Thursday, June 30, 2011

174. Carnival Memento: 1909 MANILA CARNIVAL TICKET

TICKET TO RIDE, AND MORE! A rare example of a 1909 Manila Carnival general entrance ticket issued by the 'taquillera' at the gate. 1909.

So well-received was the first Manila Carnival of 1908 that a second Carnival just had to be organized the first year. Director General G. A. Reilly noted, “The Carnival of 1909, in presenting itself to the Orient, needs no more substantial guarantee of success than the truly wonderful record left behind by the Carnival of 1908”.

To give the second Carnival a fresh sense of visual identity, an illustrator was commissioned to create a logo for the Manila Carnival of 1909, which was cascaded to all sorts of printed materials and collaterals. The logo shows three Carnival symbols of revelry—a court jester and two masked female revelers, one in a Gibson Girl hat, the other in a native baro, to symbolize the unity of East and West. Below the smiling jester is the great seal of Manila. A ribbon carried the text “The Philippine Carnival”, festooned on top with coconut and anahaw leaves. The date of the event is on a crest between the 2 female figures: February 1909, Manila.

The artist has discreetly inscribed the illustration with the letters “HX” inscribed in an ovoid, below the Filipina masked figure. He may have been Howard Hedden, an American who illustrated for national publications like The Philippine Magazine in the first decade of the 20th century.

The small 2 x 3 in. paper ticket featured here, printed with green and red colors, repeats the design elements of the logo although they have been compressed and rearranged to fit the vertical portrait format. This paper ephemera, now over a hundred years old, is a rare memento of our country’s finest hours, when the world converged in Manila to see the a grand spectacle never before seen in the Orient.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

173. 1936 Queen of the Ilocos Norte Carnival, FLORENTINA I

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Queen Florentina I. Ilocos Norte Carnival Queen of 1936.

The province of Ilocos Norte was quick to take a cue from neighbor Ilocos Sur in holding its own petit carnivals. Ilocos Sur seemed to have taken the Carnival spirit more to heart, holding provincial fairs with more frequency and at every given opportunity. But it is to be remembered that Ilocos Norte gave the country its second Manila Carnival Queen, in the person of Julia Guerrero Agcaoili of Piddig, who reigned in 1909. Her sister, Pilar, also was the Queen-elect of the 1929 Ilocos Norte petit fair.

Ilocos Norte fielded two beauties in the 1926 and 1927 editions of the national Manila Carnival. In the dying years of the Carnival, the only documented provincial fair was held in 1936, in which this beauty, "Her Majesty, Queen Florentina I", reigned over the festivities. Nothing more is known of this Ilocana beauty. The last Ilocos Norte Carnival was held in the postwar year of 1946.


HER MAJESTY, QUEEN PEPITA I. With her court. Mindoro Carnival 1926.

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.

HER MAJESTY, Queen Loreto I and Court, Mindoro Carnival 1935-36.

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

171. Carnival Memento: 1920 MANILA CARNIVAL POSTER

CARNIVAL POSTERITY. Posters issued by the Philippine Carnival Association are sought after by collectors of Filipiniana and fair & exposition memorabilia.

The 1920 Manila Carnival was truly a special edition of the national fair. For two consecutive years before that, the Carnival had been scrapped as the United States was engaged in a long-winded war with the Central powers. But as the war came to an end with an American victory, the Carnival Association revived the event in 1920, dubbing it as the Victory Carnival and Exposition.

This full-color original poster was just one of the promotional materials printed for the 1920 Carnival by the Philippine Carnival Association. The main visual depicts a pair of revelers, with the man dressed as the Red Devil, the Carnival mascot and his woman companion as a masked Perriot. The Angel of Peace descends upon the Carnival gate, holding an olive wreath. The same illustration appeared in other collateral materials, like the 1920 souvenir program, which also featured the couple on the cover.

This incredibly rare, large poster comes in 3 sections and measures an impressive 25 x 48 inches. It must have been printed by the Bureau of Printing in Manila. Posters such as these were seen all over the city—from train stations, municipal halls and government bureaus.

Used with permission. My thanks to: Mark J. Weinbaum Fine Vintage Posters and Decorative Prints 2211 Broadway, Suite #4E New York, NY 10024 By Appointment