Mga Antigong Larawan: Old Photos Around President Osmeña’s House

Old houses are great source of rare photographs. Inside you’ll find aging framed portraits and photo albums that time had made brittle and discolored. Most are not being taken care of properly. This is sad because the really old ones have no negatives, no backup copies, no duplicates — once lost, their lost forever.

We all have to start digitalizing old family photographs as much as we can. This ensures that we’ll have them available for the future generation.

I found some interesting photographs around the Osmeña house so I took the opportunity to copy them. Some photos that I copied were intimate pictures of the grand ol’ man of Cebu – I’ll try to post some of them here in the future.

All of these are existing photos inside the house where the late President last resided. He must’ve enjoyed seeing them around. I hope we can all work towards the preservation and appreciation of our common heritage.

A sketch of old Cebu. To the right is the majestic Cebuano church (Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú). The houses, which are now all gone, have two floors, the lower portion is made of stone, the upper part is of wood — typical of a Filipino “Bahay na Bato” — the greatest structural design adapted to our climate and natural environment. It took centuries of trial and error to develop it into its final form. These gems are fast disappearing like snow under the intense heat of the tropical sun – seeing them in old pictures and artworks like thismakes my heart beat like a drum – nothing could be more beautiful.The entrance of the church still exist today. The narrow roads which are common in populated rich pueblo can be observed here – if you wonder why the roads are narrow, part of the reason is because it was just patterned from the old town plan. The proximity of the houses in the past was done to accomplish communal spirit and active interaction. However, it has also been a weakness as communities like these are susceptible to fire. Not far from the church is the structure that was built to shelter the cross of Magellan. The island that appears in the horizon is Bohol. Notice how close the shore was to the town.

The Cebuano politico with Japanese officials. The Japanese was already an Asian power at the time the American occupied the country. Many of our politician's looked up to Japan (some, like the Sakdalista leader and Ricarte even sought military assistance and intervention). The man wearing kimono is no other than Paterno. What was he doing with that dress? This was the Filipino fascination with Japan. They were the model of economic success and industrialization (which led to militaristic ambitions) and they were completely independent unlike the colonized Asian nations.

A 1924 sample ballot written both in English and Spanish. This brings to mind what many people today deny: that there was a generation of Filipinos that spoke Spanish. These Filipinos were not only educated (something that US tried to downplay) but was also aware of their past and their future - they were the ones who first elected their own leaders. Those who refuse this fact, refuse to see factual proof and undeniable logic. We all remember the lolo's and lola's that spoke Spanish but we still subscribe to the popular lie that Spanish was never a spoken language.

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One response to “Mga Antigong Larawan: Old Photos Around President Osmeña’s House

  • Dr Eddy Lao

    Very impressive old pictures. It helps us reconnect with the past . I am looking for old pictures of chay seng studio located near sto nino church in cebu city.

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