Juan Crisostomo Soto

Juan Crisostomo Soto
Juan Crisostomo Soto: Father of Kapampangan Literature | @kapampangan.words

Juan Crisostomo Soto: Father of Kapampangan Literature | @kapampangan.words

JUAN CRISOSTOMO SOTO: Father of Kapampángan Literature
(Jan. 27, 1867 – Jul. 12, 1918)

  • Kapampángan poet, playwright, and journalist who is known as the Father of Kapampángan Literature.
  • Also known by his pen name Crissot (from Crisostomo Soto)
  • Born on January 27, 1867, in Santa Ines, Bacolor, Pampanga as the second of three children of Santiago Soto, an alguacil mayor, and Maxima Caballa, a seamstress.
  • His main works are 49 plays, a novel, a few stories, sketches, and a good number of poems and newspaper articles.

His first known work is the Kapampangan translation of Romeo and Juliet entitled Ing Pamaquiasawa ning Mete (The Wedding of the Dead). He also translated Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo into Kapampangan.

His most famous zarzuela (play) is Alang Dios! (There is no God!), one of the most famous pieces of Kapampangan drama.

His best-selling novel Lidia is the first Kapampangan novel.

He helped Luther Parker in writing an English-Spanish-Pampango dictionary together with Modesto Joaquin.

He edited the newspapers Ing Balen (El Pueblo), Ing Emangabiran (El Imparcial) and was the co-founder of Ing Alipatpat (The Firefly), a Kapampangan weekly. He was also a reporter for La Independencia, the most influential newspaper of the revolution.

During the Philippine-American War, he was a captain of the Macabebe contingent while producing anti-American propaganda. His verses Malaya, Why should I Sing, and the Flag was frequently recited and sung by Filipino patriots during this period.