A festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. It is one of the May devotion dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the celebration is known as Flores de Mayo, Spanish Flowers of May. Some May called it Santaruzan, a religious-historical beauty pageant held in many cities, towns and barrio throughout the Philippines and last for the entire month.
The Santacruzan, Spanish Holy Cross is a ritual pageant held mostly on the last day of May. It honors the finding of the True cross by Helena of Constantinople (Reyna Elena) and Constantine the Great. A cross is used for a Santacruzan, while the image of The Virgin Mary is used in Flores de Mayo, that is the distinction of the two festival but some mixed the two festivals together in one celebration. Flores and Santacruzan.
It is customary for males participating in the Santacruzan to wear the traditional Barong Tagalog and that the females wear any Filipiniana-inspired dress.
There are 16 biblical figures and traditional personifications that represent almost every aspect of the society, and 21 Marian titles, each figure in this group alludes to a title of The Virgin Mary found in the “Litany of Loreto” or to a figure associated with her. Each letter of the Angelic salutation “AVE MARIA” is borne by an “Angel”, or a white dress and wings.
Most known Titles Are:
1. Reyna de las Flores (Queen of Flores) – The Queen of the Flores de Mayo.
2. Reyna Emperatriz (Queen Empress) – A representation of Saint Helena of Constantinople, also known as Queen Helena.
3. Reyna Elena (Queen Helena) – The last member of the procession, she represent Saint Helena herself, whose invention of the True Cross that symbolized crucifix she carried in her arms. The Reyna Elena is considerably prestigious role and usually awarded to the most beautiful girl or important matron in pageant. In some communities the women portraying the role Reyna Elena is closely guarded secret until the Santacruzan itself.
4. Constantino – The escort of Reyna Elena, representing her son Constantine the Great. This role is always played by a small boy.
A belief commonly held as to the origin of the two titles existing is the possibility of two women wanting to portray the most important role in the procession, thus creating the title “Reyna Emperatriz”.
Thank you for reading our short article about the Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo in the Philippines.