VAYA ZAMBOANGA! The first ever provincial carnival of Zamboanga was held in 1923, officially known as the Zamboanga Carnival and Industrial Fair.The big event, which had a distinctive Indo-Malayan motif, was widely publicized nationally. Here, the royalties of the carnival pose for their official picture.
The first ever Zamboanga provincial carnival was undertaken from 15-23 December 1923 and was officially dubbed as the Zamboanga Carnival and Industrial Exposition. Espousing the same spirit as the national carnival, the event aimed to highlight the contribution of the local industries to the vibrant provincial economy as well as to showcase the beauty of Zamboanga culture.
Local social clubs like the Red Rovers spearheaded the search for the carnival royalty and that year, a local deep-set eyed beauty was elected as a Sultana. Her court, dressed as Malayan majesties, consisted of a Sultan, 7 charming princesses, 6 fez-wearing princes, 6 courtiers and two boy pages.
There were several other editions of the Zamboanga Carnival, with interest peaking in 1926, with Carmen Fargas’ unprecedented victory at the Manila Carnival Queen quest. As Miss Zamboanga of that year, she was chosen as Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas. The last pre-war Zamboanga Carnival was held in 1934.