Thursday, May 31, 2012


In Chamorro culture, grandma rules.

Guåho må'gas!
I'm the boss!

But who, in the 1930s, ruled grandma?

According to an American visitor to Guam in the late 1930s, there was only one thing that could get grandma out of the house, besides church, and that was to see Shirley Temple in one of two movie theatres in Hagåtña.

Elderly grandmas in their mestisas filled the theatres to watch Shirley, not understanding a word.  But who needed to, with her winsome smile, golden curls and cutesy singing and dancing?

Mothers took their girls to the beauty salons to give their daughters Shirley Temple curls.


Humosme Misa dos na sotterita, ya annai esta måkpo i Misa, mamaisen i un sotterita, "Håfa kumekeilek-ña si Påle' annai ilek-ña na annai umassagua dos na taotao, esta ti dos na uno ha'."

Manoppe i otro na sotterita, "Kumekeilek-ña si Påle' na yanggen mañom i asaguå-mo, hågo lo'lo'."

Two young ladies attended Mass, and when Mass was over, one of them asked, "What did Father mean when he said that when two people get married, they are no longer two but one."

The other young lady answered, "Father means that when your husband has a cold, it is you who coughs."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Standing in front of me at the (long) check-out line at Kmart were a 10-year-old boy and his mom, who's in my generation.  Mom had more of a local accent; the boy less so.

The boy says to mom, "Mom, they have two ice cream machines over there."

She said, "Before, nothing!"

It occured to me that I just heard a real Chamorro-ism.  Something that I don't think you would ever hear from a statesider.

In Chamorro, she would have said, "Tåya' åntes!"  "Nothing before!"  An inversion, but still - a statesider would have said, "There wasn't any before."  Or even, "Before, they had none at all."

"Before, nothing!"  Gotta love it.


Adolfo Camacho Sgambelluri

His story almost sounds as thrilling as a James Bond novel. 

Adolfo C. Sgambelluri, also known as "Sgambe," found himself in an unenviable position as a police officer working for the Japanese during World War II.  To some Chamorros, Sgambe was doing the work of the enemy.  But the other side of the coin was that Sgambe used his position and knowledge to forewarn his fellow Chamorros.

This was ironic, in a way, because, prior to the war, Sgambe, already a policeman under the American administration, was tasked to observe and file reports on the Japanese residents of Guam, since war was already a possibility people acknowledged some years before the war actually broke out.

When the Americans returned to Guam, Sgambe was put in the stockade, along with the Japanese and their associates.  To some observors, this was almost a guilty verdict that Sgambe had collaborated with the Japanese.  What they didn't know was that Sgambe was in the stockade because he wanted to be there.  The idea was that he would learn as much as he could from the other detainees.  He would then pass on this information to the Americans.

Sgambe's undercover assistance in obtaining valuable evidence that was used in the prosecution of Japanese and other war criminals was noted by the American military. 

Sgambe went on to be the first Chamorro sent for training by the FBI.  He returned to Guam from the FBI Academy and served in several government positions, his longest tenure as Chief of Customs and Quarantine.  After 16 years in that role, he retired in 1971 and passed away in 1985.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


So way across the Pacific Ocean in California, Chamorro was heard in the hallowed halls of Saint James Church last Sunday, which was Pentecost.

As you may remember, people from different parts of the world heard Saint Peter preach in their own languages on Pentecost.  So, this parish decided to have the General Intercessions prayed in different languages reflective of the congregation.

So my friend Joanne, from the Carbullido clan, asked me to help her with her intercession in Chamorro.  Here she is at church, in mestisa no less, with her tropically-clad granddaughter Anaya.  Good job!

(Photo courtesy of Joanne)

YOU KNOW YOU'RE ON GUAM WHEN.... give the news vendor $2 even though the paper only costs $1 because "he's out all day in the hot sun."

Na' ma'ase' i kilisyåno!  Nå'e i taotao dos pesos!

Poor thing!  Give the guy two bucks!


Mungnga ma baba i payo gi halom guma'.

Don't open an umbrella inside the house.

Or else something bad will happen...

...someone gets sick, dies...

Chamorro word for superstition


Hinengge comes from hongge, "to believe."

Chat is a prefix meaning "done badly, imperfect, defective."

Chat hinengge = defective, improper, wrong belief

Monday, May 28, 2012


Un Amerikåno måtto Guam manbisisita ya humånao gue' para un kantit para u li'e i tase.  Eståba un taotao seguridåt ya sinangåne gue' ni Amerikåno, "Peligro este na kantit.  Debe de u guaha 'sign' pot no u famoddong taotao gi tase."

Ilek-ña i guåtdia, "Ginen guaha 'sign' lao in na' suha."

"Sa' håfa?" mamaisen i Amerikåno.

"Sa' annai esta sais meses ya tåya' ni uno poddong gi tase, in na' suha."

An American came to Guam on a visit and he went to a cliff to look at the ocean.  There was a security guy there and the American told him, "This cliff is dangerous.  There should be a sign so people won't fall into the sea."

The guard said, "There used to be a sign but we removed it."

"Why?" asked the American.

"Because after six months and nobody fell into the sea, we removed it."


Let me take you on a virtual flight from Tinian to Saipan, from the safety of your desk, chair or bed.

Air travel between Tinian and Saipan is regular and frequent....but unpredictable.

The small planes wait till there are enough passengers to justify using up the gas.  In my case, I waited and waited, and when it looked like I was the only passenger at least for a while, they put me on the plane as the sole passenger.  But they can always make money from cargo.

I used to sit next to the pilot at times back in the 90s when I was a priest in Saipan and would fly to Tinian.  He'd ask me to open and close the window on take -off.  I thought I should've gotten at least a few dollars off the fare for helping fly the plane.

Totally unrelated story.  Years ago I was helping cover a parish in Hawaii and a parishioner's boyfriend was a pilot who flew a small plane as this one in the video, taking small cargo to the small islands of Lanai and Molokai.  For the price of helping him carry cargo on and off the plane, he said I could go with him.  And that is how I saw two islands I probably never would have been to; Lanai and Molokai.

Back to Tinian.  In the 90s, I had a Healing Mass every Monday for the sick and I recognized an elderly man would always come for the blessing after Mass.  This elderly man was usually the pilot on these quick flights to Tinian and back.  I mentioned to him after Mass one time, "I really pray for you a lot when you come for the blessing."  "Why?" he asked me.  I said, "You know you're usually the one flying me to Tinian, right?"  "Yes," he said.  "Well, don't forget, there's no co-pilot!"

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Guam went through a horrible influenza epidemic in 1918.  The flu killed 858 people on Guam in just 2 months.  That was about 14 people a day.  Of course, at first there was a trickle of deaths in the beginning, and fewer as the flu abated, with as many as 50 deaths in one day at its peak.  With so many deaths in a day, bodies were hurriedly wrapped in sheets and buried in a common grave.

Here's a story about this episode of Guam's history, told by a woman, now deceased, who lived through it.  It is up to you to believe it or not.

Two men hired by the government to haul cadavers to the cemetery were carrying one body wrapped in a sheet when all of a sudden they heard a muffled voice say,

"Ti mamatai yo'!"  "I'm not dead!"

One of the men said,

"Esta ilek-ña i mediku na måtai hao, pues måtai hao."  "The doctor already pronounced you dead, so dead you are!"

And proceeded to bury the person declared dead by the government.

Perhaps the men had such a tight schedule with all those bodies to bury that no unexpected resurrection was going to delay them.

Which reminds me, ever wonder where the expression "saved by the bell" comes from?  Google it.


Gravestone of a Chamorro in Sumay Cemetery
In Chamorro

It reads :


Mafañago gi

Sept. 23, 1886



Oct. 23, 1936

It is the grave of Luis C. Sablan, born in 1886 and deceased in 1936.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


MASAHALOM : to sweat, sweat, perspire, perspiration

Masahalom yo'.  I am sweaty.

Mungnga humålom sa' masahalom hao.  Don't go in because you're sweating.

Man masahalom i famagu'on.  The children are sweating.

Na' masahalom.  Make one sweat.

Na' masahalom este na lugåt.  This place makes one sweat.

Hamasahalom.  Frequently sweats.

Hamasahalom si Bob sa' mepplo gue'.  Bob sweats a lot because he's hairy.

Cooked on the inside

Masahalom is an interesting word because it is made up of two words : måsa, which means "cooked," and hålom, which means "inside."

To sweat is to seem to be cooked on the inside, and just as any cooked dish gives off steam, we sweat as we cook on the inside.


Check out what our mañe'lo in Southern California are doing to promote our language among the famagu'on.

To showcase the progress these young ones are making, on May 20 at a theater in Long Beach, CA, the man hoben stood before their audience and showed their Chamorro-speaking skills.

Group Photo

The older ones (secondary class)

For more info :

Thanks to Heidi Chargualaf-Quenga for sending me this.


Friday, May 25, 2012


Continuing the tradition of Påle' Roman

This young man, for all his youth, is committed heart and soul to traditional Chamorro hymnology.  He tries to learn them all, and researches their origins.  Just a little digging reveals that the majority of our Chamorro Catholic hymns are translations of pre-existing hymns from Europe, mostly Spanish, some Basque and a sprinkling of others.

So it is in complete adherence to tradition for Larry to take a Basque-Spanish hymn and compose a Chamorro version.  He wrote these Chamorro lyrics for a song he is planning to have sung at the upcoming Sacred Heart fiesta in Chalan Pago.  The orthography (spelling) is his :

1. Matuna hao – Korason Santo;
Hago, Magas giya hame;
Minagof todo i manñantos;

Hulon, Rai yan Sainanmame!
Bendise ham, Asaina, - Mames Korason Jesus;
yan pulan ham Santa Maria. – Umageftuna-ha, hamyo;
yan pulan ham Santa Maria. – Umageftuna-ha, hamyo.
2. Taihinekog na Yuus Tata, -
umatuna i Nananmo.;
Asie ham, - i taotao haya;
sa Hago ha’ sen takhilo!
3. Hago, ni matai gi Kiluus;
Nae ham ni bendisionmo.
Yoase na Kinilon Yuus,
todos ham famaguonmo!
4. In adora hao, Jesukristo,
gi sensantos na Ostia.
Umamaila i gobietnomo,

Magas Rai i man rai siha!
5. O Ininan si Yuus Tata,
I Santos na Espiritu;
Sainan manna nae linala;
Umatuna tai finagpo!
6. “Si Yuus gaige giya hago”
Santa Marian Kamalen,
Adahi ham yan i Lahimo;
Hago sen gasgas na Bithen.

Some Remarks

Hulon - this is an obsolete word, not used today, but this is a good way of reviving it.  Among its several meanings, here it means "someone in authority."

Taotao Håya - was an older way of referring to Chamorros.  The people who came from the direction of the ocean were the Gi Lago or Taotao Lågo.

Kinilo - means "lamb"  The problem is there were no lambs on Guam, so Chamorros borrowed the Spanish word for "lamb" - cordero.  But therein lies another problem; two, actually.  We Chamorros cannot pronounce an R or an L which come before another consonant.  It becomes a T, as in when we say Kåtlos when we mean Carlos.  Second, we just have a hard time with R no matter where it is placed, so cordero becomes kotdelo, and in time it becomes kinilo.

A Good Example

That a man in his late 20s can do this is not only a tribute to his talent but also serves as an inspiration for other young people to cast off all self-doubt and try their hand at doing Chamorro versions of lyrics, poetry or prose.  Just make sure to have someone solid in the language look it over.


Going up in the 1980s


Many people were beyond belief when they first saw this bridge going up in little ole Humåtak.  But we've gotten used to it.

I knew one of the landowners who said that the government built one of the four towers on his private property.  "One of those towers is mine!" he used to tell me with great satisfaction.



There once was a woman named Ramona Aguon Alejandro.  From the Aguon, we know she was Chamorro.  Alejandro is Spanish for Alexander, but we don't know if her father or grandfather was a Filipino, Mexican, Spaniard or what-have-you.

Ramona married Andres Camacho Castro.  They had at least three sons, maybe more :  Marcos, Jose and Francisco.  These three are listed in the 1897 Census, but Ramona had died by then.

There is also a widow listed in 1897 by the name of Josefa Alejandro.  She could have been Ramona's sister.

But there were no males surnamed Alejandro in the 1897 Census, and the name died out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Carabaos need to be in some form of water throughout the day.  Mud will do, too.

These carabao were refreshing themselves in the river that flows through Humåtak.

Right after I shot this video, three older teenagers walked passed me and made small talk with me as they did.  My passenger, who remained in the car watching it all, told me after I got back into the car that the three teenagers hid their beer cans to their sides or under their shirts as they approached me.

Can't let Påle' see the beer!


Excerpts from a Chamorro sermon written in 1873.

I mismo na momento na ma desåpatta i ante gine i tataotao taotao, ayo mismo na momento ma sodda' i ante na gagaige gi me'nan Jesukristo para u nina'e gue' kuenta ni i todo na bidå-ña, u sodda' guihe lokkue' i Sånto Ånghet ni i pumulan gue', yan i anite para u fa'aila' gue'.  An ta sodda' na si Jesukristo ha a'atan hit yan i sen yo'ase' ya sen mames na inatan, na sen magof i såntos na ånghet-ta, ya sen lalalo' i anite, sen fiho na señåt na man måtai hit gi gråsian Yu'us; lao an ta sodda' na si Jesukristo ha a'atan hit yan i sa'pet na inatan, na ti magof i sånto na ånghet-ta ya sumen magof i anite, fiho na señåt na man måtai hit gi desgråsian Yu'us muna' i ma'gas na isao. 

Boi på'go hu na' fanungo' hamyo håfa i tenhan i isao.  An håye na taotao ha na' hånao yan i inanña' yan traision i bidan i otro, ma sentetensia na u ma puno'; lao guaha håf na empeño pat i mina'åse' i rai na maisa, ya humuyong i otden na ti u ma puno' uhe na taotao. Ti ma puno' ha'; lao ma po'lo gi presidio muna' i nina'mamahlao-ña ni i otro; pues ennao na ma popo'lo gi presidio muna' i nina'mamahlao-ña ni i otro ma fa'nana'an sen tunas ha' : i tenhan i isao-ña.  Si Yu'us mananågo' ni i taotao-ña siha todo : Munga umabale', ya ini pat uhe na taotao umabale' ha'; ennao na taotao ha merese na u ma yoggua, sa' umisague si Yu'us må'gagas; lao despues gumefkonfesat i taotao as Påle' ni i isao-ña ya inasisi'e, ya ayo nai ma funas i sentensian i yinegguå-ña; lao tetenhan gue' i nina'mamahlao-ña as Yu'us, na debe u ma apåse as Yu'us guine na bida yan i penitensia-ña siha yan i induthensia siha, pat giya Putgatorio yan i sen makkat na minaså'pet.


  • Desåpatta : today's adespåtta.  "To separate."
  • Gine.  Today's ginen.
  • Bida.  Today bida generally means "action."  But formerly it also meant "life," as it is borrowed from the Spanish vida, which means "life."
  • Fa'aila'.  No longer used in modern Chamorro.  It means "to accuse."
  • Fiho.  Today it means "often," but formerly it also meant "fixed" or "sure" as it is borrowed from the Spanish fijo, which means "fixed" as in something unmoveable.
  • Boi.  Today it is pronounced bai.  It comes from the Spanish voy, which means "I go."  This was used by Chamorros to indicate a future action.
  • Tenhan.  Another obsolete word.  We use tetehnan today, which means "remaining."  Tenhan means "remains" as in what is left behind or after; residue.
  • Uhe.  Another obsolete word.  It means "that."  We say ayo or ennao now.
  • Ini.  Again, no longer used.  It means "this."  We use the Spanish word este now.
  • Presidio.  Jail.
  • Yoggua.  To be thrown out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today on Guam, the majority of people who even chew pugua' (betel nut) do so without adding pupulu, the pepper leaf.

But the real custom is to chew a combination of pugua', pupulu and åfok (baked limestone).  Many man åmko' also added amåska or chewing tobacco.

But how do you know which leaves of the pupulu bush to pick?  Terry and Frank explain this to me in the video.


In Saipan, there is another variety of pupulu called pupulun Yap (Yap pupulu).  It more or less looks like Marianas pupulu but tends to be larger and the feel of the leaf just a tiny bit thicker and the texture just a tad bit more rubbery.  It's the taste that presents the biggest contrast; far more peppery (pika) than the Marianas variety.  Am sure it was brought to Saipan by our Carolinian brethren, who relish this variety of leaf.  I like it, too.
Pupulun Yap - looks the same but packs a meaner punch

(Devil's Pupulu)
This is the only other traditional variety of pupulu on Guam.  It isn't chewed with pugua', but it has medicinal usages.  It doesn't look like regular pupulu.  It is more rounded and has a duller color.

If I remember correctly, wetted pupulun anite can be placed directly on one's forehead to get rid of a head ache; after which, one might develop a "devil-may-care" attitude about the rest of the day.


Just one of three boxes or bags of mangoes we've received in the last day.
Keep them coming; we give them away to those who don't have them!

As I mentioned in an earlier post a month or so ago, the mangoes were so plentiful on the trees this year that we have an overflow of mangoes all over the island.

They're giving them away.  No one can make any money selling them; they're so available.  People are standing on the road side throwing them to passengers in cars.  Well, not really.  But you get the picture.

Really, this is when every household should learn how to make mango jam.,1628,159167-227206,00.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MAHÅLANG : yearning, lonely, to miss someone or something, to yearn for, to pine after

Mahålang yo'.  I am yearning for someone/something.

Kumåkåti sa' mahålang gue' gi as nanå-ña.  She is crying because she misses her mother.

Na' mahalang.  Inducing of nostalgia, yearning.

Na' mahalang este na lugåt.  This place makes me nostalgic.

Mahalånge.  To pine after someone/something.

Håye un mahalålånge?  Who are you missing?

Minahålang.  Loneliness, nostalgia

Humånao gue' para California lao ha bira gue' tåtte Guam sa' pot i minahalång-ña.  S/he went to California but came back to Guam because s/he missed Guam.

PITI IN 1827

In Spanish times, Tepungan was the village.  Piti was a part of Tepungan.

The large, dark circle shows the positions of Tepungan and nearby Piti, according to the 1944 maps used in the American invasion.

While most of the people lived in Tepungan, the pantalån or pier was located at Piti (also known as Punta Piti; Piti Point). 

A Spaniard (Manuel Sanz) described Tepungan in the year 1827.

  • There were 55 people living in the village.
  • Everything was grown in the area, including rice.  The swampy terrain, especially at Sasa, was good for rice.
  • There was a saltworks southeast of the village, producing good quality salt.

Monday, May 21, 2012


It's been scorching hot lately, and even dogs need to be comfortable.

So why not wear a pair of shades and a palm hat?

But the poor carabao providing the transportation here, well he or she needs a stream, or at least mud, to be happy.


Most of us associate the month of May with Mary.  But, in traditional Chamorro culture, May is also the month of the Santa Cruz (Spanish), Såntos Kilu'us (Chamorro) or the Holy Cross.

Why May?

Prior to Vatican II, there were two feasts of the Holy Cross in the church calendar.  May 3rd was the feast of the Finding of the Cross, when, according to tradition, the Empress Helena searched for and found the cross upon which Jesus died, buried in Jerusalem.  The second feast of the Holy Cross was September 14, called the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which commemorated the rescue of the True Cross from the hands of the Persians.  After Vatican II, May 3rd was eliminated and only September 14 remains on the calendar.

But traditions are traditions and many Chamorro families carry on the May devotion to the Holy Cross.

Tan Lourdes Crisostomo English of Sinajaña keeps this tradition.  The wooden cross venerated here was carved by her grandfather about 100 years ago.

The Spanish-speaking world also keeps the May tradition, where it is called the Cruz de Mayo.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Every May is the month of flowers and Mary in the Marianas.

The custom is for children to dress up as angels (even the boys dress like the Archangels) and present flowers to Mary.

In Hågat (Agat) this year, the centuries' old tradition continues.  The children weren't dressed as angels, but they sang - loudly and clearly - in Chamorro.  Some of them as young as four years old.

Not just one song, but several.

What is learned in childhood is not easily forgotten.  Haven't we met the 80-year-old who can't remember what they ate for breakfast that day, but can recite a poem they learned in 3rd grade?

Just think; perhaps the four-year-old girl in this video will be singing these Chamorro hymns, in the year 2070.  Fantastic!

Some Lyrics

1. O Rainan Måyo, paopao yan mames; magof ya un chåhlao i flores-måme.
O Queen of May, fragrant and sweet, be pleased to accept our flowers.

2. Chåhlao Nånan-måme (translated in the video)

3. Man måtto ham O Nåna man magof yan man dimo gi fi'on i Lahi-mo para in nene hao.
We come O Mother happy and kneeling beside your Son to honor you.

In na'e hao i flores guålo' siha, in na'e hao sa' Nånan-måme hao.
We give you the flowers of the gardens, we give them to you because you are our Mother.

4. Matuna hao, Nånan Yu'us, matuna hao Nånan Jesus.
Blessed are you, Mother of God, blessed are you, Mother of Jesus.

I famagu'on-mo Bithen Maria, man måtto på'go, bendise siha.
Your children, Virgin Mary, come today, bless them.

The Month of the Virgin Mary

This devotion takes place every day in May, not just the nine days/nights of a nobena.

Saturday, May 19, 2012



A rivera, in Spanish, means "brook," or "creek."  Not quite a river, which is río.

There are no Riveras in the earliest censuses we have, the 1727 Census and the 1758 Census.
Yet the Rivera surname shows up in fair numbers in the 1897 Census.  Sometime after 1758, a Rivera, or perhaps 2 or 3 Riveras, whether relatives or not, showed up on Guam and started families.  Who they were; what ethnicity they had, is anybody's guess at this point.  The name is Spanish, but Spanish surnames can be found among South Americans and Filipinos.

The oldest Rivera in the 1897 census is Don Luis Rivera of Hagåtña, aged 88 in 1897.  He was married to Juana Pangelinan.

Another elderly Rivera was a woman, Rufina Lujan Rivera, aged 65, also of Hagåtña.  She married Tiburcio Arriola.

Manuel Rivera, aged 72, of Hagåtña, was married to Ana de Leon Guerrero.

Jose Rivera, aged 74 of Hagåtña, was married to Maria de Leon Guerrero.

These last two have my suspicions aroused, especially since they're just a few years apart.  It was not unusual for two brothers to marry two sisters, but until we find better evidence, we better not jump to unfounded conclusions.

Finally, we have the Agat Riveras, descendants of Jose Rivera, aged 57 in 1897, married to Josefa Delgado.

TV personality
Mexican Painter

Friday, May 18, 2012


Chamorros on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in Southern California to be exact, are completing a Chamorro language program this weekend and are hosting a celebration to crown the event.


An elderly man shared with me this story when he was a teenager in the year 1950.

Agaña Heights had a little theatre, called the Majestic.  It was just a one-room building that served as a ping pong hall by day and a movie house at night.  At night when they wanted to show a movie, they just shoved the ping pong tables to the side, hoisted a little screen and lined up wooden benches for seating.

All the money made from the movies went to the parish, which was building a new church (the one that stands today).  Påle' Scot (Oscar Calvo), the pastor, not only had to approve each and every movie, he also announced them at Mass to drum up business.

So this man telling me his story says one night he and his friends waited till they turned off the lights and started the movie.  Going in, he purposely sat behind the girl of his fancy.  The girl was there with her mother and half a dozen siblings.  As it was dark, and he was strategically seated behind the girl, he put his hand on her shoulder.  Out of the blue, the mother of the girl put her hand on his!  In shock, the mother collected her half-dozen children and went straight out the door!

Such was the strictness of most parents in those days.  No daughter ever left home unaccompanied.


7. Ginen måno nai ha resibe i Iglesia Katolika ni finana'gue-ña?

I Iglesia Katolika ha resibe todo i finana'gue-ña pot i Eskritura Sagråda yan i Tradision.

8. Håfa gaige gi Eskritura Sagråda?

Gi Eskritura Sagråda nai man gaige i minagåhet siha, ni esta man ma tuge' pot taotao ni man inina pot i Espiritu Sånto.

9. Håfa gaige gi Tradision?

Gi Tradision nai man gaige i minagåhet ni ti man ma tuge' gi Eskritura Sagråda.



On May 17, 1672, a month and two weeks after the killing of Pale' Sanvitores and Pedro Calungsod, a company of Spaniards, Latin Americans and Filipinos set out to Ipao to retaliate against the Chamorros who may have been involved in the death of Sanvitores.  The Chamorros of the area opposed to the Spaniards blocked the usual trails with felled trees.  The Spaniards cut through the jungle and headed towards the beach to proceed on their journey.

On their return back to Hagåtña, they had forgotten about the tide, which was now rising.  Seeing the Spaniards in this vulnerable position, the Chamorros launched an ambush, throwing spears from the high ground above, from the beach ahead and from canoes in the sea.

Matå'pang, principal killer of Sanvitores, was involved in the fight and was wounded by a Spanish bullet.  His wound, in the arm, never properly healed.  The Spaniards lost men in the attack, like Pedro Basijan, a Visayan Filipino; Jose de Torres, a Mexican from Puebla de los Angeles; and Juan Beltran, also from Mexico.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


You gotta hand it to Goro'.

I forget how old he is, but he's young enough that we know there'll be at least one person when most of us will be dead who can still say his prayers in Chamorro.


Can anyone help out on this one?

Does this mean...

If you're NOT in costume, you can't park here?  Or...

If you ARE in costume, you can't park here?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Governor Seaton Schroeder really liked Malesso'.

He called it the best-maintained village on Guam; clean and orderly.  The villagers well-occupied and flourishing.

He credited all this to its capable and energetic gobernadorcillo, or mayor, Felix Sablan Roberto.  Other villages weren't so lucky, Schroeder said. 

Schroeder visited Malesso' in 1900.  Nearly the entire village showed up, forming lines on both sides of the narrow road.  A few muskets were fired at the governor's approach, and some people made noise with bamboo poles sliced down the center so that the two sides clapped when shaken.

There were shouts of Viva el Señor Gobernador!  And Viva la América!  An elderly lady dashed forward to kiss Schroeder's hand, and others followed suit.  A band composed of two fiddles and an accordion provided music.