It takes a President to get feuding Osmeñas together
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines—It took President Benigno Aquino III to get all the Osmeña siblings to sit down at one table for a family photo during the wake of their mother at the Redemptorist Church in this city.
Georgia Osmeña, the youngest of five children of former senator Sergio Osmeña Jr. and Lourdes dela Rama Osmeña, described the family portrait as “historic.”
President Aquino flew in from Manila on Thursday afternoon to pay his respects to the matriarch of the Osmeña family, on the last day of the wake in Bacolod.
Mr. Aquino arrived at the Bacolod Silay Airport about 2:30 p.m. with Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas and Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and proceeded to the social hall of the Redemptorist Church and stayed for an hour and a half. The media was not allowed to cover the private visit.
It had to be President Aquino
“It had to be P-Noy (Mr. Aquino) to get the whole family to sit together and have a family picture which is historical,” Georgia told Inquirer on Thursday afternoon.
Asked what her sister meant, international jet setter Minnie Osmeña, who just flew in from New York, said: “Well, we are together. It’s just that people are different.”
“As my father’s daughter, I’ve learned how to roll with the punches as far as my siblings are concerned. It’s totally a waste of time to fight with your siblings… If they have problems, I just listen to all… and take them all as different people and respect their feelings,” she said.
The Osmeña siblings have had their disagreements.
Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña, for instance, has not been speaking to Georgia over some personal matters that they refuse to discuss in public.
Georgia ran for Cebu City mayor in 2010 elections as an independent candidate against Tomas’ annointed candidate, Mike Rama of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.
Rama defeated Georgia in the polls. Rama and Tomas later had a falling out over the incumbent mayor’s management style.
The siblings are also based in different parts of the country and the globe, which make it difficult for them to get together.
Tomas stays in Cebu City although he also spends time in Manila due to his work as representative of the city’s south district. Sen. Serge Osmeña III and Esteban Osmeña are both based in Manila.
Georgia shuttles between Cebu and Bacolod. Minnie stays most of the time in the United States.
But all five flew to Bacolod after their mother died.
Except for Esteban who went straight to Cebu for the funeral, the siblings welcomed President Aquino and expressed deep appreciation for his gesture to take time out from his busy schedule to condole with their family.
Georgia said their mother had always been low key even when their father was senator.
Yet, the President went to her wake to condole with the family—a gesture that the siblings highly appreciated, she said.
“In my mind I told Mommy, you know you always stayed out of politics. You never got involved. But the President of the Philippines is now standing before you. We really appreciate that,” Georgia said.
The remains of Lourdes were brought to Cebu City Friday for an overnight vigil at the chapel of Sacred Heart Parish Church on D. Jakosalem Street.
She will be laid to rest beside her husband at the family mausoleum in Barangay Carreta in Cebu City on Saturday after a Requiem Mass at 10 a.m.
Lourdes, 98, daughter of a senator from Negros Occidental, died on Sunday in the hospital where she had been staying for four years. With a report from Edison delos Angeles, Inquirer Visayas
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