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Thursday, February 28, 2013


Chavacano sometimes spelled as Chabacano, a pidginized Spanish language formerly spoken by majority of the people living in the city of Cavite, which originated during the arrival of the first Spaniards in the late 16th century. During this period, the people that lived near the military arsenal in Cavite City put themselves in contact with the Spaniards and began to incorporate in their own dialect many Spanish words, which then gave birth to the Hispanic - Philippine pidgin dialect called "Chabacano".

Today, only a fraction of the people in the city of Cavite speaks the Chavacano dialect, mostly elders, so perhaps it will come to cease of its existence or completely disappear in the near future.According to the Philippine professor, Alfredo B. German who wrote a thesis on the grammar in Chavacano dialect, the present conditions no longer favor the disenrolment of the same one. There are many reasons for the probable disappearance of the Chavacano dialect, but the main one is the massive arrival of the Tagalog speaking people in the city of Cavite. The educated class has scorned the Chavacano dialect, refusing to speak it, and replace it with the Tagalog language.

One of the poets and Philippine writers, Jesus Balmori expressed himself in Chavacano. He was a great admirer of the dialect and wrote several verses in it. Another admirer of this dialect was Don Jaime de Veyra, the illustrious writer and famous Philippine historian, who feared more than all the probable extinction of the Chavacano when he wrote the following prophetic lines, "I am afraid that the inevitable absorption of the "Tagalog invasion" on one side and the invasion of the English on the other hand, will wipe out or extinguish this inherited Castilian language in existence with his last representatives in the following generation."
Professor Gervacio Miranda who also wrote a book in Chavacano said in his preface the following thing,"My only objective to write this book is to possibly conserve in written form the Chavacano of Cavite for posterity," fearing the extinction of the dialect.

The survival of this hybrid language depends on their people, the people of the city of Cavite, who have inherited this dialect from their ancestors. Some now live in Olongapo City and so far, there are only less than 500 people who could speak this language in the city. According to many opinions, Chavacano was scattered in different places of the Philippine archipelago, only of its sort in the Far East or perhaps in the Hispanic world. Chavacano is also spoken by a majority in Zamboanga City, where its future survival is much more secure.

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