Flores de Mayo at Santacruzan

Flowers of May and Santacruzan Festival
All are welcome to attend this cultural program.

The Cultural Background:

Flores de Mayo
Flores de Mayo is a vibrant festival celebrated in the Philippines honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many towns and cities, Filipinos celebrate Flores de Mayo by praying the rosary, offering flowers to Mother Mary and sharing food with family and friends. Nine days of prayer (a novena) in respect of the Holy Cross lead the Flores de Mayo or Santacruzan.

The Santacruzan commemorates Queen Helena’s search of the Holy Cross. St. Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great. According to legends, 300 years after the death of Christ, Queen Helena, at the age of 75, went to Calvary to conduct a search for the Holy Cross. She unearthed three crosses and tested each one by making a sick servant lie on each of the three. The cross where the servant healed was identified as Christ’s Holy Cross.

The Santacruzan is a religious-historical pageant on the last day of the festival. In this reenactment of Queen Helena finding the Holy Cross, young women, representing different values or religious and historical characters, parade through the streets with their escorts under hand-carried bamboo arcs decorated with fragrant native flowers. The last character in the procession is Reyna Elena, or Queen Helena, who carries with her a small cross and is escorted by a man that represents Queen Helena’s son, Constantine.

As the pageant moves along the streets, devotees holding lit candles follow and join in the rosary, novena and songs of praise. After the procession, children enjoy pabitin, a children’s activity. Pabitin is a square trellis where goodies (candies, fruits, etc.) are hung by strings. This trellis is tied to a rope and is suspended on a strong branch or pole. The children gather under the trellis and jump as high as they can to try to pick the goodies as the trellis gets lowered to them while someone pulls it up and down repeatedly until the goodies are gone.

This Filipino tradition, introduced by Catholic Spaniards in the Philippines, is more than 100 years old.

The Obando Festival is an event celebrated annually in Obando, Bulacan, Philippines. This festival is celebrated in May when many Filipinos, especially women, come to dance to celebrate and give thanks for their children or for having children. It is also an occasion for infertile women to dance in the hope of having children. In the dance ritual, women, and sometimes men and children, wear traditional costumes to dance in the streets, pray and sing the song “Santa Clara Pinung-Pino,” or to St. Clare. The festivities begin with Mass, which is followed by a procession of images of patron saints San Pascual Baylon (St. Paschal), Santa Clara (St. Clare) and Nuestra Señora de Salambao (Our Lady of Salambao).

In the days leading to the event as part of the Philippine tradition, Mabuhay! PCC had a novena, which is a devotion consisting of nine days of prayers.

Mabuhay! PCC members begin the nine-day novena for the “Flores de Mayo at Santacruzan” on May 10, 2012, at St. Mary’s Church.

For more information about the event or how to participate, e-mail us at pcc_indy@yahoo.com.

Download a flyer of this description of Flores de Mayo at Santacruzan

Santacruzan Lineup

Methuselah – Andrew Xavier Mallory

Reyna Banderada – Margaret Lily Palanca

Aetas – Derek Francis Mallory

Reyna Mora – Isabel Davis

Reyna Fe – Pinky Melegrito Mirabal

Reyna Esperanza – Marina Anne Melegrito Mirabal

Reyna Caridad – Alicia Hollingsworth

Reyna Abogada – Lorna Hollingsworth

Reyna Sentenciada – Andrea Isabela Doloso
accompanied by Roman Soldiers – Rilan Mirasol and Thomas Kee

Reyna Justicia – Rachelle Miles

Reyna Judith – Bianca Marie Ashley Engle

Reyna Sheba – Caitlin Jasmine Cherukuri

Reyna Esther – Karolina Beveridge

Samaritana – Naya Santana

Veronica – Alexandra Fox

Tres Maria – Lorna Thomas, Levie Barrientos, Josephine Flores Smith

AVE MARIA – Bailey Hollingsworth, Nicholas Mirabal, Loren Davis, Alexio Doloso

Divina Pastora – Zoey Daet

Reyna de las Estrellas – Caitlin Kee

Rosa Mystica – Callie Daet

Reyna Paz – Jewel Ann Borneo

Reyna de las Propetas – Ria Denise Penafiel

Reyna del Cielo – Jamie Guangco
Angels – Shaina Engle and Isabel Palanca

Reyna de las Virgines – Cassandra Daet
Angels – Ali Anderson and Erika Gibson

Reyna de las Flores – Rhaye Ann Munsayac-Robinson

Reyna Elena – Anna Consuela Doloso
Constantine – Anthony Kee
Arch Holders – Vic Doloso and Ramuel Mirasol

The Blessed Virgin Mary
Bearers – Darwin Manalang, Robbie Soliven, Ryan Mirasol, Jeff Smith

If you are interested in purchasing a souvenir photo book of the “Flores de Mayo at Santacruzan” Festival, please e-mail us at pcc_indy@yahoo.com.

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
St. Mary Catholic Church
317 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204


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