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Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visits Center for Kapampangan Studies(CKS)

Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited for the first time the Center for Kapampangan Studies last Saturday on the occasion of Aldo ning Amanung Sisuan.

They were welcomed and given a tour by Center Director Robby Tantingco and center Consultant Lord Francis Musni.

Among the Center attractions that impressed Gov. Pineda and Rep. Arroyo were the retablo showcasing the works of Betis carvers, Macabebe santeros and Apalit pukpuk craftsmen; old photographs of churches, the timeline of the history of Pampanga, and archaeological artifacts from Porac and Candaba.

The Governor also showed interest in the mural map depicting old Pampanga’s territory that extended from Bataan to Aurora as well as Bulacan to Nueva Vizcaya.

While looking at another mural map, that of Pampanga’s river networks, both Gov. Pineda and Rep. Arroyo discussed their plans of reviving plans to make Pampanga River a transportation, tourism and business hub.

Tantingco also explained to them the cycle of siltation and subsidence that causes perennial flooding in the province, while Musni pointed out the need for an ice plant in Sasmuan where fishermen and fishpond operators still have to get ice from Guagua for their daily catch.

Gov. Pineda and Rep. Arroyo were also shown two death masks done by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, one of which belonged to the late Fernando Poe, Jr., who ran against Mrs. Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections.

Both residents of the town of Lubao, the Governor and the former President listened intently as Musni explained the Kapampangan and Lubao roots of the former movie king.

The distinguished visitors then tried their hand at the Center’s interactive features: a computer that converts letters of the alphabet into the ancient Kapampangan script called kulitan, and another that defines ancient Kapampangan words.

The tour ended with a video presentation on Kapampangan history and culture.

According to Tantingco, this is the first time both the Governor and the former President visited the Center. He expressed his hope that Kapampangan culture will be included in their respective administrative and legislative agenda.

"When you see the two most influential leaders of the province get really excited about history and culture, that’s a good sign," Tantingco said. "How many government officials ever get excited about history and culture? I thank them both for visiting us and I am glad we have leaders like them who find time to visit museums. I hope more people will do the same, instead of frequenting malls all the time."

Date Posted: 08-27-2010