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Domingo Calleja Abella

16 August 2010

Domingo Calleja Abella was born to Leocadio Isaac Abella and Feliza Malonda Calleja in 1907. 

A physician by training, Domingo was one of the founding members of the Camarines Sur Medical Society, which was established in 1935.  He acted as the Secretary-Treasurer during the society’s first year and penned its constituion and by-laws.  He was elected President the following year.  After World War II, Domingo was instrumental in reviving the organization with the enthusiasm and zeal he is well-known for.

While trained as a medical doctor, Domingo devoted himself to history and is considered one of the giants of the Philippine historical community.  He served as Director of the Philippine National Archives in Manila.  He was also a member of the Philippine Historical Association and was a founding member of the International Association of Historians of Asia.  

In 1954, Dr. Abella published the first volume of the “Bikol Annals: A Collection of Vignettes of Philippine History”. This was considered to be the first major work on Bikol history based on archival research, not local memories and legends. Unfortunately, the other projected volumes were never completed. He was instrumental in the creation and publication of volumes of historical literature, among them:

::  “The Blair and Robertson Collection”. Dr. Abella reprinted a few hundred sets of this primary source for Philippine historians and scholars in the 1960s in Taiwan. He merged volumes together, reducing the set from 55 to 19 books.
::  “Vignettes in Philippine-Marianas History”. This paper was published by the International Association of Historians of Asia in 1962.
::  “Catalogo Alfabetico Apellidos”. A reprint of the surname catalogue issued with the Claveria Decree of 1849 was issued in 1973 by the Philippine National Archives. Dr. Abella wrote the introduction.
::  “Spanish Philippines in the 17th Century:  A Beleaguered Outpost of the Empire”.  This paper was presented at the 6th International Conference on Asian History in 1974.
::  “The Diary of the Legaspi Expedition: The Conquest of Mindoro”, a three-page essay he authored.
::  “The Flag of our Fathers”.  A book published in 1977.
::  “From Indio to Filipino and Some Historical Works”, an anthology of various essays he authored, collected by his widow Milagros Romualdez-Abella. This was released in 1978, two years after his death.
::  “Koxinga Nearly Ended Spanish Rule in the Philippines in 1662”. Authored by Dr. Abella and published on pages 295-334 of the Philippine Historical Review 2, no. 1 in 1969.

Aside from authoring original historical work, Domingo also translated Spanish documents into English, which made numerous manuscripts of invaluable historical importance available to other historians and scholars.

Domingo married Milagros Romualdez on 07 January 1933 in Manila, Philippines.  The flower girl during their nuptials was Imelda Romualdez, the future First Lady of the Philippines.  Domingo and Milagros had one child, Domingo.  Domingo Calleja Abella’s Family Tree can be found on

Research Notes

1.  “A Brief History“.  Camarines Sur Medical Society official site. Date published:  2009.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.
2.  “Aida Abella-Felipe“.  Bicol Mail.  Date published:  23 April 2008.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.
3. “Domingo Abella”.  Wikipidya.  Date published:  03 June 2010.  Date accessed: 01 August 2010.
4.  Church of the Latter Day Saints.  Date accessed:  22 September 2010.
5.  Owen, Norman.  “Analyzing the Annals:  My Thirty Years of Research into Bikol History“.  Tourpinas.  Date delivered:  22 February 2002.  Date published:  05 November 2007.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.
6.  “Philippine Historical Association“.  Wikipedia.  Date published:  26 July 2010.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 11 July 2012 04:17

    i miss my grandfather..

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