HAMPSHIRE’s Filipino community took to the streets for one of their most sacred festivals this weekend.

Nearly 200 countrymen gathered outside St Patrick’s RC Church in Woolston to mark the Flores de Mayo ceremony.

Families arrived at the Portsmouth Road church in traditional Filipino dress for the Catholic festival.

It is the first large scale event of its kind to be held in the city and for the holy celebration marking the month of May.

Millions of people in the Philippines have spent the last month presenting flowers to the statues of the Virgin Mary daily before a procession through the streets, singing songs and carrying flowers and statues of the saints.

In Southampton they sung in both English and the Far Eastern country’s language Tagalog before Father Claro Conde leading the procession from the hall to the church before mass.