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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Viva Apung Iru! Ninu i Apung Iru?

Apung Iru ning Apalit
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Libad ng Apung Iru is fast approaching and the people from the Pampanga Riverbanks, especially our kabalens in Apalit, are now preparing for this much anticipated river celebration in honor of Apung Iru. June 28 – 30 is the days to remember for the Apalit Town Fiesta. The titular patron of Apalit, Pampanga is Saint Peter (San Pedro) or most famously called Apung Iru. But who is Apung  Iru? Is Apung Iru the Kapampangan name of San Pedru?

In the search for the real identity of Apung Iru, I came across in the article from Wikipedia. Kapampangans has interchangeably used Apung Iru to the name San Pedru (Saint Peter). Most of the Kapampangans today will recall the name San Pedru when they hear the lagiu (name) Apung Iru. Most, if not all, of the barangays which have the name San Pedro in their barangay name use Apung Iru for San Pedro. (Blogger’s barangay is San Pedru from the town of San Simun. People of this baryu will call San Pedru as Apung Iru.)

If one will dig deeper, the word Apung Iru has already been Christianized. Long before the Spaniards came our nunu (ancestors) have already known Apung Iru. They have already celebrated the Libad Ilug in honor of Apung Iru. If Apung Iru is not San Pedru who is he? Or who is she?
Tradisyunal a Basaan Piestang San Juan
***
Kanitang anak ku pa kaibat kung sinimba ning alas-otsung misa keng Baryu San Pedru kukutang ku palagi kang ima ku itang makasulat ketang dalig gulut bisitas. Ngana nitang makasulat “Viva Apung Iru!” ketang lalam atyu ya ing banwa. Nung 1999 kanita 1999 ya. Keng tutuking banwa palitan da neman. Angga ngeni maakit ya pa itang dalig a ita. E pyesta nung e me akit ita.

***

Pre-hispanic Kapampangans worshipped many deities/gods like Apung Suku, Apung Malyari, etc. One of the deities known to them is Apung Iru. Yes, Apung Iru is a pre-hispanic deity of Indung Kapampangan. Apung Iru is ‘often visualized as gigantic crocodile that support the earth on its back.’ Apung Iru (which is a dapu (crocodile)) is situated under the great World River. Apung Iru is a great cosmic crocodile. The word ‘Iru’ is mostly likely came from the word ‘Ilug’ which means river. (The blogger is not a linguist and has no formal background on the contraction of words. The reference for this contraction is “Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan by Paul Kekai Manansala p245 – 246). Thus the word Apung Iru when translated is “Lord River or Lord of the River” (The word Apu; Apung has a lot of meaning in the Kapampangan language).


Dapu (Crocodile)

***
Kanita na aganaka
Ning babai sinabi na
Itang limusan ming matua
Apung Iru ing lagyu na

Gozu ng San Pedru (XV)
***

Libad Ilug
Photos courtesy of Apo Iru
On a conversation of the blogger with the Kapampangan Culture Advocates, they have mentioned too that Apung Iru is Apung Ilug. Apung Iru is also Munag Sumala (Dawn; Pampanga River) who resurrect in the arrival of Lakandanum (Water God). Munag Sumala is the first child of Apung Suku. Munag Sumala is the wife of Manalastas. Also Munag Sumala had an illicit affair with Lakandanum. In addition, Munag Sumala died during the height of Sun’s anger which coincides with the Viernes Santu of the Catholics.  The resurrection of Apung Iru (Munag Sumala) marks the Kapampangan Bayung Danum. This is the Kapampangan New Year. Bayung Danum will signal the start of the planting season

During the resurrection of Apung Ilug/Munag Sumala (after the arrival of Lakandanum), Kapampangans will celebrate. This celebration of the Kapampangan is the Libad Ilug. In addition, during the Bayung Danum, Kapampangans will throw food onto the river. The practice of throwing foods onto the river is a sign of offering to Indung Tibuan (Mother Earth) so that it wont look for food and earthquakes wont happen.


Pamandilu balang Libad Ilug
***
Apung Iru talus mi ngan
Sigasig mu ing kaligtasan
Tune lugud milalablab
King balayan mung kaluguran

Himno San Pedru

***

Scene when Apung Iru is being taken to Lantsa
(Apalit)
Photo courtesy of Apo Iru
On other accounts, Apung Iru also caused the flooding if she is angry.  And in order to appease the Apung Iru, fluvial procession and throwing of food onto the river is being practice during Bayung Danum – month of June. Also during the Bayung Danum and Libad Ilug people sprinkle each other with water.


There are some practices that the blogger has observed during the Libad Ilug (San Pedru, San Simun) and Apalit, Pampanga. In San Pedru, San Simun, after the kuraldal and Apung Iru has been put into the barge (lantsa) people will take water from the river and take it home. Then they will sprinkle it to their body and sometimes use the water when they take a bath. They believe that the water was blessed by Apung Iru (San Pedru in this case). Meanwhile in Apalit, Pampanga, when Apung Iru’s image is being taken to the lantsa people are waving branch of leaves example guava leaves. They believe that these leaves when boiled can cure illnesses.


Kuraldal Keibat Libad (SP, San Simon)
Photo by Lhian Rogodon
Before the libad ilug of Apung Iru (San Simun) will start, there is always kuraldal and the people are shouting Viva Apung Iru. The same will also be practiced when the libad is ended and the image of Apung Iru is being return to the chapel.

It can be stated that the Kapampangans did not let their pre-hispanic practices die. They could have incorporated their practices to the Catholic Religion in order to preserve them or vice versa. As kapampangans, we should preserve and continue to practice these traditions. These traditions had defined us and they will define us. 

Cover Photo of Apo Iru


Viva Apung Iru
Apung Iru o i San Pedro?


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References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apalit,_Pampanga
http://sambali.blogspot.sg/2004/12/apung-iru.html
http://hau.edu.ph/kapampangan_center/events/index.php
Apung Iru San Pedro San Simon Facebook Page
Apo Iru Facebook Page
Gozu ng San Pedru (translated from Kulitan Script of J. Aboyme) taken from Kulitan Facebook Group
Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan by Paul Kekai Manansala p245 – 246
Dalit ng Sinukuan by Michael Raymon Pangilinan
Kuraldal Atlung Ari & Libad Bangka nang Apung Iru: Beyond the Revelry
Pineda, L. & Aboyme, J. Personal Communication. April 05 2014
Pineda, L & SPYM. Personal Communication. April 29 2014
Pineda, L. & Pangilinan M. Personal Communication. April 30 2014


For corrections and additional information please leave a comment below.


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