Mariano N. Limjap (19 October 1856 – 4 March 1926) was a prominent Chinese-Filipino businessman, patriot, and philanthropist. He was a member of the Revolutionary Congress and was one of the signatories of the revolutionary money issued during the Filipino-American War.
Early Life and Education
Limjap was born in Binondo, Manila on 19 October 1856 to Joaquin Limjap, a Christianized Chinese who hailed from Amoy (now known as Xiamen), China and Policarpia Nolasco, a native of Binondo. He learned the fundamentals of business through his father who was a businessman engaged in the sugar industry.
In 1890, Limjap started his own business using the ₱100,000.00 worth of properties and assets left by his deceased father as capital. At the same time, he invested part of the money in other businesses such as San Miguel Brewery, Manila Jockey Club, and the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Eventually, the Spanish government appointed him cabeza de barangay and gobernadorcillo for the Chinese of Binondo. He was active in supporting civic activities and socio-economic matters, and was awarded the distinction of Caballero de la Real Orden Americana de Isabel la Catolica by the Spanish government.
During the 1896 Philippine Revolution, Limjap was arrested and imprisoned for suspected involvement in the revolutionary efforts. He was eventually released after Spain surrendered to the Americans.
Limjap supported the second stage of the revolution in 1898. He was one of the officials who maintained the Manila-Dagupan railroad line. He also joined Pedro A. Paterno and Telesforo Chuidian in supporting the Revolutionary government of Emilio Aguinaldo. The trio signed and released the paper bills of the Republic.
When the Philippine-American War broke out in 1899, Limjap responded to the need of the newly established Philippine Republic for patriotic men who will serve its cause. He was appointed a member of the Revolutionary Congress, which was then meeting in Tarlac on 7 July 1899. Unfortunately, the Americans caught up with the members of the Revolutionary government in Pangasinan, and Limjap was arrested and jailed in Manila. He regained his freedom after swearing an oath of allegiance to the United States of America.
Limjap resumed his business activities by investing heavily in real estate. He built houses for rent in Baguio, Pasig, Antipolo, and Marikina. He put up a branch of his company in Iloilo and became a stockholder in established companies such as the Compañia de Seguros de Filipinas, Tayabas Sawmill & Co., and La Perla, Incorporated. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Limjap continued to support socio-civic activities in the country. He supported poor but deserving students in the University of the Philippines by paying for their fees, board, and lodging. He also supported national artists such as Juan Luna, Felix Resureccion Hidalgo, and Fabian de la Rosa by buying their masterpieces, and was one of the sponsors of the construction of the Rizal monument at Rizal Park.
Family and Personal Life
Limjap was married twice. With his first wife, he had Mariano Jr. and Gregorio. His second wife, Maria Escolar, bore him seven children namely:
- Leonarda Limjap-Ubaldo - won the 1908 Reina del Oriente crown of the first ever Manila Carnival and was married to Ariston Ubaldo, son of Olympia Rizal Ubaldo who was the sister of Jose Rizal;
- Jose Limjap;
- Esperanza Osmeña – married Sergio Osmeña and became the fourth First Lady of the Philippines;
- Paciencia Limjap-Santos;
- Francisco Limjap – married Socorro Henson, 1926 Miss Philippines;
- Felisa Limjap-Boncan; and
- Pedro Limjap.
- Manuel, E. Arsenio. 1955. Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications.
- National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Mariano N. Limjap (1856-1926). Accessed 19 April 2021. https://nhcp.gov.ph/resource/filipinos-in-history/business/.