Monday, December 20, 2010

151. A Program Description: THE 1910 MANILA CARNIVAL, part II

The Carnival of 1910, in presenting itself to the Orient and the rest of the world, needs no more substantial guaranty of success than the truly wonderful record left behind by the Carnivals of 1908 and 1909. Even after the experience of two years, this institution seems to be definitely and firmly established in the Philippines and its fame has spread to all parts of the world. Its phenomenal growth and development to date indicate that its future possibilities are unlimited, but even now Manila may justly lay claim to the possession of the greatest attraction in the Far East.

In any one of the numerous departments forming this great production may be found enough of interest to far more than justify the effort involved in a journey to Manila from almost any part of the world. The industrial feature, the athletic meet, the wild tribes exhibit, the display of curiosities and novelties, the street pageants, the hippodrome, the coronations, the masked balls, the open-air performances, the pyrotechnic display, the fantastic ceremonies, the races, the live-stock and machinery exhibits, and a great variety of other attractions, all working together as parts of a machine-like whole, transform the quite, staid, dignified Manila of history and tradition into a whirlwind of fascinating activity.

Certain features, beautiful in their execution, features of strength and skill, are less appreciated when presented in an immense open air amphitheatre. This year’s Hippodrome, as will be seen by the program, has been greatly enhanced and made more interesting than ever before.

By reference to the detailed program, it will be seen that one of the principal and, it might be added, the most important feature of this year’s carnival, will be the industrial exhibition. The display shown therein have been gathered from all over the Philippines. It has become customary to look upon the Philippine Carnival as a mere vehicle to furnish mirth and amusement to the populace. While this is to a great extent true, it must be borne in mind that the primary object of the carnival is to promote in every possible way the natural resources, arts and handicrafts of the Philippines, and it must be said that, to a large extent, the two carnivals which have already accomplished this.

This year’s industrial display, it is believed, will do much toward supplying the outside world, as well as the people in the Philippine Islands, with real information of a most valuable nature on these points. Visitors to the carnival will be well repaid by making a careful and leisurely inspection of all that is to be seen in the industrial section.

The great land parades which have been features of the carnivals already held will be repeated this year on a larger and more gorgeous scale than ever. For the first time in the history of the Philippine Islands, foreign troops will march with the American military forces. The Japanese Consul-General arranged to have a detachment from the cruisers now in the harbor represent his country and the sailors and marines from the British Cruiser. Monmouth will represent Great Britain.

In the Carnivals already held, the costumed groups, especially the famous Red Devils have attracted great attention, and this year, this feature will be greatly enlarged upon. There will be Green Devils and there will be Yellow Devils and there will be jesters from the Columbia Club, and other organizations will present features in this line which will not be made known until their actual appearance at the carnival city.

The sports at this carnival, as will be seen from the detailed program, will be very interesting. Man very important events will be held, among which will be the Gun Club tournament. The polo games will be between players from the local teams, the army teams and teams representing the very best polo talent from Hongkong and Singapore, and will be hotly contested.

It would require more space than would fill several books of this size to give in detail all of the many features of this carnival. The program of events, as they will be held from day to day, is presented on the other pages and the attention of visitors is invited thereto. Enjoy yourselves.

150. A Program Description: THE 1910 MANILA CARNIVAL, part I

The festival that is now being celebrated is the third annual Philippine Carnival. The Carnival has, in some respects, become to be looked upon as “Manila’s show”. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the Carnival is held in Manila, and all of the men who form the working force of the carnival organization live in the capital city of the Philippines, it has always been realized that were it not for the great support furnished the carnival association by the provinces, it would be out of the question to even attempt a festival of the breadth and scope of the one which is now being celebrated.
Then, too, while it has been the principal aim of the Philippine Carnival Association to furnish an annual carnival that would be a credit to the whole Philippine Archipelago, they have not forgotten that an institution of this nature is bound in time to become so well known that it will be looked upon as one of the biggest features of life in the Far East. Already its fame has gone to the furthermost corners of the earth. The first carnival made Manila well known as a provider of first class entertainment, and the second carnival spread the fame of the Philippines throughout Europe, the United States, the Orient and Australasia. Hundreds of inquiries have been received during the last year for information regarding the fiesta now in progress.

Advertising matter of a very high class has been widely distributed. The Red Devil trade-mark of the Philippine Carnival is now familiar from Manila to Vladivostock, Yokohama to Calcutta, and from San Francisco to London, and Honolulu to the Antipodes. This has had the effect it was intended it should have. Last year, the Carnival Association entertained a fair number of foreign visitors who were attracted by the fame of the initial carnival, and this year, we have more visitors from the outside world than it was even hoped would come.
In the United States and Europe, the carnival is a product of gradual evolution which comes into existence only after the social, political, industrial and commercial institutions of a country have become highly developed. At such a point the development of the country, and as a means whereby, during a certain season, the maximum of pleasure may be enjoyed by the entire population, the carnival serves a most important purpose.

In the Philippines, however, with its undeveloped institutions and confronted as it is by the great problems of creating the very fundamentals of national, social and commercial existence, the need for such an institution, solely as a means of amusement and pleasure will not exist for many years.

In spite of this, and entirely apart from its important purposes of practical utility, Manila’s carnival in point of interest, amusement and novelty, may very properly be classed with the famous shows of the world. Indeed, it is doubtful if ever in the history of the modern world there had been crowded within the limits of a period of less than a fortnight a series of entertainments so striking in their character and so nearly representative of the highest grade of amusement from all parts of the globe. International expositions have been held in other sections of the world and into these much of the local color of different countries has been infused; but it has remained for the dreamy, mysterious Orient, with its world of wonders not to be found outside, to discover the real secret of a carnival of the nations.

The fact is not remarkable when considered in the light of conditions existing in the Philippines. When, in 1907, the first Philippine carnival was projected, and its plan and purposes placed before the Secretary of War, now the President of the United States, no difficulty was experienced in impressing upon him the fact that among the institutions operating in this country toward carrying out the proper intentions of the United States Government, none might reasonably be expected to be productive of more valuable results than this. From that date until the present time this interest in the success of the carnival has been active and substantial.

The directors of the Carnival Association in carrying out their plans have had access to every facility possessed by the military and insular governments. Special arrangements with the War Department have placed at their disposal for use in presenting the different gorgeous spectacles forming the central feature of the display a class of talent the securing of which in any other part of the world would be a practical impossibility. In both of the carnivals which have been held, the soldier and the sailor have been conspicuously represented, particularly in connection with the great hippodrome which formed the most striking feature f these carnivals, and whose third appearance is now with us.

Of even greater value has been the assistance furnished by the Civil Government. This has consisted in part of substantial cash appropriations for the support of the institution and in part of the detail of the highest grade of men in civil service for carnival purposes.

These and other equally important features, the active interest and assistance of the business and foreign communities, the fact that Manila is ideally situated with reference to the securing of features of interest from other Oriental countries, and that the Philippines are extremely rich in novelties splendidly suited to the purpose of the carnival, make it possible for this comparatively small organization of men situated in an obscure and imperfectly developed portion of the world, many thousand miles removed from the centers of art and social activity, to present once in each year a two weeks’ period of such striking interest and novelty as to easily rival the greatest attractions of modern times.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

149. Carnival Beauties: AMPARO NERI, 1926 Miss Misamis

THIS MISAMIS MISS IS NOT TO BE MISSED. The 1st Miss Misamis, Amparo Neri became a well-known writer and poet after her Carnival days.

The first Miss Misamis to be sent to first ever Miss Philippines quest in the 1926 Manila Carnival was the lovely Amparo Neri. The Neris trace their roots to Iligan and Umalag, Cagayan de Oro, and among the members are poets and patriots like Vicentico Neri and Don Tirso Neri. Amparo, who, early on had literary leanings, had two equally accomplished sisters, Araceli and Pureza.

Amparo Neri came to Manila to participate in the festivities, rooming with Remedios Santos (Miss Rizal) and Anita Noble (Miss Batangas) in the house of Alfredo Roa Sr. , who is from Misamis Oriental himself. Anita later was crowned our country’s first Miss Philippines.

married a Domingo and continued to pursue her passion for writing. She subsequently became the first female writer of the weekly Graphic Magazine. She also became an accomplished poetess, publishing her works in the volume, “The Weak Flesh and the Willing Spirit”, which earned praises from Jaime Cardinal Sin and Fr. James Reuter in the 1990s.

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.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

147. Carnival Beauties: LEONOR T. REYES, 1926 Miss Bulacan

QUEEN AT SIXTEEN. The first official Miss Bulacan title was held by a teenager, Leonor T. Reyes, who was appointed in 1926 to represent the province in the 1st National Beauty Contest.

Leonor Tantoco Reyes, was just a a young lady of 16 when she was named as the first Miss Bulacan of 1926. Born in 1919, Leonor comes from a progressive and nationalistic family from Malolos; in fact, several of her blood relations are members of the esteemed “Women of Malolos”, who petitioned Gov. Gen. Valeriano Weyler in 1888 to let them open a night school and who were praised by Rizal through his famous letter addressed to them. In this group were Maria and Teresa Tantoco, aunts of Leonor.

After the Miss Philippines contest in Manila (won by Miss Batangas, Anita Noble), Leonor resumed her studies and finished her Education degree in 1933 from the University of the Philippines. She earned her Master in Education from the same school in 1954. Leonor was a teacher all her life and remained unmarried.

When she died at the ripe old age of 96 on 27 February 2006, she left behind a brother, Leopoldo and three sisters-in-law. She rests at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. Her heritage house still stands preserved in Malolos.