Myra Gonzalez y Osmeña, granddaughter of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr., recently took a two-month vacation in Spain, spending most of her time in Sevilla where she had lived for more than 20 years.
Main reason for her trip was to attend the first communion of her grandson Bernardito Losada, son of Myra’s eldest son Bernardo Losada, and his wife Carmina. A first communion in Spain is a big celebration.
The reunion also gathered Bernardito’s paternal grandfather, Manuel Losada, Count of Palancar. The genealogy is assured if direct male heirs to the title in Bernardino and Bernardito.
Myra also spent precious time with her younger son, Jose Maria Losada, his wife Vanessa, and their son Pablito; as well as with daughter Beatriz and Fran Garcia, who make their home in Granada with their children Lucia and Marcos.
Residing in Cebu are Myra’s youngest daughter Inmaculada and her husband Paolo Manguerra. They have three children: Santi, Paloma and Ignacio.
Whenever Myra goes to Sevilla she contacts her many friends and relations there from way back. They organized a whole day excursion to “El Fontanar,” a cortijo that is part of the vast estate of the prominent Benjumea family.
It is located some distance from Sevilla in the picturesque Andalucian town of Puebla de Cazalla. The ancestral house, in an excellent state of preservation, was built in the 18th century and completed in the 19th.
Highly rated for its heritage value, it is surrounded by well-kept gardens with hedges, lawns, towering trees and flowering shrubs, The rest of the estate is dedicated to centuries-old olive trees and wheat.
Welcoming all were Sonsoles Rodriguez de Benjumea and Iñigo Benjumea de la Cova, who is a good friend of former Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Jorge Domecq, now assigned to Vienna.
“It was a wonderful day,” recalls Myra. “We had tapas to start with, then there was lunch, and we lingered over coffee and pastries until twilight.”
Among those present were Cebuana in Sevilla, Dr. Dahlia Quijada Rafel, with husband Dr. Enrique Rafel; Concha Losada, Salvador Martos, Medalla Barrionuevo de Martos, Ignacio Quijano, Liliana Cardenas, Sebastian Cardenas Valdenebro, Carmen Rojo, Aurora Conde, Angelita Zamorano, Encarna Gavilan and Pili Davila.
Myra is now back in Cebu amid its hectic social whirl. Eldest son Bernardo Losada has also come with her. He is now the food and beverage consultant of Casino Español de Cebu.
The National Day of Belgium commemorates the establishment of the country as an independent kingdom in 1830. It was celebrated in Cebu with a glittering diplomatic reception at the Manila Room of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
Hosting were the new Ambassador of Belgium and Ms Roland Van Remoortele, as well as the Belgium’s honorary consul in Cebu and Ms Enrique Benedicto.
Mila Espina emceed the brief commemorative program at which Ambassador Van Remoortele cited the strong ties between the Philippines and Belgium, for many years, dating back to the 19th century.
To representing the Mayor of Cebu City, who was out of town, was Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella whose speech underscored the mutual friendship between the two countries.
“As Theresians, you are the product of education by the Belgian nuns,” someone whispered to Nelia Neri and Marissa Fernan, who nodded in silence.
The Ambassador of Japan and Ms Toshinao Urabe hosted a reception, also at the Marco Polo, to say farewell to their numerous friends in the Visayas, as they are about to complete their tour of duty in the Philippines.
With them at the reception line were Japan’s Consul in Cebu Shoji Otake with his wife Naomi who had done some magnificent floral arrangements. Not so long ago she did a demo for the members of the Cebu Ikebana chapter, some of whom were present on this occasion—Malou Hyden, Carmen Go, Margie Sy and more.
In his valedictory speech, Ambassador Urabe mentioned this was his seventh visit to Cebu. “Come back as many more times you wish,” responded Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who delivered an emotional farewell.
Also present, and on stage to wish the ambassador godspeed was Gov. Alfredo Marañon of Negros Occidental. Everyone clinked glasses when he proposed a toast.
Many prominent members of the Japanese community were present. There was also a good segment of the local Consular Corps. Among them, and listed here at random:
Korea’s Augusto Go telling friends to mark Oct. 11 in their calendars; Slovak Republic’s Antonio Chiu with wife Nellie; Belgium’s Enrique Benedicto; Spain’s Anton Perdices with wife Maripaz; Sweden’s Cheling Sala with wife Susan; and US’s John Domingo.
More: Germany’s Franz Seidenschwarz with wife Elizabeth, Mexico’s Eduardo Gonzalez, Czech Republic’s Philip Go, and Austria’s Julie Alegrado Vergara with her dad, Arcadio Alegrado, whom she succeeded at the post upon his retirement.
Speaking of the Cebu Consular Corps, its chair Emily Benedicto Chioson, honorary consul of Israel, has called a general membership meeting over lunch on Sept. 1 at the Casino Español de Cebu.
Special guests will be the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Nikki Fernandez, director in Cebu and Jun Espiritu. They will conduct talks on the protocols, duties and benefits of honorary consuls. Some spouses will also attend.