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A bright future for Cavite’s “Hispanized dialects”

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This was news several days ago in Manila Bulletin’s website, but I just learned about it today…

Ternate moves to preserve chabacano
Anthony Girón

TERNATE, Cavite, Philippines — Mayor Lamberto D. Bambáo and the Sangguniang Bayan (Town Council) led by Vice Mayor Jayson D. Cabana have approved an ordinance that will preserve and promote the chabacano dialect in the area.

Ternate, a fourth-class municipality in Cavite, is one of the only three areas in the Philippines where chabacano, a dialect based on Spanish, is spoken. The two others are Cavite City and Zamboanga City in Southern Mindanáo.

The Ternate ordinance was acknowledged by Vice Governor and Sangguniang Panglalawigan (Provincial Board) Presiding Officer Recto M. Cantimbuhan during the last regular Monday session at the Capitol in Trece Mártires City.

With the approval of the ordinance, Chabacano would be taught in schools in the two municipalities and public signages in the areas would have to be in Chabacano as among moves in a bid to restore and promote the language.

My wife Yeyette (left) and daughter Krystal (right) at Ternate's welcome arch.

This is just perfect! But Chabacano Ternateño (Bahra) is not the only one taking the lion’s share of good news. Before the above article was published, Chabacano Caviteño (Cavitén) already had its share of good tidings way back January of this year:

Cavite City revives Chabacano
Anthony Girón

CAVITE CITY, Philippines — Mayor Romeo G. Ramos and the 13-man City Council approved recently the ordinance that will revive the “Chabacano” dialect in this city.

The ratified ordinance was forwarded to Sangguniang Panlalawigan for provincial approval. Vice Governor and Presiding Officer Recto M. Cantimbuhan and Majority Floor Leader Dino M. Chua have acknowledged the decree during their recent session.

The decree, titled “An Ordinance Preserving, Restoring and Promoting Chabacano in the City of Cavite,” was signed by Ramos upon approval by the council led by Vice Mayor Lino Antonio S. Barón last December.

The officials tagged the ordinance as “must” to save the Chabacano tongue from extinction in the city. The councilors unanimously approved the decree.

Cavite City, the former capital of Cavite province, is noted as one of the only three areas in the Philippines where Chabacano, a Spanish-like dialect, is spoken. The two others are Ternate, also in Cavite, and Zamboanga City.

Councilor Eduardo G. Novero Jr., the sponsor of the ordinance, and Local Tourism Officer Remedios Sto. Domingo-Ordóñez said that based on surveys, only seven percent of the 106,824 city population or more or less 7,000, can speak Chabacano nowadays.

The fabled Samburio of Ciudad de Cavite.


Between the two Chabacanos of Provincia de Cavite, I believe that Cavitén needs more attention and care. When I visited the place a few years ago with friends, I encountered very few people who spoke Cavitén. All the ones I found were elderly people. But in Ternate, the case was different. I brought my wife and daughter there last month for a field trip. There were so many speakers of Bahra left and right, especially in the town proper and in Barrio San José.

These initiatives from the local governments of Ciudad de Cavite and Ternate are a welcome move. Finally, culture heroes can be found in Cavite’s government offices!

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7 responses »

  1. Good tidings! mabuti naman at maisasakatuparan na ito.

    Reply
  2. Hindi maaaring mamatay and Cavite Chabacano dahil lamang sa lumalaking populasyon ng mga “Tagalog-speaking” na dayuhan.

    Reply
  3. Patunay to na hinde na magiging endangered language yung Chabacano sa Cavite…
    Ginawa na rin to ng Zamboanga… pero ewan ko kung nagawa na rin sa Cotabato City at Davao… Kasi nag sasalita rin sila ng Chabacano…

    Reply
  4. Sa San Diego may malaking samahan ng mga caviteno at isa sa layunin nila ang i-preserve ang salitang caviteno. This is a very welcome move.

    Reply
    • simbad the philosopher

      sa san jose si uncle fred b. 1908 zamboanga arrived sta clara 1930 dumalao ma 1974 sabi sa lunchtime donde estan los restos. Comment ng mom ko remains ang ibig sabihin nyan sa english los demas dapat. Sa 1930 census spanish ang language nilang lahat nang mom soledad castro b. Zamboanga je 1884 etc. 1937 napangasxss ni uncle si auntie tillie na mexican ayon sa 1940 census pero ang spanish niya ay hindi mexican ayon sa bro ko. Gayun na rin si nancy palagay ko.

      Reply
  5. May nagsasalita rin chabacano diyan sa Ermita, Manila..

    Reply
  6. Muy interesante, por lo que cuentas el cavitén está condenado a desaparecer, pero quizá se pueda hacer algun trabajo filológico.
    En lo que respecta al bahra, para que no se pierda la ciudad debe evitar “movimientos poblacionales”….es decir que la gente cambie de barrio. En el Alger, Cerdeña, se habló tradicionalmente catalán en el centro historico, pero desde los años 80-90 la gente de ese barrio se mudó a barrios de nueva construccion y nuevos habitantes fueron al centro…la consecuencia ha sido que la comunidad catalanohablante se ha dispersado y virtualmente ha dejado de existir.

    Reply

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