As a child I heard first about Lim Ah Hong or Lin Tao Kien in Philippine History books. My fertile imagination was intrigued by stories told to me by my lolo’s and lola’s that we were the direct decendants of Lim Ah Hong.

There is no documentation of this legend so far. Mainly because the record keeping at the time was almost nil for native births in the regions he allegedly populated. This is the tale Lim Ah Hong as I have heard it told from several elderly family members.  

Photo credits: Pirate Gallery; “He was from a Chinese Noble family; did something that offended the Emperor or Empress of the day, to the extent that his life was forfeit; his family being noble by birth hired a pirate to scurry him away from danger. He was leaving his homeland forever. This pirate sailed south to the natural harbor at Batangas, Nasugbu and as far north as safe harbor in Pampanga with Lim Ah Hong in tow. Lim Ah Hong, took to the pirate who saved him; became as a son. When the pirate died, Lim Ah Hong being as a son inherited the fleet; and being of noble birth was a natural leader.

He was very successful at relieving the Spanish Armada of their gold which is why he began to appear in history books and ships logs.  One of his safe harbors was Batangas with it’s deep waters.  Lim Ah Hong found the local ladies to his liking.  He took a wife but as a Chinese Warlord was allowed as many concubines as he could afford, thus he populated the province of Batangas with his wife and countless concubines; who gave forth progeny, of whom we are the direct descendants.  The name Lim Ah Hong became bastardized into Limjoco because of the Spanish influence of pronouncing the J as H”.

Check out this website which goes into great depth on Filipino, Chinese and Spanish names.  You have to scroll down to find the Chinese names and Limjoco is listed ther.  There is one direct reference to Lim Ah Hong taken from this website: “A colony far from its homeland, the Spanish in Manila were subject to threats of attack from other empire-seeking European as well as Asian nations. Its proximity to mainland China and the attack by the Chinese warlord Lim-Ah-Hong (or Lin Tao Kien) in 1574 , even though successfully repelled, only abetted the distrust of the Sangleys. The ongoing discrimination and repression led to a series of Chinese revolts in 1603, 1639, 1662, 1686 and 1762 with the invariable response of indiscriminate slaughter of thousands of innocent Chinese. Chroniclers noted that economic depression often followed the massacres because so much of the island's commerce depended on Chinese trade. These links were sent to me by Rene Limjoco, originally of Candaba,Pampanga

As it turns out, other branches of the family have heard similar legengs about the Limjoco’s all being the decendants of Lim Ah Hong. Although recently has surfaced another story that there were 3 Limjoco Brothers who cam on board Lim Ah Hongs ships as his crew. Each of them eventually settled in one of each of the safe harbors of Lim Ah hong.  Thus THEY populated said provinces or towns with Limjoco progeny.

I have paraphrased several sources.  I like the imagery and adventure that goes with that story! I’ve always thought it would make a great movie. Ala “Noble House”, by James Clavel. Ever since I was a child I have heard stories and Legends inferring that the War Lord Lim Ah Hong was our forefather from China around the time the Spanish Galleons were lurking about. I have found two small references to Lim Ah Hong in history books, he was referred to as “The Chinese Warlord Lim Ah Hong”, and have paraphrased it in the above story of Lim Ah Hong.

More Lim Ah Hong links to Intramuros which he almost captured in 1574. “Initially, the old wooden fort was improved upon with hardwood planks and earthworks. This did not prevent the Chinese invader Lim Ah Hong from nearly capturing the city in 1574.”

I recently found this reference to Lim Ah Hong “11.1574 - Chinese warlord Lin Tao Kien (Lim A-hong to Filipinos) attacked May Nilad but was forced by Spanish navy to retreat to Lingayen gulf where he finally settled and built his outpost at Sual.  Jolo folklore reported of a ALimahong who set sail by the Sulu Sea, even weighing anchor at Tanjung, before this foiled attack on May Nilad. Click here to read original timeline.

Can anyone help me out with this?  Please post to the Limjoco Message Board or the Guestbook so we can compare notes with everyone quickly.

This story written by Diana was reproduced at 2000