Chabacano Greetings


Greeting people in Chabacano is a bit different compared to Spanish. For example, we say buenas dias instead of buenos dias. This greeting though (along with buenas tardes and buenas noches) is normally only used in formal settings and by older speakers of Chabacano.

When at the doorstep and you are trying to check if there's anyone home, one would yell, buenas! Now even though you have been escorted inside the house or the owner has asked you to come in already, it is polite to still say buenas.

Buenas is also sometimes used as a verb meaning to greet someone or to let someone know that you are at their house. Here is an example:

In a party, Maria has not yet greeted Pedro (the host) and is talking to her friend (Pilar) who is also a guest.

Maria: Donde ya si Pedro. Man buenas anay yo conele.

Pilar: Talla pa na cocina.

Here is an English translation:

Maria: Where is Pedro? Let me greet him first/ Let me show myself to him first.

Pilar: He is still in the kitchen.

Recently, I received a text message from an uncle which began with buenas and at a Zamboanga branch of a popular courier, I heard one customer say buenas before making an inquiry to the store employee behind the counter. So when a friend of my mom greeted me buenas and looking at me expectantly for a reply, I felt silly because I didn't know how to respond nor could I remember if people are expected to reply to buenas. šŸ˜›

In Spanish, buenas is also used as a greeting especially in Spain and Mexico according to this discussion.

Now here is something very important to know about Chabacano. While como esta is very common in Spanish, as far as I can remember, one would never hear como esta in Chabacano. I think como esta is simply not present in Chabacano. What you would hear is que tal. When asked que tal, one would not answer bien (as would be the case in Spanish), but instead, one would say bueno or enbuenamente. Here is a sample dialogue:

Maria: Pilar, que tal tu? Tarda ya kita dos nuay man cuento.

Pilar: Na bueno man. Y tu?

Here is an English translation:

Maria: Pilar, how are you/ how have you been? It's been a long time since we last talked.

Pilar: Well, I'm good. And you?

Finally, let me share this very funny post from the Zamboanga Thoughts Facebook page.