The Early History of Chavacano de Zamboanga (1635 - 1718)

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Cavite Chavacano (CC) and/or Ternate Chavacano (TC) will not play any historical role in establishing the "Early Chavacano de Zamboanga" (ECDZ).  However, the ECDZ will provide a measurable role in influencing the Cavite Chavacano and the Ternate Chavacano when the hundreds of Zamboanga's recalled garrison troops along with the new Chavacanos brought with them the ECDZ and subsequently introduced it into the lexicon of the Cavite fort, and imbedded its footprint into the area's Creole development for the next fifty-six years.

Cavite in the early years

Cavite_1659.jpg (114269 bytes) The port and point at Cavite, with their fortifications in 1659. AGI Cavite was built on a narrow sandy tongue of land. Early in the 17th century, the castle of San Felipe was built here to defend the harbor mouth.

Cavite_1663.jpg (92338 bytes) The town of Cavite, and the San Felipe Castle. Richard Carr. 1663. AGI Over the years, the growth of the unstable sandy arrow-shaped land spur on which Cavite was built left the original fort of San Felipe removed from the sea, making the construction of a new platform equipped with artillery necessary.  ( This was during the time that the Chinese pirate Koxinga threatened to invade Manila, causing the recall of hundreds of garrison troops from Zamboanga and Ternate to help defend the city. )

Cavite_1730.jpg (134392 bytes) Plan of the port and waterfront at Cavite, drawn up at the orders of Fernando Valdés Tamón. 1730. SGE During the 18th century, the river port at Manila had insufficient water depth to permit large ships such as the Acapulco galleon from entering and leaving, and so they anchored at Cavite, where there was a shipyard for ship construction and repair.


Cavite_1765.jpg (78918 bytes) Project for the defence of the town of Cavite drawn up by Francisco Sabatini. Circa 1765. SGE


Cavite_1841.jpg (83256 bytes) Project for a cementery in Cavite. Tomás Cortés. 1841. SHM Up until the 19th century, Cavite was a strategic point of the first order as witnessed by the fact that all attacks on the capital were aimed first at this town.



Cavite_1876.jpg (19778 bytes) Parish church in Cavite. Luis Céspedes in Colección de planos correspondientes a varias de las construcciones realizadas o proyectadas por la Inspección General de Obras Públicas de las Islas Filipinas. 1876. BETSICCP, Madrid During the second half of the 19th century, the Philippine city which looked most European was Cavite. It boasted excellent buildings made of stone, the most outstanding of these being the so-called "casas reales", and some churches.

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