Last month, I volunteered to take part in the two-day shooting of my Tarlaqueña friend's film thesis, which was done in La Paz, Tarlac. Tracing her Kapampangan blood from her motherside grandfather, she no longer knows Kapampangan, but occasionally understands it when spoken at home.
The film is not in Kapampangan but the title could be. She consulted me and in the end, fell in love with the words Paninap and Tagimpan - both words having to do something with dreams. She is currently seriously considering the latter.
One of the reasons why I volunteered to take part (I became Camera 2 Operator) is to see what Tarlac is like. I know that Southern Tarlac is Kapampangan territory and the north is home to Ilocanos, so I was expecting to find people who spoke Kapampangan and to observe if Tarlaqueños had a different dialect of Kapampangan.
To my disappointment, I wasn't able to find any Kapampangan-speaking people. Some ortelanu (farmers) I heard conversing along the fishpond were speaking in Tagalog, yet I could tell by their tone and accent that they spoke Kapampangan, too. They have this certain gege that only Kapampangans have the mastery of using. The kids in the rice fields were speaking in Tagalog, too.
One lady in a sari-sari store claimed the place is inhabited by Kapampangans, Ilocanos, and Tagalogs, and that she herself was Kapampangan. Quickly, I shifted in using Kapampangan to converse with her. And she understood me -- but still responded in Tagalog. I could tell that she was Kapampangan by tongue because she inserts kasi in her statements like: "Sino na kasi iyon?"
The word kasi is often misused by Kapampangans when speaking in Tagalog. I myself used to misuse it but ever since I was told by a Tagalog friend that I should be using nga instead of kasi, I have become more conscious. "Sino na nga iyon?"
Southern Tarlac (or at least, the places we went to) geographically is generally like certain parts of Pampanga, like Candaba. The remains of the lahar catastrophe can still be seen, as wide plains of rice stretch in miles.
In fact, on the second day of the shoot, we were right in the middle of the rice field frying ourselves under the sun. I became most fried since I decided to walk far to the other side of the ricefield, trekking in the little piece of land between patches of irrigated rice fields.
Okay, so nothing much happened. But look at what we saw on the night of the first day of the shoot! It landed right in front of a Manilenyo crew member. It was trying to burrow. The creature being alien to him, the Manilenyo screamed in fright and almost killed the poor thing.
Yep, it's the kamaru itself. The mole cricket, after which this blog was named after. Could it be a sign? Hope so.