The first time I experienced Marikina’s gay flores de Mayo was about three years ago when I was still using a Kodak point-and-shoot camera. Was finally able to see one again last night.
Just as a foreword, I am aware that Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan started out as different events. Flores de Mayo was a celebration of the blooming of flowers in May while Santacruzan was commemoration of the search for the holy cross by Emperor Constantine.
And while the annual gay pageant in Marikina is officially dubbed as a Flores de Mayo parade, the fact that there was a Reyna Elena proves that Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan are used interchangeably.
I’m saying this because I know that some people feel strongly about gays parading as sagalas in what is perceived to be a religious pageant. Personally, I don’t see why that should be more objectionable than the crass commercialization of the Santacruzan with beauty queens and showbiz personalities wearing designer gowns for the entertainment of tourists with the money to throw away.
So… we went to watch this year’s gay flores de Mayo in Marikina and it was a fun experience just like the last time. The sagalas were very accommodating — they stopped, smiled and posed for the cameras. Some of these gays looked so feminine and pretty it was easy to mistake them for real females.
This sagala (Speedy says he looks like Ruffa Mae Quinto) wowed the crowds by posing this way and that to the delight of those taking photos.
These are what I call the oohh la la gowns. I think it’s self-explanatory why I call them oohh la la. Yeah, real show-stoppers and scene-stealers.
The Scarlett O’Hara ball gown:
The headdress looks more appropriate for a santo in a Holy Week procession but the ball gown is definitely a Phantom of the Opera piece (note the trimming on the skirt):
Below, a decidedly Imeldific outfit:
If you will notice… the crown of the sagala in the photo below is similar to the Miss Universe crown.
The only sagalas with carrozas (literally, carriage, although carroza in a flores de Mayo parade refers to a canopy of flowers) were the Reyna Elena, the Reyna delas flores, the Emperatriz and the Hermana Mayor.
Above, the Hermana Mayor escorted by a Congressional candidate. Yeah, yeah, I know. These candidates will do anything to get elected. Believe it or not, there was a Mike Defensor vehicle with a public address system at the tail of the flores de Mayo. Hay, naku… anyway…
Above, I think that’s the Reyna delas Flores. Am not so sure though. I was running back and forth to take photos and the only thing I could think of was to get the focus right. The “smoky” appearance is due to real smoke from fireworks.
Above, the Reyna Elena. The photo in the background… that’s the same bloke who escorted the Hermana Mayor. Panggulo.
Speedy says the sagala in the red gown is a Gloria Romero look-alike. I say he looks like Bingbong Crisologo. What do you think?