The Chabacano Sonsaca

In Tagalog, whenever a person reminds you of a good thing that he or she did for you in a bid to make you do something good for them in return, it is called pagsusumbat or pagmumukha. In Chabacano, we say sonsaca.

Santos' Chabacano dictionary defines sonsaca as 'to remind someone of earlier favor granted and favor is not reciprocated'. Most of the people that I know would spell and pronounce this word as sunsaca (with a u). Surprisingly, Camins' dictionary does not have this word.

In my opinion, this is one of those words that young Chabacano speakers would probably identify as hondo Chabacano or deep Chabacano. I myself don't use this word a lot though I know some people who love to use this word.

A possible candidate of the origin of sonsaca is the Spanish sonsacar. The problem with this theory is that the Spanish sonsacar has a totally different meaning from the Chabacano sonsaca.

Here is a sentence using the Chabacano sonsaca.

Chabacano: No tu sonsaca el maga bueno que ya hace tu para conmigo.
English: Don't flaunt the things that you did for me in my face.

You may also shorten this sentence by just saying no tu conmigo sonsaca and it will mean the same thing.

Another example of sonsaca is when a relative pays for your education and one day, when you become successful, this relative tells you that you are where you are today because of him or her. Sounds familiar? This happens a lot in Filipino culture.

What about you? Do you use this word whenever you speak Chabacano?


  1. I heard a word "suncá" with the same meaning or is it i only heard it wrongly.

    And there's also another word we express in Zamboangueño with Tagalog equivalent of "Utang na Loob". But one thing forel sure, in the Zamboangueño Culture this is not prominent.. but why? Is it because we're the most Hispanized?

  2. ¿Na cultura ba del mana Étnico Raza - Zamboangueño el se llama "Sentido de Endeudamiento" o "Sentido de Gratitud"?

  3. In South America the Spanish equivalent will be "sacar en cara"

  4. we can also say 'mal pagador' to refer to someone who doesn't repay the good we've shown.