Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Old Hagåtña

1822 is a long time ago.  It marks, more or less, the mid-point of Spanish colonization in the Marianas.  In 1722, the Spaniards were firmly settled in the Marianas, with all the Chamorros Catholicized; the Chamorros of the islands north of Luta moved to Guam with some exceptions; the Hispanic and Filipino soldiers married to Chamorro wives and living in Hagåtña.

By 1922, the Spaniards were gone.

So, what did the Hagåtña population look like in 1822?  A list of prominent citizens eligible to vote for Hagåtña's civic leaders shows us what names made up the list of Hagåtña's VIPs. 

Municipal elections were merely consultative.  Not every male could vote; only those who had already held or were currently holding municipal positions.

The voters were :

Manuel Sánchez
Luís Garrido
Luís de Torres
Felipe de Guzmán
Agustín Pangelinan
Antonio de Torres
Mariano Pereda
José de Cárdenas
José Ramírez
Ignacio de Cárdenas

You can see that some of these families have died out (Cárdenas) or are not that visible at the forefront of today's politics (Garrido, Guzman, Pereda).  Some, like the Torreses, are still prominent in Guam social circles.

There's not a single one with an indigenous last name, like Taitano or Aguon.  These electors were mestizo, mixed blood.  But the Chamorro language and culture prevailed because of their Chamorro great grandmothers.

Besides the electors, there were also the following men holding various positions :

Scrutineers (of the voting process) :

Silvestre Inocencio Palomo (the father of Padre Palomo)
Joaquín de León Guerrero

The Secretary of the Governor : Nicolás de Borja

The candidates for Alcalde, or Mayor, were :

Justo de la Cruz
Juan de Rivera

The members of the city council were :

Vidal Valenzuela
Faustino de Borja
José Palomo de Rivera
José García de Borja
Felipe de Guzmán
Manuel Sánchez

The city attorney was : José de León Guerrero

So, the list of VIPs in Hagåtña in 1822 looks somewhat different from the list of Chamorro VIPs in today's Guam.  Names such as Calvo, Bordallo, Pérez don't surface till later, and even Camachos, Floreses and Chamorro names like Ada and Taitano don't emerge till later.  The Torreses and León Guerreros are represented as far back as 1822, though.

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