Kapampangan people

Kapampangan people

Infobox Ethnic group
group = Kapampangans/Capampañgans

caption =
population = 2.4 million (3.3% of the Philippine population)
regions =flagcountry|Philippines smaller|(Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Metro Manila)

flagcountry|United States

languages = Kapampangan, Tagalog, English
religions = Predominantly Roman Catholic, some animism
related = Guangdongren, Hoklo, Taiwanese aborigines, Melayu, Javanese, Sambal, Pangasinan, other Filipino peoples, other Austronesian peoples

The Kapampangans or Capampañgans (Spanish: "Pampangos" or "Pampangueños" ) are the seventh largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group, numbering at about 2,890,000. The original Kapampangans may have descended from Austronesian-speaking immigrants to Luzon during the Iron Age.

The province of Pampanga is traditional homeland of the Kapampangan people. Once occupying a vast stretch of land that extends from Tondo [Loarca, Miguel de] to the rest of Central Luzon, huge chunks of territories were carved out of Pampanga so as to create the provinces of Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Tarlac. [Henson] As a result, Kapampangans now populate a region that extends beyond the political boundaries of the small province of Pampanga. In the province of Tarlac, the indigenous population of the municipalities of Bamban, Capas and Concepcion are Kapampangans, while Tarlac City and the municipalities of Victoria, La Paz, Gerona and Paniqui have a considerable Kapampangan population. In Bataan, Kapampangans populate the municipilaties of Dinalupihan and Hermosa, and the barangays of Mabatang in Abucay and Calaguiman in Samal. Kapampangans can be found scattered all across the southern barrios of the province of Nueva Ecija and in the western section of the province of Bulacan. Kapampangan enclaves still exist in Tondo and other parts of the National Capital Region. Kapampangans have also migrated to Mindoro, Palawan and Mindanao and have formed strong Kapampangan organizations called aguman in Davao City and General Santos City. "Aguman"s based in the US and Canada are currently active in the revival of the Kapampangan language and culture.

The Kapampangans have produced two presidents, three chief justices, a senate president, the first Filipino cardinal and many personalities in public service, education, diplomacy, journalism, the arts and sciences, entertainment and business.


The oldest artifact ever found in the Province of Pampanga is a 5000 year old stone adze found in Candaba. It is said to be a tool used in building boats. Earthenware and trade ware dating back to 1500 BC have also been found in Candaba and Porac.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the late 16th century, the Kapampangan people made up the bulk of the population of what the Ming Dynasty texts referred to as the Luzon Empire (zh-tp|t=|p="Lǚsòng Guó") or "The Lesser Song Empire" [http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/directory/sumita/5A-161/index.html 東西洋考] ] . Their rulers were recognized by Chinese historians as kings and not mere chieftains [http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/directory/sumita/5A-161/index.html 東西洋考] ] . They penetrated the Chinese market at a time when the Ming Dynasty banned all foreign trade and so profited immensely from it. Although 16th century Kapampangan society reflected most of what was prevalent in Southeast Asia ~ small communities made up chiefly of the same clans ruled by a council of elders ~ certain communities rose up to become centers of trade and power. Noted among these are the ancient states of Tondo (zh-tp|t=|p=dōngdū)or the "Eastern Capital", Lubao and Betis.

Extensive farming and fishing were the main industries of the Kapampangan people. But at the height of the Luzon Empire's importance in the China trade in the 16th century, maritime trading, and perhaps even piracy, became the main source of profit. As one of the "Luções" (people of Luzon), many Kapampangans worked as mercenaries for the various states and kingdoms in Southeast Asia [Barros, João de, Decada terçiera de Asia de Ioãno de Barros dos feitos que os Portugueses fezarão no descubrimiento dos mares e terras de Oriente [1628] , Lisbon, 1777, courtesy of William Henry Scott, Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994, page 194.] . The Luzon Empire became such an important center in Chinese trade that the Kingdom of Brunei was forced to invade it in 1500 [sha`er awang semaun] . The city of Manila was created by the Burneians to oversee the trade in Brunei's interestScott:Barangay] . Japanese records show that important traders like Luzon Sukezaemon [Miyamoto] and Shimai Soshitsu opened up shop in Luzon [吉川英治の新書太閣記] . At a time when the Ming Dynasty banned its citizens from going out of China, the Kapampangan traders from Luzon who brought Chinese goods all across Southeast Asia were thought of as Chinese. [Gaspar de San Agustin] As late as the 17th centuries, the Sultanate of Sulu still commissioned Kapampangans to act as trade ambassadors to China. [Wang Teh-Ming]

The Kapampangan people sense of self-importance must have risen in direct proportion to the Luzon Empire's growth and rise to prominence in the 16th century China trade. This development might have helped shape the Kapampangan people's attitude and the way that they were perceived historically by other ethnic groups.

Kapampangans have played a dynamic yet conflicting role in Philippine history. It was the Kapampangans of Macabebe who were the first to defend the Luzon Empire from Spanish domination in 1571. [Gaspar de San Agustin] Yet it was the Kapampangans that the Spaniards relied on to defend their new colony from Dutch. It was at this time that "one Castillan plus three Kapampangans" were considered as "four Castillans" as long they gallantly served in the colonial armed forces. [ibidem] After their successful battle against the Dutch in 1640, only Kapampangans were allowed to study side by side with the Spaniards in exclusive Spanish academies and universities in Manila, by order of Spanish Governor General Hurtado de Corcuera. [Henson] In 1896, Kapampangans were one of the principal ethnic groups to spearhead the Philippine revolution against Spain. Yet it was also the Kapampangans of Macabebe that fiercely defended the last Spanish garrisson against the revolutionaries.

Culture & Cuisine

Though many Kapampangans remain devout Roman Catholics, their religious festivals display an indigenous flavour unique only to the Kapampangan people. Consider the Curaldal or "street dancing" that accompany the Feast of Santa Lucia in Sasmuan or the Aguman Sanduk were men cross-dress as women to welcome the New Year in Minalin. The Fiestang Danum of the barrios of Pansinao, Mandasig, Lanang and Pasig in Candaba ~ where food is served on floating banana rafts on the waters of the Pampanga River ~ was a originally a non-Christian holiday that is now made to coincide with the baptism of Christ. "The Kapampangan New Year" or Bayung Danum that welcomes the coming of the monsoons and the start of the planting season is made to coincide with the feast of John the Baptist. The colourful Apung Iru fluvial procession of Apalit, once a thanksgiving celebration in honour of the river, has become the feast of Saint Peter, the apostle of Christ.

The most dramatic festivals can be witnessed during the Maleldo, which is the Kapampangan expression of the Holy Week. These include the erection of a temporary shrine known as the puni where the "pasion" or the story of Christ's sufferening is chanted in archaic Kapampangan. The melody of the Kapampangan "pasion" was said to have been taken from their traditional epic, whose original words were lost and replaced by the story of Christ. The highlight of the "maleldo" celebration is the procession of the magdarame or sasalibatbat ~ penitents covered in blood due to self flagellation. Some of them go the distance of having themselves crucified every Good Friday at the dried up swamp of barrio Cutud in San Fernando.

Another expression of the Kapampangan's ethnic identity can be experienced in their unique cuisine. Lutung Kapampangan has gained a favourable reputation among other Philippines ethnic groups. Some popular Kapampangan dishes that have won the palate from Filipinos across the country include its famous "sisig", the "tocino" or "pindang" and their native version of the longaniza.

Kapampangan dishes that remain a challenge to other cultures include buru (fish fermented in rice), "betute tugak" (stuffed frogs), "adobung kamaru" (mole crickets sauted in vinegar and garlic), "estofadong barag" (spicy stewed monitor lizard) and "calderetang asu" (spicy dog stew).


Aside from that they have Chinese blood, many also have Spanish, American, and Arab descent. In addition, many of them have Tagalog and/or Ilocano blood. Most Kapampangans are devout Roman Catholics. There are some Protestants and very few are Buddhists, mostly Chinese.

Prominent Kapampangans

For a list of prominent or noteworthy Kapampangans, see .

"History and Politics"
*Benigno Aquino, Jr. - was a Philippine Senator whose assassination triggered the events that led to the People Power Revolution.
*Jose Abad Santos - was a native of the City of San Fernando who became the 5th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He was killed by Japanese forces during the occupation of the Philippines in World War II.
*Pedro Abad Santos- was a Filipino doctor, lawyer, Marxist and politician who later became a leader of the first of two Philippine communist rebellions from the 1930s to the 1950s. He was the older brother of Jose Abad Santos.
*Satur Ocampo - co-founder of the National Democratic Front, he is a nationally renowned politician, journalist and writer. As a congressman for the Bayan Muna party, he has done work in Human Rights and other areas.
*Luis Taruc - was a Philippine political figure and communist revolutionary. He was the leader of the Hukbalahap rebel group between 1942 and 1954.
* [http://www.geocities.com/pampgen/tolentino.htm Aurelio Tolentino] - one of the mystics of the Katipunan, a compadre of Andres Bonifacio, a nationalist writer in both Kapampangan and Tagalog. He coined the word "dula" for drama and ironically became known in history as the Father of Tagalog Drama for his anti-US colonial masterpiece "Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas." A theatre at the Cultural Center of the Philippines is named "Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino" in his honor.
*Rufino Cardinal Santos - was the Archbishop of Manila from 1953 to 1973 and was the first Filipino to be named Cardinal.
*Don Juan Macapagal - Datu of Arayat, was the great-grandson of Lakandula. [Santiago] He was given the title "Maestre de Campo General" of the natives Arayat, Candaba and Apalit for his aid in suppressing the Kapampangan Revolt of 1660 and the only native Filipino to become an "encomendero".
*Diosdado Pangan Macapagal - was the 9th President of the Republic of the Philippines and a native of Lubao, Pampanga.
*Amung Ed Panlilio - the first Catholic Priest in the Philippines to be elected as a provincial governor.
*Yeng Guiao - the Vice Governor of Pampanga and a Filipino professional basketball head coach for the Red Bull Barako in the Philippine Basketball Association. Guiao won four PBA titles since starting his head coaching job for Swift in the early-1990's. He is a former Philippine Basketball League commissioner from 1997-2000.
*Gil J. Puyat - was a Senate President of the Philippines from 1967 to 1972.
*Rogelio dela Rosa - was one of the most popular Filipino matinee idols of the 20th century and was elected to the Senate in 1957. He was also the first film actor who was able to parlay his fame into a political career, paving the way for other Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians. He had an equally famous brother, Jaime dela Rosa, also a matinee idol in the 1950s.
*Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan - Philippine senator and husband of Philippine celebrity Sharon Cuneta
*Randy David - a political analyst, newspaper columnist and a professor at the Universitry of the Philippines in Diliman.
*Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo - is the 14th and current President of the Republic of the Philippines. A daughter of the 9th President of the Republic Diosdado Macapagal, she was the country's first Female Vice President during the tenure of the now Deposed Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
*Armando Biliwang - was a municipal mayor of San Fernando and was well known for his fearless stand against communism during his term as municipal councilor and mayor.
* Manny Bamba Villar – is currently the President of the Senate, the third highest ranking official of the Philippines. His mom from the Bamba clan hails from Pampanga.

"Arts and Culture"
*Anselmo Jorge Fajardo - Father of Kapampangan Literature. Author of the first and longest longest metrical romance in any Philippine language, Gonzalo de Cordoba. He was a native delegate to the Spanish Cortez.
*Juan Crisostomo Soto - Kapampangan writer, revolutionary leader and veteran of the Philippine-American War. Father of Kapampangan poetical debate, Crissotan, and author of "Alang Dios" (There is no God).
* [http://www.geocities.com/pampgen/tolentino.htm Aurelio Tolentino] - one of the mystics of the Katipunan, a compadre of Andres Bonifacio, a nationalist writer in both Kapampangan and Tagalog. He coined the word "dula" for drama and ironically became known in history as the Father of Tagalog Drama for his anti-US colonial masterpiece "Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas". A theatre at the Cultural Center of the Philippines is named "Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino" in his honor.
*Jose Gallardo - Kapampangan Poet Laureate and one of the most prolific Kapampangan writer of the late 20th century.
*Amado Yuzon - Kapampangan Poet Laureate, was a Philippine academic, journalist, and writer.
*Alejandro T. Quiboloy - Kapampangan educator, public servant, writer and Protestant minister. Born in Lubao, Pampanga on May 3, 1909.
*Vicente Manansala - a National Artist of the Philippines in Visual Arts, was a direct influence to his fellow Filipino neo-realists.
*Ambeth Ocampo - is a Filipino historian, academic, journalist, author best known for his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Looking Back."
*Gene Gonzales - nationally renowned chef, restaurateur, educator management consultant and author. He is the author of "Cocina Sulipeña: Culinary from Old Pampanga".
*Don Zoilo Hilario - a member of the Institute of National Language who dedicated his life to imposing the ABAKADA on Kapampangan writing through the Akademyang Kapampangan, the organization he created.
*Mon David - is a jazz singer from Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. He won the grand prize in the prestigious 2006 London International Jazz Competition (LIJC).
* [http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca/org-awards/gamaba/eduardo%20_mutuc.php Eduardo Mutuc] - is a 2005 NCCA GAMABA National Living Treasure Awardee for upholding the traditional Kapampangan art of pinukpuk or silver inlaying and embossing on "retablos", "carosas" and altar pieces.

"Pop Culture, Sports & Entertainment"
*Dolphy - born as Rodolfo Quizon and known as the "King of Philippine Comedy" was born in Pampanga in 1928 to Kapampangan parents but was raised in Tondo, Manila.
*Melanie Marquez - is a popular beauty queen-turned-actress who hails from Mabalacat. She was Miss International 1979 and was voted as the Most Beautiful Miss International in 2000. She's also a sister of another local actor, Joey Marquez.
*Ricardo "Dong" Puno Jr - is a Filipino television public affairs host, media executive, newspaper columnist, and lawyer.
*Efren "Bata" Reyes - is referred to as "The Magician" and a very popular Filipino billiards player who hails from Angeles City. He is considered to be one of history's greatest practitioners of billiards.
*apl.de.ap (Allen Pineda Lindo) - is a member of the Grammy-award winning group, The Black Eyed Peas, and was born in Sapang Bato, Angeles City. He is famous throughout the Filipino community after the release of his life story of his homeland Philippines in a song called "The Apl Song."
*Lito Lapid - a famous star turned politician. He became governor of Pampanga and later became a member of the Philippine senate.
*Joey Marquez - Philippine basketball star turned actor-comedian turned politician. Brother of popular beauty queen Melanie Marquez
*Yeng Guiao - is a Filipino professional basketball head coach for the Red Bull Barako in the Philippine Basketball Association. Guiao won four PBA titles since starting his head coaching job for Swift in the early-1990's. He is a former Philippine Basketball League commissioner from 1997-2000. He is also the Vice Governor of the province of Pampanga.
*Apollo Quiboloy - is a Filipino televangelist; born in Davao City to Kapampangan parents.
*Rey Langit - is a TV Personality, Columnist of Tempo, Balita, People's Tonight, DWIZ-AM Station Manager, and host of Kasangga Mo ang Langit and Biyaheng Langit, both of which are aired over Radio Philippines Network (RPN) and DWIZ.
*Rogelio dela Rosa - was one of the most popular Filipino matinee idols of the 20th century and was elected to the Senate in 1957. He was also the first film actor who was able to parlay his fame into a political career, paving the way for other Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians. He had an equally famous brother, Jaime dela Rosa, also a matinee idol in the 1950s.
*Lorna Tolentino - is a famous actress, host, executive producer and wife of fellow Kapampangan actor Rudy Fernandez. She was born in Concepcion, Tarlac and was raised in Manila.
*Jean García - is a television and film actress who hails from Angeles City. Her most famous role was in the telenovela Pangako sa 'Yo where she played antagonist Madam Claudia.

Prominent People of Kapampangan Descent

"Pop Culture, Sports & Entertainment"
*Fernando Poe, Jr. - born as Ronald Allan Kelley Poe and colloquially known as "FPJ" and "Da King", was a Filipino actor and later politician, having run an unsuccessful bid for President of the Philippines in the 2004 presidential elections against the incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His mother, Elizabeth Gatbonton Kelly is a Kapampangan from Candaba.
*Sharon Cuneta - dubbed as the "Megastar of Philippine Showbiz," is a popular Filipina actress, TV host, singer, endorser, grandslam awardee, and a box-office queen hall of famer and a recipient of several lifetime achievement awards at a relatively young age.
*Lea Salonga - is a Tony Award-winning singer and actress who is best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. She spent the first six years of her childhood in Angeles City before moving to Manila.
*Judy Ann Santos - is an award-winning and multi-nominated film and television actress. Her mom hails from San Fernando, Pampanga.
* Paquito Diaz – is a veteran actor and director, whose mother is a Kapampangan.
*Leah Dizon - is a model, singer, and a TV personality and media icon in Japan, born in Las Vegas, Nevada.
*Vanessa Minnillo - is an American television personality born in Clark Air Base, Angeles City and raised in the US. She was Miss Teen USA 1998 and is currently a host on MTV's Total Request Live.
*Hilda Koronel - is an award-winning actress who starred in around 45 films, many of which are critically acclaimed. Born Susan Reid, her father is an American father who was a serviceman in Clark Air Base.
*Lalaine Vergara- is an American actress, singer and spokesperson.
*Rufa Mae Quinto - is a popular actress and TV host, known for her comedy role in the film, "Booba."
*Abbygale Williamson Arenas - is a former international model and beauty queen. She is now a freelance make-up artist.

ee also

*The Province of Pampanga
*Kapampangan language


*Bunford, Stephen R., "The Royal House of Brunei", Unpublished manuscript
*Gaspar de San Agustin, "Conquistas de las Islas Philipinas 1565-1615", Translated by Luis Antonio Mañeru, 1st bilingual ed [Spanish and English] , published by Pedro Galende, OSA: Intramuros, Manila, 1998
*Henson, Mariano A. 1965. "The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns: A.D. 1300-1965". 4th ed. revised. Angeles City: By the author.
*Larkin, John A. 1972. "The Pampangans: Colonial Society in a Philippine Province". 1993 Philippine Edition. Quezon City: New Day Publishers.
*Loarca, Miguel de, "Relación de las Yslas Filipinas", Blair and Robertson volume 5, page 34 – 187
*Mallat, Jean, "Les Philippines: Histoire, Geographie, Moeurs, Agriculture, Idustrie, Commerce des colonies Espagnoles dans l’Océanie", Paris: Arthus Bertrand, Libraire de la Société de Géographie, 1846
*Miyamoto, Kazuo. "Vikings of the Far East". New York: Vantage Press, 1975. pp88-89
*Morga, Antonio de, "Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, obra publicada en Méjico el año de 1609 nuevamente sacada a luz y anotada por José Rizal y precedida de un prólogo del Prof. Fernando Blumentritt, Impresión al offset de la Edición Anotada por Rizal", Paris 1890. Manila: Historico Nacional, 1991
*Pires, Tomé, "A suma oriental de Tomé Pires e o livro de Francisco Rodriguez:Leitura e notas de Armando Cortesão [1512 - 1515] ", translated and edited by Armando Cortesao, Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1944.
*Santiago, Luciano P.R., "Laying the Foundations: Kapampangan Pioneers in the Philippine Church [1592-2001] ", Angeles City: Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University Press, 20012
*Santiago, Luciano P.R., "The Houses of Lakandula, Matanda, and Soliman [1571-1898] :Genealogy and Group Identity", Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 18 [1990]
*Scott, William Henry, "Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society", Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994
*Scott, William Henry, "Prehispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History", Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1984
*Tayag, Katoks (Renato). 1985. "The Vanishing Pampango Nation", Recollections and Digressions. Escolta, Manila: Philnabank Club c/o Philippine National Bank.
*Wang Teh-Ming, "Sino-Suluan Historical Relations in Ancient Texts: A dissertation submitted to the graduate program of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines", 1989, Diliman, Quezon City.

External links

* [http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/directory/sumita/5A-161/index.html 東西洋考] "A study of the Eastern and Western Oceans"
* [http://lusung.blogspot.com 呂宋國] "Lusung Empire"
* [http://www.history-centre.gov.bn/sultanbrunei.htm] "Sultan Sultan Brunei"
* [http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/4059/famous2.html Armando Regala's List of Famous Kapampangans]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alaya Kapampangan Art Forum]
* [http://kalalangan.ning.com Kapampangan Art Movement]
* [http://siuala.blogspot.com Essays on Kapampangan Nationalism]
* [http://eksite.com/ eK! - Kapampangan Journal of Ideas]

Ethnic groups in the Philippines

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