Part 3 of 20

[Page 4 continued]

FROM the Caravallo Mountains, which divide Nueva Ecija from the province of Cagayan, there is a river that flows to Pantabangan and is then united to the rivers of Dimalay and of Bongabong and of Santor, which originate from the western mountain ranges. [This long river] then passes by Cabanatuan, the last pueblo of Nueva Ecija, and, when it reaches the trading post of San Isidro, it is joined to the Gapan River and then, before it reaches Mount Arayat, it is united to the Rio Chico (Small River).

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It then passes by Candava, where it is united to the rivers of San Miguel, San Luis and Calumpit. Here it is united to the river of Quingua, which continues dividing this province from that of Bulacan. It passes by Hagonoy and then flows into the bay. [This long river] is divided into branches and sandbars, the principal one being that of Borbod.

The Rio Chico starts from the big lake of Canarem, situated between this province and that of Pangasinan. It is formed by various rivers that flow into it, as will be mentioned when we describe this province. This Rio Chico was navigable in the distant past, but at present, people are deprived of the valuable and advantageous navigation through, which the provinces of the north used to communicate among themselves without being exposed to great dangers in the sea. The many logs, whole or parts, [part 5] plus the round rocks, and the density of the forests are an obstacle to sailing, particularly in front of the pueblo of Magalang up to the visita of Matondo.

In that remote area, and the more so in Arayat, there are pools or accumulations of water due to those obstacles, plus winding canals inhabited by crocodiles. There are other places like these and they are used as hideouts by foragers (gente forragida) and wicked people. [I could not find the word “forragida” in the dictionary – The Translator]. To realize their evil designs, they often connive with the negritos simmarrones of the neighboring mountains. Although there is an abundance of buri, wood, palms and other crops in those lands, the inhabitants cannot enjoy those blessings which [divine] providence has bestowed on their province and, if some are able at all to benefit from them, it is always at their own risk.

Note of the Columnist.

In my previously-mentioned article (Santos 1984:217), I posed the question about whether the former name of Plaridel Town, “Quingua”, was derived from the Kapampangan word “kingua” (taken). I did not venture any answer then and left the question hanging.

Now, I offer the following observations.

In China, there is a province called “Jiangxi.” (Harper 2007: 487). In that province, there is a village called “Wuyuan” (Ibid: 495). There are other hamlets, and one of them bears the name “Qinghua” (Ibid).

Qinghua is “easily reached by bus or motorbike from [the] the Wuyuan North Bus Station. The principal asset of retiring [in] Qinghua is its 800- year old Southern Song Dynasty Caihong Bridge with its gorgeous riverine views” (Ibid).

Source: Damian Harper et al. 2007. China. Oakland, California: Lonely Planet Publications Pty. Ltd. 10th ed. Pages 487 and 495.

According to Bergaño (1732: Dapo), there was a very common Kapampangan curse: Quingua ning dapo! (Taken by the crocodile!). Points to reflect on: (1) The crocodile was considered the great-great grandfather. (2) Curses are usually in the present tense or future tense, and this is in the past tense. Was this really a curse? Or the European Bergaño thought it was a curse? Was it not rather a good wish? Like in “pa ning mayap” or “pa ning altan” (where the last letter is N, referring to ALTAR, a Pampangan way of Christianizing “Inagpa ning alte! (Hit by lightning!). (3) Why would the people give their town a name that was associated with a very common curse? (4) “Sindalan” meaning “the place where someone leaned on” is the name of a barangay in San Fernando, and if “Quingua” means “taken,” one would say that names of Kapampangan places are not only nouns but also verbs. (5) Did the Chinese reside in what is now Plaridel? Why? And how do you prove it? (6) Did Pampangans reside there? How do you prove it? (7) If the H was dropped from “QuingHua,” why was it not dropped from “tingHoy”?

Doctor Jaime B. Veneracion says: “The name of the town of Pulilan meant ‘east of the lake’, while Quingua (now Plaridel) was said to have come from the Kapampangan QUENGWAWA meaning “across the mouth of the river.’” (“A Journey through Bulacan’s History” in BULACAN: THE PROVINCE THAT WORKS. Published by the Provincial Government of Bulacan. 2004. Pages 68-71, specif. p. 69.) More reflections on this in the future.