Showing posts from May, 2011

The Scene of the Trauma

I will be teaching Guam History this summer at the University of Guam and so I'm trying to put together a new syllabus for the condensed schedule of a summer intersession class. As I'm trying to figure out what lectures to keep and what should go, an interesting sort of Guam history question came to mind. Which of the periods of Guam History over the past 500 years would I consider to be the most traumatic for students to learn about? In my World History 2 class (1500 CE - the present), I teach it in such a way that it is meant to be a crash course in horrible things that the First World did to the rest of the world, focusing on colonialism and how people have attempted to liberate themselves from its grasp. In my Guam History class I take a similar approach, spilling out on the floor each week a laundry list of horrible things that have happened to Chamorros and to Guam.

But amidst all the truth telling, which is the period or the story, the moment in Guam History that is th…

Vegas Hiatus

I'm in Las Vegas this week celebrating the graduation of my brother Jack.

I've been writing quite a bit, but haven't found time to post anything online.

I've been in the states for almost two weeks, but in a few days I'll be back on Guam.

I'll try to post something before I board my plane next week, just because I feel lazy for leaving my blog so dormant, even though so many things have been happening on Guam and in my life.

I have been keeping up my posts at my Tumblr though (I Pilan Yanggen Sumahi...), so you can check out there if by some weird chance you are starved of my content.

Tata yan Lahi

Esta mas ki un simana desde hu li'e' i lahi-hu.

Sumasaga' ham yan i che'lu-na na'ya giya Kalifotna, ya gagaige ha' gui' giya Guahan.

Antes di humanao yu', pine'lo-ku na ti para bai hu mahalangi gui'. Mas mafnot ham yan i che'lu-na, Si Sumahi. Ya achokka' hu guaiya i lahi-hu, kalang ti gos mafnot ham. Hunggan bunito na paton gui', sen kinute lokkue', lao put i mampos pumapatgon gui', tataya' ha' substansia. Kalang un mampos kinute na taya' gui'. Ti ya-hu umoppan este na hinasso, lao este i minagahet. Esta ki sina kumuentos gui', ti siguru yu' hayi gui'. Ti siguru na ha hulat kumomprende yu'. Annai hu atalaki i mata-na, kao ha tungo' hayi yu'?

Siempre u matulaika este, lao para pa'go, i siente-ku na kalang hu nanangga i lahi-hu, ya ti apmam siempre u fatto.

Lao mahalang yu' sinembatgo para i gof kinute yan gof "clueless" na mata-na. Nina'atdet este na siniente ann…

Chamorro Public Service Post #19: Pappa' Sombran Mapagahes

Ti siña mumaigo’ yu’ achokka’ gof yafai yu’. I can’t sleep tonight even though I’m exhausted.

I’m in Sacramento at the NAISA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association) Conference. I spent the day hanging out with some Chamorro graduate students, attended some panels, walked around downtown Sacramento. Now I’m back in my hotel room, finding myself missing someone terribly, but unable to sleep.

I was going through my computer, looking through the digital equivalent of ancient, dusty files, seeing if I could bore myself to sleep. I came across a folder which I hadn’t look at in quite a while, full of the lyrics to old Chamorro songs. These are songs that all older Chamorros know in some form or another, but which aren’t as popular nowadays for obvious reasons as changes in taste and the decline of the language in general. When I was going through the lists of songs whose lyrics I've collected over the years, I remembered a story involving one of them.
Many years ago, when…

Protest Leaders Arrested in Jeju

This came via Bruce Gagnon at Organizing Notesand The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.


Dear Friends:
This morning I received an urgent message (see below) from Jeju Island, South Korea saying that yesterday eight leaders of the protest effort against construction of a Navy base had been arrested. Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi was one of those arrested - her second time in recent months.

Gangjeong village resident Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is now in his 45th day of his hunger strike while in jail for trying to block a construction truck. He has vowed to die in jail unless base construction is halted.

We need your help. We must show the South Korean and U.S. governments that people all over the world are following the story on Jeju very closely and care what happens. You can write to the South Korean Defense Attaché assigned to Washington DC. at this email and demand an end of the Navy base construction.…

No Base Stories of South Korea

Every few months I remind people to visit No Base Stories of Korea, and get updated on the latest in the South Korean people's struggles against militarization, both from their own government and from the United States as well. This post is yet another reminder to go over there and check the blog, which is run by artist and activist Sung Hee Choi.

I recently finished an article where I discussed some of my experiences while I was in South Korea last year on a solidarity research trip. Some of the places which Sung Hee regularly provides updates about are areas that I visited, where I got to learn in detail about the struggles that took place or are taking place against militarism. As I wrote in my article, one of the things which made this trip important was the fact that it wasn't your usual "solidarity trip" where everything is neat and tidy and ready to be wedged into an assume matrix of solidarity formation. There is a formula to how we form solidarity, a simple …


Pa'go na ha'ani, Hami yan Si Sumahi (i hagga-hu) para bei in falak iya Kalifotna.

Para bai hu famanu'i gi un konfrensia giya Sacramento gi este na simana.

Ya Si Sumahi para u bisita Si Nana-hu yan otro na membron i familia-ta.

Esta kana dos anos desde sumaga' yu' gi lagu, ya gof malago yu' bumisita i manatungo'-hu siha ginnen i Dippatamenton Ph.D.

Esta hu faisen Si Sumahi, hafa malago-na na para bei in che'gue annai gaige ham gi sanlagu. Hu ofresi gui' ni' tres na inayek: The Monterey Bay Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo, Disneyland. Achokka' hu sangan i na'an-niha este na tres, ti ha gof tungo' hafa siha ginnen i na'an ha'. Pues, hu sangani gui' ni' didide' put kada inayek. Para i aquarium hu sangani gui' na "ayu nai manasaga' i guihan yan otro na klasin ga'ga' tasi siha." Para i zoo, hu sangani gui' na este i "fangga'ga'an para i manasaga gi i tano' na klasin ga'g…

Guam, Okinawa and Wikileaks

I heard months ago that Guam had some mentions in Wikileaks, but was never actually able to look into it beyond seeing Guam on the index. Thankfully, the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun has saved me the trouble of searching for Wikileaks for some of the juicier Guam mentions. These revelations are pretty significant, they reveal some major problems with the buildup, the plans and even the the reason why there was an early mention of a billion dollar road being built on Guam, that was quickly and quietly swept under the carpet and never mentioned again. We'll see what kind of impact that have locally, and see what sort of response JGPO and others can come up with to try and counter the Wikileaks revelations.

EDITORIAL: Leaked Documents Reveal Shocking Japan-U.S. Diplomacy


WikiLeaks has published vast troves of internal and confidential government documents that normally would have been kept inaccessible to the public for a certain, usually long,…

Selfish Jokes on a Burning Plane

One of the stupidest things I hear far too often on Guam is that the Chamorro language, its essence is a certain way and so changing that essence, not following it means not authentically using or preserving the language. The most common context in which I hear this is that the Chamorro language is primarily a spoken language and so therefore issues such as writing and orthography are either of secondary importance or of no importance than the actual speaking of the language. Or some people will say that so many of the problems with people not speaking the language today or it not being as healthy as we would want, are because we are transgressing and not being faithful to that essence, but trying to (by giving it standard spelling system, for instance) make it do what it isn’t supposed to do.

About three years ago, I recall getting some particularly taitiningo’ na comments on this blog from the owner of the Chamorro Language and Culture blog. I don’t know who makes that blog, her n…