The Home for Girls (HFG) held a Santacruzan on May 28, 2021, to end the month of May. It has been a practice of the HFG to conduct a significant activity every end of the month to be participated in by the residents.
Santacruzan is a yearly celebration throughout the Philippines every May of the year. This colorful festival depicts the finding of the True Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.
Selected girls served as “sagalas” dressed in ternos and gowns made of recyclable materials and walked underneath elaborately decorated umbrellas and arches. They recited the holy rosary as “Dios te salve, Maria” song was played in the background during the procession inside the center compound in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
Among the sixteen sagalas are Reyna Banderada, Reyna Sentenciada, Reyna Justicia, Reyna Fé, Reyna Esperanza, Reyna Caridad, Rosa Mystica, Reyna del Cielo, Reyna de las Estrellas, Reyna de las Virgines, Reyna de los Angeles, Reyna del Paz, Reyna del Santisimo Rosario, Reyna de las Flores, Reyna Elena and Reyna Emperatriz.
They were accompanied by little girls dressed like angels, who each carried a letter to complete the words “AVE MARIA.”
After the procession, they offered flowers to the image of the Virgin Mary.
A short fashion show followed to showcase various gown designs.
Some of the dresses worn by the “sagalas” were made from recyclable materials like rice sacks, plastics, and magazines and turned into beautiful ternos. The girls and staff of the Home for Girls designed the ternos.
Other dresses were skillfully made by PWD trainees of Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II, and some gowns were borrowed from local designers like Ma. Theresa Ng and Anatolia Matugas.
The outstanding designs were given special awards like the Green Fashion award for the best eco-friendly terno, Chic Award for the borrowed gowns, and Blooming Petal Award for the most creative umbrella design.
“Pinaagi aning Santacruzan mas daghan ko nakat-onan, una kabahin unsay relevance aning pagsaulog ug ikaduha nakabalo ko og bag-ong skill kay ako man ang naghimo sa akong gown gamit ang recyclable materials (Through the Santacruzan, I have learned many things, first, what is the relevance of this celebration and second I learned a new skill because I am the one who made my gown using recyclable materials),” said Anna, who acted as the Reyna Elena.
“The monthly culmination activity is conducted towards the end of the month. These activities form part of the rehabilitative activities of the client during their temporary stay in the center. On top of achieving their rehabilitation goal, these activities enable the clients to hone their talents, harness their skills and at the same time discover their potentials,” said Ligaya Dael, the center head of Home for Girls.
The Home for Girls is a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)–run center, which serves as a temporary residential facility for victims and survivors of different forms of abuse, violence, and exploitation. It provides alternative family care to children whose needs cannot be adequately met by their loved ones and relatives over a period of time.
Psychosocial interventions are given to residents for them to overcome their trauma and to prepare for their reintegration with families. ###