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Zamboangueño people

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The Zamboangueño people or Zamboangueño nation (Chavacano/Spanish: Pueblo/Nación Zamboangueño) are a creole ethnolinguistic nation of the Philippines originating in Zamboanga City. Spanish censuses record that as much as one-third of the inhabitants of the city of Zamboanga possess varying degrees of Iberian and Hispanic-American admixture.[1] In addition to this, select cities such as Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Cebu, and Cavite, which were home to military fortifications and/or commercial ports during the Spanish era also hold sizable mestizo communities.[2] The Zamboangueño nation constitute an authentic and distinct ethnolinguistic identity because of their coherent cultural and historical heritage, most notably Chavacano, that distinguishes them from neighboring ethnolinguistic nations.

Geographic extent of Zamboangueño people
Total population
3.5 million
Regions with significant populations
(Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Metro Manila)
Chavacano, Spanish, English
predominantly Christianity (Roman Catholic majority and Protestant minority), Islam, Paganism, others


The flag of the short-lived Republic of Zamboanga.

People from other ethnolinguistic nations came to Zamboanga when the construction of the present-day Fort Pilar began. The colonial Spanish government ordered the construction of a military fort to guard off the city from Moro pirates and slave raiders of Sulu. Labourers from Panay, Cavite, Cebú, Bohol, Negros and other islands were brought to the city to help build the fort. Eventually, these people settled in the city to live alongside and intermarried with other ethnolinguistic nations, primarily among the Subanon ethnic group, whose entire ethnicity descended from one clan is a grand claim. (from the Royal ethnic lineage of Macombong and Tongab whose father is Shariff Bungsu of Bruneian royalty and mother is Princess Nayac, the daughter of the late King of Kingdom of Jambangan, Datu Timuay of the Subanon people who are the ancestors together with other ethnolinguistic nation - the Lutao,). Together, they would form the nucleus of the present-day Zamboangueño people. To this nucleus were added the descendants of laborers from Iloilo City in Panay and of soldiers from New Spain[3] and Peru.[4] Through intermarriage, Visayans, Hispano-Americans and with the Spanish, they created a new culture which gradually developed a distinct identity—the Zamboangueños (Zamboangueño: magá/maná Zamboangueños; Spanish: Zamboangueños). Furthermore, because these people come from different islands and even nations and spoke different languages, they together developed a new pidgin language called Chavacano. Chavacano then evolved into a full-fledged Spanish-based creole to become the lingua franca of Zamboanga City and then the official language of the Republic of Zamboanga.


The character of the Zamboangueño people are unique as we can say for their kinship family system, love for one's cultural heritage, propensity for extravagance, fiestas and siestas, as well as aristocratic behaviour. While their social lives usually revolve around religious practices, the tradition of the bantayanon and fondas, includes their bailes the vals, regodon and paso doble. They are mostly devout Roman Catholics.

The Zamboangueños of Basilan have, of late, also acquired more globalized tastes in cuisine, fashion, and customs.


The extent of Chavacano speakers in Mindanao.

Chavacano is the native language of the Zamboangueño people. A conglomeration of 90% traditional Spanish and 10% influences from other Romance languages such as Portuguese, Italian and French, Native American such as Nahuatl, Taíno, Quechua et al. and Austronesian languages such as Binisaya (mainly Cebuano and Ilonggo), Subanon, Tausūg, Yakan, Sama and Malay.[5]

Courtship etiquetteEdit

Zamboangueño courtship traditions are elaborate and regulated by a long list of required social graces. For example, a perfectly respectable Zamboangueño gentleman (caballero) 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 Zamboangueño señorita’s hand in marriage.


A Zamboangueño woman performing the jota zamboangueña dance.

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


Likewise, Zamboangueño traditional costumes are closely associated with Spanish formal dress. Men wear close-necked jackets as they called camiseta Zamboangueña, de bastón pants, and European style shoes, complete with the de-rigueur bigotillos (mustache). Zamboangueño women claim ownership of the mascota, a formal gown with a fitting bodice, her shoulders draped demurely by a luxuriously embroidered, though stiff, pañuelo 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. The traditional 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.


There are several important events of the festival that can be witnessed during Holy Week (Chavacano/Spanish: Semana Santa). These include watching films (magá película) about Jesus and his teachings, visitaiglesias, processions, novenas and the climbing and praying of the Stations of the Cross (Estaciones de la Cruz) in Mt. Pulong Bato, Fiesta de Pilar (Spanish: Fiesta del Pilar), a festivity in honour of Our Lady of the Pillar (Zamboangueño: Nuestro Señora de Pilar; Spanish: Nuestra Señora del Pilar) and Zamboanga Day (Día de Zamboanga) and Day of the Zamboangueños (Día del magá Zamboangueño) which is celebrated every 15 August every year for the foundation of Zamboanga and ethnogenesis of the Zamboangueño people on 15 of August 1635.

Zamboangueño celebrate Christmas in so many unique ways such as the villancicos/aguinaldos o pastores this also includes the Día de Navideña and Nochebuena, fiestas, vísperas, Diana, Misa, magá juego, processions and feasting.


Zamboangueño cuisine includes in its repertoire curacha, calamares, tamales, locón, cangrejos, paella, estofado, arroz a la valenciana, caldo de vaca/cerdo/pollo, puchero, caldo de arroz, lechón, jamonadas, endulzados, embutido, adobo, afritadas, menudo, caldereta, jumbá, flan de leche and many more.

Notable personsEdit

There are Zamboangueños who are famous for their fields of endeavor, especially in music, entertainment, sports, and politics. These are the following:

competed in the 2016 RIO Olympics, and won 2nd Place.


  1. ^ Jagor, Fëdor, et al. (1870). The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
  2. ^ Institute for Human Genetics, University of California San Francisco (2015). ""Self-identified East Asian nationalities correlated with genetic clustering, consistent with extensive endogamy. Individuals of mixed East Asian-European genetic ancestry were easily identified; we also observed a modest amount of European genetic ancestry in individuals self-identified as Filipinos"
  3. ^ Letter from Fajardo to Felipe III From Manila, August 15, 1620.(From the Spanish Archives of the Indies) ("The infantry does not amount to two hundred men, in three companies. If these men were that number and Spaniards, it would not be so bad; but, although I have not seen them, because they have not yet arrived here, I am told that they are, as at other times, for the most part,boys, mestizos, and mulattoes, with some Indians. There is no little cause for regret in the great sums that reënforcements of such men waste for, and cost, your Majesty. I cannot see what betterment there will be until your Majesty shall provide it, since I do not think, that more can be done in Nueva España, although the viceroy must be endeavoring to do so, as he is ordered.")
  4. ^ "SECOND BOOK OF THE SECOND PART OF THE CONQUESTS OF THE FILIPINAS ISLANDS, AND CHRONICLE OF THE RELIGIOUS OF OUR FATHER, ST. AUGUSTINE" (Zamboanga City History) "He (Governor Don Sebastían Hurtado de Corcuera) brought a great reënforcement of soldiers, many of them from Perú, as he made his voyage to Acapulco from that kingdom."
  5. ^ "El Torno Chabacano". Instituto Cervantes. Instituto Cervantes.
  6. ^ Badua, Snow (April 18, 2014). "There's a story behind every jersey number. Find out what No. 14 meant to San Mig guard Mark Barroca". Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "(Billiards and Snooker) Biography Overview: CENTENO Chezka". 28th SEA Games 2015. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Padilla, Jaime (9 June 2015). "Chezka Centeno: The 15 year old Cueist Sensation". 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  9. ^ Official profile at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
  10. ^ "15 Filipinos battle odds, Olympic gold ‘curse’" Archived 2008-08-13 at the Wayback Machine,, August 9, 2008
  11. ^ City commends Zamboangueño weightlifters
  12. ^ "BT: Castaways sa Survivor PHL: Celebrity Doubles Showdown". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  13. ^ "Newcomer Carlo Gonzalez considers cousin Dingdong Dantes his mentor in showbiz".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Lingganay layup lifts Powerade". Philippine Daily Inquirer. September 25, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  16. ^ Paroa Pinoy Exchange
  17. ^ Ruru Madrid Official Fan Page
  18. ^ - Alfonso Marquez
  19. ^ Vera, Noel (28 June 2012). "The Quiet Man Passes". Business World Philippines. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Mario O'Hara: First an actor, second a writer, and lastly a director". 28 June 2012.
  21. ^ O'Hara profile Archived September 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Established rockers form new group". Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corporation. January 11, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2010.

External linksEdit