Festival Screen grab from FB video

San Juan to use only 3 trucks of water during Wattah Festival

June 18, 2024 Arlene Rivera 1304 views

AS part of the efforts to conserve water, San Juan City will only use 3 trucks of water during this year’s celebration of “Wattah, Wattah” Festival.

During past celebrations , over 50 fire trucks were used by the local government during the festivity.

In preparation for the much-anticipated Wattah Wattah San Juan Festival on June 24, 2024, Mayor Francis Zamora announced new guidelines with water conservation during the festivities.

San Juan City is named after St. John the Baptist, our patron saint. He was the one who baptized our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This celebration is being held to simulate the act of baptism.

The mayor said that the religious tradition of “basaan (dousing of water)” must continue as it is part of San Juan’s culture and tourism.

“The ‘basaan’ is an important religious antourism attraction in the city as it symbolizes the baptism of Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist,” said Mayor Zamora.

However, Mayor Zamora also underscores that the city continues to be one with the country’s efforts in water conservation.

In response to the current water situation in the Philippines, as outlined in Executive Order No. FMZ-173, the city will implement several measures to ensure that the traditional “Basaan,” or dousing of water, is conducted responsibly. These measures come in the wake of recent weather updates from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) indicating a shift from El Niño to ENSO-neutral conditions, with a possible transition to La Niña by the third quarter of 2024.

“ PAGASA has already announced the beginning of the rainy season. However, water levels at our dams have not yet recovered to normal levels, so we believe that we should continue our efforts for water conservation while allowing religious and cultural practices, albeit with water conservation in mind,” Mayor Zamora said.

One of the guidelines Mayor Zamora is the limitation on fire trucks at the festival parade.

Only three fire trucks will be permitted to participate in the Basaan parade. These must be official San Juan fire trucks or volunteer fire trucks registered with the 2024 Wattah Wattah Festival Organizing Committee.

The parade route has been predetermined, and citizens are encouraged to view the parade from this route and actively participate in the festivities. The traditional Basaan will only be allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on June 24, 2024, ensuring that water usage is minimized.

A dedicated enforcement team composed of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Traffic and Parking Management Office, Public Order and Safety Office, Task Force Disiplina, and all Barangay Officials will be responsible for strictly implementing these guidelines during the festival.

“To conserve water during our festival, we have decided to limit the number of fire trucks participating in the Basaan parade. This is an essential step in our ongoing efforts to address water scarcity. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines strictly. Our goal is to balance tradition with our responsibility to conserve water, ensuring a sustainable future for our community,” stated Mayor Zamora.

“The Wattah Wattah San Juan Festival is a cherished tradition in San Juan City, celebrated every June 24 to honor the Feast of St. John the Baptist. This year, we are particularly proud as the St. John the Baptist Parish Church will be elevated to the status of an Archdiocesan Shrine, and St. John the Baptist will be formally proclaimed as the City’s Patron,” said Mayor Zamora.