The Chabacano Logra

Whenever I speak my very limited Spanish, I sometimes use the word lograr to mean that I was able to do something. A few days ago, I met with my Zamboangue├▒o friend whom I have not seen for some time. Imagine my surprise when he used this word. The way he used this word though told me that it’s Chabacano meaning is different from the Spanish meaning of this word.

Camins’ dictionary defines this word as 'to avail one’s self of and he translates the word as lograr in Spanish.

Santos’ dictionary meanwhile defines this word as 'to succeed', 'to enjoy', 'to achieve', and 'to take advantage'. When my friend used this word, he actually meant 'to enjoy'. Here are his exact words: logra, logra ya kamo (meaning to take advantage of the moment and to enjoy it).

The difference between Camins’ and Santos’definition of this word is a bit puzzling. Does this mean that the definitions to enjoy and to take advantage just evolved from the original meaning? Note that Camins’ dictionary came out before Santos’. It is also a good thing to note that Camins was more advanced in years than Santos.

Another thing that puzzles me is how this word would be used in Chabacano using its Spanish meaning since I never heard people use the word logra to mean 'to achieve' or 'to succeed'. I imagine though that it would go like this: ya logra yo ajunta diez mil (I succeeded or was able to save up ten thousand pesos) or maybe like this: ya logra yo escribi un libro (I was able to write a book).

How about you? Have you ever heard the word logra being used in Chabacano to say 'to succeed' or 'to achieve'?

It really amazes me how the Chabacano de Zamboanga language can be so rich. ­čśÇ


  1. Hola, Jerome!

    I am not a Chabacano speaker, so I don't really know how the word "logra" is being used in the Zamboangue├▒o tongue. However, I agree with you that in Standard Spanish the verb "lograr" means "to achieve" or "to succeed in doing something". What I know to be used in the Filipino languages regarding this word is "logro" which is obviously common in the cockfighting lexicon. I am not a "sabungero" and so until now I find a hard time understanding its real meaning in this kind of gambling. I just hear my brother say it whenever he talks about his passion for "sabong", but still I don't understand what he means by "logro".

    C├ęsar Jr.

  2. Hi Cesar. I didn't know that this word existed in cockfighting lexicon. :D

  3. Amigo Jerome:

    ¿Podr├şas comentar el significado de la palabra 'galamiton'? Suena espa├▒ola pero no lo es.

    Saludos y contin├║a con este maravilloso blog.

    Luis Bosco

  4. Hola Luis. Segun mi tio, galamiton significa things. Lamentablemente, no conozco esta palabra. =(

  5. Hola, Jerome:

    Just a note on the word "logro" as a cockfighting or gambling lexicon. Now I understand its meaning as explained by my brother. In cockfighting for example, there are two contending cocks. If many people bet on one of them, it is considered "llamado", while the other one that fewer people bet on is the "dejado". Now, the "llamado" one can have a "logro", that is whatever amount is bet on it will have some deduction, thus the bettor cannot get the full amount of his bet or investment if ever he wins as many of them will have to share the money minus the "overhead expenses" in the cockpit such as the gaffer, manager etc. A concrete example would be that if you bet 1000 pesos on the "llamado" cock and the "logro" is 10 to 7, then if the cock wins, you will only get 700 pesos back. The story would be different if the "dejado" cock wins and you bet on it. In this situation, you will get your bet back plus some "interest". Sounds weird, right?

    Well, that is how the world of gambling works. It is business, but I don't engage in it because in the end you will have more losses than wins and your money is already wasted.

    I just explained this to you to show how the meaning of the word "logro" has deviated from its Spanish meaning (which is achievement or accomplishment) when it entered the Filipino languages. This is the case in contact vernaculars.

    By the way, "galamiton" is a Cebuano term and it means "things". En espa├▒ol se refiere a las cosas u objetos en general.

    I hope this helps those who may be curious about these topics.

    C├ęsar Jr.

    1. Amigo Jerome:

      Gracias por esclarecer el significado de la palabra galamiton. La escucho en 'TV Patrol Chavacano'. Ellos la utilizan mucho.

      Un gran saludo,

      Luis Bosco