Santacruzan in Laguna, all over CALABARZON

Santacruzan in Laguna, all over CALABARZON

Jun 7, 2024, 3:00 AM
Boy Villasanta

Boy Villasanta


The last days of May had been very generous with Maytime festivities like Santacruzan (a Filipino religious tradition in honor of Queen Helena of Constantinople and her discovery of the Holy Cross of all sorts.)

In the Province of Laguna alone, each town I passed by going south had processions of beautiful ladies dressed in colorful and glittering gowns.

In San Pedro City before typhoon Aghon unleashed its fury, sagalas (maidens in processions venerating the Virgin Mary as Queen of Mayflower activities) were gathered in different barangays of the city to parade the Santacruzan in beautiful gowns despite the looming bad weather.

In Calamba City after the storm, Santacruzan of all shapes and sizes were presented by various barangays.

As usual, traffic jams jarred the Maharlika National Highway in Santo Tomas, Batangas where long queues of sagalas with or without their escorts walked gingerly and paraded under the falling dusk with the "Dios te salve, Maria" moonlight sonata.

Some parts of San Pablo City also held their versions of Santacruzan with their Reyna (Queen Elena), Reyna Emperatriz etc.

In Lopez, Quezon, there is a different type of a Mayflower activity called sagalahan (in the manner of the maidens), a variation in theme.

Here in Lopez, there's neither Reyna Elena nor Reyna Emperatriz in the procession but the main maiden is the Reina de la Flores, as the Queen of Flowers to venerate the Virgin Mary, the very essence of why the month of May is being celebrated as the season of flowers.

According to Rev. Fr. Dondi Sayson, parish priest of the Most Holy Rosary Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary is what Mayflower is all about.

"A flower is meaningful. It's not only a mere bloom of petals but flower signifies the loving mother, the care for nature," Fr. Sayson summed up the socio-civic definition of the relationship between a flower and men, and between flower and a woman.

In a cortege to celebrate Flores de Maria, aside from the Reina de las Flores, there were also representations of the five mysteries in the Holy Rosary, Reyna ng Luwalhati (Glorious Queen), Reyna ng Tuwa (Joyful), Reyna ng Hapis (Sorrowful), Reyna ng Liwanag (Luminous) and Reyna ng Rosaryo (Rosary) and other important Biblical figures like Banderada, Reyna de los Angeles, Reyna de las Estrellas etc.

To top them all, many of the major sagalahan characters recite a poetry of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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