Showing posts from July, 2014

Talent Town

“The Talented Island of Guam” by Michael Lujan Bevacqua July 31, 2014 The Marianas Variety
If you didn’t get a chance to watch “Talent Town,” the latest film from the filmmaking duo The Muña Brothers this past month, you really missed out. The film was an engaging and exciting take on the state of art and creativity in Guam today and a call for both artists and their audience here to take things to the next level in terms of representing Guam. Full disclosure, I am one of the people featured in the film and so I do have some positive bias towards it.
The Muña Brothers are known for their work on “Shiro’s Head,” which is considered to be the first Chamorro/ Guam-movie. Other movies were filmed on Guam before “Shiro’s Head,” but this was the first one that took the island’s identity, especially its Chamorro heritage seriously. Whereas other films such as “Noon Sunday” and “Kaiju-ta no Kessen Gojira no Musuko” just used Guam as just a backdrop and basically ignored the truth of it, “S…

Chamorro Studies Beyond the Marianas


Adios Senator Ben

Guam Remembers Pangelinan
Amanda Blas
July 9, 2014

With great sadness, the island mourned the passing of Sen. Vicente Cabrera Pangelinan, affectionately known as Ben.
Pangelinan died yesterday at age 58.
Friends, family and colleagues gathered at Guam Memorial Hospital, paying their respects to the late senator.
"Guam has lost probably the greatest leader of this generation," Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz said.
Attorney Mike Phillips, who knew Pangelinan since 1985, said the two grew up together politically.
"He was always one step ahead and always fighting," Phillips said. "He was always fighting for the people. He would not give in."
Former Santa Rita Mayor Joseph Wesley considered Pangelinan to be like a brother.
"He's my buddy, he's my friend, he's my che'lu," Wesley said. "I look up to him as a friend and a leader."
Former Gov. Carl Gutierrez remembered Pangelinan as a great and passionate leader.
"All I can say is that m…

Beyond the Media Fences

When we look at the media landscape of Guam it is pretty simple. There are two main newspapers. Their ideological difference is sometimes stark, sometimes not. The PDN reflects a clear ideological agenda most of the time. They are the mainstream source of print media, the towering megalith and as such they tend to see their job as guiding the island and sometimes saving it from itself. The Marianas Variety is a worthy challenger at times, showing more ideological breadth and willingness to be critical of things the PDN is not. But the Variety is ultimately a challenger and something which is out there, but not read as much or supported as much in terms of advertising. 
For TV there is a similar dynamic, with two stations offering daily news, KUAM and PNC. PNC offers more ideological flexibility, whereas KUAM often times appeared chained to the ideology of the political families and parties it is closely associated with. Some argue that PNC has a similar bias to the opposite side of the…

Photos from Gaza

From the AP, found on the Huffington Post

Chamorro Public Service Post #26: Ai Na Pinadesi

Every time I go to deposit a check at the bank, KC Leon Guerrero is always there. His music reflects in such simple ways the Chamorro worldview and experience. I know many of his songs and I would argue that very few of them are very deep, but there is still an exciting, vibrant Chamorro dimension to them. He has sung about everything from heartache, Chamorro traditions, to racial impurity, to colonial amnesia, to optimistic weather forecasts. In honor of hearing him earlier today while at the bank I decided to post the lyrics to one of his more famous songs "Ai Na Pinadesi."
Ai Na Pinadesi KC Leon Guerrero
Ai na pinadesi Este pågu neni hu padedesi Triniste yan minahålang Desdiki un dingu yu’ nai palao’an Ai sessu yu manguifi put hågu Kada mafung mo’na i maigo-hu Manmåta yu ya sigi yu’ tumånges Ai sa taigue hao gi fi’on-hu
Ai na pinadesi Este pågu neni hu padedesi Triniste yan minahålang Desdiki un dingu yu’ nai palao’an
Ai pågu sessu yu’ di bumalåchu Sa ti siña hu sungon …

Island of Massacres

Every July Guam becomes transformed into an "island of massacres." As the collection memory of the island becomes focused around recalling and recounting the tragic final weeks of I Tiempon Chapones on Guam, the month seems to move from one horrific story to another. July 1944 was filled with more atrocities and more suffering than the 31 months of Japanese occupation that preceded it. Pale' Jesus Baza Duenas is killed. Chamorros are forced into concentration camps. Massacres take place in Hagat, Yigu, Merizo and Hagatna. War stories from war survivors build towards a brutal climax at this point. This brutal period however is the prologue to the happy end to Japanese rule. Within days or weeks of these atrocities taking place, Japanese guards have disappeared from concentration camps and stories of American troops being spotted are traveling around with lightning speed.

War narratives at this point jump from opposite sides of the spectrum. They go from being colored in …

Tinestigu para Historic Inalahan

The website of Pale' Eric Forbes is a great place for information on Chamorro language, culture and history. He has everything from Chamorro sayings, to translations of Chamorro texts, to little tidbits and footnotes from Chamorro history. It is a great resource for those who want to deepen their knowledge about so many of the things that make Chamorro Chamorro. He has a creative way of drawing out interesting parts of our native and pre-contact history, but also our colonial history. He has an equal excitement for both dimensions, which many find surprising because of his work as a Catholic priest.

Below is the transcript of some testimony given recently at the Legislature gi Fino' Chamoru. Pale' Eric provides not only a transcript but also a translation. Often times when he provide a text like this he'll have detailed notes on some of the words used and their origins. The testimony was given in favor of a bill to support the Historic Inalahan program. It is nice to h…

The Story of the 731st

My life as the program coordinator for Chamorro Studies means that my life boils down to one exciting project after the next. One thing that I love about Chamorro Studies here at UOG is that while it is an academic program in an academic institution, it is also community driven. So many of the projects that I have taken on over the past year were initiated by people in the community who wanted to have their stories recorded, wanted to have something documented, wanted to see something that is very necessary be created in the community. One project that I am hoping to expand upon in the coming year is the story of the 731st MP Company, which was a National Guard reserve component unit that served in the First Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. They were the only unit of their type from the Pacific region to be deployed and they served with great distinction. I have been working with their command officer when they were deployed Joseph Hara Salas about telling this story and interviewing…