Sunday, December 31, 2023



This is a Chamorro hymn to the Holy Family (Sagråda Familia), who are Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

This particular tune for it is sung in Inalåhan, and probably also Malojloj, but the words are the same as the version sung by the rest of the island.

In the past, when all transportation was either by animal-driven cart, boat or feet, villages were more isolated and local customs more easily developed, different from the next village. Often it was a new priest, musically-inclined, who might introduce a new melody for an old hymn. But others, musicians or organists or singers who learned it from elsewhere, could also have taught a new melody to their local choir. 

As far as the origin of this Inalåhan melody for this hymn sung to another melody in Hagåtña and elsewhere, I am not sure. Perhaps I can find out in the future.


Jesús, José an María; Jesús, José an María;
estague' i korason-ho yan i anti-ho.
(Jesus, Joseph and Mary; Jesus, Joseph and Mary;
here are my heart and my soul.)

Jesús, José an María; Jesús, José an María;
fa' maolek yo' an hokkok i ha'ani-ho.
(Jesus, Joseph and Mary; Jesus, Joseph and Mary;
assist me when my life is done.)

Jesús, José an María; Jesús, José an María;
na' måtai yo' pao såntos gi kannai-miyo; gi kannai-miyo.
(Jesus, Joseph and Mary; Jesus, Joseph and Mary;
make me die in the fragrance of holiness within your hands.)


The last two verses speak about a good death, a holy death, because the Holy Family includes Saint Joseph, who died before Jesus began His public ministry and was still unknown to people. So, Saint Joseph died surrounded by Jesus and the Blessed Mother - a nice way to pass from this earthly life!

That is why Saint Joseph is the Patron of a Holy and Happy Death, and why the hymn speaks of this. On our death bed, we want the Holy Family surrounding us.

*** Thanks to Lawrence Borja for the audio clip

Friday, December 1, 2023



Many of you know that Chamorro does not like ending words with the letters R or L. Final R or L become a T when said in Chamorro.



















This advertisement in the Guam Daily News in 1959 shows how our elders pronounced SINGER as in SINGER SEWING MACHINE.

They said SINGHET or SINGET.

Notice that "sewing machine" is MÅKINAN MAN LAKSE." Man låkse' means "to sew" and måkina is machine.

"Limited quantity" is rendered "ti meggai tetehnan" or "not many left."

"Monthly payments" is "Siña un apåse pot mes," or "You can pay by month."

Our elders had no trouble paraphrasing the English in Chamorro, rather than invent new words that are stranger than the paraphrase.


Apparently, there were Singer sewing machines on Guam even in the late Spanish period.

A book published in Manila in 1895 claimed that there was a Singer Sewing Company outlet in the Marianas, probably meaning Guam.

The above citation reads, in English,

The Singer Company has more than 2000 houses established in the principle population centers of the world and the Philippines agency, besides the outlets in Manila, Iloilo, Cebu and Tacloban, has agents in the principle population centers in the Archipelago and also in both the Carolines and Marianas.

Friday, November 24, 2023


The first American Governor of Guam, a Navy captain named Richard P. Leary, thought that Guam had too many holidays. That was because Guam had observed numerous religious holidays as public holidays under Spain. Not being a fan of the Spanish missionaries, Leary spelled out in an Executive Order in 1899 that religious holidays from now on were private affairs, and the only public holidays, besides Sundays, would be those "authorized by US Statute Law" and US presidential decree.

In 1870, US Congress made Independence Day, July 4, a Federal holiday. We can assume that this was observed even on Guam as soon as Leary set up the first American administration in August of 1899. Even if there were no parades or fireworks, it's very likely the Navy closed government offices on Independence Day.

Thanksgiving didn't become a Federal holiday till 1941, though it had been celebrated long before, sometimes on different Thursdays in November from state to state.

But the first public holiday that Leary proclaimed on his own authority was Thanksgiving Day.

On November 3, 1899 Leary declared that the last Thursday of November that year, November 30, would be set aside as a day of "thanksgiving and prayer." He recommended (not mandated) that people refrain from "unnecessary work" that day, so I'm not sure if the government closed their offices or not.

Leary could not mandate any religious services, but he urged people to observe their own rites in their own churches, Catholic or Protestant.

State and Church

But Leary knew his promotion of Thanksgiving wouldn't fly if he didn't have the cooperation of the Catholic Church, which commanded the hearts of 95% of the Chamorro people. And he succeeded. According to Leary, Palomo wholeheartedly agreed to hold a Thanksgiving prayer service in the Hagåtña church. It was a traditional thanksgiving prayer, chanted by the priest in Latin (Te Deum) which the Catholic Churched prayed all the time, all year long, but this time applied to the American holiday.

Leary said that the Navy band would play at this Te Deum service, and praised Palomo for his outstanding qualities. Leary reported a huge number of people attended the church service. Standing room only.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was no turkey served on that first Thanksgiving Day on Guam in 1899, but Leary made every effort to have the American holiday observed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023



Numerous Chamorro women were marrying American military men just as soon as the island came under the United States flag.

Not all of those marriages were successful.

A good number of those unions ended with the American sailor or Marine deserting his wife and children, as they were reassigned to another location or simply left island.

Here are some examples.


Rita married a Marine private in 1903 and had a son by him. In 1905, her husband was assigned to another post, and did not take Rita and his son with him.

Rita wrote to her husband and got three replies. His letters acknowledged his deserting her, and contained every excuse in the book, with plenty of promises to come back and resume his family commitments. He never did.

Rita filed for divorce in 1926 - twenty-years after last seeing her husband!


Yet another Rita had married a military man in 1905. They had four children. Quite possibly already a civilian, the man left Guam in 1910, supposedly to visit his mother. He was never seen again.

A few letters were exchanged, however. In one of them, the husband said he had met his wife's brother and the two of them were going to fish salmon in Alaska and both would return to Guam afterwards. The brother did return, but the husband did not.

Instead of filing for divorce, Rita petitioned the court to rule her husband deceased! This was granted. Almost sixteen years had passed since she last saw her husband.

This second Rita's move was more advantageous than the first Rita's decision to file for divorce.

Since both women had married according to Catholic rites, only death could end the bond. The first Rita, even if divorced, could not marry a second time in the Church until her husband had died. The second Rita obtained that freedom to marry again by having the Guam court declare her husband dead.

These two Ritas are but two examples of Chamorro women abandoned by the American husbands who left island and never returned. There were more.



In 1920, the American Naval Governor, Captain William Gilmer, issued a new law prohibiting marriages between American service men and Chamorro women.

His reason for this prohibition was his judgment that such marital unions were not good for either American husband nor Chamorro wife. He didn't, at least in print, get more specific than that.

Americans already married to Chamorro wives, and the Catholic bishop, Spanish Bishop Oláiz, opposed Gilmer's law, which was eventually overturned by the higher-ups in Washington.

But Spanish Påle' Román agreed with Gilmer. Too many American military and former military husbands had deserted their Chamorro wives, leaving them without financial support to raise the children, and unable to marry again in the Church.

was all for protecting Chamorro wives from deserting husbands

Tuesday, November 7, 2023




Besides the marshy area behind the Humåtak Mayor's Office by the river, associated with a murder scene from the 1980s, many people in Humåtak consider the area behind the church to be spooky.

The current San Dionisio Church was built in 1939 but, many decades before that, it had been the site of the Spanish governor's palåsyo (palace), along with other government buildings for soldiers, the sick, military defenses and storage rooms, since the bay was the major port of call for Guam at the time. The rock foundations for these government buildings are still there, hiding in the vegetation.

If the area behind the church is haunted, it is believed to be so because of the location's association with sick soldiers, ship's passengers and others who may have died in the port's hospital. Others believe the taotaomo'na (ancestral spirits) trail leads down from the hills behind the church to the bay through that area.



One Humåtak girl, in her teens, was playing behind the church one day with a few other teenage girls when she saw a man also behind the church. She was immediately frightened; it was hard for her to describe the man, but he was scary and she had never seen him before. She and the others ran away.

But not long after she saw the ugly man walking toward her, and off she went screaming.

Yet a third time she was in the bathroom and when she looked into the mirror, the ugly man was behind her. Out she went screaming. On and off, she would see the man. The man stopped appearing only after she had gotten married.


So the family of the teenage girl burnt some påtma bendita (blessed palm) to ashes, then had a boy in the family (some say it has to be the oldest boy) urinate into the ashes just enough to make the ashes into a paste, and that they applied to the forehead of the girl. The scary, ugly man would disappear for a while. But not permanently until she got married.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023



If you ever go into the jungle and see a spirit, here's a guide what to say, provided to us by Pedro, who was taught by his grandmother :

Sesso de humånao si Pedro gi halom tåno' manaliligao åmot pat håyo pat masea håfa, ya ti ma'å'ñao si Pedro achok ha' guiya ha' na maisa humånao.
(Pedro often went into the jungle looking for medicine or wood or whatever may be, and Pedro wasn't afraid even when he went by himself.)

Finaisen gue' as Kiko', i amigu-ña, "Kao tåya' na ma'å'ñao hao na siña hao manli'e' espiritu gi halom tåno'?"
(His friend Kiko' asked him, "Aren't you ever afraid that you might see a spirit in the jungle?")

Manoppe si Pedro, "Tåya', sa' ha fanå'gue yo' si nanå-ho biha håfa para bai ålok an siakåso na guaha håfa hu li'e'."
(Pedro answered, "Never, because my grandmother taught me what to say if I ever see something.")

Mamaisen si Kiko', "Håfa?"
("What?" Kiko' asked.)

Manoppe si Pedro, "Siempre bai ålok, 'Yanggen anite hao, pues hånao tåtte para sasalåguan!'
(Pedro replied, "I'll say, 'If you're a demon, then go back to hell!')

'Yanggen ånimas hao, bai tayuyute hao lao hånao tåtte para Putgatorio!'
('If you're a Poor Soul, I will pray for you, but go back to Purgatory!')

'Yanggen taotao hao, pues hånao tåtte para i gimå'-mo!'"
('If you're human, then go back to your house!')

Pues mamaisen si Kiko', "Lao håfa para un ålok yanggen ginen i langet na espiritu?"
(Then Kiko' asked, "But what will you say if it's a spirit from heaven?")

Ha hasso nåya si Pedro sa' tåya' håfa ilek-ña si nanå-ña biha pot ennao. Pues manoppe si Pedro, "Yanggen ginen i langet na espiritu, siempre bai ålok, 'Ayuda yo' sumodda' håfa hu aliligao!"
(Pedro thought a while because his grandmother said nothing about that. Then Pedro answered, "If it's a heavenly spirit, I'll say, 'Help me find what I'm looking for!'")

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


Socially elite Chamorro ladies with Americans in the 1910s

An American lady, the sister of the island's Governor at the time, Olga Dorn, wrote an article describing life as she saw it when she visited the island in 1909.

She described three classes of Chamorro women, all based on footwear!

The three classes, in her words, were the Shoestring Set, the Slipper Society and the Barefoot Brigade.

SHOESTRING SET. These were women of the socially elite class. Many of them had Spanish or other European blood. Their fathers occupied positions in the American government or in commerce. These ladies were very eager to adopt American fashions. They always wore shoes and stockings. These were the women often invited to American social events.

Some with shoes, some without

SLIPPER SOCIETY. These were a much larger group of Chamorro women who clung to the fashion of their mothers and grandmothers. Many of them also had Spanish or some European blood in them, but their preference was for the fashions of old. They mainly wore the mestiza dress and heelless, flat slippers with no stockings. These women were almost never invited to American social events. Among the Chamorros themselves, many of these women were considered elite and prestigious, but they occupied a different world than the Americans.

BAREFOOT BRIGADE. These women were of the poorer class who generally went around without any footwear at all. 

Today, everybody wears something on their feet. Usually.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023



Monsignor Zoilo LG Camacho was known for a few things.

Building round churches, for one. Like San Vicente in Barrigada and Santa Barbara in Dededo.

Farming. A good portion of almost every day was spent growing fruits and vegetables. Even I received a nice watermelon from him one time.

But what not a whole lot of people knew about him was his loathing of air travel. Monsignor avoided flying on a plane if he could. If it meant not attending some event off-island, so be it. He would not board the plane.

On July 14, 1960, Father (he was not Monsignor, yet) Zoilo was flying from Okinawa to Manila on a Northwest Orient plane. His intention was to proceed from Manila to India to visit his sister, a missionary nun, whom he had not seen in 22 years.

At 320AM in the dead of night, the pilot reported that one of his engines had "run away." This means the engine was getting extra fuel from an unintended source (often a fuel or oil leak), making the engine run faster. The lack of lubrication for a faster-running engine means the engine could catch fire, and if it doesn't catch fire it will most likely break anyway.

The pilot said he could do nothing about the runaway engine, so only time would tell. An hour after reporting the runaway engine, the engine caught on fire. Dawn had not come yet and it was still dark, but the pilot decided the best thing to do was land in the sea. He was near Polillo Island, around 85 miles from Manila.

The plane landed in the sea just as safely as it could. Everyone got wet, lost their footwear and luggage, but there were no serious injuries or loss of life except for one passenger. American amphibious planes based in the Philippines rescued the crew and passengers. The survivors had calmly gotten into four or five life rafts after deplaning. There was only one other passenger from Guam, a businessman named Alfred Minot.

(photo from the Macaraeg family)

Father Zoilo was taken to the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Manila for 24-hour observation, even though he had sustained no injuries. There he met a Guam resident, Mrs Bridget Macaraeg, wife of physician Dr Godofredo Macaraeg, who was in the Philippines for a visit. She reported that, besides losing his shoes, Father Zoilo had lost his eye glasses (as well as everything else he had on board).

Father Zoilo told Mrs Macaraeg that the pilot made all the necessary announcements and the passengers put on their life vests. Some people on the descending plane asked Fr Zoilo to hear their confessions, and he did. I wonder where?

The plane hit the water with just a strong jolt. Then it was a matter of life or death to exit the plane, now filling with smoke from the burning engine slowly going out from the ocean water. One female passenger, in a panic, clung to the plane but Father Zoilo managed to get her into a life raft.

The one passenger who died, an elderly woman, reportedly died of a heart attack. Her body was recovered.

The plane sank in less than ten minutes. The rescue operations took four hours to complete. Fortunately, the sun was up by then.

Despite the crash landing, Father Zoilo did proceed, by plane, to Hong Kong then India to meet his sister. Then back to Guam, all by plane.

But, after that, Monsignor Zoilo avoided flying on a plane as much as possible.

Thursday, October 12, 2023



Most Chamorro Catholics will start praying a rosary as a family, with friends and others joining, the day someone in the family passes away. It lasts for nine days or nights.

Why nine?

The devotion is Catholic and so the answer is to be found in the Catholic religion, and not in the Chamorro culture itself.


on the 10th day

When Jesus returned to Heaven, body and soul, on Ascension Thursday, He told the Apostles to return to the Upper Room and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would come and remain with the Church, with the Apostles and with every believer until Jesus comes back again at the end of the world. The Holy Spirit would be the friend, the advocate, the consoler, the enlightener, the guide of the Church till the end of the world.

So the Holy Spirit would be a great grace, and Jesus told the Apostles to pray for the coming of that great grace, that great favor, the Holy Spirit.

So from Thursday, when they started praying, till the following day Friday, is one day. Count nine days of prayer and that takes you to Saturday. And the great grace, the great favor, came the following day, Pentecost Sunday. The Holy Spirit came down upon all the Apostles, the Blessed Mother and others on the 10th day. So, the favor asked for 9 days came on the 10th.

A period of NINE DAYS is called a NOVENA. It comes from the Latin word for NINE, which is NOVEM. The month of NOVEMBER used to be the NINTH month on the Roman calendar.

We pray novenas to some saints. In these novenas, we ask that saint to pray to God for us to grant us a favor, a grace, which we hope to receive at the end of the novena, just as the Apostles prayed for nine days and after that received the great grace of the Holy Spirit.

The 1st night not there because it started before this could be put in the newspaper

When we pray for the dead, we are asking God to have mercy on them, shorten their time in Purgatory and to take them to heaven as soon as possible. That is the request, the great favor or grace wanted.

And, like the Apostles and Mary, we pray for NINE DAYS (or nights) asking for this great favor and grace. It is a NOVENA (series of nine) of ROSARIES for the deceased. Jesus told us that God hears our prayers, so we believe and so we do!

Tuesday, October 3, 2023



YT : Cris Paul Adventures

It's one of Guam's more famous seaside scenes. Locals love it just as much as tourists.

Everyone knows it as Inarajan Pool, but the area's Chamorro name is SALAKLULA'. There's a glota at the end, so be sure to voice it.

I'm sure people have been swimming in it for centuries, but it didn't get the island-wide attention it now has until the 1960s. Keep in mind that Guam didn't have a "beach" mentality in the old days as we do now. Certainly people went to the beach and swam, but not with as much importance as we do now. The sea was mainly a source of food, there wasn't a culture of "recreation" back then and "sports" meant cockfighting in the old days.

People say that Inarajan Pool is NATURAL, but that is not totally true. Man has left his fingerprints on it for a while now.


The first mention of Inarajan Pool in Guam's newspaper after the war was in 1966 when the Inarajan Social Improvement Club took it upon themselves to turn Salaklula' into a public swimming pool.

By 1966, the naturally-formed pool was BLASTED to open up more spaces and deepen the pool. Next, Ken Jones and the J&G people sent a crane down to DREDGE the blasted pool and remove the debris left over from the blasting. They would also cement the edges around the pool to smooth them out.

And, after that, the pool has had a life of its own; some highs and some lows. Besides the thousands who have had loads of fun swimming there, over the years it has taken a beating from typhoons, became a dumping ground for people's trash, polluted and almost ignored because of it (with government warnings to avoid it). As recent as 2015 a man had a heart attack while in the pool and drowned as he went under the water.

But, problems get solved; the government funds improvements and the pool remains a popular place. People swim, jump into the pool and BBQ in the picnic pavilions. The government has built ample parking, toilets and showers.


A few elderly people in Inalåhan tell me that SALAK was a children's mispronunciation of SÅDDOK which means "river." When kids told their parents they were going to swim in the pool, they'd say SALAK instead of SÅDDOK (even though a pool is not a river).

This differs from Påle' Román who says in his 1932 Chamorro dictionary that SALAK is connected with a word that means to line up two-by-two. What that has to do with the pool is beyond me. Maybe nothing.

They also say that LULA' means "to harvest suni (taro)." So their interpretation is that SALAKLULA' means "river for harvesting suni." Påle' Román does say that lula' means "to harvest suni." I'm not just 100% sure about the salak part.


Just to confuse us even more, SALAKLULA' has also been called SALUKLULA by others, and it makes a tempting alternative because there is a word SALUK (or SALOK).

SALUK means a "gorge, pass, gully, ravine, channel or canal."

One can see how the pool can be considered almost any one of those in a broad sense; basically a drop in the terrain surrounded by walls of earth.

As enticing as this alternative might be for others, I have a few reasons for hesitating.

1. As far as I know, no name for the Inarajan Pool area shows up on any map at all that I have seen (starting in the 1800s) until the 1968 Geological Survey map, where the name is SALAGLULA, as in earlier in this blog post.

2. SALUGLULA starts to appear in the Guam Daily News in the late 1960s. But so does SALAGLULA. So BOTH names run concurrently all through the media from the 1960s until the 2010s. Since the 2010s, the media uses SALAKLULA' a bit more. So it's hard to argue which name is correct when both names appear more or less in equal numbers in print.

The Year 2000

3. OLDER VILLAGERS, unrelated and not with me at the same time, told me quite clearly that the name is SALAKLULA'.


Parks & Rec is trying to promote the Chamorro name for Inarajan Pool, but they need to correct the sign.

SAULAGLULA means "to whip Lula." Saolak (to whip).

The name is SALAKLULA', not Saulaglula.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023



Humålom gi konfesionårio si Rita ya ha sangåne si Påle' na mañåkke gue' la'uya.
(Rita went into the confessional and told the priest that she had stolen a pot.)

Ayo ha' na momento, malingo maigo'-ña si Påle' ya ha tutuhon maigo'. Pot i tåya' håfa ilelek-ña si Påle', må'pos ha' si Rita ya humålom otro na palao'an gi konfesionårio.
(At that very moment, Father fell asleep. Because the priest wasn't saying anything, Rita left and another woman came into the confessional.)

Gigon dumimo i nuebo na palao'an, gotpe ha' makmåta si Påle' ya ilek-ña, "Ya håfa ta'lo pot i la'uya ni un såkke."
(As soon as the new woman knelt down, Father suddenly awoke and said, "And tell me more about the pot you stole.")

Manoppe i palao'an, "Tåya' na mañåkke yo' la'uya Påle'! Fana'an mamaigo' hao gi durånten i konfesion!"
(The woman replied, "I have never stolen a pot, Father! I think you're sleeping during confession!")

Ilek-ña si Påle', "Pues empas hit! Sa' guaha na mamaigo' hao gi durånten setmon-ho!"
(The priest said, "Then we're even! Because sometimes you sleep during my sermon!")

Tuesday, September 19, 2023



Sung by Alfred Saures


På’go i ha’ånen kumpleaños-ho
(Today is my birthday)
Siempre bai hu magof
(I surely will be happy)
Lao sen ti månnge’ nene
(But baby it's surely not pleasant)
Sa’ taigue hao gi fi’on-ho.
(because you're not by my side.)

I regålo malago’-ho
(The gift that I want)
Nai i chiku-mo yan hågo.
(which is you and your kiss.)
En lugåt hu ågang hao ya ilek-ho
(Instead I called you and said)
Biba Kumpleåños para guåho.
(Happy Birthday to myself.)

Humånao yo’ na maisa para i gima’
(I went home by myself)
Ya hu songgiye un danges ya hu desea.
(and I lit a candle and made a wish.)
Hu baba un dikkike’ na pakete
(I opened a small package)
Ni hu fahånen maisa yo’
(which I bought for myself)
Ya ilek-ho Biba Kumpleåños para guåho.
(and said Happy Birthday to myself.)


Wednesday, September 13, 2023



You won't find a street sign calling it PICK-A-NAIL ROAD.

You won't find a street sign calling it anything. No street sign survived the last typhoon.

And although officially it is GUERRERO ROAD (some say DRIVE), a lot of people still call it by its old name : PICK-A-NAIL ROAD (some say STREET).

How did this street get such an unusual name?


As you can see from the satellite map of Pick-A-Nail Road, it lies in the middle of heavily built-up, commercial Tamuning.

That particular area of Tamuning has always been the site of warehouses, industrial and mechanical supply stores, dredging companies, automobile services, roofing get the idea.

So the road back in the day was a bit messy, with nails, screws, name it.....strewn about.

Joe Murphy, a columnist for the Guam Daily News (and later the Pacific Daily News), wrote in 1968 that someone decided to name the street himself and put up a sign saying PICK UP A NAIL STREET.

In other words, the street was so cluttered you could go and pick up a nail there anytime. Or maybe, help clean up the street by picking up a nail!

Sometime in the 1990s the street was officially named GUERRERO ROAD (or DRIVE). But a lot of people still call it by its old name.

Modern maps even put both names down, the old and the new.


For those who may not be familiar at all with Pick-A-Nail Road, just remember that it lies in between AK and Denny's on Marine Corps Drive.

So, is Pick-A-Nail Road still so messy? Nope. I guess the Guerrero name has some magic to it, because, as the recent pic shows, the street isn't more messy than your typical Guam street in a commercial area. The street is so clean now, you can't even pick up a nail there anymore.


Wednesday, September 6, 2023




I was having breakfast one morning with two Santa Rita ladies at a neighborhood restaurant in Hågat, at the intersection of Route 1 and the road that leads up to Santa Rita.

One of the ladies said to me in Chamorro, "Påle', have you ever noticed that there are fewer families in Santa Rita with Filipino fathers compared to Hågat?"

I knew that just up the road from where we were was the old Camp Roxas, built right after the war when hundreds of Filipino workers, a great many from Iloilo, were recruited to work for the many military projects that built up Guam into an important Naval base. Many of these workers stayed on working for the military, and quite a number married Chamorro wives. 

I also knew that Hågat had a good number of families with Filipino dads. Some of their children were my classmates in high school, or whom I knew in other ways. One of my Hågat classmates whose dad was Filipino became well-known as the bet collector (the Cristo) at the local gayera (cockfight, sabong in Filipino).

The lady went on to explain, "But in Santa Rita, you can count on just a few fingers the Filipinos who married Santa Rita girls. Langas, Calip, Claveria, Grecia.....and Viernes but he came by way of Hawaii."

She looked over her left shoulder which faced the window, and said, "You know where Inn on the Bay is? In the old days there was a store there with a pool table. The store was called Para Luchan and was owned by the Bordallos. The Camp Roxas men would go there and hang out in that area, and the Hågat girls would also go there and socialize with the Camp Roxas workers. But the Santa Rita girls couldn't go there. Our parents were so strict. That's why less Santa Rita girls married Filipino men. It was harder for them to meet. That's why there are fewer Santa Rita women married to Camp Roxas men."

Tuesday, August 29, 2023




Atkins Kroll, most known as a car dealership, used to be in Aniguåk up until October 1969 when the company moved to its present building in Tamuning which it built that year.

The company found its Aniguåk location, which it took up after the war, to be too confined and the building too outdated for the growing business it was enjoying in the late 1960s. Rather than improve the Aniguåk location, the company decided to start from scratch at a new location in Tamuning.

While AK has been Guam's Toyota dealer for many decades now, it was selling General Motors cars in the 1950s and 60s on Guam.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023




The first recorded Indian in the Marianas was a Christian named Lorenzo, who was shipwrecked off the southern coast of Saipan in 1638 aboard the Spanish galleon Concepción. He stayed in the Marianas after surviving the shipwreck. When Sanvitores and his missionaries came in 1668, Lorenzo was there to render assistance, being an interpreter for the missionaries (having lived thirty years already with the Chamorros).

Sanvitores sent Lorenzo to help with the Christianization of Anatahan, where he was killed by Chamorro opponents to the mission in 1669, the FIRST of the Christian martyrs of the Marianas.

A very early missionary account of Sanvitores (written by Jesuit Francisco García in 1683, just eleven years after Sanvitores' death) clearly states that Lorenzo was a Malabar; it wasn't his "last name," which many people all over the world still did not use, yet. Other early books (e.g. Morales) are also clear that Lorenzo was from the Malabar Coast, which is in India.

The Malabars were from the southwest coast of India (now Kerala) who had become Christians through the preaching of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who is said to have reached India in the year 52AD. They are thus also called "Saint Thomas Christians." From those ancient times till now, the Malabar or Saint Thomas Christians have remained Christians. The blood of one of them wetted the soil of Anatahan in 1669.


Three hundred and thirty-three years later, yet another Malabar Christian came to the Marianas; specifically Guam.

His name was Father Thomas Vengayil, from the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Palai (a city in Kerala, India).

Father Vengayil heard about Guam through a classmate in London, where he was studying economics, who had lived on Guam, by the name of John Gillam. Father wrote to Bishop Flores offering his services, and Flores accepted, bringing Father to Guam in 1971. He served in various places such as Niño Perdido parish in Asan, Santa Teresita parish in Mangilao and Santa Barbara parish in Dededo where he was pastor in both places for a time.


Due to his interest in economics and social issues, Father Vengayil also headed the Campaign for Human Development on Guam, a social advocacy agency of the Catholic Church.

He left Guam to serve in other dioceses sometime in the 1980s.


Since Fr Vengayil left Guam, there have been a few Indian Capuchin priests who have helped on Guam for very brief periods, usually one to three months.

But in 2021, two Indian Capuchins came to Guam to assist for a longer time.

Fathers Claud Mascarenhas and Silvano Fernandes come from Karnataka in India, a different state from that of Kerala, where Father Vengayil and Lorenzo Malabar came from.

Nonetheless, Fathers Claud and Silvano are the latest Catholic Indian priests to come to Guam, specifically to minister at Saint Fidelis Friary.



But the story gets better.

Not only have Indian Catholics ministered on Guam; in the 1950s and 60s, a Chamorro Sister ministered in India!

Maria LG Camacho (familian Zoilo) wanted to be a Catholic Sister when she was a young woman. But there were no Sisters on Guam before the war. So she went to Manila to join the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. She was given the religious name of Sister Eanswida.

She was sent to college and then to Stella Maris College in Chennai, India (Madras in the old days). There she founded the Social Welfare Center and did so much to develop the Social Welfare program of the school that, to this day, there is an Endowment Fund named in her honor.

Feeling her work as a missionary was over, and wanting to return to Guam to be with her aging parents, Sister Eanswida changed Orders and became a Mercy Sister upon returning to Guam. She also got a new religious name, Sister Thecla.

She died on Guam in January of 2017 at the age of 99 years. Had she lived till September, she would have reached her 100th birthday.