Thursday, October 18, 2012

230. Carnival Beauties: ISABEL C. BOWERS, 1927 Miss Romblon

BOWERS BEAUTIFUL. The firtst and only known Miss Romblon, Isabel C. Bowers, who participated in the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival, won by Luisa Marasigan. 

Little is known about Romblon's first and only representative to the Miss Philippines Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival--American mestiza, Isabel C. Bowers.

There were several Bowers who came to the Philippines at the time of the American conquest who may have been her relatives: .two Thomasites with the Bowers surname came with the first batch of American teachers to the Islands in the early 1900s--Benjamin F. Bowers (assigned in Antique) and George Bowers (assigned in Batangas). They could very well be Isabel's forebears.

Isabel was related somehow to Brig. Gen. Clarence H. Bowers (1880-1943), the Philippine Constabulary head and a former superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy who married a Spanish-Filipina beauty, Constancia Madrilejos of Romblon on 31 August 1906.

This Bowers couple had two children, Elizabeth Maud Constance and Lejuna Bowers. (N.B. It is interesting to note that "Isabel" is the Spanish equivalent of Elizabeth; could she be one and the same person? Mother Constancia anglicized her name to "Constance Bowers" after her marriage to Clarence. In any event, this Elizabeth Maud Bowers returned to the U.S. in 1932 and took up Industrial Design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pennsylvania. She married Engr. John Rice, had two daughters and eventually became a noted name in industrial and graphic design, one of only few American women to achieve such feat in a field dominated by men.)

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