Bacolod Celebrates Santacruzan

Excitement filled the air on Saturday as a host of beautiful young ladies adorned in glittering gowns paraded along Araneta Street in downtown Bacolod City in celebration of Santacruzan, the Festival of the Holy Cross.

The Bacolod Cultural Foundation (BCFI) has hosted this religious event in the city for the past 26 years. It was staged in association with the Bacolod City Government, the Negros Occidental Cultural and Sports Foundation and SM Bacolod.

BCFI members and officers: (l-r) Nina Comia,  Beverly Bautista (Hermana Mayor), BCFI president Araceli Mirano, Emilie Zayco, Evelynda Gerogalin, Celia Ferrer, Pacita Adeva

BCFI members and officers: (l-r) Nina Comia, Beverly Bautista (Hermana Mayor), BCFI president Araceli Mirano, Emilie Zayco, Evelynda Gerogalin, Celia Ferrer, Pacita Adeva

Spectators lined Araneta Street to watch as children and the sagalas proceeded to the SM Event Center for a ceremony to pay tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Speakers at the ceremony included Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, who expressed the city’s appreciation of the Foundation’s long-standing involvement with the Santacruzan.

Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and the Hermana Mayor, Beverly Baustista

Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and the Hermana Mayor, Beverly Baustista

The festival ended with all children, sagalas,  officials and members of the Bacolod Cultural Foundation laying flowers at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Reyna Elena, Johanna Gabrielle Chua with Prince Constantine, Robert Harland Jr

Reyna Elena, Johanna Gabrielle Chua with Prince Constantine, Robert Harland Jr

The Santacruzan tradition, introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards, honors the story of Saint Helena. She and her son, Constantine the Great, emperor of the Byzantine empire, made a pilgrimage to Calvary in the hopes of finding the original cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

Maricris Butantan, Reina Caridad; Cindy Tempbrevilla, Reina Esperanza; Febelyn Sagje, Reina Fe;Janice Javier, Reina Banderada:

Maricris Butantan, Reina Caridad; Cindy Tempbrevilla, Reina Esperanza; Febelyn Sagje, Reina Fe;Janice Javier, Reina Banderada:

After some archeological diggings at the site of the Crucifixion, she unearthed three crosses. She tested each one by asking a sick servant lie on all three. The cross where the servant recovered was identified as Christ’s.

Santacruzan set for May 19

An Angel in last year's procession

An Angel in last year’s procession

The Bacolod Cultural Foundation, Inc (BCFI) will celebrate Flores de Mayo – the month of flowers – in tribute to the Virgin Mary with the traditional Santacruzan ceremony on Saturday, May 19.

The Santacruzan procession will start at 3pm from the old Bacolod City Hall and finish at the Event Center at  the North Wing of SM City.

The Santacruzan is a popular religious-historical event and is held in Bacolod and many other cities, towns and villages throughout the Philippines every May.

The BCFI has been organizing the Santacruzan for the past 26 years, and it has become one of the most colorful and anticipated religious May-time festivals in the city.

Shien Abdallah, the 2011 Reina Elena

Shien Abdallah, the 2011 Reina Elena

“We are expecting a big crowd to see the beautiful sagalas. We invite all Bacolodnons to enjoy this glittering celebration,” said BCFI president Araceli Mirano.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary being escorted by members of the Bacolod Cultural Foundation

The Blessed Virgin Mary being escorted by members of the Bacolod Cultural Foundation

The Santacruzan commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena (Reina Elena) and her son, the newly converted emperor Constantine. After the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and brought back to Rome, there was a joyful celebration of thanksgiving.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson with the 2011 Herman Mayor Dr. Evangeline Johnson and Ced Torrecarion

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson with the 2011 Herman Mayor Dr. Evangeline Johnson and Ced Torrecarion