Showing posts from March, 2015

Hope Cristobal's Testimony on Saving the Manuel FL Guerrero Building

TESTIMONY IN THE PRESERVATION OF CHAMORRO MODERN HISTORY: 1950 - 1970 A.D.:The historic Governor Manuel F.L. Guererro Administration Building(DOA), Hagatna
by Senator Hope Alvarez Hope Cristobal -OPI(R)

Senator Rory J. Respicio, Chairman
Committee on Rules, Federal, Foreign & Micronesian Affairs, Human & Natural Resources, Election Reform and Capitol District
Mina’ Trentai Tres Na Liheslaturan Guahan
2015 (First) Regular Session

March 4, 2015
Reference: Bill No. 32-33 (COR)

Hafa adai, Senot Presidente Rory Respicio, Senator Tina Muna-Barnes yan Speaker Judith WonPat:
Thank you for this opportunity to present testimony on Bill 32-22(COR)—the demolition of the Gov. Manuel F.L. Guerrero Building in Hagatna also known as the Dept. of Administration Bldg. To those of us who frequented the building in the days of the Department of Education and the Department of Administration for one reason or another. For the record, my name is Hope Alvarez Cristobal. I am from Tamu…

Joaquin Flores Lujan - National Heritage Award Fellow

National Endowment for the Arts For Immediate Release March 23, 2015
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 1996 National Heritage Fellow Joaquin Flores Lujan, a blacksmith who helped to preserve Guam's blacksmithing past, an aspect of the island's Chamorro culture that combines Spanish colonial and local influences.
Joaquin "Jack" Flores Lujan was born March 20, 1920, in Guam. He was the only child to learn the art of blacksmithing from his father, who in turn had learned the skills from his uncle. He mastered the graceful lines and fine finishes of the short Guamanian machete with inlaid buffalo horn or imported Philippine hardwood handles; the preferred angle and bevel of the fosino (hoe); and the practical applications of the other tools. As late as the World War II era, blacksmithing played an essential role in Guam. But the time-consuming work of learning the craft and the diminishing economic incentive to…

Sherlock Update

Sherlock Season 4, "Frightening, tough, emotional upheaval" James Hibberd  Posted March 27 2015 — 1:18 PM EDT Entertainment Weekly
Interviewing ultra-secretive Steven Moffat about Sherlock is a tricky endeavor, given that the writer-producer would prefer to say nothing at all about what will happen in the show’s hugely anticipated fourth season. But during our wide-ranging recent interview, the Sherlock co-creator gave us a few hints about what to expect when the BBC/PBS Masterpiece fan-favorite series returns. Plus, he addressed the long wait between seasons, took a little dig at that other Holmes show—CBS drama Elementary—and even gave a surprisingly passionate defense of Fifty Shades of Grey.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, what do you feel comfortable telling us about season 4—or “series” 4, as it’s called in the U.K.?

STEVEN MOFFAT: There are answers coming to questions which nobody has asked. There’s one thing that no one has really brought up…

Can you say what the qu…

Rising Tides

A sobering article about the situation in the Marshall Islands, where rising tides and damage from nuclear testing is threatening to force people out of the Pacific and seek new homes elsewhere. Climate change is, as President Obama regularly notes, the number issue facing the world today. It is however the number one issue that people are content to do close to nothing about. For people in the Pacific, this importance is even more pronounced due to the fact that people in low and high islands are already being affected and will soon have their lives irrevocably affected. People in low islands are already beginning to respond, but those of us in high islands are enjoying our terrestrial privilege and for Guam, our connection to the United States to somehow imagine that we won't be affected as much. When will we in Guam learn to see and live where we are, not where we have been indoctrinated to wish we were? Also, how foolish is it that a sense of minor American exceptionalism som…

Poisons in the Pacific

This article represents an important reminder about the consequences of militarism and militarization. It is easy to become enamored by the spiffiness, the shininess of the US military. The advertisements are so sleek and so inspiring. They hit people from so many angles. They appeal to the patriotism, the training, the education, the travel, the need to protect the homeland and one's family. These ads are bolstered by the surface of the US military. The cleanliness, the immaculate surface. Nicely cute lawns. Sharply painted houses. Pressed uniforms, young people and not so young people standing at attention. There is so much clean order. It is no wonder than that in Guam, militarism is such a strong force. Militarism deals with the way that a society relates to military institutions and military force. Do societies see military force, military outposts, military service as being ideal, essential, a last resort? Do they see the military as the ultimate opportunity or an unfortuna…

Bei Gaige Giya San Diego

I will be in the Southern California area at the end of this month for the upcoming Chamorro Cultural Festival in San Marcos (on March 28th). I went out to it last year and did some outreach for UOG and Chamorro Studies and had a wonderful time. Since we are supposed to begin building our online certificate program in Chamorro Studies this summer, I felt it would be good to go back out and keep people up to date of what we've been doing and keep networking.

In addition to the Chamorro Cultural Festival I'll also be helping with the FESTPAC diaspora auditions. Next year Guam will become the most important place in the Pacific for two weeks as it hosts the largest arts and culture festival in the region. For this event Guam CAHA is including a group of people from the diaspora as part of the delegation. These auditions and workshops will take place the day after the Chamorro Cultural Festival, the 29th in San Diego.

I'll also be doing more UOG/Chamorro Studies outreach bef…

We are Guam

I just finished up an article on tourism, colonialism and cultural revitalization in Guam. Part of the article discussed recent interventions by both government and private entities to diversify Guam's tourism industry by trying to make it more locally focused and take it out of the bubble of Tumon. I discussed several failed campaigns over the years which often didn't amount to anything. Some of those campaigns seemed to hold a lot of promise, such as the village ambassador program (my grandfather was chosen as the ambassador for Mangilao because of his status as a cultural master). I am looking forward to seeing if this new program We are Guam, which was a name used several years ago for another initiative, leads to more concrete results and improvements.


Former Miss Earth Guam and GVB to Launch We are Guam Program
Written by 
Pacific News Center
January 19, 2015

In an effort to boost the island's tourism, 2012 Miss Earth Guam Sarah Filu…

Pakyon Chotda

(The image is from Pongsona, which hit Guam in 2002)

Matto yan ma'pos esta Si Bavi. 

Guam had yet another pakyon chotda this weekend. "Banana typhoon" is a term that people in the Pacific often use to refer to a storm that had some winds, some rain but wasn't too damaging or dangerous. 

It has been more than ten years since the last super typhoon hit Guam and about 10 years since the last typhoon-strength typhoon hit Guam. 

Most of my students haven't been through real typhoon before or only remember ones when they were very young. They are used to the pakyon chotda we've had for the past few years where classes are cancelled but ultimately the power and internet stay on. They have become the equivalent of island snow days. 

In all my classes this week we talked about how people had weathered the storm, and some had stories of tin roofing flying, trees getting knocked over and some losing power for the night. The last pakyon chotda had some flooding in areas…

Adios Tony

In 2012 I had the honor of traveling to Washington D.C. as part of the Guam delegation for the First Stewards Symposium, a gathering of native peoples associated with the US to discuss climate change. We performed at the National Museum of the American Indian and set up a display there of Chamorro cultural tools and artifacts. One of the highlights of the trip is that I got to spend time with Tony Ramirez, long time curator for the Guam Museum. I had known him primarily as the curator but through talking to him I learned so much more, even about his past as one of Guam's progressive activists and even participated in the Sella Bay protests of the 1970s. Guam has lacked a real museum for too long and it was always Tony's mission to see a new museum built and in use. He passed away earlier this year and it is truly tragic that he didn't get to see the museum he helped sustain for so long finished in Hagatna.

While he was waiting for a new museum to be designed and built, To…

Kantan Guinaiya

This year for the Inachaigen Fino' CHamoru or Chamorro Language Competition we tried out a new category, Kantan Chamorrita. This style is something unfamiliar to most on Guam today, but was an integral, constant and always oppan part of Chamorro life before the war and even for a few years afterwards. Kantan Chamorrita or Chamorrita refers to a style of social improvisational singing. A verse is started with a familiar tune, and another takes up the song by adding on a verse of their own. Each verse is supposed to be four lines. The tune is simple and doesn't move to fast, but each singer is expected to rhyme the last part of the 2nd and 4th line.

In the days before radio was commonplace and stereos, walkmans or iPods existed, this was how people filled the gaps in the air and in time. Singing familiar songs, but making up your own songs with others was something you did while fishing, weaving, farming, partying and so on. But as audio distractions and diversions became easie…

America's Empire

I'm excited this summer because I'll be a visiting scholar in Japan at Kobe University. I'll be teaching a course on transnational relations that focuses on militarization and militarism in the Asia-Pacific region. I'll be using two books for the course Militarized Currents edited by Setsu Shigematsu and Keith Camacho and The Bases of Empire edited by Catherine Lutz.

Catherine Lutz has been a friend of Micronesia for a very long time and last came through Guam a few years ago. Here work is very important in terms of giving a structure to militarization and militarism and not just letting them be things taken for granted as natural parts of life, but being able to drawn them out of the background here and force them to become objects of analysis and critique. Her work when she came through Guam and gave several presentations and even testified in front of the Guam Legislature was very eye-opening to people about the nature of military bases and how they affect the com…