Showing posts from April, 2016

Mensahi Ginen i Gehilo' #14: A Very American Idea

"Independence: A Very American Idea" by Michael Lujan Bevacqua Co-Chair, Independence for Guam Task Force April 12, 2016 Recent weeks have been brimming with discussion of decolonization, self-determination and political status change for Guam. Governor Calvo spent a large part of his recent State of the Island Address talking about Guam’s political status and laid out a bold plan to hold a political status vote by the end of the year. Calvo’s proposal created a stir in the community, especially among those who have been fighting for self-determination for decades, as it seemed to open the right to vote in a self-determination plebiscite to all registered voters and not just those who are considered to be “native inhabitants.”
Last week Calvo presented his plans to the Commission on Decolonization, of which I am a member, representing the Independence for Guam Task Force. We had some very spirited discussion on the Governor’s plans, sharing our concerns, but also expressi…

Saving the Chamorro Language

This article, written in 2013 is a surprisingly complete look at issues of language revitalization in Guam today. The discourse on the death of the Chamorro language is common in the media, I myself often resort to using it in order to make a dramatic point. But these articles on the impending demise of the Chamorro language tend to be overly simplistic in a number of different ways. They can focus in very negative ways, by writing one-dimensional laments about the remaining life the language has. They can be cluelessly optimistic, by taking one positive example to mean "hallelujah" the language has been saved! I like this article because it approaches it from different points, from different perspectives and the projects that are being organized in order accomplished the shared goal of language revitalization. It would be interesting though to compare articles of this sort over time, to see how much changes and how much remains the same. If the same valiant individuals mak…

Decolonization Debate

Friday, 22 April 2016 Decolonization Debate Held at Tiyan High Written by  Clynt Ridgell Pacific News Center
The Governor's office and the Commission on Decolonization facilitated a student debate on decolonization.
The debate was held at Tiyan High and it featured students from various GDEO high schools. The students were broken down into three groups one for free association one for independence and one for statehood.
 "We may fear that we will lose our citizenship and federal programs but if you look at the Federated States of Micronesia also known as the FSM they have their own passport their own citizenship yet they can travel to anywhere in the United States without a Visa and they can still obtain their federal help,” said Fredalyn a student from Tiyan High who represented the free association group.
 "With independence we will be able to have more control and finally vote for all of our leaders we can sign our own treaties and make deals with the countries w…

Quentin Tarantino Interview

Last year I got the chance to work with a great group of people on a film project. It is tentatively titled Lalahen Sinahi. I co-wrote the script with Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, and we made it almost entirely in Chamorro. We had an intense couple of weeks filming it, only to have some of the scenes disappear on us. Ken is currently off-island attending graduate school, but when he returns next month we'll need to figure out what to do next with the project, if we should shoot it again or try to salvage what we have. 

As we were writing the screenplay, a specter who was always shadowing our discussions was Quentin Tarantino. His dialogue driven stories was something we both wanted to capture in small and large ways. Sometimes people can get irritated with that type of storytelling, but when it works, it is incredibly effective and ridiculously engrossing. The flavors that he infuses into the dialogue, the tension he builds can be amazing. I am hoping that in either this project or other…

Calvo's 2016 State of the Island Address

Governor Eddie Calvo's 2016 State of the Island Address Posted: Mar 31, 2016 5:21 PM Updated: Mar 31, 2016 7:21 PM  State of the Island Address 2016
Lt. Gov. Tenorio, Madam Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Congresswoman Bordallo, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, but more importantly…
Manelu’hu, manaina’hu, yan I man’hoben,
Welcome to the Guam Capitol District! Look at how beautiful this city has become. This museum will be open in a few months. Paseo renovations are underway. I can’t wait to deliver next year’s address in the Guam Congress Building next door. And I have to tell you, as a son of Hagatna, a resident of Agana Heights, and a worker in the capital, I’m so happy that some of the best restaurants opened up shop here. We welcome even more business. We welcome artists, performances, tours, and the return of the government of Guam to the seat of government.
We have even bigger plans for this place. I received the Hagatna Master Plan for consideration. And in it, this city r…