Anthony Zablan playing the ukulele in 1901
The Zablans (Sablans) of Hawaii are descendants of two Chamorros named Sablan who moved to Hawaii in the 1800s. Usually, Chamorros went to Hawaii (and other places) as crew members of the whaling ships that stopped by Guam. So many young Chamorro men were joining the whaling ships that the government tried to prevent them from leaving the island. Most never came back to Guam, but some did, bringing with them a little proficiency in English, experiences of the wider world and sometimes ideas that did not jive with the Spanish Catholic environment of the island.
For Spaniards living in the south of Spain, and for Spanish-speakers in all of Latin America and the Philippines and Marianas, Z and S have the same sound : S. Zablan and Sablan sound the same, so much so that at times the same person would spell his name Zablan or Sablan depending on the mood of the day.
JOAQUIN PANGELINAN ZABLAN was born around 1843 on Guam and died in Hawaii in 1932. Arriving in Hawaii in 1869 aboard the Daniel Webster, he married twice during his lifetime. His first wife was Hawaiian, Ane Keaweamahi, who died in 1887. With her, he had five children. He had ten more with his second wife, a Portuguese woman named Maria Botelho.
Joaquin was a rancher on the Big Island, in Halawa (Kolawa district). He also ran a store for a time there.
In 1892, Joaquin is listed as an auctioneer in Lahaina on the island of Maui.
SILVESTRE CASTRO ZABLAN. He was in Hawaii by 1873, where he appears in some documents. He was involved in business and was a member of the Good Templars, a fraternal organization which Catholics, at the time, were forbidden to join.
JOSE PEREZ. Took the name Joseph when he moved to Hawaii, which he did in 1870. Became a carpenter in Hamakua on the Big Island and married a Hawaiian named Leleo.
NICOLAS PEREZ. Arrived from Guam in 1876.
BEN PANGELINAN. Arrived in Hawaii in 1860. Became a storekeeper in North Kohala on the Big Island. He married a Portuguese named Margarita.
IGNACIO AFLAGUE. He worked as a clerk and salesman for various enterprises and may have been Deputy Registrar General in North Kohala (Big Island). His wife was Portuguese, Mary de Rego Souza.
BASILIO GUERRERO. Born around 1840 on Guam. Married in Hawaii to a woman from Singapore named Nicolasa.
Two brothers, JOSE and LUIS CASTRO (Kaban) changed their last name to Custino. They became Protestant, perhaps the first Chamorro Protestants, and returned to Guam right after the Americans took possession, in order to establish a Protestant congregation in their birthplace. Eventually they returned to Hawaii, where the Custino family survives in its several branches.
NICHOLAS K. ZABLAN'S GRAVE
His father Joaquin was a Chamorro from Guam who moved to Hawaii in 1869.
Chamorros were often listed in the Hawaiian records as being Spaniards and even Caucasians! One very early Chamorro settler in Hawaii was simply known as John Paniolo, paniolo meaning "cowboy" but coming from the word español, which the Hawaiians pronounced paniolo.