Are you thinking of vacationing in Pampanga? or even better, live within it? And you want to establish expectations about the type of neighborhood you will be living in? Fortunately for you, this article will share ten things you need to know about Kapampangans, the People of Pampanga.
The province of Pampanga is a real estate hotspot in central Luzon and had attracted a lot of attention from investors. Meanwhile, Bria Homes had been eyeing Pampanga and is now selling affordable house and lot (in Magalang and San Fernando) . The province’s economic condition has been improving, and it is anticipated to further enhance as infrastructure is built in conjunction with the plan to decentralize Metro Manila and send government offices to the province. For a detailed explanation, read it here: Why Pampanga Could be the Next Big Thing.
Infrastructure and development plans are economic growth indicators. However, the best asset of all, the community, or the people in the region, is one of the most underrated indicators. Kapampangans had undoubtedly contributed significantly to their economy in a variety of ways. If you wish to learn more about the Kapampangans, here are some facts to know about them:
1. Kapampangans are the Finest Chefs in the Country
“There is no more genuine love than the love of food.”
Sau Del Rosario of Cafe Fleur, Claude Tayag—US award bagger, and Leonard Vincent Garcia—who regards cooking food to bring people memories and reconnection, are a few examples of prominent chefs from Pampanga who have given pride not only to the province but also to the country.
This talent can be traced back to the province’s history, when Spanish invaders welcomed Kapampangans into their kitchens and taught them cooking techniques. On the other hand, Old Kapampangans were adventurous and did not rely only on cooking techniques given to them. As a result, the delicacies they made astounded the conquerors and were even charged with providing cuisine for foreign visitors. The culinary expertise is continuously being passed down from generation to generation. Everyone can cook in Pampanga.
As of today, the Kapampangans are known to have built the image of being the top cooks in the country, capable of serving you various cuisine ranging from traditional to exotic. The province has no primary food because its dish arsenal is overflowing. Some of these includes: sisig, tocino, kare-kare, lenchon, caldereta, and embotido.
2. They are Merrymakers
One way for Kapampangans to share their delicacies is to throw a party and invite neighbors, family, and friends for a meal. Pampanga is well-known not just for its sumptuous dishes, but also for hosting festivals. It is no secret that Kapampangans love to party, as seen by the nightlife in San Francisco and Clark City. As a matter of fact, the province is a popular destination for tourists who enjoy partying.
Here are some festivals to look forward to: Sinuklawan Festival, Giant Lantern Festival, Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Makatapak Festival, and Frog Festival.
3. They are Mistakenly Regarded as Pompous.
Even if you don’t question their race or where they’re from, Kapampangans will gladly toot their own horns to let you know about their cultural identity. Despite perceptions that they are ‘traitors,’ Kapampangans are passionate about their pride in their race. They proclaim to the world that they are the first and finest at everything. One of the stereotypes connected with them is haughty and ethnocentric. But it isn’t correct; it’s simply that they dress well. Some argue that Kapampangans are ruthless when it comes to food tasting; if they don’t like what they eat, they certainly tell you. One cause might be that they are colonizers’ favorite and had provided them with exclusive access to elite schools.
4. They are Resilient and Innovative
Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, spewing 7-10 cubic kilometers of ash into the air, blanketing places as far away as Manila with thin, gray ash. It was one of the most terrifying incidents any Kapampangan has ever witnessed. The darkness was widespread as an outcome of Typhoon Diding and earthquakes that shook the ground. Survivors who described the tragedy couldn’t help but cry and worry about what would happen to them. The lahar transformed different landscapes, killed people, and caused an economic downturn in the region by destroying infrastructure worth billions.
On the contrary, Kapampangans had shown resiliency and had risen from ashes, making their province economically viable again. Furthermore, Indigenous people such as the Aeta were able to come home to their natural habitat.
5. They are Aesthete people
Early Kapampangans were exposed to the opulent lifestyle of their colonial overlords. During the height of hispanization, mestizos and ilustrados would imitate European fashion trends, even if they were unsuitable with our climate. When Americanization arrived, kapampangans adjusted their wardrobes to reflect American fashion trends such as wearing americana, baston slacks, white polo, pointed shoes, and a long necktie. During the period of US bases, they were also allowed access to commodities in Dau and Nepo market where they could buy these clothes. As a result, the area produced legendary fashion figures such as Patis Tesoro, R.T. Paras, and Gang Gomez.
6. They are Proud of Their Race
With an estimated population of 2 million, Kapampangans couldn’t help but feel proud of their race. They are the Philippines’ sixth-largest ethnolinguistic group. You should know that historically, kapampangans have placed great importance on their freedom and have been hesitant to acquiesce to the Spaniards’ occupation. Despite successful Spanish colonization, locals like Francisco Maniago waged revolutions against tyrants. It was, in fact, the first province to join uprisings. Furthermore, Kapampangans fought alongside Hukbalahap Communist guerillas in the Battle of Pamapanga and World War II.
The Silent Suffering and Ostracism among Kapampangans
Due to historical events, a group of Macabebe scouts who betrayed and demonstrated dog-like loyalty to Americans in capturing Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, were associated, and stereotyped among Kapampangans and they were initially labeled “dugong aso” (dog blood). Today, ostracism has been debunked, and people object to such preconceptions. Various historical evidence shows that the Macabebe played an important role in achieving our freedom. It was also proven by historians that Macabebe scouts did not turn against Aguinaldo as they were against him from the beginning. As a result, statues of Macabebe scouts were sculpted as part of their campaign to restore dignity to the people of Pampanga.
7. They are Reverent Devotees
The majority of Kapampangans are devout Christians. They have a large number of churches that may be traced back through time. Pampanga had played an important part in the founding of the Catholic church in the Philippines since the second group of explorers went on their first territory in the province. As a result, Pampanga produced the country’s first Filipino priest, first Filipino cardinal, and first Filipino Jesuits. Also, most of the festivals in Pampanga are for worship.
8. Kapampangans nicknames are repetitive
Repeated nicknames, such as Jonjon, Renren, Tintin, Dudut, and others, are common among Kapampangan youngsters. This shows the individuality of the person as well as the province’s ancestry of language into a culture.
9. Most of them are Trilingual
Kapampangans are well-known for their proficiency in three languages: Kapapampangan (native language), Filipino (national language), and English. One thing to put in mind is that the Kapampangan language is not a dialect. A few persons are also known to be fluent in the Spanish language. In fact, by the fourth grade, pupils are expected to be able to communicate in Tagalog. This is owing to the fact that mainstream media coverage is confined to Tagalog and English, but locals use Kapampangan for day-to-day discussions and religious services. In addition, the only reading materials available in Kapampangan are ancient textures, religious pamphlets, and prayer books.
The Kapampangan language also includes remarkable unique characteristics such as sentences being predicate initials, speakers emphasizing vowels, having their indigenous alphabet, and Kapampangans using all of their mouth muscles to enunciate a word.
10. Kapampangans are literary people.
“Don Gonzazalo de Cardoba” is the longest written literary work in Pampanga written by Anselmo Fajardo. “Ing Managpe” by Mariano Byronis the first zarzuela in any Philippine language. “A Child of Sorrow” written by Zoilo Galang is the first English novel written by a Filipino. These are some of the literary outputs produced by Kapampangans.
Written by Vincent Sanchez