NYC Santacruzan puts colorful Pinoy culture on display

NEW YORK CITY – For 25 years without fail, the “Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo sa Village” has been parading the streets of Greenwhich Village in Manhattan.

The May showers did not stop young Filipina reinas from showcasing their colorful gowns representing different biblical characters on Sunday.

It’s a beauty pageant of sorts. The most coveted title is “Reina Elena”, usually given to the prettiest girl of them all.

This year’s Reina Elena is 18-year-old Katherine Laurencio

“It’s very important because I was not raised in the Philippines,” she said. “So I’m able to connect with my culture and also the church.”

Samantha Hidalgo, a 14-year-old Divina Pastora or Divine Shepherdess said, “It’s kind of like a piece of home here. And it’s really fun every year to dress up and be beautiful,  show the city that there are beautiful Filipino women anywhere.”

Behind this pageantry is a deeper meaning. The procession depicts Queen Helena’s mythical finding of a piece of Jesus Christ’s miraculous cross 300 years after his death. Queen Helena was the mother of Roman emperor Constantine the Great.

Our Lady of Pompeii church’s assistant parish priest Joathan Loverito said, “Ang santacruzan ay pagpapakita natin ng isang way of cathechizing people. Kasi nagsimula yan nung unang panahon pa na hindi ang tao nakakabasa, pumunta sa Pilipinas ang mga espanol, ang isang way para icathechize ang tao ay paggugunita ng mga pagre-enact, parang ganito ang ginagawa natin ngayon.”

The parade is also a celebration of Flores de Mayo or Flowers of May to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A holy mass was celebrated in honor of the Virgin at the Our Lady of Pompeii Church in the Village.

Parade organizer Bonifacio Makinano said, “Actually it’s religious. Magkaroon din sila ng respect sa religion as a Catholic nation. Mamulatan din nila na gumalang sa Diyos o sa mga magulang.”

The rose became the privileged symbol of the Virgin Mary, often referred to as the ‘rose without thorns’, since she immaculately conceived the son of God.

The annual Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo sa Village is organized by the Filipino Pastoral Ministry of New York.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • Annual Parade Honors Colorful Pinoy Traditions – Voices of NY
    2 June 2015 at 10:38 pm - Reply

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