Home Featured Article Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan (The history of Pampanga) Part 21

Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan
(The history of Pampanga)
Part 21

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THIS OUTLINE seems to suggest that, before the coming of the Spaniards, the first six groups ate three times a day, while the last two groups ate only two times a day. Supposing that to be true, what could have been the reason for it? Could it be that the former had more things to eat, and the latter less? It might have been the other way around if we judge from the non-existence of the native term for “plow” in Tagalog and Ilokano, and its existence in Pangasinan and Pampangan. The terms used in the case of the first two ( araro and arado, respectively) were derived from the Spanish arar (to plow), while the terms used in the last two (lokoy and sarul respectively) were indigenous. This would tend to suggest that these last two groups practised agriculture more than the first two and that, other things being equal, they consequently produced more rice, rice to be cooked and to be eaten (without, of course, the cuchara and the tenedor of the forthcoming Spaniards).

Going back to the Javans and Sumatrans as compared with the Pampangans, 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 above-mentioned Philippine Province. (Woordenboek 1896). (Note: I am greatful to the Dutch missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Chevalier School, Angeles City, for having translated for me, from the Dutch, the excerpt I needed from this book, which is found at the Rizal Library of the Ateneo University).

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. (Ibid.: Vol. 2: 668). There are (in Java) seven villages, a mountain and an island and (in Sumatra) seven villages, three mountains, an island, a cape and an inlet bearing the name Pandan. (Ibid.: Vol. 2: 671-2). (Note: This is aside from the Sumatran villages named Pandan Doelan and Pandang Arang, and the Javan villages named Pandanan, Pandan Aroem, Pandan Raras, and Pandan Sari, this last one being the name of four different villages in Java (Ibid.: 672).

Pandan and Pampang (the latter a Filipino word meaning “river bank”) are the names of two barrios in Angeles City, which, in turn, is in Pampanga. Pandan is also the name of a plant pandanus odoratissimus (Quisumbing 1951: 80) that adds aroma to, and improves, or gives the impression of improving, the taste of rice or rice cake when placed inside the pot where it is being boiled. The plant is found abundantly and its leaves are used frequently in this province. (Note: “In this country, the leaves are cooked with rice as a perfume, for they impart to it the smell of new rice. Its leaves are also used to flavor ice cream and sherbets.” (Ibid.).

(To be continued)

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