Origins of the Chabacano Entoja

In the Philippines, we seem to believe that pregnant women have food cravings that are brought about by their pregnancies. In Tagalog, we call this paglilihi. it can be green mangoes, peanuts, or crabs, whatever the pregnant woman wants, she should get, or so we've been told.

Scientifically though, paglilihi is just attributed to the narcissistic tendencies that a pregnant woman would have.

In the Chabacano de Zamboanga, we call this entoja (verb). This probably comes from the Spanish antojar which means to crave something. Interestingly, there are different words connected to the Chabacano entoja depending on which Chabacano dictionary you consult. Camins (1988), has the words entojada (a pregnant woman with strong food cravings), entojau (a person with strong food cravings), and entojo (cravings). Santos (2010), meanwhile, has the verb entoja, entojao, and entojo.

Today though, it is only the verb entoja which is used a lot in the Chabacano language. Mostly, the word entoja is used to refer to the strong and sometimes strange food cravings of a pregnant woman. In all honesty, I never knew that this word could be used to refer to the food cravings of a man or a non pregnant woman. I'm sure most young people today didn't know this. It is also strange that the verb entoja is not included in the Camins dictionary.

Here are some example sentences:

Chabacano: Ta entoja si Maria kay preƱada le.
English: Maria is having strong food cravings, she is pregnant.

Chabacano: Compra mangga hilaw kay ta entoja si Fely.
English: Buy green mangoes because Fely is craving for them.

I asked my Bien Chabacano uncle about this word and he told me that for non-pregnant persons and men, you can use the noun entojo. Since entojo is a noun, you should man before it when being used as a verb. Here are some examples.

Chabacano: Tan entojo man yo come Endulsao este pascua.
English: I feel like eating Endulsao this Christmas.

If you are a young Chabacano speaker, you may not have known this. So the next time you crave for a certain food, you could say ta man entojo yo come (something) instead of tan crave yo come (something).

I know that we've all been complaining that we don't know how to say certain things in Chabacano, so here's actually an opportunity to say one of the things we, youngsters, frequently like to say, in Chabacano. I'm sure it'll sound weird at first but the more you use it, the less weird it will sound. Mixing English with Chabacano may sound cooler to some, but can we, at least, make an effort to make Chabacano work? šŸ˜‰