TFC News

Fil-Canadians hope to keep tradition alive in Alberta 'Santacruzan'

Jess de Leon | TFC News Alberta

Posted at Jun 03 2023 08:52 PM

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Filipino-Canadians brought back a slice of home to Alberta as they held the "Santacruzan" religious parade.

The age-old tradition was the highlight of the Flores de Mayo festival in Red Beer, where flowers and prayers were offered to the Virgin Mary at a local church.

The manager of a farmer's market where the parade passed through expressed excitement over the event.

"[The farmers market] has a diverse community and culture," said Shauna Fisher. "We wanna celebrate it here. We're excited to be part of your Filipino culture."

May Lisondra, a business owner at the market, is a longtime supporter of the Santacruzan event which began in Red Beer in 2008.

"It sort of brings back our lives in the Philippines while we're in Canada," she said in Filipino.

Members of the Philippine Canadian Association of Red Deer were elated to see the success of the event.

"With the organization trying to get everything together, it's a wonderful thing for Filipinos," said Matthew Cameron, one of the volunteers for the event.

For Mildred Manuel, who organized the Santacruzan, the younger generation should keep the tradition alive.

"It's a devotion to the Virgin Mary," she added. "We want to keep this yearly for them to be aware of our culture and tradition."