Wednesday, April 28, 2010


(To her guests on the occasion of a literary and musical program given by her on February 20, in honor of the Philippine Beauties of 1927.)

Charming guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It seldom falls upon the lot of a mortal and indeed, it presents itself but once in a life time, to have the honor, as I do this evening of extending a cordial welcome to this galaxy of beautiful ladies, the pride and gems of our land. Never in the history of this hall, has there been gathered a group of such charming and incomparable beauties, a bunch of the choicest and rarest flowers we might say, as there has been here tonight.

Blessed is this occasion and twice blessed in this hall where this evening we behold, as in a vision, this sisterly gathering of the representatives to the second national beauty contest of the pride and flower of the provinces of the Philippines. This hall, by your presence, charming guests, has been transformed, as one might say, into a rendezvous of the goddesses of Mount Olympus for the purpose of a divine meeting; and I, as a humble hostess in my capacity as representative of the City of Manila and of the entire Philippines,--an honor that others would have acquitted better than myself,--thank you and welcome you in the name of my Alma Mater, the Centro Escolar de Señoritas.

I thank you not only for your presence here tonight, but also for the gallantry and generosity with which you have received my election as Miss Philippines. I know I am unworthy of the distinction, and I would have been happier if others worthier than I were in my place. I have nothing to say but words of thanks to you, to the judges and to all those who have exalted me to such a place of honor.

I am very well aware of my responsibilities, and I tremble to think that my capacity, ability and beauty are not equal to the task. But I am confident that you will not abandon me in my trying hours as the honor you have conferred upon me involves the honor and dignity of our country.

Permit me, my guests, to convey to you my idea of the significance of the contest that has just terminated.. To my mind, the national beauty contest which was held for the second time in the Philippines, should not only be an occasion for the outburst of our admiration for physical beauty.

It should also be an occasion for the cultivation of a higher form of beauty—the spiritual beauty. It should be an occasion when the representatives of the various provinces vie with each other in beauty not for their personal aggrandizement but for the honor of the country we all love.

It should be an occasion for manifesting to the world without blushing that in this rosary of beautiful isles dwells a people conscious of its physical, moral and spiritual worth, a people that aspires to shape its own destiny.

As representatives of the pride and flower of our land, we have duties to perform. We are not mere decorations or works of arts to be exhibited in a museum. We are daughters of the Philippines, endowed with physical qualities that should be utilized for the refinement and elevation of our moral and spiritual legacies. This yearly gathering should also be an occasion for renewing our faith in the righteousness of our sublime aspiration—the freedom of the Philippines.

Because what is physical beauty unaccompanied by a spiritual grandeur, and what is spiritual greatness that does not aspire to liberty, the supreme of all sentiments?

Charming guests, once more, I welcome you. You are at home in this building; you have taken possession of it. Consider it as your own home and our worthy Directress as your own mother. Here you will not be lonely for in this house which you have taken possession of tonight, you will find loving hearts and sisterly affection.

Our hearts throb for you and all our best wishes are for you. These eager-looking ladies around you are your sisters who have come to this school to drink from its fountain of wisdom, that in the future will be of use to the land we all adore and for which we cherish a beautiful dream.

I thank you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

113. Carnival Beauties: CARIDAD C. MORENTE, 1927 Miss Mindoro

Caridad “Caring” Morente, Mindoro’s bet to the glittering 1927 Manila Carnival was born on 7 January 1906 and grew up in the rustic Pinamalayan town. After graduating valedictorian from grade school, she was sent off to Manila for her high school education at St. Scholastica. She became a boarder, together with her sisters, Consuelo and Guadalupe in faraway Manila, and as such, could only afford to come home to Mindoro only once a year, in a boat.

Under the watchful eye of the German Benedictine nuns, Caridad excelled in science and physics. She was in junior year when she was chosen to represent her island province in the national search for the Carnival Queen by Mindoro Gov. Ignacio, with the support of her father. The crown was won by Manila’s Luisa Marasigan.

Caridad, however, was more concerned about her future than wearing a rhinestone crown. After graduating from St. Scholastica in 1928, she enrolled at the University of the Philippines where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Zoology, a pre-Medicine course and where she also became an instructor for 9 years.

Twice nominated to a Barbour scholarship to Michigan University, her old-fashioned father would not allow her to make the overseas trip. In 1933, she married lawyer-landlord Jesus Tereso Pineda and moved with him to his large farm in Concepcion, Tarlac where she readily picked up the Kapampangan language while raising six children, who all earned M.A. degrees.

Though poor health prevented her from becoming a doctor, Caridad encouraged others to develop their talents. She became the President of the Puericulture Center of Concepcion, Tarlac and remained a mentor to the Center for 13 years.

With the help of the late Congressman Jose Feliciano of the third district of Tarlac, she was able to put up a building for the center. To foster health and sanitation in their barrio, Caring held contests for the cleanest and most orderly house and yard, giving away such prizes as home furnishings and kitchenware.

She convinced her husband to get Kapampangan priests to give their tenants retreats and she herself taught them how to confess. She and her husband also helped build a chapel for the barrio.

Tragically, a car accident claimed the life of her husband, Jesus Pineda, in 1972, a crash she survived. She then devoted herself to apostolic work as a tertiary sister of the Third Order of St. Dominic. She established a Tertiary Chapter in Tarlac, becoming a Prioress for two consecutive years. She taught catechism, Spanish language lessons, good manners and right conduct and cooking to member communities until she was 93 years old. She also regularly visited Mother Teresa’s hospital in Tondo and the Bahay na Walang Hagdan, helping care for the sick.

At age 98, she suffered a fall that required a hip operation from which she happily recovered: a smiling survivor if ever there was one. She shares a centennial birthday with St. Scholastica College and now, over 104 years old, she is not only the school’s oldest surviving alumnus but also an outstanding Scholasticisian

(Photo and portions of biographical sketch, used with permission from Mr. Alfredo Roces, son-in-law of Caridad Morente-Pineda. Pls visit: )