Today is already May 1, 2020. Time flies so fast even if boredom makes the days and nights of ECQ go so punishingly slow. (Don’t be fooled by the surroundings in my photo on the right. It was taken in El Montaño Vista Resort last December during my working visit to Burauen, Leyte.) 🙂
I thought of sharing a few learning points in history as far as beauty pageants are concerned. A few might find it dragging, but I’m pretty sure many will appreciate the additional knowledge.
First known beauty pageant
The first known beauty pageant in history happened in Scotland during the Eglinton Tournament of 1839 when Jane Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was chosen “Queen of Beauty”.
It might interest you to know that the Duchess Georgiana was already a 30 year old married woman at the time. She became the wife of Edward Seymour – 12th Duke of Somerset ten years earlier when she was only 20.
First known “Beauty Queen”
In 1888, the title of ‘beauty queen’ was awarded to an 18 year old Creole contestant at a pageant in Spa, Belgium. All participants had to supply a photograph and a short description of themselves to be eligible for entry and a final selection of 21 were judged by a formal panel.
The competition was called the Concours de Beauté and the winner was Bertha Soucaret from Guadeloupe whose victory was interestingly met with opposition from the losers.
First international beauty pageant
In May 1920, promoter C.E. Barfield of Galveston, Texas organized a new event known as “Splash Day” on the island. The event featured a “Bathing Girl Revue” competition as the centerpiece of its attractions. The event was the kick-off of the summer tourist season in the city and was carried forward annually. The event quickly became known outside of Texas and, beginning in 1926, the world’s first international contest was added, known as the International Pageant of Pulchritude. This contest is said to have served as a model for modern pageants. It featured contestants from England, Russia, Turkey, and many other nations and the title awarded at the time was known as “Miss Universe”.
Catherine Moylan of Dallas was the first winner last 1926, while the first foreign delegate proclaimed as titleholder was Lisl Goldarbeiter of Austria in 1929.
This contest was held annually until 1935, when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to its demise. Of course, we are all aware that Miss Universe was resurrected in 1952. And it is the competition where all succeeding editions take its roots from.
First Miss Philippines
They were called “Carnival Queens” prior. But it is Anita Agoncillo Noble, a 20-year-old student from Lemery, Batangas, who became a beauty queen when the title “Miss Philippines” was first introduced. It’s interesting to note that Anita also came from a historically significant family.
Her mother, Maria Agoncillo, was a relative of Felipe Agoncillo, Maria (Emilio Aguinaldo’s second wife) and Marcela, one of the people who made the first Philippine flag.
It’s also good to know how everything started in the world of pageantry. So many generations have passed and these inputs will surely be golden nuggets of information for everyone.