Who/what is “Kopong Kopong”? … and mahoma, also!
Notice “ni” in the tagalog expression “panahon pa ni kopong kopong” that implies “kopong-kopong” is a person, so who the heck is this “kopong kopong”? Kopong could be for “blank” or “unspecified” or “kuwan.”
There is another phrase “nineteen kopong-kopong” or “nineteen something something” or 19**, indicating something that happened at an unspecified point quite a long time ago or even earlier.
Time decided to be funny and change the phrase from “nineteen kopong kopong” to “panahon pa ni kopong kopong”, and people found it so amusing that the new phrase stuck.
Nineteen kopong-kopong could also be “a couple of years back”.
Tagalog has a lot of words repeated for emphasis. As in “bagung-bago” (really new), “lumang-luma” (very old). Perhaps “couple” is raised to this “kopong-kopong” power, heheheh!.
Somebody also posted that “Panahon pa ng kopong kopong” refers to a term used in the 50’s which connotes 50 years or older things are considered antique or passe .
Reference year could be 1900, with a couple of zeros, thus the word kopong kopong was invented. Modern na daw sila.
By the way, Kopong is also a small village in Kweneng District of Botswana.
Paano naman ang “Panahon pa ni Mahoma”?
Mahoma could refer to mohamad of islam. Mahoma could also refer to Masaharu Homma, a japanese general during World War II who was tasked with the invasion of the Philippines.
He ordered his troops to treat the Filipinos not as enemies but as friends, and respect their customs and religion, and for that, tagalog of luzon referred to him as “maginoo homa” like a gentle noble of a forgotten tagalog nobility.
Within Homma’s command, a small group of insubordinates under Masanobo sent out secret orders against his policies, including ordering the execution of Filipino Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos.
Also, part of the plan was the attempted execution of former Speaker of the House of Representatives Manuel Roxas, which Homma found out about in time to stop.
The Imperial General Headquarters regarded Homma as not aggressive enough in war and too lenient with the Filipino people in peace, and he was subsequently forced into retirement in August 1943.
Later after the war, Homma was extradited to face trial for honoring an ancient tradition of tagalog nobility with utmost respect. The rest is history folks.
“Panahon pa ng kopong-kopong” is also used when comparing to old age and time. “kopong-kopong” is coined from the year 1900 which has two “00” for old tagalog word “kopong” or double.
Now that we know who Mahoma is and what is kopong-kopong we will not be as dumb when we hear those sentences from someone.
By the way again, do we really know Limahong?