1932, DR. ARTURO Cabarrus DE SANTOS, King
Consort of Queen Emma Ruiz
the son of Jose
Santos and Concepcion
Manila. He had a brother, Alberto and
a sister, Alicia
de Santos, the original Miss
the 1931 court of Maria Kalaw, who
resigned her title.
Arturo was born in Manila in 1912. He took up Medicine at
theUniversity of Santo Tomas and
it was as a medical student that he was asked to be the King
Consort of the queen-elect of the 1932
Manila Carnival, Emma Zamora.
Arturo combined his love for science and the creative arts.
He was also practicing medicine when, from 1939-40, he went
study painting and metalcraft at the Columbia
University. When Word War II came, he rendered
service with the Red
with the American
After the War, he dabbled seriously in the decorative arts
which soon became his main vocation, designing the interiors
for 12 houses of members of prominent Philippine families.
From 1959-1960, he was inHong Kong, doing
the interior design of the partly-Philippine ownedAmbassador
Hotel, which, at that time was one of the most
modern hotel in the colony.
It was his stay in Hong
spurred his collecting interest in Chinese ceramics and
furniture. He became an accomplished interior designer and
his services were sought after by many high society
families, including the First
Lady, Imelda Romualdez, for her many building
projects. An aesthete, he also collected Philippine sacred
paintings, pre-colonial jewelry. He housed his collection in
a pre-war European style house that he owned. In 1966, he
offered his collection to the Cultural
Center of the Philippines, making the offer through
the architect Leandro
Locsin, who designed the Center
When he passed away on 26 February 1996 without a direct
heir, he bequeathed his fabulous collection of pre-Colonial
and colonial art to his cousin Pacita
de los Reyes, the 1929 Miss Philippines.