Manila Carnival

Manila Carnival was an annual carnival festival held in Manila during the early American colonial period up to the time before the Second World War. It was organized by the American colonial administration to celebrate harmonious US and Philippine relations. The Carnival also showcased the commercial, industrial and agricultural progress of the Philippines. The highlight of the event is the crowning of the Carnival Queens.[1]

Manila Carnival
1910 Manila Carnival Official Program (cropped).jpg
Promotional material released for the 1910 Manila Carnival
GenreFestival
FrequencyAnnual
VenueWallace Field
Location(s)Manila
CountryPhilippine Islands
(Philippine Commonwealth; from 1935 to 1939)
Years active1908–1939 (31 years)
Activitybeauty pageant, carnival, fair and exposition

HistoryEdit

The fabled Manila Carnival was first held on February 1908. The carnival's original organizer was an American colonel named Captain George T. Langhorne who asked the Philippine Assembly for 50,000 pesos to build a cockpit, exhibit "half-naked" Igorot tribesmen and set up curiosities. Horrified by the plan of the proposed carnival, Governor General James Smith transformed the planned freak show into a ritual celebrating the Philippine-American progress in the islands. Secretary of Commerce Cameron Forbes took charge of the preparation and asked 15,000 instead of 50,000 from the Assembly. He planned to raise another 15,000 by private subscription campaigns such as the Carnival Queen contest.

The site of the Manila Carnival was the old Wallace Field that was just off the present Luneta Park; occupied by the present-day National Library of the Philippines.

During those two weeks of carnival, Wallace Field was walled with sawali and given a decorative facade brilliant with lights and adornments. A variety of shows were presented like circus, vaudevilles, slapstick comedies, and the grand theatrical presentation of Borromeo Lou, the great impresario of the era. Such stars as Atang de la Rama, Katy de la Cruz, Canuplin, Dionisia Castro, often staged performances that audiences loved.[2]

The entrance fee range from 50 centavos and up and one can buy at the gate a mask, a horn and a bag of confetti. The children wore a harlequin, a clown's costume, or a dunce cap, while the elder ones wore dominoes or similar attractive attires.

The scene was like New Year's Eve with all the gaiety, laughter and gossips in old Manila circling around. Everyone seemed to be tooting horns or throwing confetti.

ParadesEdit

There were five parades during the carnival season:[3]

1. The opening day parade, which was mostly clown and circus
2. The military parade, mostly Americans and Scouts
3. The civic educational parade in which the public schools of Manila participated, and wherein each school compete for the best and most original floats
4. The business and industrial parade in which the international community participated
5. The floral parade, which is the highlight parade of the carnival. The parade featured the competing carnival beauties as well as the newly crowned Carnival Queen, her consort, and her court.

Carnival QueensEdit

The highlight of the Manila Carnival is the crowning of the Carnival Queen by the Carnival mascot Billiken. Cameron Forbes and the carnival promoters established the Carnival Queen contest. The Queen will be selected through purchase of ballots through newspaper clippings. Initially, Forbes decided to restrict the contest to the daughters of the wealthiest families from the capital city of Manila but eventually accepted entries from different parts of the country. The Queen was voted through a system of money ballots or magazine coupons. Philippine magazines like Liwayway, Telembang and Lipang Kalabaw had such coupons inserted in their pages.[4]

The Carnival Queens dressed the most beautiful costumes of the parade, ranging from Egyptian inspired to Siamese to that of the Arabian Scheherazade.

The first Manila Carnival in 1908 elected two queens representing the Oriental beauty and the Western beauty (called Occident) – Pura Villanueva from Iloilo City, Iloilo (Queen of the Orient) and Marjorie Radcliffe Colton from Galesburg, Illinois (Queen of the Occident). The only other time this happened was in 1920 Manila Carnival. In 1912, for the first time aside from the carnival queen the contest chose four ladies to represent Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and American homeland. In 1913, three women representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were named as co-winners of the Manila Carnival. The first and only American woman to solely win as Carnival Queen was Mela Kamakee Fairchild (born in Oakland, California in 1898) in the 1917 Manila Carnival.[5] Two queens were also chosen in 1926 to elect the last to be called as the Carnival Queen (Socorro Henson) and the very first Miss Philippines (Anita Agoncillo Noble)[6][7]

Manila Carnival Queen is the precursor of various national pageants in the Philippines.

TitleholdersEdit

Manila Carnival Queen titleholders[8]
Year Title Winner Hometown
(City / Province or State)
Age Consort Notes
1908 Carnival Queen Pura Villanueva (Queen of the Orient) Iloilo City, Iloilo 21 Manuel Gomez (King of the Orient), Mauro Prieto, Tomas del Rosario (alternative consorts) Officially First Manila Carnival Queens. Initially, Ms. Leonarda Limjap, aged 17 was named Manila Carnival Queen by the Philippine Assembly but later resigned the title before she was crowned in late January 1908 in favor of her family vacation in Japan. Villanueva was selected as Limjap's replacement who initially refused to take the title but became the official first Manila carnival queen upon coronation.[9]
Marjorie Radcliffe Colton (Queen of the Occident) Galesburg, Illinois 23 Col. George T. Langhorne (King of the Occident)
1909 Carnival Queen Julia Guerrero Agcaoili Ilocos Norte 20 Francisco Agcaoili
1912 Carnival Queen Paz Jurado Marquez Tayabas (now Quezon) 18 ? They were the first set of queens to wear national and regional dresses, as opposed to the European-influenced wardrobes of the past Queens.
Reina de Luzon Pacita Bantug de Guzman San Isidro, Nueva Ecija 21 ?
Reina de Visayas Amparo Benitez Noel Carcar, Cebu ? Juan Orbeta
Reina de Mindanao Remedios Fernandez Reyes Mambajao, Camiguin 19 Sr. Baldomero Pelaez
Reina del Dia Americana Mattie May Law US ? ?
1913 Reina de Luzon Julia Otero Arceo Batangas 18
Reina de Visayas Ana Sandoval Palanca Iloilo / Cuyo, Palawan 15
Reina de Mindanao Inocencia Cabato Zamboanga ?
1914 Carnival Queen Dolores dela Cerna Perez Rubio Ermita, Manila
1915 Carnival Queen Concepcion Medina Masbate 15 Joseph Manning
1916 Carnival Queen Manolita Barretto Bulacan / Zambales 16 Jose Chuidian
1917 Carnival Queen Mela Fairchild Oakland, California 19 Maj. William Vaughn The first and only American woman to solely win the title.
1918 Carnival Queen Enriqueta de Vega Aldanese Cebu 18 Jose Reyes Galvez
1920 Carnival Queen Trinidad Roura de Leon
(Queen of the Orient)
San Miguel, Bulacan 16 De Leon became the wife and First Lady to President Manuel Roxas
Virginia Randolph Harrison
(Queen of the Occident)
New York City, New York 18 Ralph Earnshaw
(King of the Orient)
1921 Carnival Queen Carmen Prieto Manila 16 Dr. Basilio J. Valdes
1922 Carnival Queen Virginia Llamas Pagsanjan, Laguna 16 Carlos P. Romulo The first carnival queen to marry her king consort.
1923 Carnival Queen Catalina Castillo Apacible Balayan, Batangas 19 Eugenio Lopez
1924 Carnival Queen Trinidad Rodriguez Fernandez Cuyo, Palawan 24 Jose Araneta
1925 Carnival Queen Carmen Papa San Pedro St., (now "Evangelista") Manila 19 Vicente Mendoza
1926 Carnival Queen

Miss Philippines

Miss Pearl of the Orient Seas

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Socorro Henson

Anita Noble

Carmen Fargas

Rosario Genato

Aurora Reyes

Bala Amai Miring
Angeles, Pampanga

Lemery, Batangas

Aplaya, Ayala, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur

Manila

Samar

Lanao
18

20

18





Vicente Rufino

Leopoldo Kahn, Antonio de las Alas (alternate consort)

No Consort

No Consort

No Consort

No Consort
First national beauty contest. The last winner to be named carnival queen was Socorro Henson while the very first to be named Miss Philippines was Anita Agoncillo Noble.
1927 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Luisa Fernandez Marasigan

Iluminada Laurel

Lourdes Rodriguez

Nora Maulana
Gumaca, Tayabas (now Quezon)

Laguna

Cebu

Sulu
16

 ?

 ?

 ?
Guillermo Jose

No Consort

No Consort

No Consort
1929 Miss Philippines Pacita Ongsiako de los Reyes Tondo, Manila 17
1930 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Consuelo "Monina" Acuña

Estrella Alvarez

Luz Villaluna

Rosario Ruiz Zorilla
Iloilo

Laoag, Ilocos Norte

Cebu?

17





Emilio Osmeña





Rosendo M. Chanco
1931 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Maria Villanueva Kalaw

Lina Araullo

Luisa Rodriguez

Louise Stevens
Batangas / Iloilo





20





Teddy Kalaw





First second-generation queen (mother – daughter carnival queens) in Carnival history.
1932 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Emma Gonzales Zamora

Rosalina C. Lim

Aleli A. Guzman

Violeta Lopez
Quiapo, Manila

Pangasinan

Paco, Manila

Iloilo
19





Dr. Arturo de Santos

Geronimo Santiago Jr.



1933 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Engracia Arcinas Laconico

Charity O. Crow

Blanquita Opinion

Angelina Biunas
Sta. Cruz, Manila

Hollister, California / Iloilo



Manila
21

17



17
Dr. Gregorio Y. Zara





First Miss Philippines and another carnival queen to marry her king consort.
1934 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Clarita Tan Kiang

Luisa Laconico

Marcelina Cuenca

Consuelo Villamor
Marilao, Bulacan



Manila

Bangued, Abra
15





22
Arturo Tolentino

Hector Gomez

Antonio Albert

1935 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Conchita Chuidian Sunico

Catalina Zabala

Julieta Lugod Abad

Celia Araullo
Binondo, Manila





18





Antonio Bayot

Pedro Chanco Jr.

Jose Feliciano

Jose Zamora
Carmen del Rosario was the original Miss Mindanao. She reigned for a few days before relinquishing her title in favor of her studies. Celia Araullo was chosen in her place as Miss Mindanao.
1936 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Mercedes Montilla

Amparo Reyes Karagdag

Helen Cutaran Bennett

Cleofe Jaime Balingit
Kabankalan, Negros Occidental

Malolos, Bulacan

Nueva Vizcaya

Macabebe, Pampanga
20

20

24

Zafiro Ledesma

Ricardo Manotok

Francisco Chanco

Ricardo Paras
1937 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Carmen Zaldarriaga

Elisa Manalo

Sonia Ortaliz Gamboa

Adelaida Coscolluela
Manila

Pampanga

Silay, Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental
17





Col. Antonio Arnaiz





Manila Carnival is now called as Philippine Exposition. Another Miss Philippines marrying her king consort later.
1938 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Guia Gonzales Balmori

Rosario Ferro

Belen de Guzman

Marina Lopez
Pampanga / Pangasinan





17





Ernesto Santos





1939 Miss Philippines

Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Miss Mindanao
Iluminada Tuason

Estrella Santos Fabon

Adela Planas

Herminia Cajulis
Indang, Cavite





Binakayan, Cavite






20






The last Manila Carnival or Philippine Exposition to take place few years before World War II. The last carnival queen to be crowned.

National Beauty ContestEdit

These are the candidates for the national beauty contests of the Manila Carnival.[10]

1st National Beauty ContestEdit

Year Name Candidate Notes
1926 Miss Agusan

Miss Albay

Miss Baguio

Miss Bataan

Miss Batangas

Miss Bohol

Miss Bukidnon

Miss Bulacan

Miss Camarines Sur

Miss Capiz

Miss Cebu

Miss Davao

Miss Ilocos Norte

Miss Ilocos Sur

Miss Iloilo

Miss Isabela

Miss Laguna

Miss Lanao

Miss La Union

Miss Leyte

Miss Manila

Miss Marinduque

Miss Masbate

Miss Misamis

Miss Negros Occidental

Miss Nueva Ecija

Miss Nueva Vizcaya

Miss Palawan

Miss Pampanga

Miss Pangasinan

Miss Rizal

Miss Romblon

Miss Sulu

Miss Surigao

Miss Tarlac

Miss Tayabas

Miss Zamboanga
Leonila Reyes



Cristina Victoria

Rosa Reyes

Anita Noble

Ascension Gaviola

Isabel Melendez

Leonor Reyes

Andrea Baduria

Rosario Picazo



Lucille Maxey



Rosario Cadiz

Aida Kilayko

Ernestina Pardel Nieto

Loreto Relova

Bala Amai Miring

Manuela Ortega

Aurora Reyes

Rosario Genato

Rosario Cayetano

Elia Sanchez

Amparo Nery

Margarita Lacson



Martha Maddela

Carmen Fernandez

Rosario Panganiban

Corazon Sison

Remedios Santos



Scott Rasul

Sol Soriano

Isolina Palma

Nita San Agustin

Carmen Fargas
Miss Bulacan, Leonor Reyes is from Malolos who is a teacher all her life. She died a single on 27 February 2006 at the age of 96.

Miss Pampanga, Rosario Panganiban became the wife of film director Vicente Salumbides and starred in some of his movies like "Miracle of Love".

Miss Tarlac, Isolina Palma is the daughter of Genoveva Puno and Gregorio Palma, former Bacolor mayor. She married Dr. Valeriano Calma PhD in agriculture and agronomy and they settled in Los Baños, Laguna.

2nd National Beauty ContestEdit

Year Name Candidate Notes
1927 Miss Abra

Miss Albay

Miss Baguio

Miss Bataan

Miss Bukidnon

Miss Bulacan

Miss Cagayan

Miss Cavite

Miss Capiz

Miss Cebu

Miss Ilocos Norte

Miss Ilocos Sur

Miss Iloilo

Miss Isabela

Miss La Union

Miss Laguna

Miss Lanao

Miss Leyte

Miss Manila

Miss Marinduque

Miss Mindoro

Miss Misamis

Miss Mountain Province

Miss Negros Oriental

Miss Nueva Ecija

Miss Nueva Vizcaya

Miss Palawan

Miss Pampanga

Miss Pangasinan

Miss Rizal

Miss Romblon

Miss Samar

Miss Sulu

Miss Surigao

Miss Tarlac

Miss Zamboanga
Consolacion Purugganan

Rosario Imperial

Beatrice Sanup

Rosalina Fonacier

Isabel Melendez

Pacita Mateo

Carmen Quinto

Leonor Bustamante

Rosario Picazo

Lourdes Rodriguez

Petra Molina

Susana Tugade

Julieta Lopez

Arminda Martinez

Carmen Campos

Iluminada Laurel

Manuki Makarimbang

Amelia Romualdez

Luisa Marasigan

Mercedes de Jesus

Caridad Morente

Consuelo Roa

Juliet Linney

Rizalina Calumpang

Julita Matias

Josefina Tolentino

Elvira Manalo

Rosario Manuel

Asuncion Gonzales

Encarnacion Johnson Ibañez

Isabel Bowers

Rosie McGuire

Nora Maulana

Sol Soriano

Luz Besa

Manolita Villaescusa
Miss Bulacan Pacita Mateo is from Baliuag daughter of the legendary beauty Josefa Lara Tiongson aka Pepitang Himala, the subject of a popular kundiman, "Joselynang Baliwag".

Miss Leyte, Amelia Romualdez is the first cousin of former first lady and congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos and married to Col. Maximiano Jenairo and settled in Maryland, US.

Miss Mindoro from Pinamalayan Caridad Morente was born 7 January 1906. She finished pre-med zoology from the University of the Philippines. Married Atty. Jesus Pineda and settled in Concepcion, Tarlac. At 100 years old, she was the oldest alumni of St. Scholastica High School.

Miss Pampanga, Rosario Manuel is from Bacolor and daughter of Generosos Manuel and Gliceria Laxamana. Lived all her life in Pampanga and died single.

Miss Pangasinan, Asuncion Gonzales is a direct relative of Nieves Gonzales, 1919 Pangasinan Carnival Queen and grandmother of 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran.

Miss Rizal, Encarnacion Johnson Ibañez married the king consort of Miss Philippines 1927, Guillermo Jose. Their sons became national tennis and pelota champions.

Miss Tarlac, Luz Besa was born on 7 November 1907 to Tomas Besa Sr. and Fabiana Salak. She married her escort Engr. Arturo Ilagan. She died in 2002.

See alsoEdit

Further reading and viewingEdit

Books and MagazinesEdit

  • Lipang Kalabaw Vol.3, No. 56 1923 (carries interesting articles about the Manila Carnivals)
  • Telembang Magazine 1922–24
  • Joaquin, Nick "Manila, My Manila", 1979, Manila Philippines
  • McCoy Alfred and Roces Alfredo, "Philippine Cartoons" 1983, Manila, Philippines

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Oh, Meet Me at the Carnival". Manila Carnivals, Alex R. Castro. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  2. ^ "A Man, A Plan, A Carnival". Manila Carnivals, Alex R. Castro. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  3. ^ "1908 Carnival in the Philippines". Manila Carnivals. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Manila Carnivals 1908–1939". Carnivals RSS. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  5. ^ "1917 Queen Mela Fairchild". Flickr. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  6. ^ "SOCORRO HENSON: When Kapampangan Beauty Was In Flower". Views From The Pampang, Alex R. Castro. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
  7. ^ "7 Fascinating Facts About Filipina Beauty Queens". Filipiknow. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  8. ^ "A Gallery of Carnival Queens". Philippine Star, Ricky Lo. Retrieved 13 February 2006.
  9. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth (3 February 2017). "The Philippines' first beauty queen". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Candidates of the 2nd National Beauty Contest". Manila Carnivals, Alex R. Castro. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.

External linksEdit