with a written accent

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This is us, the Perdigóns in the environment we like, the lush Philippine outdoors, and showing (discretely) our multicultural ancestry.

We are:

E-Mail:     Jeanette

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My castle story
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I was born in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, in western Spain, but if you ask me where I am from I will answer without a thought that I am from Oviedo, Asturias. There is really a difference as far as I am concerned. My family moved from Ciudad Rodrigo to Oviedo in the northern coast of Spain when I was a few weeks old. As a result, I grew up an Asturiano imbibing the local culture, which is rather different from that of Castilla to the south. Asturianos speak Spanish peppered with archaic Castilian and local (celtic) words and a quaint accent which is very noticeable… and difficult to shake. I've lived all of my past thirty-five years in an English speaking environment and to this day my Asturiano accent and funny words come out every time I open my mouth in Spanish.

Asturias is an oddity in Spain. It is a very mountainous and green country with a humid weather, lots of rain and snow, and not much sun. It has a geography of sharp tall peaks and deep wooded gorges and valleys. Visitors to Asturias marvel at its beauty, wild and awesome in the peaks and serene, almost idyllic in the hills and dales. A kind of Spanish Switzerland, except Asturias has it better: there is a beautiful seacoast where the mountains end. Not the typical flat, dry, blue skied "sunny Spain" of the cliché.

Asturias was the last Spanish territory occupied by the Romans, a difficult task given the very rough terrain. North African Muslims (Moors) invaded Spain early in the VIII century and did not find any easier penetrating Asturias, let alone subdue it. The invasion forced Spaniards from all over the peninsula to flee north to Asturias where, mixed with the local population, organized with astounding success the first resistance to the Moorish invasion. The clash was as much an epic conflict between two antagonistic cultures and religions as it was a fight for territory. Every summer, for almost a hundred years, the southern caliphs would send two armies to submit the Asturianos in the mountains and every time the armies returned to their lords badly bloodied. As a consequence, the  Islamic expansion did not spread over the rest of Europe north of the Pyrenees because for close to a century, all the military assets of the southern caliphate were thrown into the vain objective of subduing the rebellious "infidels" of the north. It may be conceited to say so but Europe owes its cultural existence to the small armed groups in Asturias who stood their ground for three generations against Muslim invaders.

The first Spanish Kingdom after the Moorish invasion was established in Oviedo (VIII century) and as it became stronger, it expanded south over lands occupied by the moors. At this time, and for practical reasons the court moved from Oviedo to Leon, and over the next seven centuries diverse Christian kingdoms gave rise to what is Spain today. Some Asturianos take this very seriously and tell their visitors "this is the real Spain, the rest is but conquered land."

The heir to the Spanish crown carries the official title of Príncipe de Asturias just like the heir to the British throne is called the Prince of Wales. The first Príncipe de Asturias was Don Enrique III de Castilla, one of the five monarchs of the Trastamara dynasty. And funny how this brings me to Ciudad Rodrigo, my birthplace, and the castle.

Ciudad Rodrigo is a beautiful, monumental medieval city near the boundary with Portugal. The most outstanding of its monuments is the castle you see in the picture, built by Don Enrique de Trastamara, later Enrique II de Castilla and founder of the dynasty. It was his son Juan I de Castilla who instituted the title of Príncipe de Asturias for the heir apparent to the throne, a tradition carried until today. The Trastamara dynasty of Castilla lasted one and a half centuries and ended when the last monarch, Isabel I de Castilla, married Fernando II de Aragon and united all of the Spanish kingdoms under a single crown.

Converted to a tourist inn earlier this century, the Trastamara Castle is an imposing gothic fortress built in the XIV century. My father was the General Manager of the hotel in late 1941 when I was born. It was not customary or convenient for Ciudad Rodrigo mothers then to deliver their babies in clinics and so I was born, literally, in the Trastamara Castle, a hotel and the Perdigón residence at the time.

                   Related sites:

Ciudad Rodrigo -


From one who died for country and freedom.
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I come from such a one. My fingers in the photo point to my grandfather's name, Martin Marquez, engraved on a marble slab in the McKinley Cemetery, the American War Memorial in Manila where more than 17,000 dead are burried and the memory of more than 34,000 missing in action is honored. He was a Master Sergeant in the US Army's 12th Quartermaster Corps during World War II. Other than the date of his death on June 7, 1942, the last days of his life are shrouded in conjectures as relevant war records are scanty. He most probably was one of the prisoners that walked the Death March. For the rest of the details of his last days we are profoundly thankful to Mr. Fedrico Baldasarre for the information freely offered in an email dated Nov. 20, 2002 parts of which are reproduced here:

"If my guess is correct, Sgt. Marquez served with the 12th Quartermaster Corps.  On Bataan, he was either on Mariveles or in the Limay/Lamao area, as that is where they had their Quartermaster depots.  It would be a safe bet to say that he probably died in Camp O'Donnell, in Capas, Tarlac, given his date of death, approximately, 45 days after the end of the Death March.   The Japanese shut the camp down on June 6 and they gave all the Filipinos amnesty, except for those who refused to sign the pledge vowing to never take arms against the Japanese, and they transferred the Americans to Cabanatuan, in Nueva Ecija.    When the Japanese closed Camp O'Donnell, many Filipinos and Americans were too sick to move, so they kept a very small group of about 100 American and Filipinos behind to finish burying the dead and those who were about to die.  Again, I will make a guess, that Sgt. Marquez was one of those waiting to die after the camp was closed.   I base my guess on the dates and where his group should have been on that date, and on what I have learned through research.  Of course, the truth may be different, but that is my guess.

"I am willing to make another guess and that is that his body was recovered, but never identified.   These men were buried in mass graves of 20 to 40 to a grave, as they died at a minimum rate of 225 per day and a maximum rate of 1,050 per day, this includes both American and Filipino, while at Camp O'Donnell.   After recording their deaths, they would put their dog tags (identification) in their mouths.   Their bodies were exhumed and sent to Manila, in early 1946, so you can imagine the condition they were in, almost 4 years later.

"The Manila Cemetery record of him came from the records kept in Camp O'Donnell.  Again, the date of death of June 7, 1942 points to Camp O'Donnell, as his place of death.  If his death went unnoticed, his date of death would been February 6, 1946.  That is the arbitrary date given to those who simply disappeared.  I attached a photo of a burial detail in Camp O'Donnell.   These details went on  for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you were a prisoner in that camp, all you did was bury your comrades and wait for your time to be buried.

"The Japanese decided to close the camp, because they themselves were beginning to get sick.   Camp O'Donnell was like a giant petrie dish for infectious diseases.  In all probability, Sgt. Marquez died of diseases: malaria, dysentery, beri-beri, infections, dipthiria, dengue fever, or palagra.  He could have even died of dehydration or malnutrition, as many did."

Mr. Baldasarre is the webmaster and archivist for the Battling Bastards of Bataan and does research work for writers and for film documentaries.
The life and memory of a soldier like my grandfather honors us and makes us proud but doesn't make us a family of warriors.  We rather like to think of ourselves as a family of pioneer educators. My other grandfather and his two brothers were some of the first teachers among the Tinguian in the vast mountain hinterlands of Abra, a province nested in the Cordillera Mountains of Northern Luzon. My grandfather became a school Principal and his youngest brother, whom he sent to school, became the Department of Education's Academic Supervisor for the Province of Abra.

The bridge in the photo at right spans the Abra river near the sea, already in the province Ilocos Sur. The spot is a few kilometers from Vigan, a city featured elsewhere in this web page. The more mountainous areas of Abra are inhabited by the Tinguian, a cultural minority that got in touch with the main stream culture of the majority of Filipinos only in this century . The most dramatic trait of their culture for us is that they used to practice ritual cannibalism like the Ilongots of nearby Eastern Cagayan Valley. This practice disappeared around the 1960s. Groups of Tinguian used to come down to Bucay, our town, for trade, some inevitably stayed behind from time to time and availed of menial jobs.

My family has its roots in Bucay, province of Abra. My grandfather had a big house and yard in the center of town where he operated the town's "sari-sari", or general merchandise store. We got used to the weekly visit of Tinguian tribesmen to buy supplies and some food. I remember with fondness Peto, a young Tinguian that became a handyman-cum-babysitter in my grandfather's big house and was my "yayo" (sitter) when I was small. He told us stories about his escapades while still living with his tribe and confessed to us that he had practiced cannibalism but "not anymore". In his own way, he strived hard to show that we need not fear from him and that he loved us. He left us and went back to the mountains after a few years. We learned with sorrow later that he died, apparently he became progressively blind and could not avail of health services or of the help of his fellow tribesmen.

Until today, most of the mountain areas where the Tinguian live are accessible only by mountain trails where the only possible travel is by foot or horse. My grandfather was a peripatetic teacher in the 30s moving from settlement to settlement dedicated to introduce the children of the Tinguian to the basics of formal education. I heard many a quaint tale from him brought out of his experiences as a pioneer teacher in a forgiving environment, including his embarrassment at finding a lean-to filled with some of his adolescent female students dressed in the normal attire of the place then, just a colorful skirt tied at the waist and no bodice.

 It should be no wonder that my mother became a teacher and taught in the public high school in Bucay, our home town in Abra. I studied in that school and had the privilege of having my mother as one of my school teachers. Later she took advanced courses and became a Math professor in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila. She is retired now but still teaches part time in the same University.

I came to Manila after my High School to study in the State University where I graduated in Home Economics with a major in Nutrition. However I made my professional life in the field of Marketing. I spent my past 29 years as a Sales and Marketing Executive in various industries including cosmetics and toiletries, garments, food and food supplements, one of the biggest law firms in the country. I am now a marketing consultant for ProSource International, a distributor of neutraceutical food supplements.

I married a Spaniard and raised a family in Manila. We have two daughters, you are invited to read about them below. We had the opportunity to travel both in the Philippines and abroad. My husband, my eldest daughter and I have been abroad often on business but we all traveled several times to Spain as a family on vacation and to get acquainted with my husband's Spanish family. It is in these trips where we enjoyed immensely the exposure to an incredibly rich culture and other peoples with other ideas and ways of looking at the world. We above all feel enriched from having learned to appreciate the two sides of our bicultural heritage and we are both thankful and proud of it.


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Arjay in year 1999 , when this was first written, was twenty-something, no permission was issued to be more specific.

She is an industrial engineer, worked as Marketing Manager of Cadbury Chocolates in the Philippines where she moved from New Zealand Milk Products. 

Both jobs and some she took later have called for some bit of travelling, she's been on business to Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, New Zealand and the US.

The picture caption above was published in January, 2000. 
As planned, Arjay traveled to New Zealand on February and took some pictures.
Back in Manila, she and I selected some and together wrote her story of the trip
published elsewhere as her own web page.

Check it all at:
Arjay in NZ

Arjay moved in mid 2000 to Energizer, Philippines where she was the Energizer batteries product manager and marketing manager for retail trade. Life went on, now (late 2006) she is working in marketing in the family business MIYO Food Products Resources Inc. and is about to move to the US to start a new venture as merketing manager in an agricultural and food processing concern in California.


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Patricia graduated in the University of Santo Tomas a.k.a UST and is now a working licensed architec. She has gained experience in all aspects of Architecture from design to project management. Her employment record includes among others

-a large Scotish multinational, RMJM, where she was invlved in the design and drafting of large projects in Hongkong, and

-Joseph Sy, her present empoloyer, a designer and interior decorator based in Hongkong and doing a multitude of projects for businesses in some of the main cities in China

But her aim is to take some time out for graduate studies in USA (Chicago is her dream of a city to do it) or Europe where a lot of interesting arcgitecture is done.

Web Page by Jose R. Perdigon
Last Updated Feb., 2009
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