Monday, January 2, 2012

197. Carnival Beauties: MANOLITA C. VILLAESCUSA, 1927 Miss Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGUEÑA HERMOSA. Manolita Villaescusa y Camins, the second Miss Zamboanga, was a popular hometown beauty whose Spanish ancestry is evident in her strong mestiza features.

Zamboanga made a strong showing in the 1st National Beauty Contest for Miss Philippines when local lass, Carmen Fargas, almost won the title, after tying with Miss Batangas, Anita Noble. So close was the race that after a second voting, it was decided that Carmen, too, deserved a crown, so a new title--Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas--was awarded to the comely mestiza.

The local Zamboanga government stuck to the winning formula in fielding their next Miss Zamboanga—another pedigreed Filipina-Spanish mestiza by the name of Manolita Villaescusa y Camins. Her mother was Valeria Fuentebella Camins, who traced her ancestry to one Francisco Camins who served in the Spanish Navy stationed in Zamboanga. Another relative would be a future governor of Zamboanga (1931-34), Carlos Hernandez Camins.

Coming on the heels of Carmen’s victory, Manolita went to Manila to join other provincial delegates and was quickly installed as one of the favorites for the crown. She failed to clinch a place in the finals, however, but went back home to Zamboanga where she was feted and was asked to participate in that year’s Rizal Day festivities, along with former Misses Zamboanga. She later married an Antonio.

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