Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day: Remembering My Mother Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I'm posting some pictures of my mother, Concepcion Cuenco.
Her parents were Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Filomena Alesna. She married my father, Engineer Mariano Manguerra, and they had four children. I'm the youngest.

These first two pictures show her when she was nineteen years old, the Carnival Queen of Cebu in 1931. Her father was a politician and my mother was on top of the world at this time of her life.

The picture below was taken when I was fourteen. We were dressed for my older's sister's debut. 

I was born with beri-beri and almost died at infancy. My mother was always solicitous of me. She had miscarried a baby boy during World War II and I suppose the idea that children are fragile was always in her mind. She kept me by her side and she used to force me to take Vidaylin vitamins and a raw egg yolk every day. She also fed me bone marrow and allowed me to sip the foam from my father's beer. I also had to drink milk every morning. Since we didn't have fresh cow's milk, it was evaporated milk with water and sugar, like baby formula.

This photo was taken in Toledo, Spain. My mother was visiting my sister in Madrid when she became sick. I visited them, and we toured Toledo, Sevilla, and Granada. Mama and I were busy talking when the photographer snapped our picture. I wish I could erase that child in front of us.

The following pictures show my mother even older. She was blessed with a long life, and she continued to dance even when she was in her late eighties. She always danced for exercise, even at a time when it was not a popular activity to do. My mother never cared much about what other people said. She was a strong person to the point of bullheadedness. She was very charming though. 

My mother died in 2002 but I still remember her clearly. I think sometimes her spirit guides me or prays for me. Poor Mama - a mother's work is never done.

Remember your mothers, dear Readers!

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