Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Many families on Guam practice the following custom after a baby is baptized.

When the baptism is over and the baptismal party leaves the church and goes to the house where the christening party will be celebrated, the patlino (godfather) gathers in front of the people, with the children usually standing or squatting right in front of him, and yells out "Biba!" three times in honor of the newly-baptized baby. The people reply with their own "Biba!" each time the patlino yells "Biba!"

Then, the patlino breaks open rolls of quarters and scatters them all over the place. As much as $20 worth of quarters are thrown out, but the amount is up to the patlino.

Anyone can pick up the quarters, but it's usually the children who do. They can keep whatever they catch.

This custom is simply a way that the family and guests can express joy that a baby in the family has been baptized into God's Church.

Here is how Cathy Ogo explains the custom in Chamorro :

One person from Saipan told me that this isn't done on that island. That usually means it isn't done on Tinian or Luta either. But, if someone can share if this custom is practiced on these other islands, please leave a comment.

A godfather about to throw out the quarters at a christening party.

Younger and older picking up the quarters.

1 comment:

  1. I live on Sa'ipan, and I have never experienced the quarter tossing.
    Perhaps it's strictly on Guam?