Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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.

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