WHENCE CAME YOU TESORO?
TESORO is Spanish for treasure. Its origin is in Latin for thesaurus. It is one surname, which European authorities during the Spanish regime, which spanned almost 400 years in the Philippines, required native Filipinos to adopt for survey and political control purposes.
Like any other Filipino, his surname would distinguish him from the rest of the multitude.
Surname notwithstanding, the four centuries of Spain’s dominion over the archipelago and its population could not discount the possibility of inter marriages or cohabitation. It is even common knowledge that friars were the most notorious when it comes to impregnating if not devirginizing young women within their respective parishes. And there were countless wedlock babies as a consequence of the spurious union.
Thus, the mixture of European and native blood resulted in changes of racial profile. Paradoxically, it could hold also as basis for adoption of surname.
The surname Tesoro can be traced back to Spain several millennial ago and may have been part of Spain’s ancient history that predated civilization in Asia. There was even a brand of wine called El Tesoro.
While various merchants from several foreign countries had conducted commerce on the shores of ancient Philippines, which in effect contributed likewise to intermarriages, and mixture of blood, the genes of Filipinos when Spain took over had already a sprinkling of Malay, Chinese, Arab and Indian.
The earliest blood line of Tesoro could have been of Malay stock, his surname could have been Ibrahim. Then the Chinese came and his children became Chang. Then came the Arab and he was christened Abdul. Then the Indians came and he became Neru. The rest were of Spanish kinship. This is of course pure speculation but let me explain why the assumption.
My grandfather (Eufemio Pili Tesoro) or my Lolo Femio, I had no way of determining the names and background of his parents and grandparents, looked like a combination of several racial animosities in his physical attributes.
He is relatively taller than ordinary Filipinos. He stands at 5’10” a bit European. His complexion is fair and almost yellowish like the Mongols or Chinese; had deep seated Indian or Arabic eyes with thick eye lashes, and Spanish aquiline nose. From a distance, he may be mistaken as Indian. On closer look, he could be an Arab but with Chinese complexion. Depending on the dominant blood line, my Lolo Femio was an example of anatomical combination and biological fusion.
Since, traits are more hereditary including physical deformities and carnal features, the Tesoro of recent version has passed on genealogical attributes of the clan.
A Tesoro is by and large temperamental like Spaniards with fascistic tendencies. He is however composed like a Chinese merchant and a bit shrewd like those in the Middle East. He is a social mutant of sort, a product of cultural and expeditionary evolution, a freak of ethnic nature, a combination of physical attributes and anomalies. In other words, he is the protean man in modern time.
Even if passive, I could feel it. Ironically, despite the influx of multiracial bloods flowing in my veins, I still look like your friendly neighborhood native.
(Unfortunately however and like majority of Filipinos, I could not get the full name of my grandfather’s father already, how much more his whereabouts or wherewithal during his time.)