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ALELI A. GUZMAN, Miss Visayas, 1932 Manila Carnival

One of the most accomplished women ever to emerge from the Manila Carnivals is Aleli Guzman, Miss Visayas 1932, in the court of Emma Zamora. Her father was one of the country's 1st accountants, Fortunato Guzman, while her mother, Angela Aguilar, was agobernadorcillo's daughter from Manila. The family lived on Marquez de Comillas St., in Paco.

Aleli was a UP student when the 1932 contest beckoned. She was a charter member of the U.P. Sigma Delta Sorority and was an Upsilonian Fraternity Sweetheart and Corps Sponsor of the U.P. Vanguard. With these "beauty and brains" credentials, she easily made it to the winners' circle. When the Carnival ended, she quickly put the title behind her and pursued her education, graduating in 1937 with a double degree in Chemistry and Medicine.

As if that achievement was not enough, she placed among the Top 10 in the medical board exams. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to marry her college sweetheart, Antonio Quirino, a future judge, who was quite active in the same school associations that Aleli joined. The doctora devoted much of her time to church and charity. She is credited with performing the 1st abdominal operation in the Philippines. She founded the St. Martin Charity Hospital in the parish of Santuario del Sto. Cristo in San Juan, Metro Manila.

For her lifetime of selfless service, she was accorded the Mariang Maya Award for Humanities (1983), Community Development and Social Work, the Ulirang Ina Posthumous Award (2001) and the Mother Teresa Award. Nowhere did the expression "beauty with a purpose" ring truer than in the life of Aleli Guzman, Miss Visayas 1932.


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

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