A festival that lost its sanctity

SunStar Lacson
SunStar Lacson

The San Juan Basaan Festival also known as the Wattah Wattah Festival is a traditional event that takes place in the Philippines every year. It is a celebration of the feast of St. John the Baptist, and it is known for its unique water-splashing activities that symbolize purification and renewal. One of the highlights that people look forward to is the much-awaited ceremonial dousing of water on participants as a way to cleanse their souls and start anew. This ritual has deep-rooted religious significance and serves as a reminder of the importance of spiritual cleansing.

It is believed that participating in the annual Basaan Festival allows individuals to connect with their heritage and uphold longstanding customs that have been passed down through generations. It serves as a reminder of the importance of community, unity, and spiritual renewal. The act of dousing each other with water symbolizes purification and renewal, fostering a sense of camaraderie among participants.

Furthermore, San Juan Basaan Festival provides economic benefits for local businesses and promotes tourism in the region. It attracts visitors from around the world who are interested in experiencing Filipino culture firsthand. This influx of tourists helps stimulate the local economy by increasing revenue for hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.

The festival typically includes various cultural performances, street parades, and games that attract both locals and tourists alike. Participants often wear colorful costumes and carry water guns or buckets to join in the fun-filled festivities.

However, while the festival is undoubtedly a fun and exciting event, there are some concerns about safety and cleanliness. With thousands of people participating in water fights throughout the day, there is a risk of injuries or accidents occurring. Additionally, the aftermath of the festival leaves behind a mess of trash and debris that can be harmful to both humans and wildlife.

Many have expressed their anger and disappointment as to the disturbance and inconvenience they experienced after passing by the streets where the celebration was being held. Some students complained that their school projects and papers were destroyed and some employees who were on their way to work got wet when the residents forcibly splashed the public utility jeepney that they were in.

I can assume that the people were indeed having fun and enjoying the festival as their expression of their cultural activities, but if there are people who suffer and who are affected by the merriment, then for me that ruins the sanctity of the celebration itself. I mean, if those passing by are begging not to be doused with water, the residents must respect that and splash only those who are willing to get wet.

While the festival is undoubtedly a fun and exciting event, there are some concerns about safety and cleanliness. With thousands of people participating in water fights throughout the day, there is a risk of injuries or accidents occurring. It is important to consider ways to ensure safety and sustainability for future events. It is hoped that the local government officials of San Juan and other officials seriously look into this matter and ensure that this does not happen again next year.

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