Showing posts from March, 2005


Hanao yan fitma este na petition fan. Achokka' sina taibali, sina gaibali lokkue put i balin "symbolic." Yanggen manmalago hit umunu na taotao ta'lo, debi di ta tutuhun humahasso taiguihi.

in progress ta'lo

Chule' tatte todu i piniti
Piniti ni' un tanom yan un dingu
Un dingu yu' ya ti un na'triste
Hafa pa'go na bai hu cho'gue?

Este piniti i isao-mu
Ya Hagu ha' bai hu sukne
Hagu ha' sina na'homlo yan na'puti

Chule' tatte i triniste
Yan i lagu' ni' i fina'tinas-mu
Hu nanagga ha' para i respuesta
Sa' hafa un na'taiguini yu'?

Este paladan iyo-mu
Yan i lagu i tinatse
Esta un puni na un siente taiguini nene

The colonial difference

I submitted this last week to a discussion group on the film The Insular Empire which is about Guam and the Marianas as being colonial possessions of the United States. Most of the discussion I don't participate in because its usually about footage or other documentaries which I haven't really heard of or know much about. Last week though, one of the producers of the film, asked us to comment on the "colonial difference." So here was my response:

Just thought I'd share some thoughts on the colonial difference...

Most people's political interventions are built upon that principle of rectification of a hypocrisy or an error. Even when I speak in the states, I often use that stance, telling people, that "although I don't believe in the promises of American democracy and freedom, if you do, know that your country isn't living up to it, here, in Guam or anywhere else."

But of course what this position disavows is that hypocrisy or inconsistency is i…

crappy poem

I wrote this while struggling not to sleep during a conference in Chicago. I haven't been writing much poetry in English lately so its kinda stupid, fitting in perfectly with my general depressed, brooding mood.

She showed me her smile
And I smiled back through a laugh
She gave me a lotus
And I gave her back my luck
She handed me a yellow flower
And I hander her back a white one
She offered me the desert
And I offered her back the ocean
She shook her head and the sands in her hands flew around becoming the purple and yellow flowers that follow her along the freeway.
It was then that I knew it was true
Love is
The giving of something that one does not have, to someone who doesn't want it.


Got this today from Sanctuary. Para en tingo':

Hafa adai Friends and Colleagues:

The first regional conference on youth services and banquet is coming up this weekend. I would like to personally invite you to attend both the banquet and the conference. This is the first year in well over a decade that we have been able to put together a forum through this collaborative effort.

The keynoter for the banquet on Sunday, April 3rd (6pm at the Hyatt) is Congresswoman Bordallo. Also, we will be recognizing the top 10 supporters of youth programs in the region. Many recipients will be businesses who have supported Sanctuary, Guam Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Juvenile Drug Court, Department of Youth Affairs, and many others over the last year.

On Monday, April 4th from 8-5pm also at the Hyatt will be the conference. The keynoter will be Vice Speaker and APIL President Joanne Brown. The film "Juvies" will be debut on Guam - it will be a first and is a highly talked a…


Be on the look out for the PDN's polls. Their biases and agendas in Guam can really be seen in the way they structure their polls. Their impact can be seen in the ways you can pretty much predict how the responses will turn out.

I saw a poll the other day which wanted to know whether or not GovGuam officials should take ethics training. I said more than 80% would say yes, I was actually kinda off, when I voted 87% had said yes.

Sovereignty Matters

I'll be presenting a paper at a conference at Columbia University in New York next month. I was really excited about it since ever since, but my excitement tripled today when I got an email from Frances Negron-Muntaner, the organizer. She pasted the following link below which is the poster for the conference. My excitement stems from the fact that my name is on the poster! BIBA!

Yes, for those paying attention or not easily excited, everyone who is presenting has their name on the poster, but nonetheless, my name has never been on any conference posters before! So this is a big moment for me.

To increase the bigness of this moment, the other people who will be presenting on Guam stuff are two of the biggest names in Chamorro scholarship and studies, my uncle and former Congressman Robert Underwood and Vince Diaz of U Mich. (Tina Taitano Delisle is also presenting, but she's not one of the biggest names yet, just like me).

Anyways, check out the poster, its awesome! Sigi' ha m…

Chamorro conservative alert!

I received this email a few days ago from a concerned Chamorro conservative, who worries that I have become under the influence of Liberals out there. It seemed so out of character then the usual hate mail I receive, which focuses on how pathological and beyond help me and those like me are. This one actually seemed concern for me in that I am ignorant and wrong.

Enjoy as best as you can when you read something as insane as this:

Michael, you have the correct idea of involving the Chamorro people in politics to become a “voice of the island”. I, myself am working on getting the Chamorro people to register to vote and get involved.
However, Michael, it is my believe that as a former resident of Los Angeles, you are influenced by the Liberals out there.
The fact of the matter is that Chamorro people resemble the Republican Party more as they are devout Roman Catholics (i.e. pro-lifers, anti gay lifestyle, etc. etc.).
If you would do your research you will find that the Democrats have been l…

Bai hu taigue

I won't be posting for a few days, as I'll be in Chicago at the National Association of Ethnic Studies Conference, and I'm not sure if I'll survive the weather there or have internet access.

Wisdom fan

Papakyo' i hinasso-ku pa'go ni' triniste put taya' guinaiya-ku. Sigi ha hu aligao pas, lao mappot masodda'.

Nai hu na'gasgasgas i kuato-ku, hu sodda' un kosas, ni' sina umayuda yu'.

Estaba hu go'te este gi todu hinanao-hu, lao mumalingu hagas.

Its called a wisdom fan, and on each rib, I wrote a piece of wisdom.

I just thought I'd write them here. If you notice the languages and the content, you'll definitely see the wisdom of the fan, however you may want to qualify your insights with words like "insane" "psychotic" or "schizophrenic."

1. Ishq samundar mei pahar hota hai
2. Usuni chumagi pumuno' dinagi
3. Because her boyfriend was Japanese
4. Muna'ya-mu i tagalo sa' ya-na manrigalu
5. Any nationalism is just irrationalism
6. Suruhanu means family
7. No Rest for the Awake
8. Para i manma'pos i manpa'go yan i manmamailla
9. Joi hai sama, kal ho na ho
10. Pikas in the clouds with Eevee
11. Khabi Kushi Khab…

betsu (in progress)

Achokka' sigi ha' tinemba yu' (put tinaiga'chong-hu) hu chagi tumuge' un betsun romantiko. Taya' hu chagi mangge' betsu taiguini, pues mamahlao yu' didide' na bai hu na'huyong. Ai adai, fanmagofli'e fan, sa' massa' yu'. Otro fino'-ta, estague gui'...

Esta apmam desde un dingu yu'
Ya un gutos i guinaiya-ta
Un tamtam yu' ya un chagi guinaiya-ku
Lao ti ya-mu, ya pa'go un yute' un foyung yu'

Lao hu hasso ha' nai un toktok yu'
Ya hu pacha i pecho'-mu
Umachiku hit nai u'uchan
Ya hu hoflak i ti'u na lago-mu

Kao un hahasso nai un go'te yu'?
Ya un nangoni yu' na Guahu un guaiya?
Hu gof chiku hao, ya umapalo'po
Umalilek hit gi kinekuyong i tasi

Can Democracy Survive Bush's Embrace?


Can Democracy Survive Bush's Embrace? by Naomi Klein

It started off as a joke and has now become vaguely serious: the idea that Bono might be named president of the World Bank. US Treasury Secretary John Snow recently described Bono as "a rock star of the development world," adding, "He's somebody I admire."

The job will almost certainly go to a US citizen, one with even weaker credentials, like Paul Wolfowitz. But there is a reason Bono is so admired in the Administration that the White House might just choose an Irishman. As frontman of one of the world's most enduring rock brands, Bono talks to Republicans as they like to see themselves: not as administrators of a diminishing public sphere they despise but as CEOs of a powerful private corporation called America. "Brand USA is in's a problem for business," Bono warned at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The solution is "to re-describe ours…


Ai adai, tumaya' ta'lo i salape-ku!

Hafa na bai hu cho'gue? Ai adai, mangge' i manriku na Chamorros, ni' pau suppote i artists yan intellectuals siha? Ayugue hafa taigue, yan gof impottante ayu.

Yanggen i mangefsaga' ti ma supoppote i artists siha, yan i taotao ni' fumati'ti'na i kosas i kottura-ta (maseha pepenta, titige', intellectual, a'activist) pues siempre sigi ha' invisible hit na taotao. Yanggen ti esta ma li'e hit i taotao sanhiyong, sigi ha' taiguihi siempre esta ki ta tulaika, ya ta na'li'e siha gi as Hita!

Chamorro International Market

Please try to support the Chamorro International Market here in San Diego. Tell all your friends and relatives to check it out. Si Yu'us Ma'ase.

Dear family and friends,I am writing in an effort to support our chelus, the cepeda family who opened a Chamorro International Market on Highland and Plaza Blvd. The store has much to offer us local folks. Food and other items that are we are particularly fond of and are especially hard to get. The price is very reasonable and more importantly very accessible to us. We don't have to wait for care packages from back home although we would still like to receive them.These are just some of the items available:Lemon powder, Salon Pilot, biscucho, chorizos pakpak (hot and regular); achote, diago, king car tea, asparagus biscuit, coconut milk, and.. many many more. In addition, he is very open to suggestions on what you would like to have made available at the store. (pls forgive the spelling)

Folks, I have been to the store and found it …


The time has finally, almost come.

For more than a year, me and a friend of mine (Josette Quinata) (I call her friend, cause I know she will be, even though up til this point we haven't met in person yet, only across phone lines and through emails) have been talking about doing a CD recording of a discussion about what young Chamorros can do to help their island and their culture.

Even while I've been busy with finishing up my school quarter, what to talk about, how to articulate my ideas has been heavy in my mind.

What can Chamorros do? Especially young Chamorros, what can we do?

For weeks, a thread burned on FANAHGUE'YAN (the link is to the right of this post) about whether or not Chamorro culture can be saved. While for most who posted in that topic, this issue is easy enough resolved. Of course it can!

I wish, desperately that it was that easy, as just saying something like that, and then all your actions and interventions will be protected by your passion and love.

But I kn…


Here you have a simple joke, but one which when interrogated in inventive, creative and sometimes stupid ways, answers alot of questions about human life. The first thing that came to my mind when reading this was love, and the relationship of loving between human beings.

Think about the gap in the joke, and then think about the gaps in our lives, in particular between the self, and those around us. Traversing these gaps are what make us us and life life. It is in our attempts to cross over, to reach out to those around us that we create the memories which we wish so intensely to both hold onto and never let go of.

Before I get too deep into love gaps, here's the joke...

"There were two guys in a lunatic asylum and one night they decide that they don’t like living in an asylum anymore. They decide that they’re going to escape. They get up to the roof, and there just across a narrow gap, they can see the rooftops of the surrounding town, stretching away into the moonlight, stretc…

Impossible Cultures

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been out of town for the past few days at a conference up in Berkeley. The conference was fairly interesting, discussing decolonization of land, culture, the mind and the academy.

Here's the abstract, for the paper submitted:

Cultures entangled in colonialism are faced with the impossibility of their own existences. Though most often articulated as the control of land and resources, a central part of colonization is the creation and imposition of identities and hegemonies upon the colonized. Therefore the most successful form of colonization means more than just altering the terrain of the colonies, but rather altering of the terrain of the colonized, and changing the terms/limits through which discourse can be made and knowledge or culture be legitimized or de-legitimized. The creation and common acceptance of these hegemonies is what makes the would be performative “postcolonial” in general a difficulty, but in cases such as Guam, i…

World War II: Is it Over?

Hu fakcha'i este gi nigap-na nai sumurf yu' i internet. Este na litratu ginnen un fina'nu'i-hu gi i ma'pos na sakkan. I Guam Humanities Council spumonser, ya ma na'dana kuatro na "intellectuals" para u pagat (kuentos) put taimanu sigi ha' maninafekta i Chamorro ni' i gera.

Pues Si Tony Palomo annok gi i litratu. Gof malate' gui' na taotao, bula'la'la' i tinigo'-na put i estorian i isla-ta. Si William Jennings Bunn guihi lokkue. Haole gui', ya achokka' guaha na tumungo' gui' put i estorian i isla-ta, ti ya-hu i pission-na hinallom. Pues Si Patricia Taimanglo, ni' Chamorro Psychologist. Bula na ha research put i "trauma" ni' i Chamorro ma susedi gi i gera, yan taimanu umirensia-ta ayu na piniti, para hami ni' manhobenna. I uttimo, Guahu.

Here's some photos from a panel discussion I participated in last year on Guam. We were discussing World War II and its impacts on Chamorros today.

Work in progress

Just a poem I'm still working on. The more I work on it though, the more depressing it gets. Who would have ever thought I'd use lamas, or rotten in a love poem? Ai yu'us!

Lina’la’ esta mafnas
Taiguini sa’ taigue hao
Taya’ esta giya Guahu
Esta annok I mape’

Guahu I hanom I tahtaotao-mu
Taimanu na sina un fa’sahnge
Linachi patten tinaotao
Ti maimaigo Si Yu’us, lao debi di Guahu
Esta hu admite todu

Taya’ pa’go para bai hu tangga’
Sa’ esta lamas todu I guinife

Puerto Rico and Guam

Found this the either day while surfing the net. Very interesting stuff.

San Juan Star
Revising History Won’t Resolve Colonial Status Problem
By: Herbert W. Brown III*
November 15, 2002Copyright © 2002 San Juan Star. All rights reserved.

In a Viewpoint commentary of November 8, Ron Walker argues that Puerto Rico, "…is generally agreed to no longer be a colony" because it was removed from the U.N. list of colonies in 1953 after the local constitution was adopted. The only thing "generally agreed" is that its action on Puerto Rico in 1953 was not the finest hour for the U.N. in upholding self-determination for Puerto Rico.

The historical record reflects that on September 27, 1953, the U.N. General Assembly yielded to U.S. arguments that Puerto Rico should be removed from the list of colonies, and to that effect approved Resolution 748 (VIII) by a vote of 22 to 18, with 19 abstentions. This highly ambiguous measure adopted under pressure from the U.S. (with token s…

Freeways are not indigenous to Guam

I was going through my files on my laptop and I came across this abstract I wrote for a conferenec a couple years back.

Freeways are not Indigenous to Guam: Replacing Complacency with Agency in Chamorro History.

The history of Guam has been for nearly five centuries, the history of those that made landfall there. Unfortunately the indigenous inhabitants, the Chamorros make only token appearances in these histories, even up to recent historiographies. More tragic then their decimation from Spanish conquest seems to be their historical decimation at the hands of explorers, anthropologists and would be-historians.

While efforts are currently being made to remedy the lack of Chamorro agency and participation in Guam’s history (such as the historical and cultural Hale-ta Series, created by the Government of Guam in order to better educate the island about political status issues), the same mistakes may be made. The single greatest gaping hole lies in the lack of the Chamorro people as agents …