City official worried Chavacano is dying PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 June 2016 11:55

By DOMINIC SANCHEZ

Chavacano is dying.

As the city celebrates the Dia de Fundacion de Chavacano (Chavacano foundation day) on June 23, Councilor Vincent Paul Elago said that the local language based from Spanish and intermixed with other native dialects is slowly fading away.

The fact that even Zamboangueños themselves speak more frequently in Tagalog, English and other dialects here are contributory to the so-called “death” of Chavacano.

“Macatriste especialmente el maga jovenes, mas bueno pa sila conversa otro lenguaje, despues aqui mismo na de aton ciudad,” said Elago.

It is very saddening, especially among our youth, they speak other languages better than they do Chavacano, and in our city no less.)

He said that even the city councilors themselves rarely speak Chavacano anymore.

“Masquin na consejo, escaso ya quita ohi ta man debate o man discurso na Chavacano,” Elago added.

(Even in the council, we now rarely debate or discuss issues in Chavacano.)

Another factor contributing to the fading away of the language is the outflow of native Chavacanos to other towns and countries. According to Elago, for every Chavacano family moving out of the city, there are ten out-of-towner families moving in bringing with them their own language.

“Apena pa lang llegada na terminal, na airport o na barco, otro lenguaje ya sila ta ohi, hinde el Chavacano,” he said. Non-Zamboangueños are then discouraged from learning the language, since most of the people here now speak other dialects.

Elago had authored council resolutions requesting all business establishments to mandate their staff to speak Chavacano, especially in entertaining customers. “Nohay este sosede,” he admitted.

(They did not comply, and this did not happen.)

Elago urged Zamboangueños to preserve their culture and heritage through the promotion of the Chavacano language. “Nesita ya gayod quita principia ahora, si no quiere quita na porsigo perde el de aton Chabacano,” he said.

(We need to start now, if we do not want Chavacano to disappear forever.)

The Chavacano dialect is one of the legacies and has been part of the colorfully-diverse culture of Zamboanga. It has been in existence since or even before the time of the construction of the Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, or the Fort Pilar in 1635, during the Spanish occupation. (DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)