What is Flores de Mayo?
Flores de Mayo Festival in The Philippines is celebrated every years from 1st of May until the last day of May. Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) is a feast depicting Queen Helena’s quest for the Holy Cross, Queen Helena is the mother of Constantinople the Great. It has been called with different names such as, Santacruzan, Sagala, and Flores de Mayo. All these are referring to this festival, glittery gowns, and local beauties.
The festival is a parade of Filipino beauties from the community. Every communities in town, city, and province have their own parade, we called it Sagala. Sagala was first known as a beauty pageant, parading all the most beautiful bachelorettes they have in town before the competition itself. The beauties and their escorts were given different roles according to Biblical characters and Marian titles (Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flores_de_Mayo for the titles). Yet, most communities now join in toddlers and elder ladies on the parade before the pageant to make a bigger parade crowd.
How is It Celebrated?
The Sagala ends up in a Flower Offering ceremony in the church and proceed to the pageant or feast. Some communities celebrates it with either of the two or with both. Last day celebration is normally the biggest event with women wearing their ‘best gowns’, jewelries, make up, shoes ever. Not to mention that the community then hires a full traditional band, prepare fireworks, and food feast (also traditionally prepared by manual labor in Bayanihan culture). Bayanihan is a cultural trait of helping each other, making all locals help out to cook, serve, and make this festival happen.
FLORES DE MAYO: MOA’S BEAUTY PAGEANT
Where to Witness the Best Flores de Mayo Celebration?
Lucena City always know how to celebrate bug events with parades, from the province of Quezon which is popular for their ‘Pahiyas Festival’, the locals are known how to draw big crowds with their big festivities. However, if you do not want to travel all the way to Lucena, the metro has a big star-studded parade at the Mall of Asia (MOA).
TAGALOG SUMMARY OF FLORES DE MAYO
The biggest mall in Asia and 4th in the world conducts one of the best Sagala, parading local celebrities and local beauties with their gorgeous local designer gowns. This year, the event starts at 4:30 pm. Check out the poster.
RAW VIDEO OF MOA’S FLORES DE MAYO
The festival is also celebrated in different parts of the world organized by Filipinos. In Milan, Italy they celebrate it as well but in Hawaii, USA celebrates it bigger, check out the post here.