Pabasa | @kapampangan.words

The Pabasa or the days-long chanting of the Pasiun that everyone will hear from afar throughout Holy Week is said to have its roots in pre-colonial customs of chanting epic poems during festivals that were eventually supplanted by the Biblical salvation story. This goes to show that precolonial Philippine literature was primarily transmitted through oral means (as opposed to fewer written means), and how singing has always been a major part of Philippine sacred rituals.

PABÁSÂ • (puh-BAH-suh)
the traditional recitation or chant of the Pasiun epic during Holy Week
Tagálog (Filipino): Pabása

Precolonial Origins of the Pabásâ
It is said that the Pabásâ has its roots in the Philippine precolonial custom of chanting or singing epic poems during major events or festivals. It was eventually supplanted by the Biblical story of Christ’s Passion as Christianity was introduced.

Root word:
BÁSÂ • (BAH-sa’)
(to) read
Tagálog (Filipino): bása, basá

BASÂ = (to) wet, douse
Tagálog (Filipino): basâ

BÁSÂ = (to) read
Tagálog (Filipino): bása/basá

From Sanskrit वाचा (vācā́) “verbally; oath, holy word, sacred text”, via Malay baca “to read”

Verb Conjugation
mamásâ, mámásâ, mémásâ – to read (Actor Focus)
básan, babásan, binásâ – to read something (Object Focus)

Example Sentence
Mamásá ya king Pabásâ. [Kap]
Magbábasa siya sa Pabása. [Tag]
S/he will read at the Pabasa. [Eng]

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