Lobregat takes pride in Reyna Elena 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 June 2012 14:19

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Wednesday night took pride in this year’s Reyna Elena de Zamboanga, a local version of the Stacruzan pageantry in the May Flower Month Festival in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (MCIC) conference hall.

Lobregat said the Reyna Elena 2012, Her Majesty Shirley I and the royal entourage—Reyna Paz, Reyna Sheba, Reyna Esther and Reyna Caridad—epitomize the beauty and character of the theological virtues in Stacruzan, a Filipino tradition introduced by the Spaniards several centuries ago.

Citing biblical accounts, the mayor said the Santacruzan, which is also dubbed as the Festival of the true Holy Cross, commemorates the finding of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, the first Catholic emperor of the Roman Empire.

According to legend, 300 years after the death of Christ, St. Helena, at the age of 75, went to Calvary to search for the true Cross. After some archaeological diggings at the site of the Crucifixion, she unearthed three crosses. To find which of the three crosses was real, she tested each one by making a sick servant lie on all three. The cross, where the servant recovered, was identified as that of Jesus Christ.        

In the Philippines, he said Santacruzan is the most colorful and the central event of the May Flower Festival or Flores de Mayo. “We are happy to note that in Zamboanga, Asia’s Latin City, we continue the tradition signifying the people’s everlasting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Lobregat, an hermano during the coronation night,  stressed the city government of Zamboanga is also keeping the time-honored tradition every year by holding the Festival de las Bellas y Flores, an exposition and competition at the same time of beautiful arcos, beautiful gowns and pretty ladies.

And for this year, the Festival de las Bellas y Flores was conducted last Saturday, May 26, at Paseo del Mar where eight beautiful women joined the fashion show, featuring the creations of local designers.

The festivity also signaled the culmination of the 2012 Summer Festival, which is an annual undertaking of the city government that seeks to involve the community and provide wholesome entertainment to local residents as well as visitors during summer.

To recall, the Summer Festival this year featured traditional games or juego de antes, to the delight of the youth-participants who had never played the old games. “It was indeed a fun-filled summer experience for people from all walks of life,” the chief executive said.

Last held in 2008, the Reyna Elena de Zamboanga was one of the fund-raising activities of the MCIC, of which the proceeds will go for payment of the cathedral’s Centennial Bell Tower.

Also present during the coronation night were Monsignor Chris Manongas and other priests, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Councilor Rudy Lim, whose wife Christine was Reyna Paz, Knights of Columbus 4th degree knights, lay ministers and other faithful. — Vic Larato