Osmeña matriarch laid to rest in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines—From political leaders to senior citizens, about 1,000 people from all walks of life joined the funeral procession that brought the matriarch of the influential Osmeña family to her final resting place here.
And the family was touched especially that most of those who came had not met Lourdes dela Rama-Osmeña, the wife of Cebu’s beloved son, long-time mayor and former senator Sergio Osmeña Jr.
“Most of you have never met my mother… but I thank you all, including the urban poor and the senior citizens for joining us in this moment of sorrow,” said Cebu City Representative Tomas Osmeña in his eulogy after a Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Parish on D. Jakosalem Street in this city.
Lourdes stayed in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, after her husband died in Los Angeles, California, in 1984. Last November 6, Lourdes died at the hospital in Bacolod where she was confined for four years. She was 98.
She is survived by her children Sen. Serge Osmeña, Tomas Osmeña, Minnie Osmeña, Esteban Osmeña and Georgia Osmeña.
A four-day wake was held at the Redemptorist Church in Bacolod before her remains were brought to Cebu City on Friday afternoon for an overnight vigil at the Sacred Heart Parish.
Last Thursday, President Benigno Aquino went to the wake and condoled with the Osmeña siblings. He stayed for an hour-and-a-half before flying back to Manila.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, a Requiem Mass was offered before she was taken to the family mausoleum in Barangay Tejero, about a kilometer away from the Sacred Heart Parish.
Among those who came to condole with the family were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Joker Arroyo and businessman Roberto Aboitiz.
But the members of urban poor groups and senior citizens, who almost filled the church, called the most attention.
They wore bright yellow vests that bore the images of four Osmeñas who served in government – former President Sergio Osmeña Sr.; his son, former Sen. Sergio Osmeñas Jr. and his grandchildren, the brothers Sen. Serge Osmeña III and Tomas Osmeña.
“We came because we wanted to express our thanks and support to the Osmeña family. Representative Osmeña started the release of our financial assistance and we are very grateful,” said one senior citizen.
For Serge, his mother was now home.
“She is now home in Cebu for good to rest in the loving arms of the Cebuanos whom her husband (Sergio Jr.) served so well,” the senator said.
Although she was married to a politician, Serge said, his mother remained a private person who preferred to stay away from politics and would come to Cebu only two days before the elections to attend the final campaign rally and to vote.
Serge said his mother was dedicated to the family-owned sugar cane farm in Negros Occidental and would have wanted her children to do the same.
“I’m sorry that I failed you there,” he said.
Serge’s sister, Georgia Osmeña opened her mother’s coffin after the Mass to allow the people to take one last look before she was taken to the Osmeña Mausoleum to be reunited with her husband.
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