Thursday, December 19, 2013



Proofs of provincial progress are depicted in these pictures from the community of San Pablo in Laguna, which celebrated its own fair in 1929. Here, one can see a representative San Pablo beauty. Extraordinary San Pablo pineapples and arrow root, and two specimens of San Pablo architectural skills: pavilions in the last fair held in that city.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


BOHOLANA'S BEST. The Queen of the 1934 Baclayon Petit Fair and her royal court.

Queen Cresencia I (Cresencia Ginete) reigned as Queen of the Baclayon (Bohol) Fair with her court: Hospicia Valeroso, Agripina Oppus, Cresencia Real, Catalina Pates and Cornelia Talip. Previous to this, the only known Miss Bohol ever to participate in the Manila Carnivals was Ascension Gaviola, Miss Bohol 1926, who joined the 1st Miss Philippines search that year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

268. Post-Carnival Days: Miss Luzon 1936, AMPARO KARAGDAG, Actress

KARAGDAGANG TALENTO.  Acting became Amparo Karagdag's post-Carnival career. She had a short-lived sting playing leading ladies to movie icons Leopoldo Salcedo, Carlos Padilla and Pempe Padilla Jr.

After Amparo Reyes Karagdag doffed the Miss Luzon 1936 crown from her head, she chose a stellar path by becoming an actress of note, in a career that spanned for just a decade. Amparing was immediately snapped by Director Vicente Salumbides to appear in a starring role in the movie "Anghel sa Tukso", produced  by his own studio, Salumbides Film Co. Ltd.

Salumbides was known to have squired the Carnival for possible movie talents. He cast Miss Cotabato, 1926 in a movie, gave her the screen name, Sofia Lota, and turned her into a major star. He even married Rosario Panganiban, Miss Pampanga 1926, who also appeared in several of his movies.

Amparo starred alongside leading man, Carlos Padilla, with Dina Valle and Vilma Valle providing able support. It was directed by Nemesio Caravana.  "Anghel na Tukso" was already being advertised as early as 1939 but it only premiered the next year.

In late 1940, she and Leopoldo Salcedo headlined "Carinosa", a lavish musical from Sanggumay Pictures, with music provided by Constancio de Guzman and helmed by Carlos Padilla. Other movies from this period included: "Pasalubong" and "Ikaw at Ako".

In January 1941,  Amparo had second billing after leading lady Fely Vallejo in Dr. Francisco Santiago's glorious musical production,  "Kundiman" (1941) from Excelsior Pictures. She was paired with Ernesto de la Guardia, with Rampon Estella as Director. Miguel Velarde provided the music in this classic movie that premiered at the Grand Theater.

Post-war, she starred with Jose Padilla Jr. in Premiere's "Lihim na Bayani", released in 1949, and directed by favorite director, Ramon Estella. With Ely Ramos, she was featured in "Magkapilas na Langit", also shown in 1949. They were to be her last movies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


TEA WITH MRS. TEAHAN.Miss Philippines 1933 Engracia Laconico as an official guest of Malacanang resident, Marguerite Teaha, sister of the incumbent Governor General and considered First Lady of the land.

Engracia Laconico, 1933 Miss Philippines, is shown with Mrs. Marguerite M. Teahan, sister of Philippine Gov. General Frank Murphy. Murphy took many of his relatives to the Philippines when he came over to serve as Governor-General (and later, High Commissioner) from 1933-1936. These include his brother, George, sister-in-law Irene Ellis Murphy, and Marguerite, who helped him in the many ceremonial functions of his office.

Marguerite was married to William Teahan (m. 2 June 1931), who became and advisor to Frank, The couple had an adopted daughter, Mary Aurora, named after Pres. Manuel L. Quezon's wife, Aurora Aragon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


A MODEL OF GOOD FASHION SENSE. 1934 Miss Philippines, Clarita Tan Kiang of Marilao, Bulacan, endorses Genuine Indian Head Cloth in this Graphic Magazine print ad.

In later Carnival years (1933-39), the fair was kept alive with funding from various corporate sponsors that included big departments stores, cosmetic companies, among others. As such, part of the duties that the Manila Carnival winners performed was to appear on print ads as endorsers of the products of said sponsors.

1934 Miss Philippines, Clarita Tan Kiang appeared on one such ad for Genuine Indian Head Fabrics, a staple cotton introduced by Americans that was part of everyday life of Filipinos for over a century. Indian Head was first introduced in 1831 as high-quality, sturdy, rough-texture muslin brown cloth. Its sturdiness and quality became world famous and was even used as a medium of exchange for bartering in the Philippines.

In this print ad published on Graphic Magazine, Miss Tan Kiang gives her personal testimony of the merits  of this linen-textured cloth, affixing her signature--not unlike print ads of today endorsed by contemporary personalities, proof that even today, the pulling power of celebrities works on Filipino consumers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

265. Carnival Pageant: TRIUMPH OF EROS AT THE U.P.

 NIGHT OF NIGHTS. Student participants of the highly-acclaimed show "Triumph of Eros" pose for a picture at the Carnival Auditorium after wowing the crowds of the 1929 Manila Carnival.

The most elaborate pageants and productions were staged during the 1929 Manila Carnival, at the croronation of the queen, Pacita de los Reyes, the official delegate of the University of the Philippines, College of Law.

Officials of the state university pulled out all the stops for their triumphant representative, toasting her coronation with magnificent spectacles and themed shows. There was a show with a "Pearl of the Orient" theme, another that was virtually a dance fest, participated in by Physical Education students.

One particular presentation stood out, however, entitled "Trumph of Eros", a pageant directed by Prof. Bartolome and Miss Francisca Reyes, which had a Grecian theme. It was staged at the Carnival Auditorium on 8 February 1934, and drew raves from the Carnival crowd, eliciting considerable applause, as newspapers reported.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


 MINDA MORAS. Angelina Biunas, who was Miss Mindanao in the court of 1933 Miss Philippines, Engracia Laconico, as a special guest of the Philippine Red Cross.

Miss Mindanao 1933,  18 year old Angelita "Nina" Biunas, makes a personal appearance at a special charity event of the Philippine Red Cross with Marita Ubaldo. She is the daughter of Victor Biunas and Pilar Tronqued. The Philippine Red Cross organizing fund-raising events that included the selection of Miss Charity, in prestigious pageants that drew participation of high society belles. One of the oldest support institutions in the country, it was conceived as early as 1899 by Apolinario Mabini. The Philippine branch of the American Red Cross was established in 1905. Post-Carnival, Nina married businessman Melo Alonso.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


CARMEN OF CAPIZ. The Queen of the 1924  Capiz Petit Carnival and her royal retinue, pose during the coronation night that duplicated the festive air of the national carnival in Manila.

Not to be outdone, the province of Capiz held its own carnival with opulence and gaiety that rivalled that of the capital city. It was a fortuitous event as their native son, Representative Manuel A. Roxas had, by 1921, married Trinidad de Leon, herself, a former Manila Carnival Queen. Roxas's political stature would soon rise, becoming a Speaker of the House for 12 consecutive years, and eventually elected as the country's fifth President.

The 1924 Capiz Petit Carnival had a certain Carmen I as Queen. There was to be another Capiz Carnival the next year, held on December of 1925. The next year, Capiz sent its first representative to the 1st National Beauty Contest of the Manila Carnival, in the person of Rosario Picazo.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

262. Carnival Memento: SOUVENIR SILHOUETTE

THE GREAT PROFILE.  A Manila Carnival silhouette portrait from 1936, a favorite souvenir from the national fair.

French Etienne de Silhouette, a chronic shadow cutter, gave his name to this simple art of portraiture, using a person's shadow as a template. It was a cheap way to capture one's likeness, making use of featureless profiles either traced from a shadow and then filled in with black ink or cut freestyle using black paper and a pair of scissors.

The Americans introduced this art form in the 20th century, but it did not catch on, only a few Filipinos mastered this craft (a certain artist named Marcelino practiced this art).

A few surviving examples come from the Manila Carnival area, which had booths that offered silhouette portraits as carnival souvenirs. This particular example is courtesy of the 1936 Manila Carnival. 

The profile of a man in a tuxedo is cut from textured black paper and mounted on a special hardboard that had the text, "Souvenir from the Manila & Carnival Exposition 1936". 

Silhouette souvenirs were also given away at the 1953 Philippine International Fair.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

261. Carnival Album: MISS MINDANAO 1936 & MISS MACABEBE

MACABEBELLES TWO. Miss Mindanao of 1936, Cleofe Balingit lends her royal presence to the Garden Day festivities in her town.

Reigning Miss Mindanao 1936, Cleofe Jayme Balingit, and her town mate, Miss Macabebe 1936, presided over the festivities of the Macabebe Garden Day, held on 29 February 1936.

Balingit, backed by her newspaper sponsor, "Ing Catimawan", barged into the winning circle by placing 4th to Miss Philippines 1936, Mercedes Montilla. She was a popular beauty official of her town, welcoming VIPs to participating in local events like this one.

After her reign, she made a name for herself as a Red Cross volunteer, and undertook many socio-civic causes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The Pan-Pacific Pageant was staged during the Commonwealth years as a symbol of goodwill and cooperation between America and its Pacific holdings and territories, including the Philippines. The highlight of the pageant was the ceremonial presentation of flags, carried by representative beauties from America and the Philippines. The Philippines was represented by former Miss Philippines 1931, Maria Kalaw.

Miss Maria Kalaw (right) dressed as Maria Clara  presented the Philippine flag on the same occasion.

Miss Anne Alger (left) dressed as Miss Liberty presented the American flag to Gov. Gen. Frank Murphy during the Pan-Pacific Pageant. Alger is a descendant of two U.S. presidents, the Adamses. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

259. Carnival Wedding: LIM-DEVLIN NUPTIALS

A EURASIAN MATCH. Rosalina Cispon Lim, Miss Luzon 1932, with her new husband Claude Martinez Devlin, at their 1934 wedding. Rosalina has Chinese-Filipina-Spanish-Portuguese bollod courtesy of her parents, while Claude is of British-Scottish-Filipino extract.

Miss Luzon of 1932, Rosalina Cispon Lim came from a multi-cultural background; his father a Chinese mestiza and her mother of Portuguese-Pangasinense descent. She went further by marrying half-British, half-Filipino Claude Devlin Martinez, just a year or so after her reign.
The couple briefly settled in London for some 15 years before returning to the Philippines. Rosalina and Claude had an only daughter, Tita Martinez Sicat, a Ph.D. holder and a U.P. professor.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

258. REMEDIOS FERRER, Miss Mindanao, 1934 Cebu Carnival

MUSE OF MINDANAO. Remedios Ferrer and her Consort, in authentic Muslim costumes at her coronation.

The Carnivals of Cebu replicated everything that the big carnival of Manila had, right down to the naming of the runners-up as Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas and Miss Mindanao, respectively. In 1934, the Miss Mindanao title was awarded to Remedios Ferrer.

Remedios Ferrer, Miss Mindanao of the 1934 Cebu Carnival and Fair. Miss Ferrer is well-known in Visayan society circles. She wears the typical Muslim costume in this photo from Graphic Magazine.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

257. Her High School Yearbook: NIEVA PAZ ERAÑA , 1939 Miss Mindanao

HIGH SCHOOL TOPNOTCH BEAUTY. The young Nieves Eraña, as a high school graduate of Sta. Catalina College.

The future Miss Mindanao of 1939, Nieva Paz Eraña is seen in this photo taken from her Sta. Catalina High School yearbook, from where she graduated with the highest honors (Class Valedictorian) in 1933.

A year later, she enrolled at the Centro Escolar de Señoritas where she earned a reputation as a "brain and beauty" colegiala. No wonder then that in 1935, at the annual Centro Escolar Foundation Day, she was elected  as Queen of the Students’ Night held from Jan. 18-21, 1935.

Four years later, the fresh graduate was chosen as Miss Mindanano in the court of Miss Philippines 1939, Iluminada Tuason. She, however, relinquished her title and was replaced by Adela Planas. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

256. Queen of the 1938 Tuguegarao Carnival: HERMINIA AQUINO

CAGAYAN LOVELY. Crowned queen, Herminia I, 1938 Carnival Queen of the Tuguegarao Fair.

Cagayanons have been holding provincial carnivals in their province since 1926, and the events have been held usually in Aparri. Not to be outdone, the capital town of Tuguegarao started to mount its own petit fair, in the 1930s.

The royal elect in 1938, Her Majesty, Queen Herminia I (Herminia Aquino) reigned at the Tuguegarao Petit Carnival held from Aug. 10-20.

Her princesses included Rosalinda Olivas and Rosario Escalambre. The King Consort is Henry Kanaga, and engineer in the local office of the Bureau of Public Works.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

255. Her College Yearbook, PACITA DE LOS REYES, Miss Philippines 1929

PACITA DE LOS REYES, Miss Philippines 1929, in her gradutaion toga as an honors graduate of the University of the Philippines, College of Law.

Miss Philippines of 1929, Pacita Ongsiako de los Reyes was a law student when she represented University of the Philippines at the 1929 search for Miss Philippines.

The statuesque scholar won the title and had an enjoyable year fulfilling the obligations as Miss Philippines. But school had always been a top priority, and she went right back to her law course after her reign was over, distinguishing herself as an outstanding debater, orator and member of the honor roll. Her contemporaries included Ambrosio Padilla and Arturo Tolentino.

 Done with her law course, she took the bar and became one of the topnotchers in the 1934 Bar Exams, copping 7th place. On 10 November 1934, she was officially installed as member of the bar.

She had a brilliant career, and shared her legal mind by teaching subjects at U.P., Holy Ghost College and Far Eastern University. She unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 1957 under Claro M. Recto’s party.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

254. Carnival Beauties: LEONARDA OCAMPO, Miss Philippines 1934 Candidate

A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY. Leonarda Francisco was a music student of St. Scholastica when she made a bid for the Miss Philippines 1934 crown. This lovely Nueva Ecijana became a well-known concert pianist later in life.

 Leonarda Ocampo, was the first female graduate of Saint Scholastica College's Conservatory of Music. She was still a student when she was prevailed to run for the 1934 Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines. She originally represented her province of Nueva Ecija having been born in Brgy. Bangad, Cabanatuan.The crown went to the Marilao beauty, Clarita Tan Kiang.

Leonarda became a well-known concert pianist. She passed on the musical genes to her descendants, which include the award-winning composer Louie Ocampo and Fr. Manoling Francisco S.J., composer of the well-known songs, "Hindi Kita Malilimutan" and "Tanging Yaman". A school that stands on a piece of land donated by the family in Cabanatuan City is named after this musical beauty.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

253. Carnival Wedding: KALAW-KATIGBAK NUPTIALS

A ROYAL MARRIAGE. Maria Kalaw, 1931 Miss Philippines with husband, Dr. Jose Katigbak on their wedding day.

Maria Kalaw, 1931 Miss Philippines, was wed to Dr. Jose Katigbak on 2 June 1934. Sponsors at the wedding were Ramon Fernandez and Mrs. Francisco Tirona-Benitez, Rafael Corpuz and Mrs. Maximo Kalaw, Vicente Lopez and Mrs. Manuel Roxas, Dr. Baldomero Roxas and Mrs. Emilio Aguinaldo, Dr. Sixto Roxas and Mrs. Justa Kalaw de Katigbak, and Leoncio Aranda and Mrs. Arsenio Luz. 

Pacita Roxas and Evelina Kalaw with Ramon Katigbak and Teodoro Kalaw Jr., served as sponsors for the veil. Purita Kalaw was the maid-of-honor and Dr. Jose Reyes stood as Best Man.

The Katigbak couple went on to raise a brood of 4 that included: Marinela (Nela), Josefina (Pinkie), Purisima (Puri) and Norberto (+Butch).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

252. A Carnival Yearbook: CHARITY CROW YGOA, UST Class of 1939

CHARITY CROW YGOA, Class of 1939, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, College of Commerce and Business Administration, University of Santo Tomas.

For many beauties, life after the Manila Carnival went on as usual. 1933's Miss Luzon, Charity de Ocampo Crow not only settled down in domestic bliss with La Sallite Rafael Ygoa in 1938, but also went back to school to finish her college education at the University of Santo Tomas. While there, she was voted as the "Most Beautiful College Girl", tantamount to being named "Miss UST".

As one can see from her yearbook information, she led quite an active student life. She was the Vice-President of the Freshmen's Class from 1935-36 and was a Representative to the Central Student Board from 1938-39. The listing also includes membership in the Commerce Club and the Faculty Club for 4 years. In 1939, already married, Charity successfully completed her Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree with Honors.

The family relocated to Colombia and then returned to the Philippines, only to relocate to Spain due to the exigencies of Mr. Ygoa's work. After retirement, the Ygoas moved to the United States. Charity lived long enough to celebrate her Golden Wedding Anniversary; the lovely Fil-Ilongga beauty passed away in 1988.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

251. Carnival Beauties: ANGELINA VILLAFRANCA, 1929 Miss Philippines Candidate

ANGELIC ANGELINA. 1929 Miss Philippines Candidate.

When the 1929 Manila Carnival re-opened after a year in hiatus, the search for Miss Philippines was expanded to include colleges and universities, making the quest even more competitive. There were candidates from well-known schools like the University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar de Senoritas, Sta. Rosa College--and even Manila College of Pharmacy.

From a lesser-known school came Angelina Villafranca, Miss Filipino Academy. She was no match, however, for the state university's candidate, Pacita de los Reyes, who had the whole school's campaign machinery behind her.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

250. Queen of the 1929 Tayabas Carnival: CONSUELO E. LIM

CHOLENG'S CHARM. Consuelo Lim poses for her official photo as candidate of the 1929 Tayabas Carnival.

 Inspired by the victory of their local girl, Luisa Fernandez at the 1927 Manila Carnival (she represented Manila though),  Tayabas provincial officials put up their own petit carnival in 1929 to show the progressive strides the large province has achieved since the start of the American colonization. It was also an opportunity to bring out the province's fairest for all the world to see.

The beautiful representative from the town of Calauag, 19 year old Consuelo "Choleng" Eclavea Lim, emerged victorious as the provincial queen of the Tayabas Carnival. She was a student of Centro Escolar de Senoritas when she was elected. She later became the 2nd wife of the first Quezon City mayor, Tomas Morato and former mayor of Calauag, Tayabas (now Quezon).  Manuel "Manoling" Morato is her son.

Monday, June 17, 2013

249. Queen of the 1939 Bacolod Carnival, VIRGILIA C. ARANETA

BACOLOD'S BELLE OF THE BALL. Miss Virgilia C. Araneta.

Virgilia C. Araneta of Bacolod City reigned as Queen of the 1939 Bacolod Carnival which was held from April 8-25, 1939.

The Aranetas of Negros are a prominent family of revolutionary patriots, government leaders, agriculturists and business maven.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

248. Carnival Beauties: LULU SUZARA, Candidate, 1939 Miss Philippines

LUCK'S ON LULU. Lulu Suzara, one of the official candidates of the Miss Philippines search of the 1939 Philippine Exposition.

Miss Lulu Suzara, a favorite for the Miss Philippines title, was one of the leading candidates of that year's quest for the country's fairest. At the 1939 Floral Parade of the Philippine Exposition, she was honored to ride the float sponsored and designed by a certain Miss Uy Yet, which garnered the Most Artistic Award, an ominous start for the chinita beauty.

At the finals, however, it was the lovely Iluminada Tuason who was crowned Miss Philippines--the last royalty of the country's longest-running fair.

Friday, May 31, 2013

247. Queen of the 1939 Iloilo Carnival: EVELINA GARGANERA

ILONGGA CHARMER. Evelina Garganera of Jaro, rules as the 1939 Iloilo Carnival Queen.

Miss Evelina Garganera of Jaro, Iloilo, the queen-elect of the long-running Iloilo Provincial Exposition and Fair, 1939 edition. The annual carnival was held from 1-19 April, 1939. Evelina was also the year's Queen of the Jaro Carnival.

Monday, May 20, 2013


HERE COMES THE LITTLE BRIDE & GROOM. Winners of the 1939 Children's Fancy Dress Contest.

Siblings Queenie Melvin Arcache (1935-1999) and Maurice Arcache romped off with one of the top prizes at the Children's Fancy Dress competition by coming in as little Bride and Groom. A sister, Olivia, also competed as a French princess, complete with a powdered hair wig.

The Children's Fancy Dress Ball was one of the highlights of the yearly Manila Carnival, an even that gave mothers the chance to show off their sewing skills and creative flair in fashioning the most fantastic costumes for their children.

They are the children of Joseph and Mary Arcache of Pasay and later, of Sta. Ana, Manila. (Another daughter of theirs, Pearlie Arcache, became a top ramp model of the country back in the 60s).

Maurice Arcache grew up to be the country's premier society columnist (currently with Philippine Daily Inquirer) and TV host.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

245. Carnival Mementos: PRESENTATION TROPHIES

LOVING CUPS & TROPHIES.Beautifully crafted silver trophies were presented to winners of various sports and music competitions organized during the Carnival days. These trophies are from 1912-13.

The Manila Carnival attractions included not just the Carnival Queen search but also the serious sports competitions participated by athletes fielded by schools and government bureaus. The sports events included Athletics, Basketball, Softball, Cycling, Indian Club and other field demonstration sports.

The winners were rewarded with beautiful presentation trophies, most of which were made by the talyer of Crispulo Zamora, who, together with his wife Pelagia, operated a successful metalcraft business in Quiapo, which he inherited from his father. His engraving plant, the biggest in the Philippines, also made religious plaques, school medals and metal buttons for the military.

His works for the Carnival first gained notice at the 1913 edition, where he made a precious array of trophies for contest winners and designed the magnificent crowns of the Carnival queens. His designs were always striking and imaginative, often mixing Art Nouveau, and later Art Deco style with Philippine motifs like bamboo, anahaw leaf and Filipina maidens.

Above are some of the magnificent silver trophies that Zamora designed and crafted,  each, a worthy and a fitting award to an athlete, for a job well done.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


 THE CEBU CARNIVAL COURT 1913-1914. Queen Enriqueta Aldanese, a mestiza beauty from Sibonga, Cebu had the honor of being the first Cebu Carnival Queen. She also was the muse of Dia Espana.

The very first Cebu Carnival was held over the Christmas holidays of 1913. It was organized by Jose Nolasco who tried to replicate the same successful elements of the national carnival--even going to the extent of hiring the same company--Churchill and Tait--that provided lavish program entertainment--from circus acts, acrobatics and exciting carnival rides. There were also decorated booths and pavilions that showcased Cebu's progress in areas of commerce, agriculture and various industries. The pioneering provincial event was staged just 5 years after the first Manila Carnival, and was held at the Fuente Osmena. The coronation of Queen Enriqueta Aldanese de Lasso de Vega culminated the festivities. The first Carnival Queen of Cebu eventually became a national royalty, reigning as the Queen of the 1918 Manila Carnival.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

243. Carnival Beauties: VICTORIA L. LOPEZ, Candidate to the Manila Carnival 1922

VICTORY FOR VICTORIA! Candidate to the Manila Carnival 1922, Victoria was one of the long list of Ilongga beauties that competed for the beauty cup, which included Pura Villanueva, Lilia Lopez, Consuelo Acuna, among others.

 In 1922, University of the Philippines took pride in announcing their chosen contestant to the annual carnival. She was no other than Victoria Lopez y Ledesma, from Iloilo. 

The Ilongga beauty, born 6 March 1907, was born to parents, hacendero Eusebio Lopez and Ana Ledesma, both from powerful and affluent families from Jaro. Victoria went to Assumption Convent for her education and was active in school plays, music and dance recitals. She was also a popular member of the exclusive Smiles Club and the Kahirup social club.

She married Atty. Salvador Araneta on 14 August 1927, the son of Gregorio Araneta and Carmen Zaragosa. Salvador was known for being a “relentless advocate for the homeless, the unemployed and for the industrialization of the Philippines”. 

The couple made their home in Mandaluyong, where they built the majestic Villa Victoneta, designed by 3 architects –Juan Arellano, Domingo Lerma and Andres Luna de San Pedro. It was the site of many grand events, drawing dignitaries like Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, High Commissioner Paul V. McNnutt, Apostolic Delegate Guglielmo Piani, among others.

The couple had 4 children: Carminia, Ana Marie, Maria Lina, Maria Victoria and Regina. Victoria shared her husband’s deep involvement involved in advocacies and socio-civic causes. She set up a school for children living around the Mandaluyong area. She was the leading light of White Cross, a project which took care of children of parents afflicted with the dreaded TB. Her husband was wanted by Marcos during the Martial Law years, but by then, they had flown to America and settled in Canada, with the help of the Vatican. Victoria passed away of cancer on 16 February 1988.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

242. Carnival Beauties: LYDIA TINZON, Candidate, Miss Philippines 1939

LOVELY LYDIA. Miss Lydia Tinzon (or Tingson) of Far 
Eastern University, was sponsored by Graphic Magazine. 

The 1939 Philippine Exposition was to be our last national fair, and, as a gesture of final support, the esteemed Graphic's Magazine fielded the accomplished Lydia Tinzon as its official candidate to the 1939 search for Miss Philippines.

Miss Tinzon, from Canlubang, Laguna was a co-ed of Far Eastern University at the time of the contest, and was one of the beauteous muses of the university ROTC. The last Miss Philippines title, however, went to Iluminada Tuason.

Monday, March 18, 2013

241. Carnival Beauties:PACITA RODRIGUEZ, Candidate, Miss Philippines 1930

PRETTY PACITA. Sampaguita -sponsored Pacita Rodriguez strikes a pose for her official 1930 Manila Carnival photo.

1930 was a most competitive year for the Miss Philippines quest of the annual Manila Carnival. Major publications, Chinese newspapers and even university publications named their own candidates to the search for the country’s fairest.

Towards the homestretch, 15 top contenders remained, headed by the eventual winner, Consuelo Acuña, supported by no less than 3 papers—Taliba, La Vanguardia and La Defensa. Not far behind were Estrella Alvarez (The Independent Intelligencer), Luz Villaluna (Excelsior) and Rosario Zorilla (The Philippine Herald) who finished in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively. 

Rounding out the Top 15 were two candidates sponsored by two Chinese papers(Pua Ya Jueng and Liong Ngo Kim). Virginia Lejarde, Elisa Dalmacio, Violeta Lopez, Corazon Campos, Lourdes Aunario, Pilar Liwanag, Eladia Eugenio, Loreto Zapanta and the winsome Pacita Rodriguez who was the bet of the Manila daily, Sampaguita.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Alicia Cabarrus de Santos was the original Miss Luzon in the court of Maria Kalaw, 1931 Miss Philippines. She had also reigned as the Queen of Charity in her teenage years. At the Manila Carnival, the popular socialite was leading all the way when Kalaw overtook her with a deluge of votes, in the final minutes of the contest.

Declaring foul play, de Santos resigned her post, which Lina Araullo assumed. She remained unperturbed after her not-so-pleasant Carnival experience; her family, in fact, continued to support the Carnival. In the next year’s festivities. Alicia’s doctor-brother, Arturo de Santos, provided escorting duties to Queen Emma Zamora. On 29 August 1934, Alicia married Dr. Octavio L. Maloles at lavish ceremonies held at the Santo Espiritu Church. They had a son, Octavio II.

Friday, February 22, 2013

239. Crowning Moment: CONSUELO VILLAMOR, Miss Mindanao 1934

SEE YOU IN COURT. The official coronation picture of Miss Mindanao 1934, Consuleo Villamor, with her own retinue of beauties in regal Muslim costumes. She is escorted by her brother, Domiciano.

The tradition of having separate coronation nights for the princesses of Miss Philippines began in 1929, with the election of Pacita de los Reyes of U.P. Not only was the new Miss Philippines given her own Coronation Night, but there were also separate affairs for Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas and Miss Mindanao, which were no less fabulous.

The picture above shows the crowning moment of Abra beauty, Consuelo Villamor (b.1911/ d. 2009), who was Miss Mindanao in the court of 1934 Miss Philippines, Clarita Tan Kiang. True to the title she won, her whole court came in signature Muslim costumes. One of her attendants was Evelina Kalaw, sister of Miss Philippines 1931, Maria Kalaw. Consuelo is shown here with her Prince Consort, Domiciano Villamor, her brother.

Monday, February 11, 2013

238. Carnival Beauties: ELVIRA MANALO, 1927 Miss Palawan

PANALO SI MANALO.  Elvira Manalo, Miss Palawan of 1927, was just the 3rd Palawan beauty to represent her province at the Manila Carnival search for Miss Philippines.

1924 was a very good year for the province of Palawan and its people, for it was in this year that a beautiful Palaweña from Cuyo, captured the prestigious Manila Carnival Queen crown. Trinidad Fernandez was also different from the winning beauties she succeeded, for she was no high society girl—she belonged to the working class, and her victory gave new meaning and purpose to the beauty title.

 It was evident that hers was a tough act to follow; Trinidad was succeeded by her sister, Carmen Fernandez in 1926, but failed to advance in the finals. In 1927, another worthy candidate was found to represent the island province. Her name: Elvira Manalo of Puerto Princesa.

 Like most Carnival beauties, Elvira came from a prominent political clan. Her father, Anastacio Manalo served as Governor of the province from 1922-1925. Anastacio was a prolific builder; he constructed the present wharf of the capital city and, under his tenure, northern and southern roads leading to Iwahig Penal Colony were laid out. The Capitol Building near the wharf was also attributed to his administration.

 Elvira, however, failed to take home the crown that her compatriot had won two years before; an Escolarina co-ed representing Manila—Luisa Marasigan—emerged victorious. Thus, Trinidad Fernandez remains the only Palaweña winner in the 31-year history of the Carnival Queen contest.

 After the pageant, Elvira Manalo, became Mrs. Maslog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

237. Carnival Wedding: MAURICIO-CUENCA NUPTIALS (1934 Miss Visayas)

Marcelina Cuenca was a former Miss Manila and The Philippine Free Press' representative to the  1934 search for Miss Philippines. She won Miss Visayas (3rd place) after Luisa Laconico (Miss Luzon) and Clarita Tan Kiang (1934 Miss Philippines). A year after the contest, she wed Dr. Conrado Mauricio on 16 June 1935. Shown along with the newlyweds in this picture are: L-R: Lourdes Mauricio (bridesmaid), Julita Cuaderno (maid of honor) and Dr. Leon Ma. Guerrero Jr. (Best Man).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

236. Carnival Memento: 1908 SOUVENIR PORTRAIT

A 1908 souvenir photo of a young carnival visitor by the name of Mary Helen. The dedication at the back reads: "Mary Helen and I attended the Carnival last evening. Be well. Albert.". It is addressed to a certain Mris. Robeson of Seattle, Washington, postmartked 4 March 1908, from Manila. The oval picture of Mary Helen in sepia was taken separately then pasted on a window on the postcard, that features the famous light tower that lit the Carnival grounds. Photo studio booths made good business taking snaps of Carnival scenes and revelers, making for good souvenirs of the country's national fair.