Jun. 08, 2023 08:45 AM
Ms. Merry Joy Rapada, Reyna Elena, together with Mr. Jenezis Caliwag as Constantine this Santacruzan 2023 of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Quiapo, Manila—The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene culminated the month-long activity of Flores de Maria with Santacruzan on May 31, 2023. Fifty-two gorgeous ladies with stunning gowns participated, coming from different ministries and organizations. For this year’s Santacruzan, Ms. Mary Joy Rapada, Reyna Elena, and Mr. Jenezis Caliwag, Constantino, are parish personnel who led the colorful and festive sagala.
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr. presides the 5:00 p.m. mass this Feast Day of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The event commenced with the Eucharistic celebration at 5:00 p.m., presided by Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., Rector and Parish Priest. In line with the festivity and glamor of the “sagala” with colorful flowers and stunning beauties marching on the streets, Fr. Sescon reminded the participants that physical beauty has to be a reflection only of internal beauty, like Mary, despite her own poor and vulnerable condition, still allowed the Holy Spirit to fill her soul to serve those who are in need like Elizabeth, her cousin, who carried in her womb the one who is to prepare the way of the Lord, John the Baptist.
Stunning and gorgeous ladies parade the streets donning their gowns representing different titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Hence, Fr. Sescon challenged all the participants to imitate Mary, who is in a hurry to help and do good things for others; be in a hurry not to push and hurt others but instead, be in a hurry to share with others the very message of God’s love: “God is with us,” “God is for us,” and God is in us,” as Fr. Sescon deepened his reflection in his homily. And this is, indeed, a manifestation that the Holy Spirit is at work in one’s life.
The festive Sagala 2023 commences with colorful dance performances and band with rolling drums (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Following the liturgy, the festive Sagala had formally begun from the church, going around to its neighborhood in Quiapo with approximately 500 people joining in the long-time and joyous custom that Filipinos observe every year. The procession lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes. Rev. Fr. Sescon, together with his parochial vicars: Rev. Fr. Arrellano, Rev. Fr. Mojica and Rev. Fr. Valdez, Attached Priest, had also joined the procession to be with the community of faithful of the Black Nazarene.
– Alfrein O. Quirionez | EIAM & ADRM
The Sagala 2023 participants of the Minor Basilica and the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)