(The only time I met Cerge Remonde, when he launched my book Argao: 400 Years in Legend and History)
It has taken me a few days to finish this tribute to one of the two greatest Argawanon men in recent times (one of them being Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr.), mainly because I never knew Secretary Cerge M. Remonde personally. But hearing from those who did know him, I felt that as Culture and Heritage Officer of the Municipality of Argao I ought to pay my respect to this amazing man in the usual way that I know: a genealogical discussion.
Unfortunately, I do not have much information yet on Cerge Remonde's family tree. However, I still have a few things that may clarify some of the confusing details that people knew about Cerge Remonde.
Cerge was born Glecerio Mamites Remonde (he later had his name legally changed to Cerge when he became famous) on December 21, 1958, to Teofilo A. Remonde and Florentina S. Mamites in barangay Lamacan, Argao, Cebu. Some people have said that Cerge was an illegitimate child, however, the truth is, it was his father, Teofilo, who was an illegitimate child. Teofilo Remonde, a bus driver, was the son of Flaviana Remonde. He married Florentina Mamites, daughter of Roman Mamites and Marta Sanchez, on June 25, 1958. Cerge was their one and only child, born six months after their marriage. Teofilo, however, died when Cerge was not yet one year old.
After Cerge's father died, his mother remarried to Andres Alburo and from that marriage he had eight siblings: Asterio, Virgilio, Andres Jr., Antonieta, Hemres, Serina, Vicente and Sincero.
Like his mother, Cerge married twice. His second wife, Marit Stinus, is from Denmark.
The Remonde surname may be a derivation of the Spanish word remonte, which means repairing, recounting, or soaring. It may also be from the word remonda, which means the end. The family Remonde is an old Argawanon family that has been in public service since the early 1800s, being one of the ruling families of Argao in the Spanish period. All Remondes of Argao, whether those from the mountain barangays (like Cerge Remonde) or those from the coastal barangays, can trace their family tree to Calisto Remonde and Martina Remonerar, who both lived in Argao, Cebu in the middle 1700s. The Remonde family produced six cabezas de barangay from the early 1800s (Don Francisco Remonde) until the end of Spanish rule (Don Luis Remonde). The same Don Luis Remonde later became a municipal councilor from 1913 until 1919. One member went on to become a vice-mayor of Argao during the martial law years, from 1972 until 1986.
As the official genealogist and historian of the town of Argao let me correct my previous write-up in my book Argao: 400 Years in Legend and History. Cerge M. Remonde was the first Argawanon to become a senior Cabinet Member. Juan Alcazaren and Narciso Albarracin were both only Undersecretaries, thus making Cerge M. Remonde the only Argawanon to ever hold the post of a Cabinet member.