eK! is electronic Kabalen, a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

cecile s. yumul
cecile s yumul LINGERING SCENTS and childhood play with our grandmothers' kalakuti evoke more than just memories of grandparents. With the memories come a stark contrast of today's child going on vacation or at play.

Ala nala keti yatu. Misinup nala naman ding karelang kalakuti. Mengatatal na king kalutung ing mangatuang saya at tarik. Menagi at menamuti nala ding bale matua pati na ring pakatakap a muebles, uling mepupus na halus ing henerasyon da ring matuang sisikloran at pag adyang ulian ustung ating piyesta at miyaliwang pitagunan.Sana maigit naman kanita, ing likwan dang recuerdo di Apu at Ingkung ela kukupas king kekatamung pusu at kamalayan.

Mas dakal (sana) ing manyaman a denasan king pamandagul king bale matua. Kambe na nita ing kayabe la king pamiyasag king kekatamung pangatau di Apu ampo y Ingkong.

Makalungkut mu, na king kasalukuyang panaun, yapin na ing "vanishing generation" mitutuki ng midadala king kutkutan ding matua ing dakal dang kelumon gagawan. Anti na mo ing pamagmama at Palmaman ng Apu.

Inyang mangalati tamu, ustung datang na ing bakasyun, maibug panabitan mune ing Marsu ban kanita muli nakang magbakasyun king bale matua da ring apu, lola, impu (ala naman mamaus granny, o hey grandma kanita ne po?).

Asnang karakal ing abalu mung gawan na bitasa emu takman king siyudad. Muna ng dili itang aldoldo na ng ritual apu. Ing pamagmama. Itamu disnan tala pang susubung sigarilyu makapalub ing baya king asbuk atin ya mong "magic powers" y apu uling kekabang magsalita ya bagya bagya lulwal murin ing asuk. Bista man tiu kilub asbuk e matatda ing baya ning sigarilyu na ing marka karakalan "Alhambra" o markang Ngungut.

Kaybat ning paugtuan, tipunan nakong apu ketang maragul a papag lande kuayan na apakintab ning dakal ng banwang delanan pipagkeran at tinibe king laru ning balat tau ustung magkera lang "magsegundo."

Magstorya ya y apu kabang sasamasnan na ing makalulan king palmaman. Kabang magbalat yang luyos (for the uninitiated they look like miniature cocunuts the size of a lanzones), kasdan mu paburen nakang sumaup gawa king kayang maman.

Ketang metung ng parte ning palmaman, makasalupil at bigkis ing samat king bulung sagin bang manatiling berde at e malanat. Atin ka mu rin akit a mascada/maskara (this is dark brown pressed tobacco leaves), kin naman malating pidapukanan, atin api (lime) nung nu ya karin makasuksuk ing kaputut talnanan ning kutsara o tinidor na gagamitan pangaskas (to evenly spread out) king bulung samat.

Uling karakalan mangatibe la ipan ding apu, kaibat meng belatan ing luyos, kasdan mu pitnan yamung apat a parte (lele ng apu ing pibalatan at ya naman paglinis ng ipan kaibat migmama). Ibalut maigpit king samat bayu ne isubung apu. Atin lang gagamitan pamalat luyos ding apu, itang Kalakati, na miyaliwa mu naman dagul (anti da ring gunting oneng aliwa la tabas). Masilbi lang mayap deni lalu na potang ene makalangut mangasyas a luyos. Keti ya gawan ing pamangayas mapinu ban kanita, gilagid mu man ing atin yay apu, makapagmama ya pa mu rin.

Maigit pa king pamagmama ding apu ustung gaganakan tala. Ila ing mimulat mituru na bawat butil ning nasi emu nipnap potang mayayari nakang mengan katimbang ne ning pawas ding kasamak.

Karela muna man meramdam ing kadwa ning kabanalan pamanyimba, katuki ing potang makayarap king oras ning pamangan. Kang apu murin abalu ing maging masinup king sarili, uli nung nanu ing piblas ya naman ing wangis ning kaladwa mu.

Kaya muna man ikwa ing pamipakamal karing bungang tanaman. Alang masasayang, manibat king yemut, pabalat, tangke, tulud, sanga, bulung at bunga, mibie la para nabangnan tau at nung ini kilalanan alang taung manamdaman king kabyayan man o pamikatawan.

At maulaga king sabla ing nokarin ka man sasalanging bale, babie kang galang at paindispu kareng darasan makatuknang.

Nung lawen da reng kayanakan ngeni, mapalyaring atin pang makapangutang, "What, is that all that's left behind? What about properties, cash, jewelries, and the like? So what's in a palmaman gotta do with mana mana?"

Nothing and everything.

Nothing because, no amount of money can measure up to the timeless memories that gave us substance as a thinking, feeling human being. Everything because, solid foundation, good moral values, strength of character and respect for all God's creatures taught in our formative years gave us all the "Mana" any heir could want to get by in this world.


[About the author. Cecile Santos Yumul is a veteran award winning Broadcast Journalist, a visionary teacher (Most Outstanding Teacher of the Philipines in 1992), a nationalist (Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Education in 1993), an environmentalist, and a dedicated daughter. She has over 35 years experience in the field of arts as an actor, director, and author. She is a published writer (Woman's Magazine) of essays, poems, short stories, and social commentaries. She currently resides in Lakandula, Mabalacat, Pampanga with her Mother, 18 dogs, doves, and bonsais.]

-Posted: 9:56 PM 9/27/07 | More of this author on eK!
WHAT THEY SAY...

Ral David (of USA) writes...

As usual, yours are the first articles that I read from eK!. The last issue is not exception. I could recall my grandfather foretelling the weather by the sounds that only he could hear, the chirping of birds (like the tarat), the rustle of wind among the leaves, the color of the sky at sunset, etc. But what is the meaning of "palat?"

After reading the second article about "mamama" I could almost feel the sadness that you convey about today's youth and what they are missing, growing up without the wise advice of their grandparents....alas! We have all been immersed in a world of materialism that we are beginning to lose our identities as thinking and humane beings!

Keep up your excellent writing, Cecile...

-Posted/Via Email: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 19:29:05 -0700



The author Cecile S Yumul replies...

Thank you for reading our eK! journal. It must have been a long time since you left the country.

You have given me an idea on your query about what is palat. Kapampangan is about the only language I know which can give meaning to the same syllable in many different ways. Here is an initial sampling based on your query:

PALAT - is the cogon grass we see in wide open fields, swaying in snow white perfection without the freezing cold of winterland.

PALATPALAT - (as in lagwa mu ing obra mu, eka palatpalat!) has something to do with the easygoing attitude of some workers, without any sense of urgency, like they have forever or that it may take forever to finish a task. Or with the carefree attitude of young ones— it make mean gallivanting around.

Uli mu at ding aliwa tamung kabalen, saslag ing sala para sumulat maralas king amanung sisuan. King daratang a panaun tuglungan kula ding amanung ulit ulit at miyaliwa kabaldugan para karing talatuki king eksite.

Misan pa, dacal a salamat at Luid tamung ngan Kapampangan nukarin tamu man miras a labuad.

-Posted/Via Email: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 22:28:23 -0700



Nenette de Dios Capulong (of Westminster, Colorado) writes...

Dear Ces,

Thank you for your website. I was able to read your article in Kapampangan although I admit reading in Spanish is easier for me. When I get my printer connected, I will print your article and give copies to my kids now all on their own and to my Mom also on her own.

I wish I saw my grandparents so jealous of you. My apu on Daddy's side passed on when I was in fifth grade and on my Mom's side when I was only five. I do remember the shiny bamboo floor in Sta. Rita where air cools your body naturally if you lay down on it for siesta and with merienda when you wake up. I remember spending Christmas and summer vacation at my aunt (Mom's sister) in Sta. Rita. Both my brother Odie and I recall that time as the happiest time of our lives. She did smoke Marcang Ngungut which I bought for her in the corner store. She'd ask me to light one for her so I had to sip one end while lighting the other. It was kinda sweet. She did put the lighted side in her mouth.

She used an old fashioned woodburning stove made of clay and so were here pots and pans. They look like giant kuran-kurangan to me. Everytime she's cooking and leaves her stove. I would play with it either by adding too much firewood or blowing the tsupan too much, so the food wiil either burn or the fire die. At bedtime, no beds but a big "dase" (floor mat is rolled on the floor and the kulambo is hanged.

We prayed the rosary in kapampangan on our knees before laying next to each other like sardines 5 of us and 3 of our cousins plus Ima so that is 9. Their grandma(Lola) on their Dad's side is too old so she slept on her own bed because she cannot get up from the floor. She did have an "arinola" by her bed, which was also for everyone's use (gross!).

You are right, too bad today's generation were not as lucky as you.

My three kids did experience having a grandpa . He was there on the first day they were each born to the day we left the Philippines in 1996. They called him Daddy, too. Just like how he went home every year to visit us in the Philippines when he lived here in Colorado, we visited him every summer when school is over. He always had a lechon and built a bahay kubo on the yard surrounded by vegetables and fruit trees he planted. Noah, my youngest was able to write a Tribute to Monico Capulong as a project in his Middle School. When he presented it, he showed a picture of him and Dad by the lechon being roasted with the bahay kubo on the background. Dad was so happy when I told him about it; he cried. Daddy went with the Lord on January 22, 2003. Noah refused to go with me saying "I don't want to see Daddy in a box". I don't blame him.

Some of Daddy's quotes "In heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here". "Ustung maglolo ka lawen me pa ing Ima ning dalaga, makanyan ya itsura potang matua na kayu. "Ustung mataba ya y Misis mu, buri na sabyan mangunsimisyun ya keka." "Ing mangga ustung mabunga ya babaronggan de." "Balu na ing puntalan ning kabayu ustung maranup ya."

There you go Ces, I tried my best writing in Kapampangan, thanks for getting my gradeschool education in a public elementary school. How is my amanung siswan? Can you translate that in English? If my kids will ask I'll say breastfed language. (bleep!). Mother tongue is more appropriate. My youngest cannot speak Kapampangan and Tagalog anymore (shame on me) One time, he went to a Filipino paty and they were speaking in Tagalog he cannot understand. When we have a family gathering every weekend, my Mom is like a radio constantly talking in Kapampangan. Noah will ask , "what is grandma talking about.?"

Will you please write a book. I'm sure your followers and US Kapampangans will agree. Very proud of you my dearest classmate and miracle warrior. I wish you success in all you do and eternal blessings for you and your family.

Love,
Bionic Nenette

-Posted/Via Email: 2008-08-24 15:09:51 PDT



The author Cecile S Yumul replies...

Greetings to everyone there in Colorado, especially to the Capulong family and relatives. Thank you for sharing and refreshing the days of our youth king labuad Kapampangan.

Manibat umpisa angga king sepu ning mesabi keti pedala mu eksite, manyaman, maulaga, at papakit na nung makananu ya ing metung a pamilyang Kapampangan.

Nuya man miras, anti mong sulu kilub ning pusu at isip e matatda ing penibatan, alang kaparis, alang kawangis tin oras ing dala niting sala king akwa mung tumangis neng kayi naman mibulebule maglako kang kainip

Wherever our careers may have brought us, what is most important of all is that like you, every thread of your growing up years are woven finely into what you have become.

Pepakit mu na ing tune malugud king balen ng tibuan, lumaut ya man, malambat me man e gamitan ing amanung a kamulatan, potang makatud ing panaun, mibalik at mibalik king panimanman ing balang sablang memie ulaga king kekang kalalangan.

Again thank you, read all our kabalens work here on eksite and keep sharing what makes the Kapampangan unique from the treasures of our youth.

-Posted/Via Email: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 17:48:49 -0700



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