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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

San Juan de Bautista Fiesta

It is a tradition in the Philippines to celebrate the feast of San Juan (St. John the baptist) associated with water. It means that water will be poured, splashed and thrown to the crowd as the pass by.

San Juan City in Metro Manila is the capital festival of the country. West meets east in the Philippines when June 24 is celebrated by dousing and sprinkling of water or by family outings to the beach or riverside.

This Filipino custom is the most appropriate way of commemorating the only saint, other than Mary, whose birth is celebrated in the Christian liturgy. (Feasts of other saints fall on the day of their death.) After all, Saint John is the precursor who prepared people for the coming of Christ by baptizing them with water.

Matthew 2:11 quotes Saint John as saying: "I indeed baptize wou with water unto repentence but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he sahll baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire."

Anyone who goes to the town of San Juan, Metro Manila on the morning of June 24 cannot stay dry. neither will anyone who visits small towns near a stream, a river, or the sea before noon. The experience is supposed to remind one of one's baptism.

Small childre nuse a tabo, usually an empty can used as a water dipper, to douse strangers with water. Older perspns my fill theor ancient coconut shells with perfumed water to sprinkle on passersby. Others get their bamboo cylinders fitted with pistons to squirt water on whoever passes by. Still others use water pistols.

Unfortunately, the tradition is being threatened by killjoys or local bullies who douse car owners or jeepney riders wuth water from open ditches. Their actions have made others question the very idea of the festivity.

2 comments:

katherine said...

oi...kalimot man ko, San Juan man diay gahapon...Bibo na sad diay sa San Juan dah..sayang andito ako sa Davao at wala sa Maynila...Thanks sa imo post oi..kalimot jud ko ba...wala pod nag text nako ako ig-agaw ug mga friends dah!!..hehe

Cacai M. said...

ay naku San Juan na pala-- I mean nkalipas nah at San Pedro din! OMG wla kasi dito sa lugar ko ngayon ang mga ganito-- onli in da Pilipins lang.. (I guess).. heheheh.. ooops mga blogs mo may mga pr oi.. muahhh!

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