Home Featured Article Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan (The history of Pampanga) Part 20

Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan
(The history of Pampanga)
Part 20

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WORDS THAT Reveal Secrets.

Another British author, Thomas Stamford Raffles, published in 1917 a book on pre-Western Java. In it, he gives the following important observation:

“The Javans have universally two meals in the day, one just before noon, and one between seven and eight o’clock in the evening: the former, which is the principal meal, corresponding with the European dinner, and distinguished by the term mangan-awan, or the day meal; the latter termed mangan-wenge, or evening meal. They have no regular meal corresponding with the European breakfast”. (Raffles 1965: Vol. 1: 101. Fischer 1959: 27).

(Note: Raffles, whose book was described by John Bastin as “one of the classics of South-East Asian historiography,” was the lieutenant- general of Indonesia from 1811 to 1815. It was during his incumbency that he gathered the materials for his two-volume work on Java. John Bastin’s introduction is unpaginated).

This must have been true of pre-Spanish Pampangans, because the language contains only the words for “midday meal” (paugtuan) and “evening meal” (apunan) , but not the word for “breakfast.” To refer to this, the term used at persent is almusal, which is a local adaptation of the Spanish almorzar (to beak fast). (Note: The Pampangan word abakan, though derived from abak (meaning morning) is never used to mean “breakfasrt”, but “lunch”).

The absence of the native term here becomes more striking when one looks at six other Filipino tongues where the native words for all the three meals are present, as can be seen in the outline below. The seventh, Pangasinan, is like Pampangan in this regard.

(To be continued)

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