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Queen Emma & Prince Aka, 1932 Manila Carnival

1932, DR. ARTURO Cabarrus DE SANTOS, King Consort of Queen Emma Ruiz
 was the son of Jose Santos and Concepcion Cabarrus of Manila. He had a brother, Alberto and a sister, Alicia de Santos, the original Miss Luzon in 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 to New York to study painting and metalcraft at the Columbia University. When Word War II came, he rendered service with the Red Cross and with the American Navy as a surgeon.

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 Kong that 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 art, santos, 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.



(text by Alex R. Castro of Manila Carnivals 1908-1939)

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