Indung Kapampangan


San Fernando Fiesta 2007 Schedule
May 23, 2007, 9:03 am
Filed under: Events, San Fernando

SCHEDULE

May 21 (Monday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang
mipasiknangan, Balayan yang mamie sikanan
Magmisa: Rev. Msgr. Mario Ramos
Mantabe king Nobena: Legion of Mary Jrs. and Srs.
Magdaun: MC Rectoral Council

May 22 (Tuesday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang mangadi,
Balayan yang mipapangadi
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Marius Roque
Mantabe king Nobena: AP at Honorarias
Magdaun: Barangay Lourdes

May 23 (Wednesday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang mipnung
tula, Balayan yang mipapamatula
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Nick Sabile
Mantabe king Nobena: COMLEC Jrs. and Srs.
Magdaun: Barangay Sta. Teresita

May 24 (Thursday) 5:00.p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang
misanmetung, Balayan yang misasanmetung
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Ramon Torres
Mantabe king Nobena: COMI at KBS
Magdaun: Sitio Ponduan, San Jose

May 25 (Friday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios Balayan yang
mapagmasabal, Balayan yang mipapagmasabal
Magmisa: Rev. Msgr. Cenovio M. Lumanog
Mantabe king Nobena: LAC, DMI, KC, SFO
Magdaun: Sitio Tinajero, Del Pilar

May 26 (Saturday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang talatuki,
Balayan yang mituburan
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Israel Garcia
Mantabe king Nobena: CWL, CCD (Cathechists)
Magdaun: B. Mendoza St., Sto. Rosario

May 27 (Sunday) 3:30 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:15 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang
mipabanalan king Banal a Espiritu
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Resureccion Diwa
Mantabe king Nobena: EMDC at ANF
Magdaun: V. Tiomico St., Sto. Rosario

May 28 (Monday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 p.m.—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang malugud,
Balayan yang micacalugud
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Lyndon Valenton
Mantabe king Nobena: Holy Face Crusaders
at Cenacle Movement
Magdaun: A. Consunji St., Sto Rosario

May 29 (Tuesday) 5:00 p.m.—Rosaryo at Nobenang Panalangin
5:30 pm—Banal a Misa
Tema: Ing Balayan ning Dios, Balayan yang nuan,
Balayan yang mipanuanan
Magmisa: Rev. Fr. Homer Policarpio
Mantabe king Nobena: BPAC San Jose-Ponduan,
Sta. Teresita, Lourdes at Tinajero-Del Pilar
Magdaun: City Government Officials

May 30 (Wednesday) Feast of St. Ferdinand:
Schedule of Masses:
5:00 a.m.—Guest Priests
6:00 a.m.—Guest Priests
7:00 a.m.—Guest Priests
8:00 a.m.—Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, DD
9:00 a.m.—Most Rev. Roberto C. Mallari, DD
10:00 a.m.—Most Rev. Pablo S. David, DD
4:00 p.m.—Guest Priests
5:00 p.m.—Guest Priests
6:00 p.m.—Guest Priests

6:00 p.m.—Grand Procession

The Comité de Festejos would like to thank the different parishes, barangays and carroza owners for allowing the barrio patrons to join the image of San Fernando in the Grand Procession.

Download the official program here: http://www.geocities.com/heritageconservationsociety/files/fiesta.pdf



San Fernando Fiesta 2007
March 22, 2007, 11:32 pm
Filed under: San Fernando

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, Pampanga
Comité de Festejos 2007

17 March 2007

Dear Fellow Fernandino:

Greetings in Christ!

May 30, the feast of San Fernando, is fast approaching. But every year, religious celebrations here in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga have been waning due to a number of reasons. One major reason is that the city is now divided into several parishes, twelve parishes separated from the Cathedral to be exact.

To respond to this, the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, Pampanga revived Comité de Festejos this year. The committee will not promise any grandiose plans. But we assure everyone that there will be a strong effort to bring back old traditions and revive the religious significance of the fiesta throughout the city, despite the fact that we are divided into different parishes. One of these traditions is the grand procession, where during the olden days, all the barrio patrons joined the carroza of San Fernando around the poblacion area.

We now ask for your support. There will be daily novena Masses from May 21 to 29 and fiesta Masses on May 30. We invite you sponsor one if not all if not all of them. As Mass sponsor, your name will be published in a souvenir booklet that the committee will distribute. We also invite you to place advertisements in the souvenir booklet.

Thank you very much and let us all work together to make this year’s fiesta celebration more meaningful.

Respectfully yours,

(signed)
Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Presidente
Comité de Festejos 2007

Noted by:

(signed)
Msgr. Cenovio M. Lumanog
Rector
Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando (P)

You can download the Fiesta Mass Sponsorship at http://www.geocities.com/ivanhenares/files/sanfernandofiesta2007.pdf



73-yr-old Pampanga New Year tradition waning
January 4, 2007, 10:26 am
Filed under: Events, Festivals, Minalin, Traditions

By Tonette Orejas

Published on Page A13 of the January 4, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MINALIN, PAMPANGA—A unique New Year tradition of merrymaking by men and boys in this town has lived on but signs that it is waning are beginning to show.

On Monday, fewer men wore women’s dresses and even fewer staged hilarious acts, making the 73-year-old revelry, so far the only one of its kind in the Philippines, a dull street party.

Revelers, organizers, local officials and old-timers all took note of the low attendance and not-so cheerful mood in this year’s Aguman Sanduk (Fellowship of the Ladle).

“Miritak kami (We turned out to be fewer now),” said Brian Labagis, a 22-year-old construction worker, as he danced on the streets of Sto. Rosario at past 4 p.m.

Labagis could not exactly tell why, but he surmised that some men could be shy in dressing themselves as women.

For his fourth year at this annual parade, he wore a maroon velvet gown, crowned his hair with two big yellow plastic flowers and painted his lips with a generous amount of red lipstick.

“We’d like to greet the year with happiness that’s why we do this. That’s what this tradition aims to do,” Labagis said as he and his five buddies gyrated to the tune of “Boom tarat-tarat.”

Best of all, he succeeded in amusing his girlfriend who shouted from the roadside: “Ikaw ba yan (Is that you)?”

Marianne Rabaria, president of the Parish Pastoral Council, the organizer this year, said fewer men joined although her group went to the town’s 15 villages to invite them to join the street party.

“We put up posters, streamers, coordinated with the barangay captains. Perhaps, the older men needed to coax the younger ones to join,” Rabaria said.

Mayor Edgardo Flores, one of the old-timers here, said the yearly turnout and how lively the event could get “depended really on the organizers.”

This was the first time that the council organized the event, Rabaria said, adding that her group could do better next time. The good thing that happened now is that quite a number of young men, about 300 of them, participated.

The council also managed to provide P4,000 to every participating barangay. “They could put their creativity to work,” she said.

Sta. Rita II’s float, featuring a fat man in diapers to symbolize the New Year, was the one that drew much of the laughter from the crowd.

Buenaventura Deang, 69, said it was the “spirit of fun” that was actually absent in the event.

“Enu makatula ing aliwa (Not all the acts can stir delight),” said Deang who had joined the revelry for more than 10 years.



Kapampangan carols now on CDs
December 24, 2006, 8:06 pm
Filed under: News

By Tonette Orejas

ANGELES CITY— In Pampanga, a former virtual American colony for hosting Clark Air Base, Christmas carols ceased being just “I’m Dreamin’ of a White Christmas” and “Silent Night.” They have also gone beyond the usual Tagalog fare “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit.”

Yuletide songs now come in the native language Kapampangan, recorded on at least two compact discs produced by groups promoting the local culture.

The newest collection, “Paskung Kapampangan: The Kapampangan Christmas Album,” features the folk song “Atin Ku Pung Singsing” and 13 new songs that won in last year’s Christmas songwriting contest.

Launched in November, the CDs have had brisk sales locally and abroad, according to Robby Tantingco, executive director of the Holy Angel University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies, the album producer.

Explaining the dearth of traditional carols, Tantingco said: “Throughout the Spanish colonial times, Christmas celebrations were purely church-based including Latin music. It was the Americans who brought in the carols.”

That aspect of the “stateside” culture, he said, came from the American teachers or Thomasian educators who established the public school system in the province, briefly the country’s capital, and the soldiers assigned to Clark, one of the United States’ largest facilities overseas.

Although going without local carols, Tantingco said Kapampangans celebrated Christmas in ways that fused the native and Spanish culture through food feasts and religious rites that included lantern processions or festivals.

Singers of polosa (extemporaneous songs belted out during planting, birthdays, weddings and just about any other happy event) tried to render the local touch by translating English carols. Totoy Bato and Ruth Lobo were among those who ventured into this genre, Tantingco said.

All originals, the new carols “reflect the deep religiosity of the Kapampangans and blend it with folksy elements like culinary delights,” he said.

“Maligayang Pasku, Maligayang Pusu” by Jun Marcos Nulud tells Christmas in this light: “Ugali keti Kapampangan/Magsadiang pamangan a manyaman/sigla ning sulu bale at king dalan/kantang macabie kapayapan (The tradition in Pampanga/We prepare sumptuous food/The happy lights in homes and on streets/Like songs bring peace).”

The other tracks are “Pasku Na, Magsadya Ta Na” (composed by Rudy A. Lopez), “Malucang Pascu” (Myron K. Marquez), “Ing Panalangin Cu Ngening Pascu” (Fr. Carmelo Agustin), “Masaya Ya Ing Pasku” (Roland Quiambao), King Paskung Daratang (Rudy A. Lopez), “Parul” (Kenneth Q. Macapugay), “Malucang Pascu” (Reprise), “Salamat ‘Ting Pascu” (Jose Irwin Nucum), “Ing Panalangin Cu Ngening Pascu” (Reprise), “Espiritu ning Pasku” (Rey Galvez Arciga), “Pasku Na Naman (O Kacung Kaluguran)” (Jun Marcos Nulud), and “Pascua N’indispu” (Ernest C. Turla).

The songs were arranged by Edwin Lumanug, conducted by Reygie Honrada and performed by the HAU Chorale and soloists.

The HAU production followed that of “A Camalig Christmas,” which the Batiauan Foundation launched in October 2005 in time for the 25th anniversary of the Camalig Restaurant here.

Containing 18 original Kapampangan Christmas songs and adaptations, some evoke memories of growing up in the base town, said Marc Nepomuceno, Camalig owner and album producer.

“Oy Balen,” sang to the tune of “Winter Wonderland,” shares the joys of eating native delicacies after attending the dawn Masses.

Nepomuceno and project director Titus Toledo involved polosa singer Jimmy Baul and his band the Starlicks to do several songs including Alang Kapupusang Tula (Joy to the World) and Paskung Pamagsaya (Celebrating Christmas).



Pampanga High School turns 100 this year
December 14, 2006, 5:46 pm
Filed under: News, San Fernando

Those who write our history books have to be careful when reading primary sources. One must understand what each source is actually saying, and the context behind the stories they tell. Most of our primary sources for history are also written in the Spanish language. Thus, historians must be cautious too with their translations and should ask for a second opinion before they write their pieces.

For the longest time, the accepted history of San Fernando stated that the town was founded by a Spanish cavalry officer named Capitan Fernando on August 31, 1775. I would later find out when I was looking through documents in the National Library that this erroneous information was a result of a wrong translation of data found in the Historical Data Papers, part of which was in Spanish. In turns out, Capitan Fernando did not exist!

In fact, even up to now, PLDT still prints this wrong information in their North Luzon Telephone Directory. I hope someone from PLDT will be able to read this since almost every household in San Fernando has a phone directory and the danger is that students might use the erroneous information they publish for their school reports! Even a typographical error has yet to be corrected because it states that San Fernando became capital of Pampanga in August 15, 1994! Just for the record, San Fernando was created in 1754 and became capital in 1904. I hope they amend it when their 2008 directory comes out since it is obviously too late to correct the 2007 version.

But going back to primary sources, I was able to browse through the pages of the 1914 yearbook of the Pampanga High School (PHS) with a history of the school which at that time was not even a decade old. And believe it or not, it looks like the same thing happened. The person who prepared the history of the PHS for the 50th Anniversary Yearbook in 1962 may not have understood the original text. And sadly, it has been the accepted history of PHS. I will be quoting parts of that text and giving my comments as well.


“A glimpse of the humble beginning and the gradual growth of Pampanga High School will undoubtedly surprise many who have known this institution in the days of its success and popularity only. Before the establishment of Civil Government in Pampanga schools were organized and instruction given by soldiers. In San Fernando, the school was the high-roofed building in San Jose, now the residence of Mr. Pedro Abad Santos, a prominent lawyer of the town. Later there was built a one-story building which now forms the lower floor of the San Fernando Central School. When the pupils were transferred to this new school house the higher classes were put in another building. This building is the big house in front of the Protestant Chapel.

“In 1901 teachers arrived from America. These teachers first taught in the central schools, trained Filipino teachers and then began the extension of the system to include the most important barrios. At first, the instruction given was entirely primary and chiefly academic. Later, industrial training was made more important and intermediate and secondary schools were established.

“Naturally the attendance was at first very small. Because of the general poverty existing in San Fernando, a condition which resulted from war, slates and slate pencils, books, paper, and pencils were provided by the school for the pupils. Education was made compulsory. A rapid increase in the number of pupils resulted. A time came when the number of pupils was too great for the building to hold. So it was reconstructed. While it was being repaired, the present post-office and municipality of San Fernando were hired for school buildings. A part of the house near the public school was also occupied. These buildings were only occupied by the primary pupils. The intermediate pupils were placed in Mr. Buison’s home.”

From this we could already see some inconsistencies with the current PHS history. The first paragraph mentions the “big house in front of the Protestant Chapel” which today is the Pampanga Hotel. The third paragraph mentions that “intermediate pupils were placed in Mr. Buison’s home.” We must remember, at that time, the Pampanga Hotel was the residence of Don Andres Eusebio and not Mr. Buison. The person who wrote that history must have been confused and decided that the Pampanga Hotel and the residence of Mr. Buison are one and the same. So I hope PHS stops referring to the Pampanga Hotel as the Buison Building because it never was.

“It was not until the school year 1906-1907 that there were any secondary pupils at all. Those pupils finishing the intermediate previous to this year either became teachers or students in Manila schools. Some were pensioned and sent to the United States.”

So it turns out, Pampanga High School came into being in 1906 when the high school course was formally opened. We thus missed celebrating the centennial of the opening of the high school in June this year.


“In 1907, however, the construction of the present Pampanga High School was begun. It is maintained by the provincial and insular governments. Its grounds have an area of four hectares. The building and the small closet southwest of the building cost P47,000. Its furniture was made in the Bacolor School of Arts and Trades at a cost of P2,500. Besides the main building a domestic science building costing P3,500 stands on the grounds and forms a part of the institution. The total cost of the buildings and the furniture was P53,000. The high school when built contained nine class rooms, a library, a book room, a property room, a principal’s office and an assembly hall large enough to hold four hundred people. Today it has eight class rooms, the library and an adjoining room being united to form one room, the library. It is well equipped for the different kinds of work. The grounds have been beautifully laid out. Shade trees, hedges and shrubbery have been well started and add much to the attractiveness of the grounds.


“In June 1908, this substantial building opened its doors to nearly three hundred pupils. This first year the school consisted of an intermediate school composed of fifth, sixth and seventh grades, and the first and second years of the high school course. The teaching force consisted of seven Americans and three Filipinos; Mr. J. W. Osborn was the principal. Spanish was taught with Mr. de Mesa as teacher.”

This information complements the fact that the Gabaldon Act was passed in 1907, allotting funds for the construction of school buildings all over the country. The “present Pampanga High School” they are referring to is the building near the provincial capitol, the very same one which was looted in 2001. I wonder where all the hard wood is now.

Also take note that when the building was opened in 1908, there were already students in second year high school, those who had enrolled in school year 1907-1908. Those who entered high school in 1906 must have continued their studies in Manila or in the United States, or became teachers themselves.

June 2008 is thus the centennial of the opening of the old Pampanga High School building, the very structure which saw President Diosdado Macapagal graduate in 1929. The present building of the Pampanga High School opened its doors to students in 1934.

“The following school year, 1909-1910, a third year was added to the secondary course. The enrollment was over two hundred. Under the energetic principal the school went on smoothly. The students finishing third year of High School that year were compelled to go to Manila during 1910-1911 in order to complete their High School course.


“In 1911-1912, much to the joy of the students, a complete high school course was established by the addition of fourth year. But to the disappointment of some the teaching of Spanish was abolished. The senior class that year consisted of twenty students – fifteen were boys and five, girls. Of these twenty, nineteen graduated.”

This explains why there were no graduates in 1911. It also shows why PHS celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1962, corresponding to 1912, the year it graduated its first high school students. But again, although the 1962 celebrations commemorated the golden anniversary of the first graduating class, it is not right to say that 1962 was the fiftieth year of the PHS.

If we were to be accurate about it too, the PHS should be celebrating its centennial this year. And to be precise about the 2008 celebration, it is the centennial of the opening of the old Pampanga High School building which I hope and pray would be restored by that time. Again, things could change when new information is discovered. But I guess everyone will agree with me that information on a 1914 yearbook is more accurate than any other primary information we have at the moment.



New ‘old town’ of heritage houses fuels furor
December 14, 2006, 1:59 pm
Filed under: News, Porac

By Tonette Orejas

Published on page A1 of the December 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

(First of two parts)

PORAC, PAMPANGA — Sitting on a bamboo bench by the roadside, 86-year-old Felicidad Lising let out an expression of outrage her neighbors in the village of Pio here do not usually hear from the mild-mannered grandmother.

“Ay Dios ko! E ustu ita (Oh my God! That’s a wrong thing to do),” Lising said, casting her droopy eyes on the village’s 145-year-old Catholic chapel.

It has unsettled her, she said, that the chapel has been bought and destined for transfer to Bagac town, Bataan province.

Such stories have not died down since October, according to Josefina Rubi, chair of the Parish Pastoral Council at Pio.

The menfolk have vowed to protect the chapel from antique dealers and the demolition crew they have been expecting to descend on their community.

The residents are not imagining their fears and they have reason to be vigilant. The controversy actually leads straight to a private venture that is unrivaled in scale in the country.

Some 60 kilometers southwest of Pio, New San Jose Builders Inc. president Jerry Acuzar is creating an “old town” on his 50-hectare seaside property in Barangay Pag-asa in Bagac.

Nine centuries-old houses were standing on his estate’s version of “Calle Real” on Nov. 26 when he allowed the Inquirer to tour the property.

These houses, Acuzar said, were dismantled from their original sites in various points of Luzon or “rescued” from junk shops, transported, reassembled and restored in their new locations.

Another house, Acuzar’s first and which he named “Casa Real,” is a mix of parts from several old houses bought from junk shops.

Two historically significant works are in progress, but he asked that these not be named just yet.

Work at the plazuela has started. Its centerpiece is an entirely new monument hailing industrious women of olden times. The plaza mayor has yet to rise.

Acuzar, a developer of high-end and socialized housing projects, said it took him three years to build the pueblo.

If his resources would allow him, he plans to install a total of 50 old structures on his lot.

He said he planned to put the Pio chapel beside the river that empties into the South China Sea.

“Ang kulang ko na lang simbahan (The only thing I lack is a church),” he said, denying that he wanted it for his daughter’s debut.

Acuzar said installing a church would complete the features of the old town project, which he calls a “passion.”

He said he got interested only in the Pio chapel because a dealer informed him that the heir of the hacienda founder, actress Rosemarie Gil, had converted to another religion and that the chapel was dilapidated. He did not name the dealer.

After asking the Inquirer about how Pio residents reacted to his plan, he said: “Hindi ko na gusto (I don’t want it anymore).”

He has yet to send an official communication to Pio residents that he was backing out from the plan and that he would look for another chapel.

Rubi said the Pio PPC would not let down its guard.

“In 1986, when Rosemarie and (actor) Dante Varona tried to take the church bell (dated 1865), the tenants foiled their attempt by chasing them with bolos. That’s just a bell. What more a church?” said Rubi, a 55-year-old teacher.

Heritage

Acuzar agreed he touched sensitive nerves because his latest prospect was a chapel, which is a community-owned and shared structure. It has not been the case, he noted, with the ancestral houses.

Ivan Henares, a Pampanga historian and trustee of the Heritage Conservation Society, said whether it was a house or a church or other buildings, the value or function of a structure in the cultural and historical fabric of the community should be respected in the purchase or transfer plan.

In the case of the Pio chapel, the villagers claim it as theirs. They use it when they celebrate Masses every 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Residents also use the chapel for various religious rites and community events.

They assert ownership even as the Gils have retained the four hectares on which the chapel stood.

A source said it was not the Gils who transacted with Acuzar’s agent but their caretaker, Jun Pabustan. The latter, however, denied dealing with any buyers.

It puzzled Rubi why this time the actress did not consult them when she did some years back about her plan to convert the chapel for use by Born Again Christians.

The Inquirer tried to contact the Gil siblings through Pabustan or Rosemarie through a friend in Angeles City. No feedback came in the last three weeks.

Fr. Resty Lumanlan, SVD, a native of this town, said the Pio chapel was “never for sale.”

“It should never be sold because since the frailes (friars), it has been the property of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga,” he said.

“Much more, it is part of the heritage of the parish of Porac,” he said.

The chapel is an architectural heritage, said Henares.

Built in 1861, this is the only intact circular chapel in Pampanga, predating the one regarded as the country’s first on the University of the Philippines’ Diliman campus in Quezon City.

The remains of the hacienda founder, Don Felino Gil, are interred behind the altar. Gil founded the Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Sciences in Bacolor, the oldest vocational school in Southeast Asia. Under the machuca tiles and behind the chapel are at least 100 graves.

Moratorium

Citing Pio’s experience, Henares raised the need for those in the heritage conservation community to debate on the ethics of transferring structures — an activity that is fairly new and done on a minimum extent until Acuzar ventured into his large-scale pueblo project in 2004.

The issue or even Acuzar’s pet undertaking was “not at all” tackled in the International Conference on Heritage Houses and Vernacular Architecture held in Tagbilaran City in May, according to painter-writer Claude Tayag, one of the 495 participants.

Tayag said it was the first conference held on that topic. The discussions centered on on-site restoration efforts that flourished largely on private funds over the recent decades, conference papers showed.

Henares suggested that in the debates, discussion points should include the historical significance of the structures, their actual or future functions to the residents and the communities, consultation requirements, protocols, local heritage plans and the local government’s position on the issue.

Henares also sought a moratorium on Acuzar’s project “until further studies are done on the location in particular and until the heritage community has fully digested this unusual project and threshed out the ethics of transferring heritage structures.”



In Memoriam: Guia Balmori, 1938 Miss Philippines
December 14, 2006, 9:53 am
Filed under: People

By Alex R. Castro

ON DEC. 12, 2006, JUST A MONTH AFTER HER 86TH BIRTHDAY, GUIA BALMORI, ONE OF THE LAST TRUE QUEENS OF OUR ERA, PASSED AWAY. THIS IS A TRIBUTE TO THE LEGACY OF BEAUTY AND ACHIEVEMENT SHE LEFT BEHIND.

Guia Balmori was born on 13 November 1920 to Joaquin Balmori of Bacolor, a well-known labor leader and Rosario Gonzales. The Balmoris were of Spanish stock, and this showed clearly in Guia’s fair and finely chiselled mestiza features.

The Balmori family settled in Ermita and Guia was named after the district’s titular patron, Nuestra Sñra. De Guia. Guia was a secretarial student at the University of Santo Tomas when the contest beckoned. Her candidacy stirred quite a ruckus, from her father who saw the pageant as a frivolous exercise, and from the religious nuns in school who frowned on such beauty shows. Nevertheless, she surprised everyone with her victory. At her coronation, she wore a Ramon Valera gold gown and was escorted by a dashing Kapampangan collegian, Ernesto “Gatas” Santos, son of Don Teodoro and Dña Africa Santos of San Fernando and Mabalacat. Her prize money of P1,000 was discreetly tucked in her bouquet.

Her court included Rosario Ferro (Miss Luzon), Belen de Guzman (Miss Visayas) and Marina Lopez (Miss Mindanao). Later in life, she married Jose Avelino Jr., a future Senate President, with whom she had 7 children: Enriqueta (+), Marlene, Jose III, Eduardo, Esther, Armando, and Bernadette. She settled in Parañaque and operated a beauty parlor in Makati with her daughter for many years. Living a long, meaningful life, she passed away on 12 December 2006. She rests at the St. James the Great Crypt in Ayala Alabang. (Alex Castro)




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