MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos have been granted a respite from the sweltering heat in the country as heavy rains lowered temperatures on the first day of May.
Although it rained in Visayas and Mindanao during the last days of April due to a low pressure area, some Filipinos consider the May 1 rains as something special.
Dubbed “Agua de Mayo” (Waters of May), today’s rains became a huge topic on social networking sites as netizens believed that these would bring good luck and better health.
It trended on Twitter and was widely discussed on Facebook and Tumblr.
“Agua de Mayo! The first rain for this month. Did you know that it brings good luck and oldies say that it can heal sickness?” tweeted user @KaiteMariz.
User @iamKAJFrancisco, meanwhile, said, “Agua de Mayo/First Rain of May was believed to be the most blessed rain of the year. It's just so epic that it poured on 1st of May.”
User @johnnyrock3ts tweeted, “According to folklore as what was reported in the morning news, Agua de Mayo or the 1st rain of May smoothens the skin & cures ailments.”
On Facebook, one user lamented, “Sayang, di nakakuha ng ulan at nakainom,” referring to the said curative properties of the first rains of May.
On Tumblr, user justicefreedom posted, “Sabi ng matatanda, maligo raw sa unang patak ng ulan sa buwan ng Mayo… naghahatid daw ito ng swerte sa mga taong naligo sa ulan na ito..and since, umuulan ngayong Mayo Uno, eto na ang tamang panahon!”
Filipino tradition dictates that rains on May 1 should be heavy to be considered Agua de Mayo.
In his fiction book “The Great Philippine Jungle Energy Café,” Alfred Yuson hinted on this, writing, “Water from the heavens as salve for spirit, colic, cough and cold. Water for the parched season of nothing to be thankful for. By tradition blessed and holy, oh, as the fluids of Mother Mary, o first rainwater of May, when all the dust fell prey to the rataplan, the drumming…Until then summer would stay sultry, could only be so…Agua de Mayo!”
Water from the first rains of May is also considered “holy”, with some collecting it and placing it in Holy Water receptacles of Roman Catholic churches.
Other old wives’ tales also say that bathing in the first rains of May would bring good luck, and if a person were to make a wish while bathing, it would come true.