Monday, January 9, 2017
My dramatization of a story taken from the annals of history.
A Spanish galleon stopped by Guam, as they often did, needing fresh water and food. On board was a young, teenage boy who was part of the crew. As the galleon had departed Acapulco, this young man was probably Mexican himself.
Enticed by the island's vegetation and scenery, after having seen nothing but blue ocean for many weeks, he walked off on his own into the brush, leaving the main party. Perhaps he could find some bananas to eat.
He stopped dead in his tracks when, all of a sudden, a young, teenage Chamorro male appeared before him. This Chamorro boy was naked, but also unarmed, which put the young Mexican a little at ease. Calming him even more, the Chamorro boy smiled and came up to the Mexican, putting his hand on his chest in a gesture of friendliness.
As if suggesting that fresh fruits hanging off trees were just a little ways ahead, the Chamorro boy took hold of the Mexican gently by the shoulder, to lead him in the direction of that food. The more they advanced into the foliage, the more the Chamorro boy put his arms around the Mexican. In short time, the Chamorro boy had a tight hold on the Mexican boy's neck. What seemed playful at first started to feel quite uncomfortable for the Mexican, who started to wonder, with a little anxiety, that he was being lead by this Chamorro boy to a bigger gang of Chamorro boys or men, to be killed.
Right at the moment anxiety was going to turn into panic for the Mexican boy, a rustling in the forest was heard. Chamorros? Or Spaniards?
Four or five armed men from the galleon, holding their arquebuses, appeared. They took aim at the Chamorro boy, who fled in an instant. The Mexican boy was escorted back to the ship, not without a good deal of scolding. Off to Manila they sailed, where the Mexican was added to the company of lay assistants helping the missionary friars working in Manila.
Two or three years later, another Spanish ship anchored off Guam in search of provisions. This time, the Spanish captain decided to kidnap one Chamorro youth and bring him to Manila, where he would be educated and baptized. In time, the captain reasoned, if and when Spain colonized these Ladrone islands, the captured Chamorro boy can return as a Christian, Spanish-speaking man and help with the colonization.
And so they did. A Chamorro youth, aged 16 or 17, was captured and taken aboard. He made it to Manila, where he was placed in a convent of friars. The Chamorro boy noticed other young men living in the friary, assisting in the work of the church. There was one Mexican youth who got his attention. Yes! After a little time observing, the Chamorro boy remembered that this was the Mexican boy he tried to kidnap, and the Mexican boy finally remembered this Chamorro boy as the one who tried to kidnap him!
The Chamorro boy admitted that his intention was to kill the Mexican boy. The Spanish chronicler adds, and to eat the Mexican boy and use his bodily remains for whatever he could make out of them. True? Or the exaggerations of a story-teller? Said in jest by the Chamorro boy just to scare the Mexican? Who knows?