News and Events


On behalf of the academic community of Holy Angel, I would like to greet our guests led by Miss Gemma Cruz Araneta, our beauty queens and their families, and of course, our author, Alex Castro. Alex has been a consultant and museum curator for the Center for Kapampangan Studies since its inception in 2002. We launched his first book in 2006 entitled Scenes from a Bordertown and Other Views/Views from the Pampang and Other Scenes, which is the first book to be sold out at the Kapampangan Center. We are happy that we are able to do it for his second book, which we also co-published. Judging from the number of reservations, we have a feeling that this one will break the record of his first book.

One of the most challenging aspects of our cultural advocacy is how to turn around the negative image of Kapampangans, which is the result of a history that is sometimes misunderstood and misinterpreted. We do this by overstating our assets and overcompensating for our liabilities. We shout to the whole world, too loudly I’m afraid, that we are the best cooks, that we produced the first priests and first nuns, that we wrote the first novel in English, the longest stage play, the first zarzuela in the vernacular, and so forth. And now, with this book, we seem to add another bragging right: that our women are also among the loveliest in the country.

But, as we always tell our students, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is skin-deep. The book is not just about the physical beauty of our Kapampangan women, but about their spunk, their gentility, the strength of their character and the force of their convictions, which are all personified in the Kapampangan beauty title holders. Our Kapampangan women are often described as solicitous to their husbands to the point of servitude, but our history is studded also with women who fought during combat as revolutionaries, as Huk amazons and as NPA rebels. Our beauty queens have a little bit of both, and the book of Alex Castro clearly shows that.

I hope you will enjoy watching this program as much as you will enjoy reading the book. Once again, thank you for coming.

Date Posted: 07-26-2013