This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Kapampangan people" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Kapampangan people
Taung Kapampangan
Total population
3,209,738 (2020 census)[1]
(3% of the Philippine population)
Regions with significant populations
(Central Luzon, Metro Manila)
 United States
Kapampangan, Tagalog, English
Predominantly Roman Catholicism, minority Protestantism (including Iglesia ni Cristo), Islam, Buddhism and Animism (Ariya)
Related ethnic groups
Pangasinan, Sambal, Tagalog, Ilocano, Bicolano, other Filipino ethnic groups, Austronesian peoples

The Kapampangan people (Kapampangan: Taung Kapampangan), Pampangueños or Pampangos, are the sixth largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines, numbering about 2,784,526 in 2010.[2] They live mainly in the provinces of Pampanga, Bataan and Tarlac, as well as Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Zambales.


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Kapampangans are shown in lavender in this map.

The province of Pampanga is the traditional homeland of the Kapampangans. Once occupying a vast stretch of land that extended from Tondo[3] to the rest of Central Luzon, huge chunks of territories were carved out of Pampanga so as to create the provinces of Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Tarlac.[4] As a result, Kapampangans now populate a region that extends beyond the political boundaries of the small province of Pampanga. In the province of Tarlac, the indigenous population of Tarlac City and the municipalities of Bamban, Capas and Concepcion are Kapampangans, while the municipalities of Victoria, La Paz, have a significant Kapampangan population. In Bataan, Kapampangans populate the municipalities of Dinalupihan and Hermosa, and the barangays of Mabatang in Abucay and Calaguiman in Samal. Kapampangans can be found scattered all across the southern barrios of Cabiao in the province of Nueva Ecija and in the western section of the province of Bulacan. Kapampangan enclaves still exist in Tondo and other parts of the National Capital Region. Kapampangans have also migrated to Mindoro, Palawan and Mindanao and have formed strong Kapampangan organizations called aguman in Cagayan de Oro, Davao City and General Santos. Agumans based in the United States and Canada are active in the revival of the Kapampangan language and culture. California-based organizations promoted Kapampangan language and culture and raised funds for charitable and cultural projects in California and in Pampanga.[citation needed]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Tarik Sulayman, a prominent Kapampangan leader from Macabebe who fought against the Spanish in the Battle of Bangkusay Channel in June 1571.
Kapampangan farmers plowing with oxen, c. 1900.

The oldest artifact ever found in the Province of Pampanga is a 5000-year-old stone adze found in Candaba. It is said to be a tool used in building boats. Earthenware and tradeware dating back to 1500 BC have also been found in Candaba and Porac.[5] Farming and fishing were the main industries of the Kapampangan people.

Kapampangans, along with Sambal people and the Sinauna (lit. "those from the beginning"), originated in southern Luzon, where they made contact with the migrating Tagalog settlers, of which contact between the Kapampangans and Tagalogs was most intensive.[6] After this, the original settlers moved northward: Kapampangans moved to modern Tondo, Navotas, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and east Bataan and Sambals to the modern province of Zambales,[7] in turn, displacing the Aetas. Tagalogs from southern Luzon, most specifically Cavite, migrated to parts of Bataan. Kapampangans were displaced to the towns near Pampanga by the end of the 16th century, along with the Aetas.

The growth of the Malacca as the largest Southeast Asian entrepôt in the Maritime Silk Road led to a gradual spread of its cultural influence eastward throughout insular Southeast Asia. Malay became the regional lingua franca of trade and many polities enculturated Islamic Malay customs and governance to varying degrees, including Kapampangans, Tagalogs and other coastal Philippine peoples. According to Bruneian folklore, at around 1500 Sultan Bolkiah launched a successful northward expedition to break Tondo’s monopoly as a regional entrepot of the Chinese trade and established Maynila (Selurong?) across the Pasig delta, ruled by his heirs as a satellite.[8] Subsequently, Bruneian influence spread elsewhere around Manila Bay, present-day Batangas, and coastal Mindoro through closer trade and political relations, with a growing overseas Kapampangan-Tagalog population based in Brunei and beyond in Malacca in various professions as traders, sailors, shipbuilders, mercenaries, governors, and slaves.[9][10]

Kapampangans have played a dynamic yet conflicting role in Philippine history. It was the Kapampangans of Macabebe who were formerly Muslim were the first to defend the Luzon Empire from Spanish domination in 1571.[11] Yet it was the Kapampangans that the Spaniards relied on to defend their new colony from the Dutch. It was at this time that "one Castillan plus three Kapampangans" were considered as "four Castillans" as long they gallantly served in the colonial armed forces. Such behaviour earned them the stereotype of being quislings in exchange for personal wealth and self-aggrandisement all throughout the archipelago.[11] After their successful battle against the Dutch in 1640, only Kapampangans were allowed to study side by side with the Spaniards in exclusive Spanish academies and universities in Manila, by order of Governor-General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera.[4] When British occupation of Manila happened in 1762, many Tagalog refugees from Manila escaped to Bulacan and to neighboring Nueva Ecija, where the original Kapampangan settlers welcomed them; Bulacan & Nueva Ecija were natively Kapampangan when Spaniards arrived; majority of Kapampangans sold their lands to the newly-arrived Tagalog settlers and others intermarried with and assimilated to the Tagalog, which made Bulacan & Nueva Ecija dominantly Tagalog.[12] In 1896, Kapampangans were one of the principal ethnic groups to push and fuel the Philippine revolution against Spain. Yet it was also the Kapampangans of Macabebe that fiercely defended the last Spanish garrison against the revolutionaries.[citation needed]

With the outbreak of World War II, Japanese planes invaded the main province of Pampanga and attacked the United States Air Base at Clark Field in Angeles, Pampanga on December 8, 1941. Later Japanese soldiers entered the province of Pampanga in 1942 and the Japanese Occupation formally began. Many Kapampangans joined a group of stronghold soldiers that survived the invasion and officially trained under the 31st Infantry Division, Philippine Commonwealth Army. USAFFE was stationed in Pampanga on July 26, 1941, before the surrender by the Japanese to April 9, 1942. After the Battle of Bataan in 1942, some Kapampangan soldiers of the USAFFE 31st Infantry Division fought four years of battles against Japanese troops. After the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, many Kapampangan soldiers of the USAFFE 31st Division surrendered to the Japanese and then participated in the Bataan Death March from Mariveles, Bataan, to Capas, Tarlac.[citation needed]

Many Kapampangans joined the guerrilla resistance fighters of the Hukbalahap Communist resistance. Many Kapampangan guerrillas and Hukbalahap communist groups fought for more than three years of insurgency during the Japanese Occupation and also fought side by side with allied forces in the main province of Pampanga, helping local troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and incoming Philippine Constabulary 3rd Constabulary Regiments stationed at the general headquarters in Pampanga in operations in Central Luzon from 1942 to 1945 against the Imperial Japanese troops.[citation needed]


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Sisig, a popular Kapampangan dish.


Many Kapampangan festivals display an indigenous flavor unique only to the Kapampangan people. Consider the Curaldal or "street dancing" that accompanies the Feast of Santa Lucia in Sasmuan or the Aguman Sanduk were men cross-dress as women to welcome the New Year in Minalin or the Batalla Festival to re-enact the battle between the native Muslim Moor and the new colonist Native Capampangan Christians, the historical battle between the two religious native Kapampangans. They start the battle in Ugtung-aldo or afternoon and they end it in Sisilim or sunset with the tune of what Macabebeanons and Masantuleñios called BATTALA Masantol, Macabebe and Lubao.

The Pistang Danum of the barrios of Pansinao, Mandasig, Lanang and Pasig in Candaba, where food is served on floating banana rafts on the waters of the Pampanga River was originally a non-Christian holiday that is now made to coincide with the baptism of Christ. The Kapampangan New Year or Bayung Banwa that welcomes the coming of the monsoons and the start of the planting season is made to coincide with the feast of John the Baptist. The colourful Apung Iru fluvial procession of Apalit, once a thanksgiving celebration in honour of the river, has become the feast of Saint Peter.

The most dramatic festivals can be witnessed during the Mal ay Aldo, which is the Kapampangan expression of the Holy Week. These include the erection of a temporary shrine known as the puni where the pasion or the story of Christ's suffering is chanted in archaic Kapampangan. The melody of the Kapampangan pasion was said to have been taken from their traditional epic, whose original words were lost and replaced by the story of Christ. The highlight of the Mal ay Aldo celebration is the procession of the magdarame or sasalibatbat penitents covered in blood from self-flagellation. Some of them even have themselves crucified every Good Friday at the dried up swamp of barrio Cutud in San Fernando.


Main article: Kapampangan cuisine

Kapampangan cuisine, or Lutung Kapampangan, has gained a favourable reputation among other Philippine ethnic groups, which hailed Pampanga as the "Culinary Capital of the Philippines". Some popular Kapampangan dishes that have become mainstays across the country include sisig, kare-kare, tocino or pindang and their native version of the longaniza.

Other Kapampangan dishes, which are an acquired taste for the other ethnic groups include buru (fish fermented in rice), betute tugak (stuffed frogs), arobung kamaru (mole crickets sauteed in vinegar and garlic), estofadong barag (spicy stewed monitor lizard), sisig, kalderetang asu (spicy dog stew), sigang liempu, dagis a tinama (marinated rats), laman panara and bobotu.


Kapampangans are mostly Christians, a majority of which are Roman Catholics, Aglipay, Methodists, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). A few belong to non-Christian religions. However, traces of native-Austronesian Anitism, Hinduism, and Buddhism can still be found among their folk practices and traditions, as these were the majority beliefs of the Kapampangan before the imposition of Christianity in the 16th century. A few Kapampangans practice Islam, mostly by former Christians either by study abroad or contact with Moro migrants from the southern Philippines.[13] By the early 16th century, some Kapampangans (especially merchants) were Muslim due to their links with Bruneian Malays.[14] The old Kapampangan-speaking Kingdom of Tondo was ruled as a Muslim kingdom,[15] Islam was prominent enough in coastal areas of Kapampangan region that Spaniards mistakenly called them "Moros" due to abundance of indications of practicing Muslim faith and their close association with Brunei.[16]

Prominent Kapampangans

This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: formatting issues, bad copy-pastes, etc. Please help improve this section if you can. (August 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The Kapampangans have produced many Rajahs, Datus, four Philippine presidents, three chief justices, a senate president, the first Filipino cardinal, one Huk Supremo, many Huk Commanders and NPA cadres and many notable figures in public service, education, religion, diplomacy, journalism, the arts and sciences, entertainment and business.

For a list of prominent or noteworthy Kapampangans, see Category:Kapampangan people.

History, politics and religion

Arts and culture

Juan Crisostomo Soto (Bacolor, Pampanga, Monument and memorial).

Popular culture, sports and entertainment

See also


  1. ^ "Ethnicity in the Philippines (2020 Census of Population and Housing)". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  2. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing, Report No. 2A: Demographic and Housing Characteristics (Non-Sample Variables) – Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  3. ^ Loarca, Miguel de, Relación de las Yslas Filipinas, Blair and Robertson volume 5, page 34–187
  4. ^ a b Henson, Mariano A. 1965. The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns: A.D. 1300–1965. 4th ed. revised. Angeles City: By the author.
  5. ^ Mapiles Herbert P. (July 30, 2011). "Early Kapampangan civilization traced in Candaba". sunstar publication. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  6. ^ Zorc, David (1993). "The Prehistory and Origin of the Tagalog People". In Øyvind Dahl (ed.). Language - a doorway between human cultures : tributes to Dr. Otto Chr. Dahl on his ninetieth birthday (PDF). Oslo: Novus. pp. 201–211.
  7. ^ "Sambal". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Archived from the original on 2008-01-21.
  8. ^ Pusat Sejarah Brunei Archived 2015-04-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 07, 2009.
  9. ^ Pigafetta, Antonio (1969) [1524]. First voyage round the world. Translated by J.A. Robertson. Manila: Filipiniana Book Guild.
  10. ^ Scott, William H. (1994). Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society. Katipunan Ave, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. p. 192. ISBN 971-550-135-4.
  11. ^ a b Gaspar de San Agustin, Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas 1565–1615, Translated by Luis Antonio Mañeru, 1st bilingual ed [Spanish and English], published by Pedro Galende, OSA: Intramuros, Manila, 1998
  12. ^ The Historical Indúng Kapampángan: Evidence from History and Place Names
  13. ^ Lacar, Luis Q. (2001). "Balik -Islam: Christian converts to Islam in the Philippines, c. 1970-98". Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations. 12: 39–60. doi:10.1080/09596410124405. S2CID 144971952.
  14. ^ Reid, Anthony (2006), Bellwood, Peter; Fox, James J.; Tryon, Darrell (eds.), "Continuity and Change in the Austronesian Transition to Islam and Christianity", The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, ANU Press, pp. 333–350, ISBN 978-0-7315-2132-6, retrieved 2021-06-16
  15. ^ Henson, Mariano A (1955). The Province of Pampanga and its towns (A.D. 1300–1955) with the genealogy of the rulers of central Luzon. Manila: Villanueva Books.
  16. ^ Souza, George Bryan. The Boxer Codex: Transcription and Translation of an Illustrated Late Sixteenth-Century Spanish Manuscript Concerning the Geography, Ethnography, Expansion and Indigenous Response.
  17. ^ Santiago
  18. ^ "Former Philippine Envoy to Libya is now Consul General in New York". 30 March 2021.
  19. ^ "WATCH: INQside Look with Elmer Cato, Consul General of PH in New York". 8 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Former Philippine Envoy to Libya is now Consul General in New York —". April 2021.
  21. ^ "Most OFWs from Iraq victims of trafficking". The Manila Times. 2020-01-17. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  22. ^ "Filipino workers in Baghdad told to go on leave". 5 January 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  23. ^ Online, Patnubay. "Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Baghdad, Iraq – itinampok ng Asia Times Online – Patnubay Online". Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  24. ^ "Truly Pinoy: Da King Fernando Poe Jr". ABS CBN global. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  25. ^ Camiling, Alejandro S., Camiling, Teresita Z. "Pampanga's Two Chartered Cities and Her Twenty Towns". Archived from the original on June 30, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "La tribu filipina de Isabel Preysler – La Razón digital". Archived from the original on 2013-12-19.
  27. ^ Reyes, William (2009-09-21). "PEP PROFILES: Elwood Perez and his masterpieces that gave birth to showbiz's brightest stars". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Summit Media.

Further reading