Celso bares Chabacano handbook publication PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 February 2011 15:49

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday declared the city’s all out support to the institutionalization of the mother-tongue based multi-lingual education program, as he revealed the publication of a Chabacano handbook that will be used in pre-schools and even day care centers.

“I would like to declare here that the City Government of Zamboanga under my administration is all out in its support to this program which has been validated to be very valuable and helpful based on worldwide studies”, Mayor Lobregat said during the Education Stakeholders’ Forum on Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE)

Mayor Lobregat said he fully agrees with the emphasis that the use of a learner’s mother tongue or first language enhances and improves learning outcomes and promotes Education for All. 
“In fact, the city government of Zamboanga is doing exactly what you are advocating for in this forum”, he said stressing that aside from the massive school building program and other education-related projects that the city aggressively undertakes, the local government is in the process of publishing a Chabacano Handbook to be used in the early years of our public schools and even day care centers.

The handbook is a project of the local government through the Council for Culture, Arts and History headed by the mayor and through the initiative of Prof. Bert Torres.

This project, he said, has a two-pronged approach, one it forms part of the city’s support system to the education sector and secondly, it is an integral part of the city’s campaign to conserve and preserve the chabacano language which is the mother tongue of the Zamboanguenos.

He said “Zamboanga is precisely “Asia’s Latin City” because it is the only city in the entire country and Asia where majority of the population understands and speaks Chabacano on an everyday basis. And we are exerting all our best efforts and constantly finding new initiatives to preserve this unique and beautiful language, chabacano.”

Other laudable effort in the preservation and strengthening of the chabacano language is the publication of the “Chabacano de Zamboanga”, both a dictionary and a compendium of Chabacano vocabulary and sayings, by Dr. Rolly Santos in collaboration with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.  There is also the production and release of a new compilation of chabacano songs in CD form and the inclusion in the token package for Zamboanga visitors a Chabacano dictionary—published during the time of the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat.

In his message, the mayor also expounded on the Asia’s Latin city branding as well as the city government’s continuous and unrelenting support and assistance to the education sector.

The city government, he stressed, places great importance in the education of our children as it is their best chance at a bright and better future. “ Education gives the young the knowledge and skills they need and empowers them with the tools they can use to uplift their lives”.

The forum was organized by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in cooperation with 170+ Talayan consortium, UP Diliman, Save the children in the Philippines, Language, Educationn and Development Director translators association of the Philippines, Department of education and other agencies.

Participants to the  forum came from different parts of the country. The forum was held at the ADZU LRC. — Sheila Covarrubias