Single mom claims to have lost job opportunity due to ‘Wattah Wattah’ Festival

July 1, 2024 - 6:49 PM
Residents cheer while fire volunteers douse them with water during the Wattah Wattah Festival in San Juan City on June 24, 2024 (The STAR/Miguel De Guzman)

“Halos gumuho mundo ko.”

This was what an alleged single mom applicant said when she was considered “failed” for an employer’s interview after being hounded at the “Wattah Wattah” Festival in San Juan City.

Facebook user Rod Lina on Sunday shared screengrabs taken from a Facebook group that featured a lengthy post by an anonymous member about her experience at the city’s “basaan” tradition on June 24.

“Halaaa! Grabe, tsk!” Rod commented on her caption.

Her post has reached 79,000 pure sad reactions, 6,000 comments and 59,000 shares.

In the account, the anonymous member said she is “facing depression” after having an unpleasant experience at the water festival which she had no knowledge of.

She said she decided to apply for a job overseas since she is the only one supporting her family.

The single mom said that applying for requirements like the National Bureau of Investigation clearance, transcript of records and other documents was not a piece of cake, saying that she only got through them due to her perseverance and by God’s grace.

She said that she applied to several agencies for jobs in Europe, adding that she only received an email for an initial interview after almost a year.

The single mom said she was eventually called for an employer interview on June 24, which elated her. According to her, only eight of them passed the initial interview.

She said she borrowed formal attire and shoes for the occasion and secured her original documents in a brown envelope.

“Hanggang sa ‘di ko naman sukat akalaing Fiesta ng San Juan,” the single mom said.

“Nagulat ako na may grupo ng mga kabataan na nasa bente katao, pinaikutan ako. May hawak [na] mga timbang. Water gun. Tabo. Hose. Ilang beses ako nakiusap na, ‘WAG PO, MAY INTERVIEW AKO, PLEASSEEE! NANGHIRAM LANG AKO NG DAMIT,'” she wrote.

“Pero [hindi] sila nakinig. Pinasiritan ako ng tubig sa mukha mula sa hose. At ‘di pa sila nakuntento. Binuhusan ako ng ilang timbang tubig. Kaya halos basang-basa ako. ‘Yung hawak ko na envelope [kung] nasaan original requirements ko ay nabasa [din]. Halos mabura ang mga details ko kasi basang-basa. Halos umiyak ako noon kasi two [hours] ako nag-byahe tapos hindi rin pala ako makakapunta sa interview,” she added.

The single mom said that she made an appeal to the agency but was told that no other dates were available since that was already the employer’s interview.

“Kaya sinabihan na ako nang, ‘Sorry, but you are considered FAILED.’ Halos gumuho mundo ko. Pati mga requirements ko basang-basa,” she said.

“[Ngayon], nababasa ko sa GC [group chat] naming mga applicant na for Medical na sila lahat. Gumuho ang pangarap ko. Ang tagal ko [naghintay]. Walang sidlan ng saya [nang] makapasa ako sa initial interview. Pero [ngayon], bumagsak ang mundo ko,” the single mom added.

“Nakiusap ako. Nagmakaawa. Pinagtitinginan ako sa bus nung pauwi ako [kasi] basang-basa ako. Ayaw tumabi sa’kin ng [ibang] pasahero [kasi] basang-basa ang damit ko. Malala, pati mga documents ko ay basang-basa na at hindi na sa tingin [ko] maisasalba [kasi] halos mabura na ang mga salita,” she said.

The single mom ended her post by saying that she hoped the people of San Juan City were “happy” with their feast.

“Sana napasaya namin [kayo]. [Napakalaking] bagay po na makaka-alis ako ng bansa dahil solo ko na binubuhay mga anak ko. Nakiusap ako. Nagmakaawa. Pero hindi [kayo] nakinig. Umiyak, pero nagtatawanan pa [kayo]. Happy Fiesta. ‘Yung isang araw [na] fiesta ninyo, isang buong pangarap ko po ang naglaho,” she said.

The post reached the X (formerly Twitter) platform, where a user brought it to the attention of San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora.

“Dear Mayor Francis Zamora, what can you do about this? @franciszamora30,” the user wrote.

The “Wattah Wattah” Festival gained traction last week as complaints of unruly behavior among the revelers appeared on social media.

Accounts include doused thesis papers, children almost “getting drowned” by the amount of water thrown at them and passersby getting their vehicle windows smashed.

RELATED: Doused student papers, broken windows: ‘Wattah Wattah’ Festival complaints

Zamora said he was “very disappointed” by the rowdy behavior exhibited by some revelers who participated in the city’s traditional “basaan,” adding that he takes full responsibility for the disturbance.

He said that they would create “Basaan Zones” or designated areas where water dousing activities can be safely enacted moving forward.