Zamboangueño

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This article refers to the people of Zamboanga City. For the Creole language of which Zamboangueño is a dialect among the Six(6) Dialects of Chavacano language, see Zamboangueño Chavacano/Chavacano.

People from other ethnic groups came to Zamboanga City when the construction of the present-day Fort Pilar begun. The colonial Spanish government ordered the construction of a military fort to guard off the city from pirates and slave raiders of Sulu. Laborers from Cebu, Cavite, Bohol, Panay and other islands were brought to the city to help build the fort. Eventually, these people settled in the city to live with the natives. Thru inter-marriage among themselves and with the Spanish, they found their new culture and called their new tribe, Zamboangueño. and Because these people from different islands spoke different languages, they also found their new language called Chavano and eventually evolve into Chavacano. thus, a pidgin begun and eventually, the Zamboangueño Chavacano developed into a full-pledge creole language to become the lingua franca and official language of the city of Zamboanga. so to speak, Zamboanga City consider to be the birthplace of the Zamboangueño Chavacano Language and as a new tribe, as a new people with distinct culture called, Zamboangueño.

Latino Zamboangueño customs are based on Spanish, Latin America and European notions of patriarchal authority, etiquette, familial obligation, as well as a feeling of superiority - characterized by excessive pride, vanity, jealousy, boastfulness, and snobbishness - over their less-Westernized neighbors. They are mostly devout Roman Catholics.

Latino Zamboangueño courtship traditions are elaborate and regulated by a long list of required social graces. For example, a perfectly respectable Zamboangueño Latino caballero (gentleman) would not sit unless permitted to do so by the woman’s parents, he then had to endure questions pertaining to his lineage, credentials, and occupation. Finally, the courtship curfew, and the need to cultivate the goodwill of all the members of the woman’s family were paramount considerations before any headway could be made in pursuing a Zamboangueña senorita's hand in marriage.

Latino Zamboangueño songs and dances are derived primarily from Spanish/Iberian performances. Specifically, the Jota Zamboanguena, a Zamboangueño Latino version of the quick-stepping flamenco with bamboo clappers in lieu of Spanish castanets, are regularly presented during fiestas and formal "tertulias" or other Latino Zamboangueño festivities.

Likewise, Latino Zamboangueño traditional costumes are closely associated with Spanish formal dress. Men wear close-necked jackets, "de baston" pants, and European style shoes, complete with the de rigueur "bigotillos" (mustache). More recently, Zamboangueño men have adapted to wearing the formal Barong Tagalog, worn by men throughout the Philippines. Zamboangueña women claim ownership of the mascota, a formal gown with a fitting bodice, her shoulders draped demurely by a luxuriously embroidered, though stiff, panuelo and fastened at the breast by a brooch or a medal. The skirt tapers down from the waist but continues on to an extended trail called the "cola". The "cola may be held on one hand as the lady walks around, or it may likewise by pinned on the waist or slipped up a cord (belt) that holds the dainty "abanico" or purse.

Of late, the Latino Zamboangueño of Basilan have acquired more modern tastes in food, clothing and customs, usually based on the generally preferred American/Western model. The traditional Latino Zamboangueño dress has been limited to formal functions, replaced by the more common shirt, denim jeans and sneakers for men, and shirts, blouses, skirts or pants, and heeled shoes for women. Likewise, Tag-lish, a mix of Tagalog and English is increasingly accepted as a modern and convenient variant of either the more difficult (for Zamboangueños) Tagalog or the more formal English. An even more confusing mix of Tag-lish and Zamboangueño Chavacano is likewise spoken especially by the younger generations of the Herencia Latino Zamboangueño.


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