A celebration of faith and tradition in the Philippines


Brief Description

Santacruzan is a pinnacle of a month-long festival Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) celebrated by the Philippine Catholics. Colorful Santacruzan procession is held to commemorate the discovery of the Holy Cross which, as believed, was made by Saint Helena and her son Constantine who was to become the first Christian Roman Emperor.

Young girl and little boy wearing sumptuous outfits are the main characters of the procession, which nevertheless includes numerous others impersonating angels and archangels, twelve stars of the Virgin Mary’s crown, abstract concepts (like seven virtues), just noble ladies and gentleman (Damas y Caballeros) or even Angelic Salutation as eight letters forming ‘Ave Maria’ carried by eight different girls, also wearing glamorous gowns. 

Most of the procession participants as well as many Solemn Mass attenders are either children of teenagers. After the prolonged service, all leave the church and walk around the town accompanied with a brass band playing simple major tunes.

Captured procession took place on the 28 of May 2017 in the town of Santa Barbara, Iloilo Province, Western Visayas.



Eva Rapoport – photographer, journalist and researcher currently residing in Thailand.