Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Fe Untalán Cristóbal was the daughter of Adriano María Cristóbal, Ilocano, and Carmen Untalán, Chamorro. She was born in 1915 in Hagåtña, Guam.

As her father was himself an educated man who valued higher learning, he sent his daughter Fe to be educated in Manila at the Philippine Women's University.

All was well, as she graduated in 1941.


As she prepared to return to her native Guam, Fe packed the following items to be shipped to Guam ahead of her : pianos, sewing machines, beauty parlor equipment and musical instruments for her brother Adriano (Nito). Her plan was to open a private school to teach music and sewing to her fellow Chamorros.

Her own voyage to Guam was to be by air, flying on the Pan American clipper, due to land on Guam on December 10, 1941.

But two days prior, on December 8, the Japanese attacked Guam. War was declared. Fe was stuck in the Philippines.

Later she found out that the ship's captain ordered all non-essential cargo to be dumped in the sea as soon as it was learned that the Japanese had attacked Guam. Fe's response was, "Man proposes, but God disposes."

And God certainly disposed that, while she waited the war out in Manila, she would meet her future husband, Alberto Tominez Lamorena, an attorney and an Ilocano like her father.

When war was over, she brought back to Guam, not sewing machines and pianos, but a husband, a daughter and a son. In time, she would have four sons in all (besides her one daughter), whom she all named Alberto, with a different middle name to distinguish them.

She never did open a school but raised her family. She was active in church and civic affairs, however, and was a founding member of the Filipino Ladies Association of Guam. She honored both her Chamorro and Filipino lineages.


As the war dragged on and there was no communication between civilians in Manila and in Guam, Fe's family assumed she must have died. So they began praying her novena of rosaries for her soul.

This was when the Americans were about to return and the family was huddled in a shelter for protection from American bombs. As they were praying the rosary, a white butterfly flew in. The family took this as a sign that Fe was alive and not dead.

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