Spanish gov’t to help Zambo preserve Chabacano — envoy PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:07

Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq, who came here to keynote the 75th Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga last Sunday, assured that the Spanish government is committed to help the city government in its effort to preserve the city’s Spanish derivative language called Chabacano.

“We have to do all we can. The Spanish government has decided to help preserve the Chabacano, which I think is a unique language, a very rich language which is not that known by so many people and so I think it ought to be protected and preserved,” Ambassador Domecq said when interviewed during his visit to Sta. Cruz Island.

Asked how he would assess Chabacano in comparison with Spanish, Domecq said, “I was very impressed. I was very moved when I heard people speak the Chabacano. To come to a city in the other side of the world and to hear a language which is the sister of your own language, it’s fantastic!”

According to the ambassador, the Spanish embassy in Manila will regularly organize series of activities aimed at preserving Chabacano and will also consider the publication of books in Chabacano in partnership with other organizations.

For example, he said, in the month of March the embassy will be having Instituto Cervantes, a Spanish non-government organization teaching Spanish language across the world, in a series of activities.”We will be having a cycle of Chabacano films or movies,” he said.

“To preserve Chabacano, we will also organize a conference in July together with the association of Chabacano at La Salle University,” the Spanish envoy said.

For his part, Spanish First Secretary Antonio Garcia, who joined the ambassador in his trip to Sta. Cruz Island together with Mayor Celso Lobregat, suggested that Chabacano can be declared an intangible heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. It is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972. — Vic Larato