Playing with Fire

Pangalatok means macho, womanizer?

By Gonzalo Duque

IN connection with the 439th Agew na Pangasinan or Pangasinan Day last April 5, it may be well to discuss the continuing silent resistance by our province mates to being called “Pangalatoks”, in reference to the people who inhabit the big province of Pangasinan.

We note with much interest that most of our provincemates find the word “Pangalatok” too offensive, insulting if not derogatory, thinking that the word connotes someone with a sick mind or something like that. Of course, we swear to the word we are not like that.

For instance, when one is in Manila and introduced as someone who came from Pangasinan. The people would likely say in an instant, “so, you are a Pangalatok?”    

Is that complimentary or degrading? 

It may be relevant to mention here that our U.S.-based friend Ed Pontaoe, whose roots are from Sta. Barbara town, called us to espouse the contrary view that “Pangalatok” is not insulting and derogatory.

He said the word “Pangalatok” actually indicates machismo and that at one time, in the very distant past, our ancestors from Pangasinan lived in a macho world, where the men were not only the masters of the house but domineering over the women.

He said the early people who inhabited Pangasinan lived in a men’s society when (pardon this) the opposite sex was treated as not equal with the men. This is, however diametrically opposed to the myth of the legendary Princess Urduja whose legend says she established an amazon kingdom in Pangasinan.    

Ed further mentioned that “Pangalatok” is someone who is physically strong, muy guapo, playboy and yes, womanizer!   

Well said, Ed.  But isn’t Pangalatok a masculine name? Then how on earth do we want to call the Pangasinan women? Is it “Pangalatak”?    

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Raul Lambino, whose son Mark is running for vice governor of Pangasinan, is a good friend of mine. Raul and I were together in the Duterte campaign.

But in this campaign, his son Mark is running against Angel Baniqued Sr., who I shared many fond memories with when we were classmates at the San Beda law school.

Not that I love Raul less but because I have to love my classmate Angel more, as simple as that…

A seasoned politician, a former three-term provincial board member apart from being a legal luminary, Angel has a lot of experience to bring to the capitol as the next vice governor.

Gov. Amado Pogi III did not commit the mistake of picking Angel as his running mate as he comes from vote-rich San Carlos City where he honed his politics as one time city councilor, and the most important thing is, he knows too well the ins and outs of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan where he came from.

Angel is a team man and during his term as board member, he supported all the administration-initiated measures during the three terms of the elder Gov. Amado Espino Jr., now congressman of the Fifth District of Pangasinan.

If I you recall, he and eternal Board Member Alfie Bince and several others were among those instrumental in the creation of a study commission that researched on the exact day, month and year when Pangasinan was founded as an administrative province under the Spanish crown.

This was the reason why the year 1580 is now incorporated in the official seal of Pangasinan, whereas in the beginning it had none.  

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My heartfelt condolence to the family of our good friend in the U.S., Carmelita Sta. Maria Macasaet, who passed away recently due to cancer. 

Mrs. Macasaet, a niece of the late former Councilor Dr. Fred Sta. Maria, was a good friend of mine from way, way back.

In the Philippines, she was like a big sister to me. When I was a boy, Atsi Mita and I had a special bond of friendship that developed through years.. That was why whenever I visit the U.S. she was always there for me. 

I am really saddened by her demise. I was informed about her by his brother Engr. Eyo Sta. Maria. I condole with her entire family, especially to my good friend Nick Macasaet.    

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