Sunday, September 6, 2009

86. 1939, Miss Philippines of the Philippine Exposition, ILUMINADA MOJICA TUASON

1939 MISS PHILIPPINES. Iluminada Somera Tuason, the last of the long list of royals to reign in the annual carnivals that began in 1908. In the last 3 editions, it was renamed as the Philippine Exposition. Lumen married an escort, Ramon Fernandez, who went on to become a Supreme Court justice.

The last titled beauty from the fabled Carnivals of Manila was Iluminada Mojica Tuason. She was the only daughter of Rogelia Mojica of Indang, Cavite with a certain Tuason of Manila, who died while Lumen was still very young. Her mother remarried Jose Rosales of Butuan, where they ran a piano business. Lumen would have seven half-siblings from her mother’s second marriage: Loida, Perla, Angel, Josefa, Angelina, Rogelio and Fe.

LUMINOUS LUMEN. At the time of her coronation. But she was to have a short life, dying in childbirth in the late 1940s.

Despite it being the last Carnival, Iluminada’s reign as 1939 Miss Philippines was marked with the usual splendor and extravaganza. Her court included Estrella Fabon (Miss Luzon), Adela Planas (Miss Visayas) and Herminia Cajulis (Miss Mindanao). Fabon and Cajulis had been fellow contestants the year before in the search for Bb. Perlas ng Silangan, another national beauty search.

THE 1939 MISS PHILIPPINES COURT OF BEAUTY. With Lumen as Miss Philippines are Estrella Fabon (Miss Luzon), Adela Planas (Miss Visayas) and Herminia Cajulis (Miss Mindanao).

Two years after her reign, Lumen met Ramon Calleja Fernandez of Albay, who had been a top law student at the University of the Philippines and a classmate of future Philippine president, Ferdinand E. Marcos. In his U.P. days as an ROTC officer, Fernandez had been assigned to provide escort duties to Lumen and her court. But Fernandez’s had no real interest in the Carnival; after all, he had supported the candidate from the University of the Philippines.

AND THEN THERE WAS LUMEN. The light of the 1939 Carnival, Lumen married a legal luminary in the person of Ramon Fernandez, a classmate of Ferdinand Marcos at the U.P.

After graduating Valedictorian from law school, Fernandez took the bar and placed second to Marcos. He quickly proved his legal brilliance by winning an important case for a client who turned out to be Lumen’s aunt. This led to the fortuitous meeting that led to their romance and culminated in a wedding in Manila in 1941, just before the outbreak of World War II. The family relocated to the home province of Ramon Fernandez—in Albay—where they lived and waited it out through the Liberation. They had three children: Linda, Ramon Jr., and Pilar. A fourth child was conceived in 1949 but the young Lumen died tragically died in childbirth.

Atty. Fernandez took a second wife in the person of Lydia Aguilar Seva. He was appointed by Pres. Marcos as a Supreme Court Justice in 1982. He died in 1997.


Bluezy said...

My ninong was supposed to be a Miss Phillipines of some year. Rosario was her first name I think, but we called her Tita Nena. She would of been circa 22-30 maybe. But stories get mixed up when you come stateside after so many years....

Alex D.R. Castro said...

Could she be Rosario Genato? She was called Nena, but she was a runner-up to the Miss Philippines. You may check her here. Neny Apacible and Nene Laconico were the only 2 Miss Philippines with names nearest to Nena.

Unknown said...

Hi. My grandpa is Angel, one of Lola Lumen's half siblings. We've never known the story of Lola Lumen until recently. My Lolo Angel spent years with Lola Lumem in Albay when he was sent there by Lola Rogelia - he was a rebelious teenager and I guess to reform him, he went to Albay. This is a lovely article, I'd gladly share this with Lolo Angel.

Alex D.R. Castro said...

Thanks, Joyce.I have a picture of Ramon Fernandez as a young high school graduate.