Marikina’s annual gay flores de Mayo

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.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

The Scarlett O’Hara ball gown:

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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):

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Below, a decidedly Imeldific outfit:

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

If you will notice… the crown of the sagala in the photo below is similar to the Miss Universe crown.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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…

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Above, the Reyna Elena. The photo in the background… that’s the same bloke who escorted the Hermana Mayor. Panggulo.

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

Gay Flores de Mayo, Marikina City

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? :razz: