In my absence from writing here, I have immersed myself in researching about other families which you can all read about here and here. Research has given me the opportunity to learn about the rich legacy of other Filipino families. It has made me more familiar with surnames — it geo-origins and etymologies. It has given me insight on the varying naming conventions used in each time period.
Through my readings, questions have been ricocheting in my head: In the name “Juan Anderson Hernandez”, was Anderson his mother’s surname (as oral histories insist)? Or was Anderson a second given name?
1. Was Anderson his mother’s surname? Juan was born in 1885 during the Spanish era. During this time, he may have been referred to as Juan Hernandez y Anderson (although I have not found his name in a document in this configuration). His mother was supposedly a woman of American-Mexican descent. Given the fact that Juan’s birthplace, the land-locked Lipa, is only a few of kilometers north east of Batangas City (which used to lie along the route of the Spanish Galleon Trade from Mexico) this story is plausible. His mother would have been called Macaria Anderson before she married Herman Hernandez — but she was only referred to by her married name in her son’s death certificate.
2. Was Anderson his second given name? A good example of this practice is our Commonwealth president, Manuel Luis Molina Quezon, who has been referred to in history as ML Quezon — without his mother’s surname. When Juan entered military service, his superiors would have been Americans and they would have used naming conventions familiar to them. Another hypothesis I have been working on is that he adapted the second name Anderson to differentiate him from others. His name Juan Hernandez is, sadly, very common in that region (I have found hundreds in Lipa and neighboring towns). Anderson might be the surname of an American officer he was indebted to early in his military career.
Let me masticate on these as my search continues. If my dearest Magno and Hernandez relatives can provide more concrete proof on the origins of Juan and his brother Nicolas, do let me know. 🙂
Several weeks back, my aunt clued me in on the fact that my Lolo Juan worked with Jorge Vargas (how closely, I am unsure) in the administration of Manuel Quezon in the 1930s. Jorge Vargas was the executive secretary of President Quezon, and eventually, the head of the Philippine Commission after the country was invaded by the Japanese forces in World War II. After a bit of googling, I learned that Jorge Vargas’ private papers and photographs are housed at the Vargas Museum in UP, Diliman. I sent an email to the Librarian, Maricel Raynesa, and we set a date to view the collection. The gracious Ms. Raynesa even asked her student interns to start reading through the volumes to look for any mention of Juan Anderson Hernandez, which facilitated the search.
This week, my Tita Inday, my cousin Nota (an anthropologist from ADMU) and I poured through the delicate volumes of Vargas’ “scrapbook” — which had newspaper clippings, protocol papers, theater tickets, notes from Japanese administrators, sweepstakes tickets, among others. Amazingly enough, from this 70-year old goldmine, we were able to reconstruct a part of my great-grandfather’s professional life:
1. In July 1938, Juan Anderson Hernandez was among 198 officers of the Philippine Army who were transferred to the newly-formed Philippine Constabulary, the national police organization. Captain Hernandez’ responsibility was “commanding headquarters troops”. Considering the timing, it seems that he held this post a short time before or at the same time as his job as the sergeant-at-arms of the Second National Assembly.
2. Shortly after World Ward II broke out, the open city of Manila was occupied by the Japanese in 02 January 1942. The Japanese-controlled government inagurated the new Constabulary Academy at the site of the former Araullo High School in Intramuros, Manila by June 1942. They also created branches of this school all over the country. I found multiple references to Assistant Superintendent JA Hernandez participating at the graduation of Constabulary Academy that year — he was a speaker at the graduation of 01 November 1942 , then he read the roll of graduates at the 20 December 1942 rites.
3. Juan must have been promoted some time earlier, as I found a document (a guest list for a dinner given by the Director General of the Japanese Military Administration, held at the Winter Garden of the Manila Hotel on 28 December 1942), which referred to him as “Major Hernandez” of the Constabulary Academy.
4. In July 1943, Juan left the Constabulary Academy for his new assignment as the Senior Inspector of the Philippine Constabulary in Samar.
This is as far as I got. It would be interesting to understand the circumstances around his promotion to Colonel. I am now updating the biography of Juan Anderson Hernandez to reflect the new details above.
Vital personal details on Juan Anderson Hernandez have eluded me since I began my research. Finding the right documentation is difficult without knowing the dates and places. But today was another “Eureka!” day for me. Thanks to the new familysearch.org’s indexed microfilm rolls and streamlined search, I was able to find my great-grandfather’s death certificate, riddled with names, dates and other details previously unknown to our family.
1. Juan A. Hernandez was born on 8 March 1885 in Batangas, Batangas, according to his death certificate. This location is not consistent with oral histories and the mini-bio we found here. From what was previously known to me, he was born in Lipa, Batangas.
2. His parents were Herman Hernandez and Maria Macaria Hernandez. According to my aunt, his mother was a woman of American-Mexican descent with the maiden name Anderson. As Juan was born in 1885 (well before the Spanish-American War which resulted in the influx of Americans into the country), it would be interesting to find out what brought his foreign mother/grandparents to the Philippines.
3. His last partner was Dolores Gonzales-Hernandez. They lived in 404 Barasoin St., Makati, which was in the province of Rizal at the time of his death. Their home is in the south of the Sta. Ana Racetrack where Juan worked as a steward. Interestingly enough, a street to the north east of the race track was named after him.
4. According to my dad, Juan left ex-President Quirino’s home on Novaliches to go to V. Luna General Hospital in Quezon City. He came in for a check-up and accidentally slipped and hit his head, as he was getting off the examination bed. On the document, we can see Juan was confined on 29 July 1957; and was attended to by Dr. Felix Sibal. After 19 days of confinement, Juan passed away on 11 August 1957 at 3:45 pm. He was 72 years old. While his obituary reads that he died from a heart attack, his death certificate states that the condition directly leading to death is “undetermined”. No autopsy or investigation followed.
5. Juan’s wake was at the Funeraria Popular along 2139 Rizal Avenue, Manila. He was finally laid to rest on 15 August 1957 at the La Loma Cemetery, also called North Cemetery, in the city of Manila.
According to family stories, Juan Anderson Hernandez was a decorated soldier even before World War II. The undated obituary clipping my aunt sent me alludes to a connection to President Quezon and the Philippine Senate. My dad recalls, with much regret, that some of his military memorabilia were sold off by older relatives after his death. So our side of the family has very little information on him — only the tales from my Dad, my uncles and my aunts, exchanged over the dinner table. My earlier attempts to find Juan in written records have proven futile. Until today.
Owing to serendipitous googling, I found a book that mentions his name. Yet another search led me to the Heritage Library (now my favorite library!), where a copy of the book is in active circulation. Towards the end of the chapter covering the Colonial Senate (1916-1935), I found, to my utter joy, a brief biography of my great-grandfather:
Assisting the Senate as Sergeant at Arms was Juan Anderson Hernandez. He was born in Lipa, Batangas in 1885. He had a colorful career during the American period, serving as officer of the Philippine National Guard, a captain in the Reserve Corps of the US Army, and a brigadier general of the National Volunteers of the Philippines — an organization he helped organize before serving in the Senate.
Need I spell it out? Eureka!
Juan Anderson Hernandez is my great-grandfather and one of the “dead ends” in my genealogy study. I penned an article about him in 2005, documenting all I had been told of his colorful life.
Among the details I have been trying to look into is my dad’s memory of him being a Superintendent or Commandant of the Philippine Constabulary School, the precursor of the Philippine Military Academy, headquartered at the Cuartel De Santa Lucia (Santa Lucia Barracks) in Intramuros, during the Japanese occupation. My dad remembers how his father, Segundino Magno, was given a job as a school cook by his father-in-law Juan. There is a sense of family pride in the lore that Segundino unlocked the armory at night for the guerillas to loot — his tiny contribution to the war effort. On the flip side, Juan was supposedly tried after the war, together with Laurel and other leaders, for his complicity to the Japanese invaders. So much data to verify! I need materials that will collaborate the oral histories. So off I went to the National Library of the Philippines in TM Kalaw St. Manila today.
In reference to the PMA’s transfer to the Baguio Campus, I found this communique from the American administrators in 1908:
Bureau of Constabulary
August 1, 1908
General Orders No. 24
1. The following named officers of the class graduated July 31, 1908, at the Constabulary School, having been recommended by the school staff and superintendent for their conduct, application, and proficiency in the course of study, are announced as honor graduates:
Third Lieutenant Bernabe Nicolas.
Third Lieutenant Jose V. Agdamag.
Third Lieutenant Maxon S. Lough.
Third Lieutenant Oliver Soow.
2. The station of the Constabulary School is changed from Santa Lucia Barracks, Manila to Baguio, Benguet. Santa Lucia Barracks will be used as a station for general service companies and band, quarters for unmarried officers on duty in the city, and casuals. Detachments from the provinces heretofore directed to report to the adjustant of the Constabulary School will hereafter be ordered to report to the commanding officerm Santa Lucia Barracks, Manila. The supply officer and supply sergeant of the Constabulary School is discontinued. Such supplies and property pertains to the school as are considered necessary by the Chief Supply Officer will be shipped to Baguio in time to be available for the term beginning September 1, 1908. Upon completion of business pertaining to this transfer, officers and employees of the school will proceed by first available transportation to Baguio for duty. The travel enjoined is necessary for public service (21808-G).
By order of Colonel Harbord:
RALPH W. JONES
Acting Executive Inspector
From this, I confirmed what is written on the historial marker at the ruins of the Sta. Lucia Barracks — that the precursor of the PMA moved to Baguio in 1908, a good 35 years before World War II. Combine this tidbit and the confirmation from PMA that Juan’s name does not appear on the list of PMA superintendents, of Corps of Professors and of Commandants of Cadets, I am ready to disprove one of the family myths and conclude that Juan was never part of that organization.
So, what was the Santa Lucia Barracks used for during the war? My dad remembers it as the Constabulary School; but with the PMA fully transferred to Baguio, who were training there? This excerpt from the memoirs of an American who served in the Philippine Guerilla Movement clarifies a lot:
In an effort to deal with the guerillas, who were passing from nuisance to menace, the Japanese organized a new Philippine Constabulary. This body should not be confused with the old prewar Constabulary which, along with the Philippine army and Philippine Scouts, had been closely linked to the American army. The new Constabulary was composed, in part, of civilian volunteers and of men who simply needed jobs to feed their families. The core of it, though, consisted of Filipino prisoners taken after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. These men were gradually released by the Japanese with the proviso that they join the new Constabulary. Nominally, there were then to perform ordinary police duties. Actually, the Japanese planned to train them to become a new army to help defend the Philippines against a possible future American attack. The commander of the new Constabulary was General Guillermo Francisco, a Filipino officer who had served in Bataan and whom the Japanese put though a de-Americanization program before his “promotion”.
So, it seems that my great-grandfather’s Constabulary was Japanese-run and was not part of the Philippine military. My search for details on Juan continues.
The family name is a variant of the name, Hernando. The suffix “-ez” was added to a root name to indicate “the son of”. Spelling variations of this surname include Herraiz, Herráez, Herraez, Herranz, Hernaiz, Hernáez, Hernaez, among others. The name can be traced to Castile, Spain, where the name originated in Visigothic times.
Herman Hernandez, who was born in the 1860s, is the earliest known patriarch of our branch of the Hernandez Clan. His wife was Maria Macaria Anderson, supposedly of American-Mexican descent. They raised their family in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines.
By marriage, the clan is related to other families of note: Francisco, Gonzales, Magno, Ortiz, Pacheco, Trinidad and Zaldivar. Individuals, kin to the Hernandez Clan, are known to be athletic, hardworking and business-savvy. Their patriarchs have played a big role in the post-war rebuilding effort; and their descendants have figured prominently in academe, arts, business, government and sports.
Jose I. Hernandez, the founder of Victory Liner | Juan Anderson Hernandez, a Senate Sergeant-at-Arms | Nicolas Anderson Hernandez, a tinidor de libro for Ayala y Compañia, the precursor of the Ayala Corporation | Eduardo Alvir Pacheco, a Philippine sports legend
Juan Anderson Hernandez was born 0n 8 March 1885 in Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines to Herman Hernandez and Maria Macaria Anderson. According to oral histories, his mother was a woman of American-Mexican descent.
Juan allegedly worked as an actor for silent film and appeared in “Ang Magpapawid” with Mary Walter, under a stage name.
Juan had an illustrious career during the American regime, serving as officer of the Philippine National Guard and of the Reserve Corps of the US Army. In February 1932, he was among the founders the National Volunteers of the Philippines, a semi-military organization composed of civic-minded citizens, and held the rank of Brigadier General. In July 1938, Juan Anderson Hernandez was among 198 officers of the Philippine Army who were transferred to the newly-formed Philippine Constabulary, the national police organization. Captain Hernandez’ responsibility was “commanding headquarters troops”.
During World War II, in 1942, he was promoted to Major and served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Constabulary Academy, an institution under the control of the Japanese Military Administration. He left this post in 1943 for another assignment as the Senior Inspector of the Philippine Constabulary in Samar.
After serving in government, he became the chief steward for the Sta. Ana Racetrack. A street in Sta. Ana, Manila, Philippines was named after him.
Juan’s mestizo looks supposedly made him irresistible to many women — it is said that he sired children with as many as fifteen paramours. Family lore says that he married at a very young age to a woman from Pasay. Their union did not result in children, and they were no longer together by the time his children with other women were born. Juan fell in love with Candelaria Francisco of Alabat, Quezon, Philippines with whom he had Fredesvinda Francisco Hernandez. With Conchita Ortiz (a soprano), he sired Jesus Hernandez Ortiz — Jesus became the editor-in-chief of La Voz de Manila, a now-defunct Spanish language newspaper. He had two other children from two different women: Milagros Zaldivar Hernandez and Dorothy Fleming Hernandez. His last partner was Dolores Gonzales with whom he had German. They lived in 404 Barasoin St., Makati, in the 1950s.
On 29 July 1957, Juan left ex-President Quirino’s home on Novaliches to go to V. Luna General Hospital in Quezon City. He came in for a check-up and accidentally slipped and hit his head, as he was getting off the examination bed. He was quickly confined and was attended to by Dr. Felix Sibal. After 19 days, Juan passed away on 11 August 1957 at 3:45 pm. He was 72 years old. While his obituary reads that he died from a heart attack, his death certificate states that the condition directly leading to death is “undetermined”. Juan’s wake was at the Funeraria Popular along 2139 Rizal Avenue, Manila. He was finally laid to rest on 15 August 1957 at the La Loma Cemetery, also called North Cemetery, in the city of Manila.