- Jun 18, 2012
Name: Joaquín António Bakar Vélaz Gorrimendi, Conde de Álava
Date of Birth: April 17, 1799
Bakar was not one for outsiders. Napoleon's armies had ruined the family estate some 20 years prior, and he had spent the whole time building everything back up. His father, Jose Luíz Vela Ibarroz Gorrimendi, was no help either. Despite being at one time a proud member of the Royal Philippine Company and a Knight of Calatrava (it was more of an honorary position), his father had taken to alcohol to console himself after he watched most of his fortune burn with Donostia in 1813. The family was in the business of getting rich off of the success of what was left of the colonial enterprise, owning quite a large number of tobacco plantations in Cuba. Bakar had managed to build a cigarette factory which he was told printed a fine line of "Montaña Roja" smokes. He had never smoked himself, Bakar thought it was for fools and sinners. He attributed most of his new good luck not to the slaves who toiled his fields but to his new-found piety. Bakar gave generously to the Jesuits and was a regular churchgoer. While he may be a man of faith, there is no denying the cruel calculating genius behind Bakar's austere finances. Bakar is a bachelor and has never really cared for the company of women, not that he cared for the company of anyone save perhaps Christ. Nevertheless, there is pressure on him to marry soon as he is approaching his middle-age.