When I was growing up in San Pedro, Laguna, I was close to all four of my grandparents, the paternal side then living in Las Piñas (they migrated to Canada in 1998) and the maternal side living in Sampaloc, Manila. All introduced me to my distant relatives at some point, but I do not remember exactly when they introduced them to me now. Also, most of my uncles and aunts were already living abroad at the time I was born, so I wasn't able to experience their moments firsthand until I was 9 years old, when I went to the USA to visit them.
My genealogy journey started when I was in Grade 4, when we were studying about the different regions of the Philippines. My class was asked to compile a family tree from ourselves up to our great-grandparents. But I have forgotten where that tree is now, sadly. Over the years, I have had tried to salvage whatever was left of my memories, but it all failed until I seriously committed to genealogy while I was in college, realizing the serious need for Philippine genealogical data on the Internet, and one of the solutions that I could do was contribute to it.
Over the course of a few years, starting in the late 2000s, I scrambled to interview my Lola Mena (for my paternal side), my Lola Mommy, my mom, my Mommy Fab and some other relatives (for my maternal side) for any information about my great-grandparents and my parents' uncles and aunts. Slowly, I collected more and more information as it became available, and that's where I am now (my tree has matured so much such that it has already reached its limits to the number of generations it can grow, unfortunately.)
My ancestors originated in either Northern or Central Luzon. I cannot find my earliest ancestors before the early 1800s.
The Villarta surname is common in the Visayas and Mindanao but my line originated from Victoria, Tarlac (near the Nueva Ecija boundary). During the early years of the American occupation, my great-great-grandfather migrated to Piat, Cagayan where he married a member of the Oñate family there. After some time, they settled in San Mateo, Isabela, where some of my distant relatives live today. Before World War II, his grandchildren migrated to Metro Manila, where some of those descendants still live here to this day, or have had emigrated abroad. Related surnames are Valdez and Buncag.
The Lacsamana surname originated from San Simon and Mexico, Pampanga. Around 1924, my great-grandparents, my grandmother and some of her siblings moved to Tondo, Manila. Many relatives still live in Metro Manila today, while some relatives have since moved to other provinces or emigrated abroad.
The Paraso surname originated from Gerona, Tarlac, where some of my relatives still live in either the locality or its surrounding area. Some of my grandfather's siblings and cousins moved to Metro Manila after World War II, where a great majority of their descendants still live here to this day, or have had emigrated to the USA.
The Ortiz surname also originated from Gerona, Tarlac (by way of Guimba, Nueva Ecija). Before World War II, my great-grandparents (before they emigrated to California, USA) settled in Cotabato City, in central Mindanao, while other relatives moved to Metro Manila and even some of those later emigrated to the USA. Some descendants remain in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. Related surnames include Simeon and Acob.