ALIAGA, Nueva Ecija – A Nueva Ecija bishop urged the faithful to live the faith amid the seemingly foolish wearing of vines or dried banana leaves as townsfolk and tourists celebrate “Pagsa-San Juan,” a festivity in the honor of St. John The Baptist in Barangay Bibiclat here Monday.
Bisjop Sofronio Bancud of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, who officiated the Mass, maintained Pagsa-San Juan is beyond cultural and tourist attraction.
Bancud said that people practicing “Taong Putik” may be ridiculed by some non-devotees.
“Pero kung ikaw ay may pananampalatayang buhay na nakaugat sa pag-ibig ng Diyos ikaw ay may kakayanang makatugon at pagtitiwala na sa Diyos lamang nagmumula ang ating lakas,” he said.
Like St. John, he said, the faithful should stand by humility. He also urged devotees to keep a warm relationship among family members as the faith teaches.
“Hangad natin ang kapayapaan, hangad natin na na may katarungan, may pagkakaisa. Pero walang mangyayari dito hanggat hindi sinisimulan sa tahanan,” the bishop stressed.
“Let us not wait for a barangay kapitan, for the mayor, congressman, governor, senators or the president, each on of us, bawat isa sa atin ay hinirang ng Diyos para sa pagpapalaganap ng kapayapaan. Simulan po natin,” he said.
Monday’s celebration marked the 75th year of Pagsa-San Juan.
Incoming Vice Mayor Erwin Javaluyad, himself a devotee, said townsfolk take Pagsa-San Juan too deeply. “Kakaiba ang Taong Putik dahil nag-iisa lang yata ito sa buong mundo. Karamihan ay basaan,” he said.
He added this is also the way people thank God for all the blessings they receive.