Today is Manila's Foundation Day. June 24, which also happens to be (according to the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar), the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, which is celebrated in various areas in the Philippines, highlighted by the traditional practice of people going out on the streets, dousing water at unsuspecting passersby, to symbolize the act of 'baptism' by which John the son of Zecariah and Elizabeth gained the name Baptist.
Here are just some thoughts that came to my mind right after I was drenched with septic water by an over-zealous crowd on the boundary area of San Juan and Manila:
- John's baptism was of repentance, a call to the nation of Israel to repent as the Kingdom draws near upon the arrival of Christ.
- If that is so how could a bunch of unrepentant sinners administer such a baptism to unsuspecting people who do not want to be baptized?
- John's baptism is of water in the Jordan River. The baptism I got was with foul water from the drainage.
- Lastly baptism is a matter of choice, as in the case of John the choice to turn away from sin. Thus, you can't baptize anyone who doesn't want to be baptized.
It’s sad to note that tradition as an act without proper understanding is done by people for keepsake.