Saturday, July 15, 2017


Pampanga has long enjoyed a reputation as “the culinary capital of the Philippines”.  Its chief agricultural products—sugar and rice—have enabled its excellent cooks to create exquisite delicacies in their kusinas—from simple kakanins to mouth-watering pastries and confections bearing elegant French or Spanish names. Here is a list of such goodies—often available at the local panaderia and pasalubong centers, or exclusively made only for the most special occasions.

Buñuelos—crisp, fried bread--are favorite snack treats often dunked in hot Spanish chocolate.  They are the local equivalent of the French beignet. In old Sulipan, in Apalit, it is  said that making and preparing buñuelos is  a test of skill for wives-to-be, as it involves molding, slapping, beating and folding  the flour dough to achieve the characteristic crispy layers of the bread.

These are slim, doughnut shaped cookies that look like bracelets, strung together when sold. In the days of yore, they were favorite giveaways during confirmation of Kapampangan kids, who often wore them, before enjoying them.

Filipino version of shortbread biscuits – excellent with coffee or tea. The circular cookie literally means “rotten dough”, but the taste is anything but that. The cookie is a rich-tasting with a crisp, crumbly texture made from butter, flour and sugar. The old bakery of Aurelio Diyco or “Apung Diung” in Plaza Burgos, Guagua, Pampanga (founded in 1880) popularized the masa podrida in Pampanga; they are perfect for eating with a steaming cup of robust kape barako.

Similar to an empanada, this half moon shaped pastry is filled with mung bean sprouts and shrimp, or sometimes grated green papaya.  The pastry is made with rice flour instead of regular wheat flour.  Pabalat lumpia (lumpia wrapper) makes a good substitute. The crunchy panara is dipped in vinegar then enjoyed bite by bite.

You will never eat another puto bumbong again after you try patcu, an original Kapampangan delicacy that comes out only during the Christmas season (the word patcu is a corruption of 'pascu,' Christmas). Only two towns in Pampanga still make them: Sta. Rita and Guagua. The Guagua variety is a roll made of ground malagkit (glutinous) rice wrapped around a hefty filling of ngungut (grated coconut), plus a secret ingredient. A solitary store in Guagua still sells it, located along the Guagua-Sta. Rita road in Brgy. San Roque

Pilipit—“ing biskwit a mamagasakit”—is so named because it is twisted like a rope. It is a hard, crunchy pastry, deep-fried until brown, then sugar-coated. Pilipit are still found being sold by smalltown bakeries all over Pampanga.

Molded milk powder sweets, made from toasted unrefined corn flour, butter, sugar, a pinch of salt. Sometimes, other ingredients like pinipig, coffee, casuy nuts are thrown in.  They are traditionally wrapped in Japanese paper with fringed ends, but today, they are wrapped in cellophane. The most popular commercial brand today are the pulboron made by Sasmuan Delicacies.

Made with regular bread dough, this panaderia favorite is made interesting because of its twisty-curly shape that resembles the body of squid, hence the name. It's roughly the local equivalent of the bowtie donut.  It is slathered with Star margarine and sprinkled with sugar. The old Bondoc Bakery in Mabalacat still makes them.

Pan de sal  (local bread) halves are spread with mashed potato laced with sauteed ground pork meat (like pork torta), then swabbed with egg batter and fried—hence,  putung babi (pork bread).  A poor man’s version make use of mashed kamote flavored with bagoong (baguk) as filling. It is said that “putung babi” was a creative way to recycle old bread and is still a common merienda fare in many towns like Guagua, Sta. Rita, Mabalacat and Angeles.

The samani used to be a favorite table centerpiece during fiestas and banquets. This attractive and amazing confection is made from roasted peanuts, that are coated with caramelized sugar made from muscovado. The coated peanuts are then arranged to form a flower basket, using the sticky syrup as to hold and bind the nuts together, until dry. The vanishing art of making samani is practiced only in Arayat town.

Named after San Nicolas de Tolentino, saniculas cookies were introduced by Augustinian friars to Pampanga during the colonial times. The biscuit is made from arrowroot flour, and is imprinted with the image of the saint using specially-made wooden molds. Legend has it that San Nicolas, known as the healing saint,  revived the sick with blessed bread mixed with water, hence the "panecillos de San Nicolas", or simply 'saniculas' in Pampanga. Mexico. The saniculas made by culinary historian, Lillian Borromeo of Mexico, are consistent bestsellers with her patrons.

Sans Rival – this is a very popular dessert found all across the country but is said to have its roots in Pampanga, particularly San Fernando. This is a Filipino take on the French daquiose, with generous layers of buttercream icing sprinkled with chopped cashew nuts interspersing with sheets of meringue. The entire concoction is smothered with the same buttercream and sprinkled generously with more nuts.

Mini-leche flan cups or tocino del cielo are typical desserts adapted from southern Spain.  Like leche flan, it is made from egg yolks and caramel, and cooked by steaming. In Barrio San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac,  “tocino” is a kind of kalame (rice cake), made of galapong (ground rice), gata (coconut milk), similar to the tocino del cielo of Minalin.

“Turrones de casoy” are an age-old delicacy in Pampanga—crisp, crunchy nougats made from cashew, real butter, honey and egg whites wrapped in edible paper-thin “oblea” or wafer wafer. A Catholic nun from the Dominican order taught Felisa Lansang of Sta. Rita the original recipe for making this Spain-inspired delicacy in 1920. Her expertise in making this sweet treat resulted in a homegrown “turrones de casoy” (plus sans rival) business, the Ocampo-Lansang Delicacies, that has become famous in the Kapampangan region.

Small, flower shaped cookies, a specialty of Guagua. They are made from arrowroot starch extracted from several thick stems and roots  (rhizomes) of the arrowroot (Marantaceae) family of flowering plants. The result is a sweet, powdery-textured hard cookie that crumbles and melts in the mouth. Because of their small shapes and generally white color,  they are also called sampagita cookies. The uraros of La Moderna Bakery in Guagua are among Pampanga's bestselling take-home goodies.

Galang-galang, Masa Podrida: Mrs. Galang’s Kitchen, yutube series
Masa Podrida:
Panara: Fernando Santos FB page
Patcu: Robby Tantingco’s FB page
Polvoron: Emma Mary Tiglao FB page
Putung Babi; Cecile Yumul FB page
Samani: Singsing Magazine
Saniculas: Alex Castro photo
Sans Rival: my Lola Nor’s Meryendahan FB page
Tocino del Cielo; Ivan Henares FB page

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Before the age of computer technology that brought us Tetris, Counterstrike, Super Mario, Dota, Angry Birds and Final Fantasy, it took very little for children to have great fun during their leisure hours. There were a lot of folk games to choose from, that did not require batteries, and complex gadgetry —sometimes it would just take a hole on the ground, two bamboo sticks, or even stones and shells to amuse one’s self. In the 1950s, Kapampangan writer E. Aguilar Cruz noted, “In my time, we children were still familiar with the rhymes learned from our elders and used them at play. But already, I must admit, the old games were being played less and less. Tubigan and sala-salaginto seemed too rustic for young moderns  even for their names alone.” Here’s a look-back at some of the old time games Kapampangan kids in the neighborhood played.

BENDING. Children carry a slipper in all sorts of manner—balanced on top of the head, or on an outstretched arm, tucked under a bent arm or leg—across a distance without falling it to the ground.

BUKINGKINGAN. The local name of “pitik-bulag”. Player A covers his eyes with one hand.  Player B, his opponent, flicks the covering hand of Player A, while he holds up his other hand with a number of fingers. Player A releases his hand cover and quickly holds the other hand up. The number of fingers  he holds up must match that of Player B.

GILING-GILING ISTATWA. Participants intone “Giling-giling istatwa…Ing galo ya ing taya” (Go round and round the statue. He who moves is “it”!). After which, everybody stand immobile; the first to move becomes the “taya”.

HOLEN. Games involving marbles include rolling them in sequence into holes dug on the ground; or putting a number of marbles inside a drawn circle—the objective of which is to dislodge the opponent’s marble from the circle, by hitting it with another marble at an angle (“boljak”)--, which oftentimes cause pockmarks on the marble.

JAKENPOY. The hand game of “rock-paper-scissors” is played between two people using hand shapes to symbolize  a  "rock" (closed fist), "paper" ( flat hand), and "scissors" (fingers in V-shape). In this best-of-3 duel, rock beats scissors, paper beats rock, and scissors beat paper.  Our version is derived from the Japanese “Janken Pon” game, which means “starting with a stone”, which basically has the same mechanics. It is often called today in Pilipino, as “Bato-Bato-Pick”.

LABAN BABAGWA. Also known as “saputan babagwa”, this is a spider game fight conducted on a “tingting” stick. Positioned on the opposite sides of the stick, the spiders approach each other and attempt to enwrap each other with their web. Game ends when one spider gets fully enveloped with the web (“saput”). Spiders are often kept in empty posporo boxes, fed with chili pepper (“lara”) leaves to make them aggressive.

LABULAN GOMA. The simples game involving rubber bands is “labulan goma”. Two rubber bands are placed some distance apart on a table. Players alternately blow their rubber bands to get them closer to each other. A player wins when he blows his rubber band on top of his opponent’s “goma”, which he then collects. Other rubber band games: Sungkitan goma—rubber bands are buried in a sand mound. Players alternately fish for rubber bands by sticking a “tingting” into the sand; Tirisan-goma—a knotted rubber band is laid on the floor and players alternately step or crush the rubber band to get it unknotted.

LUKSUNG BABI. Literally means “jumping over a pig”, or piggyback jumping. Participants try to jump over the bent back of a player (the back of the “pig”) . If everyone succeeds, the “pig” increases the height of his back, by raising himself up. The jumper who fails to clear he distance becomes the next “pig’s back”. Tagalogs call their version “luksong baka”.

MARO. This is the Kapampangan name of the game popularly called “agawan base” (stealing bases) by Tagalogs. Two groups  try to protect their bases, and each base has an assigned guard. Members try to penetrate each other’s  base so it can be stolen by tagging it, but when the members themselves are “tagged” by their opponents, they become prisoners, who are lined up front as bait. A prisoner can only be “saved” and released  by a fellow group member by tagging him, allowing him to return to his base.

PIKU. The local “hopscotch”. A playing court is first drawn on the ground, consisting of squares and a home base—a pit stop where one can rest both feet. The game involves transporting a “batu” gamepiece--which may be a flat stone or pebble , a pottery shard—from one square to another, until the course is finished. This must be done by hopping, skipping or tripping the “batu”, forcing it to move to the next square without touching the drawn lines. Variations: pikung baru, sampaga, bale.

SALIKUTAN. Hide and seek game. Players conceal themselves in the neighborhood, to be found by one or more seekers. Th player designated as :it” or “taya” closes his eyes, and tart counting up to 10, while players hide. He then begins to look for the hidden players, shouting “Pung!” as he finds them. The game can end in many ways, but the most common is when the “taya” locates all players. The first to be found becomes the next “taya”.  Another salikutan variation has the seeker guarding his "home base"; the hiders can come out of hiding to race to home base; once they touch it, they are considered "saved”.

SINTAK. Sintak means “to throw with some force”. It is also the name of an old game played by Kapampangan girls as early as the eighteenth century. It is similar to jackstones—minus the bouncing rubber ball. The game of skill is played with five stones, in which one stone is propelled upwards, and while still in mid-air, another stone is picked up and the falling stone is caught at the same time. A variation is the Tagalog ‘siklot’, where the back of the palm is used to catch the stones.

SISINGLE. This is a singing variation of “talanan dutung”. It starts with a line of  children holding hands, with the lead child holding fast to a wooden wall, gate, tree trunk, or nay wooden object. With held hands swaying, they sing—“Sisingle, sisingle, dakal lang anak single, salibatu, salibatu, buntuk ng Kapitan Besyu. Boom-boom! Mamakbung!”. The last kid on the line now marches under the arm of the lead child touching wooden wall; this causes the arms of the first child to be crossed. The march continues, until all the children in the line have their arms crossed, and only then is the singing finished. At the last note of the song, the players break the line and scamper to look for a wooden object to touch. A player who fails to do so becomes the next “taya”, who calls for the next change of position.

SUNGKA. Sungká is ancient strategy board game that has versions all over the world—from Africa, North America to Asia—where it is known by names like mancala, chongka, congkak, bao, and oware. The board is played on a sungkahan, a carved length of wood with seven pits and two larger pits at both ends designated as “bale” (house). The game involves distributing the shells or pebbles around the pits, by dropping them  into the holes one by one, including putting one in his “bale”.  The objective is to empty all seven pits on one side and the player with the most number of shells in his “bale” wins. Old sungkahans, often carved with designs, are seen more in antique shops than in homes today.

SYATUNG. The tools of the syatung are two bamboo sticks, one at least a foot long, and the other, shorter by a third. The players take turn at hitting the shorter stick with the long stick, placed in a crevice on the ground. This causes it to somersault, which then is hit again in mid-air by the long stick. The object of the game is to land the shorter stick at a farther distance, which is measured by the same stick. The losing player has to run this distance while shouting “syatuuuuuuuung”, until he reaches the game’s starting point—the crevice on the ground. Variations of the name: syatu, shoktung.

TAMBUBUNG. Known as “patintero” in the Tagalog  region, it is the most widely played native game in the country. A playing field is drawn on the ground—3 sections, divided by a line in the middle. There are 5 players in each of the 2 competing teams. The object of tambubung is to get past the lines, which are guarded by players of the opposite team; one guard can traverse the middle line. Team loses when all its player gets tagged by a guard, and are eliminated.  The team then exchange places. “Tambobong” means a barn, or a granary. It is also the old name of Malabon.

TEKS. Teks are small playing cards with  illustrations of superheroes, comics, movie and TV series characters. These are used for trading, as well as for toss-up games, and were avidly collected in the 1960s-70s. Players bet on which side the teks card will come up, and the outcome is decided by flicking the teks in the air. Players often have favorite cards that they use for flipping;  all others are basically used as betting currency.

TILTIL-BAGUK.  This hand game with a fanciful name (“Dip in baguk” or salty shrimp relish)”is played by two children. One player holds his palm up in front of his opponent, and the other player “dips” his pointing finger in the middle of the open palm. The player then chants “tiltil…..baguk!”, after which he closes his palm in an attempt to entrap the opponent’s finger.

TOMPYANG. Children form a circle, put their hands on top of each other, count “metung, adua, atlu”, raise them up in the air, and bring them down again, some palms up and others palm down, eliminating whichever is the majority, until one hand is left. The object of this process is to choose either the “mano”(leader)or the “taya” (“it”, the dunce or pursuer) of the succeeding game.

TUKUPAN-SILIMAN. Kapampangan version of “Blindman’s bluff”. Tukupan-siliman means " to darken by covering eyes with cupped hands"The player designated as “taya” ( “it”) is blindfolded and tries to find his co-players gathered around him. The co-players move about, bluffing the blindfolded “taya” by calling out their locations and issuing misleading directions.

Adapted from Dr. Lino L. Dizon’s article, ‘games Children Don’t Play Anymore”, Singsing Magazine, vol. 2, no. 1
Castro, Alex R., “Toy Stories”, Views from the Pampang, www.viewsfromthepampang.blogspot
Laban-babagwa: Fililipino Heritage, vol, VI. Felta Publishing.
Bending, Salikutan, Sungka, Teks, Tompyang: Alex R. Castro photos

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Zarzuelas were Spanish musical play productions that were introduced in the Philippines in 1879. Three years later, the performing troupe of Sr. Alejandro Cubero staged a zarzuela in San Fernando that inspired Kapampangan playwrights, poets, dramatists and musicians to create local zarzuelas.  It is said that zarzuelas spurred the golden age of Pampango literature, that saw the rise to prominence of great writers like Soto, Galura and Pabalan Byron.

ING MANAGPE (1900, Mariano Proceso Pabalan Byron)
The very first zarzuela in Kapampangan was written by the Bacolor playwright, Mariano Proceso Pabalan Byron (2 Jul. 1862/d.1 Jan. 1904). Entitled “Ing Managpe” (The Patcher), it premiered at the famed Teatro Sabina in September 1900. The one-act comedy revolved around the marital spats of Don Diego and her jealous wife Dña. Juana, that were always “patched” by their maid Sianang. The other “patcher” refers to Sianang’s boyfriend, Pablo, who pretended to be a spotted dog. Amado Gutierrez David provided the music for this popular zarzuela that struck a chord with the audience for its very Filipino theme of domestic quarrels. “Ing Managpe” also earned for Pampanga the distinction of being the first province to have a zarzuela in the vernacular. In fact, it is much older than Severino Reyes’ “Walang Sugat”.Ing Managpe” was last staged at Holy Angel University, Angeles City in 2006.

ALANG DIOS (1901, Juan Crisostomo Soto)
Juan Crisostomo C. Soto’s (b. 27 Jan. 1867/d. 12 Jul. 1918) “Alang Dios” (There is No God) is a 3-act zarzuela grande that was first staged at the Teatro Sabina in Bacolor on 16 Nov. 1902, a year after it was written by Pampanga’s best known literary great. It is a tragic love story that involves Enrique, an impoverished painter,  and Maria Luz, daughter of a wealthy Don Andres. Enrique, falsely accused of stealing a diamond crucifix belonging to the Don, is jailed. Upon release, he learns of Maria Luz’s impending wedding to Ramon. Meanwhile, Clara, a maid of Maria Luz, confesses to have faked the theft that led to Enrique’s incarceration; this was too late to stop the wedding. To prevent a duel between Enrique and Ramon, Don Monico intervenes and reveals that Enrique and Ramon are really half-brothers, and that Clara and Maria Luz are half-sisters. Finally reconciled, the brothers come home to find Maria Luz dead, leading them to exclaim, “there is no God!”.  The music was composed by Pablo Palma. Soto’s masterpiece was staged at Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1975. On the writer’s 150th birth anniversary, “Alang Dios” was once again staged in Angeles City on February 2017, featuring many Soto descendants as performers.

ING POETA (Aurelio Tolentino)
The prolific and controversial writer from Guagua, Aurelio Tolentino (b. 15 Oct. 1868/d. 3 Jul 1915) wrote proficiently in 3 languages: Spanish, Tagalog and Kapampangan. Of his 69 known literary works, 21 are in Kapampangan—and his zarzuela “Ing Poeta” is one of them, a comedy of errors revolving around the exploits of poet Augusto and how he won the hand of Maria, after successfully staging a merry mix-up of a play in response to Maria’s father’s (Don Pedro) challenge to put up an entertainment, in time for the fiesta. The clever Augusto hatched a plan in which Don Pedro, Don Cumeris, his wife Calara, plus the town people became the actors themselves, of the real-life zarzuela--without their knowledge.

ING MORA (Felix Napao Galura)
Felix Galura Napao (b. 21 Feb.1866/d. 21 Jul. 1919) was a brilliant grammarian, poet, translator, editor, journalist, patriot and town leader of Bacolor. Because he believed that Spanish literary forms with nonsensical, fantastic scenes were the main cause of the backwardness of Filipinos, Galura began translating Spanish works into the vernacular. With Juan Crisostomo Sotto, he wrote the zarzuela “Ing Singsing A Bacal” (The Ring of Steel) which was based on a Spanish play. His only surviving zarzuela today is “Ing Mora” (The Moslem Woman). An undated typescript of the one-act zarzuela in verse is kept at the University of the Philippines library.

EMU CU TATAGQUILAN ( ca. 1915-18, Juan Elias de Guzman)
Juan Elias de Guzman, a Mabalacat resident, is the first known writer in Spanish and Pampango. He took Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and transformed it into a Kapampangan zarzuela entitled “Emu Cu Tatagquilan” (Don’t Touch Me). The lead performers were Gerardo Castro as Crisostomo Ibarra, Amalia Malig as Maria Clara and Mariano de la Cruz as Pilosofo Tacio. Francisco Siopongco (Alcalde), Emilio Dominguez (Padre Salvi), A. de la Cruz (Elias).There were no theaters to speak of; instead, plays were staged on platforms constructed near the San Felipe Bridge.  The play was directed by J. L. Mendoza. When de Guzman died, it was said that Rizal's portrait fell from the wall at the precise moment of his death 1. He was the first to be interred in the Municipal Cemetery of Mabalacat, constructed in 1907.

LA INDEPENDENCIA (Jose Gutierrez David)
 The acclaimed Supreme Court justice from Bacolor, Jose Gutierrez David (b.19 Jan. 1891/d. 27 Mar. 1977) was, on the side, an accomplished Kapampangan writer, poet, dramaturgist, playwright and zarzuela actor. In conjunction with his friend, Zoilo Hilario, he wrote several dramas like “Amanda”, “Migdusang E Micasala” and “La Independencia”. The latter was converted into a Kapampangan zarzuela by inserting some songs in between scenes and dialogues.  The zarzuela repertory Compania Sabina, performed  this zarzuela with a patriotic theme similar to the plays of Aurelio Tolentino, that bordered on the seditious, all over Pampanga, Tarlac and Manila. It is unfortunate that the original scripts written in long-hand by Gutierrez-David were all lost when his Manila home was burned during the Liberation.  

KING BINGID NING BARIKULKUL (1925-29, Jacinto Tolentino)
Aurelio’s older brother, Jacinto Tolentino (b.1865/d.1932) also wrote literary pieces whose style and content was more artistic rather than nationalistic. A prolific writer of zarzuelas, he produced “Ing Mangaimbugan” (The Lustful One, 1901) stated at Teatro Trining in Guagua, “Tusu Ya Man ing Matsin”, a one-act comedy, and “King Bingid ning Barikulkul” (At the Edge of a Pit), expressedly written for daughter Tereza, in the lead role. The musical play is effectively supported by separate male and female choruses, and the inclusion of a play within a play. A commentary about “the unfaithful wife”, the zarzuela tells of jealous Librada, who entertains the advances of Ramon, to spite husband Manuel. But before Librada consummates the affair, she and husband Manuel are invited to watch Ramon’s zarzuela whose plot uncannily resembled their real-life situation. Ridden with guilt, Librada admits to Manuel her unfaithfulness, and all is forgiven.

BAYUNG JERUSALEM (1932, Urbano Macagapal)
Urbano Macapagal (b. ca,1883/d. 30 Jan. 1946) is better known as the father of Pres. Diosdado P. Macapagal, but this former  farmer gained local fame as a playwright, man of letters and founder of Compania Lubeña of Lubao. Together with his son, Diosdado, Macapagal wrote “Bayung Jerusalem” (The New Jerusalem) which was first shown at a barrio fiesta in San Nicolas Primero, Lubao on 5 May 1932. It is said that the zarzuela is ranked equal in popularity with Soto’s “ Alang Dios!”.  Its appeal lies in the romantic episodes and comedic moments involving  the characters of Sebio and Sebia. Macapagal also saw fit to inject gentle satire in the characterization of minor characters, such as the policeman and the gambler, as well as Sebio and Sebia. This zarzuelang Kapampangan was directed by Severo Vitug in its premier staging, with music composed by Victor Lumanug.

CRUCIFIJONG PILAK (1956, Jose Gallardo)
A revival in the interest for zarzuela was sparked in the 1950s by Jose M. Gallardo (b. 20 Jan. 1918/ d.1986 ), a Candaba prodigy who, at 14, could memorize poems read from magazines, wrote for "Bulaklak” at 16, and finished his first verse narrative at 17, "Apat a Banua,". In all, Gallardo wrote 200 poems, 26 plays and zarzuelas, 30 crissotans, 6 novels and countless short stories. His best known work is "Crucifijong Pilak," (Silver Crucifix) staged more than 100 times between 1956 and 1972. The plot is about the broken vow of Fidel and Laura, former sweethearts who once swore their love for each other upon the silver crucifix worn by the latter. Fidel’s infidelity results in the imposition of a curse by Laura, which opens a floodgate of catastrophic events that  befell the lives of all the characters. The story concludes with every one finding repentance, forgiveness and redemption. Most, if not all, the stagings of “Crucifijong Pilak” were directed by Gallardo himself, considered as the most prolific and influential Kapampangan writer of his generation.

Ing Managpe:  Singsing Magazine, Holy Angel University
Alang Dios: Sapni nang Crissot Literary & Cultural Foundation,\
Emu Cu Tatagquilan: Alex R. Castro Collection
Ing Poeta , Ing Mora, La Independencia, Bayun Jerusalem: representational photos from Alex R. Castro Collection

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Many Kapampangan idiomatic expressions make use of figures of speech, using words or an unusual combination of words that results in a new definition. Kapampangans of old may not be aware of this, but they often use  “synechdoche”, which in Greek means, “simultaneous understanding”, to achieve this effect. It is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something, refers to the whole of something, or vice versa—which explains why there are many Kapampangan expressions with allusions to parts of the body. Other “body part idioms”  involve metaphors, parallelisms, euphemisms, while some are drawn directly from Western expressions. Here are 15 examples:

DILANG ANGEL (literally, “angel’s tongue”)
Meaning: A hope that what one had wished for someone  would come true
Angels are God’s messengers, and bringers of truth. It was angel Gabriel who came to Mary and announced that she was going to be the mother of the world’s Savior, hence, an angel’s voice was infallible and truthful. When someone says, “mag-dilang angel ka sana”, it is a hopeful wish that what someone predicted or guessed would come true.
“Sana mag-dilang angel ka ketang sinabi mung mipasar ya keng bar exams ing anak ku”

BUBULA ASBUK (“bubbling mouth”)
Meaning: Non-stop muttering of one’s anger or annoyance.
An angry, mad dog that “foams at the mouth” has a descriptive counterpart in Kapampangan – “bubula asbuk”—a hyperbolic term for an extremely angry person who mutters his annoyance non-stop, without control. You can say that his rage makes him babbles---and bubbles!
“Nandin ya pa bubula asbuk I Atsi mu, uling eke peyagan mag-malling!”

ALANG ATDU (“no gall bladder”)
Meaning: Without courage or boldness
A person without a gall (alang atdu) is one without courage and boldness. According to the theory of internal organs in traditional Chinese medicine, the gallbladder has the function of making judgments and decisions in mental processes and activities, and it also determines one's degree of courage. People with cowardly and timid behavior are often referred to by Chinese as having “small gallbladders”.
“Ot petulan mo reng anak? Deta mu kasi ding agyu mu..ala ka kasing atdu!”

PANGADUANG ATYAN (“second stomach”)
Meaning: Reference to children from multiple marriages.
The “tummy” (atyan) is a euphemism for the womb or uterus (matris). A baby, therefore, comes from a mother’s “atyan”—when describing his origin to a young or a polite audience. In the case of multiple mothers due to death or remarriage, the children of the first mother are products of the “mumunang atyan” (first stomach), the second set are from the “pangaduang atyan” (second stomach), and so on.
“I Gloria Macapagal, anak ya keng pangaduang atyan”

MASIPAG A BATAL (“hardworking neck”)
Meaning: To have a big appetite
Instead of saying “I have 4 mouths to feed”, Kapampangans of yore say “apat lang batal deng pakanan ku”.  Thus, to be described as having a “masipag a batal” ( a hardworking neck) is to mean you are a voracious eater. A related idiom is “meging alaua batal” (to have a basket-like neck), which is used to describe someone with a prodigious appetite.   “Alaua”, is a basket or a net at the end of a pole used to to pluck fruits from a high branch, or to scoop fish from a pen.
“Keng pyesta, marakal datang a bisitang magatal batal, anya maglutu kang marakal!”

BALAT-SIBUYAS (“onion- skinned”)
Meaning: Over sensitive
To have the thin skin of an onion which makes it prone to bruising, is to be over-sensitive, quick to be affected by the slightest criticism.
“Masyadu yang balat-sibuyas, sebianan ke mung bagya, mengaga ne..”

KUSKUS-BALUNGUS (“rub lips together”)
Meaning: Unnecessary talk or fuss over petty details
Balungus is a term for the border of the lips.  Rubbing or smacking one’s lips is done when one’s appetite is tempted and whetted, thus causing  unnecessary eager anticipation over something. Thus “kuskus-balungus” is needless fuss, especially over petty details, making much ado about nothing—which is a trademark of most politicians. To cut to the chase and go straight to the point, don’t be a  “kuskus-balungus”!
“Basta gawan mu ne mu ing pagawa ku..ala na kang kuskus-balungus!”

MAGALO BULDIT (“buttocks that can’t sit still”)
Meaning: Promiscuous
When animals are in heat, they usually display restlessness and unusual behaviors. Female dogs for example, will often exhibit changes in their gaits, including hip-swinging and tail-wagging. This “restless rear” movement may be described as dirty flirting, in human terms, and to possess a “magalo buldit” –buttocks that can’t keep still--is to be slutty, prone to have casual sex partners, a promiscuous person.
“Deng anak na, miyaliwa la tatang…magalo ya kasi buldit!”

MAYNA DUNGUS (“weak stomach”)
Meaning: Low tolerance for things that trigger disgust
“Mayna dungus” has quite a broad range of definitions in Kapampangan. It does not only used to describe a number of different symptoms and medical conditions—from gastritis to bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. But it also refers to a person’s low threshold for seemingly-tolerable things—from the sight of blood and gore, dirt and grime, to eating exotic or raw foods.
“Eke agyung kanan ing balut—mayna ku dungus”

MAGATAL GAMAT (“itchy hands”)
Meaning: One prone to take or steal other people’s items.
A kleptomaniac—who has this uncontrollable urge to steal items—can be described as having “magatal gamat”  (itchy hands). One more idiom referring to hands: “marimla gamat” (cold hands)-green thumb.
“Matagal ya pala gamat itang ikwa dang kayabe bale…karakal na penako!”

MASAKLO MATA (“more than what the scope of the eyes can see”)
Meaning: To be greedy
Saclao or saclo, is defined in Bergaño’s compilation of Kapampangan words as “to grasp all, to surround all, so that not one part is lost. “Ma-saclao-mata” literally means “more than what the eyes can grasp or see”, hence, it means avarice, greediness.
“Karakal mu kinwang ulam, emu no man pala agisa…masaklo ka kasi mata!”

MAGADTU PUSAD (“half-cooked navel”)
Meaning: To have a weak will or conviction.
This is a rather odd idiom and the connection of the umbilical cord with a cooking process is not clearly apparent. It is used to describe a person with a weak will or conviction. “Gadtu” is a term commonly used to describe rice that is not fully cooked, giving it a gritty constitution. The idiom could be explained that anything half-cooked or half-baked is done half-heartedly, which is a sign of weakness of spirit.
“Sinabi mu mo agyu meng aryan ing kursu mu, magadtu ka pala pusad”.

MABURAK SAKUNG (“muddy heels”)
Meaning: A hick, a hillbilly, unsophisticated country bumpkin.
Rural planters who toiled in farms often worked their fields without shoes or any other foot coverings as they planted seedlings in ankle-deep paddies. Thus, they go home with feet all muddied and dirty—“maburak sakung”, a  derogatory term for a hick, or a country bumpkin unsophisticated in modern ways.
“E byasang gumamit flush toilet—metung ya kasi kareng maburak sakung”

MASKUP SALU (“tight or crowded chest”)
Meaning: To be overwhelmed with the pain of sadness
When one meets a sad experience, he is overcome with a combination of  loneliness, regret, and emptiness—he feels a tightening of the chest --‘saskup ya salu’—which is how this profound experience is described.
“Saskup ku salu nung akakit ko reng anak a kalulu keng dalan”

UTAK-BIA (having the brain of a fish)
Meaning: narrow-minded, slow to understand, stupid
Bia are small edible fishes commonly found in Pampanga rivers, so to have a brain with the same size as that of this tiny fish is to have limited knowledge, to know very little, to be narrow or even close-minded about things.
“Utak-bia ya kasi anya ene aintindyan ing pangaral mu”.

Alang Atdu:
(Yu, Ning, Metaphor, Body, and Culture: The Chinese Understanding of Gallbladder and Courage. Metaphor and Symbol, 2003, Vol. 18, No. 1, p 13-31.)