santacruzan
Maria Anasocor Alejo Manoloto reigns as Reyna Elena during the Santacruzan. She is shown being escorted by young Colin Fineran, who plays the role of Emperor Constantine. Photos by CALOY CARRIAGA

It was a glittering, colorful religious event.

This aptly describes the Santacruzan, also called Flores de Mayo, held on May 28, 2016 at the St. Priscilla church in Livonia.

The traditional religious activity, organized by the recently formed Immaculate Heart of Mary Ministry (IHMM), was in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and in celebration of the Corpus Christi feast.

Participated in by at least 300 faithful, the Rosary procession was complete with angels and 30 “sagalas” who played the roles of various biblical and historical characters.

The sagalas and the characters they portrayed were Mimie Stempien, Reyna Banderada; Jessa Jacobsen, Reyna Mora; Mary Ann Francisco Noffz, Reyna Fe; Nelly Paler Jensen, Reyna Esperanza; Jennifer Groh, Reyna Caridad; Louela Brown, Reyna Abogada; Odessa Pimentel Schmidt, Reyna Sentenciada; Emeline Parkinson, Reyna Justicia; Marife McKeehan, Reyna Judith; Bella Case, Reyna Sheba; Ross Mar Martinez Hess, Reyna Esther; Amber Stempien, Santa Veronica; Jeanne Ramsey, Mary Magdala; Zairel Flynn, Mary Mother of Christ; Adeline Navarre, Mary Mother of James; Jo-Ann Melgarejo Odfalk (Anna Cho), Queen of Angels; Sky Velilla, Star of Wisdom; Cassandra Rigor, Queen of Stars; Samantha Stafford, Mystical Rose; Maria Melissa Sunshine Fresco, Corazon de Maria; Alyssa Almazar, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary; Cendi Mina, Queen of the Moon; Youri Cho, Queen of Candles; Alana Alyssa Ramirez, Queen of Peace; Marissa Hill, Queen of Patriarchs; Marianne Ello, Queen of Prophets; Jessa Navarre, Queen of Apostles; Mary Camille Albaran, Queen of Saints; Mary Anderson, Queen of Heaven; Reyna Bohacz, Queen of Flowers; Dr. Lourdes Dizon, Reyna Emperatriz; and Maria Anasocor Alejo Manaloto, Reyna Elena.

Emperor Constantine was played by young Colin Fineran.

Gina Robles Solon, IHMM leader, said that in hosting the event, IHMM wants “to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary, preserve Filipino cultural, religious traditions and continue the evangelization of Christ in the lives of Filipinos in Michigan.”

Fr. Theo D’Cunha officiated the Eucharistic mass. In his homily, he commented that the Santacruzan organized by IHMM is “an example of love and unity.”

In a program held shortly before dinner, Brenda Sangustin gave a historical background of the Flores de Mayo. The event was capped by a cultural presentation.