ROSARIO Montelibano Locsin (Tita Charet) continued her college education in Manila ... Holy Ghost College, University of Sto. Tomas and the University of the East where she finished her Bachelor of Science in Commerce (early 50’s).
The old house of Vicente Montelibano at Rotonda, Sta. Mesa (Old Manila) served as the Locsin-Montelibano Dormitory. Even the first mayor of Bacolod, Alfredo Montelibano Sr., stayed there together with the children of Sen. Jose C. Locsin. Later, a new house was built in Mandaluyong that served as the “new dormitory”.
After graduation, Charet went back to Silay and worked as a sugar broker. Her office was in the Real Theater building owned by Luisa Diaz Lacson. She would process quedans from sugar mills to be negotiated to American buyers as part of U.S. quota requirement.
Though working in Bacolod she resided in her favorite Silay. She was a blooming beautiful lady in her 20’s. Pueblo de Silay became a city on June 12, 1957. Pres. Carlos P. Garcia gifted Sen. Jose C. Locsin and the people of Silay with a beautiful (state of the art) Rizal Cultural and Civic Center (the first of its kind in the Philippines).
During its opening (Aug. 25, 1957), Pres. Carlos P. Garcia and his cabinet were there. Charet Locsin danced Regodon de Honor with Jose B. Laurel (Speaker of the House) as partner. All the prominent families of Silay City were there. (Holding the affair there is comparable to holding your event at SMX today.)
Why did Pres. Garcia offer that Rizal Cultural and Civic Center (first cultural center in the Phil.) to Silay? That modern lay-out (Art Deco crossbreeding with architectural brutalism) is a new architecture. “Silay was the Paris of Negros ... and now it is known as the seat of arts and culture in Western Visayas.” That could be so for the present and future leaders of Silay to defend “that title”.
Past leaders made Silay the “Most Outstanding Tourism-Oriented LGU of the Philippines” and it is now in the “Hall of Fame”. Let us hope and pray that more exciting awards and exciting events will come to our beloved Silay. We always believe in the commitment and dedication of our leaders.
“Memorable events happened at the Rizal Cultural and Civic Center.” Tita Charet recalled the concert of Conchita Gaston, the art exhibit of Ramon Hofilena featuring national artists, the alumni homecoming of Silay Institute (in formal attire to honor their outstanding products), and big political conventions.
How was Charet Locsin as a blooming lady? There were family restrictions: home to school; school to home, home to church, church to home, home to plaza and back with “yayas” or “nineras” (nannies).
Courtship was funny. The man courting a woman should have a “manugpatigayon” (negotiator) to accompany him in visiting the woman of his love. That negotiator should be a male relative of a woman. Tita Charet remembered his suitor, “He could have been persevering but he gave up before the finish line. Instead, he married another woman who is also a Charet”.
If you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with. (To be continued)