¿Cómo suena Chavacano?

28 Mar

Daniel Infante Tuaño

A veces me preguntan los españoles si nosotros los filipinos aún sabemos hablar español, dado que Filipinas fue colonia española durante trescientos treinta y tres años.  Siempre les contesto que sí, que hay muchisimas palabras que aún están presentes en el vocabulario filipino. Sin embargo, ya no hablamos el idioma porque el español dejó de ser un requisito en la universidad y otros colonizadores nuestros, los estadounidenses, impusieron el inglés como lengua oficial durante los años de ‘asimilación benevolente’.  El inglés es ahora la segunda lengua oficial de Filipinas, y todos los filipinos pueden comunicarse, es decir, pueden entender y conversar, en inglés, aunque sólo hayan estudiado educación primaria o no tengan estudios.

Sin embargo, algunos filipinos, sobretodo los que habitan en Zamboanga y en algunas zonas de Mindanao y de Luzon (tales como Cavite y Manila), hablan una especie de criollo español conocido por el nombre de Chavacano. Al contar esto, siempre recibo una mirada extraña o incluso algunas risas, ya que la palabra Chavacano (escrita Chabacano en español) tiene un significado peyorativo, a saber, dícese de algo o alguien de mal gusto, vulgar o grosero. De hecho, el Chavacano es fruto del contacto entre la población indigena y los colonizadores hispanohablantes (españoles peninsulares y los novohispanos o mexicanos). En aquellos momentos, era tal el número de dialectos e idiomas que se hablaban que, aunque los hispanohablantes consideraban como ‘vulgar’ esta manera de hablar español, les bastaba y la consideraban de gran importancia para hacerse entender con los habitantes autóctonos.

Algunos me han manifestado su interés en saber cómo es, cómo suena. Casualmente, en la actualidad uno de los grandes éxitos en Filipinas es una canción titulada ‘Porque’,interpretada por un grupo de jóvenes cantantes que se hacen llamar ‘Maldita’. Este grupo de la ciudad de Zamboanga ha logrado promocionar en Filipinas el Chavacano. Aquí tenéis un video y abajo están las letras. Ya diréis si suena vulgar o si suena bien. ¡Muchas gracias al Sr. Arnel German por compartir esta noticia!

Video Courtesy of MAD MEDIA WORKS

PORQUE (Why)
by Maldita

Solo-solo na mi cuarto (Alone in my room)
Hende ta puede durmi
(I could not sleep)
Bira-bira na cabeza
(In my mind it keeps coming back)
El dolor yo ya sinti (The pain that I felt)

REFRAIN
Porque pa contigo yo ya quiere?
(Why was it that I liked (or loved) you?
)
Como bula lang tu ya perde (Like bubble you disappeared)

CHORUS
Porque contigo yo ya escogi?
(Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri (Now, my heart suffers)
Bien simple lang yo ta pidi (What I ask for is too simple)
Era sinti tu el cosa yo ya sinti (That you feel how I felt)

Ta pidi milagro bira’l tiempo (I ask for a miracle to turn back the time)
El mali hace derecho (For this mistake to be corrected)
Na di mio rezo ta pidi yo (In my prayer I ask)
Era olvida yo contigo (That I forget you)

Todo-todo yo ya dale (I have given everything)
Ahora ta arrepenti
(Now, I am regretting)
Sobra-sobra el dolencia (Too much pain)
Tormento para vivi (It is difficult to go on (or to live))

Repeat Refrain and Chorus

BRIDGE
No tu distorba
(Never bother me)
Y no atraca kay baka (Or even come near me)
palmadia yo contigo (I might be able to slap you in the face)
Nunca accepta (Never accept)
Si tu ay bira por dolor ya sinti (For if you come back, it is pain I feel)

Porque contigo yo ya escogi? (Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri (Now, my heart suffers)
Bien simple lang yo ta pidi (What I ask for is too simple)
Era sinti tu el cosa yo ya sinti (That you feel how I felt)

Repeat Chorus

Ooohh..
Porque contigo yo ya escogi?
(Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri…(Now, my heart suffers)

Traducido por Eldon B. Tenorio

6 Responses to “¿Cómo suena Chavacano?”

  1. mm March 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Interesting…
    Someone from home mentioned this group to me, saying “Maldita” sang in Spanish, and were going to perform during the “Magayon” festival.
    This just shows how to a non-Spanish speaker it does sound like Spanish, but on the other hand is not understandable for a “conventional” Spanish speaker. I have to admit that if not for the translation, had I just listened to them singing, I would not have understood most of the song, except for some words (palabras sueltas). I would not call it vulgar, though. I also know someone who lived in Zamboanga for a while, and now through Facebook has come in touch with old friends from there. Some of the Chavacano speakers actually think he would easily understand them now that he speaks Spanish, when in fact, he hardly does.

  2. Dan March 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Thanks MM for the comment. When I was in the Philippines I also thought that Chavacano and Spanish were the same.

    Just recently I attended a conference where one of the speakers from the Philippines greeted the Spanish audience in Chavacano. They seemed to understand her except when she started uttering Bisayan and Tagalog terms.

    • Clarissa April 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      speaking of tagalog, i also foudn this link. apparently a version of the song was done in this language as well: http://videokeman.com/maldita/porque-tagalog-version-maldita

      am not sure though if they were the ones who sang this as well or if it’s a cover

      • Dan April 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

        Hi Clarissa! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Glenn April 16, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    You have to understand that Chavacano has actually deteriorated over the years. This has followed the decline of Spanish proficiency in the country and even these days we are also seeing the lowest point of English proficiency as well inspite of the advent of the Internet age.

    The Chavacano used in this song is that of a street parlance and of the young who are not quite exposed to the Spanish language. Hence, the aesthetics is quite minimal.

    Nevertheless, the mere fact of the extraordinary effort in coming up this song should be appreciated because these days in Zamboanga everybody tries to learn Tagalog at the expense of Chavacano. Even among Chavacano speakers there is always that disdain for their mother tongue for being linguistically inadequate, which for me is basically an excuse of our pereza to cultivate one’s own tongue.

    In Chavacano we see the last vestiges of what used to be the authentic Philippine Spanish, similar to the Andalucian Spanish spoken in the coastal areas of the Americas. It is not the Castilian Spanish taught in schools or the Spanish spoken by migrants who came to our shores in the 20th century.

    Too bad Philippine Spanish has not been cultivated. It is as forgotten as the Malolos republic. Perhaps it reflects, in so many ways, our collective failure to cultivate what is our own, such things as genuine national/regional identities or a country under the rule of law.

    • Dan April 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      Hola Glenn! Thank you for your comments and for providing us more information on Chavacano. It seems that there are a lot of things to do–construct or reconstruct our national identity and at the same time improve our English proficiency and learn another foreign language, which is in this case, Spanish.

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