By Rosallie Ruiz
KAPWA, Loyola University Chicago’s Filipino Student Organization, hosted its annual Santacruzan at St. Ignatius House to honor the Virgin Mary.
Santacruzan is a traditional event in the Philippines where a parade is held with decorated floats and procession of young women who represents different aspects of the Virgin Mary and other religious figures.
The festivities are sponsored by SAF, KAPWA and Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and include a procession, mass and reception to celebrate graduating Kapwa seniors, and to officially assume new positions of the Kapwa 2012-2013 board.
The procession started at Madonna della Strada Chapel and ended at St. Ignatius House and was attended by about 50 students and spectators.
The mission of KAPWA is to create a comfortable welcoming atmosphere for all of its members as well as the whole Loyola community, complete with the idealism of promoting, educating, and enriching with the culture, traditions, and heritage of the Philippines. Students of all backgrounds can participate in KAPWA and get a sense of belonging and love only shared by a family.
Julius Aguas, president of KAPWA organization, shares his insights of this event and why he thinks it is important for all students and not just Filipinos to participate.
“Kapwa is a Filipino organization on campus that spreads Philippine culture, heritage and awareness,” Aguas said. “It is important that students participate in this celebration to see the dedication we put in, honoring the Virgin Mary, saying goodbye to senior members and passing on of powers to the new executive board.”
Some students are surprised to hear about this event, but pleased with the awareness it brings to students.
“I heard this is year nine of the celebration held on campus, but I honestly have never heard of this event prior to today,” said Sidrah Atiq, 20, a junior finance and marketing major. “It’s great to see some Filipino culture awareness around campus since there seems to not be many.”
Some spectators believe that this tradition should be continued and participation be encouraged.
“My sisters were part of Kapwa organization years back and I’m glad to see that this tradition is still alive to this time,” said Michael Capulong, 30, an HRIS analyst from Human Resources. “The Santacruzan that I’ve witnessed in the Philippines is grander than how it was depicted here, but it is still a nice effort.”