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I just learned of our blog from reading your PDN article “Chamorros not only ones who call Guam home” and I want to say:
a) Thank you very much for highlighting this! You are absolutely right. Just as a person doesn’t have to be white to call Texas home, a person does not have to be Chamorro to call Guam home.
b) I Filipino and not Chamorro and Guam is my home. The fact is that Filipinos are destined to become the majority of Guam. Chamorros are still more then Filipinos but in time we will be #1 on Guam. And to all those racist Chamorros in the states who don’t like that, well, you’re to blame because you left Guam. When visiting relatives in the states, I have met a few Chamorros living there who asked me if am I Chamorro when I first met them. I could tell that they wanted me to be Chamorro. Well, I’m not Chamorro and most people in Guam are not Chamorro. Chamorros are only 40 percent of Guam. The Guam of today is multicultural and Chamorros are a minority (less then 50%) of the population. That’s the reality and if you’re a Chamorro in the states and you don’t like that, well, why the hell did you leave Guam in the first place. You’re to blame for making Chamorros a minority on Guam.
c) Not every brown skinned person on Guam who has a name like “Santos” or “Camacho” or “Flores,” etc., is Chamorro. Those names are Spanish last names. Most Chamorro have Spanish last names. All Chamorros have Spanish blood in them. There no pure blooded Chamorros anymore. I have brown skin and my last name is “Santos” and I live on Guam but I’m Filipino and not Chamorro. I have no Chamorro ancestry whatsoever. In addition to Spain, Spanish last names are common in places that were colonized by the Spanish such as Mexico, Guam and the Philippines. So if you meet a Santos, Flores, etc., on Guam they will not necessarily be Chamorro. Their last name could be from Filipino or Mexican ancestry, etc., and not Chamorro ancestry. I have brown skin and my last name is “Santos” and I live on Guam but I am not a Chamorro but a Filipino.
d) Guam is home to people of many different ancestries, of which most are not Chamorro, as Chamorros are less the 50% of the population. Chamorros are 40% of Guam’s population. That’s the fact.
e) Just as you’re proud to be a Chamorro, I am proud to be a Filipino. Filipino pride!
Thank you Sam for taking the time to comment. I suspect that your feelings of frustration are shared by others on the island. Filipino’s have a long history of helping to shape the Guam community. Maybe we all need to give more credit to Filipinos and others for their role on the islands so we can all share in creating the future together.
Sam – you are correct. My mother and siblings are trying to get me to move back home to Guam (I currently live in the states) for the same reason you’ve stated – that the Chamorros who re-locate to the states or elsewhere are the reason why Chamorros may one day become minorities in their own land.
Also, I admit that there has always been a resentment towards Filipinos by Chamorros ever since I can remember. I understand both points of view:
a) Filipinos, for the most part, have moved to Guam since the mid 1900’s because it’s fairly close to the P.I., the climate is similar to what they’re used to and it’s a “first-world” nation with a better economy.
b) Chamorros have resented Filipinos for similar reasons to that of the Native Americans and Whites. As you mentioned, there will, at some point, be more Filipinos on Guam than Chamorros if all the locals continue to move off-island.
I’m not excusing this resentment – i’m explaining it.
I think that you can’t blame the Filipinos for wanting a “better life” and if I was Filipino i’d probably do the same thing. You also can’t blame the Chamorros for resenting a foreign people who are somewhat “taking over” their island because our island is tiny and there’s hardly enough room for the people who live there now.
Sinced i’ve lived in the states i’ve met people out here who are neither Chamorro nor Guamanian but they know someone from Guam and they’d ask me, “Where does the tension between Chamorros and Filipinos come from?”
After I explain it to them i’m always sure to add that if it were, let’s say, the Germans or Portuguese who migrated in waves to Guam instead of the Filipinos then we wouldn’t be talking about Filipinos. We’d be talking about Germans or Portuguese.
I think Sandy is right, “Maybe we all need to give more credit to Filipinos and others for their role on the islands so we can all share in creating the future together.”
It dose not matter what percent and what nationality is what the Chamorro people’s culture is and there way of life shall always be a way of our Chamorro heritage in the u.s. there are all kinds of nationalities all calls it home but your true home is what you left behind and you did not make a difference to what it is today (earn it).
I like what you wrote as i am half chamarro and haole and i still love and miss my beautiful island of guahan and even though i am living on the mainland i still have not forgotten my beautiful island….or where i came from.
theres nothing wrong for having pride in our chammoro culture,so what if alot of chammoros move to the states,im pretty sure they remember theyre roots as chammoros.i think guam helped the filipinos out not the other way around,the point is i am proud to be chammoro and have privallages most filipinos dont have so the main reason is that all chammoros will never forget where they cam from and trust me its not gonna be the philipines.oh and not anytime soon nor there will never more filipinos than chammoros so you have your pride i have mine i am proud to be full chammoro.fact-most chammoros are picked to be validvictorian
Wonderful feature today, Sandy. Launch the project on Kickstarter.com. It’s a natural! I have backed 3 documentary films and each reached its goal. One was Greg Louganis in “Back on Board,” one was about an autistic child, and one was about using iPod music for Alzheimers’ patients. I will back this one! BTW, not seeking credit, Pale Eric was one of my favorite writing students at UOG. And I helped convince him NOT to go into politics, following his brother’s footsteps, but to follow his Faith — in both God and Language!! Biba!
the case maybe different for filipinos today. The PI economy is getting better, and the middle class is growing again. If they play their cards right, they dont hve to leave anymore and ofws will go back to the PI.
I am a go islander, in more ways than one. Love to keep in touch where-ever our islanders go.
I just recenly subscribed on Goisland.net and I find it very interesting to read; I am a full bloodied Guamanian who is known in MongMong and Agana heights where I use to lived and grew up. I am now residing in Leesville, Louisiana after retiring from the U.S. Army and I really want to keep up with my “Chamorro” heritage. Thank you and Si Yius Maase.
Robert, Thank you for reading. I hope you continue to enjoy news of the island and keeping up with Chamorro activities stateside.
si Yuos Ma’ase Robert.
Wonderful work you are doing, Sandy!
Ronnie San Nicolas
This is my first time on GoIsland…Interesting comments. Is the island turning into a racist??? Maybe, they are too westernized….too much influence from the US. It’s really sad to hear about chamorros and filipinos. They should be one, united Guamanians, we are all island brothers and sisters. If you lived on the island, regardles if you are white/black or whatever color, we are all Guamanians…I loved our Governor, how he addresses when he gives a speech…my fellow Guamanians, that’s how he starts his greetings, not my fellow Chamorros. So if the chamorros are offended because the filipinos are achieving on the island, then moved back to our so called home, and help out the economy.
The problem with using the term “Guamanian” universally is that Chamorros get left out. Our identity gets lost real quick. Since i’ve been living in Amerika i’ve had two instances where i’ve met Amerikans out here and after telling them where i’m from they both automatically assumed that I was Filipino. When I began to tell them about the indigenous people of the Marianas they both thought I was lying to them because they had a lot of Guamanian friends already and none of them ever mentioned the word “Chamorro” to them. They thought that Guam was a Filipino territory or an annex of the P.I.
It’s not about being racist but rather about preserving our identity. You have to remember that the term “Guamanian” was given to us by the Amerikans after WWII. The Amerikans needed terms to differentiate the Chamorros from Guahan from Saipan from Tinian from Luta. Now the term “Guamanian” is being used universally regardless of ethnicity.
I doesn’t bother me that foreigners have emigrated to Guam in search of a better life. What does bother me is that we, the natives of the land, are losing our identity because of these circumstances. That’s why I think the governor should’ve used the phrase, “Hafa adai my fellow Chamorros and Guamanians” – that way everyone is included.
I find alot of Chamorros, for fear of offending anyone, choose to use the term “Guamanian” universally to include everyone. But remember, in trying not to “offend” anyone we’re destroying our identity simultaneously.
I bet if the shoe was on the other foot, and it was the Chamorros who emigrated to the P.I. (and imagine the P.I. as a tiny island) in massive waves and then started to outnumber the Filipinos, I doubt the Filipinos would have any problems doing what they could to preserve their own identity in their own land – and could we blame them? Of course not. Da’lai, umbre.
Ai Adai! As a Chamoru, I will forever be proud of who I am, where I’m from Guam, the most beautiful island in the World! With all that said, I married a Filipino (who was raised on Guam) and we have two grown children which we raised in our Chamoru customs, culture, traditions and language. We’ve been to many places for my asagua was in the Air Force and have retired in New Mexico.
Many of us stateside Chamorus have decide to ‘homestead’ in the States (or elsewhere)
for reasons of their own and at the same time many of us return home as well. I was raised never to judge or be biased about what another’s decides or does… I know and have many familia & gachongs who continue our Chamoru way of life and eventually make their way home
We have become involved with Native Americans and their plight of segregation and mistrust of the American government continues. What I’ve learned about being here and missing my home Guam, is that as long as I continue to do my part with my family in keeping my heritage alive I will make it back home. I’m sure many feel as I do.
We need to be respectful of others and focus on the positive about our race and to never lose hope…isn’t that what our ancestors did? As much as our ‘numbers’ have changed on Guam am confident that we will prevail. I know of at least 3 families moving back home at year’s end. That’s good news, right?
Passport To Adventure has the PBS featured 304-Guam-travel-DVD, a beautiful way to visit or to re-visit our native isle.
First, I would like to say that it is an amazing thing that the Chamorros of San Diego are doing for our culture. The Chamorro people will always be at risk of cultural extinction, it’s a simple numbers game and frankly we just can’t field a full team. We WILL simply just be bred out of existence. There will be no Chamorro reservation provided for us. Every mixed child will thin out our blood more and more, by no means am I against interethnic marriage, because people should marry for love in the eyes of god. Many Chamorros will continue to teach their children what they can and know of the culture, but what will they be able to teach their children, and so on.. A few Chamorro words here and there, a couple of their favorite home cooked dishes they eat at parties, until eventually there is nothing left. The pull for most people to embrace what they can most closely affiliate with is strong, a child who’s 1/8th Chamorro who does no speak the language, know the traditions, or cannot recall their family ancestry past their grandparents is a child who will embrace whatever culture they can fit into.
Mexicans, Filipinos, and other brown ethnicities don’t have this problem. Cause let’s face it, there’s just a crap ton of them. We Chamorros are a super minority, we are even the minority of our own land. People wonder why Chamorros seem racist because they don’t and can’t understand our plight to not be extinct as a people. We have a governor who can’t speak the language, who’s sitting in office because it was time for another Calvo to update legislature to further line his families pockets.
If only Chamorros could own land like in the CNMI we could’ve always made sure we have had a place of our own. I just pray when we are gone that the Guamanians show the same respect for our ancestral lands as we did.
Esta umbre, Mike.
Other ethnic groups like Filipinos, Germans, Koreans, Chuukeese, etc. have no idea what we’re going through (except for Native Hawaiians and Native Americans – these people definitely know what we’re going through) because if you go to the Phillippines or Germany or Chuuk the natives there speak their native tongue as their first language. There is no “melting pot” of foreigners taking up a big portion of their population which ultimately destroys the natives’ identity and culture.
Although this is unintentional it is absolutely inevitable and we need to recognize this and react accordingly.
Esta ki….si Mark
Again to reiterate again, I have nothing against interethnic marriage or children, I love and respect all descendants of the Chamorro people. Biba Chamorro!
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