Celso firm on commitment to preserve chabacano PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 June 2012 14:41

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to preserve, protect, conserve and propagate chabacano, the Spanish derivative language that makes Zamboanga unique and distinct not only in the country but in the entire Asia.

The mayor made this declaration, as he spearheaded the celebration Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano yesterday that kicked off with the signing of the sisterhood agreement with the municipal government of San Mateo, Rizal.

“Bien pursigido y dedicao el Gobierno Local con este advocacia. Cuantos maga ordinansa, resolucion y orden ejecutivo el que ya inicia el administracion con el objeto para preserva y empoja el lenguaje chabacano aqui na Ciudad de Zamboanga,” the mayor said in his message during the sisterhood signing ceremony held at the City Hall conference room.

The mayor proved his commitment when he recently protested the mother tongue policy on segregation implemented in the K-12 program in Zamboanga City by the Department of Education (DepEd) in Zamboanga.

Mayor Lobregat deplored what he said is promoting disunity among Zamboanguenos in the DepEd policy of segregating students according to the language they speak.  He brought the matter to the attention of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, who in turn ordered the revision of the policy in view of the mayor’s protest.

Yesterday in celebration of Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano, the mayor met with public school principals and administrators, district supervisors and Grade 1 and day care teachers to discuss about the proper implementation of the  mother tongue policy and distributed copies of the city government-initiated Primer Alfabeto Chabacano handbook and chabacano dictionaries.

Chabacano traces its roots to the laying of the first cornerstone of the Fort Pilar on June 23, 1635. Chabacano was borne out of necessity of an admixture of tribes, races and culture and out of it evolved a distinct language that is predominantly Spanish in origin with at least 60% Espanol and 40% native words. This language has survived to this very day, according to Mayor Lobregat.

He stressed: “The chabacano language is indeed a true reflection of our rich culture and a testimony of our heritage and our link to the meaningful and colorful past. This is precisely what sets Zamboanguenos apart from the rest of the Filipino people, living in a paradise branded as ‘Asia’s latin City’.”

He said the city government, since the time of his late mother, Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat has been steadfast in the advocacy. “We have continued the advocacy and we will remain firm in our commitment”.

On the other hand, Mayor Lobregat also cited the importance of the sisterhood agreement with the Municipality of San Mateo and expressed confidence that the pact will bring about new opportunities and ultimately progress and development to both areas. — Sheila Covarrubias