The town of Pavia in Iloilo has always been linked with the Gumban clan.
Encarnacion Janduquile y Gumban vda de Himatay is a proud Gumban daughter, always
cognizant of her heritage and origins -- and has maintained through the years a close relationship with her Gumban relatives.
Thus, Nelson Gumban, a former mayor of the town, calls her Nanay
Encar, in reference and respect to her status as a grandaunt, while her many grandchildren call him Manong Nelson. The Gumban relatives who were contemporaries (she has outlived them all), like
Nelson's father Luzon Gumban, himself a former mayor and provincial deputy governor,
fondly called her Inday Encar, a Hiligaynon usage
for endearment and respect, which was -- and still is -- applied to relatives.
It must be noted that this sense of family history and loyalty is important. Among many families in the Philippines,
much history is passed down in the form of oral tradition. This is because written histories have not always been easily
available, as record keeping during the Spanish colonial period was spotty (most especially in the provinces). And during
the wartime Japanese occupation, a lot of records were lost. So it is through this oral tradition that most Filipinos
have kept their connection with their past, and how they know about their forbears and relatives. Needless to say, close
family ties especially among the old generation have kept the links among relatives alive. Non-Filipinos may find this
tradition amazing, especially with regard to how members of the Filipino extended family seem to know each other, and in particular,
the intricacies of how they are related to one another. But while the rush of modern living and lifestyles have increasingly
made the link to the past more and more distant, keeping many contemporary Filipinos unaware and ignorant of their heritage,
this tradition still remains alive and well, at least in the case with the Gumban of Pavia.
The first Gumban to be associated with Pavia is Constantino Gumban, who, with
12 other landowners, is believed to have founded the town in 1848.
Since then, members of the Gumban clan have occupied the mayor's office of the town. This include Petronilo
Gumban* (1916-1920); Delfin Gumban (1921-1924); Buenaventura Gumban (1942-1945); Cornelio Gumban (1942-1945);
Luzon Gumban (1947-1952); and Nelson Gumban (1972-1986).
Of historical interest is the fact that two Gumban were designated as town mayor during the Japanese Occupation: Buenaventura Gumban for the Resistance Civil Government, and Cornelio
Gumban as the Occupation Mayor.
Arguably the most famous of the clan is Delfin Gumban, who distinguished himself
as Poet Laureate of the Hiligaynon language, and was a Premio
Zobel awardee for poetry in Spanish. He was also a justice of the peace, and a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional
Luzon Gumban was later appointed deputy governor of Iloilo in 1951. He
was assassinated at the height of his political career.
His son, Nelson Gumban, is credited with the construction of the Tigum Bridge
and river dike, as well as the town electrification program, the construction of elementary and secondary school buildings,
installation of street lighting in the plaza area, and the improvement of the municipal builiding and feeder roads to the
In 1952, a young Naomi Himatay was named Festival
Queen of Pavia.
Through Fernanda Gumban y Confesor, mother of Encarnacion, the family is also
related to the "Stormy Petrel" of the American Commonwealth Period, Tomas Confesor (three-term
congressman of Iloilo, 1935 Constitutional Convention delegate, two-term governor and senator) and his younger brother Patricio Confesor, who headed the civil government of Panay and Romblon during the Japanese
Interestingly, too, is that through marriage and family links, the family of Encarnacion Janduquile
y Gumban vda de Himatay has ties with other political clans in the towns of Pavia and Barotac Viejo in
Iloilo Province, and in Culasi and Patnongon in Antique Province. Among the more notable family connections include:
Josue Cadiao** (governor of Antique, 1955-1963) and Flaviano
Mosquera (mayor of Culasi, 1967-1980; and provincial board member of Antique, 1992-1998) through Juan Mosquera
y Cadiao; Gerardo Gorriceta (mayor of Pavia, 1960-1971) through Purificacion Gumban
y Gustilo; Felix Gorriceta, Jr. (mayor of Pavia, 1986-1994) and Arcadio
Gorriceta (current mayor of Pavia) through Alma Gorriceta y Leonides de Himatay; and Neil Tupas (current governor of Iloilo and former congressman)
through Divina Causing y Causing de Himatay.