Remembering Cristina de Olbés

Published March 26, 2022, 5:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin


Ma. Cristina Cacho Hernandez de Olbés died peacefully in her sleep, her family has revealed. The society maven and beauty passed gracefully at age 64 at Makati Medical Center on March 25, 2022, a year and a half after revealing she had been diagnosed with cancer.

A death notice posted by her family on social media said: “Cristina died peacefully in her sleep.” A private funeral followed.

Her only daughter, Rocio Olbés de Ressano Garcia, shared a tribute to her beloved mother stating that she “cannot imagine life without her.”

Cristina is the only daughter of illustrious businessman Rafael Cacho Hernandez and Maria Ros Del Rosario Sibug. In the early ‘80s, she married Rene Ma. Ros Olbés, with whom she had two children. They settled in Ayala Alabang and raised their children, building years of family traditions and memories. Although they separated in 2003, the two always remained close and stayed united as a family. “We are and will always be a strong family no matter what,” Cristina would often say to those around her.

In early November 2020 Cristina began being treated for cancer. She fought strongly to the very end.
Tributes have since poured in for Cristina, who was a regular on the Manila social scene in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Her beautiful garden parties in her colonial style home were always the most fun, and her love to travel, especially to Madrid with her amigas, was her favorite thing. She loved the beach, especially Batangas, where she found herself to be most happy and at home.

Cristina was a champion of the arts. She supported many charities. She was acting president to her father’s foundation, The SCB Foundation, which was established in the early 1970s. She managed the foundation until 2017, when she handed it over to her children. The foundation supported education by granting scholarships to young students and also handled outreach programs for nuns and priests, who taught around the Philippines. It now also focuses on livelihood initiatives and has future plans on helping those fighting the battle against cancer. She was a woman of deep faith, devoted to her love of God.
Tina, as her close friends called her, was filled with warmth, and touched many lives with her love and kindness. When she entered a room, she lit it up not only with her grace, but her laughter.

“Tina possessed an incredible sense of humor and loved to celebrate life! She was very naughty and playful especially if she was close with you,” says close friend Frank Ordoñez. “To lose her, as she entered her golden years, has left us closest to her with such deep grief and sorrow.”

She was the greatest love of our lives. — Rocio Olbés de Ressano Garcia

“I will never forget our many adventures and our Madrid days,” says close friend of over 35 years Gina Aboitiz. “We have shared so much. I will love and miss her forever.”

“She was one of the most stylish women in Manila, and certainly one of the most elegant ones,” says Vicky Zubiri. “Manila will miss her, and so will I.”

She is survived by children Raoul H. Olbés and Rocio Cristina H. Olbés de Ressano Garcia. Raoul, who now runs the family businesses together with his sister Rocio, has settled with partner Anna de Borja Prats, whom Cristina regarded as a daughter. 

Rocio married banker and businessman Antonio Ressano Garcia in 2017, with whom she has twin sons. Cristina often called Antonio a beautiful blessing to the whole family. The twins are the only grandchildren of Cristina, and are said to be have been the greatest loves of her life. They brought her unimaginable joy, especially in these past two years. Before passing she told her family that she would continue to live through them.

 
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