Showing posts with label Pearl of the Orient Seas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pearl of the Orient Seas. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2011

170. THE PETIT CARNIVALS OF ZAMBOANGA, part 2

ZAMBOANGUENA HERMOSA. Her Royal Highness Margarita Macrohon, queen of the 1934 Petit Carnival of Zamboanga.

The election of the Queen of the 1934 Petit Carnival of Zamboanga started in the second quarter of 1933, and by September 1933, the first canvassing of votes for the candidates was already undertaken. The five leading candidates were Remedios Caballero (510 votes), Marietta Hamoy (450 votes), Margarita Macrohon (310 votes), J. Torres (280 votes) and J. Marin (120 votes).

On October 28, the 9th counting showed a change in leadership with Margarita Macrohon on top with a whopping 8000 votes, followed by newcomer Susie Galle, Marietta Hamoy, Adela Johnston, Ella Varian and Remedios Caballero at the tail-end.

More concrete plans were also drawned up by the Carnival committee and exposed to the public by November. Local residents, however, raised eyebrows at the idea of a cabaret-style pavilion as one of the attractions of the petit carnival. Inter-school dance and costume contests were also planned, using the Manila program as the model.

The final tabulation to determine the 1934 Zamboanga Carnival Queen was done six days before Christmas. Margarita Macrohon was the runaway winner with 47, 470 votes. Her elected princesses were Remedios Caballero (2nd, with 23,810 votes) and Susie Galle (a close 3rd, with 21,810 votes).

Margarita Macrohon was already a popular young woman of Zamboanga society when she became queen. She had participated in the 1929 fiesta of the city’s patron Virgen del Pilar, crowning the “Princesa Floral” of the fiesta. She also joined the the Declamation Contest, a talent that ran in her family (brother Jun was a champion orator of Ateneo de Zamboanga).

In the Fancy Ball dance contests, Tetuan Elementary School placed first with their “Clown Dance” (under Maria Rodriguez), while the City School came in second with “Fairies Dance” (under Mary Hampton). In 3rd place was the contingent from Sta. Maria Elementary School with their “Russian Dance”.

When the fabulous Carnival of 1934 ended, the organizers realized a net profit of PhP 3.77 for their business venture—not exactly a great profit, but Zamboanga certainly had fun. And that was all that mattered.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

50. 1926, Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas, CARMEN FARGAS

THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS. Carmen Caguiat Fargas, 1926 Miss Zamboanga. She gave the 1st Miss Philippines, Anita Noble, a stiff fight in the 1st National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival, that judges gave her a special title.

In 1926, the 1st National Beauty Contest was started, as a parallel pageant to the Manila Carnival Queen search. It was the first truly national quest for a queen as provincial representatives, each wearing the sash of their province, came to Manila to vie for the title of "Miss Philippines". It was also different in that, unlike Manila Carnival Queen which relied on public balloting, the selection was done by a panel of judges.


From Zamboanga came Carmen "Carmencita" Fargas, a mestiza beauty born on 16 January 1908 and bred in Aplaya, Ayala in Zamboanga. She was a student of Normal College when the contest beckoned, and was installed as an early favorite as the elected 1926 Miss Zamboanga. She found stiff competition from the 1926 Miss Batangas, Anita Noble, whose lineage included patriots and heroes from both sides of her family. But Carmen held her own, and as the judging reached its final stages, she found herself on top of the judges' list, a major contender for the crown.


In the first ballotting, the regional winners were easily determined, but it was a deadlocked tie for the Miss Philippines crown--between Carmen and Anita. A 2nd balloting did not resolve the issue, and it was only past midnight when Pres. Manuel L. Quezon stepped in and offered suggestions to the tired judges for a quicker resolution to the problem. As related in the previous entry, a final scrutiny of the contestants was done, this time with another judge added.


Thus, it was in this manner that the tie was broken--with Anita Noble pipping Carmen and emerging as Miss Philippines of the 1st National Beauty Contest. But so keen was the competition till the last minute that a special title --"Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas" (Perlas ng Silangan) was awarded to the equally deserving Carmen. At the proclamation of Miss Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient Seas also had her rightful place of honor. In the entire history of the annual Carnival, the 1926 edition was the only one that had 3 beautiful muses reigning together.


After the contest, Carmen went back to her schooling but her life was never to be the same again. Back in Zamboanga, she was caught in a whirl of activities-- attending provincial functions, crowning petit fair queens and participating in Rizal Day festivities. As Miss Zamboanga, she was succeeded by Manolita Villaescosa.
MISS PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS WITH MISS VISAYAS 1926, Carmen Fargas (1926 Miss Zamboanga) and Aurora Reyes (1926 Miss Samar)
Carmen managed to finish school and in her later life, she married Dr. Herminio Caguiat. Carmen was a whiz in the kitchen, both as a baker and cook. She was fond of Cadbury chocolates and enjoyed ice cream all her life. The beauty who almost became our 1st Miss Philippines passed away on 4 October 2004.