Home Featured Article Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan (The history of Pampanga) Part 18

Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan
(The history of Pampanga)
Part 18



As late as the closing decade of the seventeenth century, the Kapampangan tribe inhabited a wide area whose boundaries included not only those of the above-mentioned province, but also parts of at least three present-day political provinces: Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Bataan. In Tarlac, the towns of Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, and Tarlac (the capital) belonged to the territory of Pampanga. (De San Agustin 1698/Merino (ed) 1975: 658-9. Ochoa 1929: vol. IX: 56-9). One Tarlac town, whose population is almost one hundred per cent Ilocano, has a name which is not an Ilocano word: Mayantoc.This is a Pampangan adjective referring to a place where there is “plenty of rattan.” One wonders who the earlier settlers of that place were. (Note: The meanings of the words of the different Philippine languages referred to in this essay were supplied to this writer by native- born speakers, except Pampangan which is his mother tongue.).

In Nueva Ecija, the city of Cabanatuan and the towns of Gapan, Carranglan, Pantabangan, Bongabon and Cabiao, the majority of whose inhabitants do not belong to the group under study, were parts of Pampanga. (De San Agustin Ibid.: 659. De Zuñiga 1893/1973: 341 & 347). The last-mentioned town which, parenthetically, touches the Pampangan boundary, owes its name to a Kapampangan word (kabio) meaning “to extract sugar from the cane by crushing it.” Also falling within the circumference of this extended province were the present Bataan towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa and Orion (at least these three, that is). (Ibid.: 342 & 357).

It might also be asked if portions of Bulacan province did not belong to this wide territory. Fray Gaspar de San Agustin tells us that the people of Calumpit spoke Tagalog but that some of them spoke Pampangan. (Ibidem: 364). One cannot, of course, conclude merely from this that the latter were members of the group under study. They could very well have been Tagalogs who spoke it as a second language. Neither can we conclude, from San Agustin’s words, that Calumpit was part of the wide province being studied here. A curious point , however , is that the former name of the town of Plaridel was Quingua which was the old spelling of the Pampangan word kinua meaning “taken” (Tagalog, kinuha, with h). If the town was predominantly Tagalog, the name should have been Quinguja (the Spanish j corresponding to the Tagalog h). But as it was, the word had neither the Spanish j nor the Tagalog h. And Pampangans do not pronounce those two letters.

[Pota naman galang, menibat ya ing lagyung yan king China. Atin palang metung a karinan king China a makilagyung Qinghua. Itang aklat a abasa ku anti kanini ing sasabian na: King China, ating metung a probinsiyang ati lagyung Jiangxi. (Harper 2007: 487). Ketang probinsyang ita, ating metung a malating karinan (village) a maki lagyung Wuyuan. (Ibidem: 495). Ating aliua pang migit mangalating karinan (hamlets), at ing metung kareta maki lagyu yang Qinghua. (Ibid.)].

(Abatan ya ing kasuglung)


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