Articles

Góso: A Dying Kapampangan Practice

January 11, 2019

During Halloween, it is believed that the veil that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead becomes thinner, thus allowing spirits to return to the physical plane. This might explain why we get a close-encounter with spirits during this time – and possibly the reason why we go trick-or-treating and dress up as ghosts, too.

However, in Pampanga, instead of the usual trick-or-treating, children and adults alike would arm themselves not with candy baskets, but with their voices and musical instruments, alongside copies of songs and hymns to patron saints.

This practice is known to the Kapampangans as Góso.

Góso is akin to the Christmas practice of carolling, but is done during Halloween, or the eve before Daun (All Saints’ Day). Kapampangans believe that their act of singing is a prayer to the dead, and during this time, their prayers would be heard even clearer. These are sung to ask help from saints to pray for the dead as well.

The spirit of Daun, or offering, is also alive within the practice of Góso, as the singers would often receive offerings from the homes they visit. These come in the form of food, such as chickens, eggs, or vegetables. Nowadays however, families offer monetary donations, and these are given to the church as donations.

In the early days, however, singers who would not receive a gift or an offering to the dead would grab a chicken or any food from the house of their would-be donors. Thus, families who find that chickens or food gone from their home during Daun should not be alarmed, nor should they be agitated, as these are offerings for the dead.

These offerings are a way of appeasing the spirits, making them one with the celebration of Daun, which is also known as the Kapampangan Harvest Festival.

Góso songs (gosongs hehehe) usually carry an upbeat tune, despite the fact that they are songs for the dead. This is because they’re viewed as songs to make the spirits happy.

So, if you don’t want to see your chickens missing at home, make sure to offer something to Góso singers!

Goso was mentioned as one of the practices of Kapampangans in this video by We The Lokal.

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  1. Mayap a abak pu kekayu. Manyad ku pung saup para abalu ke ing background na ning middle name ku. Sicangco ku pu middle name pero ala kami pung balu king nokarin ya pu menibat o nanu ya buri sabyan king chinese. Kung atin kayu pung idea or research a kontak yu ku ou king email ku. Dakal pung salamat!

    1. Máyap a yábak mú naman. Nung é ku mágkámalî, mág-comment ka kanian kétang sinúlat ming The Kapampángan-Chinese Connection, alê? Bistá man sâ, óini ing pakíbat. Ísik yá pin ing pilídung Sicangco. King format na ning pilídu yu, 19th century nó dintang kéti Kapampángan ding pípunpúnan yu, at malamang ibat la Fujian (福建).

      Ing pilídu yung tagana, Si (施) ya, a susúlat da ngéni kéti Pilipínas bílang Sy. Ing kabaldúgan na yápin ing ‘pámaguagéwé ning bandéra’ ó kayá ing ‘pámamié lúnus ó pakalúlû.

      Ing kabaldúgan na ning Ko (哥) ning Sicangco yápin ing ‘kóya.’ Kéraklan iyá mú naman king katumbálas ning amánung “mister” king saltiang Hokkien.

      Ing kutang kaníni nung nánu ya ing “kang” ampó pa itang métung pang missing a character ning pilídu mu. Dínan dakang alimbáwâ: Ing anak a ísik pepalagyuan déng Ko Tin Lai (高天来) ‘dátang ya ing mátas a banua.’ Ing pilídu na yápin ing Ko (高) ‘mátas.’ Ing paláyo na kanian kábang anak yang malatî, Lailai (来来). Balámo réng ának a Kapampángan pámaláyuan dóng Junjun ampóng Mike-Mike. Pótang mágbayungtáwu né, ing áwus da kaya, Ah Lai (阿来). Ngéni pótang tumuá néng mágóbra ó mánintúnan at maging párti na ning pámalénan (lípúnan), ausan da néng Lai Ko (来哥) ‘Kóyang Lai.’ Póta kanian magpa-listá ya bílang “mestizo” báng mikamatúlid yang migit pa karing áliwang Ísik, Gáwá yang báyung pilídung pang-mestizo bang balámo Kastílá ya dátang agyáng alí ya: Colayco, nung nú kinguá né ing pilídu nang Ko (高) at nung makanánu réng más kilála ngéni, Lai Ko (来哥), iniâ: Kolaiko ó Colayco king Spanish orthography.

      Ing kutang kaníni nung makanánu ya pángasúlat ing Kang ning Sikango (Sicangco) at nung nánu ya itang character king libútad na ning Si (施) ampóng Kang (?): Si_Kang.

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