THAT LADY FROM LANAO. Manuki Makarimbang, Miss Lanao 1927, made a splash at the national beauty contest with her colorful wardrobe of malongs and headgears that were a hit with the crowd.
The first beauties to represent the Mindanao minority groups at the very first Miss Philippines pageant of the 1926 Manila Carnival came from the provinces of Lanao and Sulu--Bala Amai Miring (Miss Lanao) and Scott Rasul (Miss Sulu). With Miss Zamboanga and Miss Davao, there were only 4 contestants from the predominantly Muslim region. It was clear that their chances of winning a regional title was rather high; back then, to win the regional titles of Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas and Miss Mindanao, one had to be a provincial delegate from that particular island group.
Emerging as the first ethnic queen of the Mindanao region was the moon-faced beauty, Bala Amai Miring of Lanao. Quick to smile and regalling the crowds with her exotic malong costumes, Bala Amai Miring edged provincemate Rasul for the title of the first Miss Mindanao 1926. In winning the title, Miring joined the court of Miss Philippines-elect Anita Noble in her year-long Carnival activities.
Next year, it was Miss Sulu's turn to hog the limelight, with the Manila-educated Nora Maulana copping the Miss Mindanao 1927 title. Miss Lanao 1927, Manuki Makarimbang, had to take a back seat, but nevertheless, she stamped her presence with her regal bearing, her demure deportment and her fabulous Muslim wardrobe. Not much is known about Miss Makarimbang, although their clan is well-known all over Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.