Chavacano or Philippine Creole Spanish is a Spanish-based creole spoken in parts of the Philippines, especially in and around the city of Zamboanga, by over 600,000 people. There are also speakers of the Zamboanga dialect of Chavacano in Sempornah, Malaysia. It is the only Spanish-based creole in Asia and the only non-Austronesian language to have developed in the Philippines.

Chavacano combines vocabulary mainly from Spanish, with grammar mainly from Tagalog and Cebuano. There are two main varities of Chavacano in Zamboanga - a formal variety that contains more Spanish vocabulary, and an informal variety containing more vocabulary from Tagalog, Cebuano and other Philippine languages.

Chavacano is used primarily as a spoken language which dates back to 1635, when Zamboanga became a permanent Spanish stronghold with the construction of the San José Fortress. Recently a standard written form has began to emerge.

As a general orthographic rule, all words of Spanish/European and Mexican origin are spelt according to their original spelling in the Spanish alphabet. Words from Philippine languages are spelt in the native way along Spanish rules. For example: jendeh, meaning no or not, is not spelled as hinde because h is always silent in the Spanish alphabet, thus it is not spelled as in Tagalog.

There are six dialects of Chavacano, each with a number of different names:

Chavacano alphabet and pronunciation (Zamboanga dialect)

Chavacano alphabet and pronunciation (Zamboanga dialect)


Download an alphabet chart for Chavacano (Excel)

Sample text in Chabacano de Zamboanga

Todo'l maga ser humano nace libre e igual en dignidad y maga derecho. Dotado con ellos el razon y conciencia y debe ellos comporta fraternalmente con el maga uno con el maga otro.

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Sample text in Chabacano de Cavite

Todo el mga genti ya naci libre y igual na dignidad y derecho. Tieni ilos rason y conciencia y debi ilos trata cun uno y otro comu mga hermano.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Lord's Prayer in Common Chavacano of Zamboanga

Tata de amon talli na cielo,
bendito el de Usted nombre.
Manda vene con el de Usted reino;
Hace el de Usted voluntad aqui na tierra,
igual como alli na cielo.

Dale kanamon el pan para cada dia.
Perdona el de amon maga culpa,
como ta perdona kame con aquellos
quien tiene culpa kanamon.
No deja que hay cae kame na tentacion
y libra kanamon na mal.

Lord's Prayer in Formal Chavacano of Zamboanga

Nuestro Tata talli na cielo,
bendito el de Usted nombre.
Manda vene con el de Usted reino;
Hace el de Usted voluntad aqui na tierra,
igual como alli na cielo.

Dale con nosotros el pan para cada dia.
Perdona el de nuestro maga culpa,
como nosotros ta perdona con aquellos
quien tiene culpa con nosotros.
No deja que nosotros hay cae na tentacion
y libra con nosotros de mal.

Philippine National Anthem (Chavacano de Zamboanga version)

Tierra adorada,
Hija del sol de oriente,
Fervor del corazon,
viví na tuyo pecho.

Patria de Amores,
Cuna del heroísmo,
Nunca hay rendí tú
al mana invasor.

Na tuyo mar y mana monte,
y aire, y azul cielo,
Tiene esplende el poema y canción
del amado libertad.

Victoria árde el chispa
de tuyo bandera.
Nunca mirá apagáo
Su mana estrella y su sol

Tierra de gloria, del sol y amores,
vida dulce na tuyo abrazáda,
Un honor se para con nosotros,
Cuando tiene opresor, morí por tú.

Sample videos in and about Chavacano

Information about Chabacano | Phrases in Chabacano de Zamboanga & Chabacano de Cavite


Information about Chavacanoíngua_chavacanas

Chavacano dictionary

Blogs about Chabacano

Creole languages

Betawi, Bislama, Cape Verdean Creole, Chavacano, Chinook Jargon, Dominican Creole French, Fanagalo, French Guianese Creole, Guadeloupean Creole, Guinea-Bissau Creole, Haitian Creole, Jamaican, Kituba, Manado Malay, Mauritian Creole, Nagamese, Ndyuka, Norfuk, Nubi, Palenquero, Papiamento, Pijin, Réunion Creole, Sango, Saramaccan, Seychelles Creole, Sierra Leonean Creole, Singlish, Sranan, Saint Lucian Creole, Tok Pisin, Torres-Strait Creole

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 04.06.21


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