Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Postby amhoanna » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:24 am

Come, come on now, let us take a break from unreliable, inconsistent romanizations to revel in the many-splendored Hoklosphere.

Here is an audio clip of me talking in Hokkien to a thâukee in Zamboanga. He was born and raised in Zambo, but his parents are from Jolo and he speaks the Jolo dialect of Hokkien.

I was in Zamboanga in February. Zamboanga is in the Philippines, not far from Sandakan. Zamboanga is famous for many things. I'll not go into all of it here. Jolo is about half way btw the ports and is the biggest island btw Borneo and Mindanao.

The split btw "Intsik" (Chinese) and "Hwana" (Pinoy) seems to run deeper in Zamboanga than elsewhere in the Phils. The Tsinoys (Chinese) sequester themselves from the community at large.

I didn't hear any Hokkien spoken in Zamboanga until I started walking into the banks. Banking in Zamboanga is Chinese-dominated, and they all seem to speak Hokkien to each other in there. I would be intimidated if I was a non-Hoklophone Pinoy working there.

Hokkien-wise, there are two dialects of Hokkien in Zamboanga. One is the general Philippine dialect of Hokkien. We had a guy on this forum a few years back from Zamboanga who said that Zamboanga Hokkien is very similar to Manila Hokkien, but with more Spanish-Tsabakano words in it and less Tagalog.

The other dialect is the Sulu dialect. The Sulu Islands were nominally part of the Spanish colony, but the Spaniards were never really able to control it. The islanders waged guerrilla warfare on the Spaniards for 350 years, decimating generation after generation of Spanish fighters and destroying all European institutions before they could take root. (Wow!)

B/c of their de facto independence, the Sulu islands were great for smuggling goods into the Philippines. The main supply route ran from Singapore to Jolo, the main island of Sulu. The smugglers were mainly, U guessed it, Hokkiens.

One side effect of the independence of Sulu was that Mainstream Phils Hokkien did not extend to Sulu. If U listen to the clip, the accent is very different from Mainstream Phils Hokkien. It sounds kind of like Taiwanese, kind of like Amoy, with a touch of Singapore.

After independence, with the "nationalization" of the "war against Sulu", a lot of Sulu Hokkiens fled to Zamboanga, thus creating another Hokkien community in Zambo.

One interesting social aspect of it is that Sulu Hokkiens in Zamboanga don't sequester themselves from the hwana. U may find them on the street talking to people in languages that "mainstream" Hokkiens wouldn't even know how to speak.

I only ran into one Sulu Hokkien during my stay (recorded), but a local Ta'usug man confirmed that what I said in the last p'graph is true. It also corroborates what an ex-girlfriend's father (who was from Jolo) told me a few years ago in Sandakan, that the Ta'usug (one of the two main groups on Jolo) and the Chinese tended to work together on Jolo, sometimes jointly against the Europeans; there was no bad blood btw the two groups.

A lot more could go into this report, but time is pressing, so I will leave it at this. One last thing, though -- the name of the island "Jolo", called "Ho͘-ló͘" (all open o's) in the local Hokkien, supposedly comes from a Chinese (most likely Hokkien) root. I would bet that the likeness to the word "Ho̍hló" is just a coincidence, but it's interesting just the same.

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Re: Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Postby amhoanna » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Pháiⁿsè! :oops: Liânkiatlá běkìtit tah:

Last edited by amhoanna on Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Postby vandan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:15 am

Based from the audio, the Hokkien of Zamboanga is very similar to that of Cebu. Occasionally they like to include the final particle - "man". Like, when he said that the surname of the Governor of Sulu is Tan, he included a final particle "man". I'm guessing that "man" was barrowed from the Visayan/Mindanao dialect. Generally, it's also very similar to the Hokkien of Manila as well.

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Re: Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Postby niuc » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:11 am

Tsinkú bôlaî a. Kámsiā Langit kohtsaì kā lán tuàlaî hànni hó ê kinggiām. Hit ê thaûke lih kóng "governor" ūkaù sâng Ìnnî ê Tng^ lâng! :mrgreen:

Btw I can only access the soundcloud link after removing the "https://" part.

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Re: Hoklo on Mindanao, reports from the field

Postby amhoanna » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:38 am

Kámsiā niuc, cin hoaⁿhí khòaⁿ tio̍h lí koh lâi tǐ cia.

Liânkiatlá góa íkeng kái--kòe--a.

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