A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is enshrined in Pakil in Laguna and every year between the Friday before Palm Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the women of Pakil carry the image into the city and commemorate the ‘Seven Sorrows of Our Lady’ by performing seven ‘Turumbas,’ which are wild dances performed in homage to her.
Flores de Mayo
Throughout the Philippines, devotees of Roman Catholicism celebrate Flores de Mayo for the full month of May. It is held to honor the Virgin Mary and every afternoon, children dressed in white attend church and sprinkle flower petals along the aisle and lay a bouquet at the alter. The final nine days are devoted to prayer.
This two-day festival honors the carabao, the animal without whom the farmers of Pulilan could not plough their fields. On the first day, the carabaos are groomed and decorated with flowers and parade through the streets to the church square where they kneel to be blessed. The second day brings an informal race in the town.
Obando Fertility Rites
Visitors from all over come to Bulacan for this three-day festival, primarily men and women who want to bear children. There is a parade each day for San Pascual, Santa Clara and Senora de Salambao and the people follow the images of the saints, dancing in the street to bamboo instruments, hoping to be blessed with fertility.
Every year on May 15th, the residents of Lucban pay respect to St Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, with this colorful celebration. The houses in one street are decorated with fruits, vegetables and adornments made of rice, which can be eaten later. The house owners compete to be named best-decorated.
This festival on the last day of May is the culmination of Flores de Mayo. In cities and towns all over the country, people celebrate Reyna Elena (or Saint Helena) finding the true cross and returning it to Rome. There are huge pageants in the streets with people dressed as biblical characters or former queens.
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