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.
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.
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.
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.
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.