Sunday, June 18, 2017


Hagåtña in the 1920s

Our mañaina really did it up in the past when it came to religious celebrations.

A news article in the Guam News Letter from June, 1915 talks about the Corpus Christi procession that year.

"The feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated on June 6, 1915 by a solemn procession which was attended by a very large number of people. The Blessed Sacrament was borne by His Lordship the Right Reverend Bishop of Guam, preceded by (the) volunteer Band, who played hymns which were sung by all the people. The houses on both sides of the streets through which the procession passed were adorned with embroideries and colored curtains; and lighted candles were placed in the windows and on the varandahs."

"Along the route of the procession, there were erected four pretty little chapels, constructed of bamboo and palms, and adorned with flowers and religious images. At each of these chapels, the Bishop stopped and the people knelt down while the Blessed Sacrament was incensed."

"The good order of the procession and the fervor with which the Church Hymns were sung, were especially noticeable. This was a source of pleasure and satisfaction to the Very Rev. Bishop, who after the procession expressed his appreciation of this religious enthusiasm."

Pre-War Lånchon Kotpus

Some things to take note of....
  • a marching band accompanied the procession
  • people sang the hymns from memory (there were no printed hymnals for wide public distribution yet)
  • the people sang with fervor
  • the houses along the route were decorated, not just the lånchon kotpus (little chapels)
  • the people knelt (on the bare earth; streets were not paved yet)
  • look at the lånchon kotpus above. No K Mart, no Home Depot. Yet look how elaborately decorated it is.
Our mañaina really had faith back then and knew how to express it. Puts us to shame.

1 comment:

  1. Now, 6200 nautical miles to the West, this tradition is alive and well in the Oceanside community of Chamorros, supported by several neighborhood Chamorro groups. There are about 18 lanchos represented. Happy to be have been involved for several years. Thanks to Bea Taijeron, her group, and their tenacity.