What a Gift! December 23 2015
"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".