Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Some people call it "Chamorro Time." Others call it "Island Time."

It's the notion that many people don't show up on time for things here in our islands. Mind you, even Filipinos talk about "Filipino Time" and Mexican Americans talk about "Mexican Time."

This one lady told me the story of her mother, who was always on "Chamorro Time."

Fuera de i Misa, tåya' na måfåtto si nanå-ho gi ora.
(Besides Mass, my mother never came on time.)

Yanggen guaha lisåyon måtai, pat gupot pat ma gradua i famagu'on,
(If there was a rosary for the dead, or party or graduation of the kids,)

todo i tiempo atrasåsao si nanå-ho måtto.
(my mother always arrived late.)

Ha na' fan gof mamåhlao ham,
(She made us very ashamed,)

sa' hame kumokonne' gue' para masea håfa na okasion,
(besides we were the ones taking her to whatever occasion,)

sa' ti mañuñugon si nanan-måme,
(because our mother didn't drive,)

lao tåya' tumungo' na guiya ha' muna' fan atrasao ham man måtto.
(but no one knew that it was she who was making us arrive late.)

Annai esta gof malångo si nanan-måme,
(When our mother was already very sick,)

ya gaige gi espitåt, ya esta båba i korason-ña yan chatsaga hinagong-ña,
(and was at the hospital, and her heart was bad and she had trouble breathing,)

ha atan ham todos ya ilek-ña, "Bai hu måtai lamo'na."
(she looked at all of us and said, "Tonight I will die.")

Ilek-ña i che'lu-ho mås påtgon,
(My youngest sister said,)

"Nang, ti para un måtai lamo'na. Tåya' na måfåtto hao gi ora."
("Mom, you won't die tonight. You never come on time.")

Ya magåhet na måtai si nanan-måme gi sigiente dia gi talo'åne.
(And it was true that our mother died the next day at noon.)

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