bohol. Governor Rene Lopez Relampagos the grandson of Rosendo Sr., and the great great grandson of Quirit Torrefranca is the incumbent governor of Bohol. He was elected in May 1995 elections.
Fabian the most adventurous and the illegitimate son of Quirit Torrefranca explored the wilderness of Bohol until he settled at the heart of the island which is now the progressive town of Carmen. He was a trader and he acquired vast track of land in the town. As he progressed he acquired more agricultural lands. His nephews and nieces from Inabanga followed and settled with him. The Torrefranca in Carmen were very prolific and thrived so much that they became prosperous and progressive economically and politically. By and large from time immemorial they have controlled the political affairs of Carmen. Nicanor Logrono a great grandson of Quirit who followed his granduncle, Fabian, became kapitan of mayor of Carmen. Ramon Torrefranca another great grandson of Quirit was elected mayor of Carmen after WWII, Alfredo Galang the incumbent and undefeated mayor since 1972 and the longest termer among the Bohol mayors is a great grandson of Quirit. Luis Torrefranca, another great grandson of Quirit was formerly a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan from 1975 and later on elected vice mayor of Carmen and member of the Sangguniang Bayan of the same town up to this writing. There are more emerging younger politicians in the next generation of the Torrefranca clan.
The past generation did not only excel in politics, they were pioneers who blazed the trail in different fields of human endeavor: in education, health, ecclesiastic, economics, arts, sports and you name it. The clan has had produced educators, lawyers, doctors, nurses, therapists, med-techs, engineers, clergymen, nuns, accountants, economists, pharmacists, agriculturists, dentists, musicians, business entrepreneurs, military men, bank and business executives, etc.
One of the pioneers in the field of medicine was Dr. Celestino Torrefranca of Tubigon, son of Ubaldo and grandson of Quirit. He was one of the first doctors in Bohol whose two brothers, Fathers Pedro and Pelagio Torrefranca achieved same feat in the ecclesiastical field. In the present generation there is multitude of professionals whose names are found on the list of professionals on succeeding pages.
As we have learned earlier, Quirit was married to Sibuya Lofranco and blessed with five children, four boys and one girl; Antonio, Cipriano, Ignacio, Juan and Cecilia, besides Fabian who was an illegitimate son of Quirit who carried the family name of his mother Aparicio. From the original six children of Quirit only four have known direct heirs, only Fabian, Antonio, Ignacio and Cipriano. There are members of the clan involved in the research work have so far, until this publication, not submitted any apparent heirs of Juan and Cecilia although there are known Torrefranca family names whose forefathers could not be accounted and included in this write-up as far as the researchers report are concerned. Most of Fabian’s heirs apparent are confined in the town of Carmen. Cipriano’s children are residing in Inabanga and Carmen. Antonio’s and Ignacio’s descendants are scattered in Inabanga, Loon, Tubigon and Sagbayan.
If there are legitimate heirs and descendants of the Torrefranca clan whose names could not be included in this write-up, it is obviously the inability and failure of the direct heirs concerned to send feedbacks of their family history despite by all means, of so many inquiries, questionnaires, reminders and tracers sent to them. Efforts in transcribing the different researches submitted by the direct and immediate family heirs concerned have been carefully screened and copied. If there are excesses, remises, lapses and other erroneous entries in this write-up, it is attributed to human fallibility and beyond the writers control. Human as we are, we have common faults. My apologies and I stand corrected.
Most Common Surnames
APARECE, BAUTISTA, BERNALDEZ, CEMPRON, ESTILLORE, FORTICH, LOFRANCO, LOGRONO, NIODA, QUINAL, SUAREZ, TORREFRANCA, TORRES