Sunday, January 30, 2011

159. Carnival Beauties: ANDREA BADURIA, 1926 Miss Camarines Sur

CAMARINES CHARMER. Andrea Baduria, the first Miss Camarines Sur, was a standout in the 1926 Manila Carnival pageant, whose family was renowned in Bicolandia for their wealth and status.

The Badurias were an old family who came from Liga and settled in Tigaon after the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1834. They figured prominently in the political affairs of the town during the Spanish regime. They also invested in abaca plantations and amassed considerable wealth and power.

Miss Camarines Sur
of 1926, Andrea Baduria is acknowledged today as the first ever pre-dating the reigns of modern day Bicol beauties, Miss Bicolandia, Melody Gersbach and Venus Raj.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

158. Captions from a Fabled Time: THE 1924 MANILA CARNIVAL

From revelers’ eyes come these side stories of the goings-on of the fabulous 1924 Manila Carnival. They are taken from souvenir Carnival photo postcards, sent to friends and relatives and inscribed at the back with the sender’s personal observations of the various aspects of the fair, giving us a front seat view of the sidelights and highlights of the national event, in accounts that are chatty, intriguing and always, amusing.



Ve aqui querido gasómetro la entrada de la ciudad de Momo (diseñada por el arquitecto Barretto). Por esa puerta ha pasado medio Manila y un buen promedio de gente de provincial. Es la boca en donde ha entrado muy cerca de cien mil pesitos. El carnival empezó el 16 de Febrero y termino el 24.

(I see here a gas meter* that I like at the entrance of the city of Mirth (designed by the architect Barreto). (That is why, through this gate, ) half of Manila have passed through and a good number of people from the provinces. It is the portal wherein very close to a hundred thousand bucks have entered. The carnival started on 16 February and will end on the 24th.)


Oh gasometro ve aqui la mansion en donde aletea D.Cupido y donde mas de dos corazones palpitan alborozados. El baile, frenetico, ahora cadencioso y siempre Nuevo. Ahora estan de moda qui en Manila el Scandal Walk y el Ambassadors y con el tiempo el “Loco Walk”.

(Oh, I see a gas meter* here in the mansion where Mr. Cupid is flapping (his wings) and where more than two hearts are beating jubilantly. The dance is frenetic, now rhythmic and always new. The latest fashion now in Manila is the Scandal Walk and the Ambassadors and the beat of the “Loco Walk”.)


Ilustre Suizo: Ve alli a la ilustre pañeja S.M. Trining y su consorte S. Jose Araneta (hermano de Salvador). Que pañeja mas monumental, verdad? Pero no te importe chico y no envidies el no haberte pordido encontrar entre nosotros durante estos dias de fiestas y Jolgorios, tu mission es escalar su Ph.D. y despues yo te prometo que sera’s el consorte de la prometida de tu corazon! Salud y exito, Luigi

(Distinguished Swiss:
This here, is the distinguished queen (Her Majesty) Trining and her consort , Mr. Jose Araneta (brother of Salvador). Isn’t it true that the queen looks more majestic? But do not worry, boy, and don’t be envious for not meeting us during these days of feast and merrymaking. Your mission is to attain your Ph.D., and then after, I promise that you will be the consort of the bride of your heart! Health and success, Luigi)

(NOTES: Luigi, a foreigner, sent these postcards to a Swiss friend. The Spanish word, "gasometro" literally means gas meter, but it may been used as a people counter, to determine the number of Carnival visitors. Most likely though, it is a euphemism for alcohol or spirits, sold freely at commercial booths, and which contributed to the "drunken revelries" that marked and marred the fair.)


A tower of light situated at the center of the Carnival ground proclaiming to delight all on-lookers, Miss Alicia Rimando


Maring, Ang Reyna sa Grand Stand ng ikatlong Parada. Nonaury

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

157. Carnival Beauties: CONSUELO A. ROA, 1927 Miss Misamis

COMELY CONSUELO, the bet of Misamis in the 1927 Miss Philippines search of the Manila Carnival, comes from a family of means, supporting her province with her philanthropic acts, long after her marriage to a Cebu businessman.

The Roas are an old family from Cagayan de Misamis, and their family tree is well documented from as early as the 18th century. They are related to the foremost Filipino painter, Damian Domingo, whose marriage to Luisa Casas resulted in 10 children. Two of them, Jose and Anastacio moved to Misamis from Manila, where their two maternal aunts—both married to Roas, resided. The two brothers also married RoasJose married Catalina Roa, while Anastacio married Romana Roa.

Miss Misamis of 1927Consuelo Roa—was descended from this large and artistic family. She was born on 20 June 1902 in Cagayan de Oro to parents Ramon Roa and Andrea Abejuela. She had a sister, named Carmen. Consuelo studied in local schools but did not finish her secondary education. She found herself the toast of her province when she was selected to succeed Amparo Nery and represent Misamis at the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the annual Manila Carnival.

After the national pageant (won by Miss Manila, Luisa Marasigan), Consuelo met and married a businessman from Cebu, Jose Suico Almario. She settled in her husband’s home province and their union was blessed with 5 sons and 2 daughters (Nemesio, Jose Jr., Alicia, Mario, Sylvia, Antonio and Benjamin). Consuelo, however, kept touch with relatives in Cagayan, starting a prosperous real estate property business there. She and her sister, Carmen Roa-Villarin were known for their philanthropic works in their beloved home province.

156. Jazzing Up the Carnival: LOU BORROMEO, Bodabil King

JAZZ THE WAY YOU ARE. Louis F. Borromeo of Cebu, came back after hitting it big in the American entertainment circuit, and introduced jazz music to the Philippines by way of his song-dance-circus-magic revues that livened up the Carnivals. Ca. 1922.

Luis Borromeo, originally from Cebu, was one of the first Filipino entertainers who made it big in the jazz music halls of America and Canada in the first decade of the 20th century. In 1920, Luis Borromeo returned to the Philippines, renamed himself Borromeo Lou, and put up a band that popularized classical-jazz music. This music genre found favor in the local entertainment circuit, which integrated such performances in the variety shows, which Borromeo later dubbed as “vod-a-vil” or ‘bodabil’, Filipinized from the French ‘vaudeville’.

The enterprising pianist-impresario went beyond spreading his jazz music by establishing his own repertory of artists known as the “Borromeo Lou & Co., Ltd.” , which had magicians, dancers, acrobats, comedians, singers and musicians in its roster of performers. Soon, Borromeo Lou was being invited to grace important events and high society functions.

In 1922, Borromeo and his group was tapped by the Manila Carnival Association to provide entertainment for the 1922 Manila Carnival. He was thus introduced to the Carnival audience as “the originator and recognized King of Orientalized and ‘classic’ jazz, a pianist of rare skill and ability, and champion of all round mirth provoker of the Far East”.

Borromeo Lou and his group’s appearance as the star feature of the 1922 Carnival was made possible through a “royal appointment by her Gracious Majesty, the Queen of the 1922 Manila Carnival”, as hyped up in ads promoting the show.

The cast was headed by Borromeo Lou himself (“The Human Dynamo, Direcor and Classic-Jazz Pianist”), Miss Toytoy ( “The captivating China girl that has won the hearts of all Manila with her character songs and distinctive dances”), Datu Mandi (“The superb and inimitable Moro baritone who interprets with perfection the most difficult operas and sings the exquisite melodies of modern composers”) , Dudu (“The Moro Musician”) , Lucas )”The Miniature Harold Lloyd”) , Hayoki and Maruki San (“The Japanese Twins), musicians Sulubi, Baki and Swasing. Of course, Borromeo’s jazz orchestra, capable of “producing about 240 jazz explosions per minute”, topbilled the Carnival show.

Under Borromeo Lou’s superb direction, his troupe dished out quality entertainment for the Carnival crowd, furnishing “the joy racket of the big show”, night after night.

“If you’re sick, come and be cured. If you’re going to die, come and have a good laugh first. If you’re well, come and help carry out the Jazzophobia victims”—so went Borromeo Lou’s call-to-action to Carnival visitors and revelers. His “bodabil” shows would thrive for the rest of the American occupation—staged in fiestas, petit fairs and theaters—and jumpstarting the careers of well-known artists as singer Katy de la Cruz, dancer Bayani Casimiro, and the Charlie Chaplin look-alike, Canuplin.

155. Carnival Beauties: LUZ S. BESA, 1927 Miss Tarlac

WIN OR LUZ. Luz Besa, the second beauty to hold the title of Miss Tarlac, married her escort, Engr. Arturo Ilagan, and led a long and fruitful life.

In the Manila Carnival of 1927, Tarlac was represented by the beautiful Luz Besa, (b. 7 November 1907/d. 2002) daughter of Tomas Besa Sr. and Fabiana Salak. Her father passed away when Luz and her siblings were still young, so her mother was left to run the family’s rice and palay business. Luz had an only sister, Lourdes (died of TB during WWII) and 4 brothers: Tomas Jr. (lawyer) , Gualberto (agriculturist), Augusto (orthopedic surgeon) and Gaudencio (judge).

Luz went to the Philippine Women’s University for her schooling. At the local pageant, she was escorted by Engr. Arturo Ilagan from Gerona, Tarlac. After the contest in Manila, Luz was avidly pursued by her engineer-escort for the next 7 years.

Eventually, the two got married and settled in Tarlac, where they operated the Tarlac Ice Plant while raising a brood of 7 children: Eddie, Hernan, Arturo Jr., Mina, Cynthia, Josefina and Ofelia. She lived to celebrate her golden wedding anniversary and passed away in 2002.

154. Carnival Mementos: PRINT ADS

Major commercial business establishments. private enterprises, government bureaus and other industries that supported the Manila Carnival placed ads in souvenir programs, magazines and other periodicals. While most companies used generic advertisements to announce their services and products, a few commissioned ads with specific Carnival themes. A few examples are shown on this page:

CRISPULO ZAMORA (1871-1922), founded the country's premier metalcraft and engraving store which made most of the medals, Carnival crowns, trophies, pins, military adornments, jewelry pieces and badges for use in the annual Carnival. Together with his wife, Pelagia, he turned his home business into a lucrative industry, the most well-known in the Philippines. His business ran for several generations. (1923)

"THE NIAGARA" was an American-owned luxury store along Escolta that operated alongside popular shopping haunts as I. Beck's, Heacock's, Botica Boie, Oceanic and Erlanger & Galinger. (1910)

"EL DEBATE" was a leading newspaper at the turn of the century, published by the Elizalde Family, which also owned "The Philippine Herald", "Mabuhay" and " Monday Mail". (1910)

"LA PUERTA DEL SOL" (The Door to the Sun), together with "La Estrella Del Norte" (The Star of the North), were the leading high-end department stores along Calle Escolta, touted as "the longest street in the world", at least, by Philippine standards, in the early part of the 20th century. (1910)

"ANG TIBAY", was the most popular local shoe brand in the Philippines that was founded in 1910 by Toribio Teodoro (1887-1965) and partner Juan Katindig. The renown footwear company actually started making slippers, but by the 1930, it had become a giant industry with modern machines that turned out over a thousand pairs of shoes daily, incresaing to 3,000 in the 1950s. Toribio amassed so much wealth that he bought the Manila Grand Opera House. This ad advertised new shoe designs made especially for the Carnival. (1934).

"THE YOKOHAMA" was an early Japanese trading and retail company with offices in Carriedo, which imported its stocks--mainly cotton goods and general merchandise-- from Yokohama, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka. Its contemporaries include Matsui & Co., Nippon Bazaar and Ohga & Co. (1910)

"CABARET DE SAN JUAN", was an early 20th century dance hall that was frequented by high-heeled guests from here and abroad. It was unique in that it had a skating rink, a new craze at that time. Its chief rival was the better-known Sta. Ana Cabaret. (1910)

SQUIRES, BINGHAM & CO., was a popular photo print shop established by two British, Roy Squires and William Bingham, in 1905. The business expanded into a general merchandising and trading shop, specializing in imported sporting goods, guns and ammunitions. Today, it is the holdings company owned by the family of Don Celso Tuason, and is known as the Arms Corporation of the Philippines. (1909)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

153. Carnival Beauties: LUCILLE M. MAXEY, 1926 Miss Davao

MAXEY-MUM IMPACT. Davao sent the lovely Lucille Maxey to the 1st National Beauty contest of 1926, of Fil-American parentage. Her father was a soldier, a member of the U.S. occupational forces who stayed on in Davao.

In the dual pageant of 1926, Davao sent a Filipino- American mestiza to the 1st National Beauty Contest by the name of Lucille Morales Maxey. Her parents were Melbourne Maxey and Regina Morales of Banganga, Davao.

Mr. Maxey was a member of the 1899 American occupational forces and like many of the soldiers, decided to stay in Davao, find a wife and raise a family. He quickly rose in rank, and held high positions in both the Philippine public school system and the provincial government. He became the School Supervisor in the east coast of Davao and later became a Deputy Governor of Zamboanga.

Lucille was the eldest daughter, and her siblings included John Carlos, Margaret, Florence, Fred and George Maxey.

Monday, January 3, 2011

152. Carnival Beauties: ASCENSION GAVIOLA, 1926 Miss Bohol

BOHOLANDIA'S BET: Miss Ascension Gaviola, the first titled queen of Bohol and candidate to the 1926 quest for the first Miss Philippines.

The first Miss Bohol, Ascension Gaviola, was born in the rustic and historic town of Jagna in Bohol. Ascension competed against over 20 delegates for the first Miss Philippines title, a much-awaited highlight of the 1926 Manila Carnival. It was a great experience for a country belle like her, but once she went back to Bohol, she ended up becoming Mrs. Llido.

In October 2006, she was one of the 141 illustrious sons and daughters of Jagna who earned honors and achieved their goals in their own respective fields of endeavor.