Friday, May 04, 2012


The month of May could have different meaning and implications to different people in the different parts of the world. And so be it. But in the Philippines, May is over and above all, the month of flowers. It is then understandable that during this month, many celebrations are held now and then, in this and that part of the Country. They come in form of Fiestas, spectacles and other extravaganza. But one thing is certain: Herein the Philippines, it is during the month of May that two particular events with religious significance are held in many places, viz., the much observed “May Flower Devotion” and the well-known “Santacruzan.”

There is however a big difference between these two celebrations in the month of May. One is a very simple, innocent and religious – not to mention its plain arrangement and homey celebration. The other however has slowly but surely fomented not only discussion but also dissent, not simply arguments but also headaches as well as heart pains.

The one that is plainly religious in significance and implications is the “May Flower Devotion.” This traditional observance – in addition to being done in the month of May – is held everyday during which children gather, say short prayers, sing Marian songs and eventually offer and place fresh flowers before an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary as symbols of her tender love and care. And at the end of the month, a simple and plain “Santacruzan” is held with children or young people as the principal characters therein. This particular celebratory procession is usually held under the direction of Marion women devotees in Parish. This alone says that the occasion cannot but be religiously correct.

The one that causes questions and at times even promotes dissensions is the “Santacruzan” with adult characters and held under the direction of either private neighborhood organizations or public agencies. In few words, the event recalls the tradition of the finding of the Cross by St. Helena – queen mother of then little King Constantine – whereto Christ was crucified. The main problem is that those in charge of preparing the event are at liberty to choose and name the individuals who will assume this or that role in the event. At times, the choice falls on movie stars/starlets whose value systems and actuations are morally questionable. On occasions too, the choice falls on the so-called “Third Sex” which also raises disagreements among some people in the place.

Advisory: Since it is a big pity that supposedly religious events and commemorations would make people resent one another instead of inspiring and uniting them, perhaps – just perhaps – the following reminder is in order: “Love one another!” This is a fundamental Commandment based on the equality of human dignity. If one thinks that this advisory is irrelevant, think again – please!