Not Another Ladrone Moment
Well as a Guam historian, I think about Magellan a lot and quite regularly, whether I want to or not.
But the particular ways I've been thinking about Magellan lately have centered around the fact that the 500th anniversary of the circumnavigation he led will take place in 2021.
There will be several voyages that will be following his route around the world and they will naturally stop in Guam in March 2021.
I was invited to a conference on behalf of Guam and the University of Guam last March, which was seen as being a launching event for the Spanish Navy for their anniversary commemoration.
I wrote about it on this blog as part of my Circumnavigations series.
Since then I've been working with a few other people, most notably Robert Underwood, David Atienza and Carlos Madrid on pushing for the development of a commission that can organize Guam's own events around this commemoration and also work with other countries that are planning to visit Guam.
When I traveled to Spain for their conference, I was frustrated at the fact that since Guam was a territory of the US, I couldn't work directly with any of the government officials I met.
They all seemed to think it would be more appropriate if the US State Department or US military worked with them, since Guam and Spain have no direct formal diplomatic relationship.
This commission would be a means to hopefully get around our colonial status and insist that we can participate in the planning for any commemoration that takes place in Guam and also elsewhere.
Last year and also last month I testified in support of the bill at the Guam Legislature.
I'm hopeful that it will be passed and that we can get started on this work.
The first and only time that Magellan visited Guam he gave us the name Ladrones, which stuck for centuries.
The world will turn its attention to Guam in March 2021 whether we like it or not.
Media and dignitaries will visit and tell their own stories about the greatness of their countries.
Spain and Portugal in particular will use the moment to talk about the greatness of their navigators and reminisce about the former glory of their empires.
We can use that moment to make sure our story, the Chamoru story, the Guam story is told.
We can make sure that another Ladrone moment doesn't happen.
And by doing so we can find another way to act independent, to act sovereign by forming partnerships and connections to other countries, even if, as a territory, it isn't supposed to be allow.
I pasted below a list of 10 little known facts about Magellan from the website History.com.
Banidosu yu' na bei sångan na esta hu tungo' todu este şıha, ya guaha otro mas ti matungo' na fåkto kinu este siha.
DEC 4, 2012
10 Surprising Facts About Magellan’s Circumnavigation of the Globe
Explore 10 little-known aspects of one of naval history’s most legendary—and deadly—voyages.