How to Ask and Give Directions in Chabacano

So you find yourself in downtown Zamboanga city where all the action happens and you wanted to ask directions in the local language. What would you say? Well, that is exactly what this blog post will teach you. Here is a dialogue between two people, one is a local and the other a Basileño (or a native of Basilan *where they also speak Chabacano).

Joseph: Noy, puede tu conmigo habla donde yo? Cosa camino este?
Arnold: Taqui tu sir na pueblo. Calle Ramos el nombre de este camino.
Joseph: Que modo yo anda na city hall? Kay manmirahan kame de mio hermana na Plaza Pershing. Ya habla conmigo de mio hermana cerca daw el city hall na Plaza Pershing.
Arnold: Onde ba tu necesita anda sir? Na city hall o na Plaza Pershing?
Joseph: Na Plaza Pershing.
Arnold: Camina lang tu derecho sir. Despues cuando llega tu na canto, camina tu pa izquierda. Despues cuando llega tu otra vez na canto, travesa tu con el camino. Basta ese Plaza Pershing en frente ‘se ele del Lucky Mall.
Joseph: Cosa hechura del Plaza Pershing noy?
Arnold: Open space ‘se ele, lleno de zacate. Tiene ‘se gazebo adentro.
Joseph. Okay noy. Gracias gayod. Ya ayuda gayod tu conmigo mucho. Paciencia ya tu kay de Basilan yo.

Joseph: Can you tell me where I am? What street is this?
Arnold: This is the downtown area, sir. This street is called Ramos street.
Joseph: How do I get to the city hall? My sister and I will be meeting at Plaza Pershing. My sister told me that the city hall is near Plaza Pershing.
Arnold: Where do you need to go to sir, the city hall or Plaza Pershing?
Joseph: I need to go to Plaza Pershing.
Arnold: Just walk straight sir. Then when you get to the corner, walk left. Then when you get to the corner again, cross the street. Plaza Pershing is in front of Lucky Mall.
Joseph: What does Plaza Pershing look like?
Arnold: It’s a grassy open space. It has a gazebo inside.
Joseph: Okay. Thanks a lot. You really helped me. I’m actually from Basilan so I’m sorry if I bothered you with my questions.

So there you go. Now Joseph knows how to go to Plaza Pershing and h is on his way to meet his sister.

Directions and names are all fictional.


  1. Just an observation...
    It sounds rather odd to hear tu, when addressing someone as Sir. In Caviteño, we would use usted, pronounced usté.

  2. Very helpful! Thank you.
    I just came back from zamboanga city.
    Im from manila and i want to learn your language.
    More please

  3. You can say uste or tu actually. Tu is not formal but it is not disrespectful either.

  4. In Chabacano de Zamboanga, "tu" is still rather respectful. The familiar form of "you" is "bo".