Thursday, September 4, 2014


Chamorros have been moving to Hawaii since the whaling days of the early 1800s. Unfortunately, many of them did not go by the usual names they had but had their names modified so that Americans in Hawaii could more easily pronounce them. Some were even called by their nicknames.

Many Chamorros have Spanish names, so at times it is impossible to tell from a list in Hawaii if the Cruz or the Santos is a Chamorro or someone else, a Puerto Rican or Portuguese, for example.

But Pangelinan is a good bet. It's a Pampanga (Filipino) name but with a branch that had been planted on Guam since the 1700s, intermarried with Chamorros and became Chamorros. Filipinos also spell it Pangilinan while Chamorros spell it Pangelinan.

In an 1871 list of people in Honolulu who still hadn't picked up their mail, we find the name of one Vicente Pangelinan.  There is, in fact, documentation that a Ben Pangelinan from Guam moved to Hawaii around the year 1860.  Ben lived in the Big Island some years. Maybe that's why he hadn't picked up his mail at the Honolulu Post Office for a while.

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