An Easter Message in Chabacano

I was browsing a forum about Zamboanga city when I happened upon the local government’s Easter message. I must say that I really like how the Easter message was written in simple but formal Chabacano.

It’s sad however that a number of young Zamboanguenos probably wouldn’t understand fully this Chabacano text. So here’s a vocabulary guide to make this Easter message more understandable. I actually picked out the words which in my opinion would not be known to the Zamboanguenos who don’t speak Chabacano well or those that speak it as a second language.

En calor de- On behalf of

Felicita- to Greet

Culminacion- Culmination

Amediante- Amid

Mejor- Better

Ama- to Love

Muerte- Death

Guia- to Guide

Bendici- to Bless

Rezo- Prayer

Domingo De Pascua- Easter Sunday

Dificultad- hardship

Fe- faith

If you watch or listen to Chabacano news or attend public school, you probably wouldn’t have a hard time understanding the message above as Chabacano is very much alive in these institutions.

Here is my attempt to translate the mayor's message to English:

In behalf of the local government of Zamboanga, I wish you all a happy Easter Sunday! The culmination of the Holy Week reminds us about the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation. Amid the hardships, Jesus continues to guide and bless us. Hopefully, after several days of reflection, prayer, and penitence, our trust and faith in God will be stronger and inspire us more to work together for a much better Zamboanga.We love you, Jesus!

May God be with you!

Beng Climaco and the local government of Zamboanga

Happy Easter everyone!


  1. If we only have a proper education in our own Language, 100% surely many of us can read it.
    The only problem among those who might not understand it is because they "don't know how to read" in the Zamboangueño Chavacano Language.

    Igual lang ese masquen cosa clase de Lenguaje pero si no hay formal educación y no sabe leé y pronuncía bien se entonces hay jendêh también puede entende el cosa ta acaba escribí aunque simple ya el contenido del mensaje.

    Por eso necesita kita ayudá y soportá a uno otros para declará el Idioma Chavacano en particularmente el Dialecto Zamboangueño como la Lengua Oficial de La Ciudad de Latina Zamboanga para en ese asunto tiene bastante ley que hay promové su uso que no solo en la calle sino en la escuela también y sobre todo mas puede mejorá, desarollá y Ebriquecé con el Lenguaje Zamboangueño Chavavano.

  2. Amo. Pero ya oi yo, algunus mga escuela ta principia ya man dao ensena Chabacano. De veras ba aquel?

  3. En calor de → On behalf of

  4. I've already changed it to on. Thanks for the correction.

  5. Hola desde el sur de Espana! Me alegra que el gobierno de Zamboanga,emita mensajes de este tipo en lenguaje chabacano.He visto tambien,que se han puesto o esa es la idea,carteles en los organismos publicos,calles etc en esta lengua,creo que como indica arondayot,hay que promocionar la lengua en la escuela.Con la visualizacion por escrito de la lengua,creo que se fomenta la "normalizacion" de la lengua.El chabacano es un tesoro del pueblo filipino.Adelante Zamboanga!.Un abrazo,Joaquin