Sunday, September 14, 2008

24. 1912, Reina de Mindanao, REMEDIOS FERNANDEZ REYES

1912 REINA DE MINDANAO, Remedios Reyes y Fernandez of Camiguin Island. 3rd princess to the 1912 Carnival Queen, Paz Marquez.

It was said that the most beautiful girls from Mindanao came from Mambajao, in the island of Camiguin. It was here that Remedios Reyes was “discovered”, when Gov. Gen. W. Cameron Forbes, accompanied by Bureau of Health director Dr. Felipe Arenas, went on an inspection tour of Mindanao. In Mambajao, the group was feted by Don Rafael Reyes whose late wife Rafaela Fernandez, was a relative of Dr. Arenas. The Reyes daughters, noted beauties of the town, were all in attendance.

SU MAJESTAD, ZORAIDA DE MINDANAW. Srta. Remedios Reyes, handpicked for the Mindanao queenship by W. Cameron Forbes.

As it was also Carnival season at that time, Gov. Gen. Forbes handpicked Remedios—the youngest of the Reyes children—to reign as Queen or Sultana of Mindanao. Rafaela died while Meding was only 9 years old, so she was left in the care of her aunt in Manila, Dna. Candida Wright. She was sent to study at the Italian Convent in Hong Kong where she learned to speak British English.

THE MINDANAO COURT, in authentic Muslim royal regalia.

GRAND SULTAN, Sr. Baldomero Pelaez was the official King Consort of Mindanao Queen, Remedios Reyes. He comes from a family that includes the statesman and politician Emmanuel Pelaez.

As Sultana Zoraida de Mindanaw, Remedios assembled her court which consisted of her sisters (sister Rosario was Princesa Zenza de Mindanaw) and cousins. She was escorted by the Grand Sultan, Sr. Baldomero Pelaez. She was a lifelong friend of Amparo Noel, Queen of the Visayas, whom she knew long before the Carnival.

QUEEN OF MINDANAO, Remedios Reyes in her Filipiniana finery.

Unlike previous queens, Remedios did not marry after her reign. It was only 10 years after that she wed Capt. Jesus Medina, a ship officer from Isabela but with Spanish ancestry. Married in Manila, they settled in Vermont St. in Malate. The union resulted four children: Guillermina, Gloria, Mario and Rene.

During World War II, the family was suffered ed when Remedios was hit by shrapnel at the height of the siege of Manila which caused her to be hospitalized for 7 months. A decade after, in 1955, she died of cancer, ahead of her husband.

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