Monday, May 18, 2009


ROSALINA C. LIM, 1932 Miss Luzon

Rosalina Lim placed 2nd to Emma Zamora in the 1932 edition of the search for Carnival Queen. Her father was Ramon Arandia Lim, a Spanish-Chinese mestizo who was connected with San Miguel Brewery as a comptroller, until he fell ill. Her mother was Justa Cispon, of Portuguese-Pangasinense extract. Her photographs show a delicate, contemplative kind of beauty, her Eurasian heritage evident in her height and Oriental eyes. At the coronation of the 1932 court, Rosalina was escorted by Geronimo Santiago Jr.

Further enriching her multi-cultural background, she married Claude Devlin Martinez, a British-Filipino. Claude's father, from Balayan, Batangas, was studying shipbuilding in Scotland when he met and married an Englishwoman from London. The couple lived in London for some 15 years before returning to the Philippines.Rosalina and Claude had an only daughter, Tita Martinez Sicat, a Ph.D. holder and a U.P. professor.


ALELI A. GUZMAN, 1932 Miss Visayas

One of the most accomplished women ever to emerge from the Manila Carnivals is Aleli Guzman, Miss Visayas 1932, in the court of Emma Zamora. Her father was one of the country's 1st accountants, Fortunato Guzman, while her mother, Angela Aguilar, was a gobernadorcillo's daughter from Manila. The family lived on Marquez de Comillas St., in Paco.

Aleli was a UP student when the 1932 contest beckoned. She was a charter member of the U.P. Sigma Delta Sorority and was an Upsilonian Fraternity Sweetheart and Corps Sponsor of the U.P. Vanguard. With these "beauty and brains" credentials, she easily made it to the winners' circle. When the Carnival ended, she quickly put the title behind her and pursued her education, graduating in 1937 with a double degree in Chemistry and Medicine.

As if that achievement was not enough, she placed among the Top 10 in the medical board exams. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to marry her college sweetheart, Antonio Quirino, a future judge, who was quite active in the same school associations that Aleli joined. The doctora devoted much of her time to church and charity. She is credited with performing the 1st abdominal operation in the Philippines. She founded the St. Martin Charity Hospital in the parish of Santuario del Sto. Cristo in San Juan, Metro Manila.

For her lifetime of selfless service, she was accorded the Mariang Maya Award for Humanities (1983), Community Development and Social Work, the Ulirang Ina Posthumous Award (2001) and the Mother Teresa Award. Nowhere did the expression "beauty with a purpose" ring truer than in the life of Aleli Guzman, Miss Visayas 1932.


VIOLETA LOPEZ, 1932 Miss Mindanao

The controversial beauty from Iloilo who cried "foul" over the bathing suit incident at the 1930 Carnival came back to compete at the 1932 search for Miss Philippines, proof that she harbored no ill feelings towards the organizers. Violeta Lopez's good sportsmanship paid off, as she placed third and earned the Miss Mindanao title in the finals.

The written dedication on the back of this picture written by a starstruck sender noted Violeta's outstanding beauty. She writes: "She is the most beautiful candidate, but she lacks votes. I all saw them in the Floral Parade and she was naturally beautiful. She is Miss Mindanao".


(Many thanks to Mrs. Tita M. Sicat, daughter of Rosalina Lim for the biographical sketch of her mother, who, in her own words "eschewed beauty, and went on to earn a Ph.D. , became a professor, and who met you at the U.P. book awards lunch!" Thanks too, to Mrs. Ping de Jesus for inviting me to judge at the BDAP awards where the fortuitous meeting happened. I am also indebted to Atty. Lila Guzman Quirino, daughter of Aleli Guzman, for providing the short biographical sketch of her mother).

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