A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
Chabacano, Chabakano

431,000 (2005 UNSD). 37,553 Caviteño Chavacano, 22,221 Cotabato Chavacano, 55,400 Davao Chavacano, 4,698 Ternateño Chavacano, 311,066 Zamboangeño Chavacano (2005 UNSD).


Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindinao: Basilan province; Zamboanga Peninsula region: Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces; scattered in Alicia, Buug, Cotabato city, Ipil, Isabela, Kabasalan, Lamitan, Lapuyan, Malamawi, Malangas, Maluso, Margosatubig, Siay, and Tungawan; Cavite, Ermita, and Ternate near Manila.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Caviteño (Cavite Chabacano), Ternateño (Bahra, Ternate Chabacano, Ternateño Chavacano), Ermitaño (Ermiteño), Davaweño Zamboangueño (Abakay Spanish, Davao Chavacano, Davaoeño, Davaweño), Cotabato Chavacano (Cotabateño), Zamboangueño (Chabacano de Zamboanga, Español quebrao, Southern Mindinao Creole, Zamboanga Chabacano).


Accusative actancy structure.

Language Use

Davaweño Zamboangueño dialect may have no remaining speakers. Ermiteño is extinct; Zamboangueño, Caviteño, and Cotabateño are still used. Most domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Most also use Filipino [fil]. Also use Cebuano [ceb], Tausug [tsg]. Used as L2 by Balangingih Sama [sse], Central Sama [sml], Yakan [yka].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 80%. Literacy rate in L2: 80%. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1981.


Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

A creole with predominantly Spanish vocabulary and Philippine-type grammatical structure. Speakers in 60 of 66 provinces (1970 census). Christian.

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