King Sinukwan Mythology and the Kapampangan Psyche

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This paper focuses on the metaphorical categories of the Sinukwan legendsthat could account for the ethnocentric qualities of the Kapampangans (people ofPampanga, a province in the northern part of the Philippines) and their behavioralpatterns as a distinct race. According to oral accounts, Sinukwan, supposedly the firstinhabitant in Pampanga, was a noble, gigantic being whose countenance reflectedbeautiful traits such as royalty, wisdom, faithfulness, ability and love.Sinukwan is a product of the Kapampangans’ primordial culture but, in many respects,he serves as a central image in the maintenance of their internal racial affinity as well asin the interaction of their past and present. On one hand, he may be perceived as aninstrument of sentimental evocation. But on the other, Sinukwan is an indispensableforce in asserting and reasserting the Kapampangan identity. The Kapampangans stillbelieve that their historical beginnings were woven into and their society constructedwithin the realm of a powerful cultural symbol.In the development of Kapampangan civilization, Sinukwan has become an establishedarchetype in Kapampangan arts and literature, a rallying point in the socio-politicaltransformation of the Kapampangan community, and the paradigmatic model that isconstantly invoked in the unfolding events of Kapampangan history.To be mentioned in particular is an aspect of a Sinukwan legend that provides a colorfulexplanation of one of the worst calamities that struck Pampanga: the eruption of Mt.Pinatubo. The story is, in a sense, an imaginative articulation of a historicalphenomenon that pierced through the very heart of Kapampangan civilization andaltered the course of its development.

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... The focus of this study is similar in revealing the political control manifested by the novels. Mallari (2009) likewise probes on the ethnocentricity of the Kapampangans through her paper on 'King Sinukwan Mythology and the Kapampangan Psyche' which details the powerful force transmitted by the legendary king of the Kapampangans to affirm their own distinct affinity as a race thereby associating the myth with the present qualities of the people. Indeed, the influence of Aring Sinukwan greatly penetrates into the novels not only his qualities which are transported to the characters but also the socio-political circumstances of his existence. ...
... The week-long Sinukwan Festival of San Fernando organized in 1998 by the 'Save Pampanga Movement' aims to memorialize the Ari who has been a symbol of superiority and strength among the Kapampangans aside from its goal of being a unifying event in all towns with the usual tourist attraction as a bonus. Mallari (2009) in her study of King Sinukwan myth has expressed that the Ari is an indispensable force in asserting and reasserting the Kapampangan identity. Sinukwan of Mount Arayat is perceived as a powerful cultural symbol and becomes an established archetype in arts and literature. ...
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The research discloses the sources and influences of the Kapampangan extant novels during the 20th century. It likewise provides generic information on how the early fictions have been influenced by their contemporary situations brought about by the dual conquest of Spain and the United States.The study has used the socio-historical method of literary criticism to focus on the cultural contexts of the novels' abrupt popularity. The study covers the texts published from 1907-1923 penned by Juan Crisostomo Soto, Aurelio Tolentino and Zoilo Galang. The fictions have turned out to be the products of a distinctive racial phenomenon that makes up for the individuality of the Kapampangan People.
This lecture starts by considering the old problem of how to account for social change theoretically and criticises some of the models used either because they see the social process in terms used by the actors and so are unable to explain how it is that actors can change those terms, or they see the mechanisms of change as occurring in terms totally alien to the actors and so are unable to explain how these mechanisms can be transformed into meaningful action. The source of this problem is traced to Durkheim's notion that cognition is socially determined. By contrast it is argued that those concepts which are moulded to social structure are not typical of knowledge but only found in ritual discourse, while the concepts using non-ritual discourse are constrained by such factors as the requirements of human action on nature. This means that there are terms available to actors by which the social order can be criticised since not all terms are moulded by it. Finally it is suggested that such notions as social structure only refer to ritualized folk statements about society, statements expressed in ritual discourse precisely with those concepts which are given as demonstrations of the theory of the cultural relativity of cognition. The Durkheimian correlation between society and cognition is merely a correlation of only certain ethical statements and certain aspects of cognition. This type of discourse is present in different types of society in varying amounts according to the degree of instituted hierarchy that these societies manifest. Anthropological theories about the conceptualisation of time are given as an example of the general argument.