Pronounced [cal-ye’-ha], the family name is derived from a Spanish noun calleja, meaning alley or narrow street.
Siblings Andres and Salome are the earliest known members of the Calleja clan. Salome Calleja had children with a Monsignor Bishop of the Franciscan order, Gonzalez Dietz, which explains a consistent family trait in the earlier generations, the Castillan nose.
The ancestral home of the known Calleja line is situated in a compound bounded by San Pedro and San Miguel Streets in Poblacion, Libon, Albay.
By marriage, the clan is related to other families of note: Abella, Aspillera, Diaz, Maronilla, Mijes, Mojica, Ocampo, Rubin, Seda, Serrano, Tuason, Velasco, Zubiri. Many gifted individuals, kin to the Calleja Clan, have touched lives and made this world richer with their contributions.
Luis Cezar Aspillera Calleja, lawyer and World War II hero | Salome Calleja, our family matriarch | Manuel Maronilla Calleja, a two-term Governor of Albay | Erlinda Tuazon Fernandez, a performing artist and educator | Gloria Aspillera Diaz, Miss Universe 1969 | Maria Rosario “Rio” Aspillera Diaz, beauty queen and politician | Bartolome Seda Fernandez, government official under the Quezon Administration | Manuel Calleja Fernandez, one of the founders of the Makati Medical Center | Manuel Ocampo Fernandez, a pioneering cosmetic surgeon | Maria Victoria Ocampo Fernandez, entrepreneur and social figure | Maria Pilar Tuason Fernandez, Libon Private High School administrator | Ramon Calleja Fernandez, Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court | Ramon Tuazon Fernandez, once city councilor of Legaspi City | Adrian “Adi” Alvarez Maronilla, child prodigy | Maria Cecilia Calleja Maronilla, a renowned educator in the musical arts | Illuminda Mojica Tuazon, Manila Carnival Queen of 1939 | Jose Velasco and Josefina Maronilla Velasco, musical pioneers of Libon, Albay | Renato Mijes Velasco, musical pioneer of Libon, Albay | Juan Miguel Fernandez Zubiri, politician | Jose Rubin Zubiri, businessman and politician.
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Pronounced as [se-ra’-no], the family name is derived from a Spanish noun serrano, meaning “highlands” or “hill”. The family name originated in the mountains of Burgos in Castile-León, Spain the medieval Spanish kingdom whose language and culture spread to many countries of the world. The name existed as early as 200 BC. The spelling variations of this surname include Serrana, Serra, Sierro, Sierra, among others.
The practice of the Catholic Church of Libon to maintain a separate record for Bautismos Illegitimos or baptisms of illegitimate children proved to be a hurdle in our research. The records of the many illegitimate children in our family only included the mother’s information and excluded the father’s altogether.
During the initial implementation of the Claveria Decree of 1849 in the province of Albay, it is said that the Governor seemingly tore out pages of the Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos and sent them to individual towns. For this reason, the last names of families which originally hail from Libon, Albay (from where the family line’s earliest known roots originate) begin with the letter “S” — such as Se, Sera, Seva, Serase and Serrano, among many.
That said, we are connected to two separate Serrano genealogical lines. Until we find proof to the contrary, we are treating the two clans, as distint and unrelated, even if they are from the same hometown.
Serrano Line A: Salome Calleja‘s second partner and first husband was Doroteo Serrano. He is the earliest known patriarch of that line.
Serrano Line B: Feliza Sasuca Serrano married Ignacio Calleja. Her father was Eleno Serrano. Eleno, his brother Justo and their cousin Leocadio Serrano belonged to the earliest documented generation of that clan.
By marriage, the clan is related to other families: Calleja, Revantes, Moni, Sasuca, among them.
Family History Research Notes
Filed under: Serrano
Eleno Serrano of Libon, Albay, Philippines is one of the earliest known patriarchs of the Serrano clan. He was a musician by profession and played a wind instrument (flute or clarinet) for a local band, which played at bailes or town dances. His wife, Graceana Sasuca (who was an able hilot), was said to have been perenially irked by his late nights. They had four children: Feliza, Rufina, Estefania and Segundina.
She was a homemaker and was a skilled burdadera or embroiderer. In 1920, she had her first child with Ignacio Calleja when she was about 23 years old and he was about 58. Their life together was blessed with three children: Leonardo, Angelina and Felipe.