Tuesday, March 13, 2012




In 1959, four Chamorro political leaders, two from Guam (Richard F. Taitano and Vicente B. Bamba) and two from Saipan (Olimpio T. Borja and Elias P. Sablan), went to New Guinea to attend a meeting of the South Pacific Commission.  There they met Chamorros who had been living in New Guinea for sixty years or so.

These Chamorros left Guam and Saipan for other shores during the brief German administration, when Berlin ruled both the Northern Marianas and New Guinea.  One elderly Chamorro woman, Dolores Borja (familian Catalino) was still alive when the politicians met her in New Guinea.  She had been in New Guinea since 1913, but still could speak Chamorro in 1959.  Other Chamorro families in New Guinea were from the Aquiningoc, Cruz, Charfauros and Guerrero clans.

Their children did not speak Chamorro, but rather English, with a British or perhaps Australian accent.  They certainly also spoke pidgin.   One Chamorro, but born in New Guinea, did not know what race he was or where Guam was.   He even wrote to the Philippines government asking where Guam was.

The Chamorros were specifically living in Rabaul, an important city on an island in the eastern part of New Guinea.

In a World War II diary, a store owner named Leo Aquiningoc in the Rabaul area is described as being Filipino.  It could be that he was Chamorro and mistaken for Filipino, or maybe Leo had a Filipina mother. http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/eserv/UQ:212640/s00855804_1961_1962_6_4_817.pdf

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