FAMILIES from across Hampshire will be heading to a Southampton church to take part in a major Filipino festival for the first time this Saturday.

Organisers are expecting more than 100 people to join a Catholic ceremony called Flores de Mayo at St Patrick’s RC Church, Woolston, where people will be wearing national Filipino dress.

People from as far as London and across the south are expected to head to the Portsmouth Road church hall, joining millions of people in the Philippines to celebrate the month of May.

In the poverty-stricken Far East country, flowers are presented to the statues of the Virgin Mary every day before a procession through the streets singing songs and carrying flowers and statues of saints.

In Southampton, songs will be sung in both English and Tagalog, the most-widely language spoken in the Philippines, with Father Claro Conde leading the procession from the hall at 11am before mass in the church.

Afterwards there will be lunch and children’s entertainment in the hall.

Organiser Marivic Paglinawam hopes this Saturday’s event will become an annual event.

She said: “Next time we hope it to be a larger event.”

For more information contact Fr Claro on 07803 191502.