Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cebu, Philippines: Thanks for the Joy and Laughter Inday Blanco!

l-r: Terry Manguerra, Inday Blanco, Chinggay Utzurrum, Cecilia Brainard, Chona Bernad

A dear friend has died, Inday Esperanza Briones Blanco. She was fine on her December birthday; she had surgery on January 16; she died on January 20.  Family and friends are still reeling.

I learned about her death when I arrived Cebu and I felt great loss. 

Inday was part of my Cebu landscape, this world that I came from, that I visit regularly. To have her gone feels as if a chunk of Cebu has vanished.
She and her husband, Dr. Guillermo Blanco, started out as the close friends of my brother, the late Mariano Manguerra Jr.(Junior, I called him, although many of his friends called him Jess).  Dr. Blanco and he were buddies. Dr. Blanco was also the pediatrician of their children. 

But in fact, Mama knew their families, because Cebu is like that. People know one another's genealogies. We all knew that Inday came from a powerful political family; her father was Senator Manuel Briones. 

The death of my brother, and years later, the death of Dr. Blanco, consolidated Inday's friendship with my sister-in-law, Terry Manguerra, Chinggay Utzurrum, and Chona Bernad -- women I always see when I visit Cebu.

It is very strange, here in Cebu. You can know someone for years and be familiar with some aspects of their lives but not all. I asked her family for Inday's bio, but they have other things on their heads right now. What I know about Inday Blanco are these: she came from a political family; she was married to a doctor; she had four children (2 boys, 2 girls, 2 of whom are doctors like their dad); Inday had attended the exclusive girl's school, Assumption College in Manila. The other details are fuzzy and I hesitate recording them because I may be wrong. But what I really know was Inday's kind heart. She and her husband were a beautiful couple with the gentlest, warmest souls. They were beloved by all in Cebu; Dr. Blancco had doctored countless Cebuano children. 

Whenever I saw Inday, I was always struck by her fine manners and her femininity. I would always tell her, "Inday, you are such a lady." She was soft-spoken, polite, impeccably dressed, always beautiful. She was never judgemental. If people around her were horsing around, she would just laugh, delighted. (I like to think that God looks at us with our foolishness and be amused in the same way.)

I know she used to be happy to see me and looked forward to our dinners and folksy processions and fiestas together. I am glad for that.

I am sharing some pictures with Inday. I am also posting a picture from her wake, showing her and her husband; the picture is courtesy of Valeriano Avila.

 I want to imagine how delighted Dr. Blanco was to finally have Inday by his side again. "Tell me, what happened, while I was gone," he may have said to her on January 20, when she left this world.

Rest in peace, Inday. We love you.

Read also
75 Families of Distinction Cebu
The Sensational Elopement of Milagros and Manuel Cuenco
Cebu: The Old Families of Colon Street

Tags: Cebu, Philippines, Sugbo, families, friends, Inday Blanco
This is all for now,

1 comment:

Jiddu Villarin said...

Mrs. Blanco was a client of mine many years ago and I spent many hours visiting her at home and talking about so many things ranging from her pride in her grand children to her wedding to Dr. Blanco. I only thought to google her name today to see what she was up to and I'm crestfallen to find out that she passed. The world has lost a singularly magnificent lady and one of the most poised human beings I have ever met. God bless you Mrs. Blanco and I hope you're having a grand time with the uproariously funny Dr. Gilmo.
Thank you for posting these wonderful photos.