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Opinion

The memorable events in May

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

Various celebrations, rites, and commemorations in May remind us of our culture, tradition, and blessings that happen after summer. Though we have climate change, a little aura still remains in which many of our countrymen still find leeway to spend time together as a family or as a community through visits, tours, vacations, rest, recreation, and bonding.

The Marian month of May observes fiestas where banners, flags, new curtains and utensils are retrieved for the celebration. We can commonly hear and see wailing pigs, goats, cows, and chickens ready to be slaughtered, loud music, drinking sprees, and scented smoke that beckon guests, relatives, and friends to a feast of delicious food. Fiestas in May occupy the calendar dates because of the many saints who are honored and beseeched.

We have also the Catholic tradition of Flores de Mayo as a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is gratified to bring beneficial rains that trigger flowers to bloom and crops to sprout after the usual long dry spell. This religious event reveres Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth being symbolized by the rose imaged as follows: Mystical Rose carrying bouquet of roses, Heart of Mary holding a pink heart, and the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary bringing a large rosary. Mariano Sevilla interpreted the feast in 1867 when Bulacan started the celebration for the Filipinos. Thus, the Province of Bulacan coined its name from the word Bulac or Bulak which means flower.

The month-long celebration culminates with the Santacruzan (Holy Cross), a ritual pageant held on the last day of Flores de Mayo. The community congregations in the afternoons are normally inside the church where flowers are offered to the statues of Mary. Every now and then thereafter, people share their homemade delicacies and snacks.

The so-called galore and outlandish procession either inside or outside of the church, features the primary sponsors (Hermano and Hermana Mayor) and the fashion trending young ladies and gentlemen (Reyna de Elena and Constantino) who are garbed in colored gowns and barong tagalog respectively.

By the way, before each daily afternoon prayer, catechism classes are conducted by some chosen netizens who teach in rote or repetition methods the principles of Christian religion particularly on profession of faith, celebration of Christ in mystery, life in Christ and Christian prayers. Dominantly, the teaching strategy employs the Socratic question and answer technique to young baptized children and to adult converts or catechumens. Religious songs, prayers, and psalms are recited and sung and then reflected and internalized to guide the learners to become makadiyos, makatao, makabayan at makakalikasan.

Furthermore, the month of May also showcases Mothers' Day as part of recognizing our heavenly mother, the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. This special occasion gives thanks to all mothers who emulate the tasks of Mama Mary who listens, understands and supports everyone in the family and who dares to assume the cudgels of motherhood and as the “ilaw ng tahanan”.

Last but not least, we also conduct on the second Monday of May the synchronized national and local elections every six years when we elect the president, vice president, senators, and local officials; and every three years for local elective positions for Congress, province, city, and municipality. This is provided for by our 1987 Constitution and Republic Act No. 7056. As a routine, we hear the rosy promises during the campaign period and sadly or joyfully thereafter savor failures and successes respectively after the exercise of suffrage. That is why elections are crucial and that everyone is expected to value his vote with honor, dignity, and honesty.

Once again, vote wisely!

Lito Gador Tampus

Moalboal, Cebu

SUMMER

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