Lipa City, famous for its churches and the love for lomi, is situated in the heart of Batangas, right in the middle of Tanauan City and Batangas City. It was first known as Villa de Lipa, elevated into a city by Queen Regent Maria Christina in behalf of King Alfonso III. Both my parents were born in Batangas but my mom grew, fell in love and got married in the Catholic City of the South. My mom was raised as a Catholic, same as any other people who grew up in Lipa City. My mother’s clan is a Lipa City native. She came from the long line of Mayo, one of the city’s most well- known families. Although we are a part of such a huge clan, we were never born with “silver spoons” in our mouths. My parents had to work with what they had, asking little assistance from our relatives, until we got to where we are right now.
The city, famous for the miraculous shower of rose petals and the century old cathedral, also had its rich history made of love, heartaches, battle, and tears. This is where Segunda Katigbak grew up, Jose Rizal’s first love, the Philippines’ National Hero. My great grandmother was neighbor’s with Segunda. I could almost imagine them talking to one another, maybe even became playmates and friends at one point since our house was just 15 steps away from Segunda’s house after all. But the house was sold to one of our relatives years before I was born, and only my mom’s memory of the old house remains. Segunda’s house became Casa de Segunda, which means “House of Segunda.”
While I was writing the blog, I had this urge of wanting to know more. So I asked my mom about what she knows about our family’s history. Don Cipriano’s grandson, Esteban Mayo, was the first mayor of Lipa City, and was my great grandmother’s brother. I know little about my great grandparents, except for the fact that my great grandfather was a police and had a huge family. My mom used to remember my “lola” talking about Tarcela but I am not sure if that was related to Tarcela Malabanan, one of the founders of the Mabini Academy in Lipa.
Asking my mom about our family made me want to know more about the city’s history. I’ve always loved Lipa ever since I was a kid, but I never knew why. There’s something so enticing about the place, some thing that has always caught my attention. Maybe it’s the love for God and lomi that made me fall in love with the city… or maybe, just maybe, there’s something even more.
Interview with Veronica Fe Marzo Panganiban, daughter of Adoracion Mayo Virrey