WATER FUN. A huge crowd takes part in the water festival in Dinalupihan, Bataan in celebration of the feast of St. John the Baptist on Friday (June 24, 2022). The festivity locally called "kuraldal" was stopped for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Ernie Esconde)

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – Hundreds of people joined a long parade here on Friday to celebrate for the first time after two years the feast of their patron, St. John the Baptist.

The celebration was temporarily stopped due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Festivities began after the morning Holy Mass at the Saint John The Baptist Church.

Participants, many waving branches of trees, and some banana trunks danced on the streets while being sprinkled with water by members of the Bureau of Fire Protection using hoses from their firetrucks.

Some residents also sprinkled water on passersby with the use of small water hoses and “tabo” (dipper).

Groups of youngsters in colorful costumes and band majorettes participated in street dancing during the festivity they locally called “kuraldal”.

Outgoing Mayor Maria Angela Garcia, who joined the water festival, said the day marked the birth of San Juan Bautista.

“After two years ng pandemya, ngayon na nasa Alert Level 1 na, ito ay isang pasasalamat sa ating Panginoon sa lahat ng biyaya na ibinigay sa ating buhay. Ginaganap ngayon ang kinasasabikan ng maraming-marami naming kababayan, kaibigan at mga turista ang kuraldal o tubig festival (After two years of pandemic, now that it is already Alert Level 1, this is a thanksgiving to our Lord for all His blessings. We are celebrating the much-anticipated by our provincemates, friends and tourists, the kuraldal or 'tubig' festival),” she said.

Garcia, who has completed her three-year term as mayor, was elected congresswoman of the newly-created third district of Bataan composed of the towns of Dinalupihan, Bagac, Morong, and Mariveles.

Incoming Mayor German “Tong” Santos also joined the parade. (PNA)