WET CELEBRATION. San Juan City residents are out on the streets to celebrate the “Wattah Wattah” festival on Friday (June 24, 2022). The event that celebrates the feast of John the Baptist was canceled for the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions. (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – High vaccination rate and loosened restrictions allowed San Juan City to celebrate its “Wattah Wattah" festival on Friday after two years of cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Streets were filled with revelers as the traditional “basaan” (dousing with water) was back, along with a street dancing competition, free concert, and procession of religious icons.

A fireworks display was also on schedule.

Mayor Francis Zamora said the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 1 system while 265 percent of the city's target population are fully vaccinated.

As early as July last year, 96,610 individuals or 112.18 percent of San Juan’s 123,031 residents were already vaccinated.

“We are also leading in the number of boosted individuals with 85 percent. Hence, our citizens are already protected from the virus,” Zamora said in an interview.

On Thursday, the city started administering booster shots to immunocompromised minors aged 12 to 17 years.

Zamora kept on reminding residents though that “it’s still not time to be complacent” because the coronavirus still exists.

Ganun talaga [dahil] para naman po ito sa ating kaligtasan. Gusto lang natin magkaroon tayo ng ligtas, maayos at mapayapang kapistahan (That’s how it should be because it’s for our own safety. We just want to have a safe, organized, and peaceful festival),” Zamora said.

Most residents were seen with their face masks on even if they were wet while police and city marshals gave out masks to those without the covering.

Catholics celebrate the feast of John the Baptist every June 24. He is the patron saint of builders, tailors, printers, baptism, conversion to the faith, people dealing with storms and their effects, and people who need healing from spasms or seizures.

Jesus Christ asked John to baptize Him to be obedient to the commandments of the Father. (PNA)