Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Mumunang Pamiagum Pamanigaral king Indung Kapampangan

(1st Kapampangan Lecture-Workshop)

Agostu 2, 2008, 8am – 5pm

University of the Assumption, Lungsud San Fernando

King kasawpan da ning

Department of Education Region III

July 2, 2008

Dear Teachers, Fellow Members, Colleagues, and Friends of the KATATAGAN:

We have the honor and pleasure to invite you to the 1ST Kapampangan Lecture-workshop of the KATATAGAN, to be held on August 2, 2007 (from 8:00-5:00 p.m.) at the University of the Assumption, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. This lecture-workshop will include papers on Kapampangan studies highlighting various aspects of Kapampangan’s history, language and culture, as well as studies on City of San Fernando history. .

The conference fee is as follows:

Teachers, regular members

P 800.00 only

Researchers, scholars

P 900.00 only

Students (High school/college)

P 500.00 only

A 20% discount will be given to early bird registrants on or before July 21, 2008. The participants will be provided with a conference kit to include the conference program, abstracts and conference papers (in CDs), instructional videos (in DVDs), complimentary publications, and lunch and two minindals for one of the conference.

Please use this letter of invitation for the purpose of obtaining institutional support from your school or agency to enable you to participate in this conference, which should be useful for faculty development.

For particulars, please contact:

Joel P. Mallari Cell: 0927-330-9746 E-mail:

Ryan P. Santiano Cell: 0927-675-9053 E-mail:

Charlene P. Manese Cell: 0917-558-7469 E-mail:

We look forward to your attendance and participation.

“Lwid ya ing Balen Kapampangan! Lwid ya ing bangsang Pilipinas!”

Monday, 23 June 2008

Dukit Betis

Brief ethnohistory of Kapampangan furnishings and sculpture in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga

By Joel Pabustan Mallari with Arnel David Garcia

One of the many specialized crafts known in the Philippines is woodcarving and wood sculpture. This area actually covers a wide range of wooden art pieces from the Hispanic but folksy religious images (variously called as malasantu, santo, rebultu) to the modern pieces of furniture now being exported abroad. Presently, fine woodcarvers in the Philippines include the manlililok of Paete in Laguna, the Ifugaos of the Cordillera region, and the Maranaos and Tausugs of Mindanao. In Pampanga, the most recognized woodcarvers collectively come from the mandukit of the old Betis district of Guagua.

Betis’ role in Luzon history

As mentioned by John Larkin in his book The Pampangans, Betis was one of the 11 most important towns (with Lubao, Macabebe, Sasmuan, Guagua, Bacolor, Apalit, Arayat, Candaba, Porac and Mexico) at the beginning of the Spanish Period in Luzon. In the past, Betis was once a pueblo or town, annexed to Guagua only in 1904. Among the old barrios which originally composed this former town includes San Juan Bautista, San Juan Nepomuceno, San Nicolas, San Agustin with its Sitio Virgen de los Remedios, San Miguel, Sta. Ines and Sta. Ursula. Most of which are situated on the old riverbank area of southern Pampanga. In an 1853 report, Sta. Ursula was not yet listed among the six early barrios of Betis recognized that time. Fray Diego Bergaño cited Betis seven times in his 1732 version of the Vocabulario giving significant mention of the town’s early role as entrepot before going to Guagua, Bacolor and Mexico which is most likely via the old Betis River. In fact, Fray Gaspar de San Agustin accounted in his Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas, 1565-1615, that Betis was the most fortified fort throughout Luzon. The old riverbanks of Betis and Lubao wer Muslim settlements where they once thrived. Betis’ famous palisade fort was immediately copied in the construction of Intramuros after 1572, when only Lubao and Betis resisted the Spanish conquerors. The presence of the old rivers of Betis and Lubao made them strategic not only for economic reason but also for military purposes. In Sasmuan, old fishermen in the area still recalls a long strip of coastal area (from Guagua to Sasmuan) and an old river named Paglalabuan.

Paglalabuan beginning

In the district of Betis, the village which produces most if not all of the sculptured pieces and wood carved furniture comes from Sta. Ursula. This village, said to be the oldest, is located on the old riverbank area. It was known before as Paglalabuan, as well as “pulu”, “danuman”, “sadsaran”, an “island”, a “water edge community” and a “port”. An old placename found among old maps and also as part of an oral folk history it literally meant a deposition area of silt. The local folks say that, as the 1980s, pieces of old Chinese blue and white porcelains were found at the bottom the river. In the 1970s after the great flood of 1972, a tsunami (probably the great tsunami of 1976) struck Bataan’s eastern coastline causing the rivers of Pampanga particularly the Pasak River to the drain of water, exposing the step-like slopes of the riverbank’s bottommost section and revealing old wrecks of submerged ships and carrier trucks which look like the vehicles used in the last World War.

The old folks in the area believe that their village is the oldest in the tradition of pamandukit (woodcarving) and pamaganluagi (wood working) in the Kapampangan province. Besides, it is also known as a home of the old dadaras (or mandaras, the traditional bangka makers). In the past they supplied most of the various bangka (boats) in Pampanga and nearby coastal and riverbank villages in Orani, Dinalupihan, Samal, Hermosa, Abucay (which also produced this type of boats), all of Bataan, Kalookan, Malabon, Navotas (especially in Sta.Cruz), Valenzuela, the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan (Pamarauan, Hagonoy, Binuangan), Cavite, Batangas and as far as Mindoro. Their boats were carved out canoe types known before as balutu (var. baroto). Collective memories of old folks (boat makers and woodcarvers) in this district and nearby areas still remember the time when the supply of logs and other timber materials flowed along the old Betis River (various tributaries of this old river were called “Ilug Palumo”, the downstream part of the now Pasak River; and Karalaga River for the part running from Sta.Ines going to Plaza Burgos, the one that connects with the old Dalan Bapor River in downtown Guagua). This supply came from the forested upper Pampanga area and eastern Bataan along the foothills of the Zambales Mountains. Dadaras or mandaras (boatmakers) regularly receives rough hollowed logs called baul which were then turned into fine carved boats. According to old folks of Sta.Ursula, expert boat makers are called as matenakan dadaras. To this day, the baul suppliers are called atseru (most likely derived from the Spanish term hacha, an ax type tool used for logging) while baul makers and loggers are both referred to as mamaul. Logs usually come from Bataan, especially in Kuló, Dinalupihan and Hermosa.

Pampanga 17th-18th century folk fine arts

Philippine furniture absorbed artistic influences from different cultures who made contacts with the islands. As Professor Regalado Trota Jose noted, many 17th century pieces manifest touches of Chinese design, while later 18th century pieces are known to have inlaid designs. Rococo forms, fashionable European trend from French, Victorian and new American designs became prominent. Furniture craft achieved a level of excellence during the 17th and 18th centuries. Central Luzon specialized in bone inlaying like those found in Betis, Bacolor and Apalit, while the Visayas produced deftly carved narra pieces. Wood carving was already recognized as folk art in the Laguna towns of Paete and Pakil as well as in Betis. If Paete have perfected the art of carving images of saints from native hardwoods, and Pakil for its exquisite wood filigree, Betis woodcarvers excelled in furniture. Mariano Henson noted in his several editions of The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns that “in gold and silver smithery the people of Betis were unrivaled until the 18th century for their own art”. According to Peter Garcia, 68 yrs.old mandukit in Betis, Kapampangan craftsmen ahead of their generation were already masters in the art of bone inlaying. Instead of using pearls and garing (ivory), they substituted good qualities of cow bones. Furthermore, M.Henson quotes:

“In the matter of carving images, altars, church ornaments,furnitures, inlaying with mother-of-pearl, bones, and other hardwoods, gilding with gold leaf, exacting carpentry, decorative art, and design, painting of religious motifs and theatre drop curtains, the people of Betis during the 17th and 18th centuries again are mentioned here to be easily the masters in the art of their own”.

Flores’ art: a fusion of old and new

By the 19th century, furniture makers were producing works in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija; Baliuag, Bulacan; Paete, Laguna; Bacolor and Betis in Pampanga; and in Malabon area. A contemporary influence of classical tradition of woodworking in sculpture and furniture began to be felt in the 1950s brought about by Juan Flores, a native of Sta.Ursula. Born on the 9th of Spetember 1900, he became a famous sculptor and furniture maker at a young age. He learned the crafts of carpentry and wood carving, furniture making and sculpture, especially the making of malasantos. He was so talented that his reputation grew in the national art scene. He once made a bust of President Manuel L. Quezon, and that of Secretary of Justice and Finance Gregorio Araneta. He was able to study the malasantos and antiques all over the Philippines especially in Bicol, Marinduque, Leyte, Cebu and Surigao. His specialization developed by fusing indigenous practice he learned in Sta.Ursula, together with his passion for European religious art and from what he learned in his observations around the country with Secretary Araneta. Hence, he gained respect among several furniture makers in the country today. His art is inspired by pictures of masterpieces of Western art. Among his styles are the incorporation of ornamental motifs derived from local plants as well as locally evolved design patterns like bulabulaklak, kulakulate. To date, his name is equated to the creative and distinct technique and designs in furniture making and sculpture of Betis, which become a standard in the art development in Pampanga.

Betis’ “Modern Antiques”

Travelers along the highways of Olongapo-Gapan Road and the matuang dalan of Bacolor-Guagua feast their eyes on the several display of shops selling “modern antique” (antique inspired woodcrafts) pieces from simple household furniture to the various pieces of statues. Most of these displayed pieces come from Sta.Ursula where the mandukit are seen doing various creations. Many workshops offer varied specialization; some are known to carve aranias or chandeliers like those installed in Malacañang Palace, which shows all the fine details that imitate the gracefulness and malleability of metals. There are religious images and figures of saints, called santu, malasantu or rebultu in general; other specialize in the manufacture of wooden karo, the traditional church retablo, and other church furnishings; some are dedicated workers of home fixtures which include tukador, painadora, tremor, almario, atay bed (named after the known 19th century Chinese craftsman, Eduardo Ah Tay), various tables which include lamesa (adopted high table in contrast to the dulang a local low dining table), consolas (side tables), escritorios (office tables) and lavaderas (bedroom tables with porcelain wash); various cabinets and cabinet-like pieces such as lansena (a cupboard with shelves and drawers used to store food stuffs), platera and the traditional baul, wooden chest including later versions like the comoda and cajonerias, various sizes of aparadul (or aparadur, used for safekeeping of documents in churches and as cabinet for clothes) and painadora (dresser chest), chairs like the butaca (planter’s chair), bangku or kapiyas, gallinera, etc. Fine sculpture in the form of deep bass relief art pieces and frames are also produced. But one of the many identification that characterize Betis creations is the overall projection of antiquated finish in every artpiece which meticulously sculpted. Among the known contemporary mandukit in this district to date, include Willy Layug, Boyet Flores, Peter Garcia, Salvador Gatus, and Joel Tolentino.

The old tradition of boat carving apparently started the tradition of pamandukit and pamaganluagi in the province. Many of the last generation of matenakan dadaras in this old village with families still living here are known to have prospered in the field of pamandukit and pamaganluagi in the country today. As Tatang Salvador Santos Gatus (53 yrs.old, son of a matenakan dadaras) quips, “matenakan la king obrang dutung, ania dakal anluagi, dadaras at mandukit ka ring tau keti kanita pa man”. Thus the art of fine woodworking and sculpture was already flourishing even before the time of the master sculptor Juan Flores. At the height of the Huk movement in the province, this barrio used to have a talipampan as “alipagpag” or “alipatpat” after the noisy activity of boat making and woodcarving in the area. The term baul was already recorded by Fray Diego Bergano in his compilation of early 18th century Kapampangan glossaries as “a thing manufactured in a rough stage, like a banca or a wood carving, or a sculpture not yet perfected…”, which consequently confirms the antiquity of both industry of boat making, furniture making and sculpture in the Kapampangan region.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Gitarang Tramu

The traditional music of local guitar-making in San Anton, Guagua, Pampanga

By Joel Pabustan Mallari
With Francis Eric C. Balagtas

Guitar is known worldwide as a universally popular string instrument played by plucking or strumming. The guitar is the proverbial instrument of chivalrous courtship. Pictures of swains serenading their lady loves under their balconies and accompanying themselves on the guitar are common. The word guitara or gitara can be traced to the Greek kithara, but there is no similarity in the structure or sound of the two instruments. The guitar in its present form originated in Spain in the 16th century and spread all over the world. As part of the offshoot tradition, the Philippine archipelago was once part of this evolutionary influence from Spain, since the archipelago was colonized for more than three centuries coinciding to the beginning of the guitar tradition from Spain.

In Mariano Proceso Pabalan Byron’s zarzuela “Ing Managpe” which is the first zarzuela written in any Philippine language in 1900, he mentioned the archaic word kalaskas as an example of an old musical instrument probably belonging to the guitar family. In an 1860 edition of Fray Diego Bergaño’s vocabulary collections, he listed cudiapi as a musical instrument similar to a harp, which he pointed as no longer extant during his time. Cudiapi or kudyapi is an example of pre-Hispanic native guitar in the Philippines.

Folk historians from Pampanga, claim the original century-old tradition of gitara-making is the old street of San Anton, Guagua, Pampanga called Tramu. This local street name is a borrowed Spanish term which means “flight of stairs” or “railroad”. It is in fact metaphorically compared to the railroad-like view of the pasin (fret board) of the Kapampangan-made gitara locally called the gitarang akostik, (the traditional acoustic guitar). Several name-parts of this native guitar prove the antiquity of its beginning since many of its basic parts as well as the process of production are Kapampangan words derived from Spanish. Local traditions dictate the early beginning of this industry and that it is product of in-depth ingenuity and timing. Townfolks say that it was a certain Matuang Bacani who made the initial discovery of gitara-making. It was then transferred to the older clans of the Lumanogs, which was begun by Apung Angel who became the son-in-law of the guitar pioneer Bacani, and followed by the older families of San Anton like the Garcias, Dizons, Mallaris, Jucos, Manansalas etc. after it was successfully mastered. The story goes that Matuang Bacani found an old Spanish-made guitar floating on a nearby river of Tramu. Curiously he disassembled the dilapidated unit and tried to study and copy the pattern of framework production of, the traditional Spanish-made guitar. From this he was able to replicate it using indigenous materials like milk-base glue and local karutungan (wood materials). Later it was mass produced after an increased demand from the different Kapampangan towns like Macabebe, Bacolor and San Fernando. Thus the gitara-making tradition, became a part of the history of local industry. This old town of Guagua was at one time an important trading and cultural site not only to the local Kapampangans but also to the Chinese and other foreigners during Spanish Period as its rivers like the Dalan Bapor played a crucial role in the economic and political development of the region.

This standard instrument has six istring (strings) and tarasti (frets and fret wires) along the mangu and pasin (all parts of the brasu, the fingerboard) to indicate the position of the notes of the scale. The strings are tuned in fourths, with the exception of the interval between the fourth and fifth strings, which is the major third: E, A, D, G, B, E, the lowest string being an E in the middle register of the bass clef. The industry grew rapidly after the liberation until the 1980s. Historically, toward the mid-20th century the guitar was electrically amplified to compensate for its tonal weakness. Later it became a primary instrument of modern rock musicians. In its new role it underwent a change in anatomy. In Tramu, it is said that the start of its manufacture began before the 70s, and was called “elektrik gitar”. Its folk features were abandoned in favor of a gaudy androgynous thing, thinner in the middle than a classical gitarang akostik but sprouting a pair of tinseled pago (shoulders). Fortunately, the “elektrik gitar” failed to displace its noble ancestor. Simultaneously with its degradation by rock musicians, great guitar players accompanying pulusador, mang-gosu/mangalulua, manarana, up to the present have maintained its classical and folk traditions. Meanwhile numerous modern composers, including the Guagua-based band the Whitelies, a pop-rock balladeer, the Green Department and several other homegrown talents have written concertos for guitar and orchestra.

The tradition of gitara-making in Guagua has influenced the guitar industry in Tarlac (of the Bondoc families) and the now famous “Guitar Capital”, Cebu. Traditions maintain that the pioneers of these places have their family roots from Guagua and Lubao. In Cebu, this industry favored the people greatly that even their performing arts have also evolved into a rich repertoire of songs and dances using instruments initially fashioned from bamboo and coconut shells like the subing bamboo flute. Later the introduction of guitars and bandurias further enriched their culture for music and of course the guitar industry. Unfortunately, the business died in Tarlac due to the high cost of raw materials and the increasing popularity of low priced Chinese-made guitars among Philippine local markets. This scenario greatly threatens the present manufacturers of Pampanga especially those of Guagua and Lubao (especially in San Juan, Sta.Monica, and Dau). Today, this industry still competitively penetrates some of the key cities of the archipelago in Central Luzon (Tarlac and Olongapo), Baguio, Vigan, Metro Manila. It includes the customized orders of Pop-rock singer-composer Ramon “RJ” Jacinto, and are even sold in Cebu and Davao. Among the top-favorite designs include the classic guitar of Freddie Aguilar, the “Gibson-type” and the now much in demand “Nyoy Volante-design”. Some of the body-types requested by buyers include the “ovation”, “cut-out” and their various combination. Material types may come from the traditional all wooden body finish, to the fiber-cast finish. Sizes range from the international common size “junior”, the bigger one called “senior”, “mini” or “malati”, “iukulele type” etc. Other stringed instruments manufactured by-orders include the banduria, tabina (octabina), piccolo, mandolin etc. Some gitarang akostik can have “pick-ups” to transmit its sound to nearby sound systems. Some have customized nylon-strings. The scarcity of raw materials hinders the future production and quality of this industry, since most of the present day gitaras source their materials from various hardwoods from demolished old houses, like apitong, tangili, palusapis, ipis for the manufacture of arung-arung (heel) and mangu (neck); gumamela and yantuk for the regala; and langka, kalantas and palotsina for most of the kaha or body where they go as far as Nueva Ecija to have the right wood-type needed in the production; Despite the high price of mekanika (head mechanisms) and istring gitara (which are also imported from China) they still produce a conservative average of 14,000 guitars a month (in Tramo alone) which they think is a difficult task to maintain in the near future.

(Source interviews: Yolanda Garcia, 50 yrs.old; Manuel Dizon, 46 yrs.old; Eduardo Dizon, 48 yrs.old; Bernie Juco, 37 yrs.old; Reynaldo Capati Balagtas, 67 yrs.old; Dagul Macapuno Manasala, 21 yrs.old; Dante Vandilla Mallari, 59; Noel Asuncion Lumanog, 36; and the rest of the gitara-makers of Tramu, San Anton, Guagua, Pampanga)

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


The puzzling depth and humor of Kapampangan riddles and songs of epic wisdom: A disappearing act of real life depiction

By Joel Pabustan Mallari

Dalit a bugtungan, bugtungan a dadalit, o dalit at bugtungan? Poetry has its different characterization in every set of culture of man around the world. In the Philippines, as in this case in Kapampangan, poetry contains many of the ‘early forms’ still known today. Much of it though was buried in our prehistoric past because of the absence of documentations. The problem in the local literary approaches is that local poetry forms are viewed in the western context. Thus much of the study undertaken focused primarily on the measurement of forms like the number of syllables, lines, paragraphs and rhyming and not on the anthropological and sociological background of its cultural formation and social relevance.

Dalit and Marungay vis-à-vis Chinese Kanshi
Fr. Alvaro de Benavente[1], a Spanish missionary who worked for some years from 1672 to 1698 wrote the Arte y vocabulario de la lengua Pampango, which remains in manuscript form. In this work he noted that the Kapampangan language had two early forms of poetry namely: The Marungay [Manungay?] and the Dalit. The first one as he noted is dramatic and sung while rowing and in their festivities. One person sings and the others answer with an estribillo or refrain. The refrain does not have a fixed number of syllables, while the Marungay is of 6 syllables, and the Dalit, which is graver, has 7 syllables, or three feet and a caesura. In the early Heian Period (794-1185 AD in Japan) Kanshi[2] (Chinese poetry) was the most popular form of poetry among Japanese aristocrats. The most popular style of Kanshi was in 5 or 7 syllables in 4 or 8 lines. These, when chanted, were referred to as Shigin- a practice which continues today. From the ancient, potteries such as those Chinese jars traded in the Philippines had verses written on them are classic examples of old calligraphic expression. The trade with China could have been as early as the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-906). Within the archipelago like those areas surrounding the Manila Bay the recoveries of Tang and Tang-type trade ceramics are evidences of this early trade. On the other hand, examples of dalit from the Luther Parker collection compiled during the early 20th century have mostly 8 syllables in them. While among the available versions of pasiun chanted during the Lenten season have syllables of 8, some have 6 or 7. The difference in the number of syllables might have something to do with the way it was sung or chanted. The prolongation of tones might consist of several counts equivalent to a number of syllables.

Dalit or Kanta? Contemporary forms and cognates
Ricardo E. Galang[3] in 1940, categorized some of the common Kapampangan literature. He listed tumaila as lullabies, basultu as an allegorical or comic song, kundiman as lovesongs, jarana [arana] as a serenade, irijia [aria] superstitious beliefs, vida or bie as folklore, pigmulan as legends, kasebian [casebian] as maxims or proverbs, karagatan [caragatan] as poetical jousts, bugtung as riddles and dalit as a song on rustic life. Dalit is different from the kanta because kanta is the generic term for all types of songs Galang mentioned. Dalit may actually refer to one literary category or form just like the old dalit mentioned by Fr. Benavente. Accordingly it is apparent that taladalit, literally the singer of dalit may have been a type of magkanta. It is just in the same category as magbasultu or mamulosu, the singers of basultu and pulosa respectively. Likewise, Fr. Bergano in his 1860 version of Kapampangan dictionary, wrote the meaning of dalit as “couplet, ballad, Pampango songs… Manyalit, to sing them…Délit, the song and to whom it is sung. Mirálitan, sing to one another.” Other important entries he listed are as follows:

Gàlay. (dipthong.) Noun, tone or range of the voice, like in solmizing or voice practice. Neutral verb, to sing in this manner, to chant. See, Guegay. Idiomatically, Migagalay, Migalegalay, to “sing”, not only in the intonation of music, but also in divulging some secret. Pigalegalay, the thing divulged. Pigalegale ra ita, that is what they go about chanting/ divulging. Also, Pagalay, the bait that is moved in little jerking motions on the surface of the water, like the little beats made for one going over the notes in solfeggio. Pagalayan, the place, or the fish as the objective of such an action. Mamagalay, the fisherman who makes such jerking motions with the bait;
Sacurút. (a.) Adjective, is said of one who speaks or acts precipitously, or with a speedy gait, sacurut ya pamanagcas, sacurut ya panlacad. Active verb and its constructions, to speak, or to read, or to act speedily. P. 2. that which. Mi, with intent, and its passive without an, in the past tense. See Guegai, Galai, its opposites, and you will understand sacurut;
Bingcayo. (g.) Noun, lullaby, a song to lull babies to sleep. Active verb, past and future, migcayo, or, magbincayao, to sing to lull a baby. P. 1. the baby. P. 3. the place, like, a hammock. Maca, becoming lulled, able to lull;
Taila. (pp.) Noun, lullaby. Neutral verb, future, Tumaila, and its variation, Imagtumaila, to sing a tumaila, a lullaby. P. 1. Ipagtumaila, the person to whom/for whom a tumaila is sung/chanted.
Tagumpay. (diphthong). Noun, victory. Magtagumpay, to sing of, or celebrate a victory P. 3. the conquered. Gamba, and Alaula, is for the barbarous negritos after they have cut off heads
The manner on how literary deliveries and exchanges is apparently significant even before. In fact the term gale (dipth. galai) is still being used today which now refers to the manner of delivering a poetic verse, thus talagale refers to the poet who delivers a verse. The term gege (dipth. guegai) is the pattern of voice intonation and is the opposite of the old sacurut term. These evolutions are also seen on the general understanding of the present use of the tumaila term. This relatively new term specifically refers to a lullaby while it was actually referred to bingcayo around the 18th century. On the other hand the taila was the generic word for all “kinds” of lullabies before. Today, the uses of dalit, and kanta are unconsciously interchanged in use and in definition. Although in some aspects dalit are now considered strictly as religious songs or old folksongs and kanta are those that are considered popular songs that follow the trend of western music. Likewise, the term kanta has become the generic term for all kinds of singing, from the lalarin-larin lullabies we unconsciously hum to the most modern introduction of voiced music of today.

Dalit at bugtung, pre-18th century art and wisdom of singing
Dalit is not an exclusive term among the Kapampangans, According to Jose Villa Panganiban[4], dalìt is a term known to Bicolanos, Kapampangans and Tagalogs as a psalm or a religious hymn having a dithyrambic epic. In an 1860 Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala, dalit is defined as “copla, o apodo con ella”. It has the same meaning with the older Tagalog dictionary of San Buenaventura published in 1627. It is equivalent to bogtong. So dalit is bogtong or bugtung in Kapampangan. This definition of dalit is the same with that of Fray Diego Bergaño. But as earlier noted, according to him, it is a ballad, “Pampango song”. Interestingly, no entries about basultu, pulosa are mentioned. Apparently, pulosa is an indigenized term of the Spanish prosa; while according to Prof. Felipe de Leon, basultu songs like the “Atin Cu Pung Singsing” have their similarity at least their melody to 18th century, Spanish and Mexican folksongs. This folksong carries various interpretations among several scholars, which indicates the enigmatic case of how Kapampangans compose their songs, the kanta, their dalit as riddles that measure their wisdom.
Fray Diego Bergaño recorded several terms that picture Kapampangans’ riddling culture like auit, bugtong, taqui-taqui, magtalubang etc. Auit is a “riddle, or metaphor in verse, like giving congratulations. Magauit, migauit, to recite such verses. Pagauit, pigauit, to whom these metaphors / verses are addressed”. Moreover, auitan, inauit, refers to the person one has endeavored to attract; while mayayauit, meyauit, mayauit, is “the one that becomes attracted. Voluptate trahitur, carried away by the pleasant emotion.” Fray Bergaño adds “no other word can express it with great propriety. Trahit, sua quemque voluptas, its pleasure carries away everyone…” This term is also common not only to Kapampangans but also to other languages like Hiligaynon and Cebuano …[i] On the other hand, Fray Bergano recorded bugtong as an adjective for “unique, the only one” which is still being used today. But he noted that “it also means, to proffer riddles or enigmas” while bugtungan, is the riddle, the guessing game. Other words for this match are taquitaqui, and magtalubang[ii], Fray Bergano defines the former as “a thing spoken of in riddle, enigma, emphasis, and adage” and the latter as “to play the guessing game of the very cunning” respectively.
Among the examples of riddles found in the 1860 version of Vocabulario of Fr. Bergano, they depict meticulous observations of ordinary happenings and instances of daily living, which are delivered as riddles. Some of which are as follows:
“Linucsu yang dalaga, mebalag yang saya na: the maiden jumped, her skirt dropped: a riddle about the grain, jumping at the heat of the pan, it puffs, and discards its shell / husk, as Emebusa[iii]
Libolibong[iv] silo mo, palad nung acua mo co, is a riddle about the shadow: You may have a thousand traps, it will be your good fortune if you can catch me…
Ing quigli co quebuctut, suyi[v] yang macatapuc, muban ya yata quing lub, alan manğacung sibut, v. g. Pedro wishes to marry Maria, but her father detests Pedro, or if her father approves, Maria does not, unless there is one who would remove the difficulties, his wish would remain a mere wish. Literally, what I conceived and now is pregnant with it, appears to be in a breech position; there is a danger it shall grow old inside, without any prospect of it coming out…
Alang mininggang ibat quing lub, No one was born learned, and also, No one comes out of the womb already dressed. Inquire about the meaning of this riddle: Ding culyauan adua minğatba la quing sanĝa. Two orioles roosting on the either side of the branch…”
Every set of the above mentioned examples comes in a 2-line of 6-syllable format phrase. Poeta Geronimo Del Rosario once made an important insight on this, as saying that these old phrases like bugtung may not be that extraordinary to early Kapampangans as we come across on them today, they were just part of the ordinary lines of thoughts and understanding, just like old words that we seldom use today.

Dalit = bugtungan and marungay = basultu
The marungay might be the early form of basultu before, since some of the classic examples like the “O Caca, o Caca” and “Atin Cu Pung Singsing” each have 6-syllable pattern. To date, the general practice of basultu singing is composed of naming persons especially guests or listeners present and or narrating present situations. This can be related to the early marungay (or manungay), of 6 syllables. The term manungay, is a diphthongized term of manungge which literally means pointing or mentioning something like persons or things. Another context of this term somewhat challenged those persons pointed at or mentioned. As in the case of Fr. Benvente’s description, one person sings (as manungge?) and the rest answers.
Thus the old dalit is now known bugtungan and the old marungay (or manungay) is the basultu (and or pulosa). The old description for dalit and marungay fits well with Fr. Bergano’s examples of bugtungan and that of the old and famous basultu pieces like “O Caca, o Caca” and “Atin Cu Pung Singsing” of today.

Secret links of bugtungan, karagatan and bulaklakan
In an ethnographical essay done by Demetria Santos,[5] there seems to be a slight difference in these two forms of riddle games. As she relates, “bugtungan needs no further explanation and karagatan is somewhat the same as bugtungan but done only in a much complicated way”. In this case, the people divide themselves into two groups.
In a compilation “A Little Book of Filipino Riddles”[6] the various terms for a Filipino riddle are: in Ilocano it is burburtia, in Pangasinan boniqueo, in Tagal [Tagalog] bugtong, in Pampangan bugtong, in Bisayan tugmahanon. This collection further narrates that the “young people mostly give out Filipino riddles. When several are gathered together they will question and answer; they are much in vogue when a young gentleman calls upon his sweetheart; among Tagals [Tagalog] and Pampangans at least the chief occasion for giving bugtong is when a little group are watching at night beside a corpse. In propounding a riddle it is not uncommon to challenge attention by repeating as witty a rhyme, which is quite as often coarse as witty.”
On the other hand, the ethnographical study done by Leon Gonzales[7] in 1915, bugtungan and karagatan [caragatan] are noted as part of the old customs done by Kapampangans. These activities are usually associated to burial ceremonies. Both involve a beautiful verbal poetic joust. Extant examples, show that bugtungan have 2 or 3 lines only while the latter is a progressive type of an emotional debate. Moreover, according to the experience of poet Amado Gigante, karagatan is traditionally considered as the introductory part of every session of bulaklakan. These 2 genres together with kikimut, paisipan, and kasebian are regarded as old forms of pre-Hispanic Kapampangan drama according to Edna Zapanta Manlapaz[8]. She notes that kikimut is similar to the Tagalog karilyo, a shadow play; while the paisipan and kasebian are variants of bugtungan.

The following is an example of rhymed poetic conversation between the ari (called poderdanti) and the makiabe (suplikanti). It was provided by A. Gigante based from what he heard from the older generation of poets he met before.
Makiabe: “Ginung mikibandi kaniti king santungan
Aring pamuntuk na niting katatagan
Nanding maglakad ku king tulid nitang dalan
Ding dakal a tau kaku lang amatan
Inia mengutang ku, karelang pakibat atin bulaklakan”

“A maginung ari, nung kekong itulut
Kening katatagan, bias kusang lauk
Ban matad kung saya karetang malungkut
A likuan ning bangke atlu pamung aldo
ketang pangakutkut”

Pakibat ning Ari (The king answers):
“Ing amung magsalita nung bias kang lauk
Kening katatagan, buri kung abalu
nung dakal ing abias ing kekang daralan
Uling siguradung detang disan
Ing sablang bakal mu, iti itun dangan
Kanita masubuk ampong mabitasa
King dakal ya bitbit iting kekang diua”
(Afterwhich, the makiabe walks, for every step of the way he provides wisdom of contemplation)
“Kanian kekang panlub ing aduan ming saria
Ing balang takbang mu
Dian mung kabaldugan para king Dios Ibpa…”

This excerpt involves a deep sense of wisdom and quick thinking. It is a challenge to the wit. Among other contemporary sources, bulaklakan is regarded as equivalent to the Tagalog duplo, a poetic game or contest dramatically strung to a short narrative sequence. Folksingers like brothers Johnny, Florentino and Francisco G. David of Jalung, Porac vividly remember the manner bulaklakan was played. According to them, the old name of this game is talubangan. This is what Fr. Bergano mentioned as magtalubang in his 1860 glossary compilation. This poetic guessing game involves the use of imaginary characters like talubang (butterflies usually composed of male participants) and bulaklak or sampaga (flowers, the female members). The metaphorical interaction of characters takes place when the talubang flies and carries a bugtung and lands on a bulaklak. It is then answered in verse also. The separation of sexes indicates gender rivalry and the victorious members end up as new partners lovers.
Fr. Bergano provided an excellent example as he noted “Bintalbintalan[vi]…is held like a thing that was never seen before; from this nuance, the word is used for a game of wits, similar to that played by two or more contestants, so they say, Ing talubang banua bintalbintalancoya, mecayabpayabpa can Pedro, and the answer, E dimpa; the rejoinder: Nuya dimpa? Talubang banua, (a certain species of butterfly, which no one has ever seen), and the others now inquire from the contestants in the game. (The heavenly butterfly I am inquiring it may have alighted on Pedro. No, it has not! Where could it be?”

19th Century Karagatan Evolution
Generally in the 19th century, the indigenous poetic joust evolved into a folk verse game that sometimes involved a man and a woman. The karagatan just like the Tagalog duplo/dupluhan had male (belyako/ bellacos) and female (belyaka/ bellacas ) participants who presented on a make-believe court litigation, accused one another of fantastic crimes in highly puzzling terms while the accused defended themselves in terms just as puzzling[9], argued their cases in elegant verses. The poetic joust like karagatan, bulaklakan, duplo and juego de prenda were actually used to entertain guests and bereaved families during wakes.
Later on Spanish influences came in, thus variants of poetic joust created Crissotan and Tolentinuan[10] genre. Crissotan is the Kapampangan equivalent of the Tagalog balagtasan (named after Francisco Balagtas, the name by which Francisco Baltazar was popularly known). It is the art of publicly arguing in extemporaneous, metered and rhymed poetry composed of two opposing master poets with a moderator called lakandiua, while Tolentinuan has three arguing individuals. The former was first coined in 1925 (one year after the first Balagtasan was held in Manila, April 6, 1924) by Amado Yuzon in honor of Juan Crisostomo Soto. The latter was first held in 1930 in a Pampanga Carnival Fair which was participated by Amado M. Yuzon, Silvestre M. Punzalan and Roman P. Reyes. The crissotan just like balagtasan has its parallel in Visayan (using the same balagtasan name), Ilocano (bukanegan in honor of the poet Pedro Bukaneg, the transcriber of the epic Lam-ang), bukanegan began in the early 1930s.
The 20th century saw the entrenchment of American neo-colonial culture through the transplantation of American political institutions, popular education, the introduction of the English language and religious reformation. A lot of writings, journalistic and literary, have deplored social diseases perceived to have been brought about by America. Writers have deliberately exerted efforts to resist this. If the Tagalog duplo gave birth to the balagtasan karagatan and bulaklakan gave birth to crissotan, tolentinuan. They all became the vehicles of social protests in the 1920s as Ruth Elynia Mabanglo notes. In fact much of these voices of protests penetrated all forms of literary genres. One of the best examples is the Pasion ding Talapagobra of Lino Lopez Dizon printed during the time of the Luis Taruc at the height of socialist movement in Pampanga. An excerpt from chapter IX “Ding Tau Sucat lang Mie Antimong Tau”, these 171-173 stanzas shows a strong socio-political message of humiliation in a perfect 8-syllable rhymed verses:

Ing Dios diman e migculang
Canitang cayang lelangan
Keting yatung cacarinan,
King sabla tang kailangan
Ala tang sucat iliwan.

Dapot ngni surian tamu
Ing cabilian da ring tau
Keti babo na ning yatu,
Ating mabsi, ating mau
King cabiayan a mayubu

Dacal la ring alang bale
Maki-sulut la ring pobre
Ing bili ra macajale,
Dacal la ring mangamate
King danup alang pagcabie

Napun, ngeni at bukas: the disappearing act of unique humor
The loss of ancient forms of witty entertainment to today’s fading jambori of basultu and dalitan which once served as an effective channel of social reforms is alarming. Most of the remnants of these old wisdom and compositions became dormant in the hands of the “able few”. Among the many culprit of its extinction include the slow development of free verse writing and the unwelcomed reactions of unrhymed pattern of delivery. Whatever remained of the early basultos or dalit played on short slots of airtime are limited to the humorous ribald versions of folksongs. Wakes and other social reunions are no longer hosted by folk artists in their houses but by instant services provided by funeral parlors and resorts. Thus intimate social gatherings are diminished into simple meetings over butul pakuan and tetra packed juices. The fact that local artists like poets and folksingers are mostly in their twilight years and very few among the younger generation have the passion to learn this legacy further threaten this scenario. To add insult to this museum-bound tradition is the fact that these old artists and practitioners clamor for public attention and solicit funding for them to support. Thus the puzzling depth and humor of Kapampangan riddles and songs of epic wisdom are most likely headed to the last part of jambori, the cheap public performance, which is not actually appreciated by the new Kapampangan generation. As the popular “non-sensical (?) song “Atin Cu Pung Singsing” goes “meuala ya iti eku kamalayan”.

[1] Hernandez, Policarpo OSA, THE AUGUSTINIANS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PAMPANGO LITERATURE: Printing Press, Philology, Poetry and Religious Literature. Alaya Journal No.3, Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University 2005
[3] Galang, Ricardo E.
1940 Ethnographic Study of the Pampangans. Of the Natural History Museum Division Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Manila
[4] Panganiban, Jose Villa
1972 Diksyunario-Tesauro Filipino Ingles
[5] Santos, Demetria.
June 30, 1915 Religious Beliefs in Connection with the Dead. In Philippine Folklore, social Customsand Beliefs (A Collection of Original Sources) Collected and arranged by H.Otley Beyer Vol 9 (From the Pampañgan people) Pampañgan paper No. 6 (Folklore #336). Manila. unpublished
[6] A Little Book of Filipino Riddles by Various. The Project Gutenberg EBook. Release Date: December 15, 2004 [EBook #14358]8859-. Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the PG Distributed Proofreaders Team, from scans kindly made available by the University of Michigan.
[7] Gonzales, Leon M.
June 30, 1915 Past and present burial ceremonies among the Pampañgans. In Philippine Folklore, social Customsand Beliefs (A Collection of Original Sources) Collected and arranged by H.Otley Beyer Vol 9 (From the Pampañgan people) Pampañgan paper No. 7 (Folklore #337). Manila. unpublished
[8] Zapanta-Manlapaz, E.
1981 Kapampangan literature: Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila Press.
[9] Mallari, I.V.
1954 Vanishing Dawn. Mc Cullough Ptinting Company. Philippines. Pp. 75-79
[10] Lacson, Evangelina H.
December 11, 1983 Kapampangan Poetry. Philippine Center of International P.E.N., Cultural Center of the Philippines
[i] Awit n. Kpm. Hlg. Sb. Tg. song, chant, hymn. Syn. kanta, kanto, kansiyon; kundiman, balada, dalit, imno; melodiya, himig, tono; tugtog, musika.—Hlg. ambahanon; Png. laingey; SL. awit. (Panganiban 1972)
[ii] From the word talubang, butterfly
[iii] From the word busa. This word refers to toasted glutinous rice, the grains are puffed. (Bergaño 1860)
[iv] From the word libo, thousand
[v] From the word suyi, a thing in reverse, that is upside down, like the feet are above, and the head is below (Bergaño 1860)
[vi] Bintal, the precious stone (Bergaño 1860)

Friday, 8 February 2008


Rebirthing of Kapampangan music
Neng Joel Pabustan Mallari

“atin ku pung singsing… metung yang timpukan” mayayakit neng pasibayu iti, etamu amamalayan.

Kaybat da ring pulusador antimo di Totoy Bato, Ruth Lobo, Bong Manalo at Pusuy Dos, ing ArtiSta. Rita pati di Ara Muna, daratan ne ing bayu pang tipun daring kantang Kapampangan!
Ing Center for Kapampangan Studies (ning Holy Angel University) na panimunan nang Robby Tantigco at metung karing masigasig a bayung sibul, I Jason Laxamana ning Kalalangan Kamaru deng ati king gulut ning bayung project: ing “RocKapampangan!” music album. Anapin Robby, “Kapampangan folk music is just about ready for its next reincarnation: RocKapampangan!”.
Ing pamansag a iti ibat ya kang Jason, na metung a Kapampangan filmmaker ibat king UP Diliman, nung nu ya munaman ing pekapamagat ning CD album.
RocKapampangan is not just an album, or a happening, it’s a revival of cultural experience! RocKapampangan is a modern design whose moment in time has arrive, uling kaybat da ring masasabing folk antimo deng pulosa at basultu, deng klasikal, deng tipung akostik ampo deng pop, ing rock ayni na ing tutuking lupa ning musikang abuburyanan da reng kayanakan kasalungsungan.

O Jo ko kaluguran da ka
Kapilan pamu itang Kapampangan version ning “Sometimes when we touch”, na mikalat king pamansag a “O Joe Caluguran Da Ca,” ing sinikat. Iti kinanta neng Ara Muna. Mula king dalan Plaridel ning Lungsud Angeles, angga na king Quiapu, Menila dakal nong mmengapisali karing pirated copies na niti. Ita mung metung karing kanta da ring ArtiSta.Rita, ing “Beria”, mika-techno-pop version nemu naman karing pwestung mamagtindang pirated cds.
What is happening right now is actually a good sign! Not only with the cultural revival of Kapampangan fad but an excellent example to what other Philippine ethnolinguistic groups can do in general.
Anyang ketang mumunang banwang 2000, ing Sapni nang Crissot, ni-lauch de ing double album dang “Pamalsinta qng Milabas,” kaybat na nita andyang linto malambatlambat muring e ya iti mitukyanan, atin parin namang memanyalisi. I Kragi Garcia ning Balen Macabebe atin lang pepalwal munaman kanita; kaybat ing king Camalig Music nang Marc Nepomuceno mika-album lang Kapampangang pamasku at makanyan mu naman ing king Holy Angel U migpalwal la ibat karing mikyabe kanita king ligligan kantang Pamasku.

ArtiSta.Rita, Aslag
The ArtiSta. Rita, jazzed up Kapampangan folk songs and even tied together their shows as big cultural events. Iti penimuan da ri Andy Alviz. Makanyan munaman I Mon David mekalwal yang personal nang album with Kapampangan pieces. Ding king Lungsud San Fernando migpalwal la naman mapilan. Ing ASLAG da ri Fr. Cao at Rolan Quiambao mekapag-release la namang karela. Kabang minuna kareti I Cris Cadiang mika-album nemu naman. Thus if we are to make a quick inventory of recently released K-music, this genre is still alive and is now once again trying to make a dramatic resurgence.

Panyingit: RocKapampangan the album will be launched at the Plaza San Jose, Holy Angel University on Monday, February 18 at 5 P.M. Admission is free.

Pulosa – from the Latin prosa, meaning straightforward, hence the term "prosaic," which is often seen a perjorative. .... On the otherhand, pulosa is the Kapampanganized Spanish term involving the measured singing of Kapampangan folksong. It is the spontaneous rendering of words in singing in the basultu (native Kapampangan rhythm) way. Mamulosa or pulosador are the singers of this genre.

(Comments and suggestions na buri yung imunikala pu kanaku, magsilbi yu lang iparala keti e-mail:; malyari ye munanam silipan ing website a iti:

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Salapungan da ring Memalen ning Matuang Culiat

Pampang, Balibago, Anunas, Pulungbulu, Malabanias, Talimunduk
and other ancient placenames that hint at the town’s pre-Culiat existence
By Joel Pabustan Mallari and Roel Manaloto

Agapito Del Rosario, a present baranggay named after Agapito Jose Del Rosario y Abad Santos.. San Fernando-born Del Rosario (he was the son of Isabelo del Rosario, the Kapampangan martyr who played his violin moments before the Americans executed him) was the famous Socialist mayor of Angeles (1940-1942) and one of the founders of the Upsilon Sigma Phi, the oldest Greek-letter fraternity in Asia. Together with his uncle Pedro Abad Santos, leader of the biggest peasant organization in Central Luzon, and other peasant leaders, Del Rosario rallied the peasants to become a potent force in Philippine politics. They fielded candidates representing the peasantry in the 1940 local elections, including those in the key towns of Angeles and San Fernando. Shortly after Japan invaded the Philippines in December, 1941, Mayor Del Rosario was put on the list of officials to be arrested immediately. After securing the safety of his family, he met with other anti-Japanese leaders in Manila, where he was eventually caught and imprisoned at Fort Bonifacio. When he refused to swear allegiance to the Japanese flag, he was executed, just like his father before him. He was only 41 years old.
Amsíc a barrio named after an erect, branched, glabrous or nearly glabrous herb, 1m high or less; also spelled amsík, amisík or amsí (Solanum nigrum L.). It is known in English as the many varieties of nightshade, hierba mora in Spanish and kunti in Tagalog. This herb belongs to the same family of balasenas (eggplants) which differed (slightly) from what Mariano Henson noted as a kind of timber-tree. This area once belonged to sitios Anunas and old Pampang. The old location was on the merging point of the Pasig (Potrero downstream) River and the upstream of Abacan River. It was one of Culiat’s three new additional barrios in 1829 with San Nicolas of the Poblacion and San Jose.

Anunas is a baranggay that took its name from the native fruit-bearing custard apple (Anona reticulata Linn.). It is a native of tropical America and introduced only in the Philippines sometime ago. This tree belongs to the family of Anona said to be derived from the Malay name menona (minuna in Kapampangan?) having 3 varieties in the Philippines to which atis and bena-bana (guyabano) belong. The village used to be known as Pulung Anunas and was one of the 4 new barrios of Culiat in 1812, together with Sto. Rosario, Cutcut and Pampang.

Balibágo is one of the busiest entertainment districts in Central Luzon. Its name came from the much-branched tree of 4 to 12 m height, Hibiscus tiliaceus Linn. During the early days it was valued in making ropes for its flexible bark. This is actually common in the tropics and throughout the Philippines, especially in places near the sea. This plant that belongs to the hibiscus family includes the favorite variegated species common in gardens which also includes varieties of gumamela and malutú (or malibago). Thus the placename balibago should not be mistaken as having been derived from the synthesis of the two words bale + bago (“new house”). In fact bago is not a Kapampangan term for new; otherwise it should have been called as balebaiu. In Cuta, an old sitio of barrio Anilao in the town of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, the light but sturdy balibago tree has been a favorite timber source in the construction of old-fashioned bangka since the early days. An old village in Marinduque, as well as a sitio in Magalang, has also been named after this tree.

Balíti is the name of an old village now under the political boundary of Sapang Bato, as well as of a barrio in San Fernando. It belongs to the many “strangling” figs, of Ficus family, 800 or more species in all tropical countries, a few in warm temperate regions, and about 100 in the Philippines, most of which can be found in Pampanga alone. Fr. Pedro Chirino, S.J. (1604), described how early Chinese immigrants were growing balíti trees onto corals. These early immigrants would insert the roots into the coral’s crevices and place them onto water basins until the roots clasped the host corals. This practice led to what is popularly known today as bonsai, a common sight along the stretch of the Mc Arthur Hi-way in Mabalacat and Bamban.
Bángcal was an old sitio now reduced into a mere street of Balibago, very near the Abacan River. Its name came from the mangrove tree plant known locally as bangkal (Leichhardt tree, Nauclea orientalis of Rubiaceae family) which originates possibly from Indo-China and Malesia; occasional in thickets and widely distributed in the Philippines, India, Southeast Asia and Australia. An old barrio of Guagua is also named after this tree.

Benigno Aquino one of the newly renamed barrios of the city in honor to the late Kapampangan martyr Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Most parts of the baranggay comprise the area of the old Marisol Subdivision.

Capáya obviously from kapáia tree, Carica papaya Linn. It is in common cultivation throughout the Philippines and frequently spontaneous, all the year. This perdigones tree was introduced from Mexico by the Spaniards at an early date and now found in all tropical countries.
Claro M. Recto a barrio next to Salapungan going to the north along the old railroad; named after the famous legislator and patriot.

Cuayán is adjacent to baranggay Anunas in the west end. It was once a sitio of Anunas. Its name is a generic term for almost all types of bamboos and some grass species like kuaian tutu (Bambus- blumeana, J.A. & J.H. Schult Bambusa Schreber). This widely known grass family is known for its various economic values such as lande (of bamboo splits) and sauali-making. The residents divide their barrio into: (a) babá, the center of social activities where the visita is located and (b) bábo or sepung cuaian, the outermost and least peopled area of the barrio. This ordinary bamboo name is a common placename throughout Central Luzon.

Culiat, the old name of Angeles town; derived from at least two possible plant names. One is from the plant kuliát, Gnetum indicum Lour. Merr. a woody vine that abound in the place or a shrub of the the same Gnetum family. While the other one is a Diospyros specie, of the black wood family. This family of trees includes the famous Philipine ebony wood, and talang (Diospyros discolor Willd. [D. philippensis Desr.]). Types of talang includes the known kamagong and/or mabolo in many Philippine languages. Culiat Street is said to be the area where the old San Fernando barrio of Culiat was located, near the chapel of Apu Mamacalulu. An old barrio of Tandang Sora in Quezon City is also named Culiat (or Coliat).

Cutcut is the barrio on the boundary with Porac town. It means “to sink the feet,” a reference to the abundance of fine sand in the area. Meanwhile, Angeles historian and visual artist Daniel Dizon points to the present public cemetery located in Cutcut as kutkutan or Camposantung Matua. Incidentally the private Holy Mary Memorial Park, also located in Cutcut, is just a stone’s throw away from the old cemetery. Cutcut is where the town’s first primary school, first muscovado sugarmill and alacan or alambique (alcohol distillery) were built by the founders of Culiat. There are barrios in Capas, Tarlac that have also been named cutcut.

Cutud is the southeastern barrio on the boundary with Mexico town. Cutud is the Kapampangan word for the verb “to cut” or the noun “a cut piece.” Thus the place could have been a cleared forest or, as historian Mariano Henson pointed out, an area where the road has been cut.
Lourdes Northwest, Lourdes Sur and Loudes Sur-East apparently named after their common patron saint Nuestra Señora de Lourdes with respect to their respective geographical locations.
Lúyus (or Lúius) is another old village near the old location of Pandan. Its name comes from the native palm “bunga” Areca catechu Linn.. It is certainly of prehistoric introduction, most probably from India through Malaya. This is the palm that produces betel nuts, much used by “Kapampangang mámama” or Kapampangans (as well as other natives in the Austronesian world) who chew betel as a mild stimulant.

Malabáñas (or Malabánias), formerly part of Mabalacat town, has at least two possible name provenances. One is from the prefix mala- (a word base for “resembling”) and bañás, a kind of timber-tree (Dacrycarpus cumingii [Parl.] de Laubenf.) as Henson noted. But the root word was recorded to have come from the Mangyans of Mindoro. In fact it is not entered in any Kapampangan, Tagalog (including Mindoro’s Southern Tagalog), Ilocano, Pangasinense vocabularies. Another possible etymology is the word bañás or banias (water lizard specie, Hydrosaurus pustulosus). According to Fray Diego Bergaño’s 1860 dictionary, bañás is an old Kapampangan term for a barag (monitor lizard, Varanus salvator), which is also a close relative of dapu (of crocodile family). Since Malabanias is situated near the Abacan River, passing boats probably looked to people on the riverbanks as having the appearance of floating bañás, (Old Kapampangan folks still say “Balamu galakgak ka!” to a person who is skinny and gawky enough to look like an iguana.

Malupá is another village now part of Porac town, located near Manuali (Porac) and Cuayan (Angeles City). Its name was derived from the prefix ma – (“abundant”) and the root word lupa, an herb with stinging hairs, Fleurya interrupta, Linn. In Fiji island, this plant occurs in areas “from near sea level to about 525 m as a weed in villages, roadsides, waste places, pastures, and cultivated areas, sometimes being found along forest trails or on hillsides.” In Hawai’i, it is known as an uncommon garden weed. Its native area is questionable; probably southeastern Asia as it was almost certainly an inadvertent aboriginal introduction throughout the Pacific portion of its range. Northern Tagalog speakers knew this herb as lipa, and among Southerners, as nipai.. The stinging hair of this plant is related to the famous poison ivy and bule (bean family); and capable of inflicting severe skin allergies and serious irritation for days.

Mánga is another barrio next to Pulungbulo going to Mexico town. It was named after the mangga tree (Mangifera indica L.) of Anacardiaceae (balubad family). This tree originated in South and Southeast Asia. Wild mango trees are known to have come only from North-East India and Burma, and so it appears plausible that the species evolved from there. The name mango, almost identical in countless languages, is derived from Tamil, the most important language of Southern India, and was transferred to the West by the Portuguese. The general term for “mango” in Tamil is mamaran, but the fruit is usually referred to either as manpalam (also transcribed mambazham which means “ripe mango fruit,” or mangai which means “unripe mango fruit”. It appears that the latter term was picked up by Portuguese sailors; since sea trade required unripe fruits at that time. The North Indian names for mango derive from Sanskrit amra, itself probably a Dravidian loan and thus related to the Tamil words and even to English mango. The genus name Mangifera (“bringer of mango”) contains Latin ferre “carry, bring”, cf. Lucifer “bringer of light” or Christopher “he who carries Christ”. Thus the word mangga was definitely influenced by early conquistadores in Philippines. The closest indigenous term for this family of mangoes is a specie known as “Pahu” or “Pau” (Mangifera altissima Blanco) in Kapampangan, ‘Paho’ among the Tagalogs, ‘Pahutan’ among the Visayans, and ‘Pangamangaen’ among the Ilocanos.

Márgot comprises most parts of the old Tacondo area going to Sapang Bato. It is said that the name came from a certain lady named Margot, Margaret, Marga etc, or most probably from an old “borrowed” Kapampangan term marga’ha. This term was one of the peculiar entries in the Kapampangan-English Dictionary by Michael Forman which means as “volcanic ash” or “lava [rare]”. Its proximity to the slope of Mt. Pinatubo and its location across several headwaters of the Abacan River might provide clues to the prehistoric eruption of the said active volcano.
Mining is another barrio of Angeles City. The origin of its toponym is unknown even during the time of historian Mariano Henson.

Palengking Hapon is the old train station near the railroad crossing of Sta. Teresita now part of Baranggay Agapito Del Rosario. It was starting in 1942 when the Japanese controlled all networks of transportation which included this old railroad in Angeles.

Palusapis derived its name from a timber-tree, Anisoptera thurifera Bl. a good source of sturdy timber used in making furnitures, house posts and early types of boats. It is now part of Porac, next to Sapang Ebus and Manuali (both remote barrios of Porac).

Pampang is actually divided into the new and the old Pampang. Matuang Pampang used to be the entire old Pampang village which got its name from its location along the brink of cliffs which line the Abacan River (later relocated to its present site where the Pampang Public Market now stands). This word was generally applied to all riverbank communities in all parts of the Kapampangan Region.

Pandan derived its name from specie of Pandan tree, Pandanus luzonensis Merr. Its present location is along the Angeles-Magalang road. The placenames of Pandan and Pampang have a good trace of Indonesian connection. As quoted from Fr. Edilberto Santos’ notes:
“a geographical and statistical dictionary of the Dutch Indies, published in Amsterdam as late as 1896, contains names of places in these Indonesian islands which right away bring to mind those found in the abovementioned Philippine province. According to it, there are (in Java) two villages, one river, and one bay bearing the name Pampang: and (in Sumatra) three villages and one river bearing the name Pampangan.14 There are (in Java) seven villages, a mountain and an island, a cape and an inlet bearing the name Pandan.”

Pasbulbulu, now a barrio of Porac. Derived its name from “Pasbul” for “gate” or “door” and “bulu”, the sauali bamboo Schizostachyum lumampao (Blanco) Merr.

Patirik-tírik is currently a part of Barrio Sto. Cristo. Its name’s provenance may mean many things to lexicographers. Tírik could be taken as setting up something straight or erect (as candles, post, building), like the most recognized origin of the placename, the Spanish-Period cemetery; or in Old Kapampangan, it refers to fish corral, or a pool of water where an enclosure was installed for confining or capturing fishes. This last theory is credible since the place is the most depressed area in the city. Lastly, a far-out opinion on the place’s etymology is that the area was once a lair for prostitutes, before they moved to “Area,” the now notorious red district between Sta. Teresita and Pampang.

Pulúngbulu located on the northeastern section of Sapang Balen Creek. Its name came from the compounded words pulúng (“forest of”) and bulu (Schizostachyum lumampao [Blanco] Merr.).
Pulúng Cacutud is the last barrio going to Magalang town. Its name also came from the compounded words Pulúng (“forest of”) and cacutud (“slice” or “cut of trees”). It is known by old folks in the area as Pulung Kaputut (“a piece of forest” or “a tiny forest”). A barrio in Mabalacat is named Cacutud probably of the same origin as Pulung Cacutud.

Pulúng Maragul is the place where the new City Hall is located. It is literally translated as “big forest,” probably to differentiate it from Pulung Maragul a.k.a. Pulung Kaputut (“small forest”), which is also in the same vicinity. It seems that the places with pulu (literally, an island) as part of their toponym were once forested with either ilib (cogon grass, Imperata cylindrica [L.] P.Beauv.), kuaian tutu (Bambus- blumeana, J.A. & J.H. Schult Bambusa Schreber) and other indigenous trees, thus forming island-like sanctuary in the middle of sandy lands.

Salapúngan is taken rom the root word salapang, this means “a splitter”. Fray Diego Bergaño likened the idea to the split tongue of a barag. Presently, the place well represents its meaning; it is a place of intersection going to at least two road ways, one to the city proper (Sto. Entierro St.) and the other going any of the roads northwestwards (like the Magnolia St.) . It best represents rotonda of the modern traffic scheme.

Sampaloc is a sitio found on the frontage of barrio Cuayan after Pampang. It was named after the tamarind tree Tamarindus indica Linn. of the Caesalpiniaceae (a tropic family closely related to the bean family like bule and kamangiang). This tree originated in Eastern Africa, but is now growing all over the tropics. Its etymology came from the Arabic tamr hindi which simply means “date of India” (“date” being a general name for the fruits of various palm trees); needless to say, tamarind neither stems from India nor is it related to palm trees. In spite of this deficiency, loan translations of this name have made their way into English, German (Indische Dattel) and Russian (Indiyskiy finik. It is no wonder that contemporary Kapampangans include taramindu or tamarindu to their collection of glossaries which pertains to the dried ripe fruits of this tree.
San Jose was one of the early barrio of the then Culiat town, named by the people after their patron saint San Jose Labrador or Apung Jose Talapagobra.

San Nicolás formerly known (partly) as Talimundoc for “rocky, dry upland or hilly area.” Part of the barrio intersects with Lourdes Sur East. It was named after their patron saint San Nicolas Tolentino.

Santo Domingo formerly known as Tibág (either “steep gorge” or “crumbled earth, rocks etc” or “landslided area on the mountain side or riverside,” or colloquially, “demolition.”) At present a sitio named tibag is located in the boundary of San Jose and Sto. Domingo near the Sapang Balen Creek, also running parallel along the old railroad. It is a popular squatting area for newcomers in the city.

Santa Teresita known before as part of the malángo village. Large droves of lango (housefly Musca domestica) infested the area due to garbage dumps in the palengking laun (old marketplace of San Nicolas) and old Pampang.

Santo Cristo obviously named after their patron saint Santo Cristo del Perdon, the image of the Crucified Christ.

Santol came from the popular fruit tree, Sandoricum koetjape (Burm.f.) Merr. This fruit and sampalok, when unripe, are used as panaslam for the daily sigang (sour soup) of Kapampangans. This old village is now part of Barrio Anunas. The santol tree is believed native to former Indochina (especially Cambodia and southern Laos) and Malaya, and to have been long ago introduced into India, the Andaman Islands, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Moluccas, Mauritius, and the Philippines where it has become naturalized. The southern town of Masantol, formerly a barrio of Macabebe, was also named after the tree.

Santo Rosario, the poblacion or town proper of old Culiat, apparently deriving its name from its patron saint Nuestra Señora De Santissimo Rosario de la Naval. The same thing is true with one of the oldest streets of the city, the Santo Rosario Street.

Sapalibutad from sápa (“creek”) and libutad (“middle”). This placename does not say if the river is between two villages or between two land formations. It is a barrio south of Pulung Cacutud touching the boundary of Mexico in the east.

Sapangbato is the westernmost village of the city. Its name came from Sápang (“creek of” or “river of”) and bato (“stone”). Apparently, huge boulders of volcanic origin littered (and still litter) this hillside-riverside barrio. The site may have contained a quarry of calcareous rocks (such as adobe and planas), dacite and pumiceous rocks used in the early times in the construction of pisamban (Catholic churches such as the Holy Rosary Parish Church), bale batu (colonial houses like the Bale Herencia), large kamalig (rice granaries) etc. This old barrio comprises some of the upland sitios like Sitio Babo populated mostly by the Baluga (Kapampangan speaking Aita) and Sitio Baliti. Sapangbato is one of the old sites of the frequently moving Fort Stotsenberg, which was integrated later into Clark Air Base.

Suklaban is an old sitio of Mining. Its name means “to bend down” since travelers on their way to Mexico town had to bend their way through a thick forest of bamboos.

Tabun a baranggay on the northeast end of the city, beside Capaya; its name means “irrigation dam” which is explained by its proximity to the Abacan River. Many other places in Pampanga are named after the tabun.

Talimunduc, now called Lourdes Sur-East; according to Mariano Henson, it means “hilly landscape.” It seems that the talimundok area wasn’t confined to the present barrio but extended up to San Nicolas which was also once called Talimundok (as Henson also noted), and all the way to the northwestern side of the city beside the Abacan River (Matuang Pampang). Thus, Talimundok may have had the general meaning of being elevated.

Tacóndo, an old village, once a part of Margot and Sapang Bato. Mariano Henson notes that the word came from a corruption of the Negrito phrase tacur dú (“long hill”). The place had long been inhabited by the Islands aborigines.

Taratpipit is a purok of Sto. Domingo named after the high-pitched common fantail warbler (Cisticola juncidis). This bird is extremely widespread (except North and South America and Antarctica). Outside the breeding season these birds are very difficult to spot. The high scratchy notes of their call coincide with the low points in their courtship flight.

Tibágin is a sitio of Sta. Trinidad near the barrio of San Nicolas; tibagin refers to an easily eroded area, which makes sense since the location is very near the Sapang Balen Creek.

Virgen delos Remedios, one of the newly created barrio located between the barrios of Sta. Teresita, Ninoy Aquino and Claro M. Recto; named after Virgen Delos Remedios (Indu ning Kapaldanan), which is also the patroness of the whole Pampanga Province.

Some of the famous old streets of Angeles City indicate the prevailing influence during the time they were named, e.g., Rizal Street named after the national hero, Burgos Street after Fr. Jose Apolonio Burgos of Gomburza, Jake Gonzales Boulevard in honor of “Jake” Gonzales who was killed in an aircraft accident while on a Jaycees mission. Prominent mayors (and Presidentes Municipales or Alcaldes) and pioneering families and other personalities who made an impact on the city’s history have streets named after them, such as Lazatin St., Dr. Clemente N. Dayrit St. (Clemendez), Nepomuceno St., Henson St. Miranda St. Navarro St., E.Mallari St., F. Jacinto St., T. Bugallon St., P. Deang St. Justino Surla Street. Quite notable are streets named after prehistoric personages such as Lacandula Street after the famous ruler of Tondo during the time of Spanish contact in Manila,; Panday Pira Street after the famous metalsmith worker of Apalit, Pampanga; streets of barrio Sta Teresita like Prince Balagtas, Noble Araw, Lady Maylag, Malangsik, Anca Widjaya, Madjapahit etc. are all derived from the genealogical tree of the so-called Kapampangan Empire, established and consolidated from A.D. 1335 to A.D. 1400.
Abácan River (Sapang Abakan) derived its name from the word abákan meaning “lunch time”. This is one of the major rivers emanating from the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo. Its name might have been associated with early river people or boatmen who took their lunch meals along this river. The length of the river snakes down to the towns of Magalang and Mexico before merging to the rest of the rivers collectively known as Guagua-Pasak River and empties far down south in the Pampanga Bay. But the big question is, who named this famous river? Were they the early people of Culiat, or the people somewhere in Magalang or Mexico towns? The term for a river is sapa, regardless its size or length. Sapang Balen was so named for its role and location in the pioneering days of the balen (poblacion); it straddles at least two old streets of Culiat (Sto. Rosario and Miranda). The Arrayo River might have derived its name from the word márayo or máraio meaning “far” or “remote”. Its location is on the upstream section of the Abacan River. Pasig River (or Pasig-malangi River) is located on the northwest section of the city after barrio Cuayan. Pasig is another term for a riverbank in Kapampangan while malangi meant as “dry”. It was called as Pasig-malangi for the river is always seen nearly empty of flowing water; it contains deposits of Angeles Fine Sand, while Sapang Bayo River is located part of Pasig-malangi River. Its name came from the word “baiu” for “new”. This might explain the river’s new course at the time it was discovered by the people who knew the old topography, the team from the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) who recorded it in 1951.

Baltangan da ring Memalen ning San Fernando

Kebiauan, Telabastagan, Sindalan, Kalulut, Bulaun, Maimpis and other villages that the colonizers failed to hispanize
By Joel Pabustan Mallari

Baltangan is the name of an old village near the northwest boundary of San Fernando. Its old dictionary definition includes (a) crossing (crossroads); and/or (b) along or across the border, edge, margin, bank, shore or in some extent against the breeze or moving wind.
The old site of this village actually covers part of Sto. Domingo (of Angeles City) down to Essel Park Subdivision and Telabastagan (of San Fernando) and Calibutbut (of Bacolor). At the heart of this old site now runs the polluted old river known as the Sapang Aslam among the people of Sto. Domingo. This river once supplied residents with freshwater bios such as parusparus (Telescopium sp.), susung balibid (Telescopium sp.), bia (goby), etc. This old crossroads once had a rugged terrain which can hardly be seen now due to the breadth of residential and commercial structures. Folks still recall the old gasgas (dirt road) located across the river connecting the villages of Salapungan, Mangga and Pulungbulu (all of Angeles City) towards the southern part of Telabastagan (of San Fernando), going to the western section of San Fernando (Calibutbut of Bacolor), and northwest to Porac. Today this site still serves a similar purpose of its setting; it is near the entry point of the circumferential road going to the Clark Economic Zone and also near where the boundaries of the cities of Angeles and San Fernando meet in reference to the Mac Arthur Hi-way.

Plant names
A barrio at the mid-southwest boundary of San Fernando was named Alásas, apparently derived from the tree alásas (Ficus ulmifolia Lam.) of the balíti family. Balíti is a basic term for all the “strangling” figs, of Ficus family. Some of the known species include not only alásas but also buku-bukuan (Ficus pseudopalma Blco.) pakiling (Ficus odorata [Blco] Merr.), auili ( Ficus hauli Blco.), and the common baliti varieties (Ficus benjamina L. and Ficus indica L. etc..Bulaon was named after the bulaon tree (molave or smallflower chastetree Vitex parviflora Juss.). This type of tree is known as lagundi in Guam and the famous molauin in Tagalog. It is one of the preferred wood materials for making balutu (canoe type boat), lunas of sarul (plowshares’ base), furnitures etc. Calúlut, one of the oldest barrios in San Fernando, was named after an erect tree about 8 m high with oblong leaves, axillary inflorescence, and many seeded fruits known locally as kalulút. This tree is a decoction for its bark; fresh leaves are administered in fevers. It is also known as anabiong and anubing by the people in the Kapampangan-Tagalog boundaries and anardong among the Ifugaos. It is a favorite material for wood carving for its softwood character just like the sacred bulul figures of the Ifugaos. Old folks say one would spend about 6 days just to fell one matured tree of this kind. Another barrio with lesser population is Lára located near the boundary between Porac, Bacolor and Angeles City. The name of this barrio was derived from the plant name lára. This plantname is a generic term for all types of local chilis (in English) or sili in many languages of the Philippines.

The Philippines was once recognized as the number 1 exporter of bananas in the world. It is no wonder why Barrio Ságuin was named after this fruit. In fact varieties of ságin are known to local Kapampangans such as paltikus, saba, latondan, matabia, seniorita etc.; the fruit has also a special place on the Kapampangan table as pesa, sisig pusu, sigang, putchero, barbekiung ságing… This herbaceous plantain was called plantano by the Spaniards, who saw a similarity to the plane tree that grows in Spain; they later adopted the Kapampangan term. Baritan is an old barrio whose name was derived from a kind of grass, green forage, or horse-fodder known as barit, sakate or kumpay, which proliferated in the area due to the pipita (waterlogged areas) which extended up to the old place of Ponduan.

River culture
The San Fernando River collects its waters from the network of small rivers flowing from the barrios of San Jose Matulid, Sabanilla, San Miguel and Balas of Mexico and rivers such as Sapáng Calulut (of San Fernando and Mexico) and Sapa Creek of Mexico’s southwest section. This river snakes down towards the various rivers and creeks of Bacolor town. An outline map of soil survey which shows the natural drainage and general relief of Pampanga Province in 1956, shows the connection between the Pasig River (in Porac and Angeles City) and San Fernando River. This might support the early significant role of the old Ponduan as one of the busy trading ports of the province at least during the late Spanish Period onwards.

Kabalasan (or Mabalas) River which is a major tributary of Sapang Balen from Angeles City runs its waters on the southeastern part of the city joining the Sapa Calulut River and Sindalan River before it loses much of its water towards Maimpis as the smaller Maimpis River. It was called Kabalasan River because this part of the river was sandy, or mabalas in Kapampangan. The current of these various rivers and creeks “bends and slows down” halfway through Barrio Sindalan, thus gaining a meandering shape— marked by old townfolks as sinandal. The water of these rivers and creeks continues to decelerate, thus becoming meímpis, i.e., thinning of river flow or shallowing of water. This spot is what known today as Barrio Maimpis.

Northwest, one of the many small creeks is known as Malino River. Its name is appararently derived from the word malíno, meaning “clear” as the location is close to the headwaters of almost all the rivers mentioned above. Thus the barrios of Sindalan, Maimpis, and Malino are apparently named after the association of each barrio to the various behaviors and characters of their respective rivers.

Barrio Pandaras and Pandaras River were named after the adze or adze-like tool, daras, used for making the old-fashioned, canoe-type boat known to old Kapampangans as balutu. Sapa Palaui Creek was named after the small village of Palaui (Palawi), which probably derived its name from the word pálaui which means “going or close to contamination,” a term ordinarily used to refer to various stocks of grains such as pále (rice, Oryza sativa L.) and balatong (mjcklxc), or even pulbura (for gunpowder or fireworks), ápi (shell lime) etc.

Just because the pueblo San Fernando was created in relatively recent times does not mean the villages that comprise it are just as young. In fact, the parts are much older than the whole. The linear pattern of settlements was already seen along every important rivers of the pueblo. Examples of this settlement pattern are the old sitios of barrio Del Carmen. By following the downstream direction of the Maimpis River, one can observe river-related toponyms of sitios, from Dungan, Pangulu, Centro I & II, Pigulut to Mauli I & II. Dungan means port, the place where boats and ships dock, load and unload passengers and goods; pangulu is the headwater; centro is a hispanized term pertaining to the middle part of the river (or riverbank); pigulut literally means as back end (of the bending river) and mauli the downstream section of river flow. The sitios’ names describe the significant influence of the river on the lives of early settlers (or passersby) in the old area of Del Carmen.

Another old barrio is Ponduan which is near the present location of the public market, the cityhall and the pisamban. Ponduan literally means “stock areas,” usually located along port areas just like the dungan. Historically, it was in Ponduan where the cascos and small Chinese junks docked and did their trading activities before going to or after coming from the ancient town of Mexico, stocks of maiumung muscovado (sugar) and other trade goods on board.

Barrrio Patrons
It was a common folk practice to name places after the patron saints, due either to the religiosity of Kapampangans, or to Spanish authorities’ deliberate conversion of native placenames for political expediency. Unfortunately, hispanized names make it difficult for historians and ethnographers to trace provenances and study early culture.

The barrios De La Paz Norte, De La Paz Sur, Del Carmen, Santo Rosario, Dolores and Lourdes have all been named after the Blessed Mother’s various titles (Del Rosario, on the other hand, was named after a historical figure). The rest follow: San Agustin (St. Augustine), San Felipe (St. Philip Neri or the Apostle?), San Isidro (St. Isidore), San Jose (St. Joseph), San Juan (St. John the Evangelist), San Nicolas (St. Nicholas of Tolentine), San Pedro (St. Peter the Apostle), Santa Lucia (St. Lucy), Santa Teresita (St. Therese of Lisieux) and Santo Niño (Holy Child). Barrio Juliana may have derived its name from Santa Juliana or from a local resident now forgotten.

More home-grown placenames
Butarul is another old village name which means “waterway.” The area probably had this type of water channels which fed on the waters of either or both Sapang Aslam River from Angeles City and the Palaui Creek of San Fernando. Contemporary descriptions of this word include the undulating slopes associated with talimundok.

Landing is the name of at least two places in San Fernando, one near or part of barrio Maimpis while another one is in proximity of Barrio Lara. Old folks claim that either or both sites once served as secret battle airfields during World War II. According to Fr. Venancio Samson, who is translating Bergaño’s dictionary, the term “landing” may have an earlier provenance not necessarily associated with airplanes’ landing fields. He cites a 1913 sketch (map) which already has “landing” as a placename (in San Fernando). In 1913, aircrafts were not yet a common sight in the country, at least not as common as to make people name a place after them. The term “landing” can be compared to words like lande (bamboo splits used as floors and walls), landi (immodesty), etc. Another barrio with an unexplained etymology is Pasbul (door or gate); nothing in the village at present might explain the name.

Lunac is the old name of De la Paz; in Kapampangan (as well as Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesian) it means “soil where water passes or stagnates.”

Panipuan is a placename of at least two barrios, one in San Fernando and the other in the town of Mexico. These barrios were once both a part of Mexico; the split came probably when San Fernando was carved out of Mexico and Bacolor in 1754. Its toponym may have been derived from several terms such as (a) pipaniplan or pipalutan (the place for harvested ricefield); (b) pipanipunan which means “a collecting area” or “a place of gathering”; (c) the root word puapu, a kind or type of a paduas (fishing implement with hook, string and rod) used for fishing or for frog catching since the place conveniently has several headwaters of small rivers and creeks; and (d) the plant ipo (Antiaris toxicaria [Pers.] lesch.), a term common to Kapampangans, Tagalogs and Bisayas..

Barrio Magliman is another barrio which probably had a connection to barrio Magliman of next-door Bacolor, as in the case of the two Panipuans of San Fernando and Mexico. Its name is derived from a conjugation of the rootword liman. Magliman (or mangaliman) is the verb used by an infanticipating woman when she asks a favor, usually for something to eat. But it can also be associated to maglimas, that is, “to get rid of the water” (from waterlogged areas like bana, pinak, etc.) either by constructing a tabun (irrigation dam) or manually, using a container; the objective is usually to facilitate the catching of fish. This theory is bolstered by the presence of rivers and creeks in the vicinity of both Magliman barrios, which have a long history of rice farming and fishing.

Makabakle whose root word is bakle (Sp. atravesado, obliqued or crosswise) means “lying across” (Sp. atravesado algo, i.e., balangtai, which may be the root word of the name of the next barrio in Bacolor, Cabalantian, although it is widely accepted as having been named after the tree balanti).

The name of Barrio Malpitic (also called as Palpitik) is probably an abbreviation or corruption of the word malapitik: mala means “like” and the rootword pitik means any of the following: (a) flick (with a finger); (b) carpenter’s or boat carver’s line marker; (c) spark and its sound (as in ignition), like pisik; (d) the sound of sudden tension or waving (of cord, rope, bridle, whip etc.); (e) smarting pain on the skin, or muscular numbness due to exhaustion. Another possible etymology is salpitik, which is the Kapampangan for “graded paper” or “brave person.”
Quebiawan (Kebiauan) is another barrio near Malpitik and Maimpis. Its name obviously came from the noun kebiauan meaning “a place where sugar cane juice is extracted.” The process uses rotating cylinders locally known as atlu bola, which were made of either wood or stone. There was a time when Pampanga was the country’s number-one supplier of sugar.
Surplus is another barrio name with a World War II provenance. Discarded military vehicles, uniforms and paraphernalia probably littered the place after the war, or were traded there.
Telabastágan literally means “frame-like;” it can be the bastidor-like frame used in weaving fishing nets or dase ebus (native mat made of palm leaves of Corypha utan Lam.). Some old folks associate its origin to the early game venue of jueteng.

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