Showing posts with label Iloilo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iloilo. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


FULFILLING HER DUTIES. Pacita de los Reyes, queen-elect of the 1929 Manila Carnival, is feted at the 1929 Iloilo Carnival.

Miss Philippines of 1929, Pacita delos Reyes, was honored at the Iloilo Carnival in La Paz, Iloilo. Forming her court are members of the younger set of the Iloilo and Negros “Four Hundred”. Pacita’s September visit was auspicious as a few months later, she was succeeded by a young Ilongga beauty, Consuelo Acuña, 1930 Miss Philippines.

Friday, May 31, 2013

247. Queen of the 1939 Iloilo Carnival: EVELINA GARGANERA

ILONGGA CHARMER. Evelina Garganera of Jaro, rules as the 1939 Iloilo Carnival Queen.

Miss Evelina Garganera of Jaro, Iloilo, the queen-elect of the long-running Iloilo Provincial Exposition and Fair, 1939 edition. The annual carnival was held from 1-19 April, 1939. Evelina was also the year's Queen of the Jaro Carnival.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

231. Queen of the 1933 Iloilo Carnival: MARIANITA CARAZA

Her Majesty, Marianita Caraza and her court of honor at the throne of the 1933 Iloilo Carnival. From left to right: Consort Emilio Escares, princess Susing Rocha, the Queen, King Consort, Boy Opisso (son of Judge Opisso), Princess Lourdes Rivera and consort Vicente Borromeo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

228. Queen of the Iloilo Carnival : AIDA KILAYKO

In one of the earliest petit fairs of Iloilo, the lovely Aida “Aiding” Kilayko reigned as the 1925 queen. Her parents were Eugenio Copa Kilayko and Celsa Lizares, both from landed families of Talisay, Negros Occidental, who owned large sugar haciendas and prosperous farm holdings. Aida was educated at the Assumption College in Iloilo, and excelled in piano. As a young member of the “buena sociedad Ilongga”, Aida was also known for being a cultured and refined young woman.

After her coronation as Iloilo’s carnival queen, she was back in Manila to continue her Pharmacy course at the Centro Escolar de Señoritas. By December 1925, she was in the front page again as one of the winners of Philipine Free Press’ search for the 4 most representative types of “Bellezas Filipinas”. Over two thousand pictures were received as entries of the popular Manila paper; these were whittled down to 72, then 24 finalists. A judging panel comprising of artists Fabian de la Rosa, Guillermo Tolentino, Fernando Amorsolo and Jorge Pineda chose the winners, headed by Manila Carnival contestants Rosario Panganiban, Salud Austria, Margarita Lacson and Aida Kilayko, who placed third. She won a gold panuelo pin for her win.

“Aiding” later married lawyer Julio Hernaez, whom she outlived. They had 4 children: Corazon, Maria Fe, Julian Jr. and Susan.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

177. Carnival Beauties: LILIA H. LOPEZ, 1930 Miss Philippines Candidate

LILIA H. LOPEZ of Iloilo, Candidate of Atalaya newspaper to the quest for Miss Philippines of the Manila Carnival 1930.

Lilia Lopez was born in 1912 in Iloilo, the child of sugarcane baron Vicente Villanueva Lopez and Elena Javelona Hofileña. The Lopezes were among the richest and most certainly, the most influential families from Old Jaro. Lilia grew up in affluence, with her siblings Nelly, Benito and Vicente. In 1928, the Lopezes built an imposing mansion aong Calle Iznart, naming it Nelly’s Gardens, after Lilia’s eldest sister. Lilia, however, spent much of her childhood years with a widowed aunt, Dña. Presentacion Lopez, at the RocaEncantada home, together with her first cousins Fernando and Eugenio Lopez. Lilia found a playmate in Julieta Lopez, an adoptive daughter of her aunt and late uncle, Don Benito Lopez. Julieta would become Miss Iloilo of 1927.

Lilia’s very own carnival moment would come three years later, in 1930, when she was sponsored by the Visayan publication Atalaya to compete in the Miss Philippines quest of that year’s Manila Carnival edition. Her campaign, however, was thwarted by a fellow IlonggaConsuelo Acuña, who was crowned as the 1930 Miss Philippines.

Still, Lilia had a great experience as one of the muses of the Carnival. Just 18, she also had her studies to think about as well as the admirers who had come to woo her. One of them was Gil Puyat, the son of furniture maker Gonzalo Puyat (The House of Puyat had furnished the lovely Lopez Mansion with their quality furniture).

But it was to Francisco Lopez Sison of Silay, Negros Occidental that Lilia gave her sweet yes. Their marriage resulted in 3 children: Lourdes, Elena and Francisco Jr. The couple also adopted three more kids. Lilia’s family inherited the Nelly Gardens and upon her death in 2000, her daughters assumed ownership of the house, which to this day, remains a symbol of Iloilo’s once and future glory.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

148. Carnival Beauties: JULIETA H. LOPEZ, 1927 Miss Iloilo

THE LUCK OF THE LOPEZES. Miss Iloilo of 1927, Julieta Lopez y Hofilena was an adoptive child of the prominent Lopez family from this province. Brother Eugenio ("ening) was a frequent escort of Carnival beauties in the 1920s.

Julieta Lopez, the Ilongga bet to the 1927 Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines, comes from the prominent Lopez clan of Iloilo. She was born in the island of Guimaras (“Roca Encantada”) , the daughter of a peon and an American. Dña. Presentacion Hofileña-Lopez, the wife of Don Benito Lopez, took fancy on the baby girl who hailed from the same place as she did, and adopted her.

She thus became the sister of Eugenio Lopez, an ardent supporter of the Carnival himself and Fernando, the future vice president of the Philippines, and Marcos's party-mate. Julieta married Vicente Arenas who became the Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican.

The couple had a son, Ramon, who married well-known Manila society figure and philanthropist Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


STAR OF THE CARNAVAL DE ILOILO. Her Majesty, Estrella II, wearing her crown of beauty and patriotism. Dated 1928.

To the province of Iloilo goes the distinction of producing the very first Queen of the Orient—Pura Villanueva—the accomplished Ilongga-Spanish mestiza who ruled and captivated the crowds of the 1908 Manila Carnival. In the succeeding editions of the Carnival, Iloilo belles regularly made their appearance on the Carnival stage in Luneta, to compete against other provincial muses for the title of ‘Queen of the Manila Carnival” and later, “Miss Philippines”.

Some Ilongga beauties who went to the national Miss Philippines pageant included Amparo Unson (the first Miss Iloilo) who vied for the title in 1926 and Julieta Lopez (Miss Iloilo 1927). Both, however, did not advance to the finals.

In 1928, the provincial government held its own Carnival, but the details of that event are lost to us. A queen, Estrella II , nicknamed “Tiliang”, ruled the festivities of the ‘Carnaval de Iloilo’. We do not know if she was to have been the official Iloilo representative to the national Carnival, but in 1928, the event was scrapped due to financial, organizational and timing problems.

It would be another 22 years after Pura, for another Ilongga to bring home the crown for the province again. In 1930, the lovely Consuelo ‘Monina’ Acuña was crowned Miss Philippines.