Tuesday, December 25, 2012

235. Carnival Beauties: ROSIE MCGUIRE, 1927 Miss Samar

SAMAR'S SWEETHEART. Rosie McGuire, the first and only known Miss samar to represent her island province at the 1927 edition of the Manila Carnival.

The American Mcguires settled in Borongan, Eastern Samar and the lovely Rosie McGuire could very well be from this landed family. Don James McGuire was a prominent citizen of the place, and his magnificent McGuire Bldg., built in 1931, still stands restored in Borongan. A McGuire St. can be found in this town, (now a city, and capital of the province). Other than that, not much is known about this fair mestiza beauty, the only known Miss Samar to grace the carnival of Manila where Manila's Luisa Marasigan triumphed as Miss Philippines of 1927.

Monday, December 10, 2012

234. Carnival Weddings: ANDEREGG-BASTIDA NUPTIALS (1927 Miss Davao)

 SWISS MISS. Carmen Bastida, Miss Davao 1927, ties the knot with Swiss Hans P. Anderegg in ceremonies held at the Paules Church. Photo was taken in the home of Carmen's brother in Manila. From Graphic Magazine, April 1933.

Carmen Bastida, the mestiza beauty who represented Davao in the 1927 Manila Carnival, is shown with her groom Hans P. Anderegg, after their nuptials at the Paules Church in Manila on 17 April 1933.  From left to right are: Anton Alsobrook (best man); Blanquita Danon (maid of honor); the bride, Carmen Bastida; the groom Hans Anderegg; Mrs. Manuel N. Tuason (sponsor); Isidro Bastida, the birde's brother who gave her in marriage; and Dr. Manuel N. Tuason. The children are, from L to R: Manuel Tuason Jr., Rosemarie Tuason and Chiquita Ortigas. Paul A. Meyer Sr., one of the sponsors, does not appear with the group. The couple, who are popular members of the cosmopolitan community of Manila, sailed for Switzerland, the groom's homeland, on a honeymoon tour that lasted 6 months.

Monday, December 3, 2012

233. The Other 1939 Miss Mindanao: NIEVA ERAÑA y BASA

THE SECOND MISS MINDANAO 1939. Nieva Erana, a popular Escolarina student, is credited in extant Carnival photos as the other Miss Mindanao, together with Adela Planas.

Adela Planas was in the court of Iluminada Tuason, Miss Philippines of 1939, as Miss Mindanao; in fact, Adela was with the rest of the winners during Iluminada’s coronation night.

But we have visual documentation of another Miss Mindanao, who was accorded that honor but who politely declined it.

She is no other than Nieva Paz Eraña, who, four years before had previously reigned as Queen of the Students’ Night during the festivities at Centro Escolar de Señoritas from Jan. 18-21, 1935.

Shortly after the Carnival, she married Major Jaime Velasquez of the Philippine Armed Forces. He was also Quezon's aide-de-camp during the war; later he worked for the Ayalas in developing Makati--so now a a park and a street is named after him in Salcedo Village). Their 1938 marriage was short-lived. Nieva contracted malaria during her pregnancy, but sadly the passed away during childbirth in 1940. The baby boy she managed to deliver tragically passed away too, after 3 days.  Nieva is interred at the North Cemetery.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

232. 1935 Queen of the Albay Carnival: TERESA BARRANACEA

Beauties and consorts of the 1935 Albay Carnival and Industrial Fair, led by Queen-elect Teresa Barranecea (Queen Teresa I) and her King Consort Lt. Artemio Soriano.

Princesses and escorts include Priscilla Acuna, Carmen Palomo, Eustaquio Jimenez and R. Mirasol.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

231. Queen of the 1933 Iloilo Carnival: MARIANITA CARAZA

Her Majesty, Marianita Caraza and her court of honor at the throne of the 1933 Iloilo Carnival. From left to right: Consort Emilio Escares, princess Susing Rocha, the Queen, King Consort, Boy Opisso (son of Judge Opisso), Princess Lourdes Rivera and consort Vicente Borromeo.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

230. Carnival Beauties: ISABEL C. BOWERS, 1927 Miss Romblon

BOWERS BEAUTIFUL. The firtst and only known Miss Romblon, Isabel C. Bowers, who participated in the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival, won by Luisa Marasigan. 

Little is known about Romblon's first and only representative to the Miss Philippines Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival--American mestiza, Isabel C. Bowers.

There were several Bowers who came to the Philippines at the time of the American conquest who may have been her relatives: .two Thomasites with the Bowers surname came with the first batch of American teachers to the Islands in the early 1900s--Benjamin F. Bowers (assigned in Antique) and George Bowers (assigned in Batangas). They could very well be Isabel's forebears.

Isabel was related somehow to Brig. Gen. Clarence H. Bowers (1880-1943), the Philippine Constabulary head and a former superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy who married a Spanish-Filipina beauty, Constancia Madrilejos of Romblon on 31 August 1906.

This Bowers couple had two children, Elizabeth Maud Constance and Lejuna Bowers. (N.B. It is interesting to note that "Isabel" is the Spanish equivalent of Elizabeth; could she be one and the same person? Mother Constancia anglicized her name to "Constance Bowers" after her marriage to Clarence. In any event, this Elizabeth Maud Bowers returned to the U.S. in 1932 and took up Industrial Design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pennsylvania. She married Engr. John Rice, had two daughters and eventually became a noted name in industrial and graphic design, one of only few American women to achieve such feat in a field dominated by men.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

229. A Tribute to Miss Mindanao 1935, CARMELING DEL ROSARIO

A video tribute to Carmeling Del Rosario-Rodriguez (b. 2 July 1916)  Miss Mindanao of the 1935 Manila Carnival who passed away this year on 17 April 2012, at age 96, in Makati. Used with permission (Thank you Aids Asis for the youtube video tribute).

For  her remarkable Carnival story, please refer to: MISSING MISS MINDANAO

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

228. Queen of the Iloilo Carnival : AIDA KILAYKO

In one of the earliest petit fairs of Iloilo, the lovely Aida “Aiding” Kilayko reigned as the 1925 queen. Her parents were Eugenio Copa Kilayko and Celsa Lizares, both from landed families of Talisay, Negros Occidental, who owned large sugar haciendas and prosperous farm holdings. Aida was educated at the Assumption College in Iloilo, and excelled in piano. As a young member of the “buena sociedad Ilongga”, Aida was also known for being a cultured and refined young woman.

After her coronation as Iloilo’s carnival queen, she was back in Manila to continue her Pharmacy course at the Centro Escolar de Señoritas. By December 1925, she was in the front page again as one of the winners of Philipine Free Press’ search for the 4 most representative types of “Bellezas Filipinas”. Over two thousand pictures were received as entries of the popular Manila paper; these were whittled down to 72, then 24 finalists. A judging panel comprising of artists Fabian de la Rosa, Guillermo Tolentino, Fernando Amorsolo and Jorge Pineda chose the winners, headed by Manila Carnival contestants Rosario Panganiban, Salud Austria, Margarita Lacson and Aida Kilayko, who placed third. She won a gold panuelo pin for her win.

“Aiding” later married lawyer Julio Hernaez, whom she outlived. They had 4 children: Corazon, Maria Fe, Julian Jr. and Susan.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

227. Carnival Beauties: ARMINDA MARTINEZ, 1926 Miss Isabela

ISABELA'S IDOL. The first Miss Isabela, Arminda Martinez in her official portarit as a candidadte to the 1926 Miss Philippines quest.

The second largest province in the Philippines (after Palawan), Isabela was created in 1856  carved out from the rich, expansive region of Cagayan Valley. The province was named after Queen Isabela II of Spain.

 After the end of the Philippine Revolution which saw the capture of Pres. Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela, the province was reorganized under the American regime through Act No. 210, passed August 24, 1901. The province was a noted corn and rice basket in the region and found a cause to drumbeat this reputation through its participation in the annual Manila Carnival.

Out also to prove that Isabela was not just a land of plenty but also of beauty, the provincial government sent its first-ever beauty delegate to compete in the 1st National Beauty Contest of the 1926 Manila Carnival. The pert and pretty Arminda Martinez was appointed for the job, which she did with aplomb at the national event. The title, however, went to Miss Batangas, Anita Noble.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


QUEEN AMPARING I. The queen-elect of the 2nd Nueva Ecija Carnival of 1927, held at Cabanatuan. However, the one who got to go to Manila for the Miss Philippines contest was Julita Matias.

Nueva Ecija, one of the rice and sugar-producing provinces of Central Luzon, was an early supporter of the Manila Carnival. Proud to showcase its achievements especially in the field of agriculture, the provincial government put up exhibition booths in the early years of the Carnival (1908-1909). Some Nueva Ecijanas also figured in the national search for the Manila Carnival Queen; Pacita Bantug de Guzman of San Isidro came close to winning the 1912 crown when she placed 2nd to Paz Marquez. The province was also represented in 1926 (candidate unknown) and in 1927 by Julita Matias.

Gripped with Carnival fever, Nueva Ecija soon started holding its own petit carnivals beginning in 1926. In 1927, the 2nd Nueva Ecija Carnival was staged, capped with the coronation of Queen Amparing I, as the festival royalty.

Monday, September 3, 2012

225. Carnival Beauties: ELIA SANCHEZ, 1926 Miss Masbate

MAS BELLA! MASBATE! Elia Sanchez, the first and only known Miss Masbate to represent her island province of Masbate, at the 1926 Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines.

The island of Masbate was just 4 years old when the local government joined the Manila Carnival as a form of support to the national festivities as well as to breastbeat the progress it has attained as an autonomous Philippine province.

Previously, Masbate was a part of Albay; it was declared a separate province  in 1864 with Guiom as its capital. Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo however, moved the capital to Masbate town, just before the declaration of the Philippine independence in 1898. With the arrival of the Americans, Masbate was again annexed to Sorsogon in 1908. It was finally declared an independent province with the approval of a bill on 1 February 1922.

In the revamped Manila Carnival 1926, Masbate was proudly represented by the dark-eyed mestiza beauty, Elia Sanchez, who blazed the trail by becoming the first and only known Masbateña to vie for the the Miss Philippines title.

Sanchez was educated at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and married Genaro D. Briz, (lawyer-governor of Bicol-Masbate, 1932-1934, later Justice of the Peace of Masbate, Masbate, 1946)  in her later life. Papa Naroy and Mama Eyang had four children: Jose  (a doctor who moved to the U.S.), Rafael (who remained in Masbate), Soledad, and Natividad Briz-de Matera. The couple raised their children in Masbate where they had a large and thriving coconut plantation. Mama Eyang was just in her 30s when she died unexpectedly of pneumonia in her 30s which she caught due to exposure. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

224. Carnival Beauties: VIRGINIA LEJARDE, 1930 Candidate of "Alitaptap"

ALLURE OF ALITAPTAP. Virginia Lejarde, the official candidate of Alitaptap Magazine to the 4th National Beauty Contest search for Miss Philippines 1930. 

With the great success of the 1929 Manila Carnival queen search that saw the participation of the country's leading schools and institutions, the 1930 Manila Carnival was touted by publicists to be even more spectacular. Sure enough, in the search for th queenship of the Carnivsl, magazines and newspapers came back in full force to field their own candidates--this, in addition to the school bets.

Publications like The Manila Times, Liwayway,  The Philippine Herald and Tribune sponsored their own beauty bets together with schools that included Philippine Collegian, U.P. and the Centro Escolar de Senoritas. Even smaller dailies like Atalaya and Alitaptap were ably represented by lovely Filipina belles.

Alitaptap was a popular Tagalog magazine that was first published in 1928, and which had a successful run till the '30s, ceasing publication with its 29 December 1932 issue. Of its Carnival candidate, Virginia Lejarde, not much is known. The 1930 Miss Philippines crown went to an Ilongga teenager, Consuelo Acuna.

223. Carnival Beauties: PILAR LIWANAG, 1930 Candidate of "Liwayway"

LIWANAG NG LIWAYWAY. Liwayway's bet to the first Miss Philippines quest of 1926, was an all-Filipina beauty with an all Filipina name so appropriate to the Tagalog magazine: Pilar Liwanag.

The oldest Tagalog weekly magazine in the country, Liwayway (Dawn) was begun way back in 1922 by Don Ramon Roces. The popular magazine featured short stories, serialized Tagalog novels, human interest and entertainment news, plus comics.

Famous Filipino literary figures wrote for the magazine, a roster that includes Jose Corazon de Jesus, Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Cecilio Apostol Borromeo, Lope K. Santos, Romualdo Ramos, Francisco Lacsamana and Pedrito Reyes, the son of Don Severino Reyes, who was the first editor of Liwayway

As a leading magazine, Liwayway joined the biggest of the Carnival festivities--including fielding its own delegate to the search for the Manila Carnival Queen. In 1930, their lovely bet had a name as Filipino as the magazine's name--Pilar Liwanag, who may perhaps be the first Miss Liwayway. Nothing came out of her participation though, as the competition was very tough that year, resulting in the crowning of two queens--Anita Noble of Batangas (Miss Philippines) and Carmen Fargas of Zamboanga (Miss Pearl of the Orient).

After the Carnival years, the still-popular magazine which by now had expanded to include sister publications Bannawag, Hiligaynon and Bisaya--mounted its search for its own Bb. Liwayway beginning in 1938, determined by ballot voting. The Bb. Liwayway contest had a national appeal, remaining popular from the late 30s to the 50s.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

222. Carnival Beauties, MANUKI MAKARIMBANG, 1927 Miss Lanao

THAT LADY FROM LANAO. Manuki Makarimbang, Miss Lanao 1927, made a splash at the national beauty contest with her colorful wardrobe of malongs and headgears that were a hit with the crowd. 

The first beauties to represent the Mindanao minority groups at the  very first Miss Philippines pageant of the 1926 Manila Carnival came from the provinces of Lanao and Sulu--Bala Amai Miring (Miss Lanao) and Scott Rasul (Miss Sulu). With Miss Zamboanga and Miss Davao, there were only 4 contestants from the predominantly Muslim region. It was clear that their chances of winning a regional title was rather high; back then, to win the regional titles of Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas and Miss Mindanao, one had to be a provincial delegate from that particular island group.

Emerging as the first ethnic queen of the Mindanao region was the moon-faced beauty, Bala Amai Miring of Lanao. Quick to smile and regalling the crowds with her exotic malong costumes, Bala Amai Miring edged provincemate Rasul for the title of the first Miss Mindanao 1926. In winning the title, Miring joined the court of Miss Philippines-elect Anita Noble in her year-long Carnival activities.

Next year, it was Miss Sulu's turn to hog the limelight, with the Manila-educated Nora Maulana copping the Miss Mindanao 1927 title. Miss Lanao 1927, Manuki Makarimbang,  had to take a back seat, but nevertheless, she stamped her presence with her regal bearing, her demure deportment and her fabulous Muslim wardrobe. Not much is known about Miss Makarimbang, although their clan is well-known all over Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

221. Carnival Beauties, CARMEN QUINTO, 1927 Miss Cagayan

CARMEN OF CAGAYAN. The first Miss Cagayan ever to compete in the Miss Philippines search of the Manila Carnival, Carmen Quintos, who reigned in 1927.

Cagayan held its own provincial fair in 1926, but it was not until a year later that it sent its first beauty delegate to the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the 1927 Manila Carnival.

That honor went to education student Carmen Quinto from Aparri, Cagayan. She, however, failed to land in the winners' circle, with Miss Manila, Luisa Marasigan topping the beauty tilt.

Monday, July 23, 2012

220. Carnival Beauties, CARMEN CAMPOS, 1927 Miss La Union

UNION MAID. Miss Carmen Campos, Miss La Union of 1927.

The second Miss La Union to join the Miss Philippines tilt of 1927, was the comely Corazon Campos, who succeeded Manuela Ortega. The Camposes, from Bauang, are also related to the political Ortega clan.

The crown was won by Miss Manila, Luisa Marasigan, who was actually from Tayabas, but based in Manila as a colegiala.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

219. Carnival Entertainment: COMPARSAS DE CARNAVAL

ZAMBOANGA CARNIVAL, 1923. A group of performers from the Center of Agriculture.

The throngs of people who flocked to the Carnival were treated every night with all sorts of spectacular entertainment—danzas (dances), themed balls, music, circus acts and acrobatics. There were just too many nights to fill over a period of two weeks—the 1908 Carnival alone featured three balls that were livened up with regional dances performed right at their national pavilions with their respective flags.

The best performing groups (comparsas) were recruited by the provincial organizers to provide musical entertainment and dance interludes. Scouring the schools for the best dance and drama groups, the chosen performers were carted off to Manila to show off their terpsichorean talents to the delight of the Carnival crowd. They often aligned their performances with the visual theme of the CarnivalHindu-Arabic, Grecian, Russian, Fantasy, Filipiniana.

COMPARSAS LAS BATURBOS, Ilocos Sur Carnival 1923

Folk dances were staged on the ballroom in the center of the Hippodrome—measuring 300 ft. x 100 ft. The capacious dance floor was outfitted with first class wood made “to shine like crystal”. The enclosed area was defined by a wall with mural paintings done by the artist Robert McGreer and illuminated with electric bulbs.

COMPARSAS BALINTAWAK, Ilocos Sur Carnival, 1923

The production numbers grew more elaborate as the years passed; in 1929, during the reign of Pacita delos Reyes, aside from the Comparsas Night, there was a separate tribute prepared by her proud university called University of the Philippines Night, in which students rose to the occasion to stage “Pageant of Agriculture”, memorable for its scenario written by Carlos P. Romulo and its music supplied by the U.P. Conservatory of Music.

The entire university gave its all-out support and student earned P.E. credits for their participation in the evening spectacle. In no time at all, provincial carnivals were including performances by local comparsas, and a few of their productions are captured in these vintage souvenir photo postcards from the said events.

GYPSIE DANCERS, Camiling Petit Carnival, Tarlac, 1930.

Monday, June 25, 2012

218. Carnival Beauties: REMEDIOS SANTOS, 1926 Miss Rizal

RIZAL'S MUSE. Remedios Santos, the first official Miss Rizal sent to the 1st National Beauty Contest of the 1926 Manila Carnival.

The first Miss Rizal, Remedios Santos, went to the Manila Carnival to compete for the first ever Miss Philippines crown. It was hoped that her mestiza features, her dreamy eyes and fair complexion would be noticed by the judges during the festivities.

In the big city, the delegates were distributed among 'foster families' in whose houses they stayed during the duration of the pageant.

Remedios was taken in by the Alfredo Roa Sr. family whose house was large enough to accommodate two more provincial beauties: Miss Misamis Oriental (Amparo Nery) and Miss Batangas (Anita Noble). Remedios made the rounds of the carnival activities--participating in parades and social functions, under the watchful eye of her chaperone, Mrs. Conchita Zamora Roa. The crown, however, was won by her room mate, Anita Noble.

Remedios was succeeded by the Fil-Am beauty, Encarnacion Ibanez Johnson as Miss Rizal 1927.

Monday, June 18, 2012

217. 1908 Sultana del Pasig, CONSUELO AGRAVA

CONSUELO DE CARNAVAL. Local beauty, Consuelo Agrava of Manila, captivated the carnival crowd with her morena beauty and soulful eyes, reigning as Sultana del Pasig in the 1st edition of the national fair.

The first-ever Manila Carnival of 1908 probably holds the record as the carnival edition with the most number of royal beauties. Not only did the fair had two queens (Pura Villanueva as 'Queen of the Orient' and Marjorie Colton as 'Queen of the Occident'), but each reina had a retinue of at least 12 damas with their own 12 consortes, plus 4 young courtiers or page boys.

Another special title was given to a local beauty to represent the royal realm of Pasig, an important district of Manila on whose land the great and mighty river that dictated the commerce of the land--Rio de Pasig--flowed.

The first Sultana del Pasig, Consuelo Agrava, from the Bureau of Education, was handpicked by city officials for her very apt beauty. She As “El Renacimiento” reported, Miss Agrava, was “truly of the Sultana type, dark, with ojos de sulamita” (eyes of a peaceful woman).

A spectacular float was made by her city exclusively for her, an Oriental pagoda featuring native nymphs positioned up front, in the act of rowing. Over the boat, large “tutubis” or dragonflies hovered around her, coming to life as the carroza was driven at the Hippodrome. At the poopdeck—the topmost part of the float—Consuelo did not sit, but reclined on a lounge—the dramatic pose of the sultana elicited much applause from an awestruck crowd.

After the Carnival hoopla, Consuelo returned to her work as an educator, becoming an active member of the Parent-Teacher's Association (PTA) of Manila where she was, at one time, named as Chairman of the Committee for Entertainment. She married Jose Alvarez Agoncillo with whom she had three offsprings: Antonia, Marina and Francsico.

Monday, June 4, 2012


CENTRO OF ATTRACTION. Miss Centro Escolar of 1934, lovely Nene with escort Jose, during the college day celebration.

During the Carnival years, one school that became one of the most ardent supporters of the national event was the Centro Escolar de Señoritas, a Spanish-influenced private institution founded in 3 June 1907 by two women educators, Librada Avelino and Carmen de Luna.

In fact, a fortuitous event at Centro Escolar in 1907 had resulted in the meeting, courtship and eventual marriage of the first Carnival Queen, Pura Villanueva with El Renacimiento editor Teodoro Kalaw of Batangas.

The all-girls school offered women education from kinder to college--with degrees in law, pharmacy, liberal arts, education and business. In its inaugural year, it attracted 250 students, but by 1927, it had had attracted over 1,500 girls, many from prominent families from all over the country.

A most-awaited school activity is the “Feria de Centro Escolar” or College Fair that began in the mid 20s, capped by the selection of a Miss Centro Escolar. Some of winners are still known to us; in 1929, Susana Casimiro reigned as Señorita de Centro Escolar and a certain Queen Nena in 1934.

Soon, the school was earning a reputation as the home of the most beautiful and accomplished ladies in the city, if not, the country. It was now wonder then that many of these campus beauties were always recruited as candidates to the yearly Manila Carnival Queen search. In fact, even the School Director, had a direct hand in the selection of the school representative.

Some of the Escolarina beauties who became Carnival Queen candidates included: Iluminada Perez (Princess at the 1929 Manila Carnival) Blanquita Opinion (Miss Visayas 1933 and a former 1925 Queen of Charity) and Luisa Marasigan, who was selected as the 2nd Miss Philippines in 1927.

Centro Escolar de Señoritas became a university in 1933 and became known as Centro Escolar University. CEU, as it is known today, has three campuses--the main Manila campus on Mendiola street, Malolos campus in Bulacan (1978) is in and the Makati Campus in the Makati Central Business District. The Parañaque campus was phased out in the early 1990s. CEU Cebu will be the first CEU campus outside Luzon. In 2007, Centro Escolar University—producer of some of the most beautiful Carnival beauties ever to grace the national fair—celebrated its centennial in 2007.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

215. Carnival Beauties, LOURDES AUNARIO, 1930 Miss Philippines Candidate

HONOR FOR AUNARIO. Lourdes Aunario, 1930 Miss Philippines Candidate, was sponsored by the newspaper El Debate. She made it as one of the semifinalists.

In the controversial finals leading to the 1930 search for Miss Philippines that saw the withdrawal of frontrunner Violeta Lopez who refused to wear a swimsuit, one campus beauty found herself enmeshed in the fray. Lourdes Aunario was the candidate of the newspaper El Debate to the contest, which gave her all-out support. 

The Spanish-Filipina mestiza was the daughter of Gregorio Aunario, whose father, Hugo Aunario came to the Philippines as a member of the Spanish Army. Hugo married a Filipina who bore two sons, Pedro and Lourdes’ father, Gregorio. She also had a sister, Carmen who went on to marry Sen. Saturnino Mendinueto.

The Aunarios were well known in Philippine society; uncle Pedro Aunario, for instance was the editor of the leading paper of that time, La Vanguardia and was a proficient writer in Spanish. Later, he entered politics and became a representative of Mountain Province, until he resigned from the legislature in 1923.

Lourdes made it to the semifinals, no mean feat, considering the presence of formidable beauties that included Estrella Alvarez, Nieves Benito, Rosario Ruiz Zorilla, Luz Villaluna, Corazon Campos, Violeta Lopez (withdrew) and  the eventual winner, Consuelo Acuña of Iloilo. It was said that one of her suitors was painter Fernando Amorsolo, the future national artist. After the contest, she got married and bore a daughter, Natividad, who married the son of Italian duke, Lombardi.

(Many thanks to Ms. Cecilia Lumbre, niece of Lourdes Aunario for the above information)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

214. Carnival Beauties: LEONOR BUSTAMANTE, 1927 Miss Cavite

CAVITE'S CHARMER. Leonor Bustamante, the first Miss Cavite, competed in the 1927 Manila Carnival search for the second Miss Philippines.

The province of Cavite was another staunch supporter of the Manila Carnival undertakings, contributing its own commercial, agricultural and industrial exhibits for the fair. It also held its own Carnival versions--and at least one petit carnival, held in Imus, was organized in the mid 20s. In the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the national fair, Cavite sent the winsome 16 year old Leonor Bustamante as its official delegate, the first known Miss Cavite. Miss Philippines for that year went to Luisa Marasigan, who came in as Miss Manila.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

213. Carnival Beauties: BEATRICE SANUP, 1927 Miss Baguio

BEDIMPLED BEATRICE. The first official representative of the Pines City to the Manila Carnival beauty contest was Beatrice Sanup, Miss Baguio 1927 who fascinated the crowds at the fair not only with her dusky beauty but also with her traditional wardrobe.

Like Ilocos and Cebu, the province of Benguet has a rich carnival tradition that began in 1915 with the election of Ibaloy schoolgirl Eveline Chainus Guirey as its first queen. Its premier city, Baguio, held its first ever carnival in 1923, with Martina Salming reigning as queen. The beautiful mestizo Carmen Reese also was a royal-elect and other famous beauties who made national headlines included Corazon Custodio, Adela Romero and Rosita Moldero, originally from Lubuagan, Kalinga, who made it as Miss Free Press Luzon of 1929.

At the second National Beauty Contest, the Pines City was ably represented by local lass Beatrice Sanup, who, together with Juliet Linney (Miss Mountain Province) made waves at the fair with their exotic looks and fascinating local costumes. The bedimpled Beatrice took pride in wearing a traditional Igorot costume consisting of a ‘kambal’ (woven blouse top), “divit” (woven skirt) and "panjet" (headband), recorded for posterity in her official studio pictures.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

212. Carnival Beauties: CONSOLACION PURUGGANAN, 1927 Miss Abra

CONSOLACION PRIZE. The first and only known Miss Abra, Consolacion Purugganan, went to Manil to compete in the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival, a beauty competition won by Miss Manila, Luisa Marasigan.

The first time that the province of Abra sent its beauty representative to the Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines was in 1927. The honor went to the lovely Consolacion Purugganan of Bangued, who came from the large Purugganan clan that settled all over the Cordillera and the Ilocos region. The Purugganans count many prominent politicians in the family who figured in shaping the political history of the Ilocandia--like Don Severino Purugganan and Bangued municipal mayor, Ramon Purugganan.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

211. Carnival Beauties: MISS SAMPALOC 1927 and MISS QUIAPO 1927

In 1927, the Manila Carnival quest for Miss Philippines continued its format of having official provincial delegates for the national contest. While some provincial bets were directly selected by high-ranking officials like the governor or the head of the local Carnival committee, the search for Miss Manila was more systematic. Manila's district heads were mandated to name their own "Miss District" which saw the selection of 17 beauties: Nitang Moreno (Gagalangin), Lourdes Baltazar (Malate), Herminia Guerrero (Malate), Beatriz Concepcion Puzon (Sta. Ana), Presentacion Perez (Singalong), Rosario Flores (Sta. Mesa), Severina Narciso Mendoza (Pandacan), Josefina Conde (San Miguel), Leonila Mat. Castro (Tondo), Evarista Laconico (Trozo), Pacita Legarda (Binondo), Luisa Fernandez (Intramuros), Salud Austria (San Lazaro), Erlinda Villarica (Sta. Cruz), Conchita Tusaon (Sampaloc) and Amparo Trinidad Papa (Quiapo).

The two beauties on this page are the official representatives of Sampaloc and Quiapo, Conchita Tuason and Amparo Papa, respectively. Three finalists were picked from the line-up--Miss Binondo (Pacita Legarda), Miss San Lazaro (Salud Austria) and Miss Intramuros (Luisa Marasigan). Emerging as the overall winner was Luisa Marasigan, who swept competition away by winning two titles--Sultana de Pasig and the top title of Miss Manila. She went on even further in the national competition by winning the plum Miss Philippines 1927 crown, succeeding Anita Noble of Batangas.

Monday, April 16, 2012

210. Carnival Beauties: SOL JALANDONI SORIANO, 1927 Miss Surigao

O SOL MIO. Sol Soriano, the 1927 Miss Surigao, was the daughter of Atty. Francisco Soriano and Rosario Jalandoni of Iloilo. Her father served as the provincial fiscal of Surigao, and member of the 1st Philippine Assembly representing Surigao and Misamis.

The first Miss Surigao was selected only in 1927 with the crowning of Sol Jalandoni Soriano, a most worthy representative of the province to the 2nd National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival. None were more elated than her fellow Surigaonons who knew of her distinguished lineage and stature in their society.

Sol was born on 28 July 1905 to Francisco Soriano, a lawyer, and Rosario Jalandoni. Her parents both come from prominent families from Iloilo. During the Philippine Revolution, her father was named Secretary – General of the federal government of the Visayas. He moved his family to Surigao when he was appointed as the provincial fiscal of Surigao in 1901, and of Surigao and Misamis from 1902 to 1907. He relinquished this post when he ran successfully for the First Philippine Assembly as delegate for Surigao under the Progresista Party.

Sol, whose unique name means “sun”, was a bright presence at the Manila Carnival contest and she was expected to perform well. The title, however, went to Miss Manila, Luisa Marasigan. Nonetheless, a bigger title awaited her the next year with her marriage to her beau, Carlos Soriano on 29 December 1928. Carlos, the son of Leonardo Soriano and Joaquina Ganzon, could have even be her relative. The couple had an only child, Leonardo, born on 12 March 1933.

Indeed, Surigaonons must have felt very proud with the way their very own Sol captivated Manila with her beauty, charm and achievements. In 1929, the province was inspired to organize its first and only petit carnival, sponsored by local government bureaus. The first and only known Miss Surigao passed away on 16 September 1947, at age 42.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

209. Carnival Beauties: PACITA LEGARDA, 1927 Miss Binondo

BINONDO BEAUTY. Pacita Binondo as the 1927 Miss Binondo, competed for the title of 1927 Miss Manila and emerged as a runner-up to Luisa Marasigan.

In 1927, Manila conducted an area-wide search for their bet to the 2nd national search for Miss Philippines. Local officials of each district (e.g. Tondo, Sta. Cruz, Malate, Sampaloc, Quiapo, etc.) were encouraged to name their own beauty bet. Binondo was represented by the well-connected Pacita Legarda, who wore the Miss Binondo sash at the national finals.

True enough, Pacita finished in the top 3, along with Salud Austria and the winner, a provinciana beauty from Tayabas studying at the Centro Escolar de Señoritas, Luisa Marasigan.

208. Carnival Beauties: REMEDIOS RAMA, 1929 Miss Philippines Candidate

CEBUAN-o-RAMA AT THE CARNIVAL. U.P. coed Remedios Rama in her official picture as the candidate of Daily Bulletin to the 1929 Miss Philippines search, won by schoolmate Pacita de los Reyes.

Remedios Rama comes from the well-known Rama family of politicians and writers of Cebu, Cebu. A direct relative, Vicente Rama, "the father of Cebu City", was a senator, assemblyman and a mayor of Cebu during the Commonwealth years.

Remedios was a student at the College of Education, University of the Philippines when she was prevailed upon by the Daily Bulletin to be their official candidate to the Miss Philippines queenship of the 1929 Manila Carnival, a title won by her schoolmate and law student, Pacita de los Reyes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

207. Carnival Beauties: MARTHA ADDUAN MADDELA, 1926 Miss Nueva Vizcaya

VIZ GANDA. Nueva Vizcayas' very first miss, Martha Adduan Maddela, was the only known Vizcayanon beauty ever to compete in the Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines.

The first and only Miss Nueva Vizcaya to compete in the Manila Carnival's first Miss Philippines quest of 1926 was Martha Adduan Maddela, daughter of Vicente Bacani Maddela and Mauricia Adduan. The Maddela children also included Juan, Carmen, and Felix Ricardo.

In her later years, Martha married Juan Flores, with whom she had the following children, namely Philip, Carlos, Domingo, Teddy, Miling and Lourdes.

The Maddelas are an old family from Nueva Vizcaya who settled in the capital municipality of Bayombong. Tomas Maddela was its town mayor in 1945. Today, a town named after the Maddelas can be found in the province of Quirino, which used to be a forest region of Nueva Vizcaya.

206. Carnival Beauties: NITA SAN AGUSTIN, 1926 Miss Tayabas

TAYABA-SCENE STEALER. Nita San Agustin, the first and only known Miss Tayabas to participate in the Miss Philippines search of the Manila Carnivals.

Tayabas used to be a large province, which once included Marinduque, that has since been established as a separate province in 1920. Still, Tayabas enjoyed a primary status in the country, thanks largely to its most famous native son, Manuel Luis Quezon, born in Baler in 1878, and who, in 1906 became the governor of the province.

In 1926, the year that the first Miss Philippines search was launched, Tayabasin official handpicked their first and only delegate to the national pageant in Manila, the beautiful Nita San Agustin.

The San Agustins were one of the oldest families of Tayabas, and some prominent members of the family included Hermana Fausta Labrador , the founder of Sacred Heart College in Lucena, whose original surname was San Agustin. Another well-known relative was the pioneer printer, Justino San Agustin (b. 19 Apr. 1886/d. 16 May 1948), a former sacristan of Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros, who learned the art of printing at the Asilo de Huerfanos in Malabon. He owned printing shops in Lucena and in Kamuning and became quite successful.

Another influential relation was Primitivo San Agustin, the governor of Tayabas in 1911, who had strong ties with Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, becoming his private secretary. Later, from 1925-1928, Primitivo also served as a representative of the province at the 7th Philippine Legislature.

From this distinguished clan came the 1st and only Miss Tayabas--Nita San Agustin. She was one of the most photographed beauties when she arrived in Manila for the Carnival festivities. Despite her credentials and connections, Nita did not place in the finals. Not much is known of her, post-Carnival years. But Tayabasins need not wait long for their very own Miss Philippines; the next year, Luisa Fernandez Marasigan of Gumaca successfully won the crown, although she wore the Miss Manila sash, being a Manila student at that time.

In 1949, Tayabas was renamed as the province of Quezon, in honor of its most illustrious son,our 2nd president, and the 1st President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

205. Carnival Beauties: ROSARIO LUCES LUNA CAYETANO, 1926 Miss Marinduque

MARINDUQUE'S FIRST MISS. Rosario Cayetano, the first Miss Marinduque of 1926, as she appears in her official portrait at the Manila Carnival search for the first Miss Philippines, won by Anita Noble of Batangas.

Rosario Cayetano, the first Miss Marinduque, was born on 15 Oct. 1904, to Don Luciano Cayetano and Isabel Luces Luna of Gasan. She was the fifth child in a family of six daughters, namely, Trinidad, Amparo, Alicia, Clotilde and Hortencia. She also had a half-brother, Angelito Sevilla.

"Charito", as she was called, went to a local school in Gasan and earned her high school diploma from UP High. She was one of the first women from Marinduque to enroll at the state university for a degree in Pharmacy. In fact, it was at the U.P. that Charito, who had been reaping accolades for her beauty and charm since childhood, was picked to represent her province at the 1st National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival. At age 22, she competed for the first ever Miss Philippines crown against over 35 provincial bets. The title went to the Batangas beauty, Anita Noble.

LARDIZABAL-CAYETANO NUPTIALS. Rosario Cayetano and beau Cito Lardizabal, both provincemates, tied the knot on Christmas Day, 12 December 1927, a year after relinquishing her title. Photo courtesy of Agnes Lardizabal Apeles, daughter of Rosario Cayetano-Lardizabal.

After the contest, she went right back to finish her Pharmacy course. Just a year later, she married her beau, Jose "Cito" Ocampo Lardizabal of Boac, on Christmas day, 25 December 1927. Jose's striking looks and achievements mirrored Charito's own gifts and talents. The son of Severino Lardizabal and Aquilina Ocampo of Boac, Jose was a brilliant lawyer at the time of his union with fellow Marinduqueno, Charito.

Charito and Cito proved to be a pioneering "career" couple--she ran a pharmacy in Gasan, while he advanced rapidly through the ranks of the judicial branch of the Philippine government--from Justice of the Peace in Gasan to Provincial Fiscal of Quezon Province.

The Lardizabals had eight daughters and one son: Esperanza, Norma (+), Linda (+), Nilda, Clemencia, Jose (+), Milagros, Agnes and Rosario. Interestingly, Agnes and Clemencia had Carnival beauties as godmothers--Mercedes de Jesus, Miss Marinduque of 1927 (for Agnes) and Aurora Reyes-Recto (for Clemencia), Miss Visayas 1926--whom Cito escorted in the 1926 pageant. Only son Jose "Joey" Lardizabal became a well-known TV-radio personality and and award-winning talk show host, appearing with Elvira Manahan on “Two for the Road” and hosting “The Morning Show” on ABS-CBN Channel 3, before he died of cancer on January 1971 at age 30.

A 2002 calendar designed and printed by family members of the Cayetano-Lardizabal family to honor the life and legacy of a remarkable 98 year old Marinduquena, Rosario Cayetano, Miss Marinduque 1926. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Agnes Lardizabal-Apeles.

After Cito's death from coronary thrombosis in 1963, Charito moved to the family home in Makati while the rest of the children completed their education. In 1978, Charito immigrated to the U.S. after daughter Agnes's petition was approved. From 1978 to Sept. 2003, she lived in Los Angeles, California. Having worked all her life, Charito finally took up a hobby after her arrival in the U.S.--playing the slot machines in Las Vegas!

Charito lived to see her children settle down, raise their own families while pursuing successful careers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Philippines. She died two weeks short of her 99th birthday on 29 September 2003 in Harbor City, California. At the time of her death, she had 19 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

The life of Rosario Cayetano has spanned two continents and nearly the entire 20th century. She is remembered as a strong, vibrant force in the lives of her children, grandchildren, descendants and extended family members--her greatest source of pride. Their lives continue to reflect her unique character and values, which by doing so, also continue to bring honor to her name.

(Many thanks to Mrs. Agnes Lardizabal-Apeles of Calabasa, California, daughter of Miss Marinduque 1926, Rosario Cayetano-Lardizabal, for the wedding picture of her parents and for the biographical sketch of her mother)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

204. Carnival Beauties: SALUD AUSTRIA, 1927 Miss San Lazaro

SALUTE TO SALUD. San Lazaro's beauty bet to the search for Miss Manila 1927. She ended up as a runner-up to Luisa Marasigan, who was named Miss Manila, and later, the 2nd Miss Philippines.

After the success of the 1st National Beauty Contest which sort of refreshed the Manila Carnival, a more comprehensive search for Manila's delegate to the next year's Miss Philippines contest was launched city-wide.

In 1927, local district officials were encouraged to select and name their own muses to compete for the title of Miss Manila. The official list included the following names, culled from the most distinguished families of Manila's various districts:

Nitang Moreno (Gagalangin), Lourdes Baltazar (Malate), Herminia Guerrero (Malate), Beatriz Concepcion Puzon (Sta. Ana), Presentacion Perez (Singalong), Rosario Flores (Sta. Mesa), Severina Narciso Mendoza (Pandacan), Josefina Conde (San Miguel), Conchita Tuason (Sampaloc), Leonila Mat. Castro (Tondo), Evarista Laconico (Trozo), Pacita Legarda (Binondo), Amparo Trinidad Papa (Quiapo), Erlinda Villarica (Sta. Cruz), Salud Austria (San Lazaro) and Luisa Marasigan (Intramuros).

As early as the first counting, San Lazaro's bet Salud Austria--she, with the deep-set brown eyes and fine mestiza features--emerged as a frontrunner, together with Pacita Legarda and the Tabayasin beauty, Luisa Marasigan. In the end, the crown of Miss Manila was awarded to Luisa, who was also given a special title, Sultana de Pasig. Salud, as a runner-up copped the "Rosa Malaya" title, a minor award, but a well-earned one, nonetheless.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


VAYA ZAMBOANGA! The first ever provincial carnival of Zamboanga was held in 1923, officially known as the Zamboanga Carnival and Industrial Fair.The big event, which had a distinctive Indo-Malayan motif, was widely publicized nationally. Here, the royalties of the carnival pose for their official picture.

The first ever Zamboanga provincial carnival was undertaken from 15-23 December 1923 and was officially dubbed as the Zamboanga Carnival and Industrial Exposition. Espousing the same spirit as the national carnival, the event aimed to highlight the contribution of the local industries to the vibrant provincial economy as well as to showcase the beauty of Zamboanga culture.

Local social clubs like the Red Rovers spearheaded the search for the carnival royalty and that year, a local deep-set eyed beauty was elected as a Sultana. Her court, dressed as Malayan majesties, consisted of a Sultan, 7 charming princesses, 6 fez-wearing princes, 6 courtiers and two boy pages.

There were several other editions of the Zamboanga Carnival, with interest peaking in 1926, with Carmen Fargas’ unprecedented victory at the Manila Carnival Queen quest. As Miss Zamboanga of that year, she was chosen as Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas. The last pre-war Zamboanga Carnival was held in 1934.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

202. Carnival Beauties: ROSA REYES, 1926 Miss Bataan

ROSA REYES, the first Miss Bataan of 1926, competed in the 1st National Beauty Contest of 1926.

The first official Miss Bataan to compete in the first ever national search for Miss Philippines was the lovely Rosa Reyes. Readers who know her are encouraged to send any information about this Bataan beauty who competed alongside provincial delegates for the prestigious Miss Philippines title, won by Batangas' Anita Noble.

Rosa Reyes was succeeded by Rosalina Fonacier, Miss Bataan of 1927.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

201. Carnival Movers & Shakers: ARSENIO K. LUZ, Director General

One of the most influential and high-ranking member of the Manila Carnival committee was Arsenio Katigbak Luz, who served as a Director General of the national event for several years. He comes from a well-known family from Batangas, the son of Segunda Solis Katigbak, regarded as Dr. Jose Rizal’s first true love. Segunda married Don Manuel Mitra Luz, with whom she bore 9 children—Cristeta, Manuel Jr., Flora, Paz, Julio, Justa, Valeriano, Fernando and Arsenio.

Luz became a successful businessman and journalist, and at one time was a writer for El Renacimento and La Vanguardia. He also became an editor for El Ideal and the Philippine Herald, which he also managed in 1922. His credentials included being the first president of the Rotary Club of the Philippines, the first director of Manila Hotel and also manager of the first sweepstakes organization in 1933.

Starting in 1921, Luz was appointed as Director-General of the Manila Carnival, a position he would hold until the 1930s. He would introduce innovations in the national fair, seeking out new international talents and troupes to liven it up and modifying the layout to make the presentation more interesting. There was one year that he made the fairgrounds circular in shape defined by strings of light and a lighted tower. Indeed, year after year, his 'galaxy of new features' were never seen before in previous carnivals.

Luz married a cousin, Amparo Katigbak. They had a daughter, Amparito Luz, a trained soprano and a member of the Mossesgeld Choral Ensemble.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

200. 1924-1925 ANGELES CARNIVAL

QUEEN OF THE ANGELES CARNIVAL OF 1924. Rosario Hernandez Panganiban of Macabebe, was, at one time, a resident of Culiat. The multi-titled Charing remains the most celebrated beauty of Pampanga to this day. Dated Aug. 1924.

The town of Angeles, by the 1920s was enjoying some relative prosperity, a far cry from the wild land that it once was in 1796, when Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda and wife Rosalia de Jesus, cleared the place known then as Culiat. As part of San Fernando, Culiat was recognized as a town in 8 December 1829, and from that moment on, there was no stopping Angeles’s progress.

In 1920, the airport at Fort Stotsenburg was opened, and two years after, the 1st modern ice plant was put up in the town. In 1923, 20th century progress came to Angeles when the Angeles Electric Light and Power Plant started its operations. Indeed, things were looking up for the town and when the Americans put up the 1st national fair that was the Manila Carnival, Angeles was quick to support the festivities, fielding its best band to the music competitions which eventually won the top prize.

In August 1924, a local town carnival was held, and we only have a handful of pictures documenting the event. Surprisingly, the event was not reported in the historical compilations of Mariano V. Henson, who is acknowledged as the foremost historian of Angeles and Pampanga. Other municipalities of Pampanga were invited to set up booths and showcase their agricultural, commercial and industrial produce—just like the way things were done in the national carnival. The towns were also encouraged to send in their delegates to vie for the Angeles Carnival Queen.

Reigning as Queen of the Angeles Carnival was Pampanga’s most celebrated beauty queen, Rosario H. Panganiban of Macabebe. The Philippine Women’s College beauty would go on to clinch more important titles in the next two years—1926 Miss Philippines of Free Press and 1926 Miss Pampanga to the 1st National Beauty Contest. At her coronation, the lovely Charing was whisked around Angeles in a car, in a fancy floral parade.

Not much is known about the 1924 Angeles Carnival except the fact that there was a repeat the next year, in February of 1925. prefaced a bigger provincial event—the 1925 Pampanga Carnival—where Rosario, once again, reigned as queen.