OCCIDENTAL TOURIST AT THE 1st MISS PHILIPPINES SEARCH. Margarita Lacson y Torres, the beauty bet of Occidental Negros, was the daughter of a Negrense Katipunero general who had a blood compact with Bonifacio. 1926 official photo.
There was much talk about the celebrated lineage of the first ever Miss Philippines of 1926, Anita Noble of Batangas. Descended from heroes on both sides of her family, Anita was a shoo-in for the crown, and when she emerged as the winner, newspapers had a heyday reporting her connections to Bonifacio and the Agoncillos.
But in that year’s search for Miss Philippines, another candidate had almost the same credentials, the daughter of a true-blue Katipunero originally from Iloilo, from: Margarita Torres Lacson, the 1926 Miss Negros Occidental.
Margarita was the daughter of Aniceto Ledesma Lacson (b.1857/d.1931) of Molo, Iloilo whose parents, Lucio Lacson and Clara Ledesma relocated to Negros when Aniceto was just a boy. Aniceto studied at Ateneo Municipal and had Jose P. Rizal, the future national hero, as a classmate.
As a Manila student, Aniceto had the opportunity to meet the Katipunan Supremo and founder, Andrés Bonifacio, with whom he had a secret blood compact, the only Negrense to do so. He subsequently became a general of the Philippine Revolution.
Margarita’s mother, Magdalena “Nena” Torres was the second wife of Aniceto. First wife Rosario Araneta, a member of the royal Kabungsuan family of Mindanao, bore him 11 children. With Magdalena, 10 more children were added to the large family. Margarita’s siblings included Resureccion, Leonila, Leoncia, Nicolas (married to Mayor of Manila Arsenio Lacson’s sister, Amparo), Juan, Lucio, Luis, Consuelo and Jose.
Margarita later became Mrs. William Gemperle, a Swiss businessman and a longtime resident of Manila.