The fluvial procession was held at St. John the Baptist as part of the annual festival, but only more than 20 boats joined the procession at sea due to the pandemic.
Health protocols are still strictly enforced even though the province is in modified general community quarantine.
“Sobrang sarap ng pakiramdam, kahit papaano, naipagdiwang natin, nagawan natin ng paraan na hindi masikip,” said Pola Mayor Jennifer Alegre-Cruz.
There was also a short procession back to the church in Pola, but only a limited number were allowed to join.
The water that is the center of the Sab-uyan Festival has not disappeared either.
The devotees were happy that the festival continued despite the pandemic.
“Hindi namin inaasahan na tuloy ito kasi mayroon po protocol kaya masayang masaya po kami,” said Janet Penascosa.
“Ang panalangin ko po ay manumbalik na po ‘yong dati. Sana po sa pamamagitan ni San Juan ay bumalik na sa lahat,” she added.
Sab-uyan Festival held in Pola, Oriental Mindoro
In San Nicolas, Batangas, for the first time, residents paraded lechong rabbit instead of lechong baboy.
Ten rabbits were roasted but were featured in the parade, which was also part of the celebration of the Sab-uyan Festival.
According to Rolanda Balbacal, organizer of the lechon rabbit parade, she wants to know more about the rabbit meat industry in the Philippines that can be a substitute for pork.
She said the lechon rabbit parade also aims to encourage the public to take care of rabbits because there are many potentials to earn in this business.
The rabbit population in San Nicolas is over 3,000.
Sab’uyan Festival takes place every June 24th in honor of St. John the Baptist, whose image is taken from the church and carried on procession accompanied by a band and set on a beautifully decorated boat to the sea where it was first found.