Beng renews call for chavacano preservation

Mayor Beng Climaco Sunday urged Zamboanguenos to continue efforts on the promotion, preservation and propagation of the chavacano language, the third most widely spoken creole language in the world.

Spearheading the celebration of the 8th Dia de Fundacion Chavacano Sunday, Mayor Climaco said it is very important for the young generation to speak and understand chavacano as it is the city’s legacy and one of the pillars of the Zamboangueño culture.

The Dia de Fundacio Chavacano, held every 23rd of June pursuant to City Ordinance 374, was highlighted by the launching of a new set of books – chavacano dictionary volume 2, chavacano grammar book and Riqueza: chavacano essays and studies Vol. 3 – through the efforts of Mayor Climacoa and Dr. Jose Genaro Yap-Aizon.  The books will be distributed for free to all schools and offices in the city.

The production of chavacano dictionary, school textbooks under the K  to 12’s mother tongue-based multilingual education )MTB-MLE) and other reference materials form part of the city’s program for the culture and arts.

The celebration, held at the Activity Area, 2nd floor of the KCC Mall in Gov. Camins, was also highlighted by the conduct of the 3rd Chavacano Quiz Bee covering the city’s history, culture and arts with the participation of 21 schools for the elementary division and 20 high schools for the secondary division.

Baliwasan Central School topped the elementary category followed by the Upper Pasonanca Elementary School and the Tetuan Central School SPED Center placing second and third, respectively. In the secondary level, the RSHS Senior High School bagged the first place with the RSHS Junior High School and NHS Senior High placing second and third place, respectively. Chavacano, is a Spanish derivative language which traces its beginnings back to June 23, 1635 when the cornerstone of the Fuerza de San Jose, now more popularly known as Fort Pilar, was laid down.  (Sheila Covarrubias)