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The Little Prince By Antoine De Saint-Exupéry Is Now Available In Chabacano!

While Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) written by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry in 1943 now has over 300 translations in different languages worldwide and is now considered the world’s most translated book (not counting religious works), there have been surprisingly only two translations of his book in the Philippines (Filipino and Bicol). El Diutay Principe is only the third edition featuring a Philippine language. The Little Prince is a classic French novella about a pilot who gets stranded in the desert after a plane crash and encounters a little fellow who asks him to draw a sheep for him. Through the course of their meeting, the pilot rediscovers the true meaning of life and what people should value the most. When I came across the book in 2013, I found that I could relate very well to the negative image given to “growing up” in the book. When the idea to translate the book into my mother tongue was presented to me, I didn’t think twice. I thought, ‘a lot of people my
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The Chabacano Picadillo

A few days ago, someone from Spain who purchased a copy of El Diutay Principe sent  this article about a Filipino dish called  Picadillo .  I never knew that this dish was called  Picadillo  (although a quick search online will confirm this). Since coming to Manila, I have only heard this dish being called  Giniling  in  carenderias  which means something that is ground. The article also says that this dish is similar to the Spanish dish called  jardinera . Interestingly, I found out that there is also a Filipino dish called  hardinera . When I was growing up in Zamboanga city, the dish I knew as Picadillo consisted of ground beef with cubed white squash which we called  calabaza blanco . Today, I chanced upon a  post from the Lutong Cavite Facebook page  talking about the Caviteño dish called Picadillo. The reason that I decided to write this article was because it was very similar to the Picadillo in Zamboanga city that I grew up with! Even the way the  upo  is sliced was the same. T

The Chabacano 'Firme'

Prior to finding out that the same word existed in Cebuano and Hiligaynon, I have always thought that the Chabacano word 'firme' came from the Spanish language. However, upon learning that the same word (with the same definition) existed in Cebuano and Hiligaynon, I concluded that this word most probably came from either one of these two languages. I mean the Cebuano and Hiligaynon languages most probably got it from Spanish but if a certain word existed in all three languages, I am more apt to think that it came from either Cebuano or Hiligaynon rather than Spanish. This afternoon, I was very surprised when I came across this word in a Facebook post written in Caviteño Chabacano .  I was even more surprised when I asked a Ternateño speaker about it and found out that this word also existed in their Chabacano! While this word is pronounced as 'pilmi' in Caviteño, it is pronounced as 'pirmi' in both Chabacano languages in Ternate and Zamboanga as well as Cebuano

El Nuevo Santo Rosario

I just got my hands on a rosary guide book in Chabacano. I have had my eye on this book since forever but the shipping costs always discouraged me from buying it. I was finally able to buy a few copies online when I received a voucher which covered the entire shipping costs. Surprisingly, the online shops in Manila do not have this in stock. I was talking about this book with an online friend a few days ago. During our conversation, he mentioned that he wanted to buy a Chabacano bible from Amazon. He told me that the Chabacano found in the bible produced by the Claretians had a Chabacano that was too easy or too simple to understand. Right away, I knew what he was driving at. I guess because Spanish is a novelty for most Chabacano speakers my age, we tend to appreciate a Chabacano translation that is more Spanish-like. But what most people do not know is that translating into simple Chabacano that makes minimal use of Spanish words and phrases is actually much more difficult. For Chaba

A Mañanita in Chabacano (Chabacano Mañanita Lyrics)

Several years ago, my Mexican friend asked me on my birthday: te cantaron las mañanitas?  I had very little knowledge about what a Mañanita was back then but now I know that we actually also have this tradition in the Philippines. In fact, there are recent videos in Youtube where they are serenading someone celebrating their birthday in different parts of the country.  A few hours ago, I stumbled upon a video in Youtube where they are serenading the birthday celebrant in Chabacano. I remember encountering a similar video a few years ago but when I asked the owner for the lyrics, they couldn't provide them to me. This one is a different song but the audio quality is much better so I decided to transcribe it and provide the lyrics here. Chabacano Mañanita Lyrics Ahora taqui kame para lleva y dale alegria Con corazon sincero este dia cumpleaño Sigui kita ejemplo del Señor  ya deja kanaton Ansina ay vivi kita  con harmonia aqui na mundo Felices cumpleaño ya lang Ojala tiene tu buen

The Chabacano 'Crece'

A week ago, I met someone who was originally from Zamboanga city but has lived in Manila for most of her life. When I spoke to her daughter in Chabacano, she told me: no sabe ese man Chabacano kay aqui ese sila ya crece . Even though I understood her perfectly, I immediately noted how she used the word crece incorrectly (at least for me) in Chabacano. This word comes from the Spanish crecer and is usually pronounced as crici or creci  in Chabacano. In Chabacano, we normally use this word for plants or things that grow on skin like warts or hair. For example: no hay crece el de mio maga siembra. When talking about people, we usually use 'queda grande' as in 'na Manila yo ya queda grande'. In my experience, the only time we use this word on people is when referring to their height but this is not very common. At first I attributed it to her having lived in Manila for such a long time already but later I thought that maybe she used the word in the same way that it was b

The Chabacano Planchador

My mom is visiting me again in the city and during one of our phone calls, she asked me if the Airbnb we are going to stay at had a planchador . Even if it had been years that I have not heard and/or used this word, this piece of vocabulary had always been in my subconscious. I googled up the word and found out that it means a different thing altogether in Spanish . In Spanish, the word planchador means a person who irons clothes. The same definition is given for the Tagalog word plantsador .  In Chabacano, the word planchador means an ironing board. You can imagine how this word will probably vanish from our vocabularies one day. Due to technology (emergence of steamers which do not need an ironing board), clothes that don't need ironing and the current generation's attitude towards wrinkles in clothing, ironing boards will probably be soon a thing of the past. An ironing board was one of the first things that I bought when I came to Manila because I grew up in a house wher

Using 'te' instead of 'tu' in Chabacano

 In Spanish, 'te' is a reflexive pronoun that is used when conjugating reflexive verbs like 'acostarse'. While this pronoun does not behave similarly in Chabacano grammar, it is possible that it is being used as a synonym of 'tu'. The first time I heard this was at the annual family reunions we had on my mother's side of the family every Christmas. It has been almost fifteen years since I attended one so I wasn't even sure at first if indeed I heard my uncles use 'te' instead of 'tu'. But recently, I came across a comment on social media which confirms this. Here are other examples: Based on the examples above, we could theorize that the people who use 'te' are also people who use 'uste' (usted). This makes sense because I frequently heard it from my uncles who spoke to my mom (the eldest sibling). My uncles use 'uste' whenever they speak to my mother. But are there people who use 'te' exclusively? One thin

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In Facebook groups, a lot of people, even Chabacano speakers themselves, seem to be wondering how to say 'I miss you' in Chabacano. Most Chabacano speakers get away with just saying tan miss ya yo contigo . However, the verb miss is still untranslated. The English verb to miss (someone or something) may very well be untranslatable. I googled I miss you in Tagalog  and I nearly fell off my chair when I saw what Google Translate had to say: In very formal Tagalog, one can say nangungulila ako sa iyo although it will probably make you cringe saying it. Most formal Chabacano translations of I miss you  are similar; they will make you cringe saying them. Besides, most people wouldn't understand you anyway, if you use them. In Cebuano, they actually have a translation for I miss you  and that is gimingaw kaayo ko nimo. I'm not sure though if Cebuano speakers actually say this. My friend tells me that it's more common to hear people say namiss na ta ka which if yo