Canadian priest revives 'Chabacano' drama on local radio
Posted on May 24, 2011 @ 2:31 a.m.
By BONG BUE
Special to LAZT

    Zamboanga City -- "This is one treasure of Zamboangueños!"

    Thus how Canadian priest Fr. Arthur Winikoff described the Chabacano radio drama that he is reviving in Zamboanga City in an effort to preserve the city's
local dialect known as Chabacano or the so-called broken Spanish language
that evolved over 300 years ago during the Spanish occupation in this southern part of the Philippines.

   Winikoff, founder and director of the St. Francis House, an orphanage established in Zam-
boanga City by the Our Blessed Mother of Victory Mission Foundation Inc., has produced a
series of Chabacano radio drama with the help of local radio actors and artists as his contri-
bution to preserve Chabacano, which some people believe is fast becoming extinct.

    Winikoff said the Chabacano radio drama can be heard over DXKZ 91.5 FM every Saturday
from 7 to 9 pm during the public affairs program "El Isyu Ahora."  The production of Chaba-
cano radio dramas stopped in Zamboanga City over a decade ago when local radio stations
started to play Bisayan radio dramas mostly coming from Cebu City.

   Winikoff said his main goal in reviving Chabacano dramas for radio has three major reasons: first- to preserve Chabacano language, second, to teach radio listeners about the lives of good people and enhance their faith in God (as contents of the radio drama are all about lives of Catholic saints) and lastly,
to give educational entertainment to the radio audience in the Zamboanga area.

    Asked how much he spent for the production of the radio drama, Winikoff said "a substantial amount but what is more important are the intentions."
    The 62-year-old Canadian priest first arrived in Zamboanga City sometime in 1987 to establish the St. Francis House orphanage where he placed and took care of the rounded up street children.