Introduction

Introduction

Chavacano is the language adopted, spoken and developed by the natives of Zamboanga through the centuries, beginning with the occupation of the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula in the mainland of Mindanao, Southern Philippines,  by the Spaniards in June 23, 1635. In effect, Chavacano is the Spanish mixed with native words, that is spoken/developed in Zamboanga.

 Unlike identified indigenous natives as the Subanens, Tausogs, Samals or Badjaos, the typical Zamboangueño is the offspring of settlers, immigrants as well as foreigners who settled in the area starting during the Spanish regime, and intermarried with the natives. As it is with his nature, so it is with his tongue. The exigency of the times obliged the Spaniards to share their language with their offsprings/ neighbors and thus was developed the Chavacano.

Chavacano  is here – a communication tool that has lasted through the centuries to today. About 80 percent of the Chavacano vocabulary is Spanish with the remaining percentage composed of adaptations from other local dialects and English.

There has been attempts by well meaning scholars to introduce rules as to how  Chavacano should be written or verbalized. Few such scholarly attempts  are extant today. This Handbook is intended to freeze in time Chavacano and keep the language alive and well.

One comment on “Introduction

  1. John F. says:

    Thank you for this site. I am trying to learn Chavacano, as I already speak Spanish and can understand Tagalog. Chavacano is definitely it’s own language, and the lack of standardization and existing written instruction material makes it a challenge. Please keep up the great work.

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