Honorable Mention TOKYO-2020 People / Culture

The Festival of Mud People

  • Photographer
    Jophel Botero Ybiosa (Philippines)
  • Agency / Studio
    Princess Cruise Lines
  • Photo Date
    June 24, 2018

This photo depicts the Festival of Mud People in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on June 24, 2018. Devotees wear dried banana leaves and cover themselves with mud then offer a prayer and also pay homage to Saint John the Baptist. According to a local legend, the Japanese soldiers were about to execute the villagers of Aliaga during World War II. But in the midst of downpour, Japanese soldiers suddenly changed their minds. Afterwards, the villagers celebrated by rolling around the muddy ground. There´s a belief that being saved from the execution is a miracle of Saint John the Baptist.