‘Wattah Wattah’ festival in San Juan returns

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — San Juan will hold today the “Wattah Wattah” festival to mark the feast day of the city’s patron saint, John the Baptist.

In a statement, Mayor Francis Zamora said the city would once again hold the traditional “basaan” after ditching water dousing festivities for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My dear San Juaneños, for the first time in three years, we will be able to celebrate again the Wattah Wattah festival,” Zamora said.

In 2020 and 2021, the city government canceled the festival to protect residents against COVID-19.

San Juan residents were ordered to stay indoors while the image of St. John the Baptist passed their homes during a city-wide procession in the past two years.

In 2019, the festival was tweaked due to a water shortage crisis that affected several parts of Metro Manila, including San Juan.

Zamora said the city would resume today the dousing of water, a street dancing competition, a free concert, a fireworks display and the procession of the image of St. John the Baptist.

“We will continue to follow the health and safety protocols under Alert Level 1 for everyone’s safety,” he said.

Booster shots

Meanwhile, the city government rolled out yesterday COVID-19 boosters for immunocompromised children aged 12 to 17 at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

“This is necessary, especially for the immunocompromised children who need protection against the virus amid the threat posed by more COVID subvariants and the possibility of face-to-face classes this school year,” Zamora said.

The Department of Health has released the guidelines for the rollout of booster shots for minors.


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