Sunday, September 14, 2008

22. 1912, Reina de Luzon: PACITA BANTUG DE GUZMAN

1912 REINA DE LUZON, Pacita De Guzman y Bantug of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. 1st princess of Manila Carnival Queen, Paz Marquez.

The Reina de Luzon who ranked next after Paz Marquez was, by some amazing circumstance, also nicknamed Paz—and also one of the products of the Philippine Normal School, in the same circle of “Dormitory Girls”. Born in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, she was the daughter of Santiago de Guzman and Feliciano Bantug.

LADY OF LUZON. Crowned Luzon Queen, Pacita de Guzman was also a member of the "Dormitory Girls", who were educated under the American system and who were favored to attend Malacanang functions.

Pacita finished her Education course at the University of the Philippines in 1912 and thereafter taught at the Manila North High School, the future Arellano High School. She handled a Biology class, but because of her musical background (she studied voice under Maestra Jovita Fuentes), she was appointed directress of the glee club. She directed operettas, presented musical numbers for school events and even had a number of future celebrity-students under her: actors Fernando Poe Sr., Carmen Rosales, Rogelio de la Rosa and radio/broadcast personalities Koko Trinidad and Luz Baluyot.

PACITA IN HER PRIME. Taken in the 1920s, when Pacita was a teacher at the Manila North High School. There, she made her mark as the director of the glee club.

In the early ‘30s, Pacita took a leave from teaching and traveled to Europe for further musical and language studies. It was in Marseille, France that she married Ramon Silos (the younger brother of Claro M. Recto’s first wife). The couple were childless. She continued teaching at Arellano High until the war, when she and other Maryknoll sisters were taken and incarcerated in Fort Santiago for 3 months. She was never the same after the war.

She lived with her widowed sister, Matilde in the late ‘40s and it was there that she was felled by a stroke. She never recovered and passed away in June 1956.

No comments: