The Ateneo de Zamboanga University, through the School of Liberal Arts, launched last November 15 the Chavacano de Zamboanga, Compendio y Diccionario written and compiled by Dr. Rolando Arquiza Santos.
Dr. Santos is Professor Emeritus at the California State University, Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. as a Smith-Mundt/Fulbright scholar from Vanderbilt University’s George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an alumnus of Ateneo de Zamboanga (HS l946-’51) where he taught from 1954-‘57. He also taught at the California State University (l965-2008), University of the Philippines (l963-’65) and did visiting professorships at the University of California, University of Hawaii, University of Guam, and San Diego State University.
Dr. Santos also took special courses at several universities in Brazil, Spain and Mexico. He is presently a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California and the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language in White Plains, New York in test construction and language proficiency testing in Chabacano.
The book is both a dictionary in two parts (Chavacano-English and English-Chavacano), as well as a compendium of the grammatical anatomy of Chabacano, specialized vocabulary, and sayings. It is by far the most comprehensive dictionary produced on Zamboangueño Chabacano by a native speaker of the language, having spent his growing up years in Mercedes in Zamboanga and Lamitan, Basilan. The book launch is the culmination of a 5-year work by the author who painstakingly recorded Chabacano words from memory and collected words from conversations with friends and acquaintances both from the Philippines and the United States.
The sunset view from the roof deck of the Lantaka Hotel By the Sea gave the event a romantic feel. Performances by the ADZU Concert Band headed by Apolonio Enriquez, the singing group led by Conrado Balatbat, and ADZU’s Center for Performing and Visual Arts combined dance and song renditions in a cultural celebration of Zamboanga’s heritage. Attended by around a hundred guests, the book launch was graced by the presence of old friends of the author, Zamboanga’s academic community, ADZU faculty and officials, and members of the local government headed by Mayor Celso Lobregat, who gave a generous sponsorship for the book.
Dr. Claribel Concepcion and Dr. Aireen Barrios-Arnuco, LA Graduate Program Coordinator and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, respectively, served as editors of the book, while the ADZU Press headed by Fray Vesagas executed the book’s lay-out and cover design.
Dr. Linda Espinosa shared impressions of the book, while Fr. Antonio Moreno gave ADZU’s acknowledgements as the book’s publisher.
The dictionary is an 8 x 11 inch-sized book in hard-bound cover. It is an ideal reference book in Chabacano for school libraries, research centers, offices or as a personal reading material for the home. The book is on sale at P1, 300.00 per copy. Those interested to get a copy may contact Ann Plaza at the ADZU School of Liberal Arts at (062) 991-0871, local 2240. Orders or queries may also be forwarded to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org/revamp or email@example.com/revamp.