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Maria Grace Amagna Ibuna

22 March 2012

Grace Ibuna is a businesswoman, who has, over the years, crept into the public eye, because of her colorful choice in partners. She had a brief affair with Gabby Concepcion (who, like her, grew up in San Juan), and bore a daughter Gabrielle Marie or Garie (now a recording artist). Grace was married (and is now estranged from ) Joseph Javier — this marriage bore Ma. Rafaelle Grace and Jose Miguel. Her most recent relationship was with solon Ignacio “Iggy” Tuason Arroyo, who passed away in London this year after a prolonged illness. The battle for the remains and properties of the congressman and the animosity between his partners and children, have been in the news for weeks.

Grace descends from at least two generations of San Juan politicians. Her grandfather, Nicanor Castillo Ibuna, the longest-serving mayor of the city of San Juan, is a footnote in political history as the man who lost to the popular film actor, Joseph Estrada, in a race for mayor in 1967. This win was the germ of the Estrada political dynasty in San Juan. Her father, Rodolfo S. Ibuna, a successful business man, had ambitions of following the footsteps of his father in government. He ran for San Juan mayor and lost to Joseph Estrada in the 1970s. Explore her family tree here.

Grace Ibuna on “The Buzz”.

While the surname sounds indigenous, the origins of the first bearers of the Ibuna surname in the Philippines are not known.

It is interesting to note that “Ibuna” is an Arabic patronymic name, equivalent to “-son”. So, “Ismail Ibuna Mustafa” would mean “Ismail, son of Mustafa”. In modern Arabic naming conventions, this term is very often shortened into “ibn”, “bin”, “ben”, “ibnu” or “ibni”, depending on geography. This patronymic marker, in the long form “Ibuna”, is rarely used — a notable exception is the names of the Tamil-speaking Sri Lankan Moors. We wonder if the Ibuna Clan has some exotic east Asian ancestry waiting to be uncovered.

Resource Notes

1. Constantino-Medina, Rogelio. “Grace Ibuna: We should never regret the things that we have done“. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Date published: 05 February 2012. Date accessed: 15 March 2012. [This article erroneously identifies Grace Ibuna’s father.]

2. Crisostomo, Isabelo T. “President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, from stardom to history: the saga of a child of destiny“. Michigan: J. Kriz Publisher, 1999. Date digitized: 10 September 2008. Date accessed: 15 March 2012.

3. “Names and Titles among the Moors“. Sailan Muslim. Date accessed: 15 March 2012.

4. “Patronymic“. Wikipedia. Date modified: 05 March 2012. Date accessed: 15 March 2012.

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