Sunday, May 2, 2010

116.CEBU CARNIVAL QUEENS, 1914 – 1941, part II

Petite Evangelina was the daughter of the district engineer from Pangasinan who was assigned in Cebu. She was a pre-med intern and a cadet sponsor of Cebu Junior College, a branch of the U.P., at the time of her election. “Lily” as she was called, eventually moved to Manila to work as a doctor, where she met and married Diosdado Macapagal. His election as president of the Philippines in 1961 instantly made her into a First Lady.

“Bitoon sa Babaye” of 1932 was Socorro Zamora, an elementary and high school valedictorian of St. Catherine’s School, an exclusive girls’ school run by Belgian nuns. She was the unica hija of Ricardo Zamora and Maria Codilla of Ormoc. She enrolled at UST where she became a popular coed in her chemical engineering class. She then took up pre-law at Southern Colleges (now University of Southern Philippines). Tragically, she died during the bombing of Leyte in 1944.

The Velosos are a well-known clan from Malitbog, Leyte. Her consort was Bernardo Torres. She later married prominent physician Dr. Leonardo S. de Villa.

This multi-titled Chinese mestiza beauty swept all the beauty contests held in the 6 sitios of metropolitan Cebu. Maria was a popular high school student at Southern College at the time of the contest which also saw the election of her court: Julia MacVean (Miss Luzon), Julita Veloso Abad (Barili, Miss Visayas) and Daisy P. Hontiveros (Miss Mindanao, former Miss Capiz and future wife of national artist and film director, Lamberto Avellana).

The Noels are from Carcar, and earlier, the family had produced a beauty queen in the person of Amparo Noel, Queen of the Visayas. Known as “Clara Bow of Cebu”, Angeles studied at Cebu High School where she was known for her fashion flair and poise. Her consort was Eddie Molina, a dashing Philippine Military Academy graduate.

Daughter of former governor Jose Roa, and Apolonia Regis of Carcar, Carmen was a leading high society figure of Cebu. She was to die in a sea tragedy aboard s.s. Corregidor, which sank in Manila Bay on December 1941, just shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Twice named Miss Cebu by the Free Press (1937-38), Milagros was the oldest child of Ramiro Valenzuela and Josefina Dela Victoria. At her coronation, she was escorted by Manuel Urgello, whom she later married in 1939. They had five children: Adelwisa, Manuel Jr., Ernesto, Lucy and Roberto. Mila died in 1950.

Her co-winners include Valeriana Alducente (Miss Visayas and voted Miss Cebu 1936 by Free Press) who became a teacher at Abellana High School after the contest, and was married to Lorenzo Encomienda, former mayor of Lauban, Tayabas.

Daughter of Vicente Echavez of Aloguinsan, Cebu. At the time of the contest, she was a student at the Little Flower of Jesus Academy. She was escorted to her crowning by her brother, Vicente Jr., a lawyer. She eventually also married a lawyer who later became a judge in one of Cebu’s northern towns.

The only daughter of Paulino Gullas, a representative of the second district of Cebu. Se married her consort, Mike Jayme, who became a lawyer.

For the 1940 edition of the Cebu Carnival, two queens were chosen to reign over the festivities. The first was Cristina Aberasturi, a Spanish mestiza and an interna at the St. Catherine’s School in Carcar. Her court included: Milagros Lebumfacil (Toledo, Miss Luzon) who became the wife of Imelda Marcos’s elder brother; Amelia Tan Villanueva (Miss Visayas), already a gifted teacher when she joined the contest, and Soledad Misa (Cebu City, Miss Mindanao)

The 2nd Carnival Queen of Cebuin 1940 was another Spanish mestiza, Carmen Gonzales, dubbed as the “Deanna Durbin of Cebu”. She was a student of St. Theresa’s College, and she was attended to by her court of honor that included: Bernardita Tabada (Miss Luzon), Elena Borromeo Herrera (Miss Visayas) and Dolores Dineros (Miss Mindanao).

The impending war did not dampen the Carnival spirit of Cebuanos, for in 1941, two queens were again elected in one of the liveliest carnivals Cebu ever had—which was to be the province’s last. Nena Gonzales of Lahug got the crown of Cebu Carnival Queen.

Sharing the throne was Flordeliza P. Mancao, proclaimed Miss Labor Day, and especially chosen to reign over the Labor Day celebration. She was the daughter of Pedro Mancao and Sofia Panuncialman of Carcar. No less than the Mayor of Manila and Secretary of Labor, Leon Guinto, crowned her. She was escorted by Engr. Cesar Dakay. Three years after her reign, she married Dr. Rafel Ong of Capiz and was at one time a Home Economics teacher at the Carcar Central School.


moi said...

Alex, thanks for this series.
There are several beauties from my school pala, St. Catherine's and from my hometown itself, ahem...
Manuel Urgello, the husband of Milagros Valenzuela (1937), is from Carcar too.

Alex D.R. Castro said...

Welcome John..
I still need to do picture research though. I know there's a book that came out recently (acc. to Louie N.) about Cebu heritage and history that contains Cebu carnival fotos.

Musa said...

Cristina Aberasturi (Cebu Carnival Queen of 1940) is a healthy great-grandmother at 91 and currently lives in Makati.

They (she and her sister Juanita, now 88) were transferred to Carcar from the Collegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Cebu City as a precaution, as a Japanese occupation was believed inevitable (the Philippines then was American territory).

Before Cebu, both sisters studied in a boarding school in Larrauri, in the Basque province of Bizkaia, where their uncle was Parish Priest. They were brought here by their father (a native of Forua, Bizkaia) at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

Alex D.R. Castro said...

Musa, thanks for the updates, and sorry for my very late response.