My Musings on Jews in the Philippines

Hi, there ! It’s me , Renxkyoko Iglesias.

b002_p089

My previous post was a bit intense, huh, and I’m sure I  had offended a few readers.  I couldn’t help it, though.  I was  on  edge , and so was everybody else here in the US.  Although I was careful  with the words I used so as not to offend anyone,  I might have inadvertently  used some hurtful words.    I  did try my best to be politically correct, and , believe me, it was no mean feat. I was angry.  It was easier to just lash out, and be like this —-> bleep, bleep, bleep,  asdfghjk !  But  then I’d regret it forever.  Nothing comes out well with words said in the heat of the moment.

My family had a very interesting  topic of conversation over dinner  last night.  My brother who lives in San Francisco told us that he saw a documentary film about the history of Jews in the Philippines . The documentary was shown in San Francisco to commemorate the  unveiling of the second marker in Israel in honor of  Philippines -Israel friendship. This is actually the second marker. The first one is a monument  that was built  at the Holocaust Memorial Park located  outside of Tel Aviv.

media_httpwwwynetnews_hfntd-scaled500

.pic-06280530480210

Philippine flag is shown. That’s a huge monument , isn’t it?

There’s an interesting story  behind these two memorial markers. First off, a bit of Philippine history.  The US colonized the Philippines in 1898 ( after defeating Spain  during the Spanish-American war ) . In 1935, the US turned over governance of the country  to a Filipino, Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon , with an American overseer , Commisioner McNutt. The Philippines  became  the Commonwealth of the Philippines.  Full independence was given on July 4, 1945 after it was liberated from the Japanese. In the 1930’s , we all know , of course , what went on in Germany.  The German Jews all wanted to leave  but there were very few countries that wanted to take them in by the thousands.

Now here’s the most interesting part…….

The Philippine government had decided to take in Jewish refugees ( in fact, the Philippines was one of  very few countries, including the USA , that took in refugees, and the only one in Asia ) during a poker game in 1938 ,, with players  Commisioner McNutt, Pres. Quezon,  General Douglas McArthur,  Gen. Dwight Einsenhower (  Gen, Eisenhower  became US President , but that time, he was just Gen. McArthur’ second in command  of the US Army in the Philippines. ), and an American- Jewish businessman living in the country named Frieder.  While playing poker,  Pres. Quezon decided right there and then, to take in Jewish refugees. Eisenhower  suggested 100, 000 visas should be issued.  Pres. Quezon immediately  issued 10,000 visas  to German Jews. It wasn’t only to German Jews that  visas were given.  Jews who were already in Asia and those from the Middle East, mostly from Turkey,  were allowed to come in.  Jewish immigartion stopped  when Japan invaded the Philippines.

iquezoy001p1

Pres. Quezon

180px-Temple_emil

.A synagogue in Manila, later destroyed  during WW2.

PhilippinesBethYaacov

.A new synagogue in Manila, Philippines.

quezonmarikina1

Photo above were German refugees having a party in Marikina , where they were settled temporarily. The land was Pres. Quezon’s  property. ( Sorry I stole this photo from somewhere. Please don’t sue me.)

It’s weird that the matter of life and death  was decided during a poker game.  However, this was not the only time  the Philippine government had helped the Jewish people.  In 1947. the Philippines  ” delivered the  most crucial and deciding vote ” at the United Nations ‘ resolution to create a state of Israel.  The Philippines was also the only  Asian country to recognize Israel as a state.  As a footnote….. there were  Philippine officials then who had a few misgivings about allowing  so many Jews into the country . That was understandable because the country was totally Catholic.  Pres. Quezon angrily told them,  ” The Jews gave us Jesus Christ” ! ! ! Pres. Quezon was a hot-tempered man.  It was said that he would often use the gavel and yell , Puneta ! ! ( pronounced poon-ye-ta ) at Filipino officials. The word means literally masturbation, but it’s actually a generic all -purpose swear word.  Filipinos swear in Spanish. But I digress.

Majority of the Jews later  immigrated to Israel and the US after the war.  Some remained and became prominent businessmen. ( If you’re a Filipino reader of this post, I don’t know if you’re aware of the Ysmaels, Kahns, Menzis, Guthriers, Levy’s etc,. … appliance manufacturer, owns jewelry stores such as La Estrella del Norte, A&W,  Alhambra, Manila Stock Exchange, etc. They are all Jewish )

Well, that’s the history. I’m not surprised  then why Israel erected a huge monument in honor of  the  Philippines’ humanitarian efforts .

On a personal note……. and another bit of Philippine history.

The first European to step on Philippine soil was Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He also died there. Spain colonized the country for almost 400 years , and named it in honor of King Philip II.  ( So now you know why it’s Philippines, ha ha ) In Europe at that time , there was a Catholic Inquisition that went on. In Spain, Catholics,  Jews and Muslims lived in harmony before the Spanish monarchy started The Inquisition in the 1590’s.  Muslims and Spanish Jews were either forced to convert or leave Spain.  Some of those who left went to the Philippines.  However, they still couldn’t practice their religion since the Philippines was now entirely Catholic. Practicing  Judaism  was punishable by death.  My mother was born in a remote town , about 200 miles from Manila. Although it was a remote town, there was a high concentration of Spaniards who lived there.  The town’s church is one of the oldest in the Philippines, and there’s a Spanish fort with cannons, to protect the town from Chinese pirates.

San_Diego_de_Alcala_Cathedral

.San Diego  de Alcala Church

Canon_in_Kutang_San_Diego_Gumaca,_Quezon

San Diego fort

Now I wrote above  that this story was something personal. We had an extremely  interesting discussion about  this over dinner and after dinner.  It might shed light  on some strange stuff that my mother had often  heard from her grandparents when she was just a kid.  *  Don’t let anyone know you’re a Jew.” It was always said randomly, and to a kid, it  was  really strange, and didn’t make sense.  I mentioned  above the Turkish Jews  who immigrated to the Philippines.  My mother thought back about  the unusually  large number of Turks in their remote town. In fact , right across from their house were the homes of  two Turkish families, the Adads.  The people there called them Turkos.  She remembers them very well because she had a humungous crush on one of them.  And by the way, Pres. Quezon  came from the same place.  The whole province was later named after him… Quezon Province.

Ha ! Conspiracy theory?  Anyway, won’t it be great to trace my genealogy ?  My mother’s side, of course. My father’s is pretty straightforward. We know where  his grandfather  came from… Sta. Maria la Nueva, Segovia, Spain. I wrote about him here (   Barcelona, Part 16). My grandmother even went there to Segovia to meet her relatives.  So, there’s nothing mysterious about that.  But, the idea of  possible Jewish roots  is almost unbelievable. Could it be….. ?  No, I don’t think so. It’s inconceivable. ……………..  It’s funny that 2 random people on 2 different occassions had asked me if I was Palestinian.  Huh ? Why were they  so specific about the place?   And just last week, I was asked by a customer  if  I was Persian . What ? Again?  ( My manager is a nice  Persian lady )  I’m Asian, people !

So, okay, I know  this post is  boring.  If you are  still reading at this point , thank you.

My next post will be my tour of Amboise and Bourdeux in France. Promise.

PEACE  ! ! !

93 responses to this post.

  1. Nope, wasn’t boring at all. Learned some stuff I never knew. It is interesting, a lot of politics and business plans takes place in unusual places like the Poker table. The golf course, of course, is one where it frequently happens and oddly enough, in video games, like World of Warcraft. Kind of crazy really. Oh, I also learned why it was called the Philippines! Never knew that. Thanks for the update, I really enjoyed it!

    Reply

    • I can visualize the scene. McArthur and Quezon with their tobacco pipes, and there was a fog of smoke in the room … meanwhile a decision was being made on the lives of thousands of Jews. It’s an eerie scene.

      Reply

  2. I also read the movie showing in the news lately.

    this shows that our country was once influential. ngayon, ala na. nakakalungkot much.

    Reply

  3. …back on the jews, I tend to be biased towards them. maybe because of the stories from the bible. 😀

    Reply

  4. This post can be best described as a history lesson with a twist.
    And by the way, you are right~ there’s nothing wrong with being a Jew. Race is and should not be an issue.

    Keep writing !

    🙂

    Reply

    • The twist being, maybe I have something Jewish in my ancestry. Unbelievable.

      Reply

      • 🙂 Maybe. I think you are “mestiza” of some sort, because you are pretty and your features are differen from average Pinay.Or are you even pinay?

        Reply

        • I guess you can call me mestiza. On my dad’s side. the family ‘s able to trace ancestry up to 5 generations. But Mom’s side is a bit mysterious. She left the town when she was maybe 9 years old, and never really knew her relatives. So she’s obssessing now. … says the people who might shed some light are dying off. Don’t we all want to know where we came from?

          Reply

          • Yeah! Just what I had in mind ~ you are indeed a mestiza ~ one of those mestizas roaming in this country, but of exquisite features. And yes, we are eager to know where we came from.

            Looking forward to read your future posts.:-)

            Reply

  5. hello, Ren… oo, nga, there seems to be something about your looks that could be mistaken for a Palestinian (though they are taller) or Persian. ikaw na ang mixed blood, kapatid. 🙂

    ay, sows, gano’n talaga – sa poker games at inuman dini-decide ang malalaking bagay, hahaha. warm regards, have a happy spring time, my dear. 😉

    Reply

    • Sabi ng isa commenter, sa golf course. Pero, commom sa poker table, di ba ?

      Palestinian? far out. Idiot lang yung nagsabi nyan, ha. Latina, yes. Latinos just speak to me in Spanish. I tell them I don’t speak Spanish,he he he.

      Do you think suspicious yung great-grandparents ko? My Mom is really wondering. It’s a possibility.

      Reply

      • hello, Ren… circa 2000, uso na rin nga ang deciding peoples’ fate sa golf course. earlier, dun sa poker table, kamo nga, hehe. sa Schindler’s list, saan nga ba nila dinecide? ahehe. ^^

        ei, compliment yong Palestinian-Persian allusion sa beauty mo, bru… magaganda kaya ang mga ‘yon? suplada ‘to, hehe. hala, hot chick ka pala sa Latino guys, hakhak. be a dear and tell them off nicely, hwag kang uncool, haha. peace 😉

        o, basta, mixed and mysterious ang background mo. o, di ba, interesting? teka, panoorin mo ang movie na Vamps – medyo no-brainer movie, pero nakakatuwa rin. may ganyang usapin – one’s ancestry, hakhak. cheers!

        Reply

        • Oh, my gosh, hangan ngayon, we’re still talking about that. Mom is kinda obssesing about it. kasi, she doesn’t know anything about her side of the family… well, at least her relatives from Quezon. Yung family niya, uncles, etc. they all look castillian, Her uncle was a rising actor ( he died in the war, though, he was just 22 ) before the war and her 1st cousin was a Ms. Philippines.There’s no doubt about that. Pero, we’re speculating the Spanish Jews and Turkish Jews all congregated in that remote town, to escape the prying eyes of the central government. Mom can’t stop speculating about this coz she remembers them telling the family about not letting anyone know….. parang subliminal message, hindi ba?

          Reply

  6. So you are Palestinian or Persian? 😀 Just kidding.
    If you are in Jakarta, people will think you are Indonesian for sure.

    Reply

    • I look like anybody, except Caucasian and Chinese, it seems. ha ha ha. But it’s always fun to make people guess. They come up with so many guesses, but never Asian. Weird.

      Reply

  7. No. It wasn’t boring and I never knew that the Philippines were so hospitable to the Jews over the War. That is something to be proud of for sure

    Reply

  8. An extremely well documented and knowledgeable post. Isn’t it interesting the extent to which the Jews diaspora spread through the world? In the absence of a place which they could call home, they searched for the next best option….

    Shakti

    Reply

    • Therein lies the problem…… they have homes, they have countries, they are citizens, but their religion seems to keep them apart from the rest. The mind set of people are so wrong, like what happened in Germany.

      Reply

  9. Very interesting – if it’s boring – okay so I’m boring too… 🙂

    Reply

    • Well, it’s not an important country, that’s why I thought it would be boring. Although I thought the country’s humanitarian efforts were something that should be told.

      Reply

  10. Wow. I had no idea! I knew some Jews went to Shanghai during the war but I had no idea about the Philippines! Thanks, Ren! 🙂

    Reply

    • KosherS, they all packed up, about 300 of them, and went to the Philippines.

      hey, I hope I didn’t offend you , but they said that was what happened/ Also, my parents are3 still discussing about our suspicions regarding that stuff I wrote above. ” Don’t let anyone know you’re a Jew. ” I think that’s a subliminal message, passed on from one generation to another. From 1600, that’s just 6 to 7 generation considering that my mom’s mother lived up to 93 years, likewise with her grandma, about 90, so that’s almost 200 years . What do you think?

      Reply

  11. A good read 😀

    Reply

  12. Wow … Very nice post here renxkyoko , i gained pretty knowledge about philippines. 😀 thanks ❤

    Reply

    • Thanks, parth893.

      it’s just a little FYI. the Philippines is such a small country, but at one time, had helped people in their own small way.

      Reply

  13. Wow! As someone who’s half Pinay, I’ve got to say that I found this very interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  14. Im glad you still know all this stuff…you still know how to look back where you came from….iilan na lang talaga ang mga kakilala kong ganyan na nakapunta lang sa ibang bansa they dont even know yung bansang siniangan nila.. Im proud of you pal…Very historic and really educational….galing 😉

    Reply

  15. You’re 100% human being and sweet

    Reply

  16. dami ko natutunan sa post na ito, hindi s’ya boring para sa ‘kin…

    Reply

    • Thanks, RP. Importante ‘to. And the state of Israel knows it. hence the monument. maybe the Filipinos have not realized the importance of what the country did, but Israel has. It’s a big deal, RP.

      Reply

  17. The poker game story was pretty awesome. Lots of stuff in this I didn’t know.

    Reply

    • I know, right. I can imagine the scene…. smoke – filled room ….. drinking whiskey…. and deciding the fate of thousands of people.

      Reply

  18. nagbalik ala-ala sa kasaysayan, hehehe.

    Reply

    • History buff ako. Pero, importante to, 25peso, di ba ? Pari mother ko, sobra naintrigue. She wants to call her older sister in the Philippines, ha ha ha and talk about making a family tree. She says everyone in the family is dying off, especially those who may know something.

      Reply

  19. Hi Renx,

    Great blog, are you going to put a Like button onto it so we can all show how much we appreciate each post?

    🙂

    Reply

    • But, there’s a LIKE button. You don’t see it? It says there, 52 bloggers like this.

      Anyway, thanks ! ! I’m glad you like it.

      Reply

  20. Very interesting article – I don’t know if you’ve read this on my blog before, but I work with Holocaust and genocide issues, so the info you provided is right up my alley. Thanks for the education!

    Reply

    • Oh, wow, TWWK ! that’s great ! So, is this the first time you’ve heard of it? Israel has deemed the Philippines’ humanitarian efforts important enough that they erected a monument .
      I have to put in some historical backround so readers will understand why McArthur , Eisenhower mad Quezon were playing poker, he he he.

      Reply

  21. ciao! race, culture or religion does not make one ever more or less. a race does not make an individual superior, a culture more cultural or relion more spiritual…respect and appreciation of our differences is what grows us. great post.
    thebestdressup

    Reply

  22. Thank you. A very interesting post. I never knew about the special relationship between the Philippines and the Jews.

    Reply

  23. Wow, that was a really interesting post! I only knew some really basic history about the Philippines. I was born in Hong Kong, so I really should know more since I used to live so close by. Hmm, I wonder how many major decisions have been made over poker games. Maybe more than we’d imagine? 🙂 It does seem like the sort of atmosphere that would be conducive to quick, but important decision-making! I know what you mean about being fascinated by your own lineage though. Since so many of the records were destroyed in China, because of… well you probably know why, I don’t think I’ll ever be sure of where I came from. My father’s pretty straightforward as well, but my mother’s parents were nomads essentially, so I guess we’ll never really know! People can never seem to guess where I’m from either! Sometimes people guess Philippines, although I’m pretty sure I don’t really look like I’m from there…? I would never have thought you were Persian or Palestinian personally!

    Reply

    • They say, some decisions are made on golf courses.

      Well, at least you know your ancestors came from China… but of course you’d want to know if they were royalty or what, ha ha ha . Ha, who knows ? )

      yeah, same here. Ancestors on my dad’s side are well known to the family, but Mom’s side is mysterious, and she’s obssessing now, and she has called relatives in the Philippines ( her sisters) and asked them about their grandparents. And yes, they are aware too that the grandparents have told them about the Jew thing, as well. Mom is really fascinated because of Jewish history… that a Jew belongs to the 12 Tribes, or something like that.

      Ha ha. You’re right. My jaw dropped when they said that. A palestinian, indeed. Ha ha

      Reply

  24. Excellent investigative journalism Ten 🙂

    Reply

    • I think it was quite easy to put two and two together., that is, as far as our personal genealogy is concerned. I mean, where would Jews try to hide, far from the prying eyes of the central government…where else, but in a remote town about 200 to 250 miles from manila, the center of the government. In 1600, that was quite far. And of course that ” don’t let anyone know you’re a Jew ” thing is such an important clue. we are thinking it could be a subliminal message passed on from one generation to another. that’s just 3 or more generations before my mom’s grandparents, since my mom’s own mother lived for 93 years.

      Reply

  25. What a fascinating potted history of the Philippines and the relationship with Spain and Israel! Thanks for this – loved it! 🙂

    Reply

  26. Wasn’t boring at all. Only shows how ill-educated I am on this matter, so thanks for filling me in. 🙂

    Reply

  27. Your musings are both enlightening and unforgettable.
    Well done.

    Reply

    • thanks, Mr. Hook. * I always say this, aaargh *

      I hope educational, too, and made you interested in the history of such small country. Small but terrible, huh..the Philippines does have a colorful history.

      Reply

  28. Great post! I’ve never been to the Phillipines and I am planning a trip soon and hope to learn more!

    Reply

  29. Ren, it’s a beautifully written and very nicely presented post. The beauty of Philippines always fascinated me. It’s food and locations is something I would love to explore someday. And now you have shared something more about this land and people living there with this post. Well done, Ren!!

    Reply

    • The food , Arindam, is totally different from the rest of asia. There’s no escaping from 400 years of Spainish influence.

      The Philippines is also a very small country ( California is bigger ) , poor, etc, but people are very educated, and western.

      Oh and if you like the sea….. 7000 islands , arindam. Beautiful beaches.

      Reply

  30. That was a really interesting story, both about the Philippines and your family:)

    Reply

    • yes, i think so, too. So many colonizers… but somehow, it made the Philippines unique. And yeah, my mom, especially.. she’s obssessing now on the suspected Jewish roots. LOL

      Reply

  31. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    JEWS IN THE PHILIPINES

    Reply

  32. I think it’s fascinating! I read every word!

    Reply

  33. very interesting read dear…thanks a lot for sharing with us here

    Reply

  34. hello, Ren… looking at MLQ’s pic above again, yeah, there’s something Turkish about his looks. or, am i the only one who noticed that? btw, i see that synagogue in Makati, right? it’s where rich Jewish in the Phils. worship, ahaha. regards to you… 🙂

    Reply

  35. Posted by Imelda K. Kaufman on May 15, 2013 at 3:07 am

    “Max Weissler’s testimony and Frank Ephraim’s chronicles make the whole story factual and indisputable,” Ambassador Calonge pointed out durig his presentation of the Philippines’ bid for Quezon’s recognition.

    Reply

  36. It was really interesting, I’m jew and I live in Israel, but I was born in Argentina. My grandmother and my grandfather (from my mother’s side) were from Poland and Russia, and they inmigrated to Argentina scaping from Hitler. From the side of my father I’m indian. Well, I’m most that thankful for your country and for your glimpse of history, I didn’t knew that till now. .

    Reply

    • We didn’t know, either. Well, my parents had an idea that it happened but not to that extent, and we wouldn’t have believed it had Israel itself not acknowledged it.

      My Mom researched it and was surprised about Spanish Jews settling in the Philippines. We thought the Spanish Jews settled in a remote town, far from the prying eyes of the central government in Manila… and 200 miles was quite a distance in 1600, ha ha. The problem, we guessed , was the fear of being persecuted , if found out. There was actually a couple of Spanish Jews who practiced the religion and persecuted that time. It was also curious that Turkish Jews settled in this remote town. What we found most curious was Mom’s grandparents’ constant reminder ” not to tell anyone she is a Jew.” We speculated that perhaps, that was actually a ” message” passed on from one generation to another. And if we think about about it, it was just 2 or 3 generations from 1600. After all, Mom’s grandmother lived for 93 years. What do you think?

      Reply

  37. Belatedly read this, absolutely fascinating, I need to know more about the Philippines, between you and ‘Nica you teach me a lot!

    Reply

  38. Posted by Nessy San on May 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    INteresting post, not to avoid the manga character there, that’s so “Asian”. 😛 So probably next time they ask what’s your race, just give them the Y^__^Y sign, they might get it, hahaha! By the way, yes I read in the news about the Phil-Israel memorial day, or something like that. But I never knew about Jew-Turks living in Philippines. You gave me something to search for tonight. Thanks alot! ^__^

    Reply

  39. I was still reading and it was very interesting, I didn’t know that it was decide in a stupid Poker game and that it was the Philippines, one of the view countries who offered a new home ! I think it’s always very interesting to know how many different kind of blood are flowing in your vain and that can be many…….hahaha ! Great post 🙂

    Reply

    • A lot of stuff are being decided on the golf course, over dinner of steak and champagne, and goodness over what else. This time, it was during a poker game. It’s weird , ha.

      Ha ha… Right. I’m sure of two, Filipino and Spanish blood. And as I said, we know our relatives from Spain.

      Reply

  40. Posted by Jewish Knight on July 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Hello Renxkyoko. You’re article captured the attention to a vast array of readers and of them is me. However, I will be stressing some reality checks.

    – Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, Spain/Portugal/North Africa/Middle East, were called Shepardim and the historical diaspora of these people can traced their roots back into ancient Israel. They spoken and I believe they still are, the Ladino. This is in contrast to the Azkenazi Jews, which had its origins in Germany/Eastern Europe, in which they are Yiddish.

    – The “decree of Alhambra” by the reigning monarch back in the days of 1492 meant the expulsion of the Jews out of the Iberian Peninsula for several odd and hidden reasons. The more subtle term of this one is known today as “the Spanish Inquisition”. It is unimaginable to sketch the pictures and scenarios of this situation and I live it to you then. Moreover, a large section of these Jews were ennobled.

    – From 1492 onwards, Jews who remained in Iberian Peninsula were labeled as conversso, marranos, and crypto-jews among others. However, there was a section and still is, of Eastern Spain and Western France called the “Basques region” that became their refuge.

    – Those who leave the Iberian Peninsula went in almost directions of the known world. Interestingly, some of these “cryto-jews” were in the Spanish Army in which history told us that they reached Philippine shores. The not thoroughly explored “Archive of the Crown of Aragon” has a lists of exhaustive records of this.

    – In my own research with Shepardim leaning Jewish websites, this strain of Judaism doesn’t usually change their family names for hundreds of years. There might be a spelling concerns due to probable reasons of hearing problems or language barriers, but the rhyme and the pronunciation is basically related. Interestingly. the people in Spain during that time had a so-called “coat-of-arms”. By that alone, one can tell where its bearer came from and the large populace of Shepardic Jewish community had it as well.

    – Fast forward 1849, the Spanish authorities obviously went mental as there was a large portion in the entire Philippine Islands with weird sounding first names and worst, no family names. This became hard for them to tax the population. And so did came into perspective the Claveria’s Decree of 1849 (Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos ), thus giving the natives with Spanish sounding family names.

    – Anyone in the Philippines during 1849 and onwards could secure a Spanish surnames without even having a traced of Spanish ancestry whatsoever. Nevertheless, none on this Claveria’s lists were Spanish surnames that have a nobility titles as it was forbidden to use them if you were not its direct descendant.

    Long before the Americans came, the Philippines had been in contact with Jews from other countries and many of them stayed. Moreover, during the 50 years of American era , the Philippines again came into contact with first waves of Russian Jews during the late 1910s and early 1920s fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution while the second wave was during the late 1940s during the Communist takeover of China.

    In all of this confusing history, what matters at the end of the day is what you believe in. After all, why would we aligned ourselves to the Jewish faith when we all knew that those who did were persecuted since time immemoriam? But as the saying goes, “blood is thicker than water”.

    This quest started last 2-4 years ago when several Azkenazi Jews at work asked me if I am Jewish as well as on so many several Spaniards/Latinos at work thought that I was from Basque region in Spain and which even amusing was that, a few eastern european friends presumed that I am a Jew by my looks alone. Well, though diligence, I had traced the “coat-of-arms” of my family name’s Shepardic Jewish ancestry and they were from the Galician/Vitoria and Basque regions of Spain. In retrospect, it appeared to me that my Jewish ancestors were once knights of the Spanish kingdom and then with the Spanish Army . To this day, I knew of people who has the same family name as mine that are Shepardic Jews but they are French speaking. This, to me, didn’t ended up my journey of who my roots were and how they lived, but it rest in me the sublime taught “to find my way” of who I am.

    Reply

  41. Many thanx for the history info. So far I myself have learned that I am Polish, Irish, English, Filipino and Austrian. However, I’ve heard that because some distant Filipino cousins had Spanish and/or Chinese in their blood– who knows how much more ethnicity is inside of me. Nice post.

    Reply

  42. Posted by Olic on January 4, 2017 at 2:36 am

    I just recently discovered myself that I a mix Bisdak and European Jew. I was in a prayer mode and the Holy Spirit kind of dictate to me that I am a descendant of the tribe of Joseph reason I always have uncles , grand uncles named Joseph. My great grandma on my maternal side looks so Jewish. After knowing the history of Inquisition. I think the population Pinoy with Jewish is more than we thought. A lot of Spanish mestizos in the visayas have Sephardic Jew last names and they mostly dominate business and politics. Anyway I just recently did a DNA test
    for my ancestry and waiting for the result in the next 2 weeks

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: