My name is Jerome Herrera and I started to take interest in my mother tongue when I began to learn Spanish and I discovered the many glaring similarities between the two languages. This led to a journey of discoveries, a journey filled with awe as I learned how different languages, time, and people shaped the modern Chabacano de Zamboanga language.
Said in Castilian Spanish, bien Chabacano means very rude and of bad taste. However in the Chabacano de Zamboanga, it simply means very Chabacano. In this context, bien Chabacano is something that you would call a person who speaks Chabacano very fluently and uses deep Chabacano words. I am by no means bien Chabacano, but I certainly am bien orgulloso of the Chabacano de Zamboanga.
It's all about the Chabacano de Zamboanga. Bien Chabacano is the first and only blog designed for Chabacano language enthusiasts which discusses and analyzes Chabacano word origins,Chabacano grammar and vocabulary, and so much more!
In this blog, I write everything and anything about the modern or contemporary Chabacano de Zamboanga. If you are searching for the traditional variety of the Chabacano de Zamboanga, then you can hop on to Zamboanga de Antes, a group dedicated to preserving the Chabacano de Zamboanga.
Bien Chabacano is divided into seven different topics: How to Say it in Chabacano, Chabacano Word Origins, The Chavacano in Ternate, The Chavacano in Ermita, The Chavacano in Cavite city, Chabacano Songs, and Musings on the Chabacano Language. The articles under the How to Say In in Chabacano topic were written with people who speak Chabacano as a second language or a foreign language, and young Chabacano speakers in mind.
Some texts in this blog are in Spanish (mostly to compare Chabacano and Spanish). However, my Spanish is not perfect and you may see some errors from time to time. This blog is mostly written in English primarily because this is the language of the times.
If you notice, I frequently spell the name of the language as Chabacano (with a 'b') and not Chavacano (with a 'v'). While these two spellings are used by people from Zamboanga, I opted to use the lesser used spelling. It is said that the reason why Chavacano (with a 'v') is the more used spelling is because people want to differentiate Chabacano (the language) and Chabacano (the Spanish word meaning of bad taste or rude). However, if one consults the diccionario de la real academia espanola (or the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy), Chabacano is not only defined as being rude or of bad taste, but also as a language spoken in Zamboanga, Basilan, and Cavite wherein a large part of the vocabulary is Spanish.
In this blog, I also sometimes spell the name of the language with a 'v' (Chavacano) especially when referring to the Chavacano in Cavite and the other types of Chabacano.
Today, the Chabacano de Zamboanga is facing a lot of battles in different fronts, Bisaya, English, and Tagalog are all formidable languages that threaten the Chabacano de Zamboanga. The increasing number of migrants, and the fashionability of speaking in Tagalog and English are all leading to the decreasing fluency of the Zamboangueno youth in the Chabacano language. If you ask young Chabacano speakers how they feel about their proficiency in the Chabacano language, most will say that they feel they are not fluent in the Chabacano language. I actually feel the same way. Even though Chabacano was spoken in the house where I grew up, I spoke Tagalog when I was in school (initially because it was a policy at the evangelical christian school where I studied and later because I got used to it).
Clearly the youth has lost its confidence and pride in speaking Chabacano. Bien Chabacano seeks to instill pride and improve proficiency in the Chabacano language among the young Chabacano speakers by talking about its rich and colorful history and demystifying its grammar's many intricacies and nuances. This blog also aims to reinvigorate the usage of Chabacano among the youth of today by reintroducing words that have fallen into disuse.
Friend, thanks for taking the time to read the articles in this blog. Truly, the Chabacano de Zamboanga de Zamboanga has a very rich and colorful history and it is high time that we know about it. I hope that through this blog, you will have a stronger sense of pride in our language.
Lastly, I would like to ask for your help in spreading the word about this blog. Please share this blog to your Facebook friends or tweet it.
I hope that you will join me in this rediscovery of the past as we look forward to a better future.
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Learn more about me, visit my personal blog All I Can Handle.