Monday, July 9, 2012


Apung Iru stands for the holy image of St. Peter, which is brought to its shrine in a fluvial procession. Carried in its "pagoda" amidst prayers, religious songs and water-fighting revelers. It is highlighted with a fluvial parade down the Pampanga River. It's another unique custom in this tradition-filled country.

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Celebrated every June 27-29 of every year, the feast of St. Peter is observed with a fluvial parade with gaily decorated motorboats and colorful bancas roving up and down the Pampanga River. The image of St. Peter, called Apung Iru by the locals, is carried through town to the river, where a lavish decorated pagoda mounted on a barge awaits. The image is placed on the pagoda and devotees dance and pray before it. The 3-day celebration honoring Apung Iru starts on June 27 and culminates on June 29 when the image is brought back to its shrine at Capalanagan.

The feast day of St Peter is celebrated in a joyous fiesta at Apalit, Pampanga on June 28-30. Apung Iru, as the locals call St. Peter, is celebrated and venerated by devotees in a colorful procession that is the Apung Iru Fluvial Parade.

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On the 28th, the blessed image of Apung Iru is brought to the Apalit Parish Church, carried and paraded in a decorated pagoda or float, from its sanctuary in Capalangan. During the procession, religious songs, hymns and prayers are chanted by devotees as the pagoda floats along the Pampanga River. On the last day of the feast (June 30), the image is brought back to its shrine in Capalangan in another beautiful fluvial parade.

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Thousands of spectators line up along the riverbanks splashing water and waving flowers as the pagoda carrying the image of Apung Iru passes by, which is also accompanied by hundreds of boats behind it.

Dancing, called Kuraldal by the locals and singing is most welcomed in this celebration as devotees and the locals celebrate another fruitful year. Other must sees during the feast are the trade fair, pageants and cultural shows dedicated to the event.

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