Toponymy is the study of the place names (toponyms) their origins, meanings and use. Before, the study of toponymy is exclusively to language and literature. According to Dizon, toponymy is appreciated only in fictional realms of literature and folkore. However, he pointed out that toponymy can provide the historians or historian archaeologists with valuable insights, leads, and hypothesis. He particularized the role of toponymy among these functions:

1. Dating settlements, especially old settlements where founding dates are unrecorded.
2. Assessing the ethnicity or origins of the occupants of a settlement, and
3. Recognizing past geographical features that may no longer be extant.

In this post, i will show the different toponyms of different sitios, barrios and other geographical features in Magalang together with their meanings and names of origins. The posts are divided into different series depends on place names of barrios or other geographical features located in Magalang presently and historically. 

In my first series, regarding toponyms of different places of Magalang; this post will initially devoted to the different toponyms of sitios and places located in my home barrio San Francisco. This barrio is one of the oldest barrios of Magalang, thus it has old sitios with their names whom their meanings are listed below:

Batiawan- an old name of barrio center of San Francisco. It was derived from Kapampangan word batiao or batio which means, to observe from the distance, or by craning the neck or to observe from a watchtower; like a sentinel. Batiawan also a term for watchtower. According to old folks in this place, a concrete watchtower was built formerly in the present Feliciano rice mill, whom the Spanish army was used to track down the insurgents hiding in Mt. Arayat. 

Calubsuban- a place between barrios San Francisco and Camias whom the name was derived from a tree which is scientific name is Jambosa vulgaris. It was called yambo in Filipino and calubcub in Kapampangan. Another meaning is a kind of tree has a hollow trunk. 

Camachiles- a sitio between in barrios San Francisco and San Jose whom its name was derived from word, camatsilis, known as Manila tamarind. Its scientific name is Pithecolobium dulce, and its fruit is used in cooking sigang or panaslam in other dishes. 

Libutad- a sitio between barrios San Francisco and San Jose; its meaning was the center of the field.

Mabatu-bato- a large sitio in San Francisco derived from the word batu, a common name for stone. Mabatu means a place full of stones or large rocks.  Another word, bato-bato, derived from a bird species related to turtle dove or ring dove.

Mapaco- a small sitio in barrio San Francisco whom its name was derived from a plant called pacu or ferns. Its scientific name is Asplenium esculentum; this plant was one of the favorite ingredients in some Kapampangan dishes. Another meaning is pecauan which is means, the edge or approach of one or other part of river or canal. 

Pulu- a small sitio in barrio San Francisco going to barrio Sta Lucia whom its name was derived from the word pulu or island; an island in the river. 

Tambacan- once the largest sitio of barrio San Francisco, its name was derived from the word tambac, which is means, a dump or heap. 

Tinabi- a sitio in barrio San Francisco whom its name was derived from Kapampangan word, tabi, which is means, to forced him/her to go outside. In this case, this sitio was located near of the stream or sapa or outside of the riverbanks. 

Photo Credits:

Ferns: https://www.pinterest.com/schwabby/digital/tattoo/direction, retrieved: December 1, 2016

Jambosa vulgaris: https://br.pinterest.com.pin/525021269033986136, retrieved: December 1, 2016


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015), Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, pages 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 130 and 131; 2016

Dizon, Lino L. Kapampangan Research Journal, Angeles City: Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, December, 2007-2008, pages 124-125. 

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