Chester and his family invited me to his hometown in Alitagtag, Batangas to watch a Santacruzan parade. The religious parade, usually held at the last day of May each year, is a novena procession that re-enacts the finding of the cross of St. Helena in Cavalry 300 years after death of Jesus Christ.
It was an event well-prepared and led by the community. People from all walks of life and of different ages participate in the parade.
There were kids who eagerly join the parade.
A lot of teens and youngsters also participated.
And of course, as a tradition, the elderly.
There were floats from each of the barangays of the town depicting Mother Mary. A parade group usually starts (or ends) with a band.
The main attraction of a parade group is usually the float featuring a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It was also sort of a "beauty competition". Participants really dress up for the event and exert effort to make themselves pretty and pleasing to the eyes.
Here's a local version of a float, entitled Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut), where Mother Mary is placed in a model of a native house made of bamboo and dried grass which is actually a national house of the Philippines.
This is where more excitement began that night. There was a time when 2 barangays passed by the same street on opposite sides at the same time. It became a bit chaotic and the environment was quite tensed but it was fun.
Majority of those who participated and higlighted in the parade are kids.
Even foreign kids participated in the parade. I'm sure they enjoyed the event.
The "main piece" of a parade group is the Hermano and Hermana who are usually the "sponsors" of the group.
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