"The term “Cocoa Panyol” is peculiar to Trinidad and Tobago. “Cocoa” (Theobroma cacao) is an agricultural product, while “Panyol”, derived from Español/Espagnol, refers to Spanish language and culture.
In the book Parang Cancionero, the author explains: "Modern Parang comprises music and song derived mainly from traditional Venezuelan folk music, and contemporary popular Latin American music. The former is often described as “authentic” or “heritage” parang rooted in the musical expressions of Eastern Venezuela. In this work the lyrics of contemporary Latin American song … Continue reading The Aguinaldo (pronounced ah-ghee-nahl-doe)
Pedro Segundo Dolabaille, also known as Papa Goon, is a good example of the conuquero and cocoa expert of yesteryear. He bragged about the intensity of his love for work. ‘I was a devil working. When night catch me in the conuco, I get vex because it come to interfere with my work.’ Papa Goon, … Continue reading Pedro Segundo Dolabaille, the Cacao Expert
Sylvestre Betico Mata was born in Güiria, (pronounced Gweereeah), in the Paria Peninsular of Eastern Venezuela, on January 1st 1905. As a little boy in Güiria, Mata had been a participant in the house-to-house parang. In 1916, at the age of eleven, he migrated to Trinidad as a refugee.1 1 Information received from family members. … Continue reading Sylvestre Betico Mata, parrandero 1905-1987
In 1967 my father took me to Gran Curucaye. There I was introduced to my first panyol friend, Felicidad Guerra, a small wiry, brown woman, probably in her early sixties, with tightly curled greying hair. She looked at my father and me enquiringly as we alighted from our car. ‘Buenos días,’ I heard my father … Continue reading Two Cocoa Panyols
To discover more about the origins of parang let us return to Spain with Columbus and his joyous mariners in the year 1498 before the start of their third voyage to the Indies. These men come from different regions: Castile, Leon, Extremadura, and most of all Andalusia in the south. We know that theirs is … Continue reading Villancicos, Romances and Coplas
In July of 1498 Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the New World, reached an island which he called Trinidad (English: Trinity) and claimed possession of it on behalf of the Spanish Crown. The three hills seen in the south of the island were a reminder that he had vowed to dedicate the first land he reached … Continue reading The First Parang
Sereno, sereno sereno será Estos son serenos De la madrugá Estos son serenos De la madrugá
Many Spanish words used by Trinidadian speakers of Spanish were shortened in our local English in a similar manner.