Remember Sumay

 
Prior to World War II, Sumay was the second largest village of Guam and because of its location near Apra Harbor, was very economically important as a hub for the island in terms of communications and trade. Because of this status, the families with ties there had a great deal of pride in their village identity and community.
 
The Trans-Pacific Cable Company, which laid the first telegraph wire across the Pacific, set up its station in the village in 1903. Sumay was also the landing site for the China Clipper from Pan American Airways, which built a hotel there in 1935. 
 
Most of the first bombs that fell on Guam in the Japanese attack on the island on December 8th, 1941 were dropped on Sumay because of its strategic importance. The US Marine Barracks and tanks from Standard Oil were both hit. Within days after the Japanese invasion, all residents were evicted. 
 
The bombardment and subsequent re-invasion of the island by US forces in July 1944 almost completely destroyed Sumay. Although Chamorus were grateful to have the US return and expel the Japanese, the return was tinged with further sadness as the US military began taking lands to build up new facilities and bases. Sumay was one area lost in order to create what is today US Navy Base Guam. 
 
On that base today there are a handful of remnants of the original village, most notably the cemetery and the cross from the church.
 
Most of the Sumay families were moved into the hills of what is today Santa Rita. Up until now, most carry with pride their Sumay heritage, as visible in the seal for Santa Rita, which states “Cha’-mu maleleffa hami taotao Sumay.” Don’t forget that we are the people of Sumay. 
 
Some of those families have created songs, poems or books to help reinforce their ties to the village, even as the years pass. Here is an example of one such song by the late Dolores Lizama "Kantan Sumay."
 
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Kantan Sumay

By Dolores Lizama

 

I memorias giya Sumay

Mampos na’mahålang na lugåt

Ya ni ngai’an ta bira hit tåtte

Sa’ ti ha sedi i federåt

 

I kilu’os ni’ ma sodda’

Sientos åños i idåt-ña

Ya ma po’lo i kilu’os

Guihi gi mismo na lugåt-ña

 

I siremonias giya Sumay

Gi diha sais gi Nobembre

Ya ni ngai’an ta fanmaleffa

Sa’ ta hahasso ha’ siempre

 

I park ni’ plånu

Para i kilu’os propiu guatu

Y taotao Sumay yan Santa Rita

Para manhahasso ha’ ta’lo

 

Ya i Sumay na lugåt

Puru hånom oriyå-ña

Ti hu li’e’ åntes na tiempo

Lao hu taitai estoria-ña

 

Ayu papa’ iya Sumay

I sumen riku na lugåt

Lao ni håfa u ta cho’gue

Sa’ manhålom i federåt

 

I mimorias giya Sumay

Yan i manaigue n manåmko’-ta

I kostumbre gaige gi korason-ta

Maseha manaigue hit gi lugåt-ta

 

I tumuge’ este na estoria

I Taotao Sumay i asagua-ña

Ya malago’ u tungo’ håyi

I na’ån-ña si Lole Lizama

 

 

Nå’i dångkolo’ na si Yu’os Ma’åse

Captain Crowe yan i mangga’chong-ña

Ginen i taotao Sumay yan Santa Rita

Put i maolek na che’cho’-ña

 


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