Tuesday, April 30, 2024



He knew Guam well

The Marianas were not his only "playground," but he lived, worked and romped around the Marianas for a good portion of his sea-faring life.

William Mann was born in 1816 in Kirby-le-Soken, Essex, England. He was one of eleven children and did not get along with his father. He left his parental home to make a life for himself at age fourteen. He took to the sea, and traveled to the Americas.

In 1834, at age 18, he joined a whaling ship, the Falcon, and that was his first arrival to the Marianas, where for two years the ship went in search of whales in our part of the Pacific.


While sailing around the northwestern Pacific, the Falcon got short on wood and water and happened to meet up with another ship whose captain recommended the Falcon follow them to Pohnpei, then called Ascension Island, where the paramount chief of the island was friendly to this captain.

In two days at Pohnpei, the Falcon got all they needed but, in departing the island, the ship was forced into a rock by the wind, tearing a hole in her. The crew managed to get hundreds of sperm whale oil onshore and the chief agreed to take care of them till they were able to leave again. But the Pohnpeians got so interested in the iron hoops that wrapped around the oil barrels that the barrels broke open, spilling and wasting the oil, when the islanders took off the hoops to use for their own desires.

The captain of the Falcon argued with the chief and made the fatal mistake of slapping him. Not long after, the Pohnpeians attacked the crew of the Falcon, killing many. Mann was among those who survived the attack. An English ship came to Pohnpei later seeking to avenge the massacre of the crew, but Mann had no idea the ship was coming and was in another island when it arrived and left, leaving Mann in the islands. For two more years Mann lived in Pohnpei just like a native, with minimal clothing, but always fearing the islanders.

He had good reason to fear them, because he was attacked one day by two of them. He survived, but lost some fingers when he raised his hand to protect his head from a cut, and his mouth was also severely damaged. Two of his fellow crew members bandaged him best they could and protected themselves with their guns. Finally, an American whaling ship came around and took them to Guam.


Guam's Doctor in the mid 1800s

Paul William George was an Anglo-Irishman who left the seaman's life to settle on Guam for good. He had some medical knowledge and was something of the island doctor on Guam in the mid 1800s. This was the founder of the George family here on Guam.  George treated William Mann's injuries "very skillfully," said a news report. But in the photo of Mann above, you can see that the injury to his mouth was never fully corrected.

Mann continued to live in the Marianas for between thirty and forty years! But he used Guam as a base from which he traveled all over the Pacific, buying and selling. He eventually got tattooed all over his body.



Stories had been going around for many years that treasure had been buried on one of the northern islands in the Marianas. No one knew for sure which island, but Pagan was always a favorite. For two years Mann and some allies dug around Pagan, to no avail.


Mann eventually became captain of his own small schooner, which had been stolen from the British, and he got into the business of carrying cargo up and down the Marianas and other islands in the area.

One day, while anchored at an island, nine Spanish prisoners who had escaped from Guam boarded his schooner and took over. Mann had a small crew of three or four Chamorro so they were outnumbered. The escaped prisoners forced him to sail to Yap and there he met the American Crayton Philo Holcomb, "married" to the Chamorro Bartola Garrido. A German ship came by and directed Mann to Hong Kong where, unfortunately, the British discovered that Mann's schooner had been stolen.



Deprived of the schooner, Mann barely eked a living for eleven years in Hong Kong. An English chaplain to seamen in Hong Kong took an interest in Mann's plight and managed to send Mann back to his native town in England, which he had abandoned more than fifty years earlier. There back in England he died penniless, surviving on the charity of kind people.

One has to admire the man. He frequently lived on the edge of destruction, but lived into his 80s. He lived in some of the most remote places on earth for the longest time, and died right back where he started at the place he was born.

A bachelor living among us in the Marianas all those years....who's to say he never fathered Chamorro children without marrying, whose descendants are still with us today?

Tuesday, April 23, 2024




This is one of the better-known Chamorro hymns to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Alex Unpingco plays it in this video with parishioners joining in singing it.


I flechan Yu’us ha tokcha’ hit
(The arrow of God has pierced us)

I korason-ña ha guaiya hit.
(His heart has loved us.)


1. Håfa Jesus-ho i malago’-mo
(What, my Jesus, do you want)

Gi dinilok-mo nu i taotao?
(from your piercing of the people?) (1)

Yanggen i sensen pat i anti-ña
(If it be the flesh or its soul)

Yu’us Lahi-ña chuli’e’ hao.
(God the Son, take it for yourself.)


2. Guåho magåhet lånsan Longinos 
(I am truly the lance of Longinus) (2)

Kalåktos, inos flumecha hao.
(Sharp, easily fitting, which pierced you.) (3) (4)

Tåya’ dumulok i korason-mo
(No one pierced your heart)

Na i patgon-mo ni guåho ha’.
(Except your child which I am.)


3. Sahguan guinaiya, figan na hotno
(Vessel of love, fiery furnace)

I korason-mo, mames Jesus.
(Is your heart, sweet Jesus.)

Tåya’ taiguennao na ginefli’e’
(There is no love like that)

Ha na’ ma li’e’ na si Yu’us.
(made visible except for God's.)


(1) I interpret this to mean that our Lord pierces our hearts with His arrow of love in order to open our hearts to accept and be changed by His love. Love is repaid with love, as the Spanish saying goes. So we offer Jesus our bodies (sensen, which means flesh) and the soul (ånte) which gives life to the body.

(2) Longinus (in Spanish Longinos) was, according to tradition, the Roman soldier who pieced Jesus' side with a lance (spear), opening the Lord's heart from which flowed blood and water, representing the Eucharist and Baptism. Longinus left the Roman army and became a Christian and later died for the faith and is considered a saint.

Mary and Saint John at Calvary

(3) Flumecha means "to be arrowed." Although "arrowed" does exist in English, it isn't common.

(4) Inos means something that is able to slide into something else. Thus it can also mean slender. But a fat snake can still fit into a narrow crack, so even it is inos. When a hand can fit snuggly into a glove, or when a key can easily be inserted into a lock, those are all inos.


Many of our Chamorro hymns are based on Spanish hymns. I Flechan Yu'us is taken from the Spanish hymn "Con Flecha Ardiente," meaning "With a Fiery Arrow."

The Spanish version says :

Con flecha ardiente, dueño y Señor
(With a fiery arrow, master and Lord)
abre en mi pecho llaga de amor.
(open in my chest a wound of love.)

A lot of the Spanish original says the same thing, or contains the same images, as the Chamorro version. I won't give all of the Spanish lyrics, but here's some more which shows that the Chamorro version is based off the Spanish :

Tu amante pecho, no fue el soldado
fue mi pecado quien lo rasgó.

Your loving breast, it wasn't the soldier,
it was my sin which ripped it open.

The "soldier" mentioned is Longinus, as is named in the Chamorro version.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024



It was the most modern movie theater on Guam in its day.

The Cinema Theater opened on April 12, 1967 showing The Sound of Music, a huge hit musical that year. One of the last Hollywood blockbusters shown at the Cinema was the movie Titanic in 1997. That movie still ranks the third highest money-making film in cinematic history.

Besides having the latest equipment to show movies and a cinemascope screen 51 feet wide and 23 feet high, the entire theater was carpeted, air conditioned and filled with semi reclining, cushioned seats.

In the lobby, all the usual snacks could be bought at the concession stand.

There was enough space in the paved parking lot for 200 cars.

It cost over $500,000 to build. Today, that's around 4.7 million dollars.

Putting their money into the project as part-owners were Peter Sgro and Pedro Ada, Jr, among others.

Peter Sgro (far left) and Pedro Ada, Jr (2nd from right)
and others involved in the new theater


When Guam had far less venues that were fully air conditioned, the Cinema Theater made a great location for events in general. In 1971, the 125-plus graduates of the University of Guam received their diplomas at the Cinema Theater. The reception was right across the street at Hong Kong Gardens.

The theater was also used at times for fundraising events.

In time, the theater changed ownership over the years and closed for good sometime in the early 2000s.

Newer and larger movie theaters had come around and the movie-watching crowd went their way. Even halving the theater into two separate sections, A and B, showing different movies, was not enough to drum up business.


The building still stands, now a Vietnamese restaurant after being used in a number of ways after the movie house shut down. And it has this one remaining historical significance. World-renowned violinist Isaac Stern played in concert at the Cinema on November 15, 1967 at the invitation of the Insular Arts Council.



Wednesday, April 10, 2024




(It is better to be invaded by a thief than by fire or the ocean.)

A thief usually steals just some things; no thief can carry away everything. But fire and water can destroy everything.

Siña pine'luye hao ni lina'lå'-mo ni sakke. Lao i guafe ha lalachai todo, yan i tasi todo ha chuchule' huyong.

A thief can let you keep your life. But fire consumes everything and the ocean carries out everything.

Remember in life - bad as it might be, it can always be worse.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024



The Indalecio clan in the Marianas probably goes back to a single individual with this last name who came to Guam sometime in the early 1800s from who knows where. 

There are no Indalecios in the 1727 nor 1758 Guam Censuses, so the first Indalecio came later. The name is Spanish, so he could have come from Spain, Latin America or the Philippines. 

But the Portuguese also have the name Indalecio, and a few Portuguese seamen did come to Guam, so we have to allow for that possibility.


In the 1897 Census of Guam, there are only EIGHT individuals with the last name Indalecio, and the exact relationship of about half of them, one to the other, is not entirely clear.

One Pedro Indalecio is mentioned in a document from 1856, and his signature (seen above) is even included. He could be the ancestor of these eight Indalecios in the 1897 Census (one of whom is named Pedro, probably after this older Pedro) but I have no evidence showing how he might be their ancestor.

The fact that this older Pedro Indalecio could, first of all, sign his name and with a firm hand and even with the flourish at the end shows that he was educated more than the average person on Guam at the time.

Of the eight Indalecios in the 1897 Census, there are only three men, none of them with children of their own who would carry the Indalecio name. One is older and married but without children, and the other two men are younger and still bachelors.

It is mainly the women who will have children, albeit out of wedlock, who will produce many Indalecio children, these illegitimate children keeping their single mothers' last name. We can list them as follows :


Clara was born around 1863. Apparently she never married but was the mother of

Pedro Indalecio, born around 1872. Pedro married Rufina Díaz Camacho, the daughter of Juan Camacho and María Díaz. Pedro and Rufina had more than half a dozen children, one of whom was Emeteria, who married Donald Kidd, and was the grandmother of Father Richard Kidd.

Another child, Juan, permanently moved to California in 1929; one of the early immigrants to the US mainland. He died in Alameda in 1986. He was married for a time, but late in life and never had children.

Pedro and Rufina's son José married María Mesa Camacho, the daughter of Francisco Camacho and María Mesa, and they had children, keeping the Indalecio name moving to the next generation.

Pedro had a sister María Indalecio, daughter of Clara. María had some children out of wedlock but it seems this line died out.

There was one more sister, Ana Indalecio. Ana had many more children than Pedro or María, all out of wedlock. 

Ana's son Juan Indalecio married Ignacia Rojas Mafnas, the daughter of Antonio Mafnas and Lucía Rojas, and this line continued the Indalecio name.

Another son of Ana, Vicente Indalecio, married Rosario Rojas, the daughter of Ana Santos Rojas, and they had children, too, who in turn had their own children.

Interestingly, one of Ana's grandchildren went by the family nickname "Clara," who was his great-grandmother.


All we know for now is that there was another Indalecio woman named María de la Rosa Indalecio who was the mother of a daughter out of wedlock named ROSA INDALECIO.

Rosa in turn had many children out of wedlock, all of them daughters except for one son. There are many Indalecio grandchildren from Rosa's offspring.


Arnold Indalecio Palacios
a descendant of Mariano Reyes Indalecio of Guam

In 1897 there was a Mariano Indalecio living with the other Indalecios (Maria, who married de León, Clara and her children). He seems to have moved to Saipan at the turn of the century.

According to Saipan records, his full name was Mariano Reyes Indalecio, the son of Antonio Indalecio and Ana Reyes. We do not know yet what relationship Antonio had with the other Indalecios on Guam. He does not appear in any records at the time so he was presumably dead by 1897.

In Saipan, Mariano married María Muña Palacios, the daughter of José Palacios and Ana Muña. They had children who continued the Indalecio name in Saipan. The current Governor of the CNMI is a descendant.


Many others have Indalecio blood in them, but thanks to their mothers, so they carry their father's last names.

Some of these families who married Indalecio wives a long time ago were de León, Pérez, Salas and, more recently, Quichocho.

But if you're last name is Indalecio, you're either from CLARA's line or MARÍA's line, or MARIANO's line if you're an Indalecio from Saipan.


Even in Spanish times, Pedro Indalecio went by the nickname RÅNA, which is Spanish for frog (sapo is Spanish for toad). Other Indalecios also went by that same nickname.

The interesting thing is that there were no frogs or toads on Guam at that time. They came later. So how did Chamorros know the Spanish word for a critter that did not exist on Guam at the time? Of course it's possible they heard of it anyway, when stories are told or just from simple conversations.

Still, it's interesting (and a mystery) why someone should get that nickname.

So, some Indalecios go by Råna and sometimes by Clara. And the Quichochos who are also Indalecios often go by Råna.