Monday, October 31, 2011

FIESTAN SAN JUDE - SAN DIEGO STYLE

SINAJAÑA COMMUNITY KEEPS FAITH AND TRADITION ALIVE


The lukao (procession)

For many years, the people in San Diego with roots in Sinajaña have held a very successful Fiestan San Jude, usually one of the biggest Chamorro religious events in California.  Don't forget that, after the war, Sinajaña, together with Barrigada, was one of the most populated villages on Guam.  Check the Guam censuses of the late 1940s and 1950s and you'll see that.  Evidence of this is still seen in the large church that was built in 1962, and the fact that Sinajaña still has a Vice Mayor, even though it has been surpassed in population today by many other villages.


The Choir sings "Ayudånte gi Chinatsaga"

It's interesting how a melody takes on unique features village to village, sometimes choir to choir.  Here we see how a tune changes slightly after crossing the Pacific Ocean.


In San Diego, they still pray the Nobena - in Chamorro!  Commendable!


There was a lot of pride, too, in being an alumnus/alumna of Saint Jude Thaddeus School (SJT).  What is now Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School was founded in the mid 1950s as a parish school, run by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (La Crosse, Wisconsin).


 
Beloved Father Kieran, long-time pastor of St. Jude, was coming every year to San Diego to celebrate the festal Mass until travel became more difficult for him in recent years.  He lives in Wisconsin.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I DUENDES

Since it's close to Halloween :

conmishijos.com
DUENDES = FAIRY
From the Spanish word "duende" meaning the same thing

As far as I know, none of the early Spanish accounts talk about a Chamorro belief in little fairies living in the jungle.  The accounts are very clear about belief in the spirits, the anite; but there is no mention of the duendes, nor the stealing of babies, nor little lights or glowing mushroom.

The name itself, duendes, is Spanish.  Perhaps it is reasonable to assume that belief in the duendes was a later development of hispanicized Chamorro folklore influenced by the newer settlers to the island.

Basically, the duendes live in the jungle and play little tricks on humans, like kidnapping their babies and little kids.  They are said to live under multi-colored mushroom and carry little candles.  They are mainly seen by little children who are lured into the jungle by such attractive lights, or see in the duendes a possible playmate.  Adults see them less, but the duendes can shrink an adult to punish them.

When a child is kidnapped by the duendes and is found, the child has usually been made mute by the duendes.  The only remedy is to whip the child with the koreas, the religious belt used by the kofradia, the old, Spanish version of the Christian Mothers women's association.  It is hard now to find a koreas, but I have one in my possession and I know of another lady who has one; an heirloom from her grandmother.


The Koreas
Your Best Defense against Duendes-induced Muteness

Here's a conversation I had with an 80-some year old lady about the duendes :

Guåho : "Håfa i duendes?"


Guiya : "Dikkike', kalan muñeka.  Ilek- ña si nanå-ho taiguine.  Ennaogue' si Ritan Jose.  Ti hu tungo' kuånto años-ña si Rita.  Lao dikkike' si Rita, esta på'go måtai ha' lao ti dumångkulo.  Dikkike' yan masoksok.  Pues eyague' nai ilek-ña na kinenne' nu i duendes yan ninana' gi halom trongkon chotda. Pues annai ma sodda' si Rita ti siña hun kumuentos.  Pues asta ke ma saolak ni koreas kofradia, yan atan ha', eyague' muna' kuentos. 

På'go si tatå-ho, sa' åntes, sumåsåga gi lancho desde lunes asta såbalo, no, sa' para u hosme misa gi damenggo.  Pues ha hohokka' meme'-ña gi un båtde, pues eyague' hun an bula i båtde ha chuda' hun huyong gi halom guålo' sa' ti yan-ñiha i duendes ni pao me'me'.  Ennao på'go ti hu tungo' kao magåhet lao ennaogue' si tatå-ho ha såsångan.  Ha sangångåne hame, sa' eyo nai ilek-ho guåha nai, 'Håfa este na ti ma chuchuda' i me'me'-mo, Tåta?'  Ilek-ña, 'Po'lo sa' asta ke bula hu rerega huyong para i duendes sa' eyague' malålågo sa' ti yan-ñiha i pao sadang.'"

Guåho : "Lao tåya' påtgon kinenne' ni duendes ya ti ma sodda'?


Guiya : "Hunggan, todos man ma sodda'.  Estague' ta'lo gi tiempon Amerikåno.  Dos umasagua este ya guåha uniko påtgon-ñiha.  Ilek-ñiha lokkue' na kinenne' ayo na påtgon, buente annai singko åños ha'.  Lao pine'lo ta'lo, nina' fatå'chong hun ni duendes gi hilo' acho' ayo i alutong, nai ti siña lokkue' kumuentos.  Pues ennao nai ma sångan na ma nesesita ma saolak ni eye koreas kofradia."

Me : "What is the duendes?"

She : "They are small, like dolls.  My mother said it like this : there was this Ritan Jose.  I don't how old Rita was.  She was young; she's died now but she didn't grow up.  She was small and thin.  My mother said she was taken by the duendes and hidden in a banana tree.  When she was found, she couldn't talk.  But until she was whipped with the koreas of the kofradia, that was what made her talk.

Now my father, before, lived at the ranch from Monday to Saturday, because he would go to Mass on Sundays.  Well, he collected all his urine in a bucket, and when the bucket was full he would throw it out into the ranch because the duendes don't like the smell of urine.  Now that I can't say if it's true, but that's what my father would say.  He would tell us this, because at times I would say, 'Dad, why aren't you throwing out your urine?' and he'd say 'Leave it because when it's full, I sprinkle it for the duendes because they don't like the odor."

Me : "Are there no kids taken by the duendes who aren't found?"

She : "Yes, they are all found.  Here's another during American times.  There was this couple and the had an only-child.  They also said that that child was taken, maybe when he or she was only five years old.  But the child was put, made to sit on a coral rock by the duendes, and the child could not talk either.  So that's why they said the child needed to be whipped by that koreas of the kofradia."

DUENDES HUNTERS

Saturday, October 29, 2011

PRE-WAR SICKNESS


Notice the word for "prescription" is reseta.  It's the same word for "recipe."
"Bed pan" is arinola.
She uses "papá" for "grandpa," just as my family called grandma "mamá."  This was common among her Spanish-influenced generation.

According to Tan Esco, pre-war Chamorros were not as susceptible to today's widespread diabetic and cardiac conditions.  We talk about tabatdiyu (tabardillo/typhoid), beriberi (caused by a lack of thiamine in the diet) and mames me'me' (diabetes).  Perhaps the fewer incidences of cardiovascular disease in pre-war Chamorros was due to a healthier diet (fresh, organic) and hard work (ranching).

But Chamorros did, in fact, face serious health issues, especially periodic epidemics of smallpox and influenza, which wiped out huge numbers of people.  An early American Naval Medical Officer stated at the turn of the century that many people on Guam suffered from "tuberculosis, leprosy, gangosa (possibly congenital syphilis), typhoid and whooping cough."

cid.oxfordjournals.org

From around the year 1817

The artist Arago, a member of the Freycinet expedition, drew this sketch of a Chamorro man from Guam suffering from elephantiasis, an inflammation of tissues and skin, especially in the lower extremities.  Notice the swelling of the right elbow and left ankle.

But I think we'd be better off eating this...

cvminck.wordpress.com
Kamute (Sweet Potato)

Rather than this ...

healthjockey.com

Friday, October 28, 2011

I HAGGAN KARETAN-MÅME GUAM!

featurepics.com

Estorian un palao'an ni ma eduka san lago

Eståba sesso ma butlea Guam åntes na tiempo gi annai eståba yo' gi kolehio giya Colorado.  Duru yo' ma faisen, "Kao guåha bentåna gi gima'-miyo?"  "Kao guåha na chumocho hao steak?" yan todo klåse.

Un dia, un amerikåna fumaisen yo', "Yan håfa karetan-miyo Guam?"

Pues hu oppe i palaoan taiguine sa' pot i na' bubu na finaisen-ña, "O, i haggan karetan-måmåme Guam."

Amerikåna : "O? Håftaimano yan i dinikike'-ña i haggan?"

Ilek-ho, "Ai, sa' ti pareho nai i haggan-måme Guam yan i haggan-miyo Amerika.  Dangkulololo i haggan-måme Guam.  Nahong ha' i un haggan para u na' fan ma udai siento na taotao!"

PARA TA FAÑÅLEK HA'

EKKUNGOK!

True Story...

Some Chamorro Capuchins took an American Capuchin, who looked like he could be Chamorro, to a Chamorro party in the US mainland.  A Chamorro lady sat next to the American Capuchin.

Chamorro lady : Are you from Guam?

American Capuchin : No.

Chamorro lady : What village?

BIBA SAN JUDE!


My grandmother (3rd lady from left) walking in the Saint Jude procession in Sinajaña
Early 1950s

Prior to the war, Sinajaña had a small chapel dedicated to the Dulce Nombre de Maria, the Sweet Name of Mary, just like the Hagatña Cathedral.

But after the war, the little hamlet with a small population grew to the largest village on Guam for a while, as many displaced Hagatña residents (including my own family) settled there.  A large church had to be built.  For some reason, a new patron saint was also selected.

We have (so far) no documented evidence why Saint Jude was chosen.  Saint Jude, even in the States, was not well known.  As the story goes, his counterpart Judas Iscariot gave Jude Thaddeus a "bad name" for many centuries.  Both men, the good one and the bad one, really have the same name - Judas.  That's why one had to be called a second name, Iscariot, and the other Thaddeus.  To further distinguish the good Judas from the bad, the good Judas became better known as Jude.

Still, he was not a very popular saint for hundreds and hundreds of years.  Few churches in his name, hardly any devotion to him at all.

Then came the Dominicans.  They promoted the devotion to Saint Jude because of their long missionary contact with the people of Armenia, where Saint Jude is thought to have worked and where he is highly venerated to this day.

But what connection do the people or priests in Sinajaña in the late 1940s have with the Dominicans?  None, except that, through oral history, whose accuracy cannot always be guaranteed, says that Francisco de la Cruz (Paco) introduced the novena to Saint Jude to Sinajaña after the war.  Before the war, Paco lived in both Manila and Hong Kong, with Dominicans working in both places. I wouldn't be surprised if Paco had more contact with the Dominicans in Hong Kong than those in Manila, since the Catholic Church was a small minority in Hong Kong and the Dominicans would have stood out more there than in Manila, with its huge variety of Catholic orders.

Whatever the case, Saint Jude became the patron of Sinajaña.  Since it was a post-war devotion, there was no novena in Chamorro until someone finally typed one up.  It took many more years for a Chamorro hymn to be composed to Saint Jude.  And I was "there," so to speak, when it happened.

Stationed at Saint Jude's one summer while studying for the priesthood in the States was one Jesus Sonoda from Saipan.  Being a fluent Chamorro speaker, he was asked by the pastor of Sinajaña to compose a Chamorro hymn to Saint Jude.  He did; both the music and the lyrics.  And I was present when he taught it to the kantoras (singers) and techas (prayer leaders) of the parish, guitar in hand.

I was a kid, but I remember it.  This was in the ealry 1970s.  The song was a hit and it took off.  So did the devotion, and now many parishes have a weekly devotion to him.

Ayudånte gi chinatsaga / patron i man tai esperånsa
(Helper in difficulty / patron of the hopeless)

Tayuyute ham San Jude Thaddeus / hame nu i mañe'lu-mo.
(Pray for us, Saint Jude Thaddeus / we your brethren.)

saipanquinn.blogspot.com
JESUS SONODA
Still with guitar in hand

Composer of the Chamorro Hymn to Saint Jude "Ayudånte"

Not long after, Jess felt a different call from God, to married life - and began a family with his wife Anicia Castro.  The couple is strongly involved in Marriage Encounter and the Church.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

YOU CAN TAKE ME OUT OF GUAM, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE GUAM OUT OF ME


She's been living in the US mainland for fifty years or so, but this Chamorro lady gets her pugua' stash by mail from family still on Guam.

Thanks to modern technology, they now come vacuum packed in small pouches so not too many are opened and exposed to the air and become hard as marbles.  When I was living in the US mainland in the 1980s, I'd have to soak the pugua' in water to soften it a little, and that method didn't really work all that much.

I remember my grandmother sending her oldest son in San Diego pugua' every so often in old Foremost milk cartons, wrapped in brown paper bag and stringed.  She'd have to peel as much as possible before packing the pugua'.

flickr.com

CHAMORRO PUGUA' MAILING CONTAINER

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TODAY'S CHAMORRO WORD : HIHOT

HIHOT : near, close by

Hihot yan siha.  Close to them.

Kao hihot i lugåt?  Is the place nearby?

Humihot i dos.  The two became close.

Na' la hihot hao mågi.  Come closer.  (Literally "Make yourself closer here.")

Hihot ayo kontra i gima'.  That is close to the house.

Akihot.  Friend, neighbor, someone close to you.

Hihihot.  Coming closer.  Proximate.  Imminent.

Hihihot na finatai.  Impending death.

TODAY IN HISTORY

LAST SPANISH BISHOP DEPARTS
October 26, 1945



A few days after American Bishop Baumgartner arrived, Spanish Bishop Olano left Guam on this day 66 years ago.  That marked the end of 277 years of Spanish missionary presence on Guam!  To this day, though, all those years of Spanish influence can still be seen in our Chamorro-style Catholicism, though it has weakened over the years.


Bishop without a Diocese...

When Olano left Guam, there was some difficulty where he should go next.  He was a Spanish citizen, but a Basque in ethnicity.  Many of the Basques, though fervent Catholics, opposed the government of Francisco Franco in Spain, who supported the Church against the anti-clerical leftist parties in Spain.  These Basque nationalists wanted either an independent Basque State or one with much freedom from Madrid.

One of Olano's brothers, also a Capuchin priest, was such a promoter of the Basque cause that he had to flee Spain when Franco took power.  Although Bishop Olano was not involved in these political issues, his blood ties with his well-known brother made him hesitant to return to Spain.  Perhaps even the Spanish government would have pressured the bishop to look for another residence elsewhere.

Bishop Olano went to Manila, where he was of some assistance in a post-war country where American bishops and priests had been imprisoned by the Japanese.  He did confirmations and helped in other ways, but he was, for the rest of his life, a bishop without a diocese.  That couldn't have been easy for him.

I was only 8 years old, but I remember meeting him the one and only time in my life.  He returned to Guam in 1970 for the consecration of Bishop Flores and my elderly granduncle and grandaunt took me to the ceremony.  Afterwards, they went up to greet Bishop Olano and they told me who he was.  He looked at me and I looked at him, and that was it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TODAY IN HISTORY


I Señot Atsobispo as Felixberto Camacho Flores
yan i tiå-ho as Tan Chong Kitå'an

Archbishop Felixberto Camacho Flores, the first Chamorro bishop, passed away today in 1985.  He was just 64 years old, but had serious health issues that went all the way back to wartime conditions he faced under Japanese occupation in Manila where he was studying for the priesthood.

Right after the beatification of Blessed Diego Luis de Sanvitores in Rome, Archbishop Flores went to San Francisco to look after his medical needs.  It was there that he passed away.

Besides the beatification, Archbishop Flores saw many things accomplished before his death.  The elevation of the diocese to an archdiocese; the first papal visit to Guam; the erection of the Northern Marianas as a separate diocese are just some of them.

More than these, he was well-respected and certainly loved by many.  He was considered one of the best public speakers in either English or Chamorro.  He was politically savvy.  He was refined and cultured and very intelligent, yet charming, affable and put the humblest person at ease in his presence.  A biography ought to be written about him.  Chamorros can be proud that he was one of our own.

Being a mere youth, I rarely interacted with him, but I once had to see him all by myself as a 22-year-old, to ask his blessing to join the Capuchins.  I was a bit nervous, for I knew that in his heart (quite naturally) he would want as many young men to join the diocesan clergy as possible, and here I was joining a religious order instead.  But he was gracious and supportive and at the end of our five-minute interview, he said to me, "And now I will give you my blessing."  I rose from my chair, knelt before him, and he blessed me most formally.  I rose again and kissed his ring and that was that.  I was relieved but also honored that he would spare me five minutes.  He honored me a second time attending my first vows as a Capuchin in August of 1985.  Little did I know he would die less than two months later.

I will never forget his inspiring sermons; his dignified air when saying Mass.  I used to attend the Cathedral 6AM Mass on Saturdays just to hear him lead in the singing of the Salve Regina with its accompanying Latin prayers which he chanted ever so well, and then kneeling for the Chamorro hymn "O Señora Nanan-mame" with its plaintive cries for Mary's protection.  What a thrill on special occasions when he would end Mass by saying to the crowd, "And now I will impart to you my Apostolic Blessing" and then break into Latin "Sit nomen Domini benedictum!" "May the name of the Lord be blessed!"

Requiescat in Pace.
U såga gi Minahgong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

THE GODCHILD'S OBLIGATIONS



My 80-year-old grandmother was assisted daily for one year by her 60-year-old godddaughter

A man recently told me, "You priests always talk about the duties of the godparent.  But I never hear you talk about the obligations of the godchild."

As a matter of fact, according to Chamorro custom, there are some obligations of the godchild to the godparent.

The obligations of the godparent get more attention because it is more often the child that needs help.  But here are some obligations of the godchild toward the godparent(s) :

  •  the godchild (often) asks the blessing of the godparent before a wedding
  •  the godchild (must) ask the godparent to be a witness at the wedding; this is not a Church requirement, but a cultural one
  •  the godchild seeks the blessing of the godparent before any significant life change or event
  •  if the godparent is old or sick, and the godparent has no children or family to care for him/her, the godchild must care for the godparent
I saw this last cultural value lived out before my eyes.  My grandmother was 80 years old and weakening, spending almost all day in bed.  Without anyone telling me who she was, an elderly lady showed up one day and spent all day with my grandmother until my grandmother's sister came home from work after 5pm.  All the adults in the house worked 8-5, so this elderly lady spent the day with my grandmother, feeding her, taking her to the bathroom, talking to her, making sure she was okay.

She did this every weekday (the rest of us were home during the weekends) for a year.  As far as I know, she wasn't asked to do this.  She was my grandmother's goddaughter, and when she heard that her godmother needed this kind of help, she stepped forward.

The photo above was taken on my grandmother's 81st birthday in 1980, and that's her goddaughter behind her.  It was she who was at my grandmother's side when she quietly passed away one Saturday morning.  Though we were all home on the weekend, by that time, we all knew grandma wouldn't live long because she was so weak, so the goddaughter decided to come everyday anyway, since grandma could die at any moment.

She was a good goddaughter.  God reward her.

This is the kind of thing that makes me proud to be Chamorro.  Yine'ase'.  Ginefli'e.  Hinimitde.  Kindness.  Love.  Humility.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TODAY IN HISTORY


Bishop Apollinaris W. Baumgartner, OFM Cap
First Bishop of Agaña
ARRIVES ON GUAM ON OCTOBER 23, 1945

Guam came under American control in 1898, but the Church on Guam continued under Spanish leadership till 1945 when Guam received its first - and so far only - stateside bishop. 

The US Navy had wanted to replace Guam's Spanish bishop with an American one, but World War II put that idea on hold.  But as soon as Guam was liberated, the wheels were put in motion to replace Bishop Olano with an American.

Prior to 1965, Guam was not a diocese.  It was still considered an infant local church, reliant on outside missionary help.  So it was an Apostolic Vicariate, lead by an Apostolic Vicar.  The Apostolic Vicar had the rank of a bishop, but he couldn't be called Bishop of Agaña until Agaña became a diocese.  That happened in 1965, and Baumagrtner, who had been Apostolic Vicar since 1945, became first Bishop of Agaña.

Baumgartner is rightly credited for many accomplishments, with the help of the missionaries, sisters and lay people : the founding of Catholic schools, bringing out Catholic sisters who in turn formed Chamorro sisters, the establishment of a local minor seminary, the building of churches, chapels and a medical center, the start of a Catholic weekly newspaper. 

A Baumgartner Anecdote
that gives insight into his leadership style

Not long after he took the helm of the Church on Guam in the late 1940s, Bishop Baumgartner called a meeting of his consultors, a small group of priests who acted as the bishop's advisors.  He started by saying, "I think it is time to start Catholic schools on Guam.  The question is, shall we build elementary schools first, or begin with high schools?"

It was a provocative question, with some favoring one or the other.  After some discussion, Baumgartner interjected, "Those in favor of starting with elementary schools, raise your hands."  Some did.  "Those in favor of starting with high schools, raise your hands."  Others did.

Baumgartner said, "OK, that settles it.  We'll begin with both elementary and high schools."

AIRPORT CHAMORRO



FAN+PULAN = to watch over

The p is dropped.  Don't ask for a logical reason.  It just sounds better.  Trust me.

Pulan also means "moon."  I suppose the idea is that the moon watches over us at night.  Except, of course, when there's a new moon.

Now I wonder if famulånan neni might not be a better phrase.

Famulan neni means "to watch over a baby."

Famulånan neni means "the place to watch over a baby."

A nursery such as we find in an airport is really a place primarily for changing diapers or pañåles.

FALSE FRIENDS : BOKA

maxgrace.wordpress.com
False friend is a word that is the same in two languages but mean two different things.

BOKA in Chamorro means "food" or "to eat."  It seems pretty obvious that we got it from the Spanish word BOCA, which means "mouth."  Boca Raton, Florida is a town named for a rat's mouth.

But if you go to Spain or Mexico and tell someone "boka, boka," instead of eating, they will think you're talking about someone's mouth.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FANIHI : THINGS I REMEMBER, THINGS I JUST LEARNED

In 1985, on a trip to Saipan, I ate part of this fanihi.  I was a young friar all of 23 years of age.
You can't see much of the fanihi; it was mostly eaten by the time we snapped this photo.

I remember...
  • how AWFUL it smelled when my aunties would cook it
  • it smelled like they were cooking mildewy clothing that had been soaking in putrid water for days
  • the smell made me want to run out of the house
  • I refused to try it as a kid and began to doubt my relatives' soundness of mind because they enjoyed eating it
  • the rat-like face and sharp teeth staring at me from the pot didn't help
  • then I tried it - in 1985 - in Saipan - and thought it tasted OK
  • it tasted NOTHING like it smelled
  • as the saying goes, "It tasted sorta like chicken."
What I have just learned...
  • between 1975 and 1981, the Northern Marianas exported 15,805 fanihi to Guam
  • what the Northern Marianas ate within the Commonwealth is not included in that number!
  • a lot of those fanihi were caught outside the legal times to hunt them
  • fanihi can fly between the islands
  • we hope that fanihi colonies in the unpopulated or underpopulated islands in the Marianas will help them survive
From the year 1831...
  • John Lyell, a visiting Scottish doctor on a whaling ship during the years 1830 and 1831, says that the jungles of Guam swarm with fanihi
  • they come out at dusk to feast on breadfruit
  • they are prized by the Chamorros and sell for 3 reales each
  • a real was a Spanish silver coin, worth an 8th of a peso, and a peso was equivalent to about 50 American cents
  • so 3 reales was not a huge amount, about 19 cents
  • they were so numerous that 200 could be seen hanging from the same tree, and one sling shot could kill 17 of them
coinquest.com
A 4 reales coin from 1812, a little more than what one fanihi would have cost in the year 1830.  These coins would have been used in the Marianas at the time.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    CHAMORRO NICKNAMES

    BASIC RULE : traditional Chamorro nicknames are derived from the END of names.

    In other cultures, the nickname is taken from the BEGINNING of names.

    Joseph becomes Joe.
    Michael becomes Mike.
    Jennifer becomes Jenny.

    Or, among Filipinos :

    Remedios becomes Remy.
    Felicidad becomes Fely.

    Modern, Americanized Chamorros do the same.  They take it from the beginning of names.

    Francisco becomes Frank; Concepcion becomes Connie; Teresita becomes Terry.

    But...our mañaina took it from the end of names.

    Francisko becomes Kiko', from the -cisco ending.

    Teresa becomes Checha, from the -esa ending.

    Miguel becomes Ge', from the -guel ending.

    Josefa becomes Epa', from the -efa ending.

    Jose becomes Pepe, from the -se ending.

    Soledad becomes Da', from the -dad ending.

    Jesus become Chu', from the -sus ending.

    Rosa becomes Chai, from the -sa ending.

    Gregorio becomes Goro', from the -gorio ending.

    Maria becomes Lia, from the -ria ending.

    Antonio becomes Nono', from the -onio ending.

    Remedios becomes Medo', from the -medios ending.

    Joaquin becomes Kin, from the -quin ending.

    Dolores becomes Lole', from the -lores ending.

    Felix become Lele', from the -elix ending.

    Ana becomes Nena', from the -na ending.

    Tomasa becomes Bacha', from the -masa ending.

    CHONG

    Any female name ending in -cion becomes Chong.

    Concepcion, Consolacion, Asuncion are the main -cion names, but there are a few others like Anunciacion, Purificacion and so on.

    Nicknames turn into new nicknames.

    Josefa becomes Epa, but Epa often becomes Pai, from the -pa ending.

    Joaquin becomes Kin, but Kin often becomes Kindo.

    Maria sometimes becomes Mariquita/Marikita, which sometimes become Kita' or Kitalang.

    Felix become Lele', but Lele' can become plain Le'.

    Soledad becomes Da', but Da' often becomes Daling.

    Jose becomes Pepe, but Pepe can become Peling or Pepito.

    All the Chong nicknames can become Chongki'.

    There are always exceptions...

    Inas is the traditional nickname for Ignacio.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    TODAY'S CHAMORRO WORD : MAKKAT

    m1t.co.uk
    MAKKAT : heavy, serious, grave

    Demasiao makkat!  It's too heavy!

    Åhe', ti makkat.  No, it's not heavy.

    Makkat matå-ña.  His face is grave.

    Makkat palabrås-mo.  Your words are serious.

    Makkat na kastigo ma nå'e gue'.  They gave him a heavy or serious penalty.

    Minakkat.  Heaviness (literally) or weight.

    Dies libras minakat-ña.  It is ten pounds heavy.

    Påle' Roman says it can also be used to signify the effort of a person. "Ti mamakat gue'" literally means "he isn't being heavy" but the idea is that the person isn't bearing his load, or exerting force in the effort.

    It can also be used to express the idea that something is or isn't serious.  "Ti hu na' makkat ennao," literally means, "I don't or wouldn't make that (thing, person, event) serious or grave."

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    CHAMORRO EXPRESSIONS : SI DIOS KIERA

    Si Dios Kiera

    If God wants it

    This is taken from the Spanish "Si Dios quiera," "If God wants it."

    Formed in a more Catholic ethos, our elders were more conscious of the divine will.  Nothing happens without God's knowledge, without God's consent.  Either God directly wills something to happen, or God passively allows things to happen on their own, without His interfering with it, in order to allow a good thing to come about in time.

    So, many conversations went like this :

    Jose : Ngaian para un falak Hagåtña, Maria? (When are you going to Hagåtña, Maria?)
    Maria : Agupa', si Dios kiera.  (Tomorrow, if God wants it.)