Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a heritage community that is dedicated to bring traditions to the consciousness of the modern Filipino.
On May 30, the community had an exhibit of Filipiniana gowns and ternos by designers Francis Libiran, Renee Salud, Cary Santiago, Albert Andrada, Randy Ortiz, Edwin Uy, Dave Ocampo, Mikee Andrei, North Ortiz, Vince Sityar, Francis Calaquian, Maricis de la Pena, Marjorie Lee Gomabay, Dave Aguirre Lee, Jojo Alibio, and Patis Tesoro, representing 31 years of Manila Carnivals and the queens who reigned in that era. The exhibit was inspired by Betty Lalana’s, “The Origin and Evolution of Filipino-Inspired Fashion.”
Thirty-one ternos and gowns graced the lobby of the resort’s Hotel de Oriente.
Alongside this, there was also a photo exhibit that celebrated the glorious days of the Manila Carnival Queens entitled, “The Fairest of the Fair: Manila Carnival Queens from 1908 to 1939.” Alex Castro’s extensive collection of this era was the main source of the exhibit. A crown from the 1934 Manila Carnival Queen, Clarita Villarica Tan Kiang, was also on display, a rare find from the Manila Carnival Queen’s era.
The opening of the exhibit was followed by one of the biggest events the resort has hosted: the Lakambini ng Las Casas pageant in the tradition of the Manila Carnival Queens. It had 18 local Bataan lakambinis in the grand ballroom of the resort’s premiere convention center.
“The Lakambini ng Las Casas aims to revive the glory and pride of the Manila Carnival Queens. The chosen queen from the pageant will be the Reyna Elena for the Grand Santacruzan,” Brand Marketing Director, Erwin Dona said.
Former beauty queens: Dang Cecilio (Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1979), Chiqui Brosas (4th runner-up, Ms. Universe 1975), Sharon Bediones (Bb. Pilipinas Young 1982), and Jenette Fernando Dizon (Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 1993) graced the pageant.
Out of the 18 candidates, the first-ever Lakambini ng Las Casas crowned that night was Diana Velasco from Balanga. Reina del Oriente (first runner-up) was Dianne April Pangilinan and the winner’s sister, Donna Velasco, was crowned as the Reina del Occidente (second runner-up).
On May 31, the community held a Grand Santacruzan. Before the sagala, the sunduan started with the pagsundo of the reynas (Reyna Elena, Reyna Emperatriz, Reyna de las Flores) with a marching band to boot. They walked to Casa Byzantina where they gave the cross to the Hermana Mayor, Tess Acuzar.
In the morning of that day, a sagala was held to present the Lakambini of Las Casas as Reyna Elena marking the start of her reign.
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