Monday, May 20, 2013

Pahulangkug Profile

God of the seasons
The Philippines is a tropical country found near the equator, it is capable of only 2 kinds of seasons per year, the dry season and the wet/rainy season. For ancient Visayans especially the Hiligaynon group, they believe that the changer of the seasons is a god named Pahulangkug. Pahulangkug is thought to be an industrious god who works all year round, making preparations for the dry season by rounding up the warm winds and directing them in all directions, taming the unruly storm clouds and storing them in his giant magical pots until rainy season comes around, and in rainy seasons, he would open his house in the heavens, letting all the cold winds out, releasing the storm clouds from their containers and accompany gods like Ribung Linti, notifying the people of impending rains to come. Some believe he is some sort of wind deity that accompanies the winds and other gods on their journey all over the land bringing rain, wind, and storms all over the island, for ancient Panay natives who crossed over to Negros and have adopted some of their religious beliefs, including their gods, they believe Pahulangkug also accompanies the harvest goddess Lalahon in her journey of ripening palay and other crops, bringing warm weather to the land during the dry season and keeping the storm clouds at bay. One could say, that Pahulangkug is the director of both the dry and the rainy season, and without his guidance and permission, a season cannot begin.

Pahulangkug is an important deities for farmers, as well as potters, because both the farming industy and the pottery-making business rely on good weather to be able to work. The farmers pray and offer some of their crops and animals to him so that he will grant them rain and make the rainy season start early in order for them to plant their precious rice in their fields, sow the seeds of their crops, allowing animals to graze, get fat and reproduce before the hunters come once more. He is important to potters,for they pray to him for a warm, dry season so that they can have much heat and sunlight to harden their wares. Pahulangkug is sometimes also seen as a guardian of growth, since humans undergoes a certain number of "seasons" ranging from infancy to childhood to adulthood to old age, and people would pray to him for not only good weather but also a long life. Life expectancy in the ancient days were low, and many people perish through natural calamities, wars, disease and pestilence and in worse cases, famine. People would hold special rituals, dances and ritualistic singing to appease Pahulangkug, seeking his blessing for the first raindrops of the rainy season, and this is important since most of the livelihood of the inland groups back in the olden days rely very much on the land, farming and hunting included, and thus the weather is very much important to them. They would also hold special feasts in the god's honor after a successful harvest or planting of rice, as thanksgiving for hearing their prayers.

However, the introduction of Christianity that came with the Spaniards made the people forget their beloved Pahulangkug, although some ethnic groups kept their practices and veneration for him intact, most Hiligaynon islanders all over the Philippines replaced his rituals, with Catholic observances like going to mass, remembering feast day of saints, devotion to the Blessed Virgin and Christ and observing Catholic traditions like Lent and other Holy Days of the calendar. When the calendar was finally introduced, the popularity of Pahulangkug decreased even more, since now the people have a clearer idea how and when seasons would come and go. But Pahulangkug's legacy as the god of seasons, still remains in the few ethnic groups that remain untouched by foreign customs deep in the mountains of Panay, still praying to bless them with seasonal bounty.

Mapulon, The Tagalog counterpart of Pahulangkug, god of seasons
Artist: psyduck-mcGee

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