Home Featured Article Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan (The history of Pampanga) Part 26

Ing kasalesayan ning Kapampangan
(The history of Pampanga)
Part 26

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IT IS logically and ethnohistorically valid to assert that, while the pre-Portuguese Sumatrans were using the word mata-ari and and mata-hari to mean “sun”, the pre-Spanish Pampangans and Tagalogs were using the abbreviated words ari and hari, respectively, to mean “sun”. Personification of atmospheric phenomena, as exemplified in the above mentioned Sumatran reference to the sun as the “eye” of the day (mata-ari, etc.), is not alien to the Kampangan language. Here, when it is merely drizzling, and not raining, the sun is said to be “just giving itself a sponge bath” (manimu ya ing aldo). Pampangans also refer to the “rainbow” as pinan-ari, meaning “loincloth of the sun”.

In their vocabularios, Benavente (1699) and Bergaño (1729, 1736) translate the Kapampangan word ari as rey (king, in English), and Noceda (1860) translates the Tagalog word hari as rey. The latter gives the Tagalog equivalent of the Spanish reina (queen) by adding the word babaye (female): haring babaye (female king). It is like saying “female daddy” (amang babae) or “female elder brother” (kuyang babae). But in this case, there are the Taglog words ina (mother) and ate (elder sister), so he would not have been forced to say “a male who is a female”.

Bernnasar (1892) gives two translations of the Tiruray word adi. Its original native meaning is “friend” or “companion”. Also, it is “a word with which persons who are not relatives address each other”. Its enforced meaning is “king”. De Lisboa (1865) translates the Bicol word hade as both “king” and “queen”. Carro (1849) translates the Ilokano word hari as “king” and, like Noceda, he gives the equivalent of “queen” as hari a babay.

The Spanish concepts of rey and reina (king, queen) are foreign to Filipinos. If the Pampangans and Tagalogs and Ilokanos had had a king and a queen in real life, why did they have a word for “king” and not a word for “queen”? Why did Noceda and Carro have to translate reina (queen) into the oxymoron “female king” (haring babaye, hari a babayi)? The Spaniards were forcibly inserting these two concepts (rey, reina) into the Kapampangan and Tagalog and Ilokano languages, when there had never been anything equivalent to them in the real life of these three communities and the rest of the Filipinos.

(To be continued)

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