Mongrel

Amanung Sisuan, roughly translates to suckled language. I did not suckle the Kapampangan language, nor the Tagalog nor the Sugbuanon languages. I suckled English. I lived and breathed English and it is the language my thought processes use, even now. Therefore, am not a Kapampangan. Nor am I a Tagalog nor a Sugbuanon, if language is the sole parameter.

Indung Tibuan roughly translates to motherland, the land where one grew up; Indung Ibatan, the land where one came from, land of birth. I was born in Manila. I grew up in Manila, Caloocan and Marikina. Therefore, Pampanga is not my Indung Tibuan, if that is the sole parameter.

Daiang Asu, a phrase which refers to Kapampangans, literally translates to dog’s blood. By blood, am a mongrel. The simpliest division of my blood goes, a fourth is Bulaqueña, another fourth is Kapampangan, and half is Sugbuanon. If blood is the sole parameter, then I am more of a Sugbuanon than a Kapampangan.

My heart and soul say I am Kapampangan, but I cannot claim “Amanu cung Sisuan” or “Indu cung Tibuan/Ibatan.”

I will spend a lot of time in Cebu in the very near future and thus will learn Sugbuanon. But I know that I will not feel for Sugbuanon and Sugbu what I have felt and am feeling for Amanung Sisuan and Indung Capampangan.

I have lived in Apunan, Concepcion, Tarlac. I have lived in the boundary of Malolos and Paombong in Bulacan. I have also lived, briefly, in a sitio in San Marcelino, Zambales. Then Porac, Pampanga where I decided that the transfers end here.

I immediately took a liking for the land. I learned the language quickly. I did not experience much difficulty in reading and writing it. It felt like coming home.

I started a family here. My sons were all born and bred here. Pampanga is the only place they have ever lived in. Kapampangan is the language in which I brought them up with. Thus, Pampanga is their Indung Tibuan and Kapampangan is their Amanung Sisuan. At least, I gave them something and somewhere to belong to. Unlike me who feels like a mongrel.

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