Monday, April 10, 2017


The Catholic Church in Luta (Rota) sometime between 1915 and 1920
San Francisco de Borja Church, Songsong

The Catholic mission on Luta, which was made up of one solitary church staffed by one solitary priest, was under the German Capuchins from 1908 until 1919. In fact, Luta had the same priest, a German Capuchin friar, all those years. His name was Father Corbinian. The Chamorros called him Påle' Corbiniano.

For ten years, Påle' Corbiniano loved being on Luta. He made a big impact on the people there. He was the only European on the island for some of the time, and ran the only school. The German Government never opened one on Luta.

When the Japanese took the Northern Marianas over from the Germans in 1914, they let the German Capuchins continue to work in Saipan and Luta (Tinian had no Chamorro population yet) for awhile. But by 1918, when World War I was ended and Japan had the secure possession of the Northern Marianas (as well as the rest of Micronesia, except Guam), the Japanese Government told the German Capuchins they had to leave.

The problem was that the Catholic Church didn't know who to send to Saipan and Luta to replace the departing German Capuchins. Ideally, Japanese priests would have come but Japan had few Japanese priests and what few there existed were needed in Japan.

So when Påle' Corbiniano packed his things to leave Luta for the rest of his life, he needed to appoint someone or some people to have official responsibility to make sure that the church of San Francisco de Borja, any other chapels, the priest's house and all church property were maintained and not totally abandoned. Not only would total abandonment lead to the decay of those buildings, the Japanese government may be tempted to use those buildings (or let others do so) in the absence of the missionaries.

So Påle' Corbiniano appointed a committee of leading Luta men to be responsible for church property until the Vatican finally decided what missionaries would be sent to Saipan and Luta.

The committee members appointed by Påle' Corbiniano were :

Pedro Mangloña
José Taitano
Juan Taisacan
Vicente Mangloña
Francisco Mendiola
Juan Ayuyu
José Atalig
Elías Atalig
Baldomero Mendiola
José Taitano II
José Songsong
Sixto Taimañao
José Mangloña

Interestingly, this group makes 13 members; the 12 Apostles and Jesus! An odd number, so there'd never be a tie if something needed to be voted on.


Since we have the Luta Census of 1897, we can speculate who some of these men are. In 1919, teenagers and young adults wouldn't have been chosen to be on the committee, so the members would appear in the 1897 Census. So it's just a matter of finding the same names in that Census.

There are three problems, though, The three Mangloñas in the committee all have common names (Pedro, Vicente and José) and there are more than one of all three names in the 1897 Census, so it is not clear which one it is, so I will leave these three names alone.

José Borja Atalig, married to María de León Guerrero Taimañao

Elías Masga Atalig, son of Benito Atalig and Brigida Masga. Married Ana Hocog.

Juan Matantaotao Ayuyu. Married to Isabel Atalig Songao.

Baldomero Mangloña Mendiola. Son of Felix Mendiola and Ana Mangloña. Married to Maria Cruz Camacho.

Francisco Mendiola. Son of Felix Mendiola and Ana Mangloña.

Vicente Mangloña. Married to Carmen Taimañao Mendiola.

Sixto Arriola Taimañao. Son of Francisco Taimañao and Maria Arriola.

José Hocog Songsong. Son of Carmelo Songsong and Rita Hocog.

Juan Masaii Taisacan. Married to María Masga. He was the sacristan (saklestan). His middle name is spelled in various ways and that family has died out.

José Mangloña Taitano. Son of Pedro Taitano and Joaquina Mangloña. Teacher. Known as "Maestron Taitano."

His son, José Taitano II.


In just two years, in 1921, a Spanish Jesuit priest was allowed by the Japanese Government to live and work in Luta, just as they allowed in Saipan.


  1. Hi Pale Ric.

    Elias Atalig who married Ana Jocog had a son Isaias Hocog Atalig. He married Rosa Camacho Mendiola (better known as Nan Chai Isaias) who is the daughter of Baldomero Mendiola & Maria Camacho. She is still alive and the only one of my grandfather's generation who is living. The family lives there in Guam. They have a daughter, Herbie Atalig Perez who is very active with the church. Perhaps you've come across her.

    Vicente Mangloña who married Carmen Mendiola (from the Damoa Family) was my great grandfather however, Carmen was not my great grandmother. My great grandfather married twice and from that 2nd union my grandfather Lucas Ayuyu Manglona was born. His mother was Maria Atalig Ayuyu. Maria had a sister Dolores who married Benigno Salas Esteves whose son Vicente was in your other post "First Chamolinian." My great grandfather Vicente Mangloña was a son of a Spanish priest Father Fray Valentin Casamayor de la Concpepcion hence, my father's line of the Mangloña is known as Familian Casamayor or Casamayot. My great grandfather was a half brother of Baldomero Mangloña Mendiola from Ana Mangloña that was married to Felix Mendiola.

    Sixto Arriola Taimanao married my grandfather's sister Ramona Mendiola Mangloña. They had 9 children however, a couple of them died young with no descendants.

    The Francisco Mangloña Mendiola mentioned in the post was my great grandfather Vicente Mangloña's half brother also. He married three times.1-Alejandra de Leon Guerrero Taimanao (daughter of Leocadio Jocog Taimanao & Apolonia de Leon Guerrero, 2-Trinidad Taimanao Atalig (daughter of Jose Borja Atalig & Maria de Leon Guerrero Taimanao that's mentioned in the post), 3-Catalina Siguenza Quichocho, my maternal great grandfather's sister. She was the daughter of Pedro Quichocho & Encarnacion Taitingfong Siguenza.

    Jose Hocog Songsong, son of Carmelo Songson & Rita Jocog, was a brother of Walburga Hocog Songsong. She was mentioned in one of your posts, "German Influences In Rota."

    Jose Manglona Taitano, son of Pedro Cruz? Taitano & Joaquina Jocog Mangloña, married my great grandfather's sister Edoviges Manglona Mendiola. They had a daughter Joaquina Mendiola Taitano who married Ignacio Fejeran Dela Cruz died in the early 2000's. Nan Kina' lived in Guam and died in Guam and have descendants there. I know Nan Kina' had brothers (Corbiniano, Nilgad, & Pedro) and they died at a young age due to influenza but I don't think she had a brother named Jose II. But then again, the elder Chamorros in those days sometimes change their names later on in life like my great grandfather's brother Francisco Mendiola Manglona (Son of Felix Mendiola & Ana Manglona). He was not known as Francisco but as Juan and many of Francisco's grandchildren didn't know that until I told them.

    Pedro Manglona was most likely my great great grandfather Pedro Taimanao Manglona, born 1871. He should have been 44 years in 1915 or 49 in 1920. He married Ana Rivera Gogue. I went through the 1897 census and the only other Pedro Manglona there was Joaquina Hocog Manglona-Taitano's brother Gregorio's son, born 1878. I checked in my family tree and he was not married nor have any descendants. It's also not clear if he died early but it could be him because he would have been 37 in 1915 or 42 in 1920. Whatever the case, I can probably identify him but I would need a little more information.

    Your posts have been very informational and has helped me many times when I update my family trees and I thank you for that. The least I can do is return the favor. :)

  2. *Correction on Jose Hocog Songsong. It was Walburga's mother, Maria Jocog Songson (married Antonio Mangloña) that was the sister of Jose.

  3. New info. I spoke to Auntie Maria Sablan Mendiola-Castro yesterday and she told me her grandfather Francisco Mangloña Mendiola's name was actually Juan Francisco Mangloña Mendiola. She lives in Tinian.