Comfortable Past and Uncomfortably (Contemporary)
By Dr. Miguel V. Paala
I have been away quite a long time now since our latest class reunion at The Mabini Academy. Nevertheless, news bits about Lipa and its people kept on pouring in – mostly from friends and contemporaries and from not-so-biased sources: transients to the city. And then, under such a short notice as a long distance call from Doming Katigbak a night away to date, he ordered me to write. “About what?” I asked, “Anything about Lipa. Just write, ok? And send it through Luis Katigbak tomorrow!” Forthwith I dug my files Art Sales’ writings came in handy. Now I have a treasure chest; its contents ready for instant piracy. For the credit line – This is a reprint from Art. Almost. Practically. aWitness:
In the 1850s Lipa was one of the places in world, repeat, in the world that was considered a leading coffee producer. Around the time, the name Batangas coffee was regarded as one of the world’s best coffee. And as in any economic boom, some families gained prominence and fortune. One of these families is the Aguilera clan. The family is Castilian in origin from Spain, aristocratic in many ways and very continental in modes of living. The story is told that Doña Consuelo Aguilera Lozada wore diamond encrusted sandals, would not touch money (unless “deodorized”?) and would meet guests only by appointment. This was in the 1880s. Present day descendant include Jose Lardizabal. Another clan which gained prominence during the coffee boom is the Solis Family which like the Aguileras, is of Iberian descent. This, according to our grandparents, explains the prominence of the mestiza features of the Solis. One gentleman, a very handsome and gentle person, married a beautiful lady. The union bore Doña Salustia Solis who married Don Nicolas Olaguivel whose only daughter, Didi, married Alberto Katigbak, a former Ambassador. Of course, who would forget and therefore must place on this record the nicest and...
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