Wednesday, September 29, 2010


In 10 May 1926, swept by the Carnival fever, Cagayan held its own carnival. In fact, it was a joint, two-in-one carnival--one was for the province and the other for the capital town of Aparri. Very little is known about the organization of these provincial events, except that two queens reigned during that event.

The Aparri Carnival had Francisca Nepomuceno as Queen. The Carnaval de Cagayan Adelena Espartero reign as Miss Cagayan 1926. Adelena did not go to Manila for the national competition as the Manila Carnival had already ended by then, nor did she go to the 1927 contest—Carmen Quinto went to that one. Like the Cagayan provincial carnivals, nothing much is known about her.

135. Carnival Beauties: AMELIA Z. ROMUALDEZ, 1927 Miss Leyte

IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS? Amelia Zialcita Romuadez, Miss Leyte 1927, bears a striking resemblance to her first cousin, Imelda Romualdez (Marcos) in her official Manila Carnival picture.

In 1927, the province of Leyte fielded a homegrown beauty to the Miss Philippines tilt. She was Amelia Romualdez, who bore a striking resemblance to a first cousin—Imelda Romualdez—who would go on to become the First Lady of the land as the wife of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. Imelda's father, Vicente Orestes, is the younger brother of Miguel Lopez Romualdez, Amelia's father, who was married to Brigida Zialcita of Manila.

Amelia's father had been a former Assemblyman of Leyte and a Mayor of Manila during World War II. The Lopezes were of Spanish descent; Amelia's paternal grandmother, Trinidad Lopez was a daughter of a Spanish friar, Fray Diego de Lopez of Granada, Spain who was assigned in Leyte. The Lopezes are credited with founding the town of Tolosa and enjoyed a reputation as a rich, influential and accomplished family.

Amelia's siblings included Daniel (Speaker of the House of Representatives 1957-62), Estela, Miguel Jr., Alberto (father of former Health Secretary, Alberto G. Romualdez), Froilan and Eduardo (Central Bank Governor).

Though a popular candidate, she did not place in the finals, with the crown going to Tayabasin Luisa Marasigan, who represented Manila and who also reigned as Sultana ng Pasig. In later years, Amelia married Col. Maximiano Janairo and settled in Maryland, U.S.A.