The Freeman

The Wise Men of Ronda, Cebu


Ronda's original name was "Huluyaw" eventually changed to its present name by the Spaniards who were part of the forces of Governor General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Its present name was coined after a place in Spain, which is flanked by two highlands. Ronda is flanked by the two highlands of Libo-o and Cambo-ang.

Ronda or Huluyaw was founded by a wise native chief named Pongtod. In 1779, in submission to the Claveria Decree (Spain mandated that inhabitant­s in the Philippine­s should adopt a Spanish family name) Pongtod, adopted the family name "Villagonza­lo."

The first recorded capitan or pueblo chief of Ronda was Ceferino Fundales. He was then succeeded by the following: Jose Villagonza­lo, Victor Villagonza­lo, Teodoro Villalon, Bonifacio Faciol, Daniel Villagonza­lo, Pedro Gimarino and Santiago Villegas.

When the Americans replaced the Spanish colonizers, the former introduced the republican form of government and gave the Cebuanos to right to elect their leaders, it was then the town's chief executive was later changed from Capitan to president. Ronda's first president was Pacifico Gonzaga, followed by: Aquilino Lucero, Luis Lumagsao, Ruperto Gimarino, Fermin Lucero, Santiago Lucero and Honorato Villalon.

When the Americans later adopted the changing of the official name of the town's chief executive as mayors, the following had the distinctio­n of earning such title: Marcial Gimena, Mariano Blanco, Lorenzo Villalon, Honorato Villalon, Fortunato Villalon and Lucio O. Ortiz. In the book, lawyer Gervasio Lavilles "CEBU: History of its Four Cities & Forty-nine Municipali­ties" released during the 1965 during the Fourth Centennial Anniversar­y of the Christiani­zation of the Philippine­s wrote that the officials of Ronda at that time were:

Lucio V. Ortiz; Toribio Chiong, vice mayor; Joaquin V. Gimena, municipal secretary; Numeriano Carson, judge; Florentino S. Joyohoy, treasurer; Dionisio Salina, chief of police; Dr. Castor Ricana, Health Officer. Councilors: Lorenzo Villalon, Edilberto O. Estomo, Necitas B. Andan, Ceferino Gaquing, Visitacion Lirasan and Alfonso J. Lim.

Though Ronda, Cebu is 81 kilometers away from Cebu City it has produced legal luminaries. Among the many town residents who became lawyers: Lourdes VillalonDi­ama (admitted to the Bar on March 13, 1946, the town's First Lady Lawyer, she also served as the town's judge), Jose F. Remotigue (admitted to the Bar on August 2, 1948), Josefino B. Remotigue (admitted to the Bar on June 20, 1974), Gaudioso C. Villagonza­lo (admitted to the Bar on May 16, 1950), Jesus Z. Bajarias (admitted to the Bar on April 23, 1953), Manuel M. Ofima (admitted to the Bar on January 21, 1955), Godofredo S. Lucero (admitted to the Bar on May 8, 1961) and Benedicto C. Nazareno (admitted to the Bar on May 4, 1981).

Ronda's sons list who became lawyers continues: Glenn D. Tadena (April 20, 1978), Florencio V. Tirad (May 15, 1979), Jonah S. Villagonza­lo (March 25, 1970), Antonio C. Salinas (May 8, 1984), Bernarditt­o M. Malabago (May 12, 1999), Joshua N. Dacumos (June 5, 1992), Philip C. Camuiging (May 10, 2006), Emmanuel A. Famor Jr. ( May 5, 1999). The town's present vice mayor is a lawyer, his mother belonging to the "Blanco Clan," Jonnah John Blanco Ungab, admitted to the Bar on May 2, 2002.

The town prides of having a lawyer who served in the country's Presidenti­al Cabinet, his name is Josephus B. Jimenez (he became a lawyer on July 9, 1975). Former DOLE Undersecre­tary Josephus B. Jimenez, more known in the legal circle as JBJ although born in Argao, Cebu his family relocated in Ronda when his parents, Mr. Leonor Q. Jimenez, a World War II Veteran and Constancia B. Jimenez, both educators was assigned in the mountains of Ronda. lawyer Jimenez a Bar reviewer, book author and diplomat (he was appointed as Labor Attache in countries like Malaysia and Kuwait) also ruled in the corporate world as having been the vice president of Pepsi Cola Philippine­s and San Miguel Corporatio­n. JBJ is happily married to Emma Salazar and they have five children, John Paul, Joyce Mae, Josef Rey, Jermiah and Jiza Mari. JBJ is a Visayanian (Visayan Institute later changed to University of the Visayas founded by Don Vicente Gullas), he graduated from its law school as magna cum laude and class valedictor­ian.

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