5 Definitions Of Kapampangan You Probably Didn’t Know

The word “Kapampangan” is derived from the rootword “pampáng” which means “river bank.” But is it really that simple? What does Kapampangan really mean? Here are 5 definitions of Kapampangan you probably did not know about:

1. The Language

Fray Diego Bergaño’s “Arte de la Lengua Pampanga” (1729) / Via williamreesecompany.com

Kapampangan is an indigenous language on the island of Luzon in what is now the Philippines. It is the amanung sisuan, literally the breastfed language or in other words the mother tongue of…

2. The People

Prof. Grace Odal of UP Manila dancing on the Kulitan text of Atin ku pûng Singsing brushed by the Ágúman Súlat Kapampángan in 2013. Photo by Bruno Tiotuico. / Via siuala.com

The people, Kapampangan also means the People, the proud and noble people who were once highly respected across both the Southeast Asian and East Asian regions. For centuries they were the envy of the ancient Japanese. A people whose leaders were regarded highly as fellow Kings by the great Ming dynasty. Which is why their Kingdom of Luzon was treated by the ancient Chinese with so much favor. And this leads us to…

3. The Land

Arayat: Aring Sinukwan’s Mountain by Pocholo de la Peña / Via flickr.com

The land, the motherland of the Kapampangan people that had once stretched from the Pasig river in today’s Manila all the way up to the Cagayan valley of Northern Luzon. A vast kingdom crucial not just to the region but also to Western colonialism. So vast and crucial that over the centuries it has been divided into many separate provinces. A land whose rich culture is deeply rooted in…

4. The River

Devotees at colorful boats show solidarity by wearing same attires during the “libad” at Pampanga river. Apung Iru Festival, Apalit, Pampanga 2013 / Via headlinegl.com

The river that quite literally gave life to this rich and fertile homeland. The river that we fondly call “Indung Kapampangan” literally “Mother Kapampangan.” The life source and the vein that connects everything together into one consciousness. Which brings us to…

5. Everything!

Atin Ku Pûng Singsing, the most sacred song of the Kapampangan nation. It is a basultû or traditional Kapampangan song in the form of an enigma, where seemingly important messages are encoded in seemingly simple trivial words. [Calligraphy by © Aljon Medi / Via siuala.com

It’s all of the above. Kapampangan is A civilization indigenous to Luzon. It is a nation of its own right, (not to be confused with the nation-state of the Philippines for which it currently belongs). In fact the Kapampangan nation predates the Filipino nation-state by up to 5000 years.
And over the centuries it is a nation that gave birth to many great men and women who made history. Not just within the Philippines but across the globe.
from beauty pageants to sports, from the art of cooking to the games of politics, from religious devotion to social revolutions. And the list goes on.

Kapampangan Food / Via lifestyle.inquirer.net

Now these are just the basic definition of what Kapampangan is. Because Kapampangan is more than just a noun referring to the People by the riverbanks. It is a collective sense of being. A consciousness not just of an individual but one that is deeply connected with its people and their roots.

Kapampangan is just one of the many diverse people and cultures that make up what is now the Philippines. These diverse indigenous communities and rich multicultural heritage should be treated with the respect, the recognition, and the protection they deserve. For the strength of the Philippines does not lie on just one identity. The Philippines is a country of diverse identities interwoven by history. One identity shouldn’t be valued more than the others because as the saying goes, “united we stand, divided we fall” and we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Learn more:
http://siuala.com/
Águman Súlat Kapampángan (Indigenous Kapampangan Script)
http://pinoy-culture.com/
Center for Kapampangan Studies

The author of this post, Kirby Araullo, is a proud Filipino of the Kapampangan, Tagalog, Pangasinan, Aeta and Mestizo bloodlines.

Bonus Ancient Map!

The Kingdom of Luzon (呂宋國) as it appears on a Japanese map during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644). From “A look at history based on Ming dynasty maps” (從大明坤輿萬國圖看歷史) posted by zhaijia1987 in Baidu Tieba (百度贴吧) on 2010 November 11. / Via siuala.com

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