Tuesday, February 6, 2024



The PÅPA' SÅTGE is the open area under a raised house.

The phrase literally means "UNDER THE FLOOR." Many houses in the Marianas were raised on HALIGI (posts or stilts).

The idea was to let the air circulate around the house and keep it cool. Raising the house kept out flood waters and unwanted animals. The space underneath could be used for storage.

But the påpa' såtge did pose some problems.

For one, somebody could hide themselves in the påpa' såtge. This became a worse problem when the person could find a crack in the floor above, allowing him to peek and invade the family's privacy.

This is what happened one day in 1926 when Alfonso crept under the house of Lorenzo Aguero Sablan. More concerning was that Lorenzo had a teenage daughter living in the house, whose floor had cracks that could be peeked through.

As there were witnesses, and since Alfonso had been found guilty of similar offenses before, he thought it best to plead guilty when he was arrested and suffer the penalty.

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