Karylle marvels at 'sagala' experience with mom Zsa Zsa Padilla

Karylle marvels at ‘sagala’ experience with mom Zsa Zsa Padilla

Actress-host calls it a ‘highlight’ of her cultural work
/ 07:44 PM May 20, 2024

Karylle marvels at 'sagala' experience with mom Zsa Zsa Padilla

Karylle (right) with her mother Zsa Zsa Padilla in their ‘sagala’ elegance wearing the creations of Lito Perez/ARMIN P. ADINA

Karylle has worn many hats, as a movie and TV actress, host, singer, and stage thespian, but she said she has never been chosen to be a “sagala” before, until her most recent procession in Intramuros, Manila, where her mother Zsa Zsa Padilla was also one of the featured queens.

“I’ve never done it. It’s my first time. I was researching about it earlier, kasi siyempre (because of course) this has a very big cultural significance. And also, as a Catholic, it also has something to do with our faith,” Karylle told INQUIRER.net in an interview at Fort Santiago, the starting point of the “Santa Cruz de Mayo” organized by the Philippine Heritage Society on May 19.


“I’ve been doing a lot of plays, and a lot of them have been really cultural plays. Of course I’ve been doing work with national artists, national artist for dance Ms. Alice Reyes. We did “Rama Hari,” we did two rounds. And national artists for music, of course, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, he just had his 70th birthday. So, it always feels like there’s a cultural event that’s happening,” she continued.


Karylle also cited her work for “Larawan: The Musical,” where her mother teamed up with Celeste Legaspi on the original run. She also noted how her career continues to take a more cultural route, noting her participation in “Isang Gabing Sarswela” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and in Intramuros.

“I’m just happy that all the little projects that I’m doing, parang (it’s as if) they come together. And this one is the main highlight, because I get to do this with my mom. I think this is special. It’s happening on her birthday, it just feels like this is the new cap for all the cultural work that I’ve been doing. I feel like it led up to this moment. Ito ang pinaka-highlight (This is the main highlight), for now,” Karylle said.

For the procession, Karylle was Reyna Elena, or Queen Helena who was believed to have gone on a quest to search for Jesus Christ’s cross, and found it. She and her mother, who was Reyna Emperatriz, both wore creations by designer Lito Perez, and used crowns crafted by Gerry Sunga.

Padilla, who will celebrate her birthday on May 28, said she took the opportunity to join the procession because it was something she had not done with her daughter before. The last time she became a “sagala” was as a teenager who substituted for her sister who suddenly became unavailable. The Intramuros event last Sunday was just her second time to be in a Santacruzan.

“It’s culturally nice, kultura ng mga Pilipino ito, tapos maganda rin pala siya (this is Filipino culture, and it’s also nice),” she said, while sharing her conversation with a friend who was also part of the procession who has made it an annual devotion to the Virgin Mary.

Taking note of this, Padilla said she will “lift everything up” when it gets hot in her costume and the walk would take its toll. “’Di ba tayong mga Kristiyano’t mga Pilipino kapag medyo nahihirapan ka, ‘hindi sakripisyo ko na lang ito?’ (Us Christians and Filipinos when we struggle, don’t we say, ‘no, this is just my sacrifice?’) But this is fun to do. Whatever I do with Karylle is always fun,” she shared.


She and Karylle said they hope that their participation in the Santa Cruz de Mayo, organized with the cooperation of the Intramuros Administration and the Filipino Heritage Festival, will help the younger generation become more aware of Filipino heritage and the country’s culture.

Padilla has just released her latest single “’Pag Tinadhana,” a love song written by Jonathan Manalo, and part of her EP available for digital streaming. “I haven’t done a studio album in eight years, I think. So I’m really excited about it,” she shared.

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Karylle, meanwhile, will top-bill another stage musical, the Manila run of the Broadway hit “Little Shop of Horrors” with Sue Ramirez, Nyoy Volante, and Reb Atadero.

TAGS: Karylle, Zsa Zsa Padilla

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