Pawu | @kapampangan.words


It’s World Turtle Day! The concept of reverse psychology in Kapampángan is expressed with a verb that originates from the Kapampángan root word for “turtle”!

PAÛ / PAWÛ • (puh-WOO’)
turtle, sea turtle
Tagálog (Filipino): pagóng, pawíkan (sea turtle)

Kapampángan Reverse Psychology
The concept of reverse psychology is expressed in Kapampángan with the verb magpawû (magpauo in the Spanish-based orthography) which means “to say the contrary”.

According to Bergaño’s 1732 Kapampángan dictionary, the word came from the root word pawû (pauo) which means “turtle”. This references the Filipino fable “The Monkey and the Turtle” where the two animals got into a fight over a fallen banana tree.

When it became apparent that the turtle had outsmarted him, the furious monkey asked the turtle how he wanted to die. Using reverse psychology, the turtle told him, “Anything, except by drowning.” So the monkey threw the turtle into the river, thus freeing him instead. The story was later popularized by José Rizal through his illustrated comics.