Every 24th of June, Filipinos commemorate the birth of St John the Baptist. We all remember him as the Saint who prepared the people in the coming of Jesus Christ through baptism with water. Aside from Blessed Virgin Mary, St John is the only saint in the Catholic Church whose birth is celebrated as feast, other are celebrated on the day of their death.
In various regions in the Philippines, we celebrate the feast differently. There are water fights, Mud people walking in the streets, and the most awaited roasted pigs or lechon parade.
- In Manila, People who passed by the town of San Juan, may need to be extra careful. Not from snatchers but from the people who is bringing several pails of water and throwing it to everyone. Houses are turning on their hoses and firetrucks are busy roaming around the city and making sure no one has left their Town dry. It’s officially the wettest day of the year!
- Parada ng Lechon (Roasted Pig Parade) in Balayan, Batangas
It’s not everyday that you witness a parade of roasted pig on the street. In Balayan,Batangas, they held this celebration annually. Lechons are dressed depending on the annual theme that each organization has chosen. They also wrapped it with a clear plastic to prevent from getting wet. As soon it’s ready, these are brought to the church of Immaculate conception. Participating lechons or roasted pigs will line up the church patio while a mass is being celebrated and blessed in honor of St. John the Baptist.
- Taong Putik Festival in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija
In contrast to the above celebrations, the village of Bibiclat in Aliaga nueva Ecija has a very odd way of celebrating the feast of San Juan.
The devotees or “Taong Putik” pay their homage by covering theirselves with Mud and dried banana leaves imitating how St John dressed using the native products. . Then they go to church to offer the candles and pray.
Celebrations may vary from one region to another, but there’s one thing in common. Filipino devotions and respect for traditions being passed from the one generation to the next.