Origins of the Chabacano Amarea and Aplaya

Guess what these two words have in common.

Are they Chabacano words that have their origins in the Spanish language?


But there is one more thing.

These two words added an extra 'a' at the front when they were made into Chabacano words. Yes, remove the 'a' at the beginning of these two words and you have yourselves Spanish words.

The Chabacano word amarea means 'to be dizzy' (or experience nausea). While the word aplaya means 'beach'. The word marear in Spanish means to be dizzy and the word playa in Spanish means beach.

There are other variations of the word amarea in Chabacano. Some people say almarea. Another word for amarea in Chabacano is buyung. Buyung is a word that probably originates from one of the Philippine languages that influenced Chabacano like Tausug and Hiligaynon.

Camins' Chabacano dictionary spells this word as almarria. Aside from almarria, his dictionary also has the words almarrio (diziness) and almarriao.

The word amarea has another figurative meaning in Chabacano. It can also mean to be confused.

Here are some examples of the word amarea being used in Chabacano:

Chabacano: No move que move. Ta hace vos conmigo amarea.
English: Quit moving! You're making me feel sick!

Chabacano: *Firme ya lang man yo amareao...
English: Why do I always feel dizzy....

Chabacano: Amareao man este gente!
English: This person is confused!

Chabacano: Amareao ya vos?
English: Have you gone crazy?

Chabacano: Cuando ya **llega yo na casa, bien amareao gayod yo.
English: When I arrived home, I was so nauseated.

Here are some sample Chabacano sentences using the word aplaya.

Chabacano: Mucho ba aplaya na Zamboanga?
English: Are there many beaches in Zamboanga?

Chabacano: Quiere yo anda na aplaya.
English: I want to go to the beach.

Chabacano: Cosa el nombre de aquel aplaya?
English: What is the name of that beach?  

*Spelled and pronounced by most as pirmi
**Spelled and pronounced by most as liga


  1. La playa = a playa = aplaya


  2. I think we also need to count in the words "afuera" and "abajo." In Spanish, they would omit the letter "a" from those words unless when motion is implied. In Chabacano for example, we say "El gato ta para afuera del casa." In Spanish, this is "El gato está (parando) fuera de la casa." (In English, that's "The cat is standing outside the house.") We say, "EL gato ta sinta abajo del bangko (o banco). In Spanish, it's "El gato está sentado bajo de la silla." (The cat is sitting under the chair.)

    When there is motion involved, the letter "a" is added. For example, "The cat walks out of the house" is "El gato está caminando afuera de la casa" and so on.......