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Santa Cruz de Mayo celebrated
Every May, Oak Harbors Filipino community celebrates Santa Cruz de Mayo, a 10-day religious heritage event honoring the Virgin Mary.
We keep doing this for our kids we want them to know about their heritage and culture, said Vic Guerra, Santa Cruz de Mayo Association president.
Nine days of the Santa Cruz de Mayo celebration, which translates to the Holy Cross of May, are spent in prayer. The novena, or reciting of the Rosary, takes place during evening masses held at St. Augustines Church.
The tenth day begins with morning mass, and a parade that represents the search for the Holy Cross. The elaborate procession is filled with prayer and song.
Santa Cruz de Mayo was introduced to the Philippines by Spanish missionaries in 1521. This marks the eleventh Santa Cruz de Mayo celebration for Oak Harbor.
Members of Oak Harbors Fil-Am Association, Santa Cruz de Mayo Association, St. Augustine and St. Josephs parishes, as well as the Knights of Columbus march in the parade.
Leading the parade is the selected Reyna Elena or Queen Helen. The name is taken from Queen Helena of Rome, mother of Constantine the Great, who is said to have discovered the original cross on which Jesus was crucified.
The 10-day Santa Cruz de Mayo celebration wrapped up at St. Augustines with a potluck feast of Filipino specialties. For more information about Oak Harbors Filipino-American Association and its programs, go to http://www.
geocities.com/Heartland/3592/. For information on next years celebration, call Guerra at 675-0597.