ANGELES CITY — The Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS) of the Holy Angel University (HAU) opened on May 26 a mini-exhibit of vintage fans dubbed “Unfolding History: PAMEPE” at its ground floor museum, featuring 14 pre- and post-war Spanish and European “abanicos” from the collection of Dr. Jose Valencia IV of San Fernando.
HAU OIC-president Leopoldo N. Valdes and Dr. Valencia led the ribbon-cutting rites with CKS executive director Robby Tantingco, museum curator Alex D. Castro, and key CKS staffers Myra Paz Lopez and Leo Calma Jr.
The exhibit highlighted the artistry of the period fans that had European scenes painstakingly hand painted on the fabric leaf and intricate fretwork carvings on the sticks. The collection is supplemented with period advertising and commemorative paper fans from the 1920s thru the 1950s, given away by beauty care and beverage products.
“The “pamepe” has an interesting history,” says Castro. “From a functional object that provides respite from the heat, the fan evolved to become a statement of style, symbol of status, and even a tool for courtship rituals—for flirting and messaging. This exhibit acknowledges the extraordinary place of the seemingly ordinary fan in our social history”.
In the same event, Tantingco made an update of the latest developments in Central Luzon’s premier research center. These include digital kiosks where visitors can access digitized Kapampangan dictionaries, songs, games, videos, apps translating English words into Kapampangan and converting letters into “kulitan” characters, a search engine for culinary destinations—all made by student volunteers and trainees from the HAU School of Computing and the City College of Angeles under the supervision of deans, advisers, and Calma.
Innovations include new technologies such as quick-response (QR) codes that provide instant information on items in the museum, as well as augmented reality (AR) or computer-generated images that are integrated in the exhibits.
The CKS is also allotting a space where seasonal exhibits alternate with cultural performances like “polosa” and “poesya,” and a “school of living traditions” where invited artists can pass on folk arts and crafts to young Kapampangans, like how to make “parul, burarul, pukpuk, letras y figuras, kulitan,” clay pottery, face casts, and how to compose Kapampangan music, prose. and poetry.
The center recently opened a new facility, the HAU History Room, where alumni can find information about their alma mater and batchmates through an interactive digital kiosk.
Also recently unveiled at the center was a repainted retablo and the bas-relief artwork “Limbun.”
Aside from the CKS and the HAU History Room, the university also has the Pinatubo Museum and the Museum of Kapampangan Arts, featuring the largest collection of sketches by National Artist Vicente Manansala.
The PAMEPE exhibit at the CKS museums is now open for viewing, from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. HAU-PR