1921, DR. BASILIO J. VALDES, King Consort of Queen Carmen Prieto
Basilio was born in San Miguel, Manila on 10 July 1892 to Dr. Benito Salvador Valdes and Filomena Pica, the Valdeses have deep roots in Floridablanca, Pampanga. The Valdeses led peripatetic lives, which explains why young Basilio spent a number of years in different schools here and abroad. He was schooled in La Salle, Barcelona, San Beda, La Salle Hong Kong, the American School in Manila, Pagsanjan High School and Manila High School—all in a span of 8 years.
Largely influenced by his father, he enrolled in Medicine at the University of Santo Tomas and graduated with honors in 1916. Driven to serve beyond his country, he joined the French Army as a medical volunteer, then the U.S. Army as a surgeon from 1917-1919.
When he came back to the Philippines, he became a medical inspector for the Philippine Constabulary for 8 long years (1926-1934). President Manuel L. Quezon appointed him as Chief of Staff of the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army in 1939, elevating his rank to a general (he would rise to become a Brigadier General). Two years later, Basilio was appointed as Secretary of National Defense.
During the Japanese period, he served under Pres. Jose P. Laurel as Secretary of Public Works. Basilio was even busier when the war years ended, becoming a president many times over for various associations, like the Manila Lions. In the 1950s, he was also the President of Hacienda del Carmen of Floridablanca, Pampanga.
The good doctor married Rosario ‘Bombona’ Legarda whom he met during the 1921 Manila Carnival. She had been a princess in the court of the Carnival Queen, Carmen Prieto, whom Basilio escorted. The couple was childless, but had an adoptive daughter. Dr. Basilio J. Valdes died on 26 January 1970 after a long and fruitful career.
1922, CARLOS Peña ROMULO, King Consort of Queen Virginia Llamas
The Philippines’ most distinguished diplomat was born 14 Jan. 1899 to Gregorio Romulo, former governor of Tarlac, and Maria Peña who both lived in Camiling, Tarlac. Romulo went to local schools and then enrolled at the University of the Philippines for his Bachelor of Arts course graduating in 1918. Then he went to the U.S. where he earned his master’s from Columbia University in 1921.
When he came back to the Philippines, he worked as an English professor at U.P. and became an editor of The Herald, which sponsored the winning candidate, Virginia Llamas. Manuel Earnshaw, owner of the newspaper mandated him to escort Virginia, a job which he balked at initially. After meeting Virginia, he changed his mind about his Carnival duties, wooed and married her in Pampanga.
Romulo served as a secretary to Senate Pres. Manuel L. Quezon and was a member of the Philippine Independence Mission. Her won the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 1941 for his series of articles about Southeast Asia’s political scene. During the War, he served under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, accompanied him in his return to the Philippines and rose to become a brigadier-general in 1941.
In 1945, he was named delegate to the United Nations and was the first Asian to be chosen as head of the UN General Assembly in 1949. After his stint as Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1950-51), he was appointed ambassador to the U.S. He also became president of his alma mater, the University of the Philippines.
As an author, he wrote books such as “I Saw the Fall of the Philippines”, “Mother America”, “I Walk with Heroes” and “Identity and Change”. He received such awards as the UN Peace Medal, National Artist in Literature and Hero of the Republic Award. Years after Virginia’s death, he married American journalist Beth Day. “Mr. United Nations”, as Secretary General Kurt Waldheim dubbed him, died on 15 December 1985 at age 86.
1923, EUGENIO Hofileña LOPEZ Sr., King Consort of Queen Catalina Apacible
Eugenio or ‘Eñing’ was born to the landed Lopez family of Iloilo. When Eugenio’s father, Benito, was murdered in 1908, he and his brother Fernando were put under the guardianship of an uncle, Vicente Lopez with wife Elena Hofileña. He spent his collegiate years at the University of the Philippines where he was very active in several editions of the Carnival, either by heading fund-raising drives or providing consorting services to the court princesses.
Shortly after graduation, he married Pacita Moreno, and they briefly settled in the legendary “Nelly Gardens” mansion of the Lopezes in Iloilo. Their children include Eugenio (Geny), Oscar and Manolo.
As a multi-facetted business man, Eugenio founded the Manila Chronicle and the Chronicle Broadcasting Network. He also helped establish the first airline in Asia, and ran Meralco, the country’s biggest power supply company.
During the Marcos years, he was forced to yield his multi-million pesos business enterprises as a deal to save his son, Eugenio Jr., from jail, arrested by the dictator as a dissident( Geny later escaped with Serge Osmeña from their martial law prison). Marcos did not spare even his Vice President—Fernando, Eugenio’s brother—dissolving his position and stripping the Lopezes of their wealth.
Eugenio died of cancer in San Francisco, California in 1975. This enterprising pioneer, nationalist and philanthropist would be heartened to see his business empire rebuilt by his son Geny as the Lopez Group, with various interest in media, manufacturing, utilities, construction, power generation and distribution, and real estate. His grandson and namesake Eugenio III (Gabby) is the current Chairman and CEO of ABS-CBN, the largest media conglomerate in the country today.
Son of Mariano Limjap, the Chinese-Filipino businessman who helped finance the Revolution. His siblings included Esperanza (the original 1908 winner), Leonarda and Francisco Limjap who married the 1926 queen, Socorro Henson. Perico married the 19263 winner, Catalina Apacible. The Limjaps had 3 children: Eddie, Evelyn and Connie. During the war, Perico engaged in guerrilla activities. He was caught and executed by Japanese authorities, a casualty of a cruel war.
1924, JOSE ZARAGOZA ARANETA, King Consort of Queen Trinidad Fernandez
Jose was born in Manila on 7 Dec. 1900 to Gregorio Soriano Araneta and Carmen Roxas Zaragoza. He was one of 14 children which included brothers Salvador, a lawyer, nationalist, businessman, statesman and constitutionalist and Luis Ma., a well-known arts and antique patron. He married Mercedes Lopez and had 5 children: Gregorio II, Jose Jr., Ma. Rosario, Eduardo and Ma. Mercedes. He died in December 1940.
Victorino P. Abrera
From Albay, the son of Basilio and Josefina Abrera. At the time of the Carnival, he was on his way to becoming a successful lawyer, having passed the bar on 24 Sept. 1921. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines. He was a regular presence at the Malacanang functions during the Quezon years, and it was said that he even courted the president’s daughter.
David Lavadia Fernandez
Born in 1892 to Alvaro Fernandez and Engracia Lavadia. He had two other brothers, Vicente and Lucilo. He passed the bar in 1914. Married Ida Soriano with whom he had the following children: Ramon, Lutgardo, Guadalupe, Socorro and Guadalupe. Died in 1959.
Leopoldo V. Kahn Jr.
(b. 1903/d.1974) Son of Leopold Kauffman Khan of Alsace, France and Agripina Villarosa. He was the King Consort of Anita Noble, 1926 Miss Philippines.
1925, VICENTE MENDOZA, King Consort of Queen Carmen Papa
Vicente Mendoza was also a consort in the 1926 Manila Carnival.