Inday Osmeña: A lady of discipline, elegance | Inquirer News

Inday Osmeña: A lady of discipline, elegance

/ 09:51 AM November 13, 2011

MEMORIES of growing up under the watchful eyes of a woman who led a privileged but “very private” life were shared by Osmeña children yesterday in their eulogies.

Georgia, the youngest of five siblings, said their mother, Lourdes dela Rama-Osmeña,  was an elegant woman who taught her proper manners and was fondly called “Inday.”

The late matriarch who was born in Iloilo was the daughter of Sen. Eusebio dela Rama, who owned a shipping company and extensive landholdings in Negros Occidental.


Being the youngest child, Georgia, a Cebu City realtor, said she was the one who spent the most time with their mother.


In the matriarch’s last four years spent bedridden in a hospital in Bacolod City, Georgia said she would visit as often as she could.

“I was assigned to do everything to hold on to her and to keep her here.  I knew you were suffering but you patiently waited for me to learn how to let go,” said a teary-eyed Georgia, who earlier  selected the dress her mother would last use—a  terno in violet silk by Ramon Valera, a couture designer in the 1940s who later became a National Artist for Fashion Design—and decided to exhibit the Amorsolo painting of a dancing Lourdes during the vigil wake.

The second eldest, Ma. Victoria “Minnie,” who flew in from New York for the funeral, said it was her father, the late senator Sergio “Serging” Osmena Jr., who taught her how to deal with their mother.

As a young girl, said Minnie, she was often nagged by her mother.

Inday once explained to her that she learned from one of Minnie’s godmothers that a mother should repeatedly recite her teachings to her children to make sure that they understood it.

Minnie said their mother would lead them as children to pray the rosary with her every 6 p.m. in front of the image of the Sacred Heart on the household altar.


Eldest son Serge, a senator, recalled that their mother was very disciplined.

After she underwent surgery in 1951, Lourdes stuck to a  spartan diet, eating boiled, salt-free fish and salad without any dressing.

“Even when we were in the U.S., she would cook her own meals and bring them even when we ate in restaurants,” said Serge, who is based in Manila.

Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who is the fourth of the five siblings, said the family would have wanted to make the wake and burial as private as possible.

When news of her death came out on Sunday, one of the first persons to extend his condolences was President Benigno Aquino III.

“I never had a chance to meet your mother and I don’t know what she was like,” said the President in a text message.

“I told him that she was like your mother (Cory), very private,” was Tommy’s  reply.

Middle child Esteban “Steve,” a businessman based in Manila, arrived at the Sacred Heart Church in the middle of the requiem Mass.

Unknown to the other siblings, Steve stood at a corner of the church while they delivered their eulogies. Steve said in an interview later that he opted to skip his eulogy because he was unprepared for it.

The priest was saying his homily when Steve entered a  side door of the church.

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He later joined family members and approached Lourdes’ coffin to pay his last respects.  /Chief of Reporters Doris Bongcac

TAGS: People

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