Lobregat hails newly-organized Council of Chabacano advocates PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 11:35

By JUBELS SANTOS

Congressman Celso Lobregat congratulated the officers and members of the newly-organized Consejo de Investigacion y Desarollo del Lenguaje Chabacano (CIDLC), a council composed of Chabacano advocates working for the preservation and enrichment of the Chabacano language.

Lobregat was invited as guest speaker during the induction of officers and members of the CIDLC headed by its founding President Dr. Roberto Torres, vice president of the Western Mindanao State University, and their Fellowship night held on Sunday at Garden Orchid Hotel.

In his message, Lobregat told the council that “Chabacano is too priceless a legacy to relinquish or to let wither on the vine”, as he urged the council “to exert effort and in whatever manner to preserve our treasure and legacy so that the next generation may continue to remember, learn and to converse Chabacano”.

Lobregat said that during his watch as City Mayor, he zealously pursued the legacy of preserving our rich history and cultural heritage and preserving and promoting Chabacano which was started by his mother thru various initiatives.

Even before Maria Clara Lobregat became a congresswomen, she was known for her efforts in preserving and promoting the Chabacano language as evidenced by her launching of the yearly Chabacano Songfest started in 1984 and adopted as one of the events in the annual celebration of Fiesta Pilar during her administration as City Mayor, Lobregat recalled.

Caling Lobregat also inspired and helped Ñor Noning Camins in the 1988 publication of the Chabacano Handbook. Camins acknowledge Caling Lobregat’s deep concern and dedicated the Handbook to her as he wrote: Dedicao a CALING LOBREGAT CORAZON ZAMBOANGUEÑA que ta ama mucho a su pueblo y ya inspira este obra – al Autor, Abril 26, 1988 which day incidentally is Ma’am Caling’s birthday.

It was also during his incumbency as City Mayor, Lobregat said when he issued Executive Order No. 66 in 2005 declaring mandatory the singing of the Zamboanga Hermosa Hymn which is the City’s hymn written by Zamboangueño writer and poet, Vicente Orendain, Sr., a recipient of a posthumous award as Achiever in Culture and Arts on February 26, 2013.

Lobregat described Chabacano, a Spanish derivative language, as uniquely Zamboanga and is one of the main reasons why Zamboanga is now branded as “Asia’s Latin City”.

Its branding, he said, started in 2006 when Zamboanga joined the City Development Strategies (CDS) implemented under the auspices of the World Bank, Cities Alliance and League of Cities of the Philippines where part of the strategies was the formulation of a City branding.

Lobregat said that what sets Zamboanga City apart from all cities in the country is Zamboanga’s history and culture and most especially its language, Chabacano. It is the only City in the entire Asia where majority of its population understands, speaks and converses in a Spanish derivative language called Chabacano.

Lobregat also recalled that then Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr, during his first visit in Zamboanga in October 2011 endorsed the new branding saying, “it speaks well of the City’s culture and history because of its strong Latin influence”.

The Induction and Felowship Night of the CIDLC was graced by Dr. Virgilio Almario, a national artist on literature and Chairman of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF), who served as inducting officer.

Aside from Dr. Torres, other officers inducted by Dr. Almario were Prof. Julie U. Cabato, vice-president; Engr. Aldrin Abdurahim, secretary; Dr. Araceli Lim, treasurer; Prof. Florence Alcazar, auditor & associate secretary; Prof. Ali Yacub Al-Haj, P.I.O; Ms. Ma. Socorro Cipriano , also PIO.

Members of the Board of Directors are Arch. Ildefonso Torres, Jr.., Dr. Florentina Virgie Lim, Engr. Elsa Saavedra, Rev. Fr. Elmer Sumile, Atty. Eduardo Sanson, legal officer, and Mrs. Zenaida Torres. to the newly-inducted officers and council members, to come up with a book that is refining Chabacano grammar and enriching its vocabulary.

He also said the Chabacano language may incorporate words from Bisaya, Tausug, Filipino, to give it a flavor distinct from the Mexican Spanish or standard Spanish language. — Jubels Santos