Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Many of you are aware that pa'go means "today" or "now."  Why would anyone call a village "Today Street?"

But there's a difference between pa'go, with that glottal stop choking you in the middle of the word, and pago, with no glottal stop.

Pago is a kind of hibiscus plant that often grows on the seashore.  One of Guam's bays is called Pago Bay.

Here's the bay :
Here's the kind of hibiscus known in Chamorro as pago :
Up till 1856, there was a village on the north shore of Pago Bay called Pago.  It was hard hit by an earthquake in 1849, a typhoon in 1855 and then the smallpox epidemic of 1856.  The few survivors abandoned the village and moved to Hagåtña, Sinajaña and other villages.

So the village we now call Chalan Pago was so-named because, starting in Hagåtña, the "road to Pago" ran through the area.

No comments:

Post a Comment