Dalai Nene

I have for several years now been collecting plåkan Chamoru or Chamoru vinyl albums.  Each week I scour the internet searching for records I haven't seen or heard yet.  Every few months I'm able to find a new one to fill in the gaps in my collection.  I have over the past few years been able to find four copies of this album "Dalai Nene" released by Johnny Sablan in 1968. This was the first ever Chamoru language music album and was released when Johnny Sablan was just 20 years old.  I have collected four in all, one for each of my kids (three are already here, one more is a few months out from when I am typing this).  Each will inherit one of them when I pass away.  This album is historic in so many ways, but one thing for me makes it even more unique and special, namely its use of Chamoru for its text.  There are hundreds of Chamoru albums that have been released on vinyl, cassette and CDs. And while all used Chamoru as the primary language for their songs, hardly an

For Whom Miget Zooms

Every time I start a new round of my free Chamoru classes, especially since I moved them onto zoom, I always start off by talking to the students about why I offer these classes in the first place.    I always tell them that I didn't grow up speaking Chamoru, or that I only knew less than 10 Chamoru words until I was 20 years old (unless you count food words). During the zoom class orientation last month I told the students the six main words I learned in Chamoru growing up, and that if I said one of the few words they know, put a "biba" in the chat.    I listed off to many giggle and smiles in the zoom boxes: "dåggan...tåke'...fa'fa''do'...mugo'...susu..."   When I glanced at the chat after going through a list mainly of body parts and bodily functions, I realized that more than a hundreds bibas had been typed into the chat.    I continue to offer these free Chamoru classes, primarily because I feel compelled to, in order to honor t

Kalang Hao Paluma

Ti ya-hu i mubi Operation Christmas Drop. Ti ya-hu i estoria.  Ti ya-hu na ha fatta i militåt.  Lao ya-hu na manannok i tano'-ta gi i mubi. Ya guaha taotao-ta lokkue' mana'annok gi mubi. Ya gof ya-hu na este na kånta mana'saosaonao gi i soundtrack para i mubi. Kada såkkan, hu usa este gi klas-hu Fino' Chamoru gi zoom. ******************* PALUMA The Dolls (Operation Christmas Drop Soundtrack)   Kalang hao paluma Na ti siña hu go’te Måtto hao mambisita An manengheng i puengi Pues gumupu hao gi langhet   You are like a bird That I can’t hold on to You came for a visit When the night was cold And then you flew up to the sky   An umali’e’ hit ta’lo Yan parehu i puti’on Yan hu li’e’ i matå-mu Para ta aguaiya ta’lo   If we meet again And the stars are the same And I see your face We will love each other again   Hu hasso i kulot I paopao-mu Kalang i isa Yan i pao-ña i aire Yan i sinienten i korason-hu An un atan

The Bevacqua Bilen

  As is the tradition for the Guam Bevacqua family, we put together our family bilen this month.    Each member of the family gets their own figure in the bilen representing them.    This year’s bilen is different however, since part of my gifts for everyone was to get Desiree, Sumåhi, Akli’e’ and Chuguangguang (Lulai) each a nesting doll.    Each was made in Ukraine and was purchased to support Ukrainian small businesses and artists.    Sumåhi is the Pokémon, Akli’e’ is the Star Wars, Desiree is the Dracula and Chuguangguang is the Neni na Yoda.    I forgot to buy one for myself though, so I chose the cassette tape for the Chamoru album by the DPW Singing Bus Drivers to represent me.    The background for our family bilen is the two disc vinyl album from Johnny Sablan “A Chamorro Christmas.”    Si Yu’os Ma’åse to Lulai’s nina Isa for the wooden name tags that came with our gifts this year.    The bilen and many other Chamoru Christmas traditions come into Chamoru culture through Catho

Chamoru Survival Phrases for Thanksgiving

 For my weekly Chamoru language practice group, I offered them this week in honor of Thanksgiving, 10 survival phrases in Chamoru to help get you through the day. The sentences focus on honoring and expressing gratitude, but also on discussing drama and delicate topics. They were more for fun than anything else, and I certainly did enjoy writing them up.  ************************ 1. Hu agradesi hamyo ni’ fumå’tinas este na mångnge na sena   I appreciate all of you who made this delicious dinner   2. Hu agradesi todu i mañainå-ta ni’ muna’posipble i guinahå-ta yan bendision-ta siha på’go   I appreciate all of our elders who made possible the abundance and blessings we have today   3. Hu agradesi hao nåna sa’ sen mångnge i korason-mu   I appreciate you mom because you have such a wonderful heart.   4. Hu agradesi hao lokkue’ tata sa’ taichi i gineftao-mu   I appreciate you too dad because your generosity is without limits.   5. Ti hu agr


Ever since I first began learning Chamoru my interest in Chamoru music has continually grown.  I grew up sometimes hearing Chamoru music, but couldn't understand it and didn't really connect with it.  But from the first time that I sat down with my grandmother at the dining room table and had her help me translate the CD "Chamorro Yu'" from Johnny Sablan, kinenne' yu'. I have been hooked.  To this end I have been collecting Chamoru music, whether in CD, cassette or vinyl form.  I've collected whatever I can from newspapers, magazines and scholarly sources related to Chamoru music.   I have also been fortunate enough to sit down with many musicians and talk to them about their experiences and why in a world where English dominates, they chose to record and release music in Chamoru. Last month I was very very luck, gof suettettette, to be able to pick up the album "Ai Saun Diroga" by Chamolinian II while searching for Chamoru music online.   Fr

Adios Tan Agnes

  The grandmother of my partner Desiree, Tan Agnes Duenas Perez (familian Pepero) passed away last month at the age of 92. Her youngest great-grandchild is our daughter Lulai, born just last year. I am so thankful that they got to meet before her passing. I am also glad that I have was able to spend some time with her and listen to her stories. She was just 11 years old when the Japanese invaded Guam. She was the eldest of her siblings and helped care for them during this traumatic time. From her auntie Tan Amanda Guzman Shelton, a pioneering Chamoru nurse she learned some basic skills for helping the sick and the elderly. Soon after the war she married musician Josephat Mauro Perez and began to raise a large family. She spent time in those immediate postwar years helping to start the network of community centers and programs for manåmko’. Her family would become prominent in the village of To’to’ and well known for their musical talents. Tan Agnes had 12 childre