Thursday, September 10, 2015

Estague i Manamoru

Mafitma i ROD gi i ma'pos na simana. I Maga'lahen Guahan ha silelebra este komo un gefpago na rigalu para i taotao Guahan. Lao anai hu hungok i sinangan-na sigi di hu faisen maisa yu', "hafa magahet na ha taitai ayu na ROD?" Kao ha tungo' hafa ilelek-na? Anggen magahet na ha taitai ayu, ti sina ha sangan ayu. Ti ha konfotme i sinangan-na i ROD, ha chanda gui'.

Gi i dinesganao-hu, muna'hasso yu' put i sinangan-na i difunto na Senadot Ben Pangelinan. Matai gui' gi ma'pos na sakkan, lao hu record gui' gi Mayu, anai tumestigu gui' para i huntan publiko put i SEIS. Estague i video para i tinestigu-na, ya hu pega lokkue' gi papa' unu na tininge'-na ginen i ma'pos na sakkan lokkue'.


Estague i Mañamoru!
ben’s Pen
Published in Marianas Variety
March 13, 2014

THE month of March signals the start of our celebration of Mes Chamorro. School children around the island begin preparing for Chamorro Week festivities by learning songs, chants, dances and essays. For many public school children, their preparation culminates at the University of Guam’s Charter Day competition entitled, Inacha’igen Fino’ CHamoru. For the past couple of years, I have had the honor of participating in the competition – usually judging written essays submitted by primary and secondary students and this week, two proficiency sessions entitled Gotpe na Tinaitai and Nina’kinabåles na Kuentos Gotpe. But as I celebrate with our public school and university students, I would also like to reflect on the deeper meaning behind such festivities.

Some 3,000 years ago, people navigated the waters of the Pacific, eventually settling on this island we call home. We survived explorers bringing incurable diseases and famine, world superpowers waging war, subjecting us to atrocities of war and occupations. Yet despite the best efforts to silence our voices, we remained strong. And though some history books recount a slightly different perspective of us strong-willed people, we here today know that there is always more to a story than what first appears on the surface. Instead, the true story of our people, the Chamorros, is not simply what has been printed in the pages of a history book. It must also be recognized in the strength and courage it took for our people to get here.

Those were very different times. We were not introduced to new diseases without having remedies or vaccinations for them. There were no marches to concentration camps. We did not have to ration food and water. We were not forced to slave away in rice fields to provide provisions for occupational powers. But there were Chamorros who did live through such times and their stories will never be forgotten. Their example of courage to overcome injustice brought on by foreign captors is not just an inherent part of human nature but a guiding force behind our historical journey.

Despite hundreds of years of influence and suppression, the fundamental principles that make our people unique remain intact. The values of inagofli’e’, inarespeta, inaguaiya, ika, and chenchule’ teach us a respect for oneself and for one another – that we take care of one another, especially in times of need. Our values teach us that giving back is as important as standing up for truth and justice – that our actions are a reflection of the people who raised us, and the respect we pay them extends beyond their lives on this earth. These values have served us well in the past and will continue to foster the development of future generations to come.

Today, in a time full of cynicism, political sound bites and press releases, we must remember who we are as a people. We once mastered the navigation of the seas; surely we can determine our political future. We survived a world at war; surely we can build an economy which leaves no hardworking families behind. We are the inheritors of an ancient land; surely we can leave this place better than when we found it. Although we come together to celebrate Mes Chamorro, let us not only celebrate the culture and language of the Chamorro people this month but ingrain in ourselves every single day of the year the history of strength and courage that have allowed us to weather every proverbial storm.

Ta mantieni i irensiå-ta sa’ ayu para u sostieni i manmamaila’ na tiempo!

Si Yu’os Ma’åse’
Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan

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