Saturday, March 29, 2014

CCF Directions

March 29, 2014
Chamorro Cultural Festival
San Diego, CA
10 am - 6 pm
DIRECTIONS to the Chamorro Cultural Festival - March 29, 2014:

Market Creek Plaza is near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street, near the three corners that situate the Tubman-Chavez Multi-Cultural Center, the Malcolm X Library, and the Elementary Institute of Science. The Plaza's bright and unique architecture is instantly recognizable.

Market Street Plaza
310 Euclid Ave.,
San Diego, CA 92114
(Corner of Market St. and Euclid Ave.)

By Car

From Downtown, drive east on Market Street and turn right at Euclid Avenue, or go east on the Martin Luther King Freeway (94) and exit at Euclid Avenue going south. Turn right to get to Market Creek Plaza.

From Interstate 5, go east on the Martin Luther King Freeway (94) and exit at Euclid Avenue. Turn right to get to Market Creek Plaza.

From East County, go west on the Martin Luther King Freeway (94) and exit at Euclid Avenue. Make a U-turn at Federal and go south to Market Creek Plaza.

From Mission Valley or Interstate 8, go south on the Interstate 805, exit at Imperial Avenue, continue to Euclid Avenue and turn left. Market Creek Plaza will be just past the Euclid Avenue Medical Center on your left.

From La Jolla and North County, go south on Interstate 805, exit at Imperial Avenue, continue to Euclid Avenue and turn left. Market Creek Plaza will be just past the Euclid Avenue Medical Center on your left.

From South Bay, go north on Interstate 805, exit at Imperial Avenue, continue to Euclid Avenue and turn left. Market Creek Plaza will be just past the Euclid Avenue Medical Center on your left.

By Trolley

Market Creek Plaza is steps away from the convenient Euclid Transit Station in southeastern San Diego, near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street.

From downtown or as far east as Santee, take the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley and exit at the Euclid Transit Station, which is adjacent to Market Creek Plaza. The Orange Line intersects with the Mission Valley Blue Line which goes from east of Qualcomm Stadium through Old Town and Downtown, at various Downtown San Diego stops, including One America Plaza, the Community Concourse, San Diego Community College, and the Metropolitan Transit Station.

By Bus

Several bus lines service the Euclid Transit Station from several areas of San Diego. Routes include: 3, 3A, 4, 5, 5A, 13, 16, 603, 916, 955, 960.

Additional public transportation information is available online at the MTDB Web site at

By Taxi

Ask your driver to take you to Market Creek Plaza near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street in southeastern San Diego.
(2 photos)

Friday, March 28, 2014


Gaige yu' gi Tumblr.

I am on Tumblr.

Ti ya-hu mureblog.

I do not like to reblog.

Hu rikokohi gi iyo-ku Tumblr, i fina'tinas-hu

I am collecting in my Tumblr, things I have made.

I ltratu-hu siha ginen i isla-ku.

My pictures of my island.

I litratu-hu siha ginen i hinanao-hu siha

My pictures of my trips.

Infotmasion put i che'cho'-hu gi koleho yan gi kuminidat.

Information about my work at UOG yan in the community.

Parehu i ison-niha yan este na blog, lao mas ha aguiguiguiya i fina'litratuh siha iyo-ku Tumblr.

My tumblr and my blog have the same purpose, lao my Tumblr is primarily for visuals.

Ti meggai iyo-ku followers (dadadalaki siha).

I don't have that many followers.

Lao kada biahi na umafakcha'i ham yan un follower, nina'gof magof yu'.

But each time I meet a new follower, it makes me very happy.

Ti pinacha' i korason-hu anai ma sangani yu' na ma li'e' yu' gi PDN.

It doesn't do much for me if someone says they saw me in the PDN.

Lao anggen ma sangan na ma sodda' yu' gi Tumblr, nina'kadidak yu'.

But if they say they found me on Tumblr, I definitely get tickled by that.

Agupa'na bai hu gaige giya San Diego para i Chamorro Cultural Festival.

The day after tomorrow I'll be in San Diego for the Chamorro Cultural Festival.

Hu tungo' na guaha taotao giya San Diego ni' tumatitiyi yu' gi Tumblr.

I know there are people in San Diego who follow me on Tumblr.

Anggen un tungo' yu ginen Tumblr ya un li'e' yu' giya San Diego, put fabot sangan "Hafa Adai!"

If you know me from Tumblr and see me in San Diego, please say "Hafa Adai!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Falling Bookcase

During this trip to California I am meeting up with people I haven't seen in years, in some cases, I haven't seen or heard from them in close to a decade. It is interesting to experience the memories that people have of you after a long stretch of time. Are you frozen in time to them? Have they imagined  future for you even if it matches nothing that you have done since you last saw them?

Today I met up with someone who heard me read poetry a long time ago in San Diego, when I was attending grad school at UCSD. We had only met a couple of times, but for him it was an important meeting because I was the first person from Guam, he had met, who talked about Guam in a critical way. He had heard me read a poem on Chamorros being a footnote to the American Empire. It is something that struck and stuck with him ever since. For me, I cling to moments like this, and I thread them together to create my personal necklace of relevance. It is so easy sometimes to feel like nothing I do matters and so every instance where someone allows me to feel like I did matter is so wonderful.

There wasn't really much we could talk about, except poetry, that was the main thing we shared. We discussed the aesthetics of it, something I had not done in a long time. For this person, poetry was music and so he constantly invoked metaphors of lyrics, harmony, melody and a unity of touching sound. I can understand these ways of thinking about poetry, but it is not something that I have really strive towards. For me, I am often jealous of those who can write and recite their poems in a way that achieves a rhythm and a musical dimension. I don't really do that.

In describing my own take on poetry, I asked this guy to recall if he'd ever watched a bookcase full of books tip over and crash to the floor. He said he hadn't. I said it could be anything, but imagine a chorus of elements careening toward the earth in a frenzied ballet. For me, poetry is writing a commentary on those cascading pieces. It is watching all those books tumble and making choices about which books you will name and which you won't. Which books will you link together to give meaning to what is happening. As you connect the motions, the books, the words, the feelings together is this momentum of life sad, angry, happy, romantic, insane? In my poetry, I feel l like I have achieved beauty when the chaos has a form that I enjoy. That watching those books fall takes on an extra level of meaning, and which I can perform for others, so that they can feel the hairs rising, the spines clashing, the pages ripping and the authors screaming.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Garrido Manuscript

MARC. Colonial studies Working Group 
The Garrido Manuscript: A Unique Glimpse of the Chamorro Language in 1798
by Dr. Carlos Madrid and Jeremy Cepeda.

University of Guam, CLASS Lecture Hall
Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 6 pm.
Expected duration of the event: 1 hour.
A one-of-a-kind document written in the Chamorro language of the 18th Century is being brought to light as a result of research recently conducted at the Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam. The Micronesian Area Research Center and the Chamorro Studies Program are presenting a translation of this document to the community and offering a rare look into what the Chamorro language looked and sounded like more than 200 years ago.
In 1798, Manuel Garrido, a Chamorro and official of the Spanish Government of the Mariana Islands was asked to translate into Chamorro news received from Manila regarding the victory of Spanish and Filipino soldiers against British ship attacking Zamboanga, in Mindanao. In the translation of this document, Dr. Calos Madrid (MARC Researcher) and Jeremy Cepeda (Chamorro instructor, Simon Sanchez High School) have uncovered a sizable amount of Ancient Chamorro words now in complete disuse or completely unknown to Chamorros today.
The translation process required working simultaneously in three languages, Spanish, Chamorro and English, but by the end of this one year research project, theories regarding many of these unknown words have been formed. Working side by side and providing input and guidance to this endeavor it was Leonard Iriarte (I Fanlalai’an Oral History Project), also with the assistance of Fr. Eric Forbes (Capuchin Friary), Rosa Salas Palomo (UOG) and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Chamorro Studies Program).
This presentation is free and open to the public and will no doubt appeal to anyone with an interest in Chamorro language or Marianas History.
Please contact Dr. Carlos Madrid at or 735-2154/2153

Tinta and Faha

On Saturday, my special projects class "The Uprising at Atate" traveled to Malesso' in the South to take pictures of the two memorials at Tinta and Faha. Malesso' has the most notorious "village" story of the entire war. Despite being far away from the centers of Japanese power, by the end of the war it is the site of two massacres (Tinta and Faha) and one uprising (Atate). For this research project we have been studying why the massacres sites, which are zones filled with trauma and victimization have become so important in WWII memorialization, while Atate, a space where Chamorros fought back and killed their Japanese captors holds little to no significance over how people see the Tiempon Chapones tale unfolding.

Finding the exact location where the uprising at Atate took place has proven difficult, as those who have been there are generally too old to travel there, and other know the general area and can point at it from afar in a way which is attempting to be helpful, but ultimately meaningless.

But Tinta and Faha are easily found and I've visited each of these sites many times over the years.  Tinta is the more difficult to find out of the two as you have to walk through some jungle and cowfields to get to it. Faha is much easier as it is just a walk up to the hills overlooking the cemetery. The first time I visited each of these was sites were moments I will never forget. Each had a profound impact on me, albeit in very different ways, and in the case of Faha, in ways that have little to do with the historical significance of the place.

The first time I visited Tinta, I was working for a film crew and we were accompanying a Japanese tour. At Tinta, 30 Chamorros, men and women, were marched to a bokkongo or a man-made cave and then massacred by drunken Japanese forces. 14 survived, but only because the Japanese were eager to escape the downpour and did not finish mopping up the wounded. Given the fact that Japan is a country that has elite, global dominating capabilities in terms of amnesia-making, it might seem strange to hear that a group of Japanese tourists was actually visiting the site of one of their atrocities during a war they would rather pretend never happened, or re-imagine with themselves as the innocent victims of Western imperialism. I have written many times on this blog about the ways in which the Japanese "discovery" of Guam in a tourist context has the effect of washing away their complicity of the terrorizing of Guam in a historical context. Given this relationship where so many Japanese that swim in Tumon Bay and shop at ABC Stores or visit Latte Stone Park, have no idea that there might be any historical connection to them and this island beyond the satisfying of their tourist desires, why in the world would they ever visit Tinta?

This was a special tour that is offered by certain companies on island. It is part of a real island history tour, and doesn't not shy away from the particularities of Japanese colonialism and the violence that resulted upon the lands and bodies of Chamorros. Instead the tour acts as an apology. The tourists visit the sites where their ancestors hurt Chamorros and they ask for forgiveness and that the souls of those who were harmed and who did the harm please rest in peace.

When I followed this group to Tinta, I have to admit I was unable to process at first what I was seeing. Even if I had known ahead of time what the tour was and could imagine what it would entail in terms of rituals and things said, when it actually took place I found myself so taken aback and so completely unprepared for what was happening. The guide told everyone the story of those who were massacred. He spoke in Japanese, but someone translated for me, the words appearing in my ear as my mind already anticipated their meaning based on the hand motions the guide was weaving. Stabbing the air. Pulling out grenade pins. Someone grabbing their arm that is no longer there. Someone pulling a body atop them. The tourists there, each cried and offered prayers and left gifts at the memorial plaque. When we left, oranges, a bottle of wine, flowers and other snacks had been lined up, decorating the somber grey pedestal and black plaque.

So much of what I saw was ritualistic in nature. It had more to do with what was expected in that context, than any actually feeling or connection. Their tears were not necessarily because they felt the weight of a long-denied history pressing down on them, but more so because of their acceptance that their role their is to express emotion. I have seen Chamorros travel to Tinta and break down in similar ways, but it has never affected me the way that trip with the Japanese did.

You can understand from this perspective, why for so many Chamorros, their expectation from Japan is that they would apologize. We are no longer enemies, we are now friends, and Chamorros don't expect Japan to give them each a brand new car or a big reparations check. But there is an expectation that some recognition will take place and that an apology will be made. An empty gesture is always powerful the first time, because it is all surface, and so long as that is all you see, it will feel expansive, it will feel as if the world has been crammed into a moment, into something that can be purposed as somehow meant for you. But that surface soon becomes insufficient once attempts are made to build upon that gesture, to use it as a foundation for new political meaning or identification. The example I always use for this is the infamous 1993 Apology that Native Hawaiians received from the US Federal Government. More than a decade later when the State of Hawai'i tried to use that apology as the basis for a legal argument, they were told that the apology was meant to simply make them feel better, not to actually affect reality or actually assist them in their quest for justice.

The same goes for the apology of those Japanese tourists I saw in Tinta. There gesture could mean so much and conversely it could mean so little. So much depends o whether that gesture becomes the basis for new meanings to emerge or whether it becomes a wishful nail put into the coffin burying something that even those who admit to it, wish it could just never be mentioned again. As I watched the Japanese cry while learning about Tinta, I cried myself. I became overwhelmed with the idea that this could be something not empty, but powerful, and change the way Chamorros and Japanese in small settings at first, but eventually larger venues could see each other. It is something that I have been fortunate enough to feel and see every so often. There is still a national blindspot amongst the Japanese, but each year I meet more and more who know that history and choose not to simply brush it aside whether through minaleffa or false tears.

The first time I went to Faha, I knew close to little about it. This was years before I visited Tinta, soon after I had moved back to Guam to start going to UOG. A Chamorro girl in one of my classes was determined to make me more local and offered to drive me around the Southern part of the island. I had grown up on Guam, but after living for six years in the states I definitely seemed to code "po'asu Amerikanu" or "stateside Chamorro" to people on Guam. I was driving, as she was showing me around. Since I later became a historian, thinking back her history lesson was kind of funny and barely accurate. But I guess it was the thought that counted.

We parked at the top of the cemetery and walked up the hill. She was busy talking about something else and so I had no idea we were walking to a site where 30 Chamorros had been massacred during World War II. Unlike Tinta, there were no survivors for Faha. There was a memorial there, but we breezed right by it and went to the top of the hill. The view from there is actually breathtaking, meaning the first time you see it, the blue of the ocean, the elegance of seeing Cocos Island from above and from afar, the cool breeze, all of that will combine to temporarily suck the breath from your chest. I didn't have a cell phone and this was before I knew digital cameras existed and so all I had with me was a disposable camera and I took a quick snapshot of the beautiful blue world waiting before me. Sadly the picture didn't develop and so all I have of it are faded, overexposed memories.

She didn't say anything about Malesso', the massacres or even Cocos Island. She just stood beside me looking out at the world. It was one of those moments where you can't be sure if the lost look in someone's eyes has anything to do with you, but you desperately wish it did. She started talking, slowly and very deliberately, as if she was either finally saying something she had long practiced or was simply considering the storied history of every syllable for dramatic effect. She didn't look at me when she said it, but I will never forget it. I don't feel like sharing it here, but it was the height of poetry for me at that point in my life. No relationship was born from this kiss, but it was an unforgettable moment simply on its own.

Before I could even feel awkward or ponder that thought she was kissing me. It did feel like an ocean for a moment, at least for me. It felt like life, liquid life was washing up over my face. Nothing else happened, she quickly skipped down the hill, with my mindlessly following. The ocean had never seen more blue than it did that day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blessing the Bombs

Because of Tinian's role in the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you will always find it mentioned in intriguing ways. Tinian is invoked in peace studies and anti-nuclear activist rhetoric in the same way Guam is mentioned in military strategic analysis and history. Both are empty sites from which violence is projected and structures of power are maintained.  Rarely however do either of these sites achieve their own purpose in these mentions, instead they just serve to enhance the potency of other places and other projects. This is one of the reasons I wrote my dissertation, to try to give some shape and form to this dynamic, through which you can mention places like Guam and Tinian a million times, but never say anything about them.

Below is a quote from the late Father Zabelka, a chaplain in the US Air Force and blessed both the pilots and the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I came across this quote from him in Howard Zinn's book "The Bomb." I've included below it, an interview in which he expounds on this.
"The destruction of civilians in war was always forbidden by the Church, and if a soldier came to me and asked if her could put a bullet through a child's head, I would have told him absolutely not.

But in 1945 Tinian Island was the largest airfield in the world. Three planes a minute would take off from it around the clock. Many of these planes went to Japan with the express purpose of killing not one child or one civilian but slaughtering hundreds and thousands of children - and I said noting...I never preached a single sermon against killing civilians to men who were doing it. Because I was brainwashed. It never entered my mind to publicly protest...I was told it was necessary, told openly by the military and told implicitly by my Church's leadership.

To the best of my knowledge, no American cardinals or bishops were opposing these mass air raids...God was on the side of my country. The Japanese were the enemy."



Father George Zabelka, a Catholic chaplain with the U.S. Air Force, served as a priest for the airmen who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and gave them his blessing. Days later he counseled an airman who had flown a low-level reconnaissance flight over the city of Nagasaki shortly after the detonation of “Fat Man.” The man described how thousands of scorched, twisted bodies writhed on the ground in the final throes of death, while those still on their feet wandered aimlessly in shock—flesh seared, melted, and falling off. The crewman’s description raised a stifled cry from the depths of Zabelka’s soul: “My God, what have we done?” Over the next twenty years, he gradually came to believe that he had been terribly wrong, that he had denied the very foundations of his faith by lending moral and religious support to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Zabelka died in 1992, but his message, in this speech given on the 40th anniversary of the bombings, must never be forgotten.

The destruction of civilians in war was always forbidden by the church, and if a soldier came to me and asked if he could put a bullet through a child’s head, I would have told him, absolutely not. That would be mortally sinful. But in 1945 Tinian Island was the largest airfield in the world. Three planes a minute could take off from it around the clock. Many of these planes went to Japan with the express purpose of killing not one child or one civilian but of slaughtering hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of children and civilians—and I said nothing.

I never preached a single sermon against killing civilians to the men who were doing it. I was brainwashed! It never entered my mind to protest publicly the consequences of these massive air raids. I was told it was necessary—told openly by the military and told implicitly by my church’s leadership. (To the best of my knowledge no American cardinals or bishops were opposing these mass air raids. Silence in such matters is a stamp of approval.)

I worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights struggle in Flint, Michigan. His example and his words of nonviolent action, choosing love instead of hate, truth instead of lies, and nonviolence instead of violence stirred me deeply. This brought me face to face with pacifism—active nonviolent resistance to evil. I recall his words after he was jailed in Montgomery, and this blew my mind. He said, “Blood may flow in the streets of Montgomery before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood that flows, and not that of the white man. We must not harm a single hair on the head of our white brothers.”

I struggled. I argued. But yes, there it was in the Sermon on the Mount, very clear: “Love your enemies. Return good for evil.” I went through a crisis of faith. Either accept what Christ said, as unpassable and silly as it may seem, or deny him completely.

For the last 1700 years the church has not only been making war respectable: it has been inducing people to believe it is an honorable profession, an honorable Christian profession. This is not true. We have been brainwashed. This is a lie.

War is now, always has been, and always will be bad, bad news. I was there. I saw real war. Those who have seen real war will bear me out. I assure you, it is not of Christ. It is not Christ’s way. There is no way to conduct real war in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. There is no way to train people for real war in conformity with the teachings of Jesus.

The morality of the balance of terrorism is a morality that Christ never taught. The ethics of mass butchery cannot be found in the teachings of Jesus. In Just War ethics, Jesus Christ, who is supposed to be all in the Christian life, is irrelevant. He might as well never have existed. In Just War ethics, no appeal is made to him or his teaching, because no appeal can be made to him or his teaching, for neither he nor his teaching gives standards for Christians to follow in order to determine what level of slaughter is acceptable.

So the world is watching today. Ethical hairsplitting over the morality of various types of instruments and structures of mass slaughter is not what the world needs from the church, although it is what the world has come to expect from the followers of Christ. What the world needs is a grouping of Christians that will stand up and pay up with Jesus Christ. What the world needs is Christians who, in language that the simplest soul could understand, will proclaim: the follower of Christ cannot participate in mass slaughter. He or she must love as Christ loved, live as Christ lived and, if necessary, die as Christ died, loving ones enemies.

For the 300 years immediately following Jesus’ resurrection, the church universally saw Christ and his teaching as nonviolent. Remember that the church taught this ethic in the face of at least three serious attempts by the state to liquidate her. It was subject to horrendous and ongoing torture and death. If ever there was an occasion for justified retaliation and defensive slaughter, whether in form of a just war or a just revolution, this was it. The economic and political elite of the Roman state and their military had turned the citizens of the state against Christians and were embarked on a murderous public policy of exterminating the Christian community.

Yet the church, in the face of the heinous crimes committed against her members, insisted without reservation that when Christ disarmed Peter he disarmed all Christians. Christians continued to believe that Christ was, to use the words of an ancient liturgy, their fortress, their refuge, and their strength, and that if Christ was all they needed for security and defense, then Christ was all they should have. Indeed, this was a new security ethic.

Christians understood that if they would only follow Christ and his teaching, they couldn’t fail. When opportunities were given for Christians to appease the state by joining the fighting Roman army, these opportunities were rejected, because the early church saw a complete and an obvious incompatibility between loving as Christ loved and killing. It was Christ, not Mars, who gave security and peace.
Today the world is on the brink of ruin because the church refuses to be the church, because we Christians have been deceiving ourselves and the non-Christian world about the truth of Christ. There is no way to follow Christ, to love as Christ loved, and simultaneously to kill other people. It is a lie to say that the spirit that moves the trigger of a flamethrower is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is a lie to say that learning to kill is learning to be Christ-like. It is a lie to say that learning to drive a bayonet into the heart of another is motivated from having put on the mind of Christ. Militarized Christianity is a lie. It is radically out of conformity with the teaching, life, and spirit of Jesus.

Now, brothers and sisters, on the anniversary of this terrible atrocity carried out by Christians, I must be the first to say that I made a terrible mistake. I was had by the father of lies. I participated in the big ecumenical lie of the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches. I wore the uniform. I was part of the system. When I said Mass over there I put on those beautiful vestments over my uniform. (When Father Dave Becker left the Trident submarine base in 1982 and resigned as Catholic chaplain there, he said, “Every time I went to Mass in my uniform and put the vestments on over my uniform, I couldn’t help but think of the words of Christ applying to me: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.”)

As an Air Force chaplain I painted a machine gun in the loving hands of the nonviolent Jesus, and then handed this perverse picture to the world as truth. I sang “Praise the Lord” and passed the ammunition. As Catholic chaplain for the 509th Composite Group, I was the final channel that communicated this fraudulent image of Christ to the crews of the Enola Gay and the Boxcar.
All I can say today is that I was wrong. Christ would not be the instrument to unleash such horror on his people. Therefore no follower of Christ can legitimately unleash the horror of war on God’s people. Excuses and self-justifying explanations are without merit. All I can say is: I was wrong! But, if this is all I can say, this I must do, feeble as it is. For to do otherwise would be to bypass the first and absolutely essential step in the process of repentance and reconciliation: admission of error, admission of guilt.

I was there, and I was wrong. Yes, war is hell, and Christ did not come to justify the creation of hell on earth by his disciples. The justification of war may be compatible with some religions and philosophies, but it is not compatible with the nonviolent teaching of Jesus. I was wrong. And to those of whatever nationality or religion who have been hurt because I fell under the influence of the father of lies, I say with my whole heart and soul I am sorry. I beg forgiveness.

I asked forgiveness from the Hibakushas (the Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings) in Japan last year, in a pilgrimage that I made with a group from Tokyo to Hiroshima. I fell on my face there at the peace shrine after offering flowers, and I prayed for forgiveness—for myself, for my country, for my church. Both Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This year in Toronto, I again asked forgiveness from the Hibakushas present. I asked forgiveness, and they asked forgiveness for Pearl Harbor and some of the horrible deeds of the Japanese military, and there were some, and I knew of them. We embraced. We cried. Tears flowed. That is the first step of reconciliation—admission of guilt and forgiveness. Pray to God that others will find this way to peace.

All religions have taught brotherhood. All people want peace. It is only the governments and war departments that promote war and slaughter. So today again I call upon people to make their voices heard. We can no longer just leave this to our leaders, both political and religious. They will move when we make them move. They represent us. Let us tell them that they must think and act for the safety and security of all the people in our world, not just for the safety and security of one country. All countries are inter-dependent. We all need one another. It is no longer possible for individual countries to think only of themselves. We can all live together as brothers and sisters or we are doomed to die together as fools in a world holocaust.

Each one of us becomes responsible for the crime of war by cooperating in its preparation and in its execution. This includes the military. This includes the making of weapons. And it includes paying for the weapons. There’s no question about that. We’ve got to realize we all become responsible. Silence, doing nothing, can be one of the greatest sins.

The bombing of Nagasaki means even more to me than the bombing of Hiroshima. By August 9, 1945, we knew what that bomb would do, but we still dropped it. We knew that agonies and sufferings would ensue, and we also knew—at least our leaders knew—that it was not necessary. The Japanese were already defeated. They were already suing for peace. But we insisted on unconditional surrender, and this is even against the Just War theory. Once the enemy is defeated, once the enemy is not able to hurt you, you must make peace.

As a Catholic chaplain I watched as the Boxcar, piloted by a good Irish Catholic pilot, dropped the bomb on Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, the center of Catholicism in Japan. I knew that St. Francis Xavier, centuries before, had brought the Catholic faith to Japan. I knew that schools, churches, and religious orders were annihilated. And yet I said nothing.

Thank God that I’m able to stand here today and speak out against war, all war. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke out against all false gods of gold, silver, and metal. Today we are worshipping the gods of metal, the bomb. We are putting our trust in physical power, militarism, and nationalism. The bomb, not God, is our security and our strength. The prophets of the Old Testament said simply: Do not put your trust in chariots and weapons, but put your trust in God. Their message was simple, and so is mine.

We must all become prophets. I really mean that. We must all do something for peace. We must stop this insanity of worshipping the gods of metal. We must take a stand against evil and idolatry. This is our destiny at the most critical time of human history. But it’s also the greatest opportunity ever offered to any group of people in the history of our world—to save our world from complete annihilation.

This article is excerpted from a speech George Zabelka gave at a Pax Christi conference in August 1985 (tape of speech obtained from Notre Dame University Archives). The first two paragraphs are from an interview with Zabelka published in Sojourners magazine, August 1980.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Estorian Sindalu Siha

                        Date:               March 11, 2014

                        Contact:          Kimberlee Kihleng, Executive Director
                                                Monaeka Flores, Coordinator for Marketing and Programs

                        Phone:             472-4460/1

Council to host next Smithsonian Institution Exhibit Journey Stories, public call for photographs and artifacts

The Guam Humanities Council will partner with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program to bring a national exhibit to Guam in 2014 entitled, Journey Stories. Many of us have powerful journey stories in our personal heritage. It may be a story of a family uprooting itself in order to stay together, or of sons and daughters moving to another land, or of a distant ancestor, perhaps unknown. As part of the Guam tour, the Council will highlight Guam’s unique journey stories in the local companion exhibit and complimentary programs in order to examine where our own stories lie within the national narratives presented in Journey Stories. 

The Guam-focused exhibit will explore the many significant and sometimes unrecognized journeys of Chamorro men and women who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Military. Chamorro servicemen and women, along with their families, have moved all over the world, some returning home, others resettling permanently in communities across the country.  Their rich and complex history of service, sacrifice, travel, and a sense of place and identity beginning with World War I into the present will be told through the exhibition project to engage diverse Guam audiences, both civilian and military. The Council is working with Chamorro scholar and historian Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua to develop the Guam exhibit. 

The Council is currently conducting a campaign to collect interviews, photographs, memorabilia, souvenirs, and artifacts to include in the exhibit and other educational materials. The Council will consider any photographs or items that might represent Chamorro identity and pride in service that are of acceptable quality and of interest for a wide public audience. Photos taken and items collected during wartime, deployments, relocation, and of interactions depicting Chamorros in service are also needed for the exhibit. The Council wishes to conduct interviews with:
Chamorro women soldiers
Mothers in service
Veterans of recent wars – Desert Storm, Djibouti deployments, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, etc.
Veteran activists
Final selections will be based on content and space available. Release forms will be provided for all content selected for the exhibit. Interested participants are asked to call the Council for pre-interviews from March 25 through March 29.  Interviews will be conducted on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m and Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Council Office Suite 106 at the Reflection Center in Hagatna from March 31 to April 12.  Photographs and all other inquiries may also be submitted via email to  To participate or for more information, please call the Council at 472-4462.

The Guam Humanities Council is a non-profit organization that provides foundational support and educational programs for the people of Guam.  The mission of the Guam Humanities Council is to foster community engagement and dialogue, inspire critical thinking, celebrate diversity and enrich the quality of life of island residents through the power of the humanities.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Manmanggana'

2014 Inachá’igen Fino’ CHamoru
Chamorro Language Competition
March 10 and 11, 2014
University of Guam
Theme/Tema: I Fino’ CHamoru: Didok, Fehman yan Tai Chi!
(The Chamorro Language: Deep, Profound and Infinite!)

List of Winners

I. Eskuelan Elementario/Elementary Schools

A.    K-2 Dinilitreha/Spelling

1st Place:        Myra K. Chinen, Wettengel

2nd Place:        Imajin Trinidad, Mt. Carmel

3rd Place:        Kaden Apiag, C. L. Taitano

B.    3-5 Dinilitreha/Spelling

1st Place:        Harley Meeks, C. L. Taitano

2nd Place:        Chanse Trinidad, Mt. Carmel

3rd Place:        Alliyah Ducay, Ordot-Chalan Pago

C.     3-5 Umestoriha/Storytelling

1st Place:        Dimitrios Cruz, C. L. Taitano

2nd Place:        Pedro P. Cruz, Mt. Carmel

3rd Place:        Edreanna Bueno, Merizo Martyr

D.    K-2 Yininga’/Drawing

1st Place:        Rylee Jade Tudela, Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Andre Abante, Mt. Carmel

3rd Place:        Paetin Leddy

E.     3-5 Yininga’/Drawing

1st Place:        Tiara Tenorio, B .P. Carbullido

2nd Place:        Ina Santos, B .P. Carbullido

3rd Place:        Gabrielle Mendiola, B .P. Carbullido

F.     K-2 Koron Famagu’on/Children’s Choir

1st Place:        J. Q. San Miguel

2nd Place:        Mt. Carmel

3rd Place:        H. S. Truman

G.    3-5 Koron Famagu’on/Children’s Choir

1st Place:        Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        C. L. Taitano

3rd Place:        B. P. Carbullido

II. Eskuelan Talo’/Middle Schools

A.    Sinangan/Oratorical

1st Place:        Martin Borja, Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Josia Taitague, Inarajan

B.    Rinisådan Po’ema/Poetry Recitation

1st Place:       Pulåni Peredo, Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Se’ani Ogo, Jose Rios

C.     Tinige’/Essay

1st Place:        Kaylee Perez Villasoto, Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Deandra Penafiel, Mt. Carmel
3rd Place:        Nathan Cole Naputi, Mt. Carmel

D.    Tinaitai Koru/Choral Reading

1st Place:        Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Inarajan

E.     Lålai/Chant

1st Place:        Mt. Carmel

2nd Place:        Jose Rios

3rd Place:        Inarajan

III. Eskuelan Takhilo’/High Schools

A.    Sinangan/Oratorical

1st Place:        Zackery Yamagishi, Marianas

2nd Place:        Anjola David, JFK

3rd Place:        Amber Uncangco, GW

B.    Profisiente/Proficiency

1st Place:        Ramona Appleby, JFK

2nd Place:        Ray Sablan, Jr., JFK

3rd Place:        Monica Lizama, Marianas

C.     Rinisådan Po’ema/Poetry Recitation

1st Place:        Corey Camacho, GW

2nd Place:        Ramona Appleby, JFK

3rd Place:        Gemma Somol, Marianas

D.    Kånta yan Baila/Dance with Song

1st Place:        Marianas

2nd Place:        GW

3rd Place:        JFK

E.     Palao’an na Kákanta/Female Singer

1st Place:        Kierralyn Cruz, GW

2nd Place:        Melisha LIzama, Marianas

3rd Place:        Persha Perez, JFK

F.     Låhi na Kákanta/Male Singer

1st Place:        Raymond Nakazato, Marianas

2nd Place:        Corey Camacho, GW

3rd Place:        Lance Mendiola, JFK

G.    Inintetpeten Kotturan Egge’/Dramatice Cultural Interpretation

1st Place:        JFK

2nd Place:        Marianas

3rd Place:        GW

H.    Kåntan CHamorita/Chamorita Style Singing

1st Place:        Tedneil Celes & Shawn Mendiola, JFK


Immortal Love

When I read the short story, "The Sun, The Moon, the Stars" by Junot Diaz, he had several lovely passages, and on the advice of my male' Victoria Leon Guerrero I used to use it when I would teach composition at the University of Guam. There is one moment towards the end where the narrator talks about when one reaches the end of one relationship it brings you back to the beginning. You see the first moments in a color that was more vivid than when you actually experienced them. That is the sign that a relationship is coming to an end, like when the brain starts to shut down and it is gasping for life, the another moment after the next and it fills the abyss of your mind with a maelstrom of desperate exploding stars. There is an obvious poetry and symmetry to this, but I haven't really felt it to be true.

Each time I have come to the end of a relationship, or even like I do now, where I can see the end ahead like a depressing oasis impervious to this raging sandstorm made for two, and feel every inch of woven life starting to stretch and snap, groaning for everything to just splinter politely and let it all go, each time, I see the beginning of the relationship. I have those moments, but what truly comes back to me, in ways that are both welcome and frightening, are moments from other relationships and other would-be, near miss relationships. I don't necessarily feel a pining for those moments, but as things fall apart around you, you will reach out, grasping for something real, and who knows what you will find.

I've often said that love is love, no matter what happens afterwards. If you truly loved someone, then that feeling will achieve a timeless quality. It will always be love, even if you hate the person, can't stand the person, you don't have the ability to change those feelings. They will always remain love. Even if you hate that fact that you cannot transform them into hate into something vile, into something that can reproduce the disgusting pit from hell that you feel that person comes from and should be banished back to, you can't. There will always be memories that will bring warmth, even if you feel that they shouldn't and hate yourself for not being able to master them. You will always be scarred with a softness if you have ever loved. It will remain no matter how much you try to burn it and tear it.

As the possibility of this discursive shell around me that has encased me for close to three years disappearing, I see in flashes the terrifying freedom of not being in a relationship. The possibilities do not appear as grand, lush and inviting valleys. They do not yet appear as stargazing, moongazing, basking in the warmth of the heavens, but still cowering in fear of the approaching, formless dark. I am standing at the edge of chasm, and the beginnings that return to me are all of previous moments when I stood at that same chasm of possibility. When I stood in-between relationships or possibly on the verge of a relationship, scared, stuck, desperate to move, afraid to fall, afraid to not be caught, afraid the fact that nothing may be waiting for me.

What I find that preoccupies my mind, the moments that are forcing their way into my consciousness, are not moments from my actual relationships, but rather moments from relationships that could have been. I find my mind drawn constantly to missed opportunities, crushes, misunderstandings, cute tragic or horrifyingly embarrassing moments. There is a weird rawness to this, this nostalgia of that which was only dreams, mistakes, something that lived for as long as your breath takes form in the cold air.

The real upside to these feelings is that I've been writing plenty of poetry this past week. I usually write just a handful of poems each year. One long one and several small ones. In the past few weeks I've already written a dozen or so poems in both English and Chamorro. Some of them more depressing, some of the more fun. Some of them, like the one I'm sharing below achieve a sort of harmony between embarrassing, yet still fun to write because of the way the emotions bring out nerd hyperbole. The moment being illustrated in the poem is real or was real. It was something from graduate school, an unfortunate crush.


Immortally Stupid

Thoughts of you would turn time into a chain gang.
Every moment forced uncomfortably onto the next
I would yell and scream for life to be life, to float and slip through my fingers the way it always does
But thoughts of you would turn my life into an slow awkward tangle of criminals, stuck, incapable of going anywhere, pleading to be released by you

You were on my mind so much I decided that I needed to just quit my job and start my own company where fantasizing about you would be my full time job.
I became the CEO of Wondering What You Are Doing Right Now Industries.
And the Vice President of Imagining Chance Cute Accidental Meetings with You
And the Regional Sales Manager for Convincing Myself that Even if You Can’t Read My Mind You Must be Able to Sense Something About What I’m Feeling
I even moonlighted as the Chief Marketing Rep for Developing Suave and Sexy Things that I would Never Have the Guts to Say to You

After a long day of massaging from my brain matter every faint memory I could of you, I would put in sleepless overtime. 
With eyes clenched shut my face would fill with fire
A heat that made me toss and turn, my body seeking to create some way of finding comfort in a bed without you beside me.

In my mind, I was clutching, dangling from a rope ablaze with memories of you.
So many of them were wishful fictions, where I had slipped you smiling amongst the flames.
These memories would rage and burst embers and spit pieces of my own pathetic flesh from my stubborn fingers back onto my face, mocking me and compelling me to let go of something so transparently fake, something so dangerously not real.

One day, my skin red and raw from every pulsing thought of you that was never given form, I knew I could not stand it anymore.
I dared to speak, through stuttering teeth and tongue with knots that would baffle a ship of sailors helmed by Alexander the Great,
I told you of this crushing feeling for you.

As the words hit the air, they stained and cracked the world around me. I saw your face reflected a thousand times, each of them blushing, turning and burning my hopes.

I knew there was no way you would say yes or even humor me.
In all those sleepless nights and dreamfilled days I had written this moment tens of thousands of times.
I had written it the way one so insane in love, writes furiously as if trying to capture every moment every corner of the universe so there is nowhere you can hide, nothing you can be except mine.

I thought of Beethoven composing, groping around his notes, grabbing, tracing blind fingers around the form of his life, despair dripping through the absence of his beloved.
 I thought of Dante whose pen twisted and wormed its way through the innards of the universe, crawling through the freezing flames of heaven and hell searching for a love that would never hear his voice.
They would become immortal as they stared across the same loveless canyon as I.
I knew instead that I would feel immortally stupid

As you crushed my crush, sheets lined with sour notes lay over every inch of my body.
With each word, my fingers moved, as the words I knew you would say, the looks I knew you would give me, were like chords that my fingers were playing on the piano.

I pretended to be the master of this pain, to have foretold it and written it, to have some control over it, but even after you walked away, my fingers ghostly tapping the air, providing a soundtrack to the depths of my dread, I knew there was nothing.

It hurt even more to now know that this was nothingness was nothing new.
No revelation of truth had taken place.
It had always been nothing.
Despite the firestorm of feelings, the deep tones in which you were painted in my mind, you were never waiting for me across the canyon of this crush.


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