Thursday, June 26, 2014


The modern village of Barrigada which we know today was not quite the same as it was before the war.

Indeed, in the late Spanish period (1800s), there really was no organized municipality called Barrigada. There definitely were farms; many farms!  All the areas and districts included in what we now call Barrigada were some of the best agricultural lands on the island.  Those who worked the farms, mostly men, spent the night at the ranch house during the week, but returned to Hagåtña for the weekend to attend Mass and be with their families.

But by the 1920s, people started to live permanently in the outlying villages of central and northern Guam. Slowly, the priests built chapels in these villages where Mass could be held periodically, but not everyday. These priests still lived in Hagåtña and had to drive cars to these chapels.  Eskuelan Påle' (catechism class or CCD as we know it today) was also held in these chapels.

The government also built a few schools in the central and northern villages.

The municipal lines for Barrigada before the war included what is now Toto and Mangilao.

In 1940, there were already 875 people living in this municipality.

The different barrios or districts in the municipality, with their populations in parentheses, were :

ADACAO (48) - on the present back road to Andersen.

ASMUYAO and SONGLAGO (30) - towards Mangilao and Chalan Pago

CAÑADA and LEYANG (29) - more or less the present locations

GUAE and SABANAN PÅGAT (29) - further north on the back road to Andersen, past Adacao

JALAGUAG and MAITE (103) - Jalaguag was just before Tiyan if you were heading northeast towards Tiyan from Hagåtña.

LALO and SAN ANTONIO (116) - San Antonio was where much of the village proper of Barrigada is today; Lalo was south of that.

MACHAUTI and TOTO (22) - just north of Cañada

MAGA (83) - south of Mangilao, going towards the coast (Pago Bay)


NALAO (110) - in the area of the present village proper of Barrigada

TIYAN (24) - now the airport!

UNGAGUAN (238) - in the vicinity of the Admiral Nimitz Golf Course, past PC Lujan school

There are many other barrios located in the old, prewar municipality but they are not singled out in the population figures but are most likely grouped with the others who are mentioned.

These other barrios included Aspengao, Luayao, Mochom and Pinate, to name a few.

The present village of Barrigada does a nice job memorializing these districts by naming many of the streets after them.

UNGAGUAN might come from the word ungak which means "to tip to one side" or  "to bend something down," as in tipping a bench to one side or grabbing the branch of a tree and bending it down.

The family name Ungacta most likely comes from the word ungak.

Though we don't have any clear proof where the name Ungaguan comes from, there are two possibilities.

The suffix -guan means "to do something unintentionally" as in pineddongguan (to let something fall unintentionally) or "to do something against the will of someone" as in chule'guan (to take something away from someone unwilling to give it).  Ungaguan could mean "unintentionally tilting or bending."

Or, the suffix - an could be in use in Ungaguan.  -An means "place of."  Ungaguan could mean the place of tipping or bending to one side.

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