Posts tagged ‘Kapampangan’


Indigenous Name: TARLAC GRASS

Spanish Name: Hierba Tarlaquena

Scientific Name: Themeda arundinacea (Roxb.) Ridl.

Kapampangan Name: Dikut Tarlac

Aboriginal Name: Tallak

Ilocano Name: Tanglar; Tarlar

Popular Name: Matarlac; Malatarlac

Family: Gramineae

Location Discovered: Bamban, Tarlac

Date Found: November 21, 2002

Other Places Located: Capas, Tarlac City, San Jose, Mayantoc, Camiling, Santa Ignacia, Camiling, San Clemente

Researcher: Dr. Rodrigo M. Sicat

Asst. Researchers: Rodel T. Botio/Delfin J. Sibal



Stem. Selectively grows in colonies in usually moist to dry clay loam soils along high hills and flat hinterlands; annual (“annual” means once a year); as the plants burn or die during dry season (as a result of kaingin or eventual death), new shoots are enormously replaced at the onset of the rainy season. The grass shoots (plant or clone) grow from the center outward, develop new lateral shoots (tillers), and form into a ring of healthy plants. A ring produces 100-150 tillers. A young tiller is light green and becomes heavily green as its maturity stage progress. Each tiller has 8-10 pairs of sideward stems from base to apex. The sheaths of the stems are hallow or herbaceous and are sequentially woven and arranged in ascending order.  The lower side sheaths of the base stems are light purple, hairy, shiny, smooth, and with parallel veins. Any of these tillers produces a sugarcane-like culm, which holds the spike. The cane-like stalk reaches 8-13 ft. tall (root base stem to spike’s apex). A grass colony bears 30-35 spikes.  A spike has 12-18 nodes (joints), and every node is 0.75 cm.-4.0 cm. diameter. Internodes are 15 cm.-35 cm. apart. Fresh (green) nodes are succulent, sugarcane (sucrose aroma), and chewable. Old stalks become hard and woody.

Leaves. The blade (lamina) of the grass is linear, long, slender, sharp, and coarse. The sheath that enfolds the culms of the nodes is membrous or hairy. Each leaf has a long midrib that holds both the blade and sheath. The veins are parallel. The leaves reach a height of 170 cm.-225 cm. (from base to tip).  Each mature plantlet produces 16-40 sheaths of leaves. A leaf measures 1.5 cm. (base), 1.6 cm. (middle), and 0.3 cm. (tip).

During the plant’s peak of maturity, the leaves form a circular crown that makes the grass appear buoyant, showy, and majestic.

Roots. The tarlac grass is fibrous. Each tiller develops an independent fibrous root system, which makes the grass colony stand firm and flexible. Roots can penetrate porous clay loam soils and develop roots as long as 30 cm.-50 cm.

The young seeds of the grass develop primary or seminal roots.

Fruiting structures. The inflorescence of the grass is developed on the spike of the plant. The spike (from base stalk to tip) measures 8-13 feet. The spike contains spikelets that bear the florets (flowers). Each spike has 5-7 spikelets, which attach the flowers to the stem. The young flowers are light yellow green, smooth, and shiny. Eventually, the flowers become maple to deep brown when fully matured. The seeds are not macroscopic. Seed dispersal is either done through the wind, birds, insects, and man. Flowering period commences August and subsides in December.

When all the spikes of a solitary tarlac grass colony are in full bloom, the plant appears attractive and welcoming. From a distance, the grass florescence’s is noticeably peculiar and smart.

Uses. The leaves of the grass may be used as roofing materials in rustic places; flowers and spikes for handicrafts; and the roots are reportedly used for herbal or medicinal purposes (kidney treatment). Only very young stems and leaves of the grass are used for forage purposes (for cows and goats).



 Tarlac is a landlocked provincein Luzon with Tarlac City as its capital. It is considered as the first melting pot in Central Luzon if not in the entire archipelago.

 As such, the province enormously thrives with varieties of cultures, which is why, the culture is predominantly a chemistry of Kapampangan, Ilokano, Pangasinense and Tagalog. The blend is largely due to its history and geographical borderlines.   

 It is a province colored with merry people and languages. As border languages speakers, the usage of the verbal and written language today may seem not to be as puritan as that of the pioneering settlers, yet, are instinctively spoken by the contemporary Tarlakenos.

 Corollary, classical culture vis-à-vis mores, norms, knowledge, customs and traditions are still evident. The following are cultural examples that are germane among the people these days:  

Kapampangan Proverbs (Kasebyan) 

  1. Eka mamaronga nung eka bisang mituran (Do not cast stone if you do not want to be stroke).  
  2. Mamie ka ban midinan ka (Give and you will receive). 
  3. Eka mamie dalan ban eka midalanan (Do not give way to avoid being rail raided).  
  4. Emu kakalingwan babakle lawe ketang ibatan mu (Do not forget to look back to where you came from). 
  5. Migit mayap ing danupan kesa king lubas; ing maranup makalual ya ing lubas ali ya (It is better to be starved than naked; the starved can openly come out but never the naked). 
  6. Ing mangilag king pate, iyang matapang tune (He who refuses a fight is the one truly brave). 
  7. Ing e makibalu king kasakitan eya dapat manayang kanawan (He who has not experienced hardship should not expect comfort). 
  8. Ing pamangan ulwan na ing danup, ing pamagaral ulwan na ing kamangangan (Food cures hunger, education ails ignorance). 
  9. Tapat la ding sugat na ning kakaluguran, dapot ding uma ning casalang ilang kalabisan (The advises of a faithful friend might be painful but the kisses of an enemy are fanciful). 
  10.  Ing metung a mana malyari yang akamtan pirapal king kamumulan dapot ing wakas na niti e mipanwanan (Inheritance can be deceitfully earned but it will not last in the end).  
  11. Matas at mataluktuk masaldak ya pangabaldug (The higher the climb the harder the fall). 
  12. Eka lalapit king api nung eka bisang mapali (Do not come near the fire if you do not want to get burned). 
  13. Keng maranup alang tinape a masias (There is no bad bread for a hungry person). 
  14. Ing asung balabaluktut butul man eya makapulut (A dog that is lazy can not even catch a tiny bone). 
  15. Panayan mu karing anak mu ing depatan mu karing indu tata mu (Discover from your children the deeds you have done to your parents).  
  16. Ing dutung makilala ya karing kayang bunga (A tree is known through its fruits). 
  17. Ing dalagang magaslo anti yang asin king silyo (A bashful woman is like a salt on a cup). 
  18. Masikan ya lub, maina ya lub (He has the gut but not the wit).  
  19. Ing babaing palpigigigit bisa yang pakalbit (A woman who fondly giggles desire to be fondled).  
  20. Ing apalya mapait ya man, panulu ya ketang bisang mipaldan (A gourd although bitter is medicine to one who wants to be cured). 
  21. Ing lundag ning gaindung kambing, ing biseru anti mu rin (The leap of the doe matches that of the kid). 
  22. Tangung basti bang agad mikawani (Half hearted nod to depart early). 
  23. Nanan me pa ing garama nung mete ne ing kabayu (Of what use is the grass if the horse is already dead).
  24. Ing latang masigla ala yang laman (An empty can is noisy). 
  25. Ing tau atin yang pagasa kabang mabie ya (Man has hope so long as he lives). 
  26. Ing taung maki marine, sumpa ing amanu na (The word of an honorable man is a solemn vow).
  27. Eme aturwanan katuliran ing taung alang kaisipan (One cannot teach wisdom to a fool).  
  28. Ing manintun atnang kabusitan eya manakit nanu man(He who searches desperately can not search any finding at all). 
  29. Pabustan muyang munta ing anak ketang buri na ban akit  mu ing malagung paintungulan na (Send a boy where he wants to go and you will see his best pace).  
  30. Ing misakab karing bitis na tikdo yang pasibayu, ing mitalabu king asbuk na mitikdo ali naya (He who falls by his feet shall rise again; he who falls by his mouth shall not rise). 
  31. Ding amanung manibatan king pusu abasa king aske ning lupa (The words that come from the heart can be read on the looks of the face).  
  32. Ing pamangalinguan iyang panulu king kapagkasakitan (Forgetting is the cure for suffering). 
  33. Alang danum alang alun (There is no water without waves). 
  34. Ing bage ali agyung daptan e dapat abutan gawan (A thing which can not be accomplished should never be undertaken). 
  35. Nung malayug ing talakad tamu iti pauli ning makatalakad tamu karing dakal a pago ding nunu tamu (If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors). 
  36. Ing batung dugang-dugang ali ya milumutan (A rolling stone gathers no moss).  
  37. Mata king mata; ipan king ipan (An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth). 
  38. Ing Apung Guinu sasaup ya karing taung sasaup karetang sarili da (God helps those who help themselves).
  39. Ing matudtud at migigising maranun babie sikanan at kabiasnan king tau (Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise). 
  40. Ing mayap a kaluguran a panaligan ya king pamangailangan (A friend in need is a friend indeed).  

Kapampangan Superstitious Beliefs (Ariya) 

  1. Manese kang pusa atlu kule ban datang ing suerte (Raise a three colored cat to allow fortune to come). 
  2. Ing dalagang babai eya dapat magpasyuk ustung bengi ban kanita eya paglolon duwendi (A maiden must avoid whistling during the night to refrain from being wooed by dwarfs). 
  3. Ali ka mamalis bengi uling lumwal ing grasya (Do not sweep the floor at night time becausefortune will come out). 
  4. Magpasantabi ka nung king masukal dadalan ka uling pota atin aturan ka (Observe courtesy when passing through thick shades for you might hurt dwelling spirits). 
  5. Ing dalagang kakanta kabang maglutu ya, makapakiasawa yang mebalung matua (A maiden who fondly sings while cooking will marry a widower).  
  6. Ing babaing mabuktut mengan kambal sagin, mapalyaring ding anak na maging kambal la mu rin (A pregnant woman who has eaten twin banana fruits will possibly bear twin babies too). 
  7. E pitutulid pasbul bale ban ing grasya e miwale (Avoid the house’s doors to face together to avoid the blessings to come out). 
  8. Bawal misukub banwa kareng mikapatad makiasawa bang ali la mipanakwil king suerting dapat karela (It is prohibited among siblings to get marry on the same year so that they will not quarrel over the blessings each one will have).   
  9. Nung mag adwa ka lub king kekang pupuntalan, ali naka malalaus bang ing disgrasya a iwasan (If you are having a second thought about your travel, do not proceed any longer to refrain from any possible accident). 
  10. Nung ing menabung kubyertus tinidur ya, ing datang a bisita lalaki ya (If the dining ware that fell is a fork, a male visitor is coming). 
  11. Eka magpasyuk ustung bengi uling ding ubingan dating la kilub bale (Do not whistle at night, snakes will be attracted inside the house). 
  12.  Nung datang lang dakal ding tagak matas ing albug a datang misna king katas (If herons come aplenty, a huge flood will come surely). 

Kapampangan Riddles (Bugtong) 

1. Metung ya ing piluban, atlu la reng pilwalan (Isa lamang ang pasukan, tatlo ang labasan.  Answer: Baru/Shirt 

2. Kabinutil yang pale, sekupan ne ing buong bale (Isang butil lamang palay, sinakop niya ang buong bahay). Answer: Bumbilya/Bulb 

3. Nung kapilan ke pete, kinaba ya pa bie (Kung kailan ko ito pinatay, lalong humaba ang buhay).  Answer: Kandila/Candle 

4. Nung eme pukpukan, eya mangan (Kung hindi mo siya pupukpukin, hindi ito kakain).  Answer: Paku/Nail 

5. Payung ng Kaka, eya mababasa (Payong ni Kaka, hindi nababasa). Answer: Bulung Gandus/Taro Leaf 

6. Aduang bolang sinulad, anggang banwa miraras  (Dalawang bolang sinulid, hanggang langit nakakarating).  Answer: Mata/Eyes 

7. Adwa lang mikaluguran, tagalan nong tagalan (Dalawa silang magkaibigan, habulan sila nang habulan).  Answer: Bitis/Feet 

8. Oyan na, oyan na, karing bulag akakit ya (Ayan na, ayan na, sa mga bulag ito ay nagpapakikita ).  Answer: Angin/Wind 

9. Apat a katau, metung la kupya (Apat na tao, iisa ang kupya).  Answer: Bale/House 

10. Lalakad ya alang guguyud, mamulai yang alang bitis (Lumalakad siyang walang humihila, tumatakbo siyang walang paa).                        Answer: Bangka/Boat 

11. Malaut ya pa ing sibat, makanganga ne ing sugat (Ang sibat ay malayu pa, ang sugat ay nakanganga na).  Answer: Asbuk/Mouth  

Ilokano Proverbs (Pagsasao) 

  1. Awan ti umuna a babawi (Repentance always comes last). 
  2. Nu nagtaray diay kabalyo, urayem ta agsublin tu (If a horse run, wait for it and surely it shall return).   
  3. Ti tao nga awan anus na, awan ti grasya nga maawat na (An impatient person will receive no blessings). 
  4. Ti nasireb nga ubing, naanus nga agadal (A bright boy studies well). 
  5. Ti ubing a tuling, mabaot ti ubet na (A stubborn child is spank in the butt). 
  6. Iti tao nga naulimek nakalimeng ti kired na (A silent person is a dangerous man). 
  7. Ti tao nga saan  na ammo tumalyaw naggapwan na saan makadanun diay papanan na. (He who is ungrateful will never have a great future). 
  8. Ti nadayaw nga sungbat, makapukaw ti unget (Courteous words bring anger down). 
  9. Iti bunga nga pinilit nga maluum nu kanem ket nasugpet (A half-ripe fruit is bitter to eat). 
  10. Ti tao nga napili, maka pili tu ti takki (He who is choosy chose the ugly). 
  11. No adda iti inlemmeng, addan to iti kauten (If you save something, you will earn something in the future). 
  12. Iti tao nga napartak, abak na pay iti nagaget (A prompt person is better than an industrious one).  
  13. Agmula ka tatta, tapno addan to iti apitem (If you plant something now, you will reap something tomorrow).
  14. Ti agsakbay, agsaguday (Early bird catches the worm). 
  15. Ti nariseb nga tao ababa ti sau na (The wise seldom talks). 
  16. Ti tao nga awan anus na, awan ti masakbayan na (He who is not a patient will not succeed). 
  17. Ti balasang nga awan ti sursurona kasla sabong nga awan banglu na (An uneducated maiden is like a flower without fragrance). 
  18. Awan kas iti sursuro a sannikua, ta dayta awan ti makatakaw kenka (Knowledge is wealth which cannot be stolen). 
  19. No nalaka ti pannakasapulan na, nalaka met ti pinnakapukaw na (What easily acquired is easily lost). 
  20. Ti tao nga masarita, awan ti ania nga magapuananan na (A man who talks too much accomplishes little). 
  21. Ti napudpudno nga gayem, maisalakan naka anyaman nga oras(A true friend is known in time of needs). 
  22. No awan ti anus, awan ti lamot (If there is no patience, there will be no food). 
  23. No adda sabsabong, aribungbungan ti kulibangbang (Where there are flowers, there are butterflies). 
  24. Agrekreklamoak gapo awan sapatos ko aginggana nakasabat tak ti tao nga awan saka na(I kept complaining that I have no shoes until I’ve met a man without his feet). 
  25. Nu ti  tao ket pinadawatam ti ikan, asaham absublin tu; suruam nga agkalap ket sikan tu met ti padawatan na(Give man a fish, he will come back to you; teach him how to fish, he will bring another one for you). 
  26. Nu kasano ti ngato ti tayab mu, kasta met iti pannakatennag mu(He who flies high will have a terrible fall).  
  27. Sakbay mo kitaen ti rugit ti sabali nga tao, kitaem nga umona diay rugit ta rupam(Before you examine the dirt of others, examine the dirt of your face first). 
  28. Agingana basit ti ules aganus ka nga agkukot, Tuno ummatiddog ken umakaba saka kan tu agunnat (Learn to persevere while the blanket is short, enjoy the comfort when it finally turns great). 
  29. Ti pintas ket agkupas, ngem ti nasayaat nga ugali ket agbayag(Beauty fades, good traits last). 
  30. Ti nadagsen nga ubra ket lumag-an, nu pagtitinulongan(Difficult work becomes easier when it is done altogether). 

Ilokano Riddles (Burburte) 

1.  Adda ditan adda ditan! Saan mu pay laeng makitkita. (Hayan na! Hayan na! Di mu pa   nakikita).  Answer: Angin/Wind   

2. Adda tinged na, adda ti bibig ken bagi na ngem awan ti ima ken saka na (May leeg, may bibig at katawan pero walang kamay at paa)       Answer: Bute/Bottle      

3.  Maysa nga sanga adda ti pito nga abot na (Isang sanga may butas na pito).   Answer: Ulo/Head 

4. Bulong ti kappa-kappa nu agsikig agpapada (Dahon ng kappa-kappa kapag humilig magkapareho). Answer: Lapayag/Ear

5.  Balay ni San Vicente napunno ti brilyante (Bahay ni San Vicente puno ng brilyante).  Answer: Granada/Grenade

6. Tektek kuna ni Saltek napouran nen kuna ni sunggo (Tektek sabi ni saldak nasunog sabi ng unggoy). Answer: Kasapigo/Match 

  1. Tinudok ko ni digo ragtaray ni tinuno (Tinusok ko ang sabaw tumakbo ang inihaw).   Answer: Agbabangka/Banca Paddler 
  2. Inikkak iti sugat isu nagsangitak (Nilagyan ko ng sugat dahilan ng aking pag-iyak).  Answer: Sibuyas/Onion 
  3. Tinagbat ko diay puon nagdara diay murdong (Tinaga ko sa puno dumugo sa dulo).   Answer: Ballpen 
  4. Maysa nga prinsesa nakatugaw idiay tasa (Isang prinsesa nakaupo sa tasa).  Answer: Kasoy/Cashew 
  5. Maysa nga kulding, biag ti kasukat na (Sa isang kalabit buhay ang kapalit).   Answer: Paltog/Gun 
  6. Adda gayem ko, kadwak nga kankanayon (May kaibigan ako palaging kasama ko).  Answer: Saka/Foot 
  7. Duwa nga nangisit nga bola, adayo iti pakaabotan na (Dalawang itim na bola nararating ay malayo).  Answer: Mata/Eyes 
  8. Ginuyod ko diay baging  nagkansiyon ni sunggo (Hinila ko ang lubid kumanta ang matsin).   Answer: Kumpana/Bell 
  9. Naglimmeng ni Pedro nakarwar diay ulo  (Nagtago si Pedro nakalitaw ang ulo).   Answer: Lansa/Nail    
  10. Langit ti ngato, langit ti baba, baybay ti nagbaetan da(Langit sa itaas, langit sa ibaa, tubig sa gitna).  Answer: Niyog /Coconut   
  11. Anya ti pinarsua  iti Apo a belensuec ti pinagturog na? (Anong bagay ang nilikha ng Diyos na nakatuwad kung matulog?).                        Answer Paniki/Bat  
  12. Magmagna ni inam sangsangitam (Habang ang ina ay naglalakad, ang anak ay umiiyak).   Answer: Burias/Piglet 
  13. Baston ni Igorot dika maparot (Ang tungkod ng Igorot na hindi maaring mabunot).  Answer Buto/Penis 
  14. Nag kapa di met padi, nag korona di met ari (May kapa hindi pari, may korona hindi hari).  Answer: Manok/Cock 
  15. Uppat iti adige na, maysa iti baot na, dua iti paypay na, dua iti boning na (Apat ang poste, isa ang pamalo, dalawa ang pamaypay, dalawa ang itak).  Answer: Baong/Carabao 
  16. Anya ti parsua ni Apo nga adda uppat a saka na, maysa ipus na ken maysa ti ulo na ngem awan ti imana (May isang nilikha ang Diyos na may apat na paa, isang buntot at isang ulo; subalit ito ay walang mga kamay).   Answer: Caballo/Horse 
  17. Adda maysa nga lakay awit-awit na ti ipus na (May isang lalaking matanda na ang buntot ay palaging dala).  Answer: Bao/Tail 
  18. Adda tallo a balasang nga naki gimong, naka berde diay immuna, naka puraw diay maikadwa, naka labbaga diay mai katallo, ngem idi rumwar da, pada pada da nga naka labbaga(May tatlong dalaga na nagsimba, ang damit ng isa ay berde, ang isa ay puti, ang isa ay pula; nung sila ay lumabas ng sabay-sabay, ang kanilang mga damit ay pula).    Answer: Mamabuyo/Betel 
  19. Papel a berde sinoratak ti purao ket inted ko idiay sangaili ngem dina met insubli (I wrote a green paper with white, I gave it to my visitor and this she did not return).   Answer: Gawed/Betel leaf 
  20. Anya ti imparsua ni Apo nga nagsusoon ti karne ngem awan met ima na(Ano ang nilalang ng Diyos na dala-dala ay karne , ngunit walang mga kamay).   Answer: Tapingar/Cock 
  21. Nu sumangpet nak diay balay yu, tumuppuak kayo(Kapag ako ay pumapasok sa iyong bahay, ikaw ay papalayong lumulundag).       Answer: Manok/Fowl 
  22. Ania ti pinarsua ni Apo nga pasurngi ti pinnagna na?(Ano ang ginawa ng Diyos na kung lumakad ay pabalik?). Answer: Baloto/Boat  
  23. Adda impatakder ko a kawayan no agbolog intan (Ako ay may kawayang binuo, kapag ito ay tumayo tayo ay aalis na ng palayo).      Answer Parao/Prao 
  24. Ania ti pinarsua ni Apo a masikog ti likudan na?(Ano ang nilalang ng Diyos na nakaumbok sa likod?).  Answer: Botoy/Calf of the leg 
  25. Nagna ni Tarzan napisi ti dalan(Dumaan si Tarzan nabiyak ang daan).   Answer: Zipper 
  26. Maysa ng kuribot napunpunno ti kaliskis(Isang bariles punong puno ng kaliskis).  Answer: Sili/Pepper 
  27. Sumrekak diay balay yu ngem pinayat payatan nak ni apung mo(Pumasok ako sa bahay ninyo tinapak tapakan ako ng lola mo).      Answer: Pamunas/Door Mat 
  28. Nu nakatugaw ket nangato nu nakatakder ket nababa(Mataas kapag nakaupo mababa kapag nakatayo).   Answer: Aso/Dog 
  29. Saan met ari saan met nga kapitan ngem  nakatugaw ti nangatu tugaw (Hindi hari, hindi kapitan subalit nakaupo sa mataas na upuan).      Answer: Sanggo/Monkey
  30. Uppat ti saka na ngem saan met makapagna (Apat ang paa hindi naman makalakad). Answer: Lamisaan/Table 
  31. Saan ku nga kanya ngem saan mu met a kanya ngem sanikua ti amin nga tao (Hindi sa akin, hindi rin sa iyo, pag-aari ng lahat ng tao).      Answer: Lubong/Earth 
  32. Umuna nga usukem sakbay mu nga kauten (Nauuna munang nilulusot bago ito dinudukot).   Answer: Kawes/Dress 
  33. Bassit nga baket nalaing nga agiket (Matandang maliit magaling maghabi).  Answer: Lawlawa/Spider 
  34. Nu umulog agin inayad, nu umuli napartak (Kung bumaba ay hinay-hinay kung umakyat kay tulin-tulin).   Answer: Butig/Mucus 

Ilokano Superstitious Beliefs (Pammati

  1. Saan ka agwalis iti sumepngit ta pumanaw iti sanikua (Never sweep the floor during night time or you will lose your fortune). 
  2. Nu agkansiyon ka ti sangu dalikan makaasawa ka ti balu (If you sing before the stove while cooking you will marry a widower).  
  3. Nu agbiahe ka ket makasabat ka ti nangisit a pusa ti agdan, saan ka agturongen ta madisgrasya ka (Discontinue your intention to travel if you crossed a black cat along the stair for an accident might impede you). 
  4. No adda nangisit a kulibangbang nga manglawlaw kenka adda matay a kabagyam (If a black butterfly keeps hopping around, a close relative will die). 
  5. Saan ka agtugtugaw iti agdan no adda masikug ta marigatan nga aganak (Never sit along the door, especially if someone is pregnant, to avoid difficulty in giving birth to her baby). 
  6. Nu agkasar ka saan mu ipadas diay trahe de bodam tapno maituloy ti kasar mo; nu isukat mo madi matuloy (If you are to be wedded, never wear your wedding gown to go on with it; if you wore it, it will not go on). 
  7. Nu mangmangan kayo ket natinnag idiay kutsara adda bisita nga lalaki; nu tinidor  ket lalaki (If a spoon fell while you are eating, a female visitor will come; if fork-a male). 
  8. Saan nga dapat agkasar ti sikob ti tawen (It is not appropriate to get married on the same year).  

Pangasinense Proverbs 

  1. Say ason marangol nakmel (Barking dogs seldom bite). 
  2. Napepet so sabangan ag natotoban so sangiy tao (Rumors have wings). 
  3. No iner so nanlapuan mo diman met so kapelagan mo (The place where you came from is where you will fall). 
  4. No say ilog et maungol atapew (Silent water runs deep). 
  5. No agka manlastog agka aniatog (If you will not boast you will burst). 
  6. Say toon paugip ugip aga makadokdok kayamanen ya napelag(He who always sleeps will never take any even if it rains with gold). 
  7. Say abong mo et simento say manaayan et kuago mas gabay kuni abong ya kubo no say manayan et too (It is better to live in a cube house where you will stay with humans than to live in a palace where you will stay with owls).  

Pangasinense Riddles (Bonike) 

  1. Sakey so turotoro diaray kepay kepay a patiray mansobsoblay (One pointing, two moving, four changing).  Answer Dueg/Carabao 
  2. Nangkorona agimiet ari, nankapa agmuet pari (He has the king’s crown but not king, he has the priest’s cape but not priest).                  Answer: Manok/Cock 
  3. Mapatar ya dalin tinobong garing (Plain earth has grown ivory).  Answer: Ngipuen/Teeth 
  4. Abong ni Don Juan agnolokaoan (Don Juan’s house you cannot open). Answer: Aguco/Sun 
  5. Sakey ya reyna akayurong ed tasa (A princess seated on a cup).   Answer: Malulo/Kasoy 
  6. Angalaak ya took ya balbaleg nen siak (I took in a slave much greater than I). Answer: Sumbredo/Cap 
  7. Nitan la nitan awit toy anbalbalanga (Here it comes! Here it comes! A red thing it brings).  Answer: Palong ng Manak/Rooster’s Comb 
  8. Kawayang bayug ag nayug gayog (A bamboo that never sways).  Answer: Pungol/Mound 
  9. Kinalabit kay obong batik si Tibong (I mounted the bullet that prompted Steve to run).  Answer: Paltog/Gun 

Tagalog Proverbs (Salawikain) 

  1. Higit na mabuti ang tumira sa bahay na kubo kung ang nakatira ay tao kaysa tumira sa bahay na bato ang nakatira ay kuwago (It is better to live in a cube hut where humans dwell than to live in a palace where owls are inhabited). 
  2. Ako ang nagbayo, ako ang nagsaing; saka nang maluto, iba ang kumain (It’s me who prepared and cooked; and when it’s done, it was another who ate it).  
  3. Anak a palayawin, ina ang patatangisin (Spoil a child, he will make her parent to suffer).  
  4. Ang ating kakanin sa sariling pawis manggagaling (What we eat should come from our own perseverance). 
  5. Bawat biyahe ay sisimulan sa unang hakbang, ganoon din ang daan tungo sa kabanalan (Every journey starts from the first step, and so, the pathway towards holiness). 
  6. Ang bawat gubat ay may nakatagong ahas (Every forest has a hidden snake). 
  7. Ang buhay ko’y dukha, subalit matamis; langit, lupa’t dagat ay aking kapatid, at sa buong mundo ay walang kagalit (My life is poor, yet so sweet; heaven, earth and the seas are my siblings, and in the whole world I posed no enemies). 
  8. Ang kabutihan na ugali ay lalong higit sa salapi (Good character is greater than penny). 
  9. Ang kahoy habang malambot ay madaling mahubog, kung lumaki at tumayog mahirap na ang paghutok (The wood while soft is easier to shape; it hardly bends as it grows and towers). 
  10. Ang kaligayahan ay nararagdagan habang sa ibang tao ay pinakakamtan (Happiness becomes greater as it is shared to others). 
  11. Ang kapalaran hindi man hanapin, sa taong masikha’y dumarating (Fortune is not elusive to an enduring person).  
  12. Ang katapat ng langit ay pusali (Joy is the opposite of despair).  
  13. Ang kawal na handa sa labanan, ang kanyang sandata dala palagian (A soldier who is ready to fight carries his arm all the time). 
  14. Ang dalagang maganda batiin mo’t nakatawa; ang dalagang pangit batiin mo’t nagagalit (A lovely maiden smiles when greeted and the ugly lady gets mad once blessed).
  15. Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan hindi makakarating sa paroroonan (He who is ungrateful to his past will never have a bright future). 
  16. Ang dila ng tao’y kakaibang itak, habang ginagamit, lalung tumatalas (Man’s tongue is a unique knife, it gets sharper as it is used more). 
  17. Ang dungis ng iba bago mo batiin, ang dungis mu muna ang iyong pahirin (Examine the dirt of your face first before examining those of others). 
  18. Ang gumising ng maaga nagkakamit ng malaking grasya (Early risers catches enormous blessings). 
  19. Ang hipong natutulog ay dinadala ng agos (A sleeping shrimp is flown by ripple). 
  20. Ang ikinagaganda ng buhay mo nasa tao ring tumitingin sa’yo (The beauty of one’s self is discovered by the perception of others). 



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Reminiscent of the indigenous origin of Tarlac, most of its towns and villages are aboriginally named based on faunal, floral and geographical nature. The place-names indicate the pre-historic conditions of Tarlac. The names also provide the ingenuity of the early people of Tarlac as regards their way of life, traditions, customs, mores, and other cultural elements that helped configured their identity, what Tarlac is about nowadays. This is toponomy, the study of the origins and meanings of Tarlac towns and villages. It is note worthy that some Tarlac names of places contain stories (contrary to tales and myths), which serve as empirical groundwork in laying the foundation of the unknown ancient roots of Tarlac as a unique and multi-dimensional province.


 Tarlac (Themeda arundinacea (Roxb.) Ridl.) is species of wild grass that selectively and abundantly grows in moist and sloping hilly areas. The reed is aboriginally called tallak and is popularly known tanglar among Ilocanos and malatarlak to the Kapampangans. The word Tarlac is an orthographic term probably used by the Spaniards. The early orthography of the Filipinos uses k instead of c. Letter c is Spanish in origin. 

Tarlac City, the capital town of Tarlac province, has numerous villages (barangays) that are indigenous in nature and are mostly floral in origin. The following barangays are named after trees: Agoho or agoo (Casuarina equistifolia Linn.) is commonly called aguso; Amucao (Musa errans Blco.) is a wild banana plant with plentiful seeds; it is also called sagin butulan or butuan; Balete (Ficus benjamina Linn.) is popularly described as dwelling place of dwarf-like spirits (nunu) and ghost (maglalage); Balibago (Hibiscus tiliaceus Linn.); Balanti (Homolanthus populneus Geisel.); Baras-baras (Euonymus cochinchinensis Pierre) and Capehan (Coffea arabica Linn). Bantog or buntog (Dysoxylum decandrum Merr.) is a tree. Buntog is a tree reaching a height of 10 to 20 meters, and the juice of the fresh bark is bitter and commonly used for coughs.

 Care (Cajanus cajan) is pigeon pea. (Barangays) Batang-batang (Cissampelos paraeria Linn) and Tariji (tari-tari-Blechum pyramidatum Lam.) are species of vines.

Binauganan (bayug or baugin-Bambusa arundinacea Vill.) is a strong bamboo used for making houses, decorations, and handicrafts. Dalayap (Citrus aurantifola Swingle) is a fragrant lime used in leche flan making; Ungot (Coco nucifera Linn.) is the source of virgin oil (larung ungut) and its latik is commonly used dressing rice cake (kalame) dressing, Banaba (Legerstroemia speciosa Linn.) is an excellent medicinal plant for curing kidney problems and is called mitla among the Kapampangans.

 Matatalaib (talaib-Saccharum spontaneum Linn. Subsp. Indicum Hack.) is called palat or cogon, and is commonly used in cubed house (bale kubo) making.  Maliwalo means plenty of catcher fish that commonly thrives in rivers, ditches, irrigation canals and rice paddies. Catcher fish have sharp fins that can cause fever when accidentally pricked by them.

Villages that indicate direction include (Barangays) Calingcuan (extreme curved line), Sepung Calsada (end of the road), Salapungan (junction, cross road), and Burot (probably burol, hill). Panampunan derived its name from the Kapampangan word apun (to take shelter); hence, panampunan literally means a sheltering site for people or animals.

(Barangays) Tibag and Tibagan connote soil erosion. Both barangays are prone to erosion because they are situated along Tarlac River. Sapang Maragul means wider river, while Sapang Tagalog is a narrow river. Balingcanaway is believed to be a species of bird. However, it is also possible that balingcanaway is balingcawayan (Pittosporum pentandrum Blanco Merr.). It is a tree, which occasionally reaches a height of 20 meters. The whole tree is smooth except for the inflorescence. Women, following childbirth, use its leaves in their bath.

 Mapalacsiao refers to baggase (bagasu). Paraiso (Lygodium japonicum ) is commonly called anay or miracle tree. Carangian is a medicinal plant that derived its name from karanian (Ouratea angustifolia Vahl.). The plant is a smooth, small, and with many branches. Its flowers are numerous, yellow, very small, and its seeds are erect, with a green embryo. The roots and leaves are bitter and are used in the form of decoction as a tonic and for curing stomach ache. 

 Bora probably derived its name from the large fern borador (Cibotium barometz Linn.). The stipes of the plant is one meter or more tall, and is covered with dense yellow hairs at the base. The long hairs from the rhizomes are used as a styptic for coagulating the blood to arrest hemorrhages.

Cutcut refers to the old graveyard of the town of Tarlac. Laoang or lawa means lagoon or river. Ligtasan (v. to escape safely, adj. safe, n. safety) means safety place. Mabini means plenty of seeds or seedlings. Maligaya and Mapalad connote fortune, luck, or wellness; and Culipat is believed to be a bird.

(Barangays) Villa Bacolor and Sinait were named after the pioneering settlers of the villages. The pioneering settlers were from Bacolor, Pampanga, and Sinait, Ilocos Sur respectively.

 Molave, a village of San Isidro is also called bulaon (Vitex parviflora Juss.). A popular place in Matatalaib called Lalam Goma was named after the rubber tree (Habea brasiliensis Mull.). 


Bamban (Donax cannaeformis (Forst. F)K. Schum.) is a weed that is used in making baskets. Some of its villages include Anupul (Poikilospermum suaveolens Merr.), a strong vine (wake or baging); Culubasa (Cucurbita maxima Dusch.) is a popular vine and commonly used as vegetable, jam, rice cake, candies, and medicine; Dapdap (Erythrina variegate Linn.) is a type of tree and Bangcu (bangkau-Rhizophora stylosa Griff.). It is also possible that barangay Bangcu is a popular place for making native benches.

 Pandan (Pandanus gracilis Blco.) is aboriginally (also an Ilocano term) called purac and is known as pandan lalaki or screw pine. Pandan leaves and fruits are known as effective cure for kidney and arthritis problems. Pandan mabango is popularly used as flavoring (milled and glutinous rice, drinks, and desserts). Pacalcal (Melanopelis multiglandulosa Reinw.) and Calumpang (Sterculia foetida Linn.) are species of trees. Layak is vine. Matalusad means slippery and Taisan is a fine stone used for sharpening tools or weapons.


 Capas (Ceiba pentandra Linn.) owes its name from bulak (Kapampangan), kapok (Tagalog). Capas is an Ilocano term. Kapas-kapas is a vine that is also popularly called pusa-pusa. Its flowers are used as mixtures in preparing pinakbet.

 Popular villages of this town that bear indigenous names include the following: Susuba (to go upstream, to ascend), Cubcub (to surround, to subdue, to attack, to invade), Cutcut (v. to bury, n. graveyard), Lawy a general term for rattan or yantuk, Manlapig (to loop, to fit), Talaga (well, spring, ditch), Maruglu (duglo-Mucana sericophylla Perk. is species of vine), Mangga (Mangifera indica Linn.) and Kalangitan (elevated ground, plateau). Malutung Gabun refers to the deep red color of the place where pottery-making material is taken. Patling is believed to be a type of bird.


Concepcion is originally a part of the town of Magalang, Pampanga. It is a town of lush greens, rice fields, trees and rivers. Calius (Calius lactescens Blco.) is a tree whose fine branches are used to make Christmas tree and decorations. Balutu or balbalutu (Cynodon dactylon Linn.) is a species of grass that commonly grows along rice fields and riverbanks. Its stems can be used to tie or bundle farm crops and harvests. The ancient boat called balutu was inspired from the grass because of the nicety of its stems and prominence in water.  Magao or magau is locally called sulasi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) Sulasi is an erect, herbaceous or half-woody branched plant, one meter high or less. The stems and younger parts are covered with spreading hairs, and its flowers are pink or purplish. The plant is used for treating pasbu or pasma and for other medicinal and industrial purposes. Kulatingan (Pterospermum obliquum Blco.) is a species of tree.

 Dungan and Parulung have relatively synonymous meaning. They indicate downward movement (from a higher elevation to a lower level usually river. These terms are commonly used to indicate direction for rivers or rice fields). Thus, dungan is a boat terminal and parulung is a rolling hill.

 The rustic villages of Lilibangan (grazing land), Malupa (fertile land), Parang (meadow), Tinang (suitable land), Minane (mound of termites), and Kural Kambing (goat pen) indicate the rich agriculture nature of the places. As green fields, these villages are excellent sources of farm products such as rice, sugarcane, vegetable, fish and meat. Places that describe shapes include Mabilog (circle, round), and Telabanca (boat-shaped). Other rural barangays are Talimunduc (hill), Dutung Matas (forest with tall trees), Panalicsican (hunting/forested site), Pitabunan is synonymous to the term banlik (a place prone to soil topping), Café (Coffea arabica Linn.) and Almendras (Terminalia cattapa Linn). Castillo is reminiscent of the Spanish fortress built in behalf of the Kapampangan warriors in the famous Pampanga Revolt of 1660.

 Other villages include Darabulbul (bursting bubbles from a spring), Mapacu (Athyrium esculentum Retz.), Buntuk Babi (pig head), Magunting (scissor shaped), Balas (sand), and Lalam Kuayan (bamboo shades). Balen Melakwan literally means town that was left behind. It was originally the settlement of Magalang, the mother town of Concepcion before it was covered with mud.


 Anao (Livistona rotundifolia Lam.) is aboriginally called anawo-a palm tree that is used to make hats and rain capes. At present, the town of Anao is popular for ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata Lamk.) production. Some of its barangays are Balete (Ficus benjamina Linn.) which is believed to be the old name of Anao, Bantog (buntog-Dysoxylum decandrum Merr.), Casili (Capsicum anuum Linn.) and Baguindoc (probably baging bundoc-a wild forest vine).


 Camiling is a town of many indigenous trees. Kamiing (Adinandra luzonica Merr.) is a known aboriginal tree that belongs to the wild cashew plants. The Ilocanos of the town popularly call the tree camiring and later camiling. Its villages that bear names of trees include Anoling (Pisonia umbellifera Forst.), Cabanabaan (Lagerstroemia speciosa Linn.), Malacampa or makopa (Syzygium samarangense Blume.), Pao (Mangifera altissima Linn.), Papaac or kamansi/bread fruit (Artocarpus communis Forst.), Tambugan (tambuyugan-Ficus umigera Mig.), and Tuec (tui-Dolichandrone spathacea Linn.). 

Bamboos are important products of the town, hence, the villages of Cayaoan (Bambusa spinosa Blume.) and Cayasan (to scrub, to clean the surface as in bamboo).

 Many villages of Camiling are story telling. Barangay Lasong or al-song (asong in Kapampangan) is a wooden mortar, while al-o (along in Kapampangan) is the pestle. The al-song and al-o are used in pounding mature or half-ripe rice grains to produce clean grains. Usually, healthy growing rice plants (thus, barangay Matubog) are good sources of rice grains. Half-matured rice grains (hence, barangay Manupeg) are excellent grains for tupeg and inuruban or duman products. Empty rice grains and hull are simply pushed or thrown away (thus, barangay Marawi) to the ground to feed chickens and ducks.

When harvest is plentiful, people celebrate (Barangay Nagrambacan) with festivity and thanksgiving to the Lord Almighty.

Probably, early farmers traditionally group (Barangay Nagserialan) in a specific place to discuss farming matters with regard pests and diseases control and prevention, harvesting tools and procedures, land preparation management and the like. Usually, the farmers’ schools are the open spaces of the fields held under thick and shady tree canopies (Barangay Palimbo), and one example of these shady trees is arusip (Antidesma bunius Linn.) where Barangay Palimbo-Caarosipan (arusip canopy) has derived its name. It is also possible that farmers used tree trunks as markers (thus, barangay Sinulatan), which served as planting calendars and for other purposes.

The villages of Bilad and Pindangan are located along rivers (Barangay Carael) where types of fish and meat abundantly thrived during those days. Bilad means to dry something under the sun and pindang (dried meat/fish) or pindangan is a prominent drying place for these stuffs. Deer meat and beef (Barangay Bacabac) are good sources of pindang. The meats are carefully sliced from the slaughtered animals (Barangay Bancay) before they are processed into dried meat (pindang).

 The word bancay (bangkay in Tagalog or bangke in Kapampangan) also refers to dead vines, trees or human.

Carael literally means many rivers, and Barangay Bobon means well or spring. Sawat is probably the aquatic herb saua (Nelumbium nelumbo Linn.) and is popularly called lotus. Sinilian means to mix something (like meat or vegetables) with pepper (Capsicum annum Linn.), Surgi means to move or divert (like water) from one place to another. Probably, this is an irrigation method used by farmers before and is still practiced today.

 Libueg has probably taken its name from the tree buigan (Ficus pedunculosa Miq. var. conferttifolia (Merr.). Hence, libuigan means a place planted with the species of these trees. However, libeg also refers to the murky or dark color of water. Birbira means to strike with force (as when an arrow is released).


Gerona got its name from the great egret (Egretta alba). The town is formerly called barog (forest). Today, egrets or tagak are still visible in the vicinities of the town. Gerona is a border town of Ilocano and Kapampangan speakers; hence, the people conveniently use both languages.

A sugarland by nature, its flatland is suitable for sugar production. In fact, some of its villages were named after the traditional sugarcane trade of its early people.          Abagon derived its name from the sugarcane carriers called bagon. The word abagon is the adulteration of mabagon, which literally means “many sugarcane carriers.” The bagon takes the sugarcanes to the sugar mill stations either in the towns of Tarlac or Paniqui for processing. When the contemporary sugar mills were not yet popular, farmers used the traditional cabiaoan as the most accepted method of milling sugarcane. The sugar mill (gilingan) is known in Kapampangan as atlung bola (stone grinders). (Barangay) Apsayan (to make something flat, to direct, to straighten) took its name from the sugar cane extraction process. The procedure requires the sugarcane to pass through the first grinder to initially extract the sugarcane juice, then to the second grinder and the last grinder. The atlung bola is either manually operated or driven by animals. 

Sugarcane juices are collected and cooked on large pots called bawa (thus, Barangay Bawa), which is called kawa in Kapampangan. (Barangay) Amacalan took its name from the actual cooking process of the sugarcane juice into vinegar, wine (basi), and later becomes inuyat (thickened syrup), and tinaklub or panutsa (hardened sugar).  Panutsa can also be made into muscuvado (brown sugar) when crashed properly into crumbs or inalsin (Ilocano). Molasses (pulut) is another by-product of the cooking process. Molasses is an excellent food supplement for farm animals like horses and carabaos.

Ayson is akin to the Kapampangan word ayusan (to arrange). The term may refer to the sugarcanes that were neatly and rigidly arranged on the cane carriers before they were taken to the milling station.

Gerona, as an old forest site, is still grown with herbs, shrubs and trees. Buenlag has probably taken its name from an aromatic herb, with creeping, branching, and stout rootstock called bueng (Acorus calamus Linn.) among Kapampangans, and lubigan in Tagalog. Caturay (Sesbania grandiflora Linn.) is a popular tree whose large white flowers are eaten as excellent salad. Magaspac (Aphananthe philippinensis Planch.) is called the sandpaper tree or pakiling/alasas in Kapampangan. Its rough leaves are used as cleaning materials. Malayep (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle) is also called dalayap among Kapampangans and Ilocanos.Tagumbao (Jatropha curcas Linn.) is commonly known as galumbang (Kapampangan) and purging or psychic nut tree (English).

Matapitap has probably taken its name from pita (Areca mammillata Becc./Areca catechu) tree. Matayuncab is an erect, branched, half-woody plant tayum (Indigofera suffruticosa Miller), which is a rich source of natural indigo. Parsolingan has taken its name perhaps, from a tree called sulinag (Vaccinium luzoniense Vidal). Parsolingan is believed to cause skin itchiness. Pinasling is wooden stick used for many purposes (striking, whipping, harrowing, crashing, clearing and the like).

The word bularit refers to “poor man’s cockfight arena,” thus, (Barangay) Bularit. Sulipa (Gardenia pseudopsidium Blco.) is also called the malabayabas tree. The leaves are crowded at the ends of branchlets, and its flowers are fragrant, white but turn yellow when matured, 7 to 10 centimeters long, and 5 to 10 centimeters wide. The seeds are many and are embedded in pulp.

 (Barangays) Singat (to put a support to control a moving object), Salapungan (junction), and Calayaan (plenty of luya or laya; are also rustic villages of the town. Barangay Oloybuaya refers to crocodile head. Padapada means the same species, people, kind, or order. 

As a beautiful forestland, Gerona’s barangay Tangcaran means beautiful picnic ground.

La Paz

 Historically, La Paz is part of Arayat, Pampanga. Its original villages were Cawayan (Bambusa blumeana Linn.) and Bayug (Bambusa arundinacea Vill.). The town’s old site is formerly located at (Barangay) Matayumtayum (Marsdenia tinctora R.Brown). Tayumtayum is a twining half-woody plant with very slender and smooth branches. The plant yields an indigo dye and a good black dye for the hair. Matayumtayum means abundant tayum vines.

Bantog  (or buntog-Dysoxylum decandrum Merr.) is a species of tree whose fresh, bitter bark juice is used to treat coughs. Thus, Bantog Carikutan means “bantog trees thriving in thick grasses. Lomboy (Syzygium cumini Linn.) is also called duhat (Tagalog) or duat (Kapampangan). Macalong refers to the tree kalo (Artocarpus blancoi Merr.), also called tipolo or antipolo. Macalong literally means plenty of calong or antipolo trees.

Cupang  (Parkia timoriana Merr.) is a large tree, 20 to 50 meters in height. Hence, (Barangay) Lauangcupang refers to “kupang trees growing along a river.” The root word of (Barangay) Caramutan is amut (roots), which means plenty of grass or trees that enormously thrive in the place. Caut may refer to a species of grass kauat-kauat (Paspalum conjugatum Berg.) that gregariously grows along trails and streams. Comillas is also believed to be a type of grass.

Dumarais (dumara-Anas luzonica) is a wild duck. Kapanikian means plenty of bats. Lara means pepper (Capsicum annuum Linn.); Mayang means plenty of maya (Harpactes ardens), and Mapaludpud or paludpud means plenty of hard trunks of trees.  


 Mayantoc derived its name from yantoc (rattan). Mayantoc means plenty of rattan. Lawi is the general term used by the Aytas to denote the various species of rattan. Examples of these are babuyan (Calamus filispadix-has fruit but not edible), bulilat (Calamus mindoronensis-has brown and yellow collored edible fruit), didi (Calamus grandifolius), huhukong (Limuran calamus ornatus-used to decorate furniture), kunakling/kulakling (Limura calamus ornatus-used to decorate furniture), labney (has edible fruit, most expensive because it is big and becoming rare), lawin maorit (Calamus mevultii) and tupig (Calamus discolor).

 According to folktale, Ambalingit probably derived its name from the balbalingit expression that is used to describe the sweet fragrance of the plant tara (Hedychium coccineum tara).

 The village of Bigbiga took its name from the tall water plants that thrive along rivers and sloping places of the village. Biga (Alocasia macrorrhiza Linn.) is an Ilocano term, and is popularly called gandus among Kapampangans. Baybayaoas is a wild species of bayabas or guava (Psidium guajava Linn.). Kapampangans call this type of guava as biabas denas because it bears plenty, yellowish or pinkish, and tiny sweet fruits. Calabtangan (Anamitra cocculus Linn.) means plenty of labtang. This plant is a large, woody vine with corky, gray bark and white wood. Labtang is better known as a fiber and as a fish poison than as a medicinal plant. The bark is made into rope for tying animals and hauling.

Caocaoayan means plenty of species of bamboos like kawayan (Bambusa blumeana Linn.), bayug or baugin (Bambusa arundinacea Vill., Bambusa spinosa Roxb.), kiling (Bambusa vulgaris Schrad.), boo or bulu (Schizostachyum horsfieldii and Gigantochloa levis Blco.), bikal (Schizostachyum lima). Pitombayog denotes seven colonies, trunks or pieces of bayog (Bambusa arundinacea Vill.). Bayog is most useful for building purposes and for the manufacture of furniture and household utensils.

 Labney and Mamonit are species of rattan. Maniniog (Cocos nucifera Linn.) means plenty of coconut trees, and Mapandan (Pandanus gracilis Blco.) means abundant pandan plants. Presumably, (Barangay) Nambalan derived its name from the ambal (Pycnarrhena manillensis Vidal) plant. This plant is a climbing shrub, which grows to a meter or more in height. It is claimed that the plant is a remedy for snakebites. Nambalan is also associated to balay (house); hence, nambalayan means to live in a house or place.

Carabaoan is a village situated on a hilltop. It is suitable for grazing animals. (Barangay) Binbinaca took its name from giant-shaped stones or rocks that are shaped like cows. Pasturelands are located along panoramic rolling hills (Barangay Gossood), and are made green and arable as they are surrounded with streams and springs (thus, barangay Cubcub). It is in the foothills of these pasturelands where farmers shepherd their flocks, watch over them at glance (hence, barangay Taldiapan) and lead them to their pens or kural as pitch dark comes. The animal pen, where herds are gathered and kept, is the tangcarang (Hence, barangay Tangcarang). Tangka (to gather, to keep) is a Kapampangan and Tagalog term.  

 (Barangay) Gayonggayong refers to a hunting trap (patibung in Kapampangan and Tagalog) that is cunningly covered with leaves, grass, and soil to camouflage it as quicksand or kumunoy (hence, gayonggayong). As an effective trap, wild animals are caught inside it. The catch is struck with sharp-pointed sticks and is brought home by the hunter as food. 

(Barangay) Rotrottooc derived its name from the tinkling sound produced by bending or falling plants (i.e bamboos, trees), sounds of tree lizard or tuko (Urosaurus ornatus), and cobra (Hurria ryachops), or the sound produced by the bone joints when pressed.


 Moncada’s old name is Caarosipan (Antidesma bunius Linn.). Arosip is small, smooth, dioecious tree. Its fruit is fleshy, red, sour but edible, ovoid and contains a single seed. The plant is called isip (Kapampangan), bignay (Tagalog) and ayhip (Ayta). (Barangay) Caarosipan implies plenty of arosip.

Moncada was later named Capaoayan due to the massive influx of Ilocano migrants from Paoay, Ilocos Norte. According to other stories, Moncada got its name from the word muskada .

Barangay Ablang-Sapang is a river where clothes are traditionally washed, and (Barangay) Calapan means to gather something together (i.e. rice, vines, grass, fruits, fish). Maluac refers to a well-plowed land ready for planting seeds. (Barangay) Mabini has probably derived its named from one of the Philippine heroes, Mabini. However, it is also derived from a Kapampangan term bini or binhi (Tagalog). Hence, mabini literally means plenty of healthy seeds or seedlings. Rice seedlings, for example, are usually planted in well-plowed land only.

Aringin probably derived its name from a species of tree called arangen (Ganophyllum falcatum Merr.), while Camangaan refers to a place planted with numerous mango (Mangifera indica Linn.) trees. Banaoang refers to the defile or opening of a mountain. It is probable that early settlers of the place came from Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur. (Barangay) Lapsing has probably taken its name from an erect but small tree named lapting (Ficus hauili Blco.) whose leaves are said to be anti-rheumatic when applied externally.


Paniqui or pampaniki (Ilokano) means bat. It is believed that during mango peak season, the bats migrate from Zambales to Paniqui to search for mango fruits. For this reason, the town could have derived its name from the short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) or the Philippine pygmy fruit bat (Haplonycteris fischeri).

 Apulid (Cyperus stoloniferus Retz.) is a fragrant tuber with long creeping rhizome, and is considered as a good stimulant for the heart. (Barangay) Borang derived its name from a large fern borabor (Cibotium barometz Linn.) while (Barangay) Balaoang probably took its name from balauag (Zingiber zerumbet Linn.), which is a smooth, erect, herbaceous plant. A decoction of this plant is prescribed for asthma, and a topical for rheumatism. (Barangay) Canan could have taken its name from a slender herbaceous, more or less hairy, vine called kana (Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn.). The leaves of the plant are also considered anti-rheumatic and are used to increase menstrual flow.

(Barangay) Cabayaoasan means plenty of guavas (Psidium guajava Linn.). Calibangbang  (Bauhinia malabaria Roxb.) is a small-sized but stocky tree, and its leaves are sour and are used chiefly for flavoring meat and fish. Salumague is called the tamarind tree or sampalok (Tamarindus indica Linn.). This plant is a large tree that stands 12 to 25 meters in height. The young leaves, flowers and young pods are used for seasoning food like sinigang. The seeds, surrounded by a brownish pulp, are cooked as jams called tamarindo while the malasebo seeds are eaten outright either with or without salt.

Cayanga is popularly known as gumamela (Hisbiscus rosasinensis Linn.). The plant is an erect, much branched, smooth shrub and is used for ornamental purposes. Gumamela buds, ground into a paste, are applied as a poultice to boils, cancerous swellings, and mumps. (Barangay) Manaois probably got its name from an erect, branched shrub called anaiop or malasambung (Buddleia asiatica Lour./Blumea balsamifera Linn.), and Nipaco derived its name from the plant paco or pako (Athyrium esculentum Retz.).

 (Barangay) Coral means animal pen. Other villages include Nagmisaan (place of worship), Nancamarinan (storage room for farm harvest which is sometimes called kamalig), Patalan (cabinet for storing food, lansena by the Kapampangans), Tablang (wooden plank), Sinigpit (strips of bamboos used to tie rice seedlings, plant leaves), Samput (tenth), Aduas (adua or dua-two), and Rang-ayan (good life). 


 It is claimed that Pura derived its name from the all-Ilocano settlers of the town. It is also probable that the town Pura derived its name from the plant purac. Purac or porac is popularly called pandan (Pandanus luzonensis Merr.) or screw pine. The tree is slender; the stem is one decimeter in diameter; it has several to many branches, and is 5 to 8 meters high, with few short prop roots. The leaves are 1.5 to 1.75 meters long, 2.5 to 2.75 centimeters wide, with a narrowly acuminate apex, and spinescently separate margin. The fruit (syncarpium) is solitary, subglobose, about 9 centimeters in diameter; the drupes are yellowish red, with about 3.5 centimeters long. The tip of the fresh or dried prop root in decoction is used a diuresis.

Some of the villages include Balite (Ficus balete Merr.), & Cadanglaan (plenty of lagundi Vitex negundo Linn.). Lagundi is also called the five-leaved chaste tree. It is an erect, branched shrub 2 to 5 meters in height. The leaves are used in aromatic baths and when leaves are applied to the forehead they are said to help relieve headache.

(Barangay) Linao which literally means clear could have taken its name from linu (Scaevola frutescens Mill.), which is a big, spreading shrub with loose bark and stout stem and branches. Linu’s ripe fruit juice is used to clean opacity of the eyes while its leaves are smoked like tobacco.

 (Barangay) Maasin refers to plenty of sugar. Asin refers to sugar crumbs that resemble salt tidbits. As a sugarcane plantation, maasin indicates the presence of cabiaoan (sugar-making) in the area.  Today, Maasin is still a sugarcane village that produces sugar stuffs. Matindeg is plenty of wooden studs.  (Barangays) Maungib (plenty of caves), Naya (a species of bird), Nilasin (divided, separated), Poroc or porac (plant), and Singat means (v. to crack; n. fortunate) are other barangays of the place. 


The town of Ramos is formerly called bani (Pongamia pinnata Linn.), which is a species of tree. It is a smooth tree growing to a height of 8 to 25 meters. Compound leaves are 20 to 25 cm long, with 5 to 8 leaflets that are smooth, ovate, 6 to 15 cm long, with a larger terminal one, pointed at the tip and usually rounded at the base. Flowers are numerous, purplish, pink or nearly white, 1.5 cm long, on axillary and hairy racemes 12 to 20 cm long. Pods are woody, smooth, and oblong, 5 to 7 cm long, 5 to 8 mm thick, beaked at the apex, single seeded measuring 3 to 5 cm long.

The plant is distributed along the seashore and border of lakes. The seeds yield a thick, reddish brown oil known as pongam oil (also called pangamol or hongay oil) employed medicinally and as an illuminant and in the manufacture of soaps and candles.
A decoction of leaves is given to children for cough and is used in treating a variety of gastric maladies (tympanism, dyspepsia, diarrhea). The leaves are also used as bath for rheumatic joints. Juice of stems, leaves, and roots for painful joints.

Two of the town’s villages bear indigenous names: Coral (pen, enclosure) and Guiteb (dangerous place). Coral-Iloco may refer to an Ilocano community.

San Clemente

San Clemente has also villages with aboriginal names, such as Balloc (literally means high), which owes its name from a tall tree balok (Milletia merniliik.Perk.); Bamban (Donnax cannaeformis Forst), and Catagundingan which refers to the tagun (Indigo suffruticosa Miller), or tayum.  Thus, catagundingan means plenty of tagundi plants. Daldalayap (plenty of dalayap-Citrus aurantifolia Swingle), and Doclong (which probably derived its name from the tree duktulan (Syzygium luzonense Merr.), Maasin (plenty of sugar tidbits), Nagsabaran (to meet in a place), and Pit-ao (to appear, appeared) are other barangays with aboriginal names.

San Manuel

 The town of San Manuel also has indigenous names for its barangays: Colubot (kolobot-Citrus hystrix DC. Var. torosa Blco.), Lanat (Neolitsea lanceolata Merr.), and Pacpaco (paco-Athyrium esculentum Retz., pakupakuan-Drymoglossum heterophyllum Linn.), and (Barangay) Mangandingay (to burp).

Sta. Ignacia

 Binaca (herd of cows) is the old name of the town of Sta. Ignacia. A rustic town, most of its villages include Barangays Baldios (towards God), Botbotones (Euphorbia pilulifera Linn.), and Caanamongan means a place where plenty of domesticated animals are found. Cabaruan refers to plenty of new things or people. Barangay Cabugbugan derived its name from bugbugaiong (Abrus precatorius Linn.) or kansasaga in Tagalog and Kapampangan. This plant is a slender, branched, annual vine reaching to a length of 9 meters or less. The seeds are used in the manufacture of rosaries, necklaces, fancy bags, and other ornamental articles. Its bast fibers are suitable for cordage.

 Caduldulaoan refers to the dwelling place of many dwarfs or elves, and Calipayan means plenty of lipai or lipay (Entada phaseoloides Linn.). Lipay is a very large, woody climber (liana). The stems are as thick as a man’s arm, angled, and much twisted. The bark is dark brown and rough. The seeds are hard and circular, with flattened sides, about 5 centimeters across, and chocolate-brown in color. The large pods and seeds are used by children as playthings.

(Barangay) Macaguing has probably taken its name from baguing (vine), hence, plenty of strong vines.

 Barangay Nambalan took its name from balay (house). Hence, Nambalayan or nambalan means to live in a house, place or community. Barangay Padapada refers to the same group of people, plants, and places. (Barangay) Pinpinas means a place where plenty of soft clay is found, and Taguiporo means to clean and clear a land properly. Pugo is a quail (Coturnix) and Timmaguab refers to a cliff. 


The town of Victoria is historically associated with (Barangay) Canarem (Diospyros lanceifolia Roxb.). The prominence of the tree is probably the reason why the Canarem River was named after it. Baculung could have taken its name from the people of Baculud or Bacolor, Pampanga who were believed to be the pioneer of the place. Bacolor or Bakolod (Syzygium antonianum Merr.) is a tall tree. However, others relate baculung to the word culung (v. to place something inside, to trap something, n. pen).

 Balayang probably derived its name from balay, which means house. Thus, Balayang means a community of people with more or less similar cultural background. Akin to balayang is balayung. Balayung is the Ayta term for apalit (Kapampangan) or narra (Pterocarpus indicus Willd.). As a large tree, its huge canopy makes a good shelter for a community.

Balbalutu took its name from the grass balutu (Cynodon dactylon Linn.). Batang-batang (Cissampelos paeira Linn.) is a slender, hairy or nearly smooth woody twiner. The fruit is fleshy, nearly spherical, red, and somewhat hairy. The fibers of its bark are made into rope.

Bulo or boo (Schizostachyum horsfieldii, Gigantochloa levi Blco.) is a place where this species of grass abundantly grows. Barangay Cabuluan is synonymous to the etymology of Barangay Bulo. Barangay Calibungan might have derived its name from the weed libun (Emilia sonchifolia (Linn.) DC.). Hence, calibungan means a place where plenty of these weeds are found. While lansones plants do not grow in this barangay, it is noteworthy that the Manobos in Mindanao call lansones (Lansium domesticum Correa) kalibongan.

 Bangar (Sterculia foetida Linn.) is a tree that reaches a height of 20 meters or more, and its wood is used for cheap and temporary construction, boxes, and the like. The fruit contains a number of peanut-like, oily kernels, which are edible and laxative when eaten raw.

 Bantog has probably derived its name from buntog (Agathis philippinensis Warb.). The plant is a large tree with a pyramidal crown and whorled branches, reaching a height of 50 to 60 meters. Locally, this is used as incense in religious ceremonies, torches to facilitate fires, and smudge for mosquitoes, etc.

Palacpalac derived its name from the tree palak-palak (Palaquium lanceolatum Blco.). Barangay Lalapac may have taken its name from lapak-lapak (Bryophylum pinnatum (Lam.) Kurz.), popularly known as katakataka. This plant is an erect, branched, smooth, and succulent herb. Its fresh leaves, when ground, are applied to burns, and poultice on boils.

Mangolago derived its name from lago (Carthamus tinctorius Linn.). The plant is an erect, branched, and smooth herb that reaches 90 centimeters in height. Its flowers are source of dye. The dye is a brilliant scarlet, but not permanent. The flowers are used in coloring foods yellow and as a culinary ingredient. Mangolago literally means to gather lago.

 Masalasa has taken its name from a tree called sala (Mallotus philippinensis (Blume.) Muell.-Arg.). The plant is valued as a fast dye and medicine. Literally, masalasa means plenty of this species of plants.

Maluid means prosperity, victory, jubilation.

San Jose

 San Jose is a town of forest, terrains, and terraces. Definitely a rustic village, most of the town’s barrios derived their names from indigenous origins. Barangay Iba took its name from the plant iba (Cicca acida (Linn.) Merr.). This plant is a small, smooth, deciduous and 4 to 9 meters in height. Its fruit is fleshy, sour but edible, greenish white and rounded. The unripe food is eaten cooked as a sour flavoring. It can be made into jams and jellies, and can also be pickled.

 Mababanaba means plenty of banaba or mitla. (Barangay) Pao derived its name from the native mango tree pao; and Labney is a species of rattan.

Lubigan (Acorus calamus Linn.) is a popular medicinal plant. It is an aromatic herb, with creeping, branching, and stout rootstock. The powdered rhizome is used for sachet and toilet powders. Its oil is used in the preparation of aromatic cordials and liquors, in flavoring beer, and for making perfumes.

Lawacamulag derived its name from lawa (river, lagoon) and mulag (damulag-carabao). Literally, lawacamulag means a river or lagoon where carabaos bath. The village is a known green field and farmland.

 Sula means a place planted with thick weeds and trees. Maamot means plenty of roots. The roots refer to forest weeds, trees, bamboos, vines, and the like. Hence, barangays Sula and Maamot are the forestlands of the town. 

Concluding Statement

This research does not attempt to circumvent present and popular histories of towns and villages of Tarlac. The primary purpose is to provide linguistic data bank and empirical knowledge on how the early people of Tarlac endowed them with understanding of their cultural environment. One endowment is the early people’s ability to assign names of their places, which are still surviving today.

Names of places are dynamic. Many of them are kept and are shared elements of Tarlac cultural heritage. Some place-names exclude Spanish place-names that are of recent origin. Similarly, other place-names were purposely omitted due to lack of data, toponymy information, and etymology references.

No historical references were used in the research analysis of this article. 


 Co, Leonardo L (1989). Common Medicinal Plants of the Cordillera Region. Quezon City: Bustamante Press.

Quisumbing, Eduardo (1978). Medicinal Plants of the Philippines. Quezon City: Katha Publishing Co., Inc., and Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing.  Medicinal Plants of the Philippines.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.