Sunday, June 26, 2011
172. THE MINDORO CARNIVALS
The seventh largest island in the country, Mindoro was known to Spaniards as a “gold mine”—Mina de Oro, hence its name. Pre-colonial history tells us that Mindoro, known as Ma-i in those days, was an active trading partner of China. Local traders swapped and sold cotton, beeswax, pearls and gold with their Chinese counterparts.
When the American came, they made Mindoro a sub-province of Marinduque on 23 June 1902, but later in November, Mindoro was separated from its mother province and its own provincial government was organized with Puerto Galera as the seat. Mindoro was finally declared a regular province in 1921. Thereafter followed, the fast development and cultivation of the island's interior. The structure of society and culture were likewise altered, becoming more influenced as American influenced crept in.
The Manila Carnival offered the opportunity for Mindoreños to show how far they have advanced in terms of economic, commercial, social, cultural and human development. In 1926, the people of Mindoro held their own showcase of progress, a provincial carnival that was highlighted by the coronation of Queen Pepita I.
The next year, when the Manila Carnival called for candidates to the 2nd National Beauty Contest, the province sent their very first beauty delegate to Manila to compete in the 2nd Miss Philippines- a Pinamalayan-born belle and a St. Scholastica interna named Caridad Morente, Miss Mindoro 1927.
There are no records of other Mindoreñas having succeeded Caring (who lived to be more than a hundred), but the provincial carnivals of the big island province continued. During the Commonwealth years, another petit carnival was held, of which we have above a lone pictorial evidence. Her Majesty Queen Loreto I reigned supreme in the provincial fair, assisted by two fair princesses and their consorts. Not much else is known about Loreto and the details of this carnival.
After the Second World War, the island was divided into its two present-day provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, on June 13, 1950, by virtue of the Republic Act No. 505.