Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Hinup-akan" could be the origin of Inopacan

Something to ponder about:

Another posibility of the origin of Inopacan town's name is "HINUP-ACAN" from the root word "hup-ak," referring to the "luno" (slough or skin shed by snakes).

The town proper in 2010 
(Photo by Edgie Polistico)
The place is known not only of being infested with "namok" from which it got its old name "Kanamokan" (the place of mosquitoes), but also of being an old place where snakes are commonly found. A manifestation that snakes are abounding in the area and the presence of hinup-akan in the place have existed are the "Bay sa has" (house of snake) cave and the story of Inong Pak-an fighting the serpentine snake, and the story of Brgy Binitinan (place of "bitin," also a snake. Binitinan is the old name of Guadalupe). Not to mention that there are many areas in and surrounding the town proper where tunneling caves and other subterranean crevices are can be found, which are a favorite places for snakes. The network of underground crevices even reached to Cuatro Islas and the solitaire hill in Brgy. Bontoc of Hindang.

When snake is shedding off its skin, we call it "nagluno" or "nanghup-ak ang panit" and the shedded slough is called "hinup-ak" or "hinup-akan" and the place where the slough are found or where the snake would shed their skin is also called "hinup-akan"

Thus, the following: HINUP-ACAN => HINUPACAN => INUPACAN => INOPACAN

The eventual disapperance of letter H in Hinup-akan could be attributed to the fact that in Spanish, letter H is more often silently pronounced if it is used as the first letter in a word. e.g. hora (o-ra) for time, hielo (ye-lo) for ice, etc. It was during the Spanish colonization era that names of places in the country were officially recorded.

By the way also, what sounds like letter K is more often replaced with the prominent and same sounding letter C in Spanish in that same era. For example, they used to write camo for kamo  (you), aco for ako (I), buac for buak (broken), calayo for kalayo (fire), caldero for kaldero (cooking pot), cura paruco for kura paruko (parish priest), etc.. This explains why the C in Inopacan sounds exactly that of letter K. With this, we can shorten the derivation to look like this:


HINUP-ACAN => HINUPACAN => INUPACAN =>  INOPACAN

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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