Our I AMCHAMORRO documentary has been chosen as an official selection for the 12th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon in 2017. The festival will take place at the Bijou Arts Cinemas in Eugene, Oregon on April 21st-23rd, 2017.
Heartfelt thanks and un dangkulo na si Yu'us ma'åse' to everyone who believed in us and supported our efforts. This would not have been possible without you!!!!
Biba Chamorro!!!!! Feel free to share this good news with your family and friends.
Tonight, my wife and I had the privilege to watch a newly released cultural documentary called I Am Chamorro. As I opened up the newly wrapped DVD case, I asked myself other than where I come from, is there anything else that marks me as a Chamorro? With hopes that the film will shed new light about who I am, and who my children are as pacific islanders and Chamorros, I was eager to find out what the film was about. From the comfort of our Colorado home, my wife and I were immediately welcomed back to the sounds and sights of the Mariana Islands on our television. While the snow outside was melting on our brown lawn, we were quickly greeted with deep green moist jungles, dark limestone rocks, steep cliffs, colorful flowers and untouched beaches on our screen. These were only some of the vivid images from the Mariana archipelago that made me homesick or mahalang for my island and its people.
I Am Chamorro is a high-definition film in Blu-Ray and DVD narrated by Catholic priest, Father Eric Forbes, OFM, CAP, a Chamorro and Guam native with Irish roots. Father Forbes spent decades researching his Chamorro heritage, which thus created a passion for sharing his roots. Forbes, along with Executive Producer of the film, Joanne Tabor Modic, a Chamorro born and raised on Guam, now living in California, have successfully brought our Chamorro identity to the forefront.
With the resurgence of interest in the Chamorro culture by many in the islands and by many Chamorros abroad, Modic and Forbes could not have chosen a better time to produce and release this video. Over the last decade, so many Chamorros have worked collectively to bring their attention to rediscovering their eroding identity, and to bring forth new opportunities for growth and understanding of our culture.
This film framed where Chamorros came from as a people using DNA evidence, which has allowed scholars and scientists to theorize that several thousand years ago, Chamorros more likely migrated from places like Eastern Indonesia where East Indonesian women’s DNA is more similar to Chamorro female DNA than any other DNA across that region. There was a discussion of a theory of two migration waves from Indonesia, one which brought over the earliest of Chamorro settlers, and the second wave of people potentially being the impetus for the introduction of latte stones to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI). This theory is further supported by an Indonesian stone carving which seems to show a house atop what we would call “latte stones”.
I Am Chamorro paints an overview of the Chamorro people’s pre-history, and history concerning the migration of peoples from Spain, the Philippines, other islands in Micronesia, from Mexico, and other Asian countries as a result of sea-trade, farming, and missionary expeditions across the region. Additionally, it attempts to underscore the different political paths that Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands took, how they were affected by World War II, including how each struggled with occupations from Spain, Japan, Germany, and the United States.
This documentary has intimate dialogue between the younger Chamorro diaspora and the viewing audience, sharing their personal journeys about who they are and what they know of themselves to be as Chamorro. While the diaspora provided a narrative of their perspective, what made this film even more compelling are the interviews of older Chamorros on Guam and in the NMI, about their personal testimonies and experiences as they shared their identity.
If there was a highlight that caught my attention through out the video, aside from the factual information that informed my culture, it was the professional acting skills of two Chamorro natives who could pass as brothers. Dressed in ancient attire, with native bone and shell jewelry, carrying spears, they were trekking through the beautiful green jungles, limestone caves, and sandy shores of Guam. They dressed the part and did well in these roles. I only wish they actually spoke the Chamorro language to complete the cinematic experience. With the varied scenes they were part of, they made me want to explore my island even more, in ancient Chamorro attire to boot.
If you have not seen this new documentary, I’d encourage you to do so. This project of love for our people provides a spring board to further explore, and ask questions about who we are, and who we want to become as a Chamorro people.
While this film isn’t a one-size-fits-all definition for what a Chamorro truly is, I came to a realization that I’m better informed about my past, and my identity to form a more complete picture of who I am as a Chamorro.
My intention is to share this film with my children, and my children’s future children so that they can discover who they are, and what they can do themselves to learn more, and share more, to create the people that they themselves, would want to be as Chamorros.
*** Gerard Aflague is a blogger, and Chamorro, born on Guam, formerly from Sinajana, he now resides in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, living with his wife and three children.
His parents, Lorenzo and Julia, and grandparents, Demetrio Garcia Cruz and Teresa Duenas Cruz, together with Vicente Torres Aflague and Anna Martinez Calvo Aflague, were from Hagatna, the capital of Guam. Gerard traces his genealogy primarily to Guam, the Philippines, Spain, and Scotland. His lineage is from the following clans: Aflague, Cruz, Calvo, Garcia, Torres, Flores, Leon Guerrero, Duenas, Martinez, and Crisostomo.
Gerard is part of a worldwide collective of Chamorros who spends time to give back to his people and to promote his culture, as part of his varied collection sold on GerardAflagueCollection.com.
Eloquent, Powerful, Gripping, Passionate and Educational...
This is how I would describe the documentary "I AM CHAMORRO" if I only had a few words to do so.
Without watching any movie trailers prior to viewing this film, I really didn't have any idea what to expect, which helped fuel my curiosity and fascination.
Watching this documentary was a wonderful experience, one that I would gladly explore again. The beautiful scenery, and the history lesson were just a few of the things that made the film well worth watching. The film was very gracefully put together to capture the character of some very amazing people. The cinematography used to showcase the beautiful tropical islands was remarkable. The historical photographs and the ancient artifacts revealed in the film take you back in time. The results are a very powerful and entertaining piece of work.
Although it was put together as a documentary, it also crossed over into the category of a feel-good movie. The powerful music score that accompanied the great narrations really added to the artful emotional undertone of the film. I watched it to the absolute end as every credit rolled by until the screen went black. And then I felt myself let out an exhale of admiration, for the Chamorro people and their history. Cheers!
Every Chamorro home should make it a tradition to gather and watch this film at least once a year during the holidays.
Chamorro Month is celebrated annually in the month of March. Chamorros around the globe proudly celebrate Guam's culture, heritage and people.
We are gearing up for Mes Chamorro by offering our I AM CHAMORRO t-shirts for $5 less than it's regular price. That's right . . a t-shirt that normally sells for $20 will be reduced by $5 to $15. Tell your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about our sale so everyone can wear their I AM CHAMORRO t-shirt with pride during the month long celebration and throughout the year.
Our sale begins February 15th and ends on April 1st. Biba Mes Chamorro. Biba Guam
With the newly released “I Am Chamorro” (http://www.iamchamorro.com/) movie, the Chamorro people at last have a full length documentary that covers their 4,000 plus year saga. And the story of the making of this movie can be considered an adventure in itself. You see, the executive producer of “I Am Chamorro” has never made a movie before. The researcher and writer is a priest that never imagined himself making a documentary. This film came about on an impulse, conceived in faith and executed with what has been described as divine intervention.
Executive Director Joanne Tabor Modic of Los Angeles had first been introduced to the visiting Father Eric Forbes known as Pale’ Eric, as the perfect priest to preside over the traditional Chamorro Santa Marian Kamalen Mass she coordinates at the Good Samaritan Hospital chapel in Los Angeles. The more Joanne and her family heard from Pale’, a longtime Chamorro historian, the more they wanted.
“And we wanted him to speak to us not only from the spiritual standpoint but also on topics involving culture, tradition and language,” said Joanne. “He was what we needed to reconnect to our roots.”
Over the next two years, Pale’ Eric honed his knowledge into workshops that were presented to packed audiences in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area. Pale’ Eric was urged to record his knowledge to reach a wider audience. Once it was decided to make a film, talents and resources seemed to emerge. Joanne had a career in banking and experience putting together complex business plans. Her daughter, Denise, is a lawyer. Her son-in-law John and his brother, Rex, are in marketing and graphic design with connections to the film industry. Other friends and family had sales experience.
“Somehow we had the right skill sets to get this done,” said Joanne.
Pale’ Eric had one important requirement. The film had to be fully funded before production. The minimum goal was $150,000. The work began.
“Some things were successful and some were not, but we tried them all and we kept going,” Joanne said.
Their first sign that this project could have the support that it needed was a fundraiser following a cultural workshop in San Diego by Pale’ Eric. I was an organizer of that fundraiser as part of the Che’lu organization, and although we didn’t know how much our brunch fundraiser could help, we knew that their effort for this project deserved ours. It turned out to be an opportunity for those who had been inspired by the recent workshop to show their support. When $1,000 film sponsorships were offered, half a dozen supporters stepped up that day. It was the first big break for the “I Am Chamorro” effort.
Still, the huge price tag for the film was looming. I had to ask Joanne.
With tens of thousands of dollars given in faith, how could she be sure they could raise all the money? Joanne, a devout Catholic, admitted that she sometimes had to go into church with her fears and leave them at the altar when brief, but real, concern felt overwhelming.
At one particular point, the project was $40,000 short of their goal and Joanne felt anxious that this final stretch was going to be the hardest. She was on her way to Guam when she happened to turn on her phone in Hawaii and got a call from Lou Leon Guerrero at the Bank of Guam saying that they were coming in as the presenting sponsor at $50,000. It was just one of the milestones where Joanne felt there was a higher power at work.
Once the money was raised, the production work began. Through this part of the process, Joanne was not involved in the content. “Pale’ wanted it to be a surprise to me.” When asked how the film was coming along, she would have to be vague.
Finally after a year of filming in Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan as well as the mainland, the film was completed. Joanne saw the movie content for herself in early December 2015.
On Dec. 12, 2015, the premiere showing was held at the Hazard Center theaters in San Diego, the home of so many of the film’s supporters. The 250 seats were filled with Chamorros, non-Chamorros, sponsors and donors. Pale’ Eric was there to greet everyone and to sign copies of the DVD. Despite some technical difficulties on the part of the theaters, the showing was well received. The audience laughed and sighed and was struck by silence as the drama of Chamorro history played out.
It was at the Guam premiere a week later that Joanne says she experienced a day of anxiety. This was the audience that not only held the film’s major sponsors, but it was the audience from the homeland itself. What would the response be, she wondered. Others wondered too. The Viloria brothers who are featured prominently in the film’s ancient period approached her at opening day. They had never seen the script. How were they going to be portrayed?
Joanne says that she stood up for most of that movie so that the sold out theater could seat the audience. She was able to witness the reactions of different people watching. I asked her, “How was the reaction the same? How was it different?”
“At the end of the screening on Guam, we had a lot of the same reaction as we had in SD,” Joanne told me.
“People were blown away by the content, touched by the story on the big screen; a story told by a priest who had studied the history for more than 30 years.”
And she noticed that they all laughed at the same times.
“That told me that this wasn’t only for the stateside Chamorros. It touched the Chamorro on Guam as well, deeply, I can say.”
If the popularity of the film is any indication, Joanne has it right.
In the first two hours of its release in Guam, four PayLess supermarkets completely sold out of stock. Fifteen hundred total DVD sales have been made to date of this writing, less than one month after its release. The “I Am Chamorro” team, including Joanne’s husband, Rich, is kept busy filling online orders from around the world.
The movie reviews can now be found on social media and in the Guam news.
“This journey should be studied, reviewed and studied even more, particularly by those who want to determine for themselves who and what they are,” said Joaquin Perez in a Dec. 31, 2015, Pacific Daily News letter. “Pale’ Eric’s work provides an outstanding beginning.”
It has struck a chord with the Chamorros who have lived away from the island as expressed by Joanne’s brother, Tom, who moved away when he was just 11.
“A life’s journey captured in 90 plus minutes of the history of the ancients through contemporaries whose struggles with culture, identity and purpose mirrored and defined mine,” Tom said.
Jess and Lupe Perez of Chula Vista happened to be in Guam to see the premiere on island.
“I was very impressed with the presentation. I think it was very educational I learned a lot a lot of stuff I didn’t know about my own culture.” Said Jess. “I was hoping he would talk a little bit more about the culture out here (in the mainland). What is our future? How is our culture being affected away from Guam? How are we evolving?”
He hopes for a sequel.
The production of the film is not the end of this cultural education project by any means.
“We have applied to the Hong Kong, Tribeca, Melbourne and Nashville film festivals,” said Joanne.
It will be featured during Guam’s Festival of Pacific Arts beginning in May, and is scheduled to go to the Smithsonian sometime this year. Joanne expects to see the film used in the University of Guam history courses, and hopes that it will be used to educate newly arrived military personnel and their families about where they are living.
As a sponsor, Lou Leon Guerrero expressed there is nothing else like this film. It inspired laughter, tears, longing and most of all conversation about history and identity.
“To see former Gov. Paul Calvo recognize his late father’s photo in the film, to see him singing along to the music, it was confirmation enough for me,” said Joanne. “I am happy with the result.”
Historically, the Capuchins all over the world have made contributions to the study of history, culture and language in many locations. Having sent many missionaries all over the globe, the Order has often been the first to document these things in many lands.
On Guam, the Spanish missionaries Fr Roman promoted the Chamorro language and Fr Pastor started collecting historical material. American Fr Julius Sullivan wrote the first published history of the Marianas mission.
Now, local-born Pale' Eric Forbes produced and narrated a documentary about the history of the Chamorro people. One year of fundraising provided money for the project and one year of filming and editing ended with the production of the documentary in dvd format.
The response from the public has been tremendous. The dvd is currently on sale in Guam and online at iamchamorro.com.
By: Joaquin P. Perez 6:47 p.m. ChST December 30, 2015
Pale’ Eric Forbes and all who produced “I Am Chamorro” should be congratulated and commended for excellent work. This video provides the platform on which can be built deep pride in everyone whose lineage originates on Guahan prior to August 1950 and who truly want to be identified as Chamorro.
Eric and Mark Forbes, Seymour and Bill Payne, Robert Underwood, Annie Bordallo, Michael Bordallo, Judi Won Pat, Doris Flores Brooks, Elizabeth Barrett Anderson, Michael Phillips and a host of others should all have as much pride in making the statement: “I Am Chamorro” as should Carl T.C. Gutierrez, Benjamin J.F. Cruz, Enrico and Hope A. Cristobal, Marilyn MDA Manibusan, Joe T. San Agustin, Simon A. Sanchez, Francis E. Santos, Joseph T. Duenas and Rosie Tainatongo, Michael Makio, and Andrew Tenorio.
In this context, “I Am Chamorro” should never be characterized as exclusive.
The Chamorro odyssey, from fiercely proud, free and independent sovereigns over their own destinies, to conquered, purchased and occupied possessions of governments, is a history which should be defined as far back as the arrival of the first adventuresome souls who landed on the beaches of Guahan, Luta, Tinian and Saipan thousands of years ago, only to be conquered and colonized, beginning in 1521, by alien governments.
This journey should be studied, reviewed and studied even more, particularly by those who want to determine for themselves who and what they are. Pale’ Eric’s work provides an outstanding beginning.
The documentary provides not only a historical view of the plight and condition of the Chamorro people and homeland, from free spirited to colonized; it also provides a prospective of the connection between the people and their language, culture and traditions and, eventually, the conquest, colonization and colonial governance of Guahan by Spain, Japan and the United States.
In this sense and perspective, I also recommend the documentary to those who are not Chamorro, who do not understand the anguish of being conquered, colonized and then losing identity through assimilation, and those who seek to continue this assimilation through acceptance and continuation of the status quo because they have found their zone of comfort.
The need to revive the traditions, culture, beliefs and, most importantly, the Chamorro language, is Pale’ Eric’s loudest message in this documentary. Hopefully it will resonate in both those who can and want to resoundingly proclaim, “I Am Chamorro.” Ginen todos y man Chamorro gof dankolo na si Yu’us ma’ase, Pale’ Eric.
Paul M: Chamorro Yu! Thank you Pale. I am sending this video to my kids in Oregon.
Jesse A: We watched the documentary today as part of our Christmas day festivities! Pale' Eric did a fantastic job at retelling the story of our Chamorro heritage. The entire family will enjoy the succinct presentation and will hopefully reinvigorate the lost practices of our ancestors and even our grandparents! The DVD makes a great gift for all seasons, for Chamorros both on and off island! Banidoso yu na Chamorro! Si Yu'us ma'ase', Pale' Eric! Bonito chechomu!
Pauline C: What a treasure ... saw it at the Hagatna ASC Theater. This Labor of Love is an awesome tribute to our Chamorro Culture. Biba Pale Eric!! What a great idea ... will also share and watch the DVD with family today!
Fita R: Påle Eric...I know you're not giving me a commission on this comment but honestly, buying the DVDs for me and for the rest of my family is just about the best investment I've made in a very long time. "I Am Chamorro" is not just a phrase...it is our existence.
From a professional in the field of anthropology, archaeology: Dear Pale' Eric, I thought you did an amazing job pulling that film together. 4,000 years in 100 minutes!! I thought it was very balanced--explaining the way people are conflicted about self determination and whether to be joined with the CNMI, etc. I know the film will be cherished by Chamorros in the States and in Guam both." VERY GRATEFUL
Robert C: Truly enjoyed your film! Very insightful and touching at the same time. You ran the whole gamut of history and issues. I recommend everyone to watch it...you don't have to be Chamorro to enjoy the presentation. I bought 3 videos for Christmas gifts! Congratulations on a job well done Fr. Eric!
Get your copy of this epic film today! www.iamchamorro.com
"I AM SO PROUD", says Tom Tabor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tabor Communications, Inc..
"From the moment the words - I AM CHAMORRO - appeared on a black, big-screen backdrop to open this film and the soothing, familial voice of Pale Eric welcoming us on this journey; to the closing credits where my sister dedicated this production to our parents, I was moved like never before… and changed.
This epic documentary chronicling the peoples of the Marianas, The Chamorros, my people, took me on a journey that left me filled with awe, pride, strength, empathy, sorrow, longing, connectedness, understanding and love. A life’s journey captured in 90+ minutes of the history of the ancients through contemporaries whose struggles with culture, identity and purpose mirrored and defined mine.
Our ancients were a strong, determined, proud, happy people whose legacy had been fractured and minimalized over thousands of years. This film captures a long story of strength, endurance and unity of our people. It reaffirms who we are, from where we came, that we can weather anything and accomplish much. It tells a story of the courage of a quietly determined and great people. This film reassembled a beautiful stained-glass storyboard of this fractured history.
This project also served another purpose, especially for those of us who have left the island. When you come off island, the desire to fit in, assimilate and change has a strong pull. The appearance of change can cast a shadow over who you really are. But there’s something especially unique about being from an island - you know and can identify your people. You can wrap your arms them and the culture, and it wraps itself around you. 4000 years of shaping a people, an identity that mirrors yours. Its right there and there’s no denying it. The long history of the Chamorros coupled with the lineage of our DNA makes this very real… it’s indelible, its genetic.
Traveling the world and living in an adopted homeland has often left me with a feeling of disconnect… a void of connectedness. But every time I’m touched by my island, and it’s not very often so when it happens it’s massively emotional, I realize why I am who I am. All of a sudden, I understand why I love the way I do; Why I laugh at the silliest of humor; Why I love family so deeply; why I love to touch, and kiss and hug; the root of my fears and foils; what nourishment I need for my heart and body. There are many proud people who share this with me; who have been brought up and raised the same way I was – we are alike - we are from Guam and we are Chamorro.
An eternal Si Yu'us Ma'ase to Joanne Tabor Modic and Pale Eric Forbes - What a gift".
About Tabor Communications, Inc.: Tabor Communications, Inc. is a leading international media, advertising, and communications company that provides solutions, news and information to the High Performance Computing (HPC), cloud and data-intensive communities. Publisher of HPCwire, Enterprise Tech andDatanami. Other Tabor Communications companies include Tabor Advertising and Tabor Publications & Events.
Tabor Publications is publisher of a complete data intensive computing portfolio that includes HPCwire, Enterprise Tech and Datanami. As the company's flagship online publication, HPCwire is recognized as the global leader in chronicling the High Performance Computing (HPC) industry, news, trends and technologies. Datanami sheds light on cutting edge, big-data IT and its profound impact upon business, industry, government, and research.
Kao Chamorro hao? Are you Chamorro? We were fortunate to attend the premiere showing of “I Am Chamorro,” a documentary film by Pale’ Eric Forbes on the history and journey of the Chamorro people. It was a little of Michener and Sanchez with the touch of humor and authenticity that only Pale Eric can offer.
For the past 30 years, Pale’ Eric has been researching Chamorro history and culture and in recent years has traveled extensively in the U.S. to minister at parishes on the West Coast, often offering Mass for village patron saints.
During this time, he would give seminars on Chamorro culture and history to packed audiences. And from this grew the concept of producing the documentary.
It was a labor of love and supported by many individuals and businesses on Guam and overseas. It is a true documentary written by and for Chamorros. Congratulations to Pale’ Eric and Joanne Tabor for bringing this dream to a reality.
Order your DVDs online at www.iamchamorro.com. It will make a great Christmas gift and should be mandatory viewing for everyone!
Manhita Chamorro, I am Chamorro. Biba Chamorro!
Monica Okada Guzman is chair of the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities.
Interview between Ray Gibson and Senator Tom Ada about the I Am Chamorro documentary. They then talked about the issue of cargo containers at the Port Authority of Guam due to a shortage of top lifters.
A documentary that chronicles the history of the Chamorro people is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The film, “I Am Chamorro,” was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Guam on Wednesday at the Agana Shopping Center and is now available at all Pay-Less stores. DVDs are $20 and Blu-ray discs are $30.
“This documentary could be unique in that it is a summary, a historical review of the entire Chamorro people,” Pale’ Eric Forbes said at a press conference Wednesday.
Pale’ is the Chamorro word for priest. Forbes, a Catholic priest, is featured in the film and has done years of research on Chamorro history and culture.
The 100-minute documentary showcases the Chamorro people and their culture over the past 4,000 years. The film is focused on the Chamorro people as a whole, wherever they may be, Forbes said.
The documentary took about three years to make, including fundraising and production, he said.
A screening of the documentary was held in San Diego and Los Angeles with about 200 Chamorros in attendance. The movie was received well, Forbes said, and he expects the same in Guam. It also will be screened in the Mariana Islands.
Forbes said many manamko’ have watched the film and learned something new.
“That’s a great affirmation of the value of this documentary,” he said.
The documentary started when Forbes went out to the mainland for workshops with the Chamorros that live there. He said we are living in an era of Chamorro pride and the documentary helps give reasons to be proud.
The film’s executive producer, Joanne Tabor-Modic, said Chamorros in the mainland wanted something to help them know more about the culture. The documentary is a grass roots effort supported by Chamorros who wanted this kind of information.
“This is a gift for every generation,” she said.
Tabor-Modic thanked Forbes for his 33 years of research, which went into the documentary.
Forbes tried to include as much Chamorro as he could in the documentary so the movie could be a bilingual film.
Some of the interesting things in the documentary include: How Chamorros intermarried Mexican and Spanish soldiers, and how Chamorros got their last names, like Chargualaf and Tedtaotao.
Guam’s Legislature is a main sponsor of the film, along with the Bank of Guam.
Sen. Tina Muña Barnes, D-Mangilao, said the Legislature believed in the project and gave money from the Tourist Attraction Fund to help.
The documentary also was funded in a very Chamorro way, Forbes said.
Chamorros would hear that Forbes was working on a project about the culture and would give money for it. In addition, funding for the film came through T-shirt sales, Tabor-Modic said.
The DVD will be given to all private and public schools as a resource for the classroom, Forbes said.
We are working feverishly on the I AM CHAMORRO documentary movie to achieve our production goal of Nov/Dec 2015. As such, Name Confirmation letters have been sent to all $1k donors to verify how their names are to appear in the film's credits.
If any person or families would still like to make a $1k donation for their names to be listed in the credits then THE TIME IS NOW. Don't miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Two and a half years ago, I was introduced to a special lady and a special project for the Chamorro community. Joanne Tabor Modic hosted a popular Chamorro history workshop in Torrance, California in 2011 and 2012. It was led by Capuchin Friar Eric Forbes, better know as Pale’ Eric from Guam. In that first phone call with Modic, she shared with me the vision of the “I AM CHAMORRO” documentary, which would be a compilation of the 26 years of research that went into Pale’ Eric’s history presentations.
It was because of the demand for the workshops, sitting at the Modic’s kitchen table, they decided to create a film to be able to reach the larger community. It would be a film that could be featured in the Smithsonian — something for Chamorros and for all people to see and learn about the Chamorro culture. It sounded overwhelming and it sounded expensive, but with Modic’s enthusiasm and Pale’ Eric’s stature in the community, I was immediately on board to support the project in any way that I could.
Many people have heard about this project by now. I have not been the only one so inspired. The Manhita Chamorro nonprofit organization was formed in February 2013, and its fundraising was successful enough to start the filming in early 2014. A lot of funds came one T-shirt sale at a time. Some came from generous donor organizations.
On her first trip to Guam for the project, Modic recalls a phone call she received in Hawaii from the President of the Bank of Guam, Lou Leon Guerrero. The bank was committing to be a presenting sponsor of the film. Soon afterward, the Guam Legislature also committed to be a presenting sponsor. After the funds that had already come from the stateside community and others, the sponsorships brought the project to life.
The first filming was in Redondo Beach, California in October of 2013. In 2014, the crew filmed on Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan over a period of nearly three weeks. The crew, also known as Click Productions, has been a great fit with the project according to Modic. While following Pale’ Eric’s direction, they have contributed new technologies and filmmaking expertise to enhance the production. On Guam they worked with Shooting Star Productions.
The film is meant for the youth, for those that must constantly explain where they’re from. Like one of our dancers who introduced herself as a person from Guam while in school. One of her classmates commented, “Is that a real place? Are you a real person?”
The film is meant for the Chamorro boy in California who said he had identified himself with the Chinese community. But he wasn’t Chinese and kids had told him he didn’t belong there. He didn’t know where he belonged. He didn’t know who he was.
The film is meant for Chamorros who live in the states, as well as the Chamorros who live on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It’s also meant for the world, who often doesn’t know what a Chamorro is.
“My father was sent to Guam, along with many other American military, to liberate it,” says Modic, “This film is for them, too.”
The final filming was on June 28 in Long Beach, California where Chamorro dance groups, Kutturan Chamoru and Uno Hit were rehearsing with instructor, Heidi Quenga. In between the dancing, students and organizers were interviewed.
The Manhita Chamorro organization expects to release the movie trailer teaser no later than October. The movie itself should be completed by Christmas.
“This documentary is to tell about their islands in the Pacific and the origin of our ancestors through the eyes and the research of Pale’ Eric Forbes,” says Modic, “And it will live forever. This, you can pass to the next generation.”
More information about the project can be found at www.IAMCHAMORRO.com.
Manhita Chamorro is very happy to announce that Mr. Paul M. Calvo, Calvo's Insurance, Calvo Enterprises, Inc. and Pay-Less Supermarkets are our newest Ruby Sponsors by generously donating $15,000 to Pale` Eric's I AM CHAMORRO documentary project. Un dangkulo' na si Yu'us ma'ase for your most generous donation and on-going support.
As many of you know, Pay-Less Supermarkets is the sole distributor of our I AM CHAMORRO t-shirts on Guam. Please visit any one of their stores to purchase any one of our tees.
As a Ruby Sponsor you receive your: • Name included in DVD film credits • Donor's recorded message during film's credits • Logo included on back of event t-shirts • Link on www.iamchamorro.com • Acknowledgement as Ruby sponsors at all events, galas and fundraisers
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the various ways of financially supporting this groundbreaking documentary project. Si Yu'us ma'ase'
Hafa Adai! The film shoot on Guam, the CNMI and San Diego have successfully been completed. Post production work is now underway. Pale' Eric Forbes' documentary which will cover, in broad but essential strokes, the entire history of the Chamorro People, will be released later this year.
We continue to seek donations for on-going production costs. Though a donation in any amount is welcomed and deeply appreciated, we are calling on all Chamorros to consider making a family donation of $1,000 which entitles your name to appear in the film's credits. Consider your donation an investment in your culture and in your children and grandchildren's future knowledge of their culture. Don't let this opportunity slip by as it doesn't come around often. Act now! Be part of a tangible means of touching the hearts of thousands of people for many years to come.
Please make your tax deductible donation payable to Manhita Chamorro and mail it to P. O. Box 3203, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 or click on the donate button on our webite www.iamchamorro.com..
Un dangkulo na si Yu'us ma'ase' and thank you very much!
We have a full line of I AM CHAMORRO and CHAMORRO YU' t-shirts for men and women. They are artistic in design, made of cotton and comfortable to wear. And, the proceeds from your purchase will benefit Pale' Eric's DOCUMENTARY project.
Check us out and get yours in time for summer! Invite your family and friends to support our project too.