If you are friends with me on Facebook or if you do follow me on Instagram then you must have seen some photos of me in a white Filipiniana gown. Clearly, I got involved in this year’s Santacruzan; I involuntary got to be part of it. I had no choice; I cannot refuse the invite for the event was organized by a family friend, so apparently I cannot turn down the request.
Oh by the way if you are reading this and happen to be a non-native, allow me to brief you first about the said affair. Santacruzan is a religious beauty procession held in cities and towns in the Philippines during the month of May. Young ladies are chosen to represent notable biblical characters/”queens” and each one is dressed in their extravagant gowns. Lads are also chosen to escort the so-called queens. The festivity is basically meant to pay special tribute to Mother Mary.
(If you wish to know more information about it, google is just a click away.)
Sta. Maria, Bulacan’s Grand Santacruzan occurred last Saturday, May 30th.
30 ladies gathered to take part in the parade, including Rachel Daquis aka The Queen Tamaraw (the star of the night) who represented Reyna delas Flores.
I invited Janeeva to participate as well! I honestly did not expect her to say yes (considering the fact she lives way too far from my hometown), but she did– gladly. She travelled all the way from Laguna to Bulacan (rode a bus, carrying a luggage) just to grant my request, sweet! It was her first time to be a sagala, and I think it turned out to be a fun experience to her. I hope so!
The procession started at around 8 in the evening. I was second to the last (which I think I didn’t deserve for I was “too simple” compared to everyone else that evening). Entering the holding area and seeing the other sagalas wearing flamboyant gowns with really huge crowns got me like….
Most ladies, as you have seen on the photos below, have such fancy gowns and plakadong muk-ap! I was feeling kind of out of place because of my “simplicity” that evening, but you know what they say…
Simplicity is a.) beauty b.) the ultimate sophistication c.) the best policy
Everything was going pretty fine until the lights went off shortly after leaving the Church. The engine overheated causing the lamps to break down. It took the committee about an hour to fix the glitch but they still weren’t able to get it to work. It was only Rachel, who had a floral arch with functioning lights on it. However, the show must go on; we might not have lamps to cast light on us but we have phones– with flashlights, duh?
My sister and some of her friends accompanied me throughout the procession. People were all over the streets waiting and watching for the sagalas to come by. I think it was the only Santacruzan that took place in my hometown so the locals must have waited for it. This is actually one of the most awaited (May) festivities in town! 🙂
Daquis left after two hours… allowing me to take over her place.. I honestly got a bit off guard; I didn’t know she’ll be leaving too soon, I didn’t know one of us shall replace her, and I didn’t know it would be me(!!!?). Somebody should’ve told me in advance so I could you know..prepare myself? (lol)
What happened was, we were halfway through the procession when she left. And since I was second to the last, I was commanded to take over her spot. So I had the lights and the arc to myself (and to my escort, of course). The spotlight was on us and I wasn’t sure if I was happy about it; quite annoyed because of the uneasy feeling that I had from all the smiling I did and the smiling the I needed to do. Oh the pressure of instantly being in the public eye..charot! I was asking my escort to make cheap cracks and share funny stories so I could keep the big grin on my face.
Some people recognized me as you know.. the “Dubsmash girl”. I kept on hearing the word “dubsmash” eveeeerywhere. While some also thought I was Rachel Daquis. There was this moment when a lady came up to me, took multiple photos and said “Grabe idol na idol kita!”, it got me like “Aww *smiles*” then she goes… “Kayo ni Valdez! Ang galing mo tumira!”
….I said thanks. I didn’t want to ruin the moment for her; she seemed too happy to see her “idol” in person! Sige ate, I will pose as Daquis for you, since “idol na idol” mo sya. After that funny incident, I started reminding people who wanted to take photos of me/WITH me that I am not Rachel Daquis. Haha gladly that was the first and the last!
The procession ended at around 11. After the offering of flowers, a photo op was held inside the Church..
When we got home, I asked Kuya John (my sister’s husband who is a part-time photographer) to conduct a mini photo shoot for Janeeva and I. We wanted to have some decent photos together for we don’t seem to have any. (I told you we are fond of making ourselves look ugly in photos all the time! Let us not ruin our refined-looking-selves with our fugly faces– just for a night.)
Debut photos be like..
Throwback photos of your grandmothers be like..
Being part of my hometown’s Santacruzan was a good experience; and getting Janeeva to join the set made it even better. I wish the whole barkada was there to support us para happy! I probably wouldn’t need to force myself to smile anymore. Anyhow at least I got to work on my fake smiling skills. Oha!
photo credits to
Raymond Geronimo, John Catalan & Detdet Mercado