The 1st post-war (1947) Miss Phl search

The Philippine Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ri­cardo F. Lo (E-mail re­ac­tions at ent­[email protected]­hoo.com. You may also send your ques­tions to askrick­[email protected] gmail.com. For more up­dates, pho­tos and videos visit www.philstar.com/fun­fare or fol­low me on www.twit­ter/the­re­al­rick­ylo.)

Did you know that the Filipinos’ fas­ci­na­tion with beauty queens dates more than one cen­tury back? Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Fun­fare’s “other beauty ex­pert” Celso de Guz­man Ca­paras, “From 1908 to 1939, Filip­ina na­tional beauty queens were pro­claimed and hailed as Car­ni­val Queens in con­junc­tion with a two-week Manila Car­ni­val

Fair show­cas­ing our coun­try’s progress in agri­cul­tural, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial un­der the Amer­i­can colo­nial rule. The pageantry was known for its pomp, el­e­gance, splen­dor and ex­trav­a­ganza.” Here’s Celso’s throw­back piece: Pura Gar­cia Vil­lanueva was crowned as the first Car­ni­val Queen in 1908. Her daugh­ter Maria Kalaw also reigned in 1931. (Maria KalawKatig­bak served as chair­man of the Movie & Tele­vi­sion Re­view and Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Board.) Ilu­mi­nada Mo­jica Tua­son was the last to be crowned Car­ni­val Queen in 1939.

Two years af­ter the World War II, the first-ever Miss Philip­pines search was spon­sored by Philip­pine Air­lines in 1947, won by Evan­ge­line de Cas­tro of Baguio City. Two of the run­ner­sup, Miss Lu­zon Pacita Fran­cisco of Manila and Miss Min­danao Glo­ria Maigue of Cavite, be­came ac­tresses. Miss Visayas was Matilde Sal­gado.

Pacita’s film ca­reer was launched in 1948 in UPA Pro­duc­tions’ Ang Ven­gador with Ro­ge­lio dela Rosa as lead­ing man. It was shot in Hol­ly­wood with Sid­ney Salkow as di­rec­tor. Screen-named Olivia Cenizal, Glo­ria was in­tro­duced in Pre­miere Pro­duc­tions’

Pala­hamak, di­rected by Artemio Mar­quez, which top­billed Jose Padilla Jr., Leila Morena, Carol Varga and Lauro Del­gado. Olivia later mar­ried com­poser/ac­tor/di­rec­tor Josefino Cenizal.

In that 1947 pageant, there were 23 other fi­nal­ists: Naty Almeda of La­guna; Esper­anza Al­bano, Ilo­cos Norte; Luz Asensi, Min­doro; An­gelina Are­nas, Is­abela; Jean Bellings, Manila; Tere­sita Buñag, Sor­so­gon; Lour­des Blanco, Manila; Pepita Eraña, Manila; Marichu Crisol, Al­bay; Marita Diaz, Manila; Belen Gonzales, Zam­boanga; Rita Kanaan, Iloilo; Reme­dios Ledesma, Iloilo City; Celia Lupisan, Manila; Sylvia Lim, Manila; Mary Lou Ramos, Manila; Pach­ing de la Rama, Cebu; Matilde Sal­gado, Capiz; Vir­ginia Sanchez, Manila; Lina Taguinod, Ca­gayan; Luisa Teves, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal; Ly­dia Vil­lanueva, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal; and May Warne, Rizal.

The corona­tion night was held on Aug. 18 at the Manila Ho­tel with Ruby Roxas (daugh­ter of Pres. Manuel Roxas) do­ing the hon­ors of crown­ing Evan­ge­line.

Among Evan­ge­line’s prizes was an all­ex­pense paid trip to the USA that brought her to Oak­land, San Fran­cisco, Honolulu and Hol­ly­wood where she had a screen test and ap­peared on a ra­dio pro­gram, Queen of

the Day, with an es­ti­mated six mil­lion lis­ten­ers. Evan­ge­line also at­tended the 1947 Miss Amer­ica con­test, won by Bar­bara Jo Walker, in At­lantic City. Her run­ners-up went on a plea­sure trip in the Ori­ent. All of them were flown, un­der­stand­ably, by PAL.

Guest of honor was 1947 Miss Guam Del­fina Car­bul­lido who ar­rived in the coun­try on Aug. 12. Del­fina and Evan­ge­line left Manila on Aug. 20 for the USA.

The pageant’s board of judges was com­posed of Mrs. Claro M. Recto, Col. Manuel Ni­eto, Vi­cente Rufino, Fer­nando Amor­solo (who would be named Na­tional Artist for Paint­ing in 1972) and Guillermo To­lentino (named Na­tional Artist for Ar­chi­tec­ture in 1973).

Evan­ge­line de Cas­tro, 1947 Miss Philip­pines, crowned by Ruby Roxas Matilde Sal­gado, 1947 Miss Visayas Pacita Fran­cisco, 1947 Miss Lu­zon

Glo­ria Maigue, 1947 Miss Min­danao Evan­ge­line with 1947 Miss Amer­ica Bar­bara Jo Walker

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