A Festive Flores de Mayo

6/13/20223 min read

ONE of my favorite parts of the Pyestang Fernandino prior to the pandemic was the annual Flores de Mayo, which featured flower offerings to our Blessed Virgin Mother by the sagalas, beautiful maidens chosen to represent titles of Mary from the Litany of the holy Rosary.

Pre-pandemic, the sagalas and their escorts came from the ranks of our Mutya and Lakan ning San Fernando candidates while Pizza Hut brought in a national beauty title holder, the likes of Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.

This year, after a hiatus of two years, the Pyestang Fernandino became much more festive with the revival of the Flores de Mayo on May 29 which was jointly organized by the Capital Town Megaworld Pampanga, the Provincial Government of Pampanga through the Arts, Culture, and Tourism Office of Pampanga, and the City Government of San Fernando, through the City Tourism Office.

The event started with a Holy Mass officiated by Reverend Father Joseph “Pep” Bacay at the Santo Nino Parish Church which was followed by the procession from the church to the Capitol and Capital Town. At the Capital Town, the sagalas paid tribute to the Virgin Mary through the offering of flowers.

This year’s sagalas included Mutya ning Kapampangan and Mutya ning San Fernando Rica Gabriene David as the “Mystical Rose”, escorted by our Lakan ning San Fernando Kjel Panlilio, Miss Silka Philippines Jaimee Nicole Manio as “Holy Mother of God”, Mary Joy Patdu as “Holy Mother of the Church”, Eula Maricon Mercado as “Mother of Hope”, Mae Angelie Tan as “Mother of Good Counsel”, Shairell Mendoza as “Virgin Most Prudent”, Patricia Manguiat as “Virgin Most Merciful” escorted by Bernardson Lazatin, Pamela Manaloto as “Mother Most Chaste” escorted by Alfrancis Lagazon, Alaine Ghel Pingul as “Mirror of Justice” escorted by Paul Garcia, Hazel Pangilinan as the “Ark of the Covenant” escorted by Casey Canlas, Czarina Joy Guiao as “Queen of Angels” escorted by John Riel Laxamana, Kyle Celine Dorado as “Queen Conceived without sin” escorted by Nelson Nazal, Maria Alyssa Sarmiento as “Queen Assumed into Heaven” escorted by Kian Enriquez, Rose Ann Pangilinan as “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary” escorted by John Eric Hernandez, Mary Ann Felker as “Queen of Peace” escorted by John Smith, and Jessica Rose McEwen as “Queen of Peace” escorted by Edison Borja.

Top designers of Pampanga and Manila showcased their beautiful and chic Filipiniana creations for this year’s Flores de Mayo including a veritable list of Kapampangan pride like Mak Tumang, Philip Torres, Glen Canlas, Rich Sabinian, Manelle Chamian, Ryan Manansala, Michael Sibug, Bong Ronquillo, Kalid Ra, and visiting designers Rick Valdez, Redge Cautiver, Michael Bongga, Chris Egne, Ana Rimbiosa, Chris T Ian, Jillian de Guzman, Joey Villamor, and Jhaymer Ferrer Lui.

The sagalas looked even more stunning under the creative hands of well-known makeup and hair artists like Maru Rodriguez, Georgina Baluyut Gabrillo, Dhugz Caminares, JC Medina, Karla Ferreras, Ana Tiglao, Avvie Laxamana, and Rhoy Pineda and team.

The success of this year’s Flores de Mayo is a result of the synergy and strong public and private partnerships in our community, from our Church to our local governments, to our creative industries, and our businesses. We hope that such will be sustained in the years to come.

On a personal note, I would like to congratulate my dearest friend kuya Glen Canlas and kuya Richie Bondoc who were among the featured alumni at the “Arte Y Istilo” AUF Alumni Art exhibit in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Angeles University Foundation, one of the best private universities in our region. One of Richie’s featured gowns is a hand-painted explosion of Philippine blooms in collaboration with our very own Fernandino artist Jude Pangilinan.

Thank you to the awesome Gerald Gloton for the wonderful photos.