Zabal-Reloj Family Reunion
April 24, 2011
Polo, Banga, Aklan
Photos by: Mike Isagan, Mars Zabal Jr., Dante R. Zabal, Noel Z. Reloj, Gav R. Reloj, Juvy Z. Valencia, Felma R. Dela Cruz,Boy Ryan Zabal,
Romy R. Zabal, Clyde Meren Briones, John Zabal and the rest of RYZ Clan. Thank You for sharing your pictures and videos.
Thank you RYZI Clan for bringing your cameras to the Reunion:)
Reloj-Zabal Family Reunion
The preparation of the family tree was done years before the reunion was planned. Felma was busy traveling around all over Aklan asking relatives about our family heritage. Nong Romy and Nong Gav have been busy as well with tracking the family’s origin and found some new family members. It was a very exciting event to learn of the new found relatives all over Aklan and the Philippines.
Nong Gav opened a Facebook account to reach out the Reloj-Zabal all over the world. It was a pretty busy site, exchanging ideas or adding more names to the family tree. There were discussions among us what is the best time to serve food, or a back-up plan if the weather does not cooperate. It was a pretty successful meeting of the minds through cyberspace. The clan was very excited of our first family reunion on April 24, 2010 to be held in Polo, Banga, Aklan. It is the place where our grandfather Francisco Zabal settled and raised his children. Members of the Reloj-Zabal clan offered monetary donations for food, five roast pigs, and a roast cow. The locals promised to donate local foods and delicacies.
Relatives started their journey to Polo coming from all over the place. I was with Dante and Evelyn in the same plane, and met up with Ispok and Clarina at Manila airport to go home to Polo. We landed Kalibo and to my surprise, Felma and her group were at the airport with the welcome banner. Nono and Arlette supposed to be at the same flight but were stranded in Tokyo because of earthquake. They were able to fly in the afternoon. The rest of the Reloj-Zabal that came from the US was all in Polo as well as relatives from Manila. Saturday, the day before the event was an exhilarating day for me; jetlag and all that. Relatives were picking up their t-shirt or coming by the house to say hello and visit mom. The gifts were packed for raffles as well as gift packages for the children. Grace and her kids were trying to put together a family tree board but were unsuccessful. It was too many members, it would not fit. We tried, but we are happy we did try.
The Big Event
There was a basketball tournament in the morning between the RYZ old and RYZ young. The RYZ young won the basketball event. We had cooked lunch for the early birds, and got ready for the 1pm mass. Father Delfin officiated the mass, and had a wonderful choir hosted by our very own young ones conducted by Dr Luz. After the mass there was a huge parade from Polo to Banga and back to Polo. It was quite a site to see the parade with their banners hanging on their cars; a proud moment for each one of us.
We arrive in Polo and the venue was well decorated, colorful and crisp tablecloth with a huge table with all kinds of local fruits and native delicacies. I thought it was very beautiful. There were around 600 in attendance, lots of food, lots of happy faces, and most of all lots of relatives, some I have not seen for decades. The “Broadband Band” played alternating raffles. There were plenty of gifts for the raffles. Each clan showed their prowess in dance and song, but most of all I was impressed with the rendition of the Zabal sisters who performed our aunts original song. They are Felma, Luz, Connie, Grace, and Marilyn. I missed my aunts more than ever. A special performance by Jonathan Badon, a renowned pop-opera singer was very special to the clan. He is awesome and very memorable for the Reloj-Zabal to be serenaded by Jonathan Badon. Thanks to Sandra Cox, one of our cousins. The young Reloj-Zabals dancing through the night while I went home to sleep. It was an exhausting night but filled with joy. I will never forget this memorable event and looking forward for the next one.
Lorna Zabal Doman
More Pictures Below:
The Zabal Clan
How and where the Zabal Clan started:
History was written that the Spanish colonization of the Philippines in 1565, prompted the establishment of Spanish rule over our country that lasted for about 333 years. Early Spanish settlers, were mostly explorers, soldiers, government officials, religious missionaries and among others, who were born in Spain called Peninsulares (Spanish migrants living in the colony) or Criollo (Spaniards of pure blood), who settled in the islands with their families to govern the colony and the majority of the Filipino population. Some of these individuals married or inter-bred with the indigenous Filipino (Malay) population while most married only other Hispanics. Their succeeding generation called Insulares (Spaniards or Hispanics born from the islands), became town and village officers and were granted land holdings (plantation estates) by the Spanish government. From this contact, between Spaniards and Filipinos resulted in a new ethnic group. These group were called Filipino mestizos (mixed-race individuals). Some of their descendants, emerged later as an influential part of the Philippine society, such as the Principalia (Nobility).
During this Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Capitan Evaristo Zabal Sr, arrived in the Philippines and, most likely, he originated from the Basque region of Zabal, Spain, where it was a long tradition to have same given family name as place of your birth of origin. In the late 1700's, Capitan Evaristo Zabal could have been a Spanish soldier who settled in Libacao, Aklan, amassed hectares of fertile land, married a local lass and raised a family.
S ubsequent Zabal generations expanded and mostly settled north in Polo, Banga and Tinigao, Kalibo, while most remained in Libacao.
How we created our Zabal Family Tree?
Recent inputs were received and communicated via FB, e-Mail, and interviews of the elders by Doctora Felma de la Cruz. The elephant memory of Romy Zabal was invaluable, recalling those with Zabal blood lines in remote places in the Philippines. FB addicts (:-|), ( Franklin Zabal, Lorna Doman, Doc Nonoy Reloj, to mention a few) added missing links.
We received 2 sets of hard-copy documents; one set during the convalescent period of Paciencia Zabal in UERM Hospital in 1989, and another set assembled by Felma in 2005. The 1st version was published in a website in 2006 at this site: http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/e/l/Gavino-Reloj/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-Index.html . This is now outdated and new Family has since been published but due to privacy concerns, they are only available to ReloZabal yahoo group members..For access, send a note to Noel Reloj at email@example.com .
As of this writing, March February 2011, we have over 115 pages, down to 10 generations, and over 1,400 individuals with Zabal bloodlines listed in our Family Tree. As we continue to discover new relatives, and as the Zabal continue to propagate ( as we speak by those under 4F (:-|), we plan to keep on updating this Zabal Family Tree.
By: Eng. Gavino Zabal Reloj
To our Dear Relatives and Descendants of Evaristo Zabal who since settled around the world.
WE have a major event for the books, that will happen once in our lifetime. The Zabal clan currently residing in various countries & regions around the world (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Asia & Middle East Regions, etc.), will be going home for a Zabal Family Reunion to be held in our beloved place, Polo, Banga, Aklan on April 24, 2011. This event will be the time to rekindle our family ties, introduce to our newly known relatives, but above all to identify our Zabal Clan with pride and joy.
WE currently recorded over 850 relatives and posted on our Web site: http://www.polobangaaklan.
The event will occur on April 24, 2011, in Polo, Banga, Aklan.
For more information or concern please email us. Thank You.
English: Good Afternoon.
Aklanon: Mayad- ayad nga hapon.
Below: Dr. Felma Reloj De la Cruz of Polo, Banga, Aklan visited the world famous landmark in San Francisco .
Jesse at the bank of Polo Aklan River. She is visiting from Virginia, U.S.A.