Araneta family

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Ethnicity Spanish Filipino, Visayan (Hiligaynon)
Current region Negros Island Region, Western Visayas and Metro Manila, Philippines
Place of origin Spain
Members Juan Anacleto Araneta
Gregorio S. Araneta
Salvador Araneta
Leopoldo M. Araneta
J Amado Araneta
Luis Ma. Araneta
Mar Araneta Roxas
Jose Yulo
Rafael M. Salas
Name origin and meaning "abundance of valleys"

The Araneta family is an influential Spanish 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 Spanish forces in that island. This would lead to the creation 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 City public plaza.

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.

Marciano Soriano Araneta (1866–1940) and Anastacio Soriano Araneta [1870 -1898] participated in combat against the Spanish forces and captured the Spanish Garrison in Mangkas (now La Carlota City, Negros Occidental)

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.

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. Currently, the most well known example is Senator Mar Roxas, a grandson of J Amado Araneta. The most prominent is Philippine former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, husband of Philippine former President Gloria Arroyo. He is a descendant of Jesusa Araneta Lacson de Arroyo of the Negros Branch of the family.

In terms of religion, it is the descendants of Josefa Araneta[2] also of the Negros branch, that produced the largest number of Catholic clergy. She married Gregorio Varela , and the line of their son Antonio Araneta-Varela has produced three nuns, two Priests, and a Roman Catholic Bishop,the Most Reverend Jesus Varela. Meanwhile, their daughter, Dolores Araneta Varela who married Agaton Ramos, had a grandson who transcended politics and Religious service; Rolando Ramos Dizon, was a La Sallian Catholic brother, who was also appointed to a national government position as 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


  • J. Amado Araneta - Business tycoon, developer of the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. He was the original owner of the sugar cane mill Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company located in Bacolod City.
  • Jorge Araneta - Current owner of Araneta Center and The Araneta Group
  • Gregorio Maria Araneta lll - Current Chairman Of Philweb - Also He serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Araneta Properties Inc. (ARA), President of Araza Resources Corporation, Envirotest Corporation, Enviroclean Corporation and Carmel Farms Inc., and President of Araneta Properties Inc (ARA).

Araneta also serves as Chairman of the Board of Autobus Transport Systems Inc. (Autobus), Gregorio Araneta Management Corp., Gregorio Araneta Inc., Gamma Holdings Corporation, Carmel Development Corp. and Gamma Properties Inc.He also held various other executive positions to the following companies:ISM Communications Corp. (ISM), Atok-Big Wedge Co. Inc. (Atok),Alphaland Corporation (ALPHA),LBC Development Bank (LBC Bank),Asia International Travel Corporation.



  • Margarita Forés - daughter of Maria Lourdes "Baby" Araneta-Fores, granddaughter of J Amado Araneta. Celebrity chef and businesswoman in Manila. Owner of 10 Italian inspired restaurants including Cibo, Pepato, Café Bola and Pepato restaurants. Other businesses include Fiori di M and Casa di M, high-end floral and housewares design, respectively
  • Bianca Araneta-Elizalde -Wife of Juan Elizalde, granddaughter of J. Antonio Araneta and Margarita Rebullida-Araneta.
  • Stella Márquez- Stella Marquez-Araneta is the chairwoman of Binibining Pilipinas Charities Incorporated Wife Of Jorge L. Araneta.
  • Santi Araneta - Current owner of LBC Express.
  • Irene Marcos-Araneta - Wife of Greggy Araneta.
  • Louise Araneta-Marcos - Wife of Bongbong Marcos.

Araneta Group[edit]

The Araneta Group holds the key businesses and investments of J. Amado Araneta. This includes Araneta Center, Inc. (ACI), the owner, developer and manager of the Araneta Center (Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, Farmers Plaza, Farmers Market and Aurora Tower);[3] United Promotions, Inc. (Uniprom) manages the leisure and entertainment businesses (Araneta Coliseum, Fiesta Carnival, TicketNet and movie theaters); Philippine Pizza, Inc. (PPI), the exclusive franchisee of Pizza Hut in the Philippines; and Progressive Development Corporation (PDC), the management company of the Araneta Group. PDC also holds investments in Wenphil and Philippine Seven, local franchisees of Wendy’s and 7-Eleven. The Araneta Group, through the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. holds the Philippine franchises to major international beauty contests and organizes the annual Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant. It also operates Taco Bell and Dairy Queen in the country.[4]

  • Araneta Center Inc(ACI)- the owner, developer and Manager of the Araneta Center .
  • Progressive Development Corporation (PDC)- Progressive Development Corporation manages investments and property assets of the Araneta Group outside the three other strategic business units: Araneta Center, Philippines Pizza Inc., and Uniprom. PDC is also the incubator and nurturing entity for new business. The group's major properties within the urban metro are in San Mateo and Rodriguez. Major properties in Negros are within urban Bacolod and less than an hours drive from the new International Airport in Silay City. Other assets under PDC 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; Manila Peninsula, a luxury hotel in Makati City; and tertiary hospital Makati Medical Center.
  • Uniprom Inc. -Uniprom Inc. (UI) manages the leisure and entertainment ventures of the Araneta Center: Smart Araneta Coliseum, Kia Theatre, TicketNet Online, Gateway and Ali Mall Cineplex. Aside from providing venues to notable local and international shows, Uniprom Inc.also produces and promotes internationally acclaimed sports and entertainment shows like the World Slasher Cup, and the annual Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant. UI 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). - Philippine Pizza Inc. is the franchise owner of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen, operating over 260 restaurants nationwide. Worldwide, Pizza Hut is the largest and most recognized pizza chain with over 16,000 restaurants in 100 countries. Taco Bell and Dairy Queen are also number one in their respective categories.
  • Araneta Hotels Inc(AHI). - Araneta Hotels the owner and developer of the deluxe businessman’s hotel Novotel Manila Araneta Center, the first Novotel brand of AccorHotels in the country.
  • Manhattan Garden City (MGC) - a Joint Venture Project of Araneta Center and Megaworld Corporation .

The Araneta Group Management:


CEO, Chairman and President


Vice Chairman


COO, Araneta Center, Inc. EVP, Progressive Development Corporation


COO, Philippine Pizza Inc.


OIC, Uniprom Inc.


General Manager, AHI

Other businesses[edit]

Salvador Araneta started RFM Foods Corporation, which manufactures and distributes White King, Swift, Fiesta, Sunkist, and Unilever-licensed Selecta products. Jose S. Concepcion, Jr. is the current chairman of RFM.[5]

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

The Araneta group, under Ramon Araneta, also ventured into advertising through Ace Advertising Agency (AAA), now known as Ace Saatchi & Saatchi. As of today, the Aranetas don't have shareholdings in the agency - now owned by the France-based Publicis group through its Saatchi & Saatchi network of agencies.[6]


  • 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]