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Through the initiative of former Mayor Joel Jaime P. Payumo, the “Water Festival” has been launched and expanded to become a major affair in the calendar of events of the Department of Tourism. The festival is held complete with civic-military parade every 24th of June, the feast day of Dinalupihan. From the original devotion to St. John the Baptist, the festival eventually evolved into a street dancing festivity called kuraldal.
The WATER FESTIVAL is the newest way of celebrating the town fiesta of Dinalupihan. It evolved from the traditional dousing of water on someone during the yearly observance of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, the town’s patron saint. It expanded to become a major affair in the calendar of events of the Dinalupihan Municipal Tourism Council. In the past, people get involved in heated arguments and even fistfights because some folks resented getting wet during the annual June 24 town fiesta. Even public transport drivers get mad at people who throw water inside their vehicles which usually made their passengers wet. Some of these altercations resulted in bodily harm. It explains why some people prefer to stay at home on the day of the celebration to avoid being doused with water. In June 2005, former Mayor Joel Jaime Payumo introduced a colorful and more exciting way of celebrating the town fiesta. He launched the Dinalupihan Water Festival. It involved the townsfolk, featuring street dancing and other forms of festivities. Although the traditional dousing of water was maintained and even made “legal” (people can freely douse someone with water from 9 a.m. until 12 noon of June 24), other forms of merrymaking were incorporated into the festival while preserving the rich culture of Dinalupihan in the midst of industrial progress.
For the past two years, thousands of residents from some 46 barangays, young and old, participated and enjoyed dancing along the streets of Poblacion, from the church to various town center barangays. Instead of the using containers of various forms, water is freely supplied by participating firetrucks. Instead of the usual dousing, people get wet as water is showered on them. Government officials also join the festival and get wet themselves. While other towns and barangays celebrating the same Feast of St. John continue to get pestered at getting wet, the Water Festival in Dinalupihan has actually attracted more residents and even tourists to participate in the celebration.