A week ago, I was quite surprised when my friend greeted me, "cosa man el noticia". I found this strange because I have never heard this greeting in Chabacano. I however realized that it is a direct translation of a very popular Tagalog greeting in Manila: anong balita?
Come to think of it there are a lot of words which sounds as if they are direct translations from Tagalog. A couple of examples are:
Patay Gutom-Muerto Hambre
Mukhang Pera-Caray Sen
Feeling Maganda-Senti Guapa
The y in caray is most probably because Chabacano sometimes follow Bisayan grammar and whenever a Tagalog word ends with a ng, the Bisaya equivalent ends in a y.
Tagalog: Meron kang ____
Bisaya: Naa kay ____
English: Do you have _____
Please note that I don't speak Bisaya and you are so free to correct me on this assumption.
The Chabacano caray is a very useful bit of vocabulary. You can insert it everytime you would say mukhang ____ in Tagalog.
Here are other examples of the word caray being used:
Tagalog: Mukhang Baboy
Chabacano: Caray Puerco/ Babuy
English: (Something) looks like a pig.
Tagalog: Mukhang Mabigat
Chabacano: Caray Pesao
English: (Something) looks heavy
Tagalog: Mukhang Mayaman
Chabacano: Caray Rico
English: (Someone) looks rich *wealthy
In some cases, the word caray is used instead of dao. If you would notice, you can also say dao puerco or dao pesao.
Another shocker was when my friend said quetal man and he said this just as someone in Manila would say kumusta naman….
Here is a dialogue in Tagalog, English, and its rough translation in English that explains this word:
-Maputik ang daan.
-E di magsuot ka ng tsinelas.
-Kamusta naman ang mga paa ko noon?
-Malodo el camino.
-Na usa tu chinelas.
-Na quetal man mio pies si man chinelas yo?
-The road is muddy.
-Why don't you use slippers.
-But what would happen to my feet then?
If you're going to notice, these new implants in Chabacano are fairly new slangs in the Tagalog language. It seems to me, Chabacano is experiencing quite an evolution yet again, thanks to Manila's imperialism. But here’s where we separate Chabacano from the other languages. Instead of just opting to use the popular new Tagalog slangs from imperial Manila in its original form, we choose to adopt these words in our language (no matter how weird the translation sounds).
Its capacity to adapt amidst the ever changing linguistic composition of far more influential languages is what keeps our language from suffering the fate of other languages. This is truly what makes Chabacano de Zamboanga unique.