Filipino Association celebrates Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo queen candidates with Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts.
Flores de Mayo queen candidates with Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts.

FLOWERS were central to a May celebration held by the Filipino Association of Banksia Grove.

The group celebrated Flores de Mayo, which means ‘flowers of May’, last month with about 270 people attending the event at Alexander Heights Community Centre on May 25.

Treasurer Bernadette Berja said the Filipino tradition involved a grand festival that started after the proclamation of the faith of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.

“It is a combination of the luxurious Filipino tradition with style, brilliance and culture,” she said.

Ms Berja said the Perth event included a search with the Flores de Mayo queen, with 10 candidates vying for the title –Lorilyn Espiritu, Pauline Gonzales, Kyla Green, Keren Hillman, Eunice Leynes, Elyjah Pearanda, Elisha Tadlip, Carmela Anne Tajolosa, Gabrielle Velez and Eliza Mae Vergara.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts chaired the judging board and crowned Eliza the queen, with runner up title going to Gabrielle and Lorilyn.

Loreto Espiritu was elected chairman and Ms Berja was elected treasurer, with Elizabeth Vergara and Ric Angeles appointed as event committee and sports committee head respectively.

Ms Berja said in 2020 the association planned to celebrate another Filipino tradition, Santacruzan, which was established by the Spaniards upon colonisation of the Philippine archipelago.

“From the Spanish term santa cruz or holy cross, Santacruzan is a re-enactment of the exploration of the True Cross by Roman Empress Helena (known as Reyna Elena), mother of Constantine the Great,” she said.

“It is said to have originated as a joyful thanksgiving celebration after the discovery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem which is now called Israel and its pilgrimage to Constantinople now known as Istanbul, Turkey.

“The custom expanded throughout the Philippines with processions of lovely ladies who epitomise Mary as sagalas or maidens in queenly costumes.”