Origins of the Chabacano Vira

Since I don’t speak much Spanish, I’m afraid I can’t explain very well how the word virar is used in Spanish. My Spanish dictionary though says that it means to turn or to go back (vehicle). I guess if a vehicle makes a U-turn, that would be virar. Or maybe, if a ship is heading to Manila from Zamboanga and decides to turn around and head back to Zamboanga, that is virar.

In Chabacano, this word is pronounced and spelled by most as bira. It means to return or go back (not to be confused with the Chabacano volve). Here are some examples of how to use the word vira in Chabacano.

Chabacano: Vira yo na Zamboanga despues de diez anos.
English: I will go back to Zamboanga after ten years.

Chabacano: Vira kame otra vez na Manila algun dia.
English: We will go to Manila again someday.

Chabacano: Cuando tu vira na oficina?
English: When will you go back to the office?

An expression that we can derive from this word is vira cara meaning 'to look back'. Here are some examples of this kind of usage:

Chabacano: Vira anay tu cara kay ta muda pa yo.
English: Turn around because I'm getting dressed.

A common expression in Chabacano is vira-vira (can also be viray vira or vira que vira). This means 'someone going back again and again' or 'something happening repeatedly'.

Here is an example using this.

Chabacano: Vira-vira man ese perro aqui?
English: Why is that dog always coming back here?

Chabacano: Vira-vira lang man el salida na TV.
English: The shows on TV are just replays.

1 comment:

  1. My curiosity toward the chavacano language keeps me reading your blog. Keep posting! :)