Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Pampanga: Apu Iro Fluvial Procession in Apalit, Pampanga

When I was still fresh out of college, I'd try to attend all of the festivals in Pampanga. One of those annual trips was to the town of Apalit every June 28 to 30 for the Apu Iro Fluvial Procession or libad.

While the actual feast day of Sts. Peter & Paul is on June 29, the fluvial festivities are held the day before the fiesta, when the centuries-old ivory image of St. Peter or Apu Iro (sometimes Apung Iro or Apung Iru) is brought from the chapel in Sulipan to the town church; and the day after the fiesta, when the same image is returned to the chapel, in grand and festive fluvial processions along the Rio Grande de Pampanga.

As soon as the image of Apu Iro nears the decorated pagoda, a mad splashing and water fight along the river banks ensues. The Apu Iro Fluvial Procession is one of the many water festivals of the Philippines (and Southeast Asia). So expect to get really wet!

Notice also the Knights of St. Peter in yellow uniforms swimming in the river, tugging onto the rope and pulling the pagoda towards its destination.

It would be great though if you know someone in Apalit who will be renting out a boat since the view from the water is much better and you can witness the whole procession. I wanted to attend this year since I have not seen it for quite some time now. But unfortunately, I was doing my rounds of North Philippines. So I asked for photos from the Center for Kapampangan Studies instead.

Main article: Philippine festivals and other cultural celebrations

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