Residents of San Juan City enjoy the 16th Wattah Wattah Festival on June 24, 2019.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
WATCH: San Juan City celebrates ‘Wattah Wattah’ festival amid water crisis
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - June 24, 2019 - 12:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — Residents of San Juan City on Monday pushed through with their celebration of the Wattah Wattah Festival amid the water supply crisis in Metro Manila.

On Monday, the city commemorated its 16th Wattah Wattah festival to honor the feast day of its patron saint John the Baptist. The city annually holds the traditional basaan or dousing of water in the streets of San Juan to emulate the saint.

This year, however, outgoing San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez said the celebration would be simpler due to the water woes experienced by neighboring cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. She, however, reportedly said the celebration would continue as it is part “tradition.”

The city only allowed 16 firetrucks to take part in the traditional splashing of water instead of the 50 firetrucks previously joining the celebration.

Sen. JV Ejercito, son of Gomez and former mayor of San Juan, urged the residents and firefighters to regulate the use of water for the celebration in view of the water crisis.

“Today’s Wattah! Wattah! San Juan Fiesta will be tweaked and will implement a regulated use of water for the celebration due to the water crisis. Number of fire trucks will be limited,” Ejercito said.

“Calling on volunteer fire fighters from other areas to cooperate,” he added.

The National Water Resources Board earlier announced that it would reduce water allocation from Angat Dam, the main water source of Metro Manila.

READ: Angat Dam seen to breach lowest water level this week

Angat Dam’s water level is currently at 159.09 which is below the critical level of 160 meters.

Water service firms Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company Inc. said they would implement daily rotational service interruptions in some parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces to control water supply.

ANGAT DAM GUIA GOMEZ JV EJERCITO MANILA WATER MAYNILAD SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST SAN JUAN WATTAH WATTAH
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