Monday, May 14, 2012



One branch of the Villagomez clan is known as the Familian Kariso.

Kariso is the Chamorro form of the Spanish word carrizo. Carrizo refers to a variety of tall grasses, reeds and even canes.

Kariso on Guam grows in swampy areas and is usually a good indicator of fresh water. In a marshy area bordering the coast, where salty, brackish water can mix with fresh water found more in-land, kariso will not be seen in the brackish area, but only in the area of fresh water.

Our mañaina would use kariso, splitting the reeds and weaving them into matting to use in the home as wall coverings, partitions and ceilings. The young kariso was used even as fodder for livestock.

Why did this family get this nickname?  I'd like someone in the family to offer a theory.  Was it because someone in the family worked with kariso?  Carrizo is also a Spanish last name, and either a Spaniard, someone from Latin America or the Philippines with the last name Carrizo could have had some association with one of the Villagomezes.  Or, there may be another reason altogether.


  1. I'm familiar with this family name. My mother Laura Maria Quichocho Inos-Mangloña's first cousin Agnes Quichocho Maratita-Villagomez (a great, great greanddaughter of Basilio Gogue and Paula Rivera)married Herman Tenorio Villagomez of Saipan. He was the son of Eugenio Cruz Villagomez. The Kariso Family is Eugenio and his siblings and their descendants.

  2. Hafa Adai Pale', I really enjoy your "Familia" entries. Could you please do one for the Villagomez family? My great-great, grandfather was Joaquin Salas Villagomez who married Rita Diaz Castro. Thank you so much!

    1. Hafa Adai, my family is of the Marcellano branch and I have a family tree for Joaquin and Rita if you are interested.