" Oh the unsung heroine Remedios was, more than a beauty queen and society staple, she was a pioneer, a trailblazer, a champion."
Doña Remedios Duterte, the paternal great-grandmother of Mike Acebedo Lopez who shared this info on his Facebook account, was Cebu's first beauty queen.
Aside from being a being a beauty queen, she also fought for Filipino women's right to vote.
According to Lopez,
She used her influence over Don Filemon to pass a bill for Filipino women to be allowed to vote (1907), and this became the first ever women's suffrage bill passed in the Philippine Assembly.Below is Lopez' Facebook post about Doña Remedios, kindly read.
Cebu's First Beauty Queen Is A Duterte
A day after the 'most beautiful day in the Universe,' I'd like to pay tribute to Doña Remedios Duterte, my paternal great-grandmother, who is Cebu's first beauty queen.
Our Lola Meding was Cebu's first Carnival Queen but, unfortunately, for whatever reason, she was not included in more recent books about Cebu history or its carnival queens. Apart from family tradition passed down from one generation to the next, the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos is replete with old newspapers that chronicle the life and times of this fascinating albeit now mysterious woman.
A 1968 Supreme Court decision on the estate of the late Senator Filemon Sotto also establishes Remedios Duterte as already being a beauty queen even as early as 1909 (which means she could've been a beauty queen even before 1909). If memory serves me right, the earliest carnival queen mentioned in recent books or articles is supposedly from 1914, that's five whole years after 1909.
Before marrying our great-grandfather Don Magdaleno Sala Del Mar, a Justice of the Peace and publisher, our Lola Meding was the common-law wife of Don Filemon, a Philippine senator at the time. She bore him a son who died at childbirth, and then a daughter, Pascuala (the plaintiff in the said Supreme Court estate case).
She eventually married Don Magdaleno and bore two daughters, Caridad, my grandmother (this woman in the photo), and Lourdes. Both daughters were dead ringers for Hollywood legends: Our Mamang Caring for Olivia de Havilland and Lourdes for Elizabeth Taylor (she also had violet eyes). It was probably their mostly Spanish and part Italian and Chinese ancestry that produced such head-turning beauty.
But what was more fascinating about Remedios was not that she was a pioneering beauty queen; more than being a woman of class and grace, a socialite in Cebu's early years (as per Cebu history expert Prof. Michael Cullinane), it's that she was truly a woman of substance that makes me so proud of her.
She was among Cebu's first women journalists (among the first five women journalists), and had columns in Cebu's oldest newspapers (according to Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, the director of the Cebuano Studies Center). Cebu being the oldest city and province in the country makes that feat an even bigger deal.
Most of all, she was a pioneering suffragette, and she fought for Filipino women's right to vote. She used her influence over Don Filemon to pass a bill for Filipino women to be allowed to vote (1907), and this became the first ever women's suffrage bill passed in the Philippine Assembly.
And over a century henceforth, both men and women, and Remedios's own great-granddaughters, my sisters Bianca and Minnie, were able to vote for Remedios's grandnephew for President of the Republic. How awesome is that?
Oh the unsung heroine Remedios was, more than a beauty queen and society staple, she was a pioneer, a trailblazer, a champion.
Being a fighter and reformist is truly in the Duterte gene, man or woman, today or over a century ago.
Doña Remedios Duterte-Del Mar is buried with her daughter and other relatives who come from Cebu's oldest Spanish families at the crypt behind the altar of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.
The photo used here is Remedios's daughter Caridad Duterte Del Mar - Lopez's photo.
Inquirer article that mentions Remedios: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/229627/kanto-boy-duterte-is-so-de-buena-familia-sa-totoo-lang/
Supreme Court decision mentioned above: http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1968/jul1968/gr_l-21175_1968.html
Her crypt at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño: https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152752682040581&set=a.10151751048595581.849353.669230580&type=3
More old family photos (from as far back as 7 generations ago): https://web.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.197137555580.269753.669230580&type=3
Women's rights in the Philippines: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_rights_in_the_Philippines