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. 

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