Ready for Santacruzan! - Tips on how to help your child prepare for the big Flores de Mayo procession
Is your child a sagala in this year's Santacruzan? Read our tips on how you can help your child prepare for the big day and walk the procession without a hitch.
One of the highly anticipated festivities in the Philippines is Flores de Mayo, which means “Flowers of May” in Spanish. Every year in the month of May, Filipino devotees to the Virgin Mary celebrate and honor her through this festival.
The Santacruzan procession is the grand finale of Flores de Mayo. It pays homage to Reyna Elena, or Saint Helen. Together with Constantine the Great, she was said to have found the True Cross in Jerusalem and brought it with them back to Rome.
The participants of the Santacruzan, known as sagalas, are typically teenage girls and boys, each playing various queens and biblical characters. The most distinguished role is that of the Reyna Elena, usually portrayed by the most beautiful lady in the entire procession.
The role of Reyna Elena’s son and escort, the Emperor Constantine, is also a coveted position in the Santacruzan, one that is typically played by a young man. Both the chosen young woman and young man are dressed in formal gown and barong for the procession.
Tips for Kids in the Santacruzan
Some organizations and establishments have put a spin on the Santacruzan by having younger children play the roles of the various queens and other characters instead of the usual teenagers. Much like the traditional procession, the kiddie version of the Santacruzan is complete with a marching band and features children dressed in their finest gowns and barongs.
If your child has been invited to be a sagala this coming Flores de Mayo, be sure to help him or her prepare for the big day with these simple tips.
Explain what will take place so your child so that he or she is aware.
If your child is mentally prepared for what is to come, then you will have an easier time getting them to cooperate with the procession organizers on the day of the Santacruzan. It also helps to get your child excited about participating in this local tradition.
Make sure to your child tries on his or her Santacruzan dress or barong before the day of the event.
Whether you have purchased a new outfit or are having your child wear clothes out of their closets, trying on the full ensemble in advance will save your child from discomfort. It will also spare you from potentially stressful situations, as it gives you the opportunity to make minor clothing alterations as needed.
Comfort goes a long way where shoes are concerned.
Remember that the Santacruzan is a procession. This means that your child will be walking quite a long distance. Choosing sensible, comfortable shoes over stylish ones that are difficult to walk in will play a big factor in ensuring that your child will see the parade through to the end. It also will save your child’s feet from blisters, and in worst cases, even injuries.
If possible, check out the Santacruzan venue and route in advance.
If you are unfamiliar with the event area, or the route for the Santacruzan procession, it would be a good idea to check out the venue in advance. This will allow you to plan out details, like where you will stay during the parade, where you can park your vehicle, or if you are taking public transportation, where your drop off points and transport terminals are situated.
These early preparation tips can help save precious time and energy on the day of the activity. It also helps to ensure a more enjoyable time for you and for your child during the festivities. Truly, planning ahead can make a big difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PATRICIA DE CASTRO-CUYUGAN
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