Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Vice and virtue have no favorites. They can be found, sometimes in equal measure, among all races, ages and genders.

Take for example Joaquina del Rosario, better known as Joaquina'n Dalalai.

Joaquina was at the top of the list of Guam's "bad girls" in the early 1900s. She was hauled into court on more than one occasion.

In 1903, Joaquina went to the home of Manuel Asunción, who was selling island moonshine called åguayente. Åguayente was a stronger liquor than tuba, although it was often made from tuba. But åguayente could be made from almost anything that contains sugar.

Joaquina bought three cups of åguayente for one reåt each. A reåt (in Spanish, real; pronounced ray - al) was a coin found in the Spanish colonies and in Latin American countries.

Those three cups were enough to make Joaquina terribly drunk and she went around Hagåtña being a nuisance. She stopped outside the house of Juana Acosta and started yelling obscenities at her. "Puñetera! Karåho! Puta! Demonio! Animåt!" The whole neighborhood could hear her. There must have been bad blood already between Joaquina and Juana.

The police came and apprehended her. As she was disorderly in public, there was no want of witnesses. She was sentenced to serve a short time in the city jail.

Later, Joaquina'n Dalalai would be arrested for something more serious than public intoxication. But that's a story for a future post.

Åguayente, by the way, is the Chamorro version of the Spanish word aguardiente, made up of two words : agua (meaning "water") and ardiente (meaning "fiery"). Fire water!

Chamorros of the early 1800s distilling åguayente

1 comment:

  1. My father's family used to make aguayente, but they always pronounced it aguadiente (ah-gwad-dien-tee).