4 Different Ways to Say 'Because' in Chabacano

There are four distinct ways to say the word 'because' in Chabacano.

1. Porque

Origin: Spanish

This is the Bien Chabacano ("Deep Chabacano") way of saying 'because'. I'm not sure how widely used porque was in the past but today, it is very rarely heard. I don't think they even use it in news programs or formal situations. This word comes from Spanish but in that language, they make a distinction between porque (because) and por qué (why).

When you hear someone use this word in Chabacano today, it often means 'why' and not 'because'. Most Chabacano speakers probably are only aware of the first meaning (as in porque contigo yo ya escoge from the famous Maldita song 😀).


Chabacano: No hay ele conmigo dale cen porque rabiao ele conmigo.
English: He didn't give me any money because he was mad at me.

2. Kay

Origin: Cebuano or Hiligaynon

Kay is the contemporary way of saying 'because' in Chabacano.


Chabacano: Ya dale conmigo cen mio hermano kay ya gana ele na Lotto.
English: My brother gave me money because he won the lottery.

Chabacano: Ya cae yo na exam kay no hay yo estudia.
English: I failed the exam because I didn't study.

3.  Por Causa

Origin: Spanish


Chabacano: Ya anda kame na iglesia ayer por causa del casamiento de mio hermano.
English: We went to church yesterday because of my brother's wedding.

Chabacano: Ya vene yo aqui por causa con ele.
English: I came here because of her.

Strictly speaking, you should only use por causa when it translates in English as a preposition: because of (someone or something). However, I do hear many people use por causa as a 'conjunction'. So you could probably get away with substituting kay, kasi, and porque with por causa.

4. Kasi

Origin: Tagalog

The fourth one is the most controversial of them all. Recently, a billboard was found in Zamboanga city containing the following sentence: "Nay, el medicina protegido kasi AIRCONDITIONED aqui." Here is my attempt on a translation: mom, the medicines here are well-maintained because of air-conditioning. The billboard belongs to a pharmacy that sells generic drugs.

Source: online forum

As you may have guessed, the usage of kasi is a very recent occurrence and will even be branded as "incorrect Chabacano" by some people. Anyway, I'm just happy that they used protegido and not protektado. 😜


Chabacano: No quiere ele anda aqui kasi ta tiene ele miedo contigo.
English: He doesn't want to go here because he is scared of you.

Chabacano: No hay kasi yo cen, por eso no hay yo puede segui con ustedes.
English: I didn't have any money. That is why I wasn't able to go with you.

The last sentence is very Tagalog (in terms of word order). I believe this manner of speaking has been adopted by Chabacano speakers very recently (maybe in the 90s?). Speaking Chabacano using Tagalog grammar is very rampant among old and young Chabacano speakers nowadays because of the influence of Tagalog mass media.