Our Lolo moved from the southern Tagalog region to the Nueva Vizcaya highlands to raise his family in a new land. His children grew up with the natives and other immigrants from Ilocos region. He was probably the first Tagalog-speaking person in the village. He earned respect from community to became a local leader.
The first child was Generosa (Osang), a very fair lady who was born in Cavite and blossomed in Vizcaya. She stumbled into a frontier romance when she met a tall soldier from Cavite (the place where both originated) who was stationed in Dupax. Faith in love and marriage brought them two children who eventually carried the whole family from the Philippines to the United States.
Victorino Mercado expected one of his kids to become a doctor. Both were sent to Cavite to the Imus Institute. Aurora, the first-born, finished at the top of her class. She went on to complete studies at the University of the Philippines and the University of the East. Bella, their second daughter, fulfilled her dad's dream to became a doctor.
Bella married another doctor. Dr Ruperto Perez was her classmate at Far Eastern University in Manila. They were blessed with Ruperto (aka: Toti. Boston College,) Ruben (Marquette,) Rodney (Tennesee U,) Belinda (Marquette,) and Betsy (UT). They came to the United States in the early '60. They lived in New Jersey, Baltimore, Nashville, West Virginia, and Virginia. Today, Bella resides at a resort in Hilton Head, S C. Ruperto Jr, (Totie) is the first of the Palugod clan to graduate from a US college and today he is a member of the staff at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Lolo's last child (Bunso), Luz attended the Nueva Vizcaya High School and in the tradition of Palugod academic excellence, she graduated as the salutatorian. (The valedictorian was Leonardo Perez who become a Senator and is the most popular politician from Nueva Vizcaya.) She married Edmundo Lim and they had five children; Alma, Ben, Carlos, Danny, and Enrico (Ricky.) Alma is in Danville, Virginia working as medical technician.