Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2019 12am







    Tuesday, July 16, 2019-2:23:15P.M.






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Our Oceania | Chamorro Diaspora Project: Regina Manibusan and Rickey Salas

REGINA M. Manibusan (Kadi, Balako), Age 75; Celina, Texas

Where did you/your family live in the Marianas and when did you/your family move?

Dededo, NCS. 1977, to Austin, Texas

What's your favorite Chamorro food?


What does it mean to you to be Chamorro?

Everything within my soul.

What aspects of Chamorro culture do you identify with? What aspects of Chamorro culture do you not identify with?

Family first; loss of culture.

Do you plan to pass Chamorro culture down to your kids/the next generation? How, and why?

Yes; Using the tools from my parents. Without culture, what would I identify with?

How connected do you feel to what happens in the Marianas?

Guam is my homeland and I still have families living there. So I am concerned about the future of Guam.

Do you think you would ever live in the Marianas?

As sad as it is I have settled in Dallas. My children grew up here. Opportunities are endless. And next in line are my grandchildren. I love Guam with all my heart. I miss my family and friends but my children are happy here. I keep the culture alive. We all try to be close to each other. We attend church and then serve Chamorro breakfast.

Rickey Wesley Salas (The Wesley family of Santa Rita, and Salas of Talofofo)

What is your age, where do you live, and where did you/your family live in the Marianas before you moved? When did you/your family leave the Marianas?

I am 24 years old.  I live in Portland, Oregon.  My parents were born and raised in Guåhan.  They left in the early 70's and my mother gave birth to three children here in the mainland.  Although us kids weren't born in the Marianas, we've sadly found that we're more proud of our roots than many back home.   

What’s your favorite Chamorro food?

Of course I love a full fiesta plate, but my favorite single savory dish would be fatada.  If we're talking desserts though, I can go to town on Ahu!

What does it mean to you to be Chamorro? Do you value your cultural identity? Why or why not?

I wouldn't choose to be part of any other race. 4,000+ years of history, us Chamoru's have persevered through it all!  I understand Chamoru, and am mostly fluent.  My older sister is perfectly fluent, so I strive to get there some day.  The world could learn so much from us Chamorus.  Respect for our ancestors, our elders, our women & children, our land, our waters, our heritage & culture, etc.  Our ancestors were doing it right before "One Love" or "Aloha" was even a thing!  We have so much to proud of!  Valuing our culture, is to value everything and everyone.  Respetu. Inafa'maolek.

What aspects of Chamorro culture do you identify with? What aspects of Chamorro culture do you not identify with?

Like I said above, the world could learn a lot from us. I'm always trying to learn more of our history, and I encourage people of other cultures to do the same. Being from Portland, Oregon, we're huge on recycling, and protecting the land and sea.  I love our culture, and all it teaches.  The only thing I don't personally associate with is the mark of the Catholic Church by the Spanish.  My family is of course extremely Catholic, I was raised that way as well, but as I've gotten older I've separated myself from the church. The heart of our heritage lies within me, not the Post-Latte Spanish imposition of Christianity. I still celebrate Christmas as we traditionally always have, and attend all rosaries/novenas. If there was anything I would change about our culture, I would eliminate all of the destruction done by the Spanish, Japanese and Americans.

Do you plan to raise your children to be Chamorro? How? Why?

Of course!  My children will learn even more then myself about our roots.  Our culture is dying because of oppression, and being dragged into other people's wars. We need to secure our roots for all future generations!  This is why I want to continue speaking Chamoru, and be able to one day pass it on. By teaching them of our ancestors, I believe they will be just as proud of their roots, and by doing this we can all save our culture and language from further damage.

How connected do you feel to what happens in the Marianas?

Very. Guahan will always be home to me. I stay as up to date as possible on news from back home. I follow activists and organizations like Prutehi Litekyan to see what they're accomplishing. And to ensure our islands seek compensation, and justice, and are protected from further destructive policies.

Do you think you would ever live in the Marianas? Why or why not?

Some day. Hopefully sooner rather than later.  I want to be on the battlefield fighting for our people, but need to fully prepared before I return permanently.