|Photo from WikiPilipinas|
Santacruzan, the hightlight of the month-long celebration, is a religious-historical beauty pageant, re-enacting the search of Queen Elena (mother of Constantine the Great) for the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified; 300 years after His death.
Flores de Mayo was introduced by the Spanish friars in 1854. Reina Elena (Queen Elena) is kept a secret until the day of the parade to surprise the people.
1. Methuselah—he is bearded, bent with age, riding a cart looking preoccupied with toasting some grains of sand in a pan over a fire. This is a reminder that all that glitters will end up as dust like what he is toasting.
2. Reyna Abanderada—a young lady dressed in a long red gown carrying a yellow triangular flag. She represents the coming of Christianity to the Philippines.
3. Reyna Aetas—represent the state of the people of the country before the coming of Christianity. These are the unconverted Filipino pagans.
4. Reyna Mora—represents the dominant religion before Christianity.
5. Reyna Fe--symbolizes the virtue of faith,the first of the theological virtues. She carries a cross.
6. Reyna Esperanza—symbolizes the virtue of hope, the second theological virtue. She carries an anchor.
7. Reyna Caridad—symbolizes the virtue of charity, the third theological virtue. She carries a red heart.
8. Reyna Abogada—the defender of the poor and the oppressed. She wears a black graduation cap (toga) and gown and she carries a big book.
9. Reyna Sentenciada—has her slim hands bound by a rope. She is the symbol of the innocents who have been convicted. She is accompanied by two Roman soldiers.
10. Reyna Justicia—a personification of the "mirror of justice". She carries a weighing scale and a sword.
11. Reyna Judith—representing Judith who saved her city from the Assyrians after she beheaded the cruel Holofernes. She carries the head of the beheaded man on one hand and a sword on the other.
12. Reyna Sheba—who visited the famed King Solomon and was overwhelmed by his wisdom, power and riches. She carries a jewelry box.
13. Reyna Esther—the biblical Jewish who spared her countrymen from death and destruction through timely intervention with the King Xerxes. She carries a scepter.
14. Samaritana—the woman who Christ spoke to at the well. She carries a jug on her shoulder.
15. Veronica—the woman who wiped the face of Jesus. She carries a bandana imprinted with the three faces of Jesus.
16. Tres Marias (The Three Marys)- each Mary holds an attribute associated with her:
- Mary of Magdala - a bottle of perfume;
- The Virgin Mary - a handkerchief;
- Mary, the mother of James - a bottle of oil.
17. Marian Titles - each figure in this group alludes to a title of the Virgin Mary or to a figure associated with her.
- "A-V-E--M-A-R-I-A" - eight "angels": girls all wearing long white dresses and wings- each holding a letter from the word "AVE MARIA."
- Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess) - a shepherd's staff.
- Reyna de las Estrellas (Queen of the Stars) - a wand with a star.
- Rosa Mystica (Mystical Rose)- a bouquet of roses.
- Reyna dela Paz (Queen of Peace) - a dove.
- Reyna de las Profetas (Queen of the Prophets)- an hourglass.
- Reyna del Cielo (Queen of Heaven)- a flower; accompanied by two little "angels".
- Reyna de las Virgines (Queen of the Virgins) - a rosary (or a lily); also escorted by two little "angels".
- Reyna de las Flores (Queen of the Flowers) - a bouquet of flowers.
18. Reyna Elena (Queen Helena)—the founder of the true Cross, represented by the small cross she carries. She is escorted by her son, Prince Constantine (Emperor).
19. Bishop Macario dressed as a Bishop. Bishop Macario was the Bishop of Jerusalem who consecrated the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on September 14, thereafter celebrated as the Triumph of the Cross.