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.

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