Jersey City Santacruzan ‘reynas’ announced

From left, Mikeala Banzuela, Kathryn Alcebar and Gabrielle Mari Manahan

By Joey Mayo

Excitement fills the air as the month of May approaches. May brings Flores De Mayo and Santacruzan. For Filipinos around the world it is the merriest and most beautiful month of the year as it brings back joyful childhood memories of fragrant flowers and festive processions.

This year, the Catholic Action of Mary will celebrate its 34th Santacruzan and Flores De Mayo, the largest and longest-running Santacruzan on the East Coast. CAM combines these two events into one joyous celebration.

CAM will hold the 34th Santacruzan and Flores De Mayo in Jersey City on Sunday, May 27, at St. Mary’s Church on Second and Erie streets. Chairperson Ledy Almadin announced the reynas of this year’s Santacruzan and Flores De Mayo. They are Katherine Alcebar as Reyna Elena, Mikeala Banzuela as Reyna Del Cielo, and Gabrielle Mari Manahan as Reyna De Las Flores.

Katherine Alcebar, Reyna Elena
Katherine, a resident of Bayonne, grew up in Quezon City. Her father Jose Abela is a native of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; her mother Zenaida Abela Medel is from Butuan City and Davao City. Katherine graduated from UP with a degree in Organizational Communication. She received her master’s degree in Corporate Communication from Baruch College in New York City and graduated summa cum laude with the highest GPA in her batch. She is a financial data analyst at UBS Investment Bank. Katherine is mom to a 6 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. She loves to travel and read and indulges in physical fitness.

Mikeala Banzuela, Reyna Del Cielo
Mikeala was born in Santa Cruz, Laguna, She is a resident of Worcester, Massachusetts, and lives with her parents, Merlin and Maricel Banzuela, and two younger brothers, Marc and Mendrick. The 20-year-old was a consistent honor student through high school. Currently, she is enrolled at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester pursuing education in the nursing program.

Gabrielle Mari Manahan, Reyna De Las Flores
Gabrielle is 14 years old, the one and only daughter of Richard and Mariel Manahan. She graduated with honors from St. James Catholic School. She entered high school at Mother Seton Regional High School as a distinguished scholar. She is currently the Freshman Student Council treasurer and an Ambassador for Mother Seton. She is part of her junior varsity volleyball team and is also very much involved in Filipino culture club.

CAM invites everyone to join and participate in the series of events:

May 12, 2012, Presentation Ball at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
May 18-26, 2012, Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo mass and flower offering
May 27, 2012, Mass at St. Mary’s church, procession and street fair
June 16, 2012, Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Mary’s Church’s Marian Hall

For further information, please check out the CAM website, or contact anyone of the following officers:

Deacon Cesar Sarmiento – 201-653-3318
Ledy Almadin – 201-755-3084
Connie Kasilag (Presentation Ball) – 201-420-0387
Eloisa Porto (Sagalas & Escorts) – 551-998-8528
Misty Tolentino (Angels & Flower Girls) – 201-792-5371
Amy Tiongson (Prayer Groups) – 201-417-8671
Joey Mayo (Street Fair Vendors, Performers) – 917 -656-9443



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