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Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

Kasaysayan ng Lahi parade (1974)

National Media Production Center

2021

Kasaysayan ng Lahi parade (1974)

National Media Production Center

On 7 July 1974, the Marcos administration staged a massive parade called “Kasaysayan ng Lahi (History of the Race).” Through floats, dances, and reenactment, the spectacle portrayed a particular framing of Philippine history, starting with the “stone-age” Tasaday and reaching its apex in the declaration of Martial Law and the subsequent establishment of the New Society. The parade inaugurated the Folk Arts Theater, which was constructed in a record 77 days to serve as venue to the 1974 Miss Universe pageant. “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” involved around 22,000 participants, including 50 tribal groups. In attendance were Miss Universe candidates, as well as “international guests from neighboring countries, and from Mexico, Spain, the USSR, the USA, Israel, Italy and England.”

The parade was directed by Lamberto Avellana, with musical direction by Lucrecia Kasilag and Andrea Veneracion, and choreography by Lucrecia Urtula. Key segments were led by Presidential Assistant on National Minorities Manuel Elizalde Jr. (ethnic), Assistant Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora (Oriental), Maj. Gen. Fidel Ramos (American), Maj. Gen. Fabian Ver (Japanese), and Assistant Executive Secretary Guillermo de Vega (Old and New Society). “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” was also made into a documentary film which was narrated by Avellana himself, as well as a book released by the National Media Production Center.

Note: The opening sequence of this digitized version was patched with newer landscape footage, perhaps due to degradation of the source copy. To see the original footage, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3wkRu3POw.

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National Media Production Center, “Kasaysayan ng Lahi with Lamberto Avellana,” uploaded by Rewinder Channel, YouTube video, 48:31, August 21, 2021

Miss Universe pageant in Manila (1974)

Miss Universe, Inc.

1974

Miss Universe pageant in Manila (1974)

Miss Universe, Inc.

In 1974, the Miss Universe competition was held for the first time in Asia. It was among a series of high-profile international events that allowed the Marcos administration to project an image of modernity and prosperity to the globe.

The Miss Universe stage displayed a mix of military might and multicultural color. Candidates were accompanied by honor guards from the Philippine Military Academy, as well as usherettes dressed in a white terno and sporting an Imeldific bouffant. The Bayanihan Dance Company danced the singkil, Pangkat Kawayan played an angklung medley, and the candidates sang the Ilocano folk song “Pamulinawen” (which also played in the end credits). The swimsuit competition was held at the Nayong Pilipino theme park. As part of the program’s intermissions, co-host Helen O’Connell told of how the Folk Arts Theater was completed in 70 days, and was inaugurated with a massive parade called “Kasaysayan ng Lahi (History of the Race)” before finally opening with the pageant on 21 July 1974. Spain’s Amparo Muñoz clinched the crown, and was granted use of a vacation beach house with a complete staff for the duration of her reign by the Philippine government. Mrs Marcos also gifted her a sculpture of Maria Clara made of 3,700 local shells.

1973 Miss Universe Margarita Moran went on to marry Tonyboy Floirendo. She has since been active in the cultural scene, most notably as president of CCP resident company Ballet Philippines, and as current chair of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. “I would otherwise never have reached the heights I was catapulted to had I not first become Miss Universe,” wrote Moran. “I have other roles now, but that one, the golden year of 1973, surely carved the path for the subsequent years that were to come, in various capacities, in service to my country and society in general.”

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Miss Universe, Inc., “Miss Universe 1974 – Full Show,” uploaded by tttpageant. YouTube video, 1:47:53, February 17, 2013