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Considering the time period, It would probably be a logical assumption that Leonardo Silos was a direct descendant, or possibly be the son of a direct descendant of one of the Spanish Conquistadores that occupied the Philippines for 300 years. Unfortunately, records to support this assumption are not available at this time. Our genealogy therefore, will have to start with Leonardo Canseco Silos until someone discovers otherwise.
Leonardo Silos was born in Sampaloc, Manila on 6 November 1826. He passed away in 27 December 1910. Philippine music history mentions Leonardo was one of the Rondalla pioneers of the 20th century. He befriended a private music teacher and this teacher taught him how to play the guitar. After mastering a book on the guitar, he gave guitar lessons. When the bandurria, the mandolin, and the laud were introduced in the Philippines and later became popular, he also taught playing these instruments until 1909.
Armed with the musical skills that he learned at such a young age, Leonardo Silos organized and directed an orchestra in his hometown. He was twenty years old when he was appointed director of the band of Regiment No. 5 of the Spanish army after passing the competitive examination given by the Spanish government.
As part of the troop, Leonardo Silosí band was obliged to accompany the regiment wherever it was assigned. In 1870, Regiment No. 5 was assigned to Jolo in Mindanao. The regiment was also sent to other provinces in the Philippines, namely Cebu, Zamboanga, Cavite and Cotabato. Leonardo Silos stayed in Cotabato until he retired and received his pension in 1887.
After retirement, Leonardo Silos went back to Manila and served as director of the Pasig Band for a while. He then taught students how to play the guitar and, later on, the bandurria, mandolin and laud when the instruments became popular. One of his students was musician Vicente Marifosqui. He offered lessons until 1909.
In 1857, Leonardo Silos composed a hymn in honor of the birth of Alfonso XII of Spain. The composition was well-appreciated by the royal family and he was given the royal baton. The said piece was played by a banda magna (great band), an assembly of the bands from all of the regiments in the Spanish army. Leonardo himself directed the musical event which was held in Manila.
In October 1882, Leonardo Silos composed a plegaria (prayer) in time for the centennial celebration of Santa Teresa de Jesus. The organizers awarded his piece the honorable mention while Manuel Mataís composition received the third place.
Though Leonardo Silos received various awards and citations for his works, none of his compositions were ever published. Among his unpublished compositions are a minuet, several pasodobles and funeral marches that were still played by the Pasig Band even after his death.
Leonardo Silos married Antonia Enriquez y Gamboa. Antonia is of Spanish origins as well, born on (date and place unknown). She died in August 1911. Leonardo Silos and Antonia Enriquez had eight children but only six reached adulthood, namely: Rosalio, Juan, Juliana, Remedios, Urbano and Jose. Rosalio, Juan, and Jose followed their fatherís footsteps and became composers and band directors. They composed music for zarzuelas and silent movies.
Leonardo Silos died of intestinal paralysis on 27 December 1910.
It is believed Leonardo
later married a Gorgonia
Mapa. Gorgonia had a famous brother, he was Justice Mapa, a
member of the Philippine Supreme Court. Gorgonia was born on (date and
place unknown). This information has not been verified.