Wednesday, August 14, 2013

15th Annual Gupot Y Peskadot (Fishermen’s Festival)

 

Sunday we went to the Fishermen’s Festival at the Guam Fishermen’s Co-op.

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The dance group Guma Rasan Acho Latte were a delight to the festivities and performed cultural dances which chronicled the history of Guam while singing in Chamorro.

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There were several  booths selling plants, goods from local artisans, baked goods and books. I purchased Chamorro Heritage: A Sense of Place (Guidelines, Procedures and Recommendations for Authenticating Chamoro Heritage) . The book had until recently been sold out.

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Several  signs were hung up around the festival, each one describing a Chamorro value and would like to share them with you:

Kustumbren Manchamorro (Chamorro Values)

Gineftåo

Generosity: Be willing to share and give what you have to others

Mana’ayuda

Cooperation: Work willingly with others toward a common goal

Akseptasion

Acceptance: Be willing to understand and appreciate qualities in others

Respetu

Respect: Always remember to show others consideration, admiration and honor

Inagofli’e

Friendship: Accept, share and enjoy the companionship of others

Responsapblidåt

Responsibility: Always be someone others can depend on.

Måolek Kotdura

Good Judgment: Make wise choices on what you know is right

Inafa’målek

Compassion and Caring: Try to understand how others feel and act on those feelings with care and concern

Hulat Maisa

Self-Control: Work hard to control your thoughts and behavior

Na ha na’yan manu para u kanno’. Isao I despetdisiu.

Take only what you can eat. To waste is a sin.

Minesñgon

Perseverance: Keep working hard to reach your goals even when it gets difficult

Mina’tatñga

Courage: Stand strong for your beliefs and do what’s right even when others disagree

Minagåhet

Honesty: Be sincere, truthful, trustworthy and loyal in all that you do and say

 

As with any festival, there was plenty of food! (Some of which was free!)

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And of course, there were $3 carabao rides. Doesn’t it look like fun? This beast was such a sweet thing!

To learn more about rules and regulations for fishing on Guam and events, please visit these websites:

www.guamfishermenscoop.com.

www.fishtoday.org

Friday, August 2, 2013

Two Lovers Point

 

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Two Lovers Point is a cliff overlooking Tumon Bay. This particular cliff comes with a Romeo and Juliet type story.

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The Legend

When Spain ruled Guam, a proud family a proud family lived in Agaña , the capital city. The father was a wealthy Spanish aristocrat and the mother was a Chamorro whose father was a great chief. They owned land and were held in high esteem by all, Chamorro and Spanish alike. However, the best reason for their great pride and dignity was their beautiful daughter. She was honest, modest; her charm so natural that her beauty impressed everyone around her.

One day, a powerful, arrogant Spanish captain came to ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The proud father decided that the captain would be his daughter's husband. When the girl discovered this, she was so disillusioned that she ran from the house and wandered along the shore where the sea soothed her with its silence and peace.

While walking along the shore, she met a young, gentle, strongly-built and handsome Chamorro man from a very modest Chamorro family. He was lost in his own solitary thoughts, his gentle eyes seemed to be studying the lonely stars and seeking some meaning to his life. They fell in love, sharing their thoughts and desired. When the father of the girl learned about the two lovers, he became angry and demanded that she marry the powerful Spanish captain. No one could keep the father from announcing the date of the marriage to the Spanish captain. That day at sundown, she stole out of the house to meet the Chamorro goy who loved her She joined him near the high point where thy had first met and watched the stars appear.

When the father discovered that his daughter was gone, he told the captain that his daughter had been kidnapped by the Chamorro boy. The father, the captain and all the Spanish soldiers pursued the lovers up to the high cliff above Tumon Bay. The horsemen slowed down their pace as they neared the high peak because they saw that the lovers were trapped. The lovers knew there was one think left for them to do. The boy shouted a warning for the men to stay back, and the father signaled the men to halt and to watch. The couple stood at the very edge of the cliff. The boy and girl took the long strands of their hair and tied them together into a rope-like knot. The two acted as if they were absolutely alone. They looked deeply into each other’s eyes and kissed one last time. In that instant, the young couple leaped down the long, deep cliff into the roaring waves below.

When the father looked down over the edge, all he could see was the floating hair of the lovers. Too late, the father understood the meaning of their hair tied together. Since that day, the Chamorros look to the jutting peaks by Tumon Bay with a kind of reverence. They are paying respect to the young couple who showed them that real love comes from the entwining of two souls, true to one another in life and death. And, forever after; the high point on the cliff has been known as “Two Lovers Point.”

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People come from around the world to visit this site and many people marry here or have their wedding pictures taken at the site. Don’t be surprised if you see a bride and groom here! There are tablets engraved with the names and dates of couples who wed here.

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Another popular thing to do here is leave a lock or  luggage tag with your name and the name of your significant other. You can bring your own or buy heart shaped luggage tags for $4 and foam hearts to write your name or message for $2.

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For $5 we got to try “coconut sushi.” We drank the water from the coconut, and it is later prepared, one side filled with soy sauce for dipping. It was really good and tasted like sushi!

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Also near two lovers point is this 9/11 Peace Memorial from the Rotary Club of Northern Guam.

Two Lovers Point

Hours: 0800-1900

Admission: $3 per person ($2 for residents) children 6 and under are free

Stroller accessible: The general park is stroller accessible but there are stairs going to the peak if you buy an admission ticket.

Changing Table: I believe so, will have to update again at a later date.

The “I Support You” Movement

 

It is nearing the end of “Breast-Feeding Awareness Week” and  I have decided to touch on the topic as there is a Bill going into effect on Guam concerning the matter.

Guam is currently one of the only places in the U.S. that does not have any form of breastfeeding law. Bill 15-32, Nana Yan Patgon Act (Mother and Child Act) will be a federal law requiring employers to provide reasonable break times for breastfeeding mothers to pump milk for their nursing babies in a clean environment and offering working mothers to do so in a place other than a bathroom.

This is a fantastic initiative to put in place.  Mother’s should not feel shunned for their choice of nurturing their child whether they are working or at home. A private and clean place to pump is important and no mother should be asked to do this in a bathroom stall.

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I also believe this a two-way street. Women who breast-feed must overcome many physical, emotional and social difficulties which should not be undermined. But bottle-feeding mothers are also stigmatized perhaps as cold, uneducated, selfish or lazy. The list goes on.  The undeniable truth is that every mother’s experience is different. Every mother’s struggle is different. In the end, she must choose what is right for her and her baby.

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There is a wonderful movement going on right now that I think is of the utmost importance. As women, we should unite and support each other’s decisions. Sometimes the choice is easy, sometimes it is difficult and sometimes there isn’t much of a choice. We all want what is best and sometimes that differs from mother to mother and even child to child. I-support-you-logo

The I Support You movement is a respectful, empathetic, compassionate exchange between parents.  We all feed our children differently, but we are all feeding with love, and in ways that work for our individual circumstances and family dynamics.  I Support You is the first step in helping formula-feeding, breast-feeding, and combo-feeding parents to come together and lift each other up with kindness and understanding. We have chosen to announce this movement during World Breastfeeding Week, to honor the commitment of those who fight for better support for breastfeeding moms; we are inspired by this, but believe that by changing the focus to supporting all parents, we can truly provoke positive change without putting the needs of some mothers above the needs of others. The “I Support You” movement aims:

1) To bridge the gap between formula-feeding and breastfeeding parents by fostering friendships and interactions.

2) To dispel common myths and misperceptions about formula feeding and breastfeeding, by asking parents to share their stories, and really listening to the truth of their experiences.

3) To provide information and support to parents as they make decisions about how to feed their children.

4) To connect parents with local resources, mentors, and friends who are feeding their children in similar ways.

So no matter how you choose to fill your babies’ bellies, I hope you fill their hearts, minds and souls with lots and lots of love. And that is something we can all support.

(Edit: I still feel this way about breastfeeding, I am now a mother of two and my eldest was breastfed for one month and I am still exclusively breastfeeding my 3 month old and trying to feel more comfortable doing it in public even with a cover on. Every mama has to do what is best for her baby, no matter what it might be and every baby is different. Feed with love!)

Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica

 

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Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica is located on the site where the first Catholic church on Guam was constructed in 1669. The original building was destroyed in WWII and the current structure was finished in 1958.

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This mother church of the Archdiocese of Agaña is one of the few churches to hold two special titles (Cathedral and Basilica).

A cathedral is the central and most important church of a diocese and the “home church” of the bishop.

A basilica is an important church building designated by the Pope to buildings with special spiritual, historical and architectural significance.

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The Cathedral-Basililica is located on the Plaza de España which was the location of the Governor’s Palace during the Spanish occupation.

Open to the public when sacraments and Mass are not in session.  It also has a museum gallery featuring exhibits by appointment only. There is also a gift shop and café within the church.

Gift Shop Hours: Monday – Saturday 1000-1800

Mass Hours:  Thursdays 0545

Friday 0545

Saturday 0545, 1800

Sunday 0545, 0730,0930,1130,1900

website: http://www.aganacathedral.org/

Stroller accessible: YES

Changing table: NO