A Certificate Written in Chabacano

So I was browsing a forum about the latest developments from Zamboanga city when I stumbled upon this photo and I would be crazy not to share it with you.

Source: IG: @yeap.fou

What makes this photo worth sharing is that this type of document would normally be written in English so this is definitely a big step towards preserving the Chabacano language. First, let me just give you some background information on the photo. Zamboanga city is currently celebrating a month long festival called the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival which climaxes in the Fiesta Pilar. The Fiesta Pilar happens on the feast day of our Lady of the Pillar. The certificate in the photo is a certificate given to exhibitors during the Zamboanga Art Exhibit, one of the activities held in the festival.

Now, let's dissect the written Chabacano in the document. The first thing that caught my attention in the document was the word certifico. I know, it sounds like a Spanglish word! I wasn't able to check my Chabacano dictionary if this word is in it but the Spanish word for certificate is certificado. Both the Camins and Arquiza Santos dictionaries list the word certifico as the Chabacano word for certificate. The Spanish certificado does not appear in any of these two Chabacano dictionaries. I also did some research on the word certifico and it looks like TV Patrol Chavacano also uses it.

Another word that caught my attention was the word rindi which comes from the Spanish rendir but it's mostly pronounced as rindi in Chabacano, hence, they spelled it as rindi and not rendi. Lastly, I think the word exhibitor could have been spelled as exhibidor.


  1. el correcto palabra es "CERTIFICADO"... masquen antes ese ya el palabra ta usa kita, especialmente na maga documentos de nacimiento como "Certificado de Nacimiento". pero jendeh se kita ta habla como igual na Castellano "Certificado de Nacio".

  2. A birth certificate in Spanish is una "Partida de Nacimiento".

    César Jr.

    1. En el Zamboangueño y Español Filipino se dice "Certificado de Nacimiento/Nacio".

    2. Creo que cada pais tiene su propia manera de decirlo. Por ejemplo se le llama acta de nacimiento en Mexico. :)