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.