TACLOBAN CITY – At least 12 barangay contingents participated in the Annual Grand Santacruzan of the city government on Wednesday, May 30 held to mark the culmination of the month-long observance of Santacruzan de Mayo– a traditional religious celebration that has become both a tourist and crowd-drawer for this city.
The late afternoon event organized by the city government under Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez to highlight the religious fervor and intimate devotion of Taclobanons to the Blessed Virgin Mary, featured a procession of sagalas (beautiful maidens) and elaborately-decorated arches adorned with flowers which wound its way through city’s main thoroughfares.
The traditional procession also featured children donning angel costumes who earlier participated in the Flores de Mayo celebrations in their respective barangays.
The 12 official 2018 Miss Tacloban candidates and their escorts also took part in the Grand Santacruzan to provide a glimpse of the Fiesta Beauty Pageant which will have its Grand Coronation this coming June 22, 2018.
Highlight of the festivities was the crowning of the 2018 Reyna Elena and the announcement of special awards at the Balyu-an Ampitheater; winners received trophies, sash and cash prizes.
Martha Hope Louisiana Varona of Brgy. 96 Calanipawan was crowned Reyna Elena 2018 and received a cash prize of P 8,000.
First Runner-up Britney Charisse Retuerto of Barangay 67 Anibong received P 6,000 and was also awarded the Miss All White Special Award, while second runner-up Kimberly Claire Rosanes of Brgy. 65 Paseo de Legaspi got P 4,000 cash prize and the Miss Skin Blend Award.
The grand champion honors went to Barangay 67 Anibong which received P 50,000 cash prize; 1st runner up was Brgy. 70 –Rawis Anibong which won P 30,000 and Brgy. 2 Jones won 2nd runner up and got P 20,000 cash prize.
Third and fourth runners up were Barangay 96 Calanipawan and Brgy. 52 Magallanes which got P15,000 and P10,000, respectively.
Consolation prizes of P 5,000 were given to the remaining barangays.
Special awardees were Brgy. 67 for most disciplined barangay, Brgy. 48-B Magallanes for the most participating sagala, best arch award went Brgy. 67 Anibong and Brgy. 70 tied with Brgy. 2 Jones for the best lantern award.
From a purely religious activity depicting the search and discovery of Christ’s Cross by St. Helena (Reyna Elena) and Constantine (Prinsipe Constantino), the celebration has evolved into a major tourism event here in the city. Thus the city government made the annual event a showcase of the best barangay Santacruzan.–HENRY JAMES ROCA/CIO)