Perhaps because I’ve always been interested in family genealogy, relatives and friends have been forwarding old family pictures to me. Many pictures were damaged or lost in the Philippines during World War Two, and therefore old family pictures are rare.
I’m featuring pictures of my aunt, Lourdes Cuenco, oldest sister of my mother Concepcion Cuenco. Lourdes remained unmarried as was her younger sister Carmen. They were known as the Old Maids living on Mango Avenue, Cebu City. I should perhaps add that Lourdes Cuenco had an avid suitor whom she turned down so she could take care of Carmen who had health issues. They ran the Monte de Piedad Pawn shop in downtown Cebu, plus other businesses.
Together my old maid aunts preserved many of our family (Cuenco) traditions. They hosted noche buena (Christmas Eve) festivities for instance. They served homemade pastel de lengua, lechon, bam‑i, ice cream, and many other Cebuano dishes.
For the children, they did the “sabwag” — the scattering of coins and candies which we children scrambled on the floor for. They gave each one of us money in envelopes which we happily spent on Christmas day — on a movie and some snacks perhaps. They hosted many other family events at their home. Lourdes gave me money before I immigrated as a student to the US. She left me a sapphire and diamond jewelry set upon her death.
Tiya Oding or Lourdes Cuenco was one of those who gave me old pictures when I used to ask her questions about the family. Recently my cousins Manny Gonzalez and Celine Gonzalez Conejos sent me many family pictures that came from their mom (Teresita Cuenco Gonzalez). These pictures of Lourdes came from the Gonzalez siblings. Thanks Manny and Celine.
I am sharing these to honor my Tiya Oding. She was born April 5, 1909 and died on May 12, 1985.
l‑r: Consuelo Cuenco, Concepcion Cuenco, Lourdes Cuenco, circa 1922
Children on the floor l‑r: Carmen Cuenco, Consuelo Cuenco
Seated l‑r: Lourdes Cuenco, Filomena cuenco, Remedios Lopez-Cuenco, Remedios Cuenco Borromeo, Concepcion Cuenco
Standing l‑r: unidentifeied broehr, Dr. Teofilo Borromeo, Monsignor Jose Ma. Cuenco, Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco, Congressman Miguel Cuenco
Pictures taken at Assumption College 1929; Lourdes Cuenco is far right in the middle row
Lourdes Cuenco 1923
Lourdes Cuenco 1929
Lourdes Cuenco 1937
Lourdes Cuenco 1937
Lourdes Cuenco 1939
Seated l‑r: Consuelo Cuenco Reyes, Teresita Cuenco Gonzalez; Standing l‑r: Lourdes Cuenco, Carmen Cuenco
Lourdes Cuenco 1957
Comment from my niece Lia Feraren:
“Liafer Aren I remember Tia Ding and Tia Ming and the homemade ice cream, sabwag and also the cleaning of the carrozas. We kept the carrozas of the Madre Dolorosa and the Nazarene Christ in a big shed behimd the gardens. For Holy Week, they would polish them with Glo and decorate them with flowers. When I was small, they would alsp dress me up as a May angel (I can’t remember the religious occasion) with a dress and homemade metal-backed paper wings strapped on my shoulders.”
Read also “My Aunts, Lourdes and Carmen Cuenco”: https://cbrainard.blogspot.com/2015/07/cebu-philippines-my-aunts-lourdes-and.html
This article is also in my Travel Blog: https://cbrainard.blogspot.com/2019/12/antique-pictures-lourdes-cuenco-of-cebu.html
Tags: Cuenco family, Cebu, Philippines, politics, antique pictures, real photos, Filipina