de la Rosa
Bro. Andrew Gonzalez
Don Macario Arnedo
First Elected Provincial Governor of Pampanga
Macario Arnedo was the third child of the wealthy
and prominent, Don Joaquin Arnedo and the former Dona Maria de la Paz
y Sioco who were known for their generosity to the poor and hospitality
to the rich and famous during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.
He was born on February 28, 1864 in Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines.
His siblings were Cayetano, Jose, Mariano, Eugenio, Maria Ignacia and Ynes.
At a young age, Macario studied religion and "Caton" which
was equivalent to elementary school education of the current educational
curriculum in the Philippines. He pursued his formal studies at Colegio
de San Juan de Letran and later at the Universidad de Santo Tomas in Manila.
He attended "Academia de Leyes" to complete his education in
law. When the Americans occupied the Philippines in the late 19th century,
he hired a private tutor to study the English language.
At the advent of the American regime in the early years of the 20th century, Macario became active in politics and served as municipal mayor of his hometown in 1900 to 1901. As his last term of office as municipal mayor was about to end, he planned to run for a provincial executive position and wanted to have someone he could trust to continue his municipal projects he initiated in Apalit. He requested his brother, Cayetano Arnedo to run for mayor and succeed him. Cayetano being an influential political leader who helped Macario in his past political campaigns and known in their hometown as a dedicated and caring advocate in combating illiteracy who taught young children to read and write for free at the Arnedo ancestral home, won easily in the election for municipal mayor in 1902 and served with distinction until 1907. He was elected again as the mayor of Apalit in 1913 and held the same position until 1916.
As planned by Macario Arnedo to run for provincial governor of Pampanga, he won the election for governor in 1904 and served in that capacity until 1912. He is credited for the transfer of the seat of provincial government from Bacolor to San Fernando and laid the foundation of public education in Pampanga. Highly respected by American and Philippine government officials for his honesty, leadership and managerial ability, he accomplished many projects including the construction of railroads, concrete and asphalt roads, government buildings, schools, irrigations systems and flood controls particularly the human-made Arnedo Dike which extends from the northeastern towns of Arayat and Candaba passing through the municipalities San Luis, San Simon, Apalit, Macabebe and Masantol and drains the Pampanga River to the Pacific Ocean.
Governor Macario Arnedo married the former Maria Espiritu y Dungo, daughter of Capitan del Pueblo Don Pedro Espiritu and Dona Isabel Dungo. Their palatial home was the venue of many dinner-dance receptions and banquets attended by government officials, members of the socialite circle from Manila and neighboring provinces as well as foreign dignitaries. Dr. Jose Rizal who became a national hero of the Philippines, American Governor Generals Arthur MacArthur and Howard Taft and President Manuel L. Quezon who attended one or two of the receptions at the ancestral home of the Arnedo family in Apalit, Pampanga were particularly grateful to the generosity and hospitality of Governor and Mrs. Macario Arnedo. The Arnedos' annual tradition of serving people with food during their town fiesta on June 28 to June 30 every year continues to the present. People from all walks of life visit the Shrine of St. Peter at the Arnedo ancestral home to pray all year round.
Governor and Mrs. Macario Arnedo had seven children and one of them was Rosario Arnedo y Gonzalez, the mother of Brother Andrew Gonzalez, former president of De La Salle University and Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation as well as Secretary of Education of the Philippines in 1998 to 2001.