This is a tribute page for my late great-grandfather, Mr. Mariano Tan. Lolo Mariano, who was born in Guangzhou, China, immigrated to the Philippines in 1903 and would call Valencia, Bohol his home as he developed a life and a business in the Philippines.
His full Chinese (HAN) name was: Tan Ngai He. He was the husband of my late great-grandmother, Mrs. Gabina Ingnalan, a Spanish-Filipina mestiza. They would have 4 children and they will be named accordigly from eldest to youngest.
1. Fortunata Tan
2. Ceciliano Tan
3. Balbina Tan
4. Juliano Tan
Their oldest child, and first daughter, anhing Fortunata Tan-Salvo is my maternal grandmother. My Lola Nating.
This summer 2010, I was able, for the first time in my life (as an adult) to visit the grave site of Lolo Mariano and my late Lola Gabina. It was a heart pounding and tearful experience to visit the grave of my Chinese Lolo. To give and offer my homage to his memory, as is the custom, the Chinese custom, of a male Chinese son/grandson before the memory of his grandfather/grandmother. I offered onto his grave fresh flowers, and 24 candles. 12 candles for my Lolo Mariano and 12 candles for my lola Gabina. Each candle symbolized each year that I was unable to visit them. As I sat with them, a gush of cool breeze covered my face, and none of my candles, which were lit, were blown off. The wind touched the flowers I presented in offering for my great-grandparents. I could not help but smile and had this feeling that my Lolo Mariano was there watching me. It was a beautiful experience.
Thanks to the help of my uncle Romeo, I was able, through Grace of God, to see the face of my Lolo Mariano. I have always wanted to see how he looked like, but thought that all his pictures disappeared or were lost in time. It was not the case, apparently so.
My uncle saved a picture of our Lolo, one that was taken when he just arrived in the port of Jolo, Philippines in 1903. This picture was of my Lolo Mariano when he was only 22 years old. If you look closely, his dress attire and his hair cut style is that of the Qing-Dynasty China. It was a standardized by the Qing Emperors that all male Chinese would shave their top hair and keep the back long and tied in a knot. Seeing this picture makes me happy, to see how my Lolo looked like when he was my age, and also to see and reaffirm that I have such a long history, an undiscovered history in Guangzhou, CHINA.
Behold, my Great Grand Father, your Grand Uncle: