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St. John The Baptist’s Feast in Metro Manila Makes a Splash



The Bible said that Saint John baptised Christ, and his feast day is celebrated by Catholics every 24th of June. In the Philippines, this becomes a water festival that can be wet and wild, especially in the City of San Juan (Spanish for “Saint John”) in Metro Manila. So keep dry or keep your cool…


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The June 24th festival was labelled “Wattah Wattah” (from “water water”) by former mayor and now Senator JV Ejercito. This year it falls on a Wednesday, so commuters and shoppers in San Juan area are warned! The festival features the wetting or “basaan” of anyone in range, echoing the famous Thai “Songran” festival which happens 10 days before.


As with Songran, local authorities have tried to reduce the inconvenience, rerouting traffic and requesting a cessation of “basaan” before noon.



“Basaan or “wetting” of passing jeepneys is a common thing every 24 June.

Residents of San Juan and a few other cities splash water onto each other and passers by. Consequently, it’s best to be aware, especially if in San Juan, and take some precautionary measures.


So keep yourself and your belongings covered up, and use transport with full windows. Jeepneys and bicycles are not recommended, and gadgets and maybe spare clothing could be put in waterproof bags.


Whilst commuters, students and the smartly dressed are largely respected and avoided, it’s possible to be splashed. Of course, getting angry is never a good idea in Asian society, so if you are caught, treat being “baptised” in this way with good humour!



Author: Rhett Kinneas

Photo source:

Commuters get splashed with water –





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