WMSU Hosts Alfabeto Chabacano Workshop




Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) hosted the City Government of Zamboanga’s Seminar-Training on the Use of the Chabacano Workbook for Day-Care Workers, Social Workers and Primary Teachers of Zamboanga City. The workshop was held last June 8-10 at the College of Law’s Auditorium of the university.

The 3-day seminar-training banners the theme: El Primer Alfabeto Chabacano: Jugá, Aprendé y Engrandá…Junto! To know basic information about Chabacano as a language on history, its importance and its status; to introduce the Chabacano Primer as a workbook in the basic education; to use Chabacano as a medium of instruction; and prepare teaching strategies in using Chabacano as a subject and as a medium. The event was participated by the different social workers, day-care workers and primary teachers of the city.

Dr. Roberto B. Torres, member of the Local Culture, Arts and History Council of Zamboanga City and also WMSU’s Director for the Office of Culture and the Arts (OCTA) took the honor to present the Chabacano Workbook during the event’s opening program. Torres held a valuable role in the production of the Chabacano Workbook, a remarkable opus supporting the promotion and preservation of the Chabacano dialect. The workbook is a project initiated by the City Government of Zamboanga which intends to provide local Kindergarten and Grade I pupils a strong foundation in the utilization of the Chabacano dialect.

Present during the opening program were WMSU’s Vice President for Research, Extension and Development-Dr. Milabel E. Ho, Zamboanga City’s Chief Executive Assistant on Barangay Affairs-Mario Roca, Division Education Supervisor for Social Studies-Dr. Maybelle Tee, City Social Welfare and Development Officer-Kit Barredo and OCTA’s Assistant Director- Prof. Alita T. Pangilinan. Members of the City’s Culture, Arts and History Council members, Dr. Hermenegildo Malcampo, Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Prof. Eulyn H. Tangalin also graced the event.

The seminar-workshop will cover talks on the History and Development of Chabacano and Status of Chabacano Language by Dr. Hermenegildo Malcampo; Workshop on How to Use the Workbook and Lesson Planning by Dr. Roberto B. Torres; Teaching as a Vocation and Chabacano as a Dynamic Language by Dr. May Tee; and Achieving your Goals through Goal-Setting Workshop by Dr. Milabel E. Ho. An open forum followed after each talk.

“As we have observed there’s a threat in the Chabacano usage. We would like that we should be properly guided for the children. Because as they grow older they too would be able to help the coming children use the Chabacano in the proper way,” Dr. Torres expressed over the workbook’s launching.

“At present, we have very less materials in written form. So when we are so much exposed in the oral form of the Chabacano, the written form was never being utilized,” Dr. Torres shared. He stressed that the project does not intend to take out other dialects in the city but the workbook merely serves as a written foundation of the correct usage of the dialect.

In addition, Dr. Torres also imparted that the project’s role in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Mother-Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) was only to facilitate materials and strategies on how to teach Chabacano. And it will be the DepEd’s prerogative if other tongues (dialects) will be integrated in the latter’s MTB-MLE program.

Participants presented their output on the final day of the workshop. They were also encouraged to converse in Chabacano during the workshop. In addition, there were interactive learning and reciting of Chabacano school songs, riddles and poems during the event. On the other hand, Mayor Lobregat initiated the distribution of workbooks during the closing program. (Ekeena O. Lim)