Monday, July 26, 2004

News about Chabacano / Chavacano

I participate (read: debate) on a mailing list dedicated to the Philippines' Spanish heritage. Many of the members favor reviving it there. Anyway, back in March a member living in Spain saw a report on Chavacano on channel TVE. Another Spain-based member taped them and were ultimately made available on a website.

The following three links have the video. It's mostly the same; the report itself does not differ it's just that the report was shown three different times and so the people at newsdesk changed.

One Two Three

I personally thought the report was interesting. It was nice to see the extent of Chabacano used in Zamboanga - to the point that it's used in newscasts and in radio.

However, the report had some inaccuracies.

The reporters prefaced the report with: "Chavacano no es sólo algo de mal gusta. Es también un idioma criollo del español que todavía se habla en una zona de Filipinas en la isla de Luzón. El chavacano mantiene las palabras del español y las sostiene con una gramática prestada del tagalo. Es un idioma que está a punto de desaparecer." (Translation: Chabacano is not only something of bad taste. It's also a creole language of Spanish that's still spoken in a part of the Philippines on the island of Luzon. Chabacano maintains words from Spanish and sustains them with a grammar borrowed from Tagalog. It's a language that is going to disappear.)

So far, there really is nothing really wrong. When I first encountered this, I thought they were refering to the Chabacano spoken in Cavite. Or perhaps that of Ermita - which some say is extinct or has only one speaker left.

But then, the person actually presenting the report, Rosa María Calaf, begins the report by saying: "La bienvenida no es a un barrio en España o Hispanoamérica. Es en la ciudad de Zamboanga. En Filipinas." (The welcome is not for a town in Spain or in Latin America. It's for a city in Zamboanga. In the Philippines.)

Totally wrong.

First, Zamboanga is not on the Luzon (in the north) instead it's in western Mindanao which is hundreds of miles away.

Second, since Zamboanga is not in Luzon, then the bulk of its grammar and vocabulary does not come from Tagalog. Instead, it comes from Visayan languages like Cebuano & Hiligaynon and perhaps other languages indigenous to Mindanao.

Third, Zamboangueño will not be disappearing anytime soon. The 2000 census says there are about 358,729. From my understanding, it's widely used as a second language.

On the other hand, In Luzon, there are 7,044 speakers of Ternateño (not the Portuguese creole) and 202,312 speakers of Caviteño. These languages are probably threatened by Tagalog according to this dissertation.

On Mindanao there are 20,545 Cotabateño speakers. There are 327,802 Davaweño speakers. Davaweño refers to both the creole and an Austronesian language so there may be confusion there. Though 17,873 are reported to speak the creole (listed as Davao-Chavacano) specifically.

Lastly, Rosa María Calaf says "... [N]i el tiempo ni otras lenguas alejaron al chabacano del castellano perfecto sino que los españoles no se lo enseñaron bien ..." (Neither time nor other languages distanced Chabacano from perfect Castilian but it's the Spaniards who didn't teach it [their language] well to them.)

Perhaps, in reality, the Spanish did not teach the language well. But creoles are the products of pidgins. Pidgins are created when two diverse linguistic groups strip their language to the bare essentials and try to communicate with each other. No formal teaching involved. The pidgins turn into creoles when the children & subsequent generations speak the pidgin as a native language.

In any case.. ¡Viva el chavacano!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dapat ang Chavacano ang naging wikang pambansa ng Filipinas! Gustong-gusto ko itong lenguajeng ito dahil ineembody nito ang Castilang heritage ng pais habang Filipinong-Filipino pa rin ang feel at flavor; producto kasi ito ng paghahalo ng civilizaciong Malay at Castila, which really is the Philippines after all. Open din at walang problema ang Chavacano sa pagboborrow ng mga dayuhang salita, kaya mas madali segurong nakapagcreate at nakarealize ang mga Pinoy ng isang tunay na 'wikang Filipino' kung ibinase ito sa Chavacano; wala nang issueng kailangang pag-isipan pa tungkol sa purismo; halos kahit ano ay puede kung vocabulario ang pag-uusapan. At saka, sa lahat ng mga wikang Filipino, sa tingin ko ay ito ang pinakaneutral na idioma.

Christopher Sundita said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christopher Sundita said...
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Christopher Sundita said...

Para kay anonymous...

"Malay at Castila, which really is the Philippines after all."

Hindi ako sang-ayon. Ang totoong Pilipinas ay hindi Malay o Kastila - tayo'y mga Austronesyo na may impluwensiya na galing sa mga iba't-ibang kultura katulad ng Intsik, Kastila at Amerikano.

[I disagree. The true Philippines is neither Malay nor Kastila - we are Austronesians who have influences that have its origins rooted in various cultures like Chinese, Spanish, and American.]

"ito ang pinakaneutral na idioma."

Pinakaneutral? Paano ito? Mayroong tayong problema kung ang Chabacano'y pipiliin.

[The most neutral? How so? We have a problem if Chabacano's chosen.]

Aling uri ng Chabacano ang dapat natin piliin? Siguro ang gusto ng mga Tagalog ay gamitin ang Chabacano na galing sa isla ng Luzon - ang Caviteño o ang Ternateño. Tapos magagalit ang mga Bisaya kasi gusto nila yung Chabacanong ginagamit sa Zamboanga dahil iyon ay halo ng Kastila at Bisaya.

[Which Chabacano should we choose? Tagalogs will probably prefer the Chabacano spoken on Luzon - either Caviteño or Ternateño. And then the Visayans will get mad because they want the Chabacano used in Zamboanga because that's mixed with Spanish & Visayan languages.]

Ay, buhay.

Sa aking palagay, hindi dapat isang wika ang dapat piliin bilang wikang pambansa. The Philippines is a heterogenous society so we need official languages instead.

[In my opinion, there shouldn't be one official language. ... ]

--Chris

Anonymous said...

Kung walang isang common language sa Filipinas, paano magcocommunicate ang mga Pinoy sa isa't isa? Kahit magkaroon ng *mga* oficial na wika sa Filipinas, parejo pa rin ang problema kung may isa lamang; unfair pa rin sa mga wikang hindi mapipiling maging oficial na wika . . . unless na icoconsider mo ang lahat ng lenguajeng Filipino bilang oficial na wika . . . . Pero sa tingin ko, napakaimpractical naman iyon. At saka, halimbawa lamang, paano na lang kung may isang trabajador na gustong itransfer ng isang company mula sa Naga City sa Zamboanga City at may tatlong anak itong nasa Grades 5, 6, at 7? Maiimagine mo ba ang dapat na idevelop na multilingual education system para sa Filipinas? Buti kung tatlo o apat lamang ang total na mga wika sa bansa, e! Magiging mahirap ang transition ng buong familia at ang pagdedevelop sa cohesiveness ng buong bansa dahil sa lack of a common language.

Christopher Sundita said...

Ipaliliwanag ang aking posisyon tunkol dito sa kinabukasan. Basta, tingnan nyo ang mga iba't-ibang mga bansang may mga official languages. Katulad ng Switzerland o Canada.

--Chris

Anonymous said...

I do agree with anonymous that Chabacano should be made the medium of communication in the Philippines. Look at Malaysia and Indonesia, they are very succesful in using Bahasa (pidgin Malay) as a unifying national language in their respective countries.

It is also amazing to know that the Javanese, who make up 50% of the Indonesian population or 100 million or so made an outstanding unifying gesture for national integration by allowing Bahasa instead of imposing their Javanese language on the whole country.

It appears that in the Philippines the Tagalogs still clamor to impose their language and identity on the whole archipelago even when Cebuano is spoken by most people in the Philippines than Tagalog. The Tagalogs are not the only Filipinos.

In our experience in Zamboanga with migrants who come from Luzon and the Visayas and who are serious in learning to speak Chabacano verbally and with out any written aids, it only takes them an average of six months to be fluent in Chabacano because most hispanized Filipino languages like Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano etc. already have more than 30% Spanish and Filipinismo (Spanish words with Filipino connotation) words in their vocabulary. Inspite of not having schools in Zamboanga that teach written Chabacano, migrants from other parts of the archipelago, if they are interested, can learn Chabacano rapidly.

And whether you choose Caviteño or Zamboangueño Chabacano doesn't really matter, both variants are pretty much the same because it was the Caviteño population in Zamboanga like my ancestors who propagated the Chavacano tongue. In my humble estimate, 50% of Malay words in Zamboangueño Chabacano are Tagalog together with Ilongo and Cebuano words. We have Tagalog words such as maribalan (manibalang in Tagalog) that are unbeknownst to Tagalog speakers in Manila who come from other provinces where Tagalog is not their first language.

For the majority of Filipinos who are compelled to learn Tagalog in school, learning it can be hectic and most of us find it easier to learn English than Tagalog. Dread will be day when schools use Tagalog as the sole medium of instruction, instead of learning the subject matter we will spend twice the effort learning Tagalog.

In retrospect, there are two issues here, one is the need of the Philippines to have a more accessible medium of communication for the masses and the other is political - the unwillingness of the Tagalogs to abandon their imposition of language and identity on the country. Hect, even in Spain the Castilians have lost their way and languages like Basques and Catalan are now being taught in their respective areas. But in the Philippines, the Tagalogs appear to be emulating the 15th century Castilians. What a real "colonial mentality" we have here.

And sure other languages like Ilocano, Cebuano, Pangasinan, and all other long ignored native languages, can be accomodated and taught in their respective areas and lo and behold Chabacano would not threaten their existence.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with anonymous that Chabacano should be made the medium of communication in the Philippines. Look at Malaysia and Indonesia, they are very succesful in using Bahasa (pidgin Malay) as a unifying national language in their respective countries.

It is also amazing to know that the Javanese, who make up 50% of the Indonesian population or 100 million or so made an outstanding unifying gesture for national integration by allowing Bahasa instead of imposing their Javanese language on the whole country.

It appears that in the Philippines the Tagalogs still clamor to impose their language and identity on the whole archipelago even when Cebuano is spoken by most people in the Philippines than Tagalog. The Tagalogs are not the only Filipinos.

In our experience in Zamboanga with migrants who come from Luzon and the Visayas and who are serious in learning to speak Chabacano verbally and with out any written aids, it only takes them an average of six months to be fluent in Chabacano because most hispanized Filipino languages like Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano etc. already have more than 30% Spanish and Filipinismo (Spanish words with Filipino connotation) words in their vocabulary. Inspite of not having schools in Zamboanga that teach written Chabacano, migrants from other parts of the archipelago, if they are interested, can learn Chabacano rapidly.

And whether you choose Caviteño or Zamboangueño Chabacano doesn't really matter, both variants are pretty much the same because it was the Caviteño population in Zamboanga like my ancestors who propagated the Chavacano tongue. In my humble estimate, 50% of Malay words in Zamboangueño Chabacano are Tagalog together with Ilongo and Cebuano words. We have Tagalog words such as maribalan (manibalang in Tagalog) that are unbeknownst to Tagalog speakers in Manila who come from other provinces where Tagalog is not their first language.

For the majority of Filipinos who are compelled to learn Tagalog in school, learning it can be hectic and most of us find it easier to learn English than Tagalog. Dread will be day when schools use Tagalog as the sole medium of instruction, instead of learning the subject matter we will spend twice the effort learning Tagalog.

In retrospect, there are two issues here, one is the need of the Philippines to have a more accessible medium of communication for the masses and the other is political - the unwillingness of the Tagalogs to abandon their imposition of language and identity on the country. Hect, even in Spain the Castilians have lost their way and languages like Basques and Catalan are now being taught in their respective areas. But in the Philippines, the Tagalogs appear to be emulating the 15th century Castilians. What a real "colonial mentality" we have here.

And sure other languages like Ilocano, Cebuano, Pangasinan, and all other long ignored native languages, can be accomodated and taught in their respective areas and lo and behold Chabacano would not threaten their existence.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Filipinos should learn how to speak,write and understand the spanish languge because it is the first national language of the Philippines since the Spanish times and it is one of the heritage of the country that should be preserve and use by every Filipino people.For me,la lengua española es muy una idioma hermosa y romantica!I really study and use it because I want to feel how is it nice to utter the language eventhough I didn't have the opportunity to have a formal education on it but still I exert effort to learn the languge.I suggest that The Filipino students today just tryt o read books written in Spanish and you will feel and hear something that is really nice.Los Filipinos no estudian eso idioma porque no hay asignatura española en la escuela o unibersidad.I hope that someday the government would make some actions and programs bringing back the Spanish languge studies in schools.Thank You!!!!

Mabuhay!!!!!!Viva los Filipinos!!!!!!!!!!

Christopher Sundita said...

Aunque estoy de acuerdo que los filipinos deben aprender el español, no creo que el español deba ser obligatorio o oficial.

--Chris

Anonymous said...

In Zamboanga City, linguists are actually fearing the loss of Chabacano in the future. The young ones do not seem to value the uniqueness of the dialect. Many are no longer fluent in it and find it funny to hear the deep Chabacano words. They find it old fashioned and "de monte" type. It's nice to find out that there are still those who value and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely right. Although the population data may show that there are more than 300,000 speakers of Chabacano in Zamboanga alone, young people in high school and grade school are now using Tagalog to communicate to one another. Maybe in a generation or so, no one will be speaking Chabacano. This is happening because the Zamboangueño himself/herself feels his identity is inferior and does not realize that it is Chabacano being our first language that has facilitated us to learn with such ease Western European languages such as English and Spanish. Unfortunately, we behave as if we have colonial masters who are imposing their language and identity upon us. And most of the postings on the Internet depicts and labels Chabacano negatively as pidgin, bastardized Spanish, market Spanish etcetera when they don't even speak Chabacano. Is our native tongue really "bastardized" or a pidgin when we say correctly Spanish word jugador instead of sugarul and the Mexican Spanish word chongo instead of unguy? It is true that we do not conjugate Spanish verbs and we absorbed Ilongo and Tagalog prepositions and other words but this is was done to accomodate tolerantly the different Malay tribes who have incorporated with us and lived with us as part of our family for all these years. Look what happened when my great-great-grandparents and their kins, who were primarily Spanish, Mexican, Caviteño, and other Filipino soldiers from the Spanish garrisson in Zamboanga, recruited workers from Iloilo to man their sugar plantations in the middle of the 19th century Zamboanga because they possesssed the skills and technology thate were necessary in cultivating sugar, the Ilongos came to live with us as part of our family, intermarried with us, spoke Chabacano,became Zamboangueños themselves, and we in turn adapted Ilongo words. Every time Chabacano is mentioned it is labeled and compared unfairly to Spanish. Didn't Spanish developed, same as other Romance languages such as Portuguese, Italian, French, as vulgar Latin in the middle ages? Y usted señor, ¿tiene tanto dominio par excelente del castellano para juzgar nuestro idioma así?

Pepe Alas said...

Do you believe that there is, or there still are, speakers of Chavacano Ermiteño? I do. We should find them!!!

Anonymous said...

i disaggree! it is not really the caviteño Chavacano who propagate the chavacano de Zamboanga... the Cahvacano de Zamboanga since the 1600's.... or i between the ages of 1635....

these varieties of Chavacano was born separately!

Anonymous said...

1600 A.D. – A formidable Fort, militant Catholicism, Zamboanga, and Chavacano arrives
In the 1600s, Jambangan would experience its transition from the Muslim community it has become into the Catholic dominated city it is today. In 1635, Don Juan Cerezo de Salamanca, interim Governor-General of the Philippines, received reports relative to the Moro power concentrated near the site of the present downtown of Zamboanga. During that year, Padre Juan Batista Vilancio, who had been for years a captive in Jolo, escaped to Manila and brought to the ears of the Governor-General an account of the town where "the nobility of Mindanao held court."
Governor Salamanca resolved to take possession of this strategic peninsula, hoping in this manner to strike a heavy blow on to the Moro power. A fortress in Jambangan would command the Basilan Straight, the waters of which were the ordinary course of the Moro pirate vessels infesting the coasts of the Visayas. The region of Jambangan, while not as important as the seats of the Sultans of Sulu and Mindanao, was nevertheless the territory of a minor Moro king whose authority reached along both sides of the peninsula for a hundred miles on either side. Salamanca hoped to divide this unbroken front and his efforts would prove successful.
Thirty-seven (37) years after the ill-advised destruction of their La Caldera Presidio and Mission, the coffers of the Manila-centric Filipinas Spanish government is once again enriched and well-supplied with new troops from Nueva España and other native settlements in the Visayas and Luzon islands, who have suffered tremendous losses from the Moro attacks on their villages, leading to a more concerted effort in restoring their important sentry in the Mindanao island peninsula.
After due preparation for their voyage, a conquering force of 300 well armed Spaniards from Luzon and 1,000 Cebuanos under the command of Captain Juan de Chaves landed at Jambangan on April 6, 1635. There, de Chaves temporarily founded the town of Bagumbayan, which was the first Spanish-given name for Jambangan, and from this station he soon attacked and cleared the town of La Caldera, now barrio Recodo in Caldera Bay, and eventually the rest of the Jambangan peninsula, of Moro Pirates. Their two-month long campaign would provide them a temporary relief from the Moro Pirates and allow them to start construction on the fort.
Soon, the construction of one of the finest and most important Spanish forts in the East was put into effect. Upon careful choice of locating the fort at the southern-most tip of the peninsula for its military vantage point of the main water routes that converges in what's called today the Basilan Straights, the foundation of the grand fortress of Fuerza de San José was laid by Father Melchor de Vera7, a Jesuit priest and engineer of the Spanish army, on June 23, 1635, establishing a permanent Spanish presence here brick-by-brick.2 Zamboanga City, as we know it today, was thus born.
In the best evidence we have found so far relating to the early beginnings of Zamboanga, a letter to King Philip IV of Spain from the Bishop Fray Pedro of "Santissimo Nombre de Jesus" (locally known as Cebu) dated October 17, 1635 states that he requested, and got approval, from interim Governor Salamanca, the building of a fort in "Samboanga or Samboangan" to preclude their enemies in Mindanao and Sulu from raiding his "people" and "burning villages, firing churches, destroying images, and capturing many Indians" (their description of the locals), especially worst during the previous year.3 Bishop Fray Pedro also advised the new Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, ex-governor of Panama, that the work on Fort San José be continued for the benefit of church and state. The efforts of the Bishop of Cebu would prove fruitful for the coffers of Spain, and a handful for the few Jesuit priests from Cebu he "entrusted" to do the religious conversion of the natives, who numbered in the "many thousands." The inadequate number of Jesuits for their religious mission resulted in the Bishop requesting from the King "forty" (40) more devoted and "efficient" fathers of the Society of Jesus.3 The local scenery at this time must not have looked that much different than a picture scene in the late 1700s, proving that early Jambangan was already a major trading town with thousands of residents.
Along with the new formidable fort, the Spaniards would forever change the area’s original Jambangan name (which came to be known and spelled Samboangan in the early 1600s by Spanish historians) that stood for over four centuries into its present one – Zamboanga. Little did Captain Chaves foresee that it will someday be considered by some of the leading travel writers today to be the most beautiful and exotic sounding name for a tourist destination city.
Another historical transformation will take place henceforth and will forever embody the character of Zamboanga – the evolution of the Chavacano Dialect and its People - the Chavacanos. The conglomeration of the multitudes of ethnic and foreign peoples and languages from the surrounding Philippine Islands and European countries would force upon the fort and city builders a rudimentary form of survival communication, evolving into the unique dialect of today, based on Creole Spanish: Chavacano
June 23, 1635, the day Zamboanga and Chavacano were founded, should also be symbolically known as “Dia del Chavacano de Zamboanga.”
Thus, the veil of Catholicism began to slowly spread across the region with the spirited drive of the militant Jesuits. With no spices or gold to enrich the king’s coffers, except for local taxes, the Jesuits refocused the Spanish government’s agenda and made religion the object of their expansion and conquest here. It is conceivable that eight hundred years of Moorish domination over Spain that ended in 1492 with the fall of Granada must have left bad blood in the Spanish conquerors’ dealings with the region's transplanted Malayan residents who were converted to Mohammedanism. In this crossroads of Zamboanga’s storied history, Filipino people of the same Malayan decent fought each other to the death in battles for religious domination. The Spaniards and Filipinos from the Visayan and Luzon Islands, backed by the bigger guns and resolve of the Spanish empire to stop the murdering Moro Pirates, eventually made their secure foothold in Mindanao with the strategically placed San José Fort in Zamboanga and have not relinquished it to this day – 371 years later.
In the history of Spanish conquest, there is no other place that symbolizes their greatest achievement as the success of the Zamboanga campaign and the formidable San José Fort that saved them, erasing almost a century of their failure to win against the resilient Moro Pirates. It is even more remarkable what the severely outnumbered Chavacanos have accomplished given the isolation of Zamboanga in the middle of predominant Moroland.
The erection of this fortress was accompanied by serious interruptions in the way of Moro Pirate attacks. With only a portion of the massive walls in place, the Spaniards awoke one morning to meet the attack of some 5,000 Moro Pirates, who entered Rio Hondo and attacked the unfinished fortification. Canons were hastily mounted upon the fragmentary walls and the Spaniards retired to the partial shelter to pour a terrible canon fire towards the advancing Moro Pirates. The Moro Pirates' wave broke on the uncompleted walls and the force eventually retired, with severe casualties inflicted upon the Spaniards.
With the completion of the San José Fort, a convenient base of operations paved the way for a long-awaited Spanish victory in Moroland. This strong fortress, only ninety miles from the Moro capital of Jolo, always remained as a serious deterrent to Moro Pirates' aggression. The meter-thick walls withstood numerous attacks, and in all of the long history of this fort, the Moro Pirates never captured it.
The first victory for the men of the fortress and also the first major victory for Spain was the destruction of a Moro Pirates' fleet. In 1636, Tagal, brother of Kudarat- the Sultan of Maguindanao (Mindanao), gathered a large fleet recruited from Mindanao, Sulu and Borneo and made a cruise to the Visayan Islands. The result was a glorious field day for the pirates. Every town of importance on the whole coast of the Visayas was attacked and looted. When Tagal wearied of the slaughter and raised his hand to turn the prows of the pirate vessels to the south again, 650 captives lay trussed like chickens in the pirate hold.
One hundred miles from Jolo, a Spanish fleet that was operating from their base in Zamboanga, intercepted the victorious Tagal as he rounded the treacherous angle of rough water at Puenta de Flecha in the Dumanquillas Bay. Hampered by the hundreds of captives in the holds, the garays (a Spanish term given to the swift Moro-built pirate ships) of Tagal were slow and unwieldy, and in the naval engagement that followed the Moro Pirates suffered a crushing defeat. Three hundred Moro Pirates, including Tagal, were killed, and 120 captives were set free. Tagal jettisoned many of the captives as the tide of battle turned against him, and the sharks at Puenta Flecha fed well on the bound bodies of Christian slave girls bound for the harems of Jolo.2
After twenty eight years of rapid conversion of the locals in Zamboanga, areas of Mindanao and nearby Basilan Island, by the Jesuits, the supporting Spanish troops from Zamboanga, and Ternate (Spice Islands, Moluccas), were suddenly recalled to Manila in May 6, 1662 to spruce up its defense against possible invasion after the Dutch were expelled by the warlord they called Koxinga (Guo Xing-ye in Chinese) from Formosa, and did not return until 1718. They left behind some of the Jesuits who decided to stay, along with their numerous Chavacanos, to continue their work of spreading the Catholic faith. Amazingly, the Chavacanos, Jesuits included, will amazingly endure another fifty-six (56) years (1662-1718) of isolated existence and proliferation amidst the hostile threat and return of the Moro Pirates who overtook and destroyed the abandoned fort.
1700 A.D. – Divine Intervention and Expansion
The San José Fort of Zamboanga was re-taken, demolished, and rebuilt in 1718 by orders of newly elected Governor-General of the Philippines, Fernando Manuel de Bustillo Bustamante y Rueda. It was greatly strengthened to ward off continued Moro Pirates' resistance and other invaders from foreign countries, and was renamed Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa. The new fort was said to have miraculous powers from its namesake statue that was placed in 1734 as a religious centerpiece above the East wall. As a result of the fabled miracles of the Lady of the Pilar, the statue was converted into an open-air shrine with an altar and section for worship. The shrine’s miraculous tales not only attracts Christian worshipers today, but also some Muslims who feel they have been touched by the miracles attributed to the Lady of the Pilar.
Thus started the era of numerous changes that has made Zamboanga the place that it is today. To start, the Spaniards drew up a plan for the city.
During the protracted struggle with the Mahometans, Zamboanga was fortified and became the headquarters of the Spaniards in the Southern Philippines. After Cavite, Zamboanga was the chief naval station and a penitentiary was also established here. Its maintenance was a great burden to the Treasury - its existence a great eyesore to the enemy, whose hostility was much inflamed thereby.6
In 1738, the fixed annual expenses of Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa and its equipment were 17,500 pesos, and the incidental reimbursements were estimated at 7,500 pesos. These sums did not include the cost of scores of armed fleets which, at enormous expense, were sent out against the Mahometans to little purpose. Each new Zamboanga Governor of a martial spirit, and desiring to do something to establish or confirm his fame for prowess, seemed to regard it as a kind of duty to premise the quelling of imaginary troubles in Sulu and Mindanao. Some, with less patriotism than selfishness, found a ready excuse for filling their own pockets by the proceeds of warfare, in making feigned efforts to rescue captives. It may be observed, in extenuation, that, in those days, the Spaniards believed from their birth that none but a Christian had rights, whilst some were deluded by a conscientious impression that they were executing a high mission; myth as it was, it at least served to give them courage in their perilous undertakings. Peace was made and broken over and over again. Spanish forts were at times established in Sulu, and afterwards demolished. Every decade brought new devices to control the desperate foe. Several Governor-General headed the troops in person against the Mahometans with temporary success, but without any lasting effect, and almost every new Governor made a solemn treaty with one powerful chief or another, which was respected only as long as it suited both parties. This continued campaign, the details of which are too prolix for insertion here, may be qualified as a religious war, for Roman Catholic priests took an active part in the operations with the same ardent passion as the Mahometans themselves. Among these tonsured warriors who acquired great fame out of their profession may be mentioned Father Ducos, the son of a Colonel, José Villanueva, and Pedro de San Agustin, the last being known, with dread, by the Mahometans in the beginning of the 17th century under the title of the Captain-Priest. One of the most renowned kings in Mindanao was Cachil Corralat, an astute, far-seeing chieftain, who ably defended the independence of his territory, and kept the Spaniards at bay during the whole of his manhood.6
From October 1, 1754, the troops were quartered in barracks, Commissariat Officers were appointed, and every man and every officer was regularly paid fortnightly. The soldiers were not used to this discipline, and desertion was frequent. They much preferred the old style of roaming about to beg or steal and live where they chose until they were called out to service, and very vigorous measures had to be adopted to compel them to comply with the new regulations. In May, 1755, four artillery brigades were formed, the commanding officer each received P.30 per month pay.6
In 1757, there were 16 fortified provincial outposts in the Philippines, at a total estimated cost of P.37,638 per annum. Zamboanga, the chief centre of operations against the Mahometans, alone cost P.18,831.6
In 1784, the La Caldera fort was re-built by the Spaniards as an additional defense system to the mighty Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa in downtown Zamboanga, and "principally for protection against the Sulu pirates, who were in the habit of visiting the settlements, and carrying off the inhabitants as slaves, to obtain ransom for them. This fort, and others of the same description, were therefore constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants, as well as to afford protection to vessels." The resurrected La Caldera fort measured "about seventy feet square, and was built of large blocks of red coral, which evidently have not been taken from the vicinity of the place," as was stated by the lieutenant in command of the fort in an 1842 survey by a US Navy expedition.
1800 A.D. – The Climax and The Transition
In 1831, the decision was made to open up Zamboanga's maritime trade to the rest of the European powerhouse empires operating in the region for many years, ending the almost 200-year monopoly that the Spaniards closely maintained. This agreement was part of the deal made when the British gave back control of Manila to the conquered Spanish rulers. Consequently, a customs clearing house was established that year and the Zamboanga port opened up to international trade - although selectively privy to a few powerful signatories.
The circumstances which directly led to the opening of Zamboanga as a commercial port with the southern-most customs processing for the Spanish government in the Philippines are interesting when it is remembered that Mindanao Island is still quasi-independent in the interior - inhabited by races unconquered by the Spaniards, and where agriculture by civilized settlers is as yet nascent. It appears that the port of Jolo in Sulu Island had been, for a long time, frequented by foreign ships, whose owners or officers (chiefly British) unscrupulously supplied the Sulus with sundry manufactured goods, including arms of warfare, much to the detriment of Spanish interests there, in exchange for mother-of-pearl, pearls, gums, etc. The Spaniards claimed suzerain rights over the islands, but were not strong enough to establish and protect a Customhouse, so they imposed the regulation that ships loading in Jolo should put in at Zamboanga for clearance to foreign ports. The foreigners who carried on this illicit traffic protested against a sailing-ship being required to go out of her homeward course about one hundred and twenty miles for the mere formality of customs clearance. A British ship (and perhaps many before her) sailed straight away from Jolo, in defiance of the Spaniards, and the matter was then brought to the notice of the British Government, who intimated that either Jolo must be declared a free port or a Customs house must be established there. The former alternative was chosen by the Spaniards, but Zamboanga remained an open port for foreign trade which very rarely came.6
Zamboanga (La Caldera fort) in 1842 - Two days in the city’s life

After the La Caldera Fort was burned down by the Spaniards in 1598 and its entire garrison returned to Manila, it was again rebuilt in 1784 as a secondary defensive citadel to the main fort Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa in downtown Zamboanga, 186 years after that fateful decision.
(excerpts from: Narrative of The U.S. Exploring Expedition, Vol. V, Chaps. 8 and 9.; by: Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., Commander of the Expedition)
"On the January 29th (1842), at noon, we had been wafted by it far enough in the offing to obtain the easterly breeze, which soon became strong, with an overcast sky, and carried us rapidly on our course; my time would not permit my heaving-to. We kept on our course for Mindanao during the whole night, and were constantly engaged in sounding, with our patent lead, with from thirty to forty fathoms cast, to prevent our passing over this part of the sea entirely unexamined.
[Mindanao.] At daylight on the January 31st (1842), we had the island of Mindanao before us, but did not reach its western cape until 5 p.m. This island is high and broken, like those to the north of it, but, unlike them, its mountains are covered with forests to their very tops, and there were no distinct cones of minor dimensions, as we had observed on the others. If they do exist, they were hidden by the dense forest.
I had determined to anchor at Caldera, a small port on the south-west side of Mindanao, about ten miles distant from Zamboanga, where the governor resides. The latter is a considerable place, but the anchorage in its roadstead is said to be bad, and the currents that run through the Straits of Basilan are represented to be strong. Caldera, on the other hand, has a good, though small anchorage, which is free from the currents of the straits. It is therefore an excellent stopping-place, in case of the tide proving unfavorable. On one of its points stands a small fort, which, on our arrival, hoisted Spanish colors.
At six o’clock we came to anchor at Caldera, in seven fathoms water. There were few indications of inhabitants, except at and near the fort. An officer was despatched to the fort, to report the ship. It was found to be occupied by a few soldiers under the command of a lieutenant.
[Caldera fort.] The fort is about seventy feet square, and is built of large blocks of red coral, which evidently have not been taken from the vicinity of the place, as was stated by the officers of the fort; for although our parties wandered along the alluvial beach for two or three miles in each direction, no signs of coral were observed. Many fragments of red, gray, and purple basalt and porphyry were met with along the beach; talcose rock and slate, syenite, hornblend, quartz, both compact and slaty, with chalcedony, were found in pieces and large pebbles. Those who were engaged in dredging reported the bottom as being of coral, in from four to six or eight fathoms; but this was of a different kind from that of which the fort was constructed.
The fort was built (re-built) in the year 1784, principally for protection against the Sulu pirates, who were in the habit of visiting the settlements, and carrying off the inhabitants as slaves, to obtain ransom for them. This, and others of the same description, were therefore constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants, as well as to afford protection to vessels.
Depredations are still committed, which render it necessary to keep up a small force. One or two huts which were seen in the neighborhood of the bay, are built on posts twenty feet from the ground, and into them they ascend by ladders, which are hauled up after the occupants have entered.
These, it is said, are the sleeping-huts, and are so built for the purpose of preventing surprise at night. Before our arrival we had heard that the villages were all so constructed, but a visit to one soon showed that this was untrue. The natives seen at the village were thought to be of a decidedly lighter color (mestizos) and a somewhat different expression from the Malays. They were found to be very civil, and more polished in manners than our gentlemen expected. On asking for a drink of water, it was brought in a glass tumbler on a china plate. An old woman, to whom they had presented some trifles, took the trouble to meet them in another path on their return, and insisted on their accepting a basket of potatoes. Some of the houses contained several families, and many of them had no other means of entrance than a notched post stuck up to the door.
The forests of Mindanao contain a great variety of trees, some of which are of large size, rising to the height of one hundred and one hundred and fifty feet. Some of their trunks are shaped like buttresses, similar to those before spoken of at Manila, from which they obtain broad slabs for the tops of tables. The trunks were observed to shoot up remarkably straight. Our botanical gentlemen, though pleased with the excursion, were disappointed at not being able to procure specimens from the lofty trees; and the day was less productive in this respect than they had anticipated. Large woody vines were common, which enveloped the trunks of trees in their folds, and ascending to their tops, prevented the collection of the most desirable specimens.
The paths leading to the interior were narrow and much obstructed; one fine stream was crossed. Many buffaloes were observed wallowing in the mire, and the woods swarmed with monkeys and numbers of birds, among them the horn-bills; these kept up a continued chatter, and made a variety of loud noises. The forests here are entirely different from any we had seen elsewhere; and the stories of their being the abode of large boas and poisonous snakes, make the effect still greater on those who visit them for the first time. Our parties, however, saw nothing of these reptiles, nor anything to warrant a belief that such exist. Yet the officer at the fort related to me many snake stories that seemed to have some foundation; and by inquiries made elsewhere, I learned that they were at least warranted by some facts, though probably not to the extent that he represented.
Traces of deer and wild hogs were seen, and many birds were obtained, as well as land and sea shells. Among the latter was the Malleus vulgaris, which is used as food by the natives. The soil on this part of the island is a stiff clay, and the plants it produces are mostly woody; those of an herbaceous character were scarce, and only a few orchideous epiphytes and ferns were seen. Around the dwellings in the villages were a variety of vegetables and fruits, consisting of sugar-cane, sweet-potato, gourds, pumpkins, peppers, rice, water and musk melons, all fine and of large size.
The officer at the fort was a lieutenant of infantry; one of that rank is stationed here for a month, after which he, with the garrison, consisting of three soldiers, are relieved, from Zamboanga, where the Spaniards have three companies.
[Zamboanga.] Zamboanga is a convict settlement, to which the native rogues, principally thieves, are sent (this is why the San Ramon penal colony was established later on). The Spanish criminals, as I have before stated in speaking of Manila, are sent to Spain.
The inhabitants of the island of Mindanao, who are under the subjection of Spain, are about ten thousand in number, of whom five or six thousand are at or in the neighborhood of Zamboanga. The original inhabitants, who dwell in the mountains and on the east coast, are said to be quite black, and are represented to be a very cruel and bad set; they have hitherto bid defiance to all attempts to subjugate them. When the Spaniards make excursions into the interior, which is seldom, they always go in large parties on account of the wild beasts, serpents, and hostile natives; nevertheless, the latter frequently attack and drive them back.
The little fort is considered as a sufficient protection for the fishermen and small vessels against the pirates, who inhabit the island of Basilan, which is in sight from Mindanao, and forms the southern side of the straits of the same name. It is said that about seven hundred inhabit it. The name of Moro is given by the Spaniards to all those who profess the Mohammedan religion, and by such all the islands to the west of Mindanao, and known under the name of the Sulu archipelago, are inhabited.
The day we spent at Caldera was employed in surveying the bay, and in obtaining observations for its geographical position, and for magnetism. The flood tide sets to the northward and westward, through the straits, and the ebb to the eastward. In the bay we found it to run two miles an hour by the log, but it must be much more rapid in the straits.
At daylight on February 1st (1842), we got under way to stand over for the Sangboys, a small island with two sharp hills on it. One and a half miles from the bay we passed over a bank, the least water on which was ten fathoms on a sandy bottom, and on which a vessel might anchor. The wind shortly after failed us, and we drifted with the tide for some hours, in full view of the island of Mindanao (the Zamboanga Peninsula in this case), which is bold and picturesque. We had thus a good opportunity of measuring some of its mountain ranges, which we made about three thousand feet high.
In the afternoon, a light breeze came from the southwest, and before sunset I found that we were again on soundings. As soon as we had a cast of twenty fathoms, I anchored for the night, judging it much better than to be drifting about without any knowledge of the locality and currents to which we were subjected.
On the morning of the February 2nd (1842), we got under way to proceed to the westward. As the bottom was unequal, I determined to pass through the broadest channel, although it had the appearance of being the shoalest, and sent two boats ahead to sound. In this way we passed through, continuing our surveying operations, and at the same time made an attempt to dredge; but the ground was too uneven for the latter purpose, and little of value was obtained."
Photo Gallery of Zamboanga's Historical Past - circa 1846.
Portraits and Stories of Samboangan life, circa 1873.
It is
Republic of Zamboanga: May 18, 1899 - Nov 16, 1899 (de facto)


May 18, 1899 - Fort Pilar and its Spanish troops, in Southern Philippines, surrendered to the Revolutionary Government of Zamboanga.

May 23, 1899 - The Spaniards evacuate the city of Zamboanga for good, after burning down most of the city's buildings in contempt of the Zamboangueños' revolt against them.
President of Zamboanga Republic
From May 18, 1899 to November 16, 1899 [barely six (6)months], Vicente Alvarez was chosen by his fellow Zamboangueños to be their first president and popular leader of the revolutionary government established immediately after the former Spanish garrison troops evacuated to Manila. The events that followed afterwards were historically described as a mob mentality, filled with divided partisanship that lent to "jealous self-interest, biter rivalry, rapacity, and bloodshed" from assassinations and cattle-shooting for amusement. The president and his fellow Christian Zamboangueños' actions could not be considered heroic by any means, but was paralleled with that of the Moro Pirates with whom the fort of Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa was erected to defend against.6
The rivalry between the local revolutionary leadership of President Vicente Alvarez and opposition leader Isidoro Midel allowed for the easy subjugation of the city by the American forces when Midel sided with the Americans upon their arrival. As a reward for his help, the new American rulers allowed Isidoro Midel to continue as president of the new Zamboanga Republic for about sixteen (16) months, against the will of the people, after former president Vicente Alvarez fled to Mercedes, then later to Basilan, when the Americans arrived and took control of the fort del Pilar and its remaining armament. The saying "divide and conquer" was aptly applied to the new Zamboanga Republic.6
1900 A.D. – The Birth of a City and a Nation
In a municipal election on March 1901, Mariano Arquiza succeeded Isidoro Midel by popular vote and became the first elected president of the Zamboanga Republic, now under American administration, for the next two (2) years: 1901 - 1903.6
With the presence and administration of the American conquerors, Zamboanga was made the capital of the Moro province, encompassing the island of Mindanao and other nearby islands. The importance of Zamboanga was elevated to seat of regional government and diocese of Catholicism in southern Philippines.
As war and conquest have been waged all over the world for hundreds and thousands of years, it is not our place to dispute any sovereignty issues here. However, we can present that the powerful Sultanate of Brunei once controlled an area much larger than the present Philippines, but is now under 6,000 sq. km. in size, slightly smaller that the State of Delaware. Kingdoms rise and fall, rulers come and go, battles are won and lost, but the people remain and rebuild their lives as they have done for centuries, hoping for the best to come to them and peace to be permanent.
2000 A.D. – The Future of Zamboanga City and its People
Over the past four hundred years, it is not known how many of the thousands of captured Christian Filipino and Spanish women from the islands of Visayas and Luzon actually became pregnant and delivered children fathered by their Muslim captors in harems of the Mindanao and Sulu Sultanates.
It is highly likely that thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of Moros living today may have some descendant bloodline of their captive mothers. The issue of actual lineage from these enslaved women may be culturally suppressed by the Moros in the name of war trophies or dominance over their enemies, but the genetic makeup of their ancestry cannot be denied in the eyes of reality.
It is possible that generations of descendants from these captured women are now facing each other as Moros and Christians, all the while related as brothers and sisters from a terrible past. However, if the opposite is to be attested by the Moros of today, then it would only mean that all the thousands of women captured over the centuries were systematically eliminated by their captors before or after they became pregnant with their children. Is anyone brave enough to tell the world, which one is the truth?
The vegetation and flowers are growing profusely and beautifully once again, waiting to be discovered by someone special like you. The city is peaceful and hopeful with friendly people eager to indulge a curious visitor. The spirit is lively and the future is prosperous. The Filipino brothers whose ancestors once fought each other all coexist in harmony with each other in this place they call home. The wounds of ancient battles lie deep, but the natural desire to be at peace with each other is even greater.
Today’s Zamboanga City is a linguistic babel exhibiting a cornucopia of sights, sounds, and frantic activity that pronounces its enduring position as a center of international trade and eclectic living. Nowhere else can this description be aptly applied to another significant place in the Philippine Islands. The allure of the City of Flowers continues to prosper its growth and diversity. We only hope that skillful planning and management will help it blossom to its beautiful potential. Peace be with us all.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Zamboanga City is a chartered city located on the western most peninsula of the big island of Mindanao, The Philippines. Before it became a chartered city, it was the governing Capital of the Moro Province under the United States rule, encompassing the entire island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. As other areas of this Moro Province were able to stand on their own and granted their own provincial status, Zamboanga was the first locality of the vast Moro Province to be honored with a chartered city status on October 12, 1936, reflecting its historical and strategic importance as a center of government and commerce.
At one point it was the largest province and city in the world area-wise, when it was the Capital of the Zamboanga Province, and then when the Island of Basilan was still under its domain as it was elevated to a chartered city. From its founding name of Zamboanga ( June 23, 1635 ), the remaining Zamboanga Province was divided into two separate sub-ruling provinces after Zamboanga City was created, and were embellished with the same beautiful namesake of Zamboanga City on June 6, 1962: Zamboanga del Norte (North) and Zamboanga del Sur (South). It was a fitting tribute to the storied history of Zamboanga, The City of Flowers! The Island of Basilan was also split from the city and made its own province on December 25, 1973, amidst the population growth of The Philippines. In February 2001, the province of Zamboanga del Sur was divided into two when a new province was created and named Zamboanga Sibugay. The new province is roughly one-half the size of the old Zamboanga del Sur province, and borders the northern tip of Zamboanga City.
Zamboanga City is a busy international port strategically located on the Basilan Straight. The city is shaped like a thick ladle, and is bounded by the marine-rich bodies of water of the Sulu Sea to the West, the Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea to the East, and is also surrounded by Tungawan Bay, Taguiti Bay, Malasugat Bay to the East, Tictabon Channel and Basilan Straight to the South, and Caldera Bay to the West. In physiography, it is bounded by the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte to the north and by Zamboanga del Sur to the east, and also the Basilan Island to the south. It is sheltered geographically from typhoons by the mountainous Basilan Island, Sulu Archipelago, Palawan Island, and the main island of Mindanao.
The city's immediate coastal lowlands are narrow, with low, rugged hills located a short distance inland. It's highest peak is Batorampon Point, measuring 1,335 meters high ( 4,380 feet ). A large international seaport accommodates local inter-island shipping and international ocean going vessels and ferries. Zamboanga City exports rubber, pearls, copra, mahogany, and other fine hardwoods, fish, abaca, and fruit products; rice is still imported. The city is the southernmost terminus of the Pan-Philippine Highway, providing vital land transportation access to all the major cities of the country. It also has an international airport that is serviced by daily flights from three major national airlines, and is increasing its international air traffic within the participating countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines' East Asia Growth Area, or better known for its acronym BIMP-EAGA.
Founded by the Spaniards in 1635 on the site of a native settlement, its name is derived from the Malay word Jambangan ( "place of flowers" ); bougainvillea, orchids, and other tropical flowers line its roadsides and landscape. Incorporated as a chartered city in 1936, it has an area of 1,671 square kilometers ( 645 sq. Miles ), which encompasses 98 official barangays ( barrios or wards ) and 68 smaller districts of some larger barangays, in addition to the administrative city center in downtown Zamboanga, and over 28 beautiful islands. The city was largely rebuilt after the severe devastation of World War II, of which a few buildings remain that reflect its glorious past. Its mountainous backdrop combine with a climate that is cooler and less humid than that of Manila, and other sections of the country, to make it a favorite tourist spot.
Fort Pilar, with its world-renowned religious shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar, was built in the 17th century by the Spanish soldiers, along with their Jesuit counterparts, for the protection of Christian settlers against Moro ( Muslim ) pirates, and other marauding invaders from nearby Chinese and Dutch outposts. It now houses the Fort Pilar Museum, one the few national historic museum chain, that houses cultural artifacts of the region, and a wealthy display of its surrounding rich marine and natural life.
The city has long been a bastion of Spanish intelligentsia, and is home to some of the finest educational institutions in the country and around Asia. The literacy rate of the region, and of the country in general, is one of the highest in all of Asia.
Rio Hondo, Taluksangay, and Campo Muslim are nearby Muslim villages built on stilts over water. Indigenous peoples include the Tau Sugs, Samals, and Yakans. The colorful Bajau, or sea gypsies, ply the waters of the Basilan Straight for fish, coral, and shells; they live on board their multi-hued vintas ( sailboats ) and take temporary shelter in stilt-raised homes during storms.
Chavacano is the unique native language of the city, a mixture of 80% Spanish(Spanish Orthograpy and Vocabulay) and 30% various other local dialects and international languages as for the grammar (Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Mexican-Indian Portuguis, Sama-Bangingi and Subanon), and is one of the oldest spoken language in the country reflecting a rich linguistic history of its people. English is widely spoken around town, and is the main language of education and international commerce. Numerous international languages, like German, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, and Spanish, are spoken here, giving light to its historical importance as an international investment and destination haven for over three-hundred years.
Zamboanga City is also a center for Moro brassware and bronze ware, and a collecting point for numerous varieties of shells, which are exported or used locally for button manufacture and many other products and souvenirs. The Philippine Archipelago is home to over a third of the world's known sea shells, and Zamboanga's Great Santa Cruz Island is home to many shells and corals, and the pristine "pink" sand - a coloration effect of the white sand and red coral sand mixed together.

Anonymous said...

Researched and written by: Zamboanga.com®


The Early History of Chavacano de Zamboanga (1635 - 1718)


June 23, 1635 should be symbolically known as “Dia del Chavacano de Zamboanga.” Why you might ask? This was the day that a permanent foothold was laid on Zamboanga by the Spanish government with the construction of the San José Fort, and the subsequent evolution and proliferation of a unique dialect/language based on ancient Creole Spanish that is called Chavacano de Zamboanga. This is our history, this is our culture…

Zamboanga is the largest Spanish-Creole speaking City in Asia

Chavacano de Zamboanga
Castellano en Sevilla

Speaking Population: over 700,000
Speaking Population: over 700,000

5th Largest City in The Philippines
4th Largest City in Spain


Let us begin the account by saying that as a result of continued Moro Pirate attacks on the Spanish controlled Visayas and Luzon Islands, a lingering plan to take possession of the strategic Mindanao peninsula and its town of Jambangan in the center of Moroland would be finally commenced at the urging of Bishop Fray Pedro of "Santissimo Nombre de Jesus" (Cebu) to the interim Governor-General of the Philippines, Don Juan Cerezo de Salamanca.1 Governor Salamanca resolved to take possession of this strategic peninsula, hoping in this manner to strike a heavy blow on to the Moro power. A fortress in Jambangan (Samboanga) would command the Basilan Straight, the waters of which was the ordinary course of the Moro Pirate vessels infesting the coasts of the Visayas and Luzon. Salamanca hoped to divide and eventually stop the unbroken pirate front between the Sultans of Jolo, Sulu and Mindanao, their cohorts from Borneo and the Camucones of Tawi-Tawi, and his efforts would prove successful.2

After due preparation for their voyage, a conquering force of about three hundred (300) well armed Spaniards from Luzon Island and around one thousand (1,000) Cebuanos with a few of their Jesuit priests from the Visayan Islands under the command of Captain Juan de Chaves landed at Jambangan on April 6, 1635. There, de Chaves temporarily founded the town of Bagumbayan, which was the first Spanish-given name for Jambangan, and from this station he soon attacked and cleared the town of Recodo in Caldera Bay, and eventually the rest of the Jambangan peninsula, of Moro Pirates. Their two-month long campaign would provide them a temporary relief from the Moro Pirates and allow them to start construction on the fort. Upon careful choice of locating the fort at the southern-most tip of the peninsula for its military vantage point overlooking Basilan Straight, the foundation of the grand fortress of Fuerza de San José was laid by Father Melchor de Vera, a Jesuit priest and engineer for the Spanish army, on June 23, 1635, establishing a permanent Spanish/Chavacano presence here brick-by-brick.2

Before we proceed with the happenings after they laid the foundation for the fort, we will take you back just a little farther to the time of their respective preparation for the voyage enroute to Jambangan. We will present to you a short chronological scenario of how the events that transpired resulted in the creation of a new Chavacano dialect. There were three (3) principal groups of people who made up the trip to Jambangan, and they are itemized below in their manner of contribution to the creation of a new dialect in Zamboanga.





The representatives listed below were the PRIMARY CONTRIBUTORS, and consequently became the founding fathers of the "Chavacano de Zamboanga" (CDZ). We will group them in the following order:

1. The Cebuanos

They were indigenous people mostly from the island of Cebu who numbered about one thousand (1,000), according to historical accounts2, and tasked mainly as laborers in building the fort for the Spaniards. History, as it is vaguely recalled or theorized, however never gave due diligence to the importance or makeup of these numerous Cebuanos, and thus we hereby present that they would be consisted of the best warriors and craftsmen that the Christianized "Datu" of Cebu could recruit for this mission, in coordination with the Bishop of Cebu and Governor Salamanca. It was evident to us that because of his dwindled resources from constant Moro Pirate attacks, and especially worst the year previous, the Datu of Cebu alone could not muster the type of force needed for the Jambangan attack. Foremost as a military mission, the Datu of Cebu may have strategically called upon his other Datu friends of the neighboring Visayan Islands to help contribute some of their best warriors and craftsmen towards a united front against their arch enemies, presenting a formidable Visayan force. Historically, the valiant warriors of Bohol Island, located about twenty-five (25) kilometers east of Cebu Island, were known to be victorious against Moro Pirate attacks on their island when others failed, and were likely to be part of the Visayan contingent.3 The language these Bohol Islanders and other contingents derived from nearby islands will at this time be categorized simply as Bisaya.

The Visayans were all too familiar with the numerous and incessant atrocities the Moro Pirates inflicted upon their people during the past century, and were not about to let this opportunity to deliver vengeance fail them. It must be remembered that the primary focus of the voyage to Jambangan was military conquest. These chosen Visayan warriors will initially help the well-armed Spanish soldiers in eliminating the Moro Pirate stronghold upon arrival in Jambangan, and later on when the fort construction is initiated. Everyone was cognizant of the battle prowess of the Moro Pirates, and will not let this mission fail. Other accounts of a much smaller Visayan invasion force would have met their match against the Moro Pirates, and would not have been successful in their mission, making the larger number more viable.

The Cebuanos will inevitably take with them their primary language called Bisaya and their long-standing Spanish creole dialect we will refer to as Visayan Chavacano (VC). We reason that Cebu was the first island to be established by Spain under Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on April 27, 1565, and as a result the locals there have already been Christianized and schooled by the Spanish priests in the resultant VC, for the past seventy (70) years (1565-1635). VC was the common dialect that the Cebuanos and the Jesuit priests took with them to Zamboanga, along with their respective native tongues - Visayan and Spanish.

Although there is no trace of the Visayan Chavacano, it does not preclude its past existence. Since the Visayan language is the predominantly spoken language in the Philippines today (over fifteen million), it is our conclusion that the VC was absorbed very early on into the native Bisaya before or after the Spanish influence waned.

It is a known fact that anytime you combine two different types of people and their foreign languages, the prolonged evolutionary result will be an emergence of a cross-language (creole is the term linguists use to describe it today) that will be used to communicate between each other, and will eventually rise up to be the main language of both groups of people if everything between them are equal, and if not, the dominant language will prevail. Therefore, we consider VC to be the oldest form of Chavacano or Chabacano (another terminology used to describe the end result of a convergence of any language with Spanish) in the Philippines, albeit non-existent. However, we present that it has been totally absorbed into the modern-day Bisaya. Any trained linguist can readily find the existence of many Spanish root words in today's Visayan language, that resulted from ancient VC ( a creolized evolution that spans a remarkable four-hundred thirty-seven (437) years! ).

2. The Jesuit Priests, Order of the Society of Jesus

Along with the Cebuanos came just a "few" of their island's Jesuit priests who were "entrusted" by Bishop Fray Pedro of Cebu to do the religious conversion of the natives in "Samboanga," and provide religious guidance to the Spanish troops and their Cebuano people.5 Surprisingly, historical accounts also show that the Jesuits did go to battle with the soldiers, acting as spiritual guides to the troops. We present that they also acted as translators between the Spanish soldiers and the Visayan warriors. The most recent common dialect they had experience with was the VC, and it would be their logical choice as a precursor to the creation of the CDZ. The Jesuits would, for some time now, also be experts in Bisaya.

Eventually, after laying the groundwork for the type of communication they will use with their new subjects in Zamboanga, we conclude that the Jesuits would subsequently teach everyone else how to communicate with each other in the best logical way they can devise - the Chavacano de Zamboanga. Other theories erroneously presented the fort workers to be uneducated and unable to understand each other (fellow Cebuanos!) or the building instructions given to them by the Spaniards. However, we contend that Father Melchor de Vera, the preeminent fort engineer of the Spanish government and a Jesuit-trained educator, will have none of it happen under his excellent leadership and management of the fort construction. To think otherwise would have lead to the early failure of the recently victorious Cebuanos and Spaniards under the retaliatory attacks by the numerous Moro Pirates, and a change in the history of Zamboanga.

Melchor de Vera, S.J., was born at Madrid in 1585, and after being received into the Society in 1604, went to the Philippines in 1606, where he labored in the missions of the Bisayas and in Mindanao. He served as rector of Carigara, and superior at Dapitan and Zamboanga. His death occurred at the residence at Cebú, April 13, 1646. He was a good civil and military architect, and planned and directed the building of the fortifications at Zamboanga, and constructed the church of his residence at Cebú. See Sommervogel’s Bibliographie and Murillo Velarde’s Historia, book ii, chap. xxi.

The Jesuits are historically known to be one of the most educated and diversely trained missionaries in the world, and are credited for saving the Roman Catholic Religion from its early demise in assuming a prominent role in the Counter-Reformation defense and revival of Catholicism, with Saint Ignacius of Loyola as their spiritual leader and founder. Their legendary emphasis on education and missionary work instilled in them tremendous knowledge of language and effective education, as many Jesuit school graduates can attest today, and was also relied upon by the Bishop of Cebu, and certainly the Pope. The Jesuits' rapid growths numbered them to be over 15,000 by early 1600, and were working throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World. It is therefore our conclusion that the Jesuits have mastered the many local languages as a result of their above skills, and in return taught their subjects the King's Spanish, and/or the simpler Chavacano dialect.

In 1595, thirty (30) years after Cebu was established, the Society of Jesus founded a grammar school there that was later named "Colegio de San Ildefonso" in 1606, and which today is called the University of San Carlos.6 This much needed school allowed the Jesuits to educate the Cebuanos in many lessons, including Latin.3 The early emphasis on education by the Spanish missionaries only strengthens our reasoning that contrary to popular theories, there existed many various forms of creole Spanish/Chavacano around the Philippine Islands used by the various Catholic priests to educate and communicate with their already literate Filipino subjects. Majority of the Cebuanos who went to Jambangan would have been, or will be, well educated by the Jesuits, and already adapted to reading and writing. It must be emphasized that there were numerous scholastic work being done in the Philippines during this early period on the culture of the island folks that pre-existed the arrival of the Spaniards, and below are a few of them:

In 1610, a Visayan translation of St. Robert Bellarmine's catechism was published in Manila by Cristobal Jimenez. 8
A Visayan vocabulario was also compiled by Mateo Sanchez during this time frame but it was not published until 1711, after his untimely death in 1618. 9
The first Jesuits to arrive with the conquering force were Father Alejandro Lopez and Father Melchor de Vera7, who was degreed as an engineer/architect and the premiere builder of some of the most historic forts around the islands for the Spanish army. We hereby submit that Father de Vera spent valuable time training his crew of Cebuano craftsmen in fort building skills before they made the journey to Jambangan from Cebu, and consequently did not recruit any "skilled" fort builders from Manila, as other theories would want us to believe. Father de Vera came prepared to build a mighty fort, and his people were properly trained to deliver it. Manila/Luzon will mostly provide the well-armed Spanish troops. Spanish historical documents show that in a letter to the King of Spain, King Philip IV, in 1635, the Bishop of Cebu, who was in charge of the whole southern part of the Filipinas, including the island of Mindanao, gave and entrusted his Jesuit Fathers to manage the affairs of Zamboanga after the numerous attacks the Moros committed against his people, the Cebuanos. His constant cry of help to the Spanish Governor in Manila finally came to fruition. Cebu during this time period was as advanced as Manila with its own fort and schools. It is a given that the powerful Bishop of Cebu made sure his wish for a strong fort in Zamboanga to help protect his people will get his full support, and Father Melchor de Vera was his savior. We present that the Bishop of Cebu and Father de Vera collaborated very closely on his plans for Zamboanga, not just for the construction of the fort but also the religious pacification of the natives there.

The numerous Jesuits, numbered around forty (40), later recruited by the Bishop of Cebu to help establish Zamboanga and the neighboring areas would mean that they became the key to the proliferation of the CDZ, and we contend that they could methodically be considered its "creator."

The Jesuit presence can still be experienced in Zamboanga today with the establishment of their school, Ateneo de Zamboanga, since 1916.

3. The "Castilian" Soldiers

The armada of Spanish ships originating from their main Naval Shipyard in Cavite bound for Jambangan via the island of Cebu would carry these well-armed Castilian soldiers numbered around three hundred (300), according to historical accounts, with plenty of room to spare for their one thousand (1,000) Cebuano warriors and craftsmen, and a few Jesuit priests. As conquerors, the Castilian Soldiers' aristocratic and superiority tendencies will place them in charge of the mission and will consequently influence the CDZ to be heavily based on ancient Castilian Spanish, as the case is today. Their position in the Zamboanga hierarchy will dictate that the locals learn more of their dominant Spanish language in order to understand them, and a little less of the opposite for them, leaving the Jesuits to fill in the rest.

The influx of Spanish soldiers into the newly built San José Fort will be increased as the victorious Governor Corcuera took personal command of the Zamboanga campaign and declare a "Holy War against the Mohammedans" in 1637.2 As author Vic Hurley sums up:

"In all the history of the Spanish conquest, these two names stand out to eclipse all others. Corcuera and Arolas, the first in 1635 and the second in 1885, were the only two Spaniards to command the whole-hearted respect of the Moros. They were fighting men of the first caliber and equal to the best traditions of the conquistadores."2



The effect of this concerted Zamboanga campaign would bring forth the heavy influence of ancient Castilian Spanish into the vernacular of the early CDZ as hundreds of additional Spanish soldiers will arrive and be based here, and the influx will continue for many years to come amounting to a few thousand soldiers.

Contrary to other linguistic theories, we conclude that there were no other forms of Philippine Chavacano that would influence the CDZ at this time period because the soldiers from Luzon were mostly pure Castilian (Spanish) and that any form of Chavacano they knew from their exposure to natives of Luzon would not be transferable or applicable to their new co-habitants from the Visayan Islands and Jambangan, who themselves spoke totally different languages than the natives of Luzon Island.

It is however believed that a sizeable number of local laborers from the Cavite fort area who had experience in fort building, came together with the Spanish soldiers to help build the Zamboanga fort, and brought along with them their brand of Chabacano. We however challenge the logical or historical validity of their numbers and experience with the argument that seasoned soldiers were what was needed from Manila to help Father de Vera defeat the Moro Pirates in order for him to build the fort, and not non-combatants. More importantly, the preeminent fort builder of the Spanish military was residing in Cebu under the guidance of Bishop Fray Pedro - Father Melchor de Vera. As a Jesuit, engineer, architect, and expert builder, Father de Vera would logically have his own fort-building training facility in Cebu funded with the blessings of Bishop Fray Pedro, in order to prepare his Cebuano warriors for the task of helping him build the all-important fort in Jambangan.

As a matter of course, the only intelligible language they could use to communicate with the numerous Cebuanos would initially be their native Spanish, and later on the CDZ. It must be noted that during the early stages of the Zamboanga occupation, life of the Spanish troops, the Jesuit priests, and their Cebuano warriors were mostly centered inside the guarded walls of the fort, providing for a closed environment that was conducive to the growth of the CDZ. We therefore conclude that the early CDZ will subsequently become an independently created Chavacano dialect, void of influence from any other forms of Philippine Chavacano or Chabacano, except for the VC.

As far as we can gather, the number of Spanish soldiers who influenced the CDZ can be traced to the following countries of origin or recruitment/reinforcement named below, but may not necessarily be natives of those countries. For many years, the Spaniards regarded the Indios (the name they gave the conquered locals whom they generally referred to as Indians) in the lowest social position possible, and not fit or trusted to become a Spanish soldier. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of where these soldiers came from, the only intelligible language contribution they brought with them into Zamboanga during this time frame would be Spanish).

The "Castilian" Soldiers' countries of origin or recruitment/reinforcement:

A.) Spain - The original source of almost everything, including the dominant Castilian Spanish from Seville, Spain. The Spanish territory at this time was vast, and recruits for the Spanish Army may have possibly consisted of people from the various provinces of Spain and other European countries under Spanish rule. These Castilian Soldiers surely brought their own regional dialects with them. It must be noted further here that the dominant and regional languages of Spain were under the tremendous influence of some nine hundred (900) years of Moorish conquest and occupation.

Interestingly, modern-day Spanish, even Castilian Spanish, has changed so much over the past 368 years that if juxtaposed with ancient Castilian Spanish today, will be unintelligible to both speakers. However, if an ancient Castilian Spanish speaker were to speak to a Chavacano-speaking Zamboangueño today, they both would understand each other very well. This is due to the fact that ancient Castilian Spanish words, the basis of over eighty percent (80%) of CDZ, have been frozen in time for over 368 years in the isolated City of Zamboanga. Go ahead, give it a test.

B.) Nueva España (Mexico) - The Viceroy of which The Philippines was under, and main trade partner of the Manila Galleons. Numerous reinforcements for the Philippines will come from here, but may have originated from elsewhere. For now, we will establish that Nueva España was the only major embarkation point of new, and possibly some returning, recruits for The Philippines. It must be emphasized that The Philippines during these times was not a favorite place to be as a result of constant attacks from the Moro Pirates that depleted local populace for slaves and killed many defenders. The coffers of the King was being depleted as not much wealth was exiting the islands. The major push was made by the religious order in converting the locals to their religion. The King was convinced of the future benefits of taxes to be collected from this conversion.

C.) Peru - They arrived in June 25, 1635, via Acapulco, Nueva España, along with the new Philippine Governor Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera. Their possible involvement will have to be placed post-settlement of Zamboanga, during the time Governor Corcuera personally commanded the "holy war" against the Moro Pirates.

In an effort to isolate a reference term for the three major groups of people mentioned above (1,2, & 3), we will call them the Zamboanga Conquistadores or ZC for short. The ZC first got acquainted with each other on board the Spanish war ships enroute to invading Jambangan. During their maiden voyage, the Jesuit priests would become the de facto translators between the Castilian soldiers and their Cebuano people when needed.

It is logical to conclude that this first meeting amongst the ZC was not all that awkward language-wise, and their communication was more rudimentary than difficult, thanks to the VC. The Visayans who spoke VC would logically try their best to help the other Visayan warriors, who did not speak it, understand the Spanish language, if the Jesuits were not around to help.





The SECONDARY CONTRIBUTORS to the CDZ will be grouped in the following order:

4. The Subanons and Lutaos of Jambangan

The second wave of language infusion to the CDZ would come from the founding fathers of Jambangan - the resident Subanons who numbered in the "thousands." The Muslims' attempt to convert the Subanons into their Islamic religion was met with fierce resistance, and would never take root in their society. On the other hand, the Christian precepts of the Jesuits' preaching would find in them some form of acceptance, and provide the Jesuits an eventual ally in their religious conversion of Zamboanga. The Jesuits were quite successful in converting the Subanons and their counterparts - the Lutaos (Badjaos), the non-Islamic peoples of Zamboanga.

They would also be hired as additional laborers for the construction of the fort. Their intermingling with the primary contributors would help infuse their language into the CDZ, and more so later on when the colonizing of Zamboanga will continue.

5. The Yakans of Basilan



The third wave of language infusion to the CDZ would come from the Yakans, when the Jesuits commenced their conversion of the Basilan (Bacilan) Island nearby, a year or so after they arrived in Zamboanga. The early contact made with them by the Jesuits will make their contribution to CDZ a collective part of the whole evolution of early CDZ.

The Subanons and Lutaos of Zamboanga, and the Yakans of Basilan, have been trading and socializing with each other for hundreds of years, and their contribution to the CDZ is still evident today with the presence of many words from their respective language.

We shall then combine and call the result of the aforementioned five (5) groups of language contributors the "Early Chavacano de Zamboanga" (ECDZ), and will call these peoples the new "Chavacanos." The ECDZ lasted for over eighty-three (83) years (1635-1718), until a new wave of language infusion was brought in when the San José Fort was retaken and rebuilt in 1718. It must be properly noted here that Cavite Chavacano (CC) and/or Ternate Chavacano (TC) will not play any historical role in establishing the ECDZ, as some theories have presented them to have done so in the past. However, they would eventually come into play much later during the Middle History of CDZ ( 1718-1899 ). The only "Chavacano" to influence the ECDZ during this time period will be the Visayan Chavacano.

Conversely, we deduce that the "Early Chavacano de Zamboanga" (ECDZ) will provide a measurable role in influencing the Cavite Chavacano and the Ternate Chavacano when the hundreds of Zamboanga's recalled garrison troops along with the new Chavacanos brought with them the ECDZ and subsequently introduced it into the lexicon of the Cavite fort, and imbedded its footprint into the area's early Creole development for the next fifty-six years. This aspect of deductive research has never been presented in the growth and history of CC and TC, and the sublime stealth of ECDZ's early influence on the CC and TC.

Governor Sabiniano Manrique de Lara signed a decree on May 6, 1662 ordering the military evacuation of the fort in Zamboanga, and of other Spanish colonies, including that of Ternate in the spice islands of the Moluccas. The Spanish garrisons, along with a number of priests and their chosen local people, evacuated and returned to defend Manila from a threatened invasion by Chinese pirate Koxinga, which never happened. The Zamboanga fort was finally abandoned sometime in 1663 by the last remaining Spanish troops. Ironically, Koxinga's threat became his contribution to Philippine Chavacano.

After the first twenty-seven (27) years (1635-1662) of colonizing Zamboanga and the surrounding areas, and spreading the ECDZ to many towns and people, the Jesuits and the other Chavacanos, who were both already numerous and influential by this time, will be left behind to tend to the religious and governing affairs and try to "hold the fort down" until the troops returned. The troops however would not return.

As fate will have it, the ECDZ and the Chavacanos, Jesuits included, will amazingly endure another fifty-six (56) years (1662-1718) of isolated existence and proliferation amidst the hostile threat and return of the Moro Pirates who overtook and destroyed the abandoned fort. The Chavacanos were by this time already living within the confines of Zamboanga and its people. We conclude that ECDZ prospered into a uniquely independent Chavacano language during its early twenty-seven (27) years (1635-1662), heavily weighted with ancient Castilian Spanish, and then extended its growth into the next fifty-six (56) years (1662-1718) of isolated transformation, subsequently infused with the majority languages of the secondary contributors. It must be emphasized that NO reinforcement was sent to Zamboanga by the Spanish government in fifty-six years, after the troops were pulled out due to the Koxinga threat. Therefore, the people who were left behind co-existed with the natives as new Chavacanos, fusing their Castilian based Spanish or Chavacano more heavily with the natives' majority language, creating the ECDZ Creole. In an unusual twist of common beliefs and logical history facts, we digress it was the ECDZ that rose up to become the unsung influence in the further development of Cavite Chavacano and Ternate Chavacano during the time period of 1662-1718, and possibly further on. We will expand on this serious lapse of accountability after further research is consummated. For now, we would like to say that all Zamboangueños should feel proud in knowing that their Chavacano was an historical and influential contributor to the development of other major Philippine Chavacanos, or Chabacanos - as they prefer to differentiate, and is a testament to its continued growth and influence today in its birthplace and beyond.



Curiously, there will exist a fragile cessation of hostilities between the Moro Pirates and the Spanish troops during this time period, with none wanting to irritate the other for retaliatory reasons. The Moro Pirates would somehow turn against each other and continue their fighting ways. Although Koxinga died about a year after his veiled threat to invade Manila, which caused the recall of Spanish troops to defend it, there was no formal reason given as to why the Spanish government refrained from returning their troops to Zamboanga. The year 1718 will change it all.
















The Middle History of Chavacano de Zamboanga (1718 - 1899)

Researched and written by: Zamboanga.com®




The year 1718 introduced a new wave of immigrants into the now thriving town of Zamboanga - the only Chavacano established community of its kind in this important Peninsula of Mindanao Island. The increasing concern of the hostilities from the Moro pirates against the Chavacanos here led the Jesuit priests to petition the Archbishop and Governor-General Bustamante for the renewed presence of Spanish troops in Zamboanga. They also requested help in rebuilding the abandoned San Jose Fort, which was systematically destroyed over time by the Moro pirates in their show of despise against the symbol of Spanish occupation.



Eventually, Governor-General Fernando Bustillos Bustamante y Rueda responded and made the decision to rebuild the fortress in Zamboanga. General Gregorio de Padilla y Escalante was tasked to erect new walls over the same delineation and foundation of the old fort built by Father de Vera eighty-three (83) years prior. The walls were fortified to three (3) meters thick and defended with sixty-one (61) pieces of artillery. It was then re-named Real Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza.



The extensive description of the rebuilt fort is befitting its place of reverence in conjunction with the growth of Chavacano de Zamboanga, and the people who contributed to its proliferation. There will be at this time a new group of language contributors into the Early Chavacano de Zamboanga (ECDZ). During this time period, Manila was already a well-established capital that benefited from the Spanish government’s decision to make it their main focus of expansion with the Manila Galleon trade. It was safely far away from the deathly repercussions of fighting the Moro pirates.



The recall of all Spanish troops in 1662 to help defend against Koxinga’s threat to invade Manila brought forth a new kind of Chavacano into the Luzon Island. It is believed that around two-hundred (200) residents of Ternate, from the spice islands of Moluccas, were brought back by their Spanish Jesuit priests, along with the garrison troops, and settled in the Cavite naval shipyard community outside Manila. They managed to keep amongst themselves and eventually established their own type of Chavacano.



People from the Cavite and Ternate group were recruited to help rebuild the destroyed fort in Zamboanga, along with other soldiers and workers originating from the Nueva España territories and Spain. The Cavite and Ternate group had their own brand of Chavacano by this time period, which will be referenced to as Cavite Chavacano (CC), and Ternate Chavacano (TC).

The SECONDARY CONTRIBUTORS to the middle history (1718-1899) of Chavacano de Zamboanga (CDZ) will be grouped in their order of significance and volume of contribution:



1. The Caviteños



2. The Ternateños



3. The Nueva España Chavacanos



http://www.zamboanga.com/history/index.html

Anonymous said...

Si..pero mucho filipino que hablan otro idioma no quiere esto..para mi esta lenguaje es muy amable (chavacano) pero esta decision solamente en Gobierno de Filipinas..

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand why people here are complaining about Tagalog and the colonial mentality yet praising to high heaven Spain and ignoring whoever reposted that article about the history of Zamboanga. That articles was extremely offensive and bias. While the Spanish murdered, killed and eventually imprisoned local chiefs who had allied with them in order to gain their foothood into the Philippines, they are not given any negative adjectives unlike the Moros who are called "pirates" and "murderous" repeatedly. The Jesuits are singled out for the "zeal" yet the Muslims who were defending their homeland are not. It should not be forgotten by Manila and most of the major pre-colonial trading settlements were founded by Muslims. That article was straight out of something you would read from a Spanish textbook in the 1870s (assuming you were a mestiso or a creole since Filipino "indios" were banned from universities and colleges until the 1880s which why most Filipinos up until that time were not allowed to be fluent in Spanish for fear. You can read about it in Noli Me Tangere which by the way was not written for Filipinos but for Spaniards).
Instead of complaining about Tagalog and Tagalog-centric policies, complain about the historical amnesia we Filipinos seem to have especially with the Spanish, the Americans, and with Martial Law.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand why people here are complaining about Tagalog and the colonial mentality yet praising to high heaven Spain and ignoring whoever reposted that article about the history of Zamboanga. That articles was extremely offensive and bias. While the Spanish murdered, killed and eventually imprisoned local chiefs who had allied with them in order to gain their foothood into the Philippines, they are not given any negative adjectives unlike the Moros who are called "pirates" and "murderous" repeatedly. The Jesuits are singled out for the "zeal" yet the Muslims who were defending their homeland are not. It should not be forgotten by Manila and most of the major pre-colonial trading settlements were founded by Muslims. That article was straight out of something you would read from a Spanish textbook in the 1870s (assuming you were a mestiso or a creole since Filipino "indios" were banned from universities and colleges until the 1880s which why most Filipinos up until that time were not allowed to be fluent in Spanish for fear. You can read about it in Noli Me Tangere which by the way was not written for Filipinos but for Spaniards).
Instead of complaining about Tagalog and Tagalog-centric policies, complain about the historical amnesia we Filipinos seem to have especially with the Spanish, the Americans, and with Martial Law.

Anonymous said...

We need Chavacano Translators and transcribers in order to supoort our existing translator and please, e-mail us to dshamebo@yahoo.com
http://www.advancedtranslationservices.com/languages.html

kaYen said...

HI. can i ask what is Manibalang or Maribalang in english? coz my sister's homework is to draw that fruit. Thanks, loooking forward for your reply! Cheers*

malcolm said...

Iyyo ta cre el chavacano lenguaje ta usa na zamboanga ta determina paquillaya ya preserva el los gentes por cuanto generacion. (Means: I believe Chavacano in zamboanga determines of how people preserve ti for how many generation") I think Spain considering people of zamboanga only to be one of those places still on progress to be recognize creole spanish speaking.

malcolm said...

iyyo ta cre el lenguaje chavacano na zamboanga ta determina paquillaya el gente preserva por cuantos generacion.(Means: I believe that chavacano language in zamboanga determines how people there preserve it for how many generation.")And I think Spain Consider chavacano in zamboanga alone, is on progress to be recognize as one of spanish speaking in the world.

Jai said...

Ang hindi ko lang maintindihan eh, bakit pinalitan ng City Government na maging Asia's Latin City ang Zamboanga? Hindi nman kami mukhang Latino/Latina. And besides, may similarities ang Chavacano sa Spanish and not Latin. Sayang nga na hindi na preserve yung title na "City of Flowers". Wala na rin akong nakikitang Bougainvillea flowers dito sa Zamboanga City. Nung namatay kc yung former City Mayor ng Zamboanga City; The late Hon. Maria Clara Lobregat. Hindi na na preserve yung title na yun kaya nawala na rin yung ipinagmamalaki ng Zamboanga. Medyo mahirap magsalita ng Chavacano kc may tono din dapat yung pananalita mo. Yung ibang schools kasi dito sa Zamboanga lalo na ang Private, hindi sila pumapayag na mag-salita ka ng Chavacano. Di ba isa sa mga school rules, Speak English; kaya nasasanay na yung mga bata na mag-English instead of Chavacano.

Prins ipe said...

Sana chavacano na lang naging salita sa buong pilipinas at hindi tagalog. Sa totoo lang 'di ko gusto salitain ang tagalog kase nakakabulol lalo na yung mga salitang umuulit ulit ng pantig. Halimbawa: kakakain, mamamatay, matututo. Nabubulol ako sa mga salitang yan. Eh sa chavacano 'di ganyan kasi halos lahat sa Español nanggaling. Hindi nakakabulol salitain.