How to say Where Are You in Chabacano

Saying 'where are you' in Chabacano is very easy. You just say donde tu or donde ya tu? How do these two differ from each other? Well, there really is no difference, they both mean the same thing. Donde ya tu however sounds more impatient and there is a stronger demand on the speaker’s part to know where someone is.

Let us dissect these two sentences.

Donde= where
Ya= already
Tu= you

So as you can see, donde ya tu roughly translates to 'where are you already'. The 'already' here makes the question sound more impatient and urgent.

Donde= where
Tu= you

Meanwhile asking donde tu doesn’t imply any urgency in it. It is simply asking where you are. If you wish to add an inquisitive tone to your question without sounding demanding or impatient, simply add the word ba after donde. Donde tu will now become donde ba tu?

Here is a phone conversation using these two sentences.

Pilar: Hello?
Maria: Donde ya tu? Enantes pa yo ta espera aqui na mall. Hinde ba a las diez kita debe man mirahan? Que hora ya? A las doce ya!
Pilar: Sorry gayod. Ahora lang gayod yo ya puede despierta. Donde ba tu ahora?
Maria: Taqui yo na mall. Na casa pa ba tu?
Pilar: Oo. Para alli ya yo. Donde tu conmigo espera?


  1. In Caviteño I would usually say, "¿Donde ba tallá tú?"

  2. That is very interesting. It would be a bit difficult for a Chabacano de Zamboanga speaker to guess the meaning of donde ba talla tu (at least in my opinion). :P