'I AM CHAMORRO' a success - Guam PDN December 30 2015

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.

Joaquin P. Perez is a resident of Santa Rita.