HONOR FOR AUNARIO. Lourdes Aunario, 1930 Miss Philippines Candidate, was sponsored by the newspaper El Debate. She made it as one of the semifinalists.
In the controversial finals leading to the 1930 search for Miss Philippines that saw the withdrawal of frontrunner Violeta Lopez who refused to wear a swimsuit, one campus beauty found herself enmeshed in the fray. Lourdes Aunario was the candidate of the newspaper El Debate to the contest, which gave her all-out support.
The Spanish-Filipina mestiza was the daughter of Gregorio Aunario, whose father, Hugo Aunario came to the Philippines as a member of the Spanish Army. Hugo married a Filipina who bore two sons, Pedro and Lourdes’ father, Gregorio. She also had a sister, Carmen who went on to marry Sen. Saturnino Mendinueto.
The Aunarios were well known in Philippine society; uncle Pedro Aunario, for instance was the editor of the leading paper of that time, La Vanguardia and was a proficient writer in Spanish. Later, he entered politics and became a representative of Mountain Province, until he resigned from the legislature in 1923.
Lourdes made it to the semifinals, no mean feat, considering the presence of formidable beauties that included Estrella Alvarez, Nieves Benito, Rosario Ruiz Zorilla, Luz Villaluna, Corazon Campos, Violeta Lopez (withdrew) and the eventual winner, Consuelo Acuña of Iloilo. It was said that one of her suitors was painter Fernando Amorsolo, the future national artist. After the contest, she got married and bore a daughter, Natividad, who married the son of Italian duke, Lombardi.
(Many thanks to Ms. Cecilia Lumbre, niece of Lourdes Aunario for the above information)