Religion is deeply ingrained in the Philippines’ culture and history. Ever since we were introduced to Christianity, our people developed a strong devotion to saints. It’s no secret that Filipinos have holidays centered on important religious figures. Last Sunday, Oriental Mindoro devotees celebrated the feast of St. John the Baptist. The Sab’uayan Festival happens every 24th of June to honor the notable saint that baptized Jesus Christ.
A breakdown of this special event includes local residents of Pola removing the John the Baptist image from their church. Then, these Oriental Mindoro devotees would walk with the statue to a “beautifully decorated boat” on the shore where it was first discovered.
Erik De Castro is responsible for this beautiful photo.
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After this, the people would throw seawater at each other while chanting “Viva San Juan Bautista.” When this part ends, the image is then carried across the town while people continue to splash water at each other. They believe that this will bring them good health and happiness.
If you were wondering how this event started, years ago local fishermen claimed to have seen a boat carrying the image of St. John the Baptist to their shores. This is why this famous Biblical figure became the town’s patron saint. But, various parts of the Philippines celebrate the feast day of John the Baptist.
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According to the Independent UK, a certain village in Nueva Ecija comes alive during this day. The people from Bibiclat smear mud all over their bodies. Moreover, they wear costumes made from dried banana leaves strung together.
These costumes represent how John the Baptist appeared before Jesus Christ.
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