Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tantingco: King Philip II's encounter with a Kapampangan in 1587
By Robby Tantingco
Peanut Gallery
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WE ALL know King Philip II as the king after whom the Philippines was named. He was a staunch and ruthless defender of Catholicism; at the height of the Spanish Inquisition against Protestants and heretics; when a condemned man begged him for mercy, Philip reportedly replied, "If my own son were found guilty like you, I would personally accompany him to be burned at the stake."

He married the Catholic Queen of England, Mary Tudor, and together they made an unsuccessful attempt to convert England back to Catholicism. He did succeed, however, in wiping out all Protestants from Spain.

In 1587, Spain was the world's greatest superpower and King Philip II was the most powerful monarch on Earth. Only dignitaries, ambassadors and court officials had access to him. It was only recently that Jesuit historians uncovered documents showing that a Filipino native actually walked into Philip's court and spoke to him -- in Spanish. It happened on Dec. 15, 1587. That Filipino was Martin Sancho. He was only 10 years old. And he was a Kapampangan.

Most of all, his encounter with the King probably changed the entire history of the Philippines.

At that time, the Philippines was the most distant colony of Spain. If you were a Spaniard and you wanted to go to the Philippines, you had to cross the Atlantic Ocean for seven months, make a stopover in Mexico to recuperate, and then cross another ocean, the Pacific, for another eight months --granted that you didn't die from sickness, pirate attack, hurricanes, hunger and thirst, and mutiny.

In those early years of colonization, only a handful of Spanish soldiers, clergymen and traders opted to settle in the distant colony.

Manila, at that time, was nothing more than a cluster of huts surrounded by jungles and swamps and suspicious islanders. Many of these early settlers, homesick and bored to death, were agitating to return to Spain.

On April 19, 1586, they held a meeting in Manila to debate the merits of maintaining the colony under these harsh conditions. In the end, they agreed to stay but to ask the King for better incentives. Their envoy would be the Spanish priest Alonso Sanchez, but their secret weapon was Martin Sancho, the frail, sickly 10-year-old from Pampanga.

Born in 1576, barely five years after the Spaniards first landed in Manila and Pampanga, Martin Sancho had delighted the missionaries by reciting the entire Catechism in Spanish. He was brought to Manila where he created quite a sensation among the Spaniards. They agreed to ship him all the way to Spain and present him before King Philip II himself, as proof that the natives in the new colony were capable of evangelization and could be worthy, even spectacular, vessels of European erudition.

More significantly, the child prodigy would be presented as the best argument to convince the monarch not to abandon the Philippines.

And so Fr. Alonso Sanchez and his protégé, Martin Sancho, left Manila in May 1586, aboard the ship San Martin. They reached Acapulco in January 1587. After a four-month stopover in Mexico, they sailed across the Atlantic and reached Spain in December 1587.

On December 15, barely a few days after arriving, the priest and the boy were ushered in at the court of King Philip II. Martin Sancho was introduced, and as the King and other dignitaries leaned forward, the 10-year-old Kapampangan with his tiny voice breathlessly recited prayers, articles of faith, Church doctrine and the rest of the Catholic Catechism in impeccable Spanish.

When he was ushered out of the hall amid thunderous applause, Fr. Alonso Sanchez stepped forward to present his case for the Philippines, confident that the King's favorable response had been secured by the boy's performance.

Today, Martin Sancho remains unknown and unrecognized. Were it not for his appearance in the court of Philip II, Spain would probably have left the Philippines in 1587, not 1899, and the whole canvas of Philippine colonial history would have been wiped out completely.

The Jesuits in the Philippines do acknowledge Martin Sancho as the first Filipino to enter the Society of Jesus (not as an ordained priest, though, because natives were not allowed to become priests in those days). After his sensational appearance in the royal court, the boy was no longer returned to his parents in the Philippines, but was raised by Fr. Alonso in Spain. When he was 17, he was taken to Rome to join the Jesuit novitiate.

Afterwards, he returned to Spain and lived in the province of Toledo, finishing college in Murcia. He traveled to Mexico in 1599. By this time, his health had been deteriorating because he had contracted tuberculosis in the poorly heated Jesuit house in Rome.

In 1601, he finally returned to the Philippines with a group of Jesuit missionaries headed by Gregorio Lopez, reuniting with his Kapampangan parents whom he had left when he was only 10. Tragically, he died one month later. He was only 25.

His story remained hidden for centuries until historian Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ unearthed it. Dr. Luciano Santiago wrote about it in his book Kapampangan Pioneers in the Philippine Church, published by the Holy Angel University four years ago.

Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, and the Propagandists impressed Madrid with their brilliance and patriotism in the 1800s, but the highest forum they could reach was the Spanish Cortes. Three hundred years before them, a 10-year-old Kapampangan came within spitting distance with the King of Spain himself, and even made the royal jaw drop.

But the amazing Martin Sancho, for all his talent and luck, was a sad, lonely boy who was plucked out of his parents' home and spirited away from his land of birth at the age of 10, and made to live among strangers in a strange, cold country. The fact that he graciously shed off his glory days and shook off his huge heartache, to become the first Filipino Jesuit, is what makes Martin Sancho truly great.

Note: This article is not originally from me but my purpose is to just share it.
Tantingco: Cuss and curse

 by: Robby Tantingco
Peanut Gallery
Monday, January 19, 2009

WE KAPAMPANGANS swear a lot, don't we?

We use, for example, the expletive "takneydamo!" (or its variations "taneydamo,"
"takneydo," "neydumo" and "neydo") to punctuate every expression, whether of
anger ("Takneydamo animal ka!") or surprise ("Takneydo karagul na, ne?") or joy
("Neydumo, obat memye ka pang regalu?") or fear ("Taneydamo e ka kakanyan!") or
even grief ("Neydo obat rugu mipakanyan ing bie?").

But if we knew the origin of this word, we'd probably use it less often.

"Takneydamo" is the abbreviation of "antak nang inda (or indu) mo" (Your
mother's vagina) and I apologize if you're offended by it, but that's actually
the point -- our ancestors coined the phrase to offend people. They had to refer
to the most private part of the dearest person on earth for maximum effect.

It was recorded by a Spanish missionary priest, Fray Diego Bergaño, in his 1729
Kapampangan dictionary, which was translated by another priest, Fr. Venancio
Samson. If these two priests did not blush writing these unspeakable,
unprintable terms, why should we be embarrassed reading them?

To the squeamish, you can turn the page now. Here are more profane phrases
encountered by the Augustinian missionary during his stint in Pampanga, first in
Mexico (1725-1731) then in Bacolor (1731 and 1747). Ready?

"Taksyapumo!" which is a variation of "takneydumo;" it's the abbreviation of
"antak ng apu mo" (your grandmother's vagina).

"Tumbung ning ibpa mo!" (abbreviated as "tumbungnibpamo"), which means "your
father's anus." Fortunately, it is no longer used today.

"Bugal ning indu mo!" (abbreviation: "bugalnindumo"), which is a more vulgar
cuss than "takneydumo" because it means "your mother's vaginal tumor."

"Bugoc!" which is literally "rotten egg" but our ancestors used it as a swear
word to mean sterile or impotent -- an extreme insult.

"Sapatan a yantac!" which is so obscene that even Bergaño wouldn't say what it
meant. Here's a clue: Bergaño translated "sapat" as "filthiness, like that of
dirt gathered on the folds or wrinkles of the neck or armpit."

The common Tagalog cuss, "Putang ina mo!" and its Kapampangan equivalent, "Anak
puta ka!" are probably of recent coinage. My theory is that they are mere
translations of the American expletive "Son of a bitch!" that we borrowed during
the American regime.

It probably never crossed the minds of both the ancient Tagalogs and the ancient
Kapampangans to call another person's mother a prostitute, for the simple reason
that it was very unlikely to happen (maybe even impossible) in their respective

According to Amada Bas Balazuela, a Kapampangan who has taken residence in
Madrid, Spain, she was surprised to discover that a number of supposedly
harmless local words have dirty Spanish provenance.

We say, for example, "kesehoda" when we mean we couldn't care less, but it's
actually the Spanish phrase "que se hoda" that means "Go fuck yourself!"

Another is "lamiyerda," which we call a walk with friends, but which is really
borrowed from the Spanish "la mierda," which means "the shit."

And then there's the word "coño," the derogatory term for spoiled brats here in
the Philippines, but in Spain it refers to the vagina.

The vulgarity of our ancestors' dirty language was matched only by the nastiness
of their curses.

Both swear words and curses are intended to inflict harm on another person, the
former to hurt feelings and sensibilities, the latter to harm the physical body.

Ancient cultures everywhere had their respective curses. The Egyptians inscribed
theirs on the entrances of the pyramids; Haitians pricked voodoo dolls. Even
Jesus cursed a poor fig tree, which promptly withered and died.

Our ancestors resorted to cursing when the recipient was so inaccessible that
they had to invoke the supernatural to do the harming for them.

In his 1729 Kapampangan dictionary, Bergaño documented an entire catalogue of
ancient Kapampangan curses and maledictions:

"Maburug ca sa!" which was intended for ingrates. It means "May your body be
covered with mange, which is a skin disease characterized by severe itching,
sores and loss of hair. The severity of this misfortune indicates the intensity
of our ancestors' disdain for ingratitude.

"Mapapa ca sa!" which is still in use today. Its original meaning was "May you
be disgraced" or "May you suffer great failures and illnesses." It was a curse
especially for children who struck or hit their parents.

"Mabitas na ca sa dungos!" which is a curse for gluttons: "May your stomach
split open!"

"Sacdapul!" Translation: "May you be consumed by fire!" or "May you turn into
ash" or "May you disappear completely!"

"Dipan na ca ning alti!" or its variations, "Mayalti na ca canyan!" and "Mayalti
na ca balat!" They all mean "May lightning strike you!" Many Kapampangans still
use the word "alti" but I doubt if they know that it is the ancient word for
lightning. They prefer to use the synonym "quildap" which is more akin to the
Tagalog "kidlat" (thunder is "duldul").

"Pisubasuba na ca ning malasulingsaba!" A truly ancient curse, back to the days
when crocodiles infested Pampanga's rivers and swamps. This curse means "May you
be seized by the crocodile!" "Malasulingsaba" was a species of crocodile known
for its agility.

Also, I would like to add motherfucker in Kapampangan: "Putanaidana" or "Putanaindana."

Note: This article is not originally from me but my purpose is to just share it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Common Phrases in Kapampangan


How are you?

Ing lagyu ku…

My name is…..

Masanting kang lalaki.

You’re handsome.

Malagu ka.

You’re beautiful.

Malaus ko pu.
Please come in./Welcome.

Tara mangan.

Let’s eat.

Malaus ko pu.


Dakal a Salamat.

Thank you very much.



Mikit tana keng tutuki.

See you next time.





Patawad na.


Matudtud na ku.

I am going to sleep.


Come here.


Let’s go.


How much?

Nukarin ya?

Where is she/he?

E na ka marine.

Don’t be shy.

Masayang pasku keka!

Merry Christmas.

Mayap a abak.

Good morning.

Mayap a gapnapun.

Good afternoon.

Mayap a bengi.

Good evening.



Masalese na ku man.

I am just alright.

Libri da ka.

I will pay for you.


Can I?

Makisabi kung mayap.

I have a favor.

Pagmaragul ku.

I am proud.


Take care.

Pangaku ku keka.

I promise you.

Atin kung kutang.

I have a question.





Panalangin daka.

I will pray for you.

Kaluguran da ka.

I love you.

Buri da ka.

I like you.



E ku balu.
I don't know.

Paynawa ku pa.
I will just rest.

It's so tiring.

It's raining!

Masala ya ing aldo.
The sun is bright.

Maratun ku Angeles.
I am staying in Angeles.

Masalese ku panamdaman.
I feel well.

Kabsi ko!
I am full!

Masala ya ing bulan.
The moon is bright.

Pota muran.
It might rain.

There's rain shower.

Paraman na?/Malyari keng andaman?
May I borrow?

Sagli! Atin kung kutang.
Wait! I have a question.

Malyari ya?/Pwedi ya?
Can it be? or Is it possible?

Minum ku sagli.
I'll just drink.

Lumwal tamu.
Let's go outside.

Mamyalung tamu.
Let's play.

Nukarin ka?
Where are you?

Heh! E da na ka kasabi.
I won't talk to you.

E da na ka paksabyan mambus kapilan man!
I will never talk to you again!

Sali kung betsin.
I will buy a vetsin.

Takla ku pa mu.
I will just shit.

Magkasilyas ku pa.
I will just use the restroom.

Tara minum tapa!
Come on! Let's drink.

Mikaintindi kami.
We understand each other.

Sake kung jeep.
I will ride a jeep.

E mu kakalingwan mamawus.
Don't forget to call.

E ka paypikun.
Don't be a hot-headed.

E ka paysira buntuk.
Don't get insane.

E ka mangargabyiadung kaparamung tawu.
Don't offend other people. (In other words, "Don't do unto others what you don't want to do unto you.")

Mamiru ku mu.
I am just kidding.

Blog nang Joseph: Spanish influence on the Kapampangan language

Blog nang Joseph: Spanish influence on the Kapampangan language

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lingua Franca of the Philippines

A lingua franca or working language is a language used to make communication possible between people not sharing a common language. For example, a Czech may converse to a Sudanese in English so that they may understand each other or a Senegalese will converse to a Frenchman in French so that they may understand one another. Examples of lingua franca include French, Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and English.

Before we discuss the lingua franca used in the Philippines, let us first give you a background of the languages used in the Philippines. Philippines is a country situated southeast of China, composing of more or less 7,107 islands as well as plenty of mountain ranges and volcanoes. Because of this geography, no wonder each group of people that settled in the different parts of the country developed its own ethnicity and language or dialect over the course of centuries. No wonder, Filipinos do not understand one another and have to use English, Filipino or other regional language just to communicate. For example, a Cebuano has to speak in English or Filipino to an Ilocano in order for them to communicate. Currently, there are about 120 or 175 different languages or dialects spoken in the islands depending on the method of classification you used. Most are related but not mutually intelligible. Most also belong to the Austronesian family of languages and as such are related to the languages and dialects spoken in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia. The top six most commonly used languages are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, and Kapampangan. There are currently two official languages in the Philippines: English and Filipino.

During Pre-Hispanic times, the lingua franca used in the islands that will eventually become the Philippines is Malay or Old Malay which is different from the one spoken in modern-day Malaysia. The language of trade is Malay and this is evidenced by the fact that when Ferdinand Magellan came to the Philippines, his Malay slave, Enrique conversed to the natives in his own tongue, which was a sign that he reached the Far East.

When the Spaniards finally established the Philippines in 1565, Spanish gradually became the lingua franca in the islands. It was during this period of Spanish rule that the native languages gradually became Hispanized or influenced by Spanish. A lot of words were borrowed from Spanish and today one will be surprised of the many similarities between Spanish and the languages spoken in the Philippines. The reason why Spanish never replaced the different languages or dialects in the country is because of the climate and distance of the former colony. The climate is so hot that most Spaniards never permanently settled in the islands. The length of travel was so long it will take months or almost a year just to reach the islands either you travel by way of Mexico and then the Pacific or around the southern tip of Africa and across the Indian Ocean. This was true especially during the days before the Suez Canal was constructed and ships had to rely on the wind for power. Most Spaniards that stay in the country are either government employees or clergymen and so once their duty was accomplished, they return to their mother country. The missionaries also contributed to the preservation of the native languages by publishing dictionaries of the native languages. By the time the Spaniards left in 1898, Spanish was mutually understood by most people in the country well into the first half of the 20th century wherein it fell into gradual decline thereafter. Finally it ceased to function as an official language in 1987. Nowadays, very few people used it as a language with most of them  Spanish Filipino living in the capital.

English gradually replaced Spanish as the working language in the country when the Americans replaced the Spaniards as the master of the islands after the brief Spanish-American War (1898). With the introduction of the American public school system, English quickly replaced Spanish as the medium of instruction and it was not long that most Filipinos have an understanding of the new language. The Americans eventually granted the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946 and it was after this date that English will eventually become the language of education, business, trade, law, medicine, and technology in the country. Today, the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking nation. Because most Filipinos have a good command of English even though it is just their second language, the Philippines is now the world’s center for business process outsourcing and a lot of call center companies have established themselves in the country.

While English was busy establishing itself in the islands, another language was established as another lingua franca or official language in the archipelago alongside English and Spanish. However, this time it was based on the language used in the capital Manila which was Tagalog much like modern English was based on the dialect used in London. Tagalog was chosen as the base language on the 20th of December 1937. In 1939, President Manuel Luis Quezón renamed the Tagalog language as Wikang Pambansa or the national language. The language was further renamed in 1959 as Pilipino by Secretary of Education Jose Romero. The 1973 constitution declared the Pilipino language to be co-official, along with English, and mandated the development of a national language, to be known as Filipino. In other words, Filipino and Tagalog are one and the same. The present constitution, ratified in 1987, stated that Filipino and English are both the official languages of the country. The constitution also made mention of Spanish and Arabic, both of which are to be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis. Filipino is an official language of education, but less important than English. It is the major language of the broadcast media and cinema, but less important than English as a language of publication (except in some domains, like comic books, which are meant to speak directly to the Filipino psyche) and less important for academic-scientific-technological discourse. Filipino is used as a lingua franca in all regions of the Philippines as well as within overseas Filipino communities.

While Filipino is used as a means of communication between Filipinos of different ethnicities, there are other regional languages as well. Regional languages are a lingua franca in their own right but instead of being used in the whole country, they are only used in one region of the country. Examples of regional languages in the Philippines include Cebuano, Hiligayon, Kapampangan, Ilocano and Chavacano.

Pictures and some statements courtesy of Wikipedia.

My Opinion: Should Filipino be considered a part of Indo-European family of languages because of its extensive borrowing of words from Spanish?

Answer: No. Because it may have extensively borrowed words from Spanish but its grammar is still Malayo-Polynesian. For example, tienda becomes tindahan. Caballo becomes kabayo and nangangabayo as a verb in the present tense. It is like saying English should become a part of the Romance languages because of its extensive borrowings from French. English should and shall still remain a part of the Germanic languages even though it extensively borrowed words from French. It should be better stated that Filipino as well as the other languages or dialects spoken in the Philippines should be recognized as Hipanized Austronesian or Latinized Austronesian.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Meaning of Paras

Paras is a family name common in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. In the Philippines, it simply means spicy in the Tagalog and Kapampangan language while in the Cebuano language, a similar term is “paras-paras” meaning rowdy, rough or brawler. However, it has other meanings in other languages too. For example, in Sanskrit, Gujarati or Hindu it means a stone that converts iron or any metal into gold or it also means, "A diamond on top of the snake that is around god Shiva's neck and if this diamond touches something, it turns it into gold.” In short, it means touchstone. In English, it is the shortened term for paratroopers. In Serbia it means a monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a Serbian dinar. For Pokémon aficionados, Paras is a very crablike, six-legged Pokémon with two mushrooms on its back that has the ability to incapacitate its enemies. 

Some notable people with Paras somewhere in their name include:

Paras Bir Bikram Shah Dev - the last Crown Prince of Nepal
Benjie Paras -  is a Filipino actor and a former professional basketball player of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He is the only PBA player to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors, in a single season (1989).
Lalaine Vergara-Paras - best known for her role as Miranda Sanchez in the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire
Father Macario Paras - the first parish priest of Holy Rosary Parish(1829 – 1842) in Angeles City, Philippines. He founded the veneration of the Dead Christ or Holy Sepulcher in the province which still thrives until this day.