The Flores de Mayo (also known as Flores de Maria), a month-long custom and celebration, which is steeped in history and religious beliefs culminates with the Santacruzan—the grandest and the most popular religious festival in many towns and cities throughout the Philippines, as the highlight of the month-long celebration of Flores de Mayo during the merry month of May.
The festival was introduced to the country during the Spanish period and continued to be celebrated by all our kababayans all over the world.
According to a popular legend, the back story was that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, went to Calvary 300 years ago after Christ’s death to search for his cross.
At the site of the crucifixion, she unearthed three crosses and had her sick servant lie down on each one. Upon touching one of the three, the servant was cured. This determined that it was Christ’s cross.
Another belief is that the Santacruzan celebration started after the Immaculate Conception of Mary was declared as a dogma in 1854, and after the publication of Mariano Sevilla’s translation of the devotional: ”The flower of May, or the Beautiful Flowers that in the meditation during the whole month of May are offered by Devotees to Mary the Holiest…,” poetically translated.
This is usually celebrated with a parade of decorated floats and elaborately-dressed characters, representing various aspects of the Blessed Mother and other figures.
Fil Am communities and associations all over the world celebrate the Santacruzan with the same pageantry and glamour as the town folks in our homeland.
This year’s Hermano and Hermana Mayors are: Mayor Ruby Labuni and Hermano Rowland Mungues.
At Glendale, on Saturday, May 16, Inside Productions presented an awesome Santacruzan that has become part of Filipino traditions, identified with youth, love and romance. The festivity commemorates commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by the Reyna Elena and her son Constantine, the newly converted emperor.
As the pageant moved along the premises of the Holy Family Church, into the Americana, devotees followed while holding lit candles and rosaries. They recited the novena and songs of praise (Dios Te Salve, Holy Mary) with steady beats of hymns and joyous praise as the procession went back to the church, for everyone to relish.
And there, back inside the church, a necklace of stars awaited, led by Mon David, Annie Nepomaceno, The Harana Men’s Choir, The Filharmonic and Kayaman ng Lahi Dance Troupe and all the beautiful sagalas (beauty queens to be). From celestial angels, to the consorts, and the Reynas, it was a collective effort—labor of love.
As for the ying and yang romantic partner Mildred Deang and Atty. Jojo Reyes, there seems to be no shortage for the couple singular, in their mantra “the sense of being more than ourselves, is our most precious possession.”
Thank you for that marvelous Santacruzan.