June 24 is St. John the Baptist’s Day, known as San Juan in the Philippines. I’m not sure if this is still true today, but when I was still living in Cavite, it was the custom to get people wet on that day. The young people would take buckets of water and threw water at people passing by, or at jeepneys passing by. Since jeepney windows were usually open, people inside got wet, too. I remember Aling Azon, one of our mananahi (hired seamstresses), got really mad one June 24th. She already warned Cesar, Olive’s teen-aged brother, not to make her wet because she had her period that day. But Cesar did not heed her warning. He threw a bucket of water at her and she got wet. She was fuming with anger that day. Well, you see, there was an old wives tale that you should not take a bath, nor get wet when you have your period. I think that’s what the elders believed during that time.
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