You might be wondering what I am referring to as the ‘Road Ramp’ that Philippine Beauties will walk this month of May? Philippines has an annual religious tradition of “Flores de Mayo” in Spanish words (we were under Spanish colony for over 300 years), which means ‘Flowers of May’. The religious tradition of the procession came from the Biblical Character Queen Helena (Reyna Elena) and her son, Constantine who were in search of the Holy Cross.
Every year, different towns are gathering all their pretty ladies to join the procession that happens everyday as the month of May begins. From cute kids, teenagers, and older are preparing their beautiful gowns they will use to walk the road. Yes, the road are their ramp to flaunt their best looks to everyone (which is guy’s favorite event to watch!) just like walking the catwalk wearing clothes from different sponsors and designers like Cipo&Baxx, Gucci, Kamiseta, Mango, Fendi and all that big and small names in fashion.
Tapusan of Flores de Mayo
The last day of May which is the 31st (or sometimes they celebrate it on the 30th) is the major ramp, where everyone that joined the walk from the first day and some pretty ladies from different places(which either a family or friends of the town local) gather together to make the biggest parade happen which locally called “Tapusan” which means ‘The Ending” (of the Flores de Mayo). The parade sometimes have more than 50 participants making the road ‘pretty’ colorful.
I, personally have joined countless parades of Flores de Mayo at my father’s town in Laguna every Tapusan (which is also my birthday). It is an awesome experience to wear an elegant evening gown and doll myself up like a model ready to walk the catwalk. Tapusan is a bigger celebration as it caters more pretty ladies the town have plus the designation of roles like Queen Helena and other crowned queens to represent the town. The Queen Helena title will be given to the voted prettiest lady in town for the year joined by a kid to escort her as Constantine. Hermana (which means, sister) are elected too, she will be the ‘star’ of the parade and her roles are not just to join the glamorous parade but to sponsor the snacks and sometimes dinner of all the parade participants, and even the ‘Musiko‘ people (local traditional street band with pretty majorettes), as well as to prepare the church for the event. Also, they play a major role at the town’s church or chapel (whatever the town have) at the end of the parade, it always ends in the church where all the pretty ladies will offer their flowers at the altar after the mass. The Hermana will be the last to offer their flowers and will stay at the middle and the other pretty ladies at the side holding a lighted candle. Similar to the coronation of a queen ceremony where the dukes, duchesses, countesses, are all lined up at the side witnessing the church ceremony.
It is a fun tradition to join or even just to watch. You’re like watching a local beauty pageant parade on their best gowns! The queens and hermana are at the back before the carts of the religious characters and the choir, truly the Filipina beauties walk the major road ramp. Enjoy the Ms. Philippines candidates’ celebration of Santacruzan (other name for the event, which means, Holy Cross event) video to get the idea of how we do it.