Araneta family

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Current regionWestern Visayas and Metro Manila, Philippines
Etymology"abundance of valleys"
Place of originSpain
MembersJuan Anacleto Araneta
Gregorio S. Araneta
Salvador Araneta
J. Amado Araneta
Manuel A. Roxas II
Jose Yulo
Rafael M. Salas
Jesús Y. Varela

The Araneta family is an influential Filipino family that originated from Guipúzcoa, the Basque region of northern Spain.[citation needed] The name is derived from the Basque word "aran" meaning valley,[1] with the suffix "eta" meaning abundance of, but also a locative term denoting "place" - in this case, the Araneta name meaning the family that comes from the valley.


In 1723, during the Galleon Trade, two brothers named Baltazar de Araneta and Don Jose de Araneta arrived in Manila aboard the Spanish Fleet,"La Sacra Familia". They came from the Basque region of Spain by way of Acapulco, Mexico. However, this was not conclusive as some members of the family disputed that the two are not brothers. Don Jose de Araneta must have been born in Gipuzkoa, but not Baltazar de Araneta. He was born in Mexico.

Baltazar served as a regidor of the cabildo and secretary of the Charitable Fraternity of the Misericordia in Manila. He was married to Manuela de Aguirre and he died in Manila in 1750. One line of the Araneta family is descended from him.

In 1725, Don Jose joined the first Spanish expedition forces to Mindanao. A passage quoted from the book (Islas Filipinas: Mindanao Vol.11), by Benito Francia and Julian Gonzales Parrado, which was translated in Chabacano dialect by Datu Michael Mastura, establishes two facts: First, Don Jose de Araneta served the Spanish Politico-Military Government of Mindanao based at Zamboanga City. Second, he served as interpreter between the Spanish colonial government and the Sultan of Maguindanao, together with Placido Alberto de Saavedra. Another passage in the document revealed that in 1746, Don Jose Araneta was executed in Sulugan, Mindanao, nowadays known as Anuling in Cotabato, Philippines. However, there are conflicting information drawn from translations of various documents pertaining to him.

In 1823, Buenaventura Araneta son of Mathias Araneta became the Gobernadorcillo (Alcalde Naturales) in Molo, Iloilo. He married Isabel Theresa Estrella. They had four children: Hermenegildo, Antonio, Pantaleon and Aniceta. Hermenegildo married Petrona Estanislao (Melitante) y Locsin of Iloilo. They had nine children, one of them was Felix who married Paz Soriano y Ditching (daughter of Don Anselmo Soriano y Flores and Maria Ditching of Binondo, Manila) and they had seventeen children, namely Leopoldo, Angel, Isabel, Pablo, Marciano, Gregorio, Anastacio, Maria, Filomena, Rosario, Lina, Jose, Concepcion, Candelaria, Encarnacion, Felicito and Remedios.

19th century and the Philippine Revolution[edit]

Buenaventura Araneta was the first member of the family to enter political life when he became the Gobernadorcillo (Alcalde Naturales) of Iloilo.

In the latter part of the century, a kinsman of his on the Negros side; Juan Araneta was the architect of the Negros Revolution that defeated the Imperial Spanish forces in that island. This would lead to the establishment of the Cantonal Republic of Negros. He would serve as Secretary of War of the short-lived government, which was later absorbed into the American-controlled military government of the Philippines. A statue of him stands in the Bago public plaza. Marciano Soriano Araneta (1866–1940) and Anastacio Soriano Araneta (1870 -1898) also participated in combat against the Imperial Spanish forces in Negros and captured the Spanish Garrison in Mangkas (now La Carlota City, Negros Occidental)

Other members of the family were involved in the revolution elsewhere.

Pablo Soriano Araneta (1864–1943) was the Commanding General of the Panay Revolutionary Forces and Chief of the expeditionary forces of the Federal Republic of the Visayas (centered on Iloilo City). The eminent Gregorio Soriano Araneta (1869–1930), legal luminary, businessman, nationalist and patriot, served his country and people under three regimes. He was elected a member of the National Assembly representing Iloilo. In 1898, he was appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as Secretary General and delegate to the Malolos Republic. Gregorio Araneta became the Secretary of Justice of the Philippine Republic on September 26, 1898.

Gregorio also became a successful and prosperous lawyer in Manila and married Dona Carmen Zaragoza y Roxas, of the prominent Spanish mestizo Zaragoza and Roxas clans of Manila, and established the Araneta name in Manila Society for the first time.

Modern Era[edit]

After the end of the revolution and the creation of the Philippine commonwealth, members of the clan expanded their business and political interests. Juan Araneta went on to establish the Ma-ao Sugar (refinery) Central in his hometown of Bago City. Industrialist Jorge Araneta would later expand it, and later the barangay where the Central stood was named after him. Jorge was also a close friend of commonwealth Philippine President Manuel Quezon.

It was Jorge's son-in-law and distant relation, J. Amado Araneta, who made the family into a household name. He established the real estate empire of commercial Cubao. His most prominent achievement is building the Araneta Center. It's landmark structure, the Araneta Coliseum, was the world's largest indoor stadium. It still remains one of the largest in Asia.

In politics Salvador Araneta, son of Gregorio Araneta become a Cabinet Secretary in the Philippine government. He was the founder of Araneta University (now De La Salle Araneta University) and FEATI University. Later, his nephew Greggy Araneta married Irene Marcos, the daughter of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

Other members of the clan involved with Marcos was Rafael M. Salas, the son of Ernesto Araneta Salas of Bago City. He served as Marcos' Executive Secretary, due to political differences he left this position and later become Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, head of UNFPA. He would serve in this capacity for 17 years.

Many other members of the clan also serve in various political positions, including Senator Mar Roxas, a grandson of J. Amado Araneta, and former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, husband of Philippine former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is a descendant of Jesusa Araneta Lacson de Arroyo of the Negros branch of the family.

The Araneta family, particularly the descendants of Josefa Araneta,[2] also of the Negros branch, produced the largest numbers of Catholic clergy. She married Gregorio Varela, and the line of their son Antonio Araneta-Varela has produced three nuns, two priests, and Bishop Jesus Varela. Meanwhile, their daughter, Dolores Araneta Varela, who married Agaton Ramos, had a grandson named Rolando Ramos Dizon, who became a La Sallian Catholic brother before becoming Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (Philippines).

Notable members[edit]


  • Juan Araneta - revolutionary, Secretary of War (Negros Republic)
  • Gregorio S. Araneta - Secretary of the Malolos Congress
  • Salvador Araneta - Secretary of Economic Coordination under President Elpidio Quirino, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ramon Magsaysay
  • Manuel "Mar" Araneta Roxas - grandson of J.Amado Araneta and former President Manuel Roxas, Son of former Senator Gerry Roxas and Judy Araneta Roxas, ex-Trade and Industry Secretary, former Senator, 2010 Vice-Presidential candidate, former DOTC secretary, former DILG Secretary, and 2016 Presidential candidate.
  • Gerry Roxas Jr. - brother of the preceding, grandson of J.Amado Araneta and former President Manuel Roxas, Son of former Senator Gerry Roxas and Judy Araneta Roxas, former Representative
  • Jose Miguel Arroyo - Husband of former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, grandson of Jesusa Araneta Lacson de Arroyo
  • Rafael M. Salas - United Nations Under-Secretary General, Head UNFPA, son of Ernesto Araneta Salas.
  • José Yulo - Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, wartime Chief of Justice, Secretary of Justice, descendant of the Yulo-Araneta branch
  • Cecilia "Cecile" Araneta-Marcos - incumbent Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte. Married to Former Provincial Board Member Mariano "Nonong" Marcos II, nephew of former President Ferdinand Marcos.


  • J. Amado Araneta - founder of the Araneta Group of Companies which developed the Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City. He was the original owner of Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company located in Bacolod City.
  • Jorge L. Araneta - son of J. Amado Araneta and the present head of the Araneta Group. Also a Board member to the Philippine Seven Corp.
  • Gregorio María "Greggy" Araneta III - current chairman of Philweb [3] (PSEWEB).[4][5] He is also Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Araneta Properties Inc. (ARA) [6] (PSEARA), He is also the President of Araza Resources Corporation, Envirotest Corporation, Enviroclean Corporation and Carmel Farms Inc. Araneta also serves as Chairman of the Board of Autobus Transport Systems Inc. (Autobus), Gregorio Araneta Management Corporation, Gregorio Araneta Inc. (GAI),[7] Gamma Holdings Corporation, Carmel Development Corporation and Gamma Properties Inc. He also held various other executive positions to the following companies: ISM Communications Corporation (ISM), Atok-Big Wedge Company Inc.(Atok) (PSEAB), Alphaland Corporation (ALPHA), LBC Development Bank (LBC Bank) PSELBC), Asia International Travel Corporation.
  • Santiago "Santi" G. Araneta - former chairman and CEO of LBC Express Holdings, Inc. (PSELBC).
  • Dino Araneta - Former President and Chief Strategy Officer of LBC Express Holdings, Inc. and Founder of Quad X.[8]



The Araneta Group[edit]

Araneta Group
Private & Diversified
IndustryReal estate, Investment, Leisure & Entertainment, Restaurants, Hospitality
FounderJ. Amado Araneta
Key people

The Araneta Group holds the key businesses established by J. Amado Araneta.

  • Araneta City, Inc. (ACI) - the owner, developer and manager of the Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City.
  • Uniprom, Inc. - manages the ticketing company TicketNet Online and the leisure and entertainment ventures of the Araneta Center (Smart Araneta Coliseum, Kia Theatre, Gateway Mall and Ali Mall Cineplex). Aside from providing venues to notable local and international shows, Uniprom also produces and promotes internationally acclaimed sports and entertainment shows like the World Slasher Cup, and the annual Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant. Uniprom has also been in a 26-year partnership with the producers of Disney on Ice, which has been held annually at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
  • Philippine Pizza, Inc. (PPI) - the franchise owner of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen in the Philippines, operating over 300 restaurants nationwide.
  • Progressive Development Corporation (PDC) - manages investments and property assets of the Araneta Group outside of the three strategic business units (Araneta Center, Philippine Pizza Inc. and Uniprom). The group's major properties are in San Mateo, Rizal, Rodriguez, Rizal and Bacolod. Other assets include holdings in Atok Big-Wedge, a listed holding company; investments in Wenphil and Philippine Seven, local franchisees of world-renowned brands Wendy's and 7-Eleven respectively; The Peninsula Manila luxury hotel; and tertiary hospital Makati Medical Center. PDC is also a business incubator for new ventures.
  • Araneta Hotels, Inc. (AHI) - owner and developer of Novotel Manila Araneta City, the first Novotel brand of AccorHotels in the Philippines, as well as the Future Ibis Styles Araneta City, the first Ibis Styles brand in the Philippines.
  • Manhattan Gardens - a ₱15 Billion, 9,000 unit, 18-tower joint venture residential project with Megaworld Corporation occupying 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of the Araneta City, consisting 4 phases (Parkway, Parkview, Heights, Plaza) and the first transit-oriented residential development in the country.
  • J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF)- a non-profit, social development arm of the Araneta Group under the Araneta City, Inc.

The Araneta Group Management[edit]

  • Jorge L. Araneta - CEO, Chairman and President
  • Judy A. Róxas - Vice Chairman
  • Rinfredo B. dela Cruz - COO, Araneta Center, Inc.; EVP, Progressive Development Corporation
  • Liza Lea Juinio - COO, Philippine Pizza Inc.
  • Irene L. José - OIC, Uniprom Inc.
  • Mike Brown - General Manager, AHI
  • Diane Romero - Executive Director, J. Amado Araneta Foundation

Other Aranetas in business[edit]

Salvador Z. Araneta founded RFM Corporation (PSERFM), which began as a flour miller.

LBC Express, founded as the Luzon Brokerage Corporation, was started by Carlos "Linggoy" Araneta. Its current CEO is Santiago "Santi" Araneta.

Ramon Araneta ventured into advertising through Ace Advertising Agency (AAA) (now known as Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, wholly owned by the France-based Publicis group through its Saatchi & Saatchi network of agencies).[9]

Joachim Araneta Durante, standing as the CEO of his own beach resort in Siargao Island and Hotel in Cebu City.


  • Alfredo Saulo. (1991). "IV Bago: Birthplace of the Negros Republic". Jorge vargas Autobiography. University of the Philippine Press.
  • Violeta Lopez-Gonzaga.. (1994). Land of Hope, Land of Want : A socio-economic history of Negros. Philippine National Historical Society.
  • Roland Oscar Araneta.. (2009). Familia Araneta.
  • [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Google Translate".
  2. ^ "Records Available For Josefa De Los Dolores Araneta - MyHeritage".
  3. ^ "PhilWebCorporation - Philweb Home".
  4. ^ "Greggy Araneta makes a killing". November 28, 2016.
  5. ^ "Gregorio Araneta Archives".
  6. ^ "Araneta Properties".
  7. ^ Dumlao-Abadilla, Doris. "Araneta to pursue P10-B hydropower project".
  8. ^ "Quad X". Quad X.
  9. ^ "ACE SAATCHI & SAATCHI IS 65!". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-18.