(Taken from the official souvenir program of the Victory Carnival and Exposition, Manila, P.I., January 31-February 8, 1920)
Nowhere in the Far East will the signal of the United States and the powers associated with her be as fittingly celebrated as in Manila, “The Pearl of the Orient”.
For eleven seasons, the people of Manila have made herself the playground of the East during the first days of February , when climactic conditions combine to make for perfect days and perfect nights. There has been but one lapse.
During 1918, when preparations for the 1919 Philippine Carnival had to be made, the United States was at war with the Central Powers. For patriotic reasons and in order to enable the Philippines to unite in placing every resource at the disposal of the American government and the various organizations active in war work, the 1919 Carnival was abandoned.
For this reason, the 1920 Carnival becomes the Philippine celebration for the great Victory and in it she invites the world to participate.
For those who have never seen Manila in Carnival time, mere words can conjure up but a faint picture of its attractions and beauties. It is the Mardi Gras of the Orient. It yields not to the Carnival of Venice nor to that of Rome. It is the meeting place of the East and the West. Practically, every nationality on the face of the globe is represented in its revels.
In setting, it is unique: A modern city of alabaster set as a precious jewel in background and medievalism.
On historic Wallace Field, facing the Spanish Luneta of romantic association, the Carnival City looks out upon the shifting blues and greens of Manila Bay, its turrets commanding distant view of the island fortress of Corregidor and the narrow passage through which Admiral Dewey led his squadron to a victory that implanted the Stars and Stripes upon Oriental soil. There it nestles, on its field of emerald green, and across it fall the shadows of old Spanish battlements, the historic walls built by the Castilian conqueror and still standing as a monument to the military genius of the Spain that was three centuries ago.
In 1920, this Carnival City will surpass all of its predecessors in size and splendor, for in addition to the regular Carnival features, there will be housed within it a commercial and industrial exhibit in which the 45 provinces and 920 towns of the archipelago will be directly represented.. But this feature of the great fiesta deserves a special mention apart.