My friend who spoke Chabacano only with her relatives and would mix Tagalog and English with it thought that the future tense in Chabacano is indicated by the word ‘man’. I would hear her say man anda kame na iglesia manana. In this post (which I dedicate to her), I aim to clarify the Chabacano ‘man’, and explain how to form the Chabacano future tense.
In most books about the Chabacano language, it is explained that to form the future tense, one has to put the word ‘ay’ in front of the sentence. For example:
Chabacano: Ay anda yo na tuyo casa.
English: I will go to your house.
However, what most books about the Chabacano language will not tell you is that you can also NOT put the word ay and it will still be the future tense. Thus, in the above sentence, if we remove the word ay, it will still have the same meaning. Note that this word is also spelled as hay.
Chabacano: Anda yo na tuyo casa.
English: I will go to your house.
Here are more examples:
Chabacano: Mira kame cine OR ay mira kame cine
English: We will watch a movie.
Chabacano: Compra yo arroz OR ay compra yo arroz.
English: I will buy rice.
Chabacano: Reza yo para contigo OR ay reza yo para contigo.
English: I will pray for you.
Putting the word ay in front of the sentence is in fact only used as a way of emphasizing that you are speaking in terms of the future. In fact, if you will listen to Chabacano conversations, you will not always encounter the word ‘ay’.
Now let me talk about the word ‘man’. This word is used in front of verbs that are not derived from Spanish (like English or Tagalog). For example:
Here are some sentences using the above words:
Chabacano: Cuando kita anda man swimming?
English: When will we go do some swimming?
Chabacano: Man picnic kame mañana.
English: We will have a picnic tomorrow.
Chabacano: Hinde yo man reply na suyo text.
English: I will not reply to his text message.
Chabacano: Segurao yo na man ulan luego.
English: I am sure that it will rain later.
It is important to note that putting the word ‘man’ in front of a non Spanish derived word also happens in the present and the past tense. For example:
Chabacano: Ya man picnic kame ayer.
English: We had a picnic yesterday.
Chabacano: Ta man picnic el dos.
English: The two are having a picnic.
Putting the word man in front of certain English verbs will change its meaning. For example:
Man rubber shoes= to wear rubber shoes
Chabacano: Man rubber shoes tu. (instead of usa rubber shoes.)
English: Wear rubber shoes.
Man nursing= to take up nursing
Chabacano: Man nursing ba tu? (instead of saca ba tu nursing?)
English: Will you take up nursing (college program)
Man Facebook = to go on Facebook
Chabacano: Man Facebook tu luego?
English: Will you be on facebook later?
The word ‘man’ can also appear in front of Spanish derived verbs such as:
Man Compra (which means to go shopping) *compra here is pronounced without a stress at the end since it is a noun
Chabacano: Man compra kita mañana.
English: We’ll go shopping tomorrow.
Chabacano: Ya man compra kame ayer na mall.
English: We did some shopping yesterday at the mall.
Here are other words that are formed with the word man and a Spanish derived word:
Man Encuentro= to meet
Man Duda= to doubt
Man Cuento = to talk, tell, narrate or converse
Here are some examples on how these are used:
Chabacano: Man encuentro ba kamo dos luego?
English: Are the two of you meeting up later?
Chabacano: Por que ba tu ta man duda?
English: Why are you in doubt?
Chabacano: Mancuento le conaton cosa sila ya hace na Baguio.
English: He will be telling us what they did in Baguio.
Chabacano: Man fuguera kame luego.
English: We’ll be burning trash later.
Note that not all people use the word man encuentro to mean to meet up. Most people say man mirahan.
Fuguera is defined as a bonfire or any blaze produced by burning things
heaped together in the Chavacano de Zamboanga Compendio y Diccionario
by Rolando Arquiza Santos.
The word man can also be placed in front of words such as lejos, and junto and this will form a verb.
Man Junto or Man Junto Junto
Chabacano: Puede ba man lejos ya tu conmigo?
English: Can you go far away from me? OR Can you leave me alone?
Chabacano: Man junto kita manana.
English: We will have a gathering tomorrow.
The word man lejos is actually something I heard from a song so i don't think it is used widely. Meanwhile man junto junto is something that I would hear often from the late mayor Maria Clara Lobregat.
usages of ‘man’ in Chabacano are very extensive and I can’t possibly
cover it all in just one article. As the author of the Chavacano de
Zamboanga Compendio y Diccionario by Rolando Arquiza Santos said,
mastery of the usage of particles in a language is a strong indicator
of native proficiency.
As for my friend who thought that ‘man’ means will, it is most probably my fault. I usually use English verbs when speaking in Chabacano. So I automatically say ‘man’ even before I say the verb and sometimes the verb comes out in English and sometimes in Chabacano. When I do decide to say it in Chabacano, it is already too late to take the ‘man’ back.