Flowers of May and Santacruzan Festival
Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
St. Mary Catholic Church (317 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204)
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.
For more information about the event or how to participate, e-mail us at email@example.com.
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