Six years ago my grandparents celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
We had a large gathering at the Westin Hotel in Tumon. All of my siblings flew in, as did most of my cousins and my grandparents' still living children. The party was lots of fun. I got to meet more family than I can remember. The highlight was the stage where grandma and grandpa sat in their chairs of honor, beaming as friends, family and even a few politicians would come to greet them and pay their respects.
One of the duties I had for the party was to coordinate some singing with the grandkids and great-grandkids. As most songs that grandma and grandpa like are Chamorro songs and everyone except for me could not speak or sing in Chamorro we had to find some songs that were lighthearted, merry and easy to remember, with words easy to pronounce.
One of grandma's favorite songs is "Nobia Kahulo'" and the words for that are simple enough. I taught everyone that song and even though it is meant to be a solemn tune, we ended up singing it with youthful, somewhat inappropriate gusto.
There are different variations of the song, but here are the verses that we sang:
Ya fa'gasi i mata-mu
Sa' u fatto i nobiu-mu
Ya u li'e' i chura-mu
Part of the reason for this is because "Kobia Kahulo'" is often sung as part of a medley of wedding related songs. Johnny Sablan on his CD "Dalai Nene" sings a version that combines "Nobia Kahulo'" with "Nobia Yanggen Para Un Hanao" and "Nana'yan un gigimen." We ended up adding the lines from "Nana'yan un gigimen" to our version of "Nobia Kahulo'" simple because it is really fun to sing. It is meant to be a drinking, partying, celebrating song.
These wedding favorites of grandma were combined with another famous old Chamorro song "Hagu i Flores," which is sung to the tune of "You are My Sunshine." The tune and lyrics are dreamy and upbeat and so even if you don't know what is actually being said, when you hear young kids belting it out, you cannot help but smile.
Hagu I Flores
Hagu I flores, I korason-hu
Hagu konsuelan piniti
Ya ti un fanodda’ otro guinaiya
Kinu Guahu kirida Nene
Ai gi un puenge, kirida nene
Matto I minahalang-hu
Kalan estaba hao gi hilo’ kannai-hu
Lao gaige hao gi guinife-hu
Ofresemento, na petmanente
Ya para todu okasion
Ai hongge yu’ Neni korason