Master navigator leads canoe voyage. Article by: Marianas Variety

July 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

Master navigator leads canoe voyage. Article by: Marianas Variety

By Sophia Perez – sophia@mvariety.com – Variety Features Writer

The traditional Chamorro sakman Fanhigåyan Guåhan returned to Guam last Sunday after sailing to Saipan and back.

Palu or Master Navigator Ali Haleyalur of Lamotrek led the voyage, working alongside Traditions Affirming Our Seafaring Ancestry (TASA)to revive seafaring traditions in Micronesia.

TASA aims to develop and support the documentation, research, and teaching of Micronesian cultural heritage, create local and regional opportunities for capacity building in traditional seafaring and navigation practices and promote Micronesia’s seafaring heritage through tourism.

“The passion for anything can only be transmitted through its practice,” said TASA President Sandra Iseke Okada.“Revitalization requires capacity building in these threatened and/or disrupted traditions.  This open ocean voyage is also about building the capacity of Guam’s traditional seafarers.”Along with Okada and Palu Ali, the Fanhigåyan Guåhan crew included Jesse Piyelur (Lamotrek), Johannes Hashigluw (Lamotrek), Vicente  “Gue’lu” Rosario (Luta), and Ned Pablo (Guåhan).They were escorted by Captain Cecilio Raiukiulipiy’s SV Remedy, crewed by Innocenti Eraekaiut (Satawal, FSM), Glenn Rafifimwai (Satawal, FSM), Scott Suzuki(Chuuk, FSM), Andrea Carr (Japanese American), and Cecelia Selepeo (Pagan).

The voyagers set sail on Sunday, May 13 and stopped in Luta, where, according to Palu Ali, they received something akin to a hero’s welcome.

“It was so nice in Rota,” he told the Variety. “Once we cleared customs, the villagers brought food and offered cars and that evening they kept bringing us deer and fish…The mayor was first and hosted meals at restaurants on multiple occasions.”

“It doesn’t matter where you go in Rota, people greet you and act like they know you, offer food and drinks,” he continued.“It’s so beautiful. I would love to stay there. It’s still not spoiled by Western ways…it’s still traditional. I love it.”

The crew enjoyed Luta’s generous hospitality for two days before heading to Saipan, where they were met with the considerable rainstorm that hit the island on the 17th.

PaluAli said that Fanhigåyan Guåhan threatened to sink in the heavy rains, and the crew only narrowly managed to bail out the canoe. Finally, at 5pm, the Fanhigåyan Guåhan crew was received at a welcome barbeque in Susupe hosted by friends, family, and members of the canoe community.

Reflecting on the first half of the trip, Palu Ali said, “I was really excited because this is my first time sailing from Guam to Saipan and I really wanted to explore these sea lanes.”

Sea lanes are ocean routes that boats take from one landmass to another.

“The crew was good, everyone got along, they all listened to my orders so I was very happy with them,” Palu Ali added. He also offered some insight on his navigation methods:

“Going from Guam to Rota I can use the islands as a reference point,” he explained,“but between Rota to here [Saipan] I made an imaginary reference island – I created a reference point in the stars and kept checking back…to know how far I was from my point of departure.”

TASA exists to preservenavigation methods like this one; without traditional navigation knowledge, Micronesians will be forced to rely on Western technology and culture to travel across their own ancestral lands.

But Uncle Ali, who teaches a navigation school in Yap, is confident that navigational knowledge will carry on to the next generation of islanders.

“I think what we are doing now will trigger the young ones to start learning traditional navigation,” he told the Variety. “I want them to remember all these things because otherwise Western influence will cause this to fade away. I want them to have both.”

“When they become navigators themselves, they will be very happy.”

Palu Ali Haleyalur will remain in Guahan for a week before returning to Yap. The crew of SV Remedy will sail back to Saipan in the coming days. As for TASA, the organization continues to barrel forward with its vision.

“To further efforts in achieving our mission, TASA has just been entrusted with the canoe house located at the Paseo de Susanna,” Okada said.“Our organization will be refurbishing the canoe house and begin hosting an ‘open house’ every Wednesday evening to showcase to visitors and locals alike the revival of our ancient seafaring tradition.”

 

THE MAN NGINGE’ Spanish Origin? Not? By: Pale Eric Forbes

June 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

THE MAN NGINGE’ Spanish Origin? Not? By: Pale Eric Forbes

Original Article Here.

Recently, I noticed a good number of comments on Chamorro culture social media sites stating that the man nginge’ is a Spanish custom.

None of the people claiming this provide any historical evidence. How can they? It isn’t there.

Consider the following :

1. Early European accounts of our ancestors describe different gestures of respect practiced among our ancestors before Spanish colonization.

Just to cite one early source, the Jesuit Francisco García, writing very early during the first decades of Spanish colonization, whose sources were the letters and reports written by the Spanish missionaries on the ground here in the Marianas.

García says, “They (the Chamorros) practice many courtesies, and an ordinary usage on meeting and passing in front of one another is to say ‘ati arinmo,’ which means ‘Allow me to kiss your feet.’”

He also says, “To pass the hand over the breast of the person they visit is a great courtesy.”

So we notice here no mention of taking someone’s hand and “kissing” it with the nose, which is how we have practiced the man nginge’ for at least a couple of hundred years, if not longer.

But we do see that our ancestors did have gestures of respect which involve kissing (with the nose?), the feet, the hands and the breast or chest.

Ati arinmo, by the way, is the way a Spaniard spelled what he heard with his Spanish ears. And even this differed from Spaniard to Spaniard, one Spaniard spelling a Chamorro word one way and another Spaniard spelling the same word a slightly different way.

Some suspect, as I do, that arinmo is actually addeng-moAddeng is the Chamorro word for foot or feet. (On Guam, this has been replaced by the Spanish loan word påtas, which means the feet or paws of animals.)

2. Spaniards do not have, nor ever had as far as we can tell, the ordinary custom of kissing, much less with the nose, the hand of an elder, authority figure or higher status person.

Bishops and the higher clergy wore rings and it was that which people kissed. The rings were symbolic of the church dignitary’s spiritual marriage to his diocese. In certain situations, political or military leaders had their rings, or hands, kissed with the lips as a sign of loyalty by subordinates.

Women, especially of the higher class, would sometimes extend their hand to be kissed. But this was always at the invitation of the woman. In Chamorro culture, the subordinate always makes the first move, reaching for the hand of the saina or superior.

Kissing was done with the lips, and sometimes the lips never even touched the hand. But the kiss was never made with the nose, while Chamorros kiss with the nose.

3. Our close neighbors, the Filipinos, practice a similar custom that is accepted as a pre-Spanish gesture.

 

The Filipino Mano Po

By “close” I mean we have common racial and linguistic roots and many similar customs and values.

The Filipinos practice their own gesture of respect by taking the hand and placing it on the forehead, rather than on the nose or the mouth.

Early Spanish descriptions of the Filipinos indicate that this was already a custom before Spanish influences took root there.

4. Indonesians and Malays also practice the gesture.

If one argues that the gesture is Spanish in origin, because both the Marianas and the Philippines were colonized by Spain, how then does one account for the fact that the Indonesians and the Malays (not everyone in Malaysia is Malay) also practice it? Neither Indonesia nor Malaysia were ever Spanish colonies.

 

The Indonesian Salim gesture

Like the Filipinos, Malays and Indonesians take the hand to the forehead, but, according to some writers, the hand is sometimes “kissed” with the nose, but never with the lips, the same way Chamorros avoid using the lips.

5. Borrowed terms do not necessarily mean borrowed actions.

Perhaps some people think the gesture is Spanish-based because the gesture is accompanied by Spanish loan words. When one reverences the hand of a man, one says, “Ñot,” which is short for Spanish “señor,” or “sir.” For a woman, “Ñora,” short for “señora” or “madam.”

But all that shows is that, at some point, Chamorros adopted some Spanish forms of address.

The Filipinos also borrowed the Spanish word mano, or “hand,” and call their form of hand-reverencing the mano po. That phrase is a combination of Spanish manoand Tagalog po, a term of respect.

The Indonesians and Malays call their hand gesture the salim, which might be borrowed from Arabic (Malays and Indonesians are overwhelmingly Muslim). But the gesture itself is not Muslim nor Arab.

My opinion….

Since the Spaniards themselves did not practice it; since it is not practiced in any  former Spanish colonies in Latin America; since the gesture (with minor variations) is practiced by peoples with geographic and cultural affinities (Chamorros, Filipinos, Malays/Indonesians); since the gesture never involves the lips (something more European); since old accounts describe gestures of respect practiced prior to Spanish colonization, I am most comfortable saying

1. The gesture is not Spanish in origin.

2. The roots of the man nginge’ lie in our pre-contact indigenous culture because early accounts do speak of other gestures of respect, so at least the roots and the cultural values were already in place before colonization.

3. Since Ñot and Ñora are Spanish loan-words; since the early accounts do not describe the reverencing of hands but rather other gestures of respect; these earlier gestures evolved over time, at least as far as the terms of address are concerned, and perhaps even the manner (from reverencing feet to reverencing hands).

4. It is possible that our ancestors did reverence the hand, even though European writers did not document it. After all, García says the Chamorros of the 1600s practiced “many” courtesies, although he details only three of them.

5. It is possible that, in pre-contact society, reverencing the feet was reserved for special situations and that reverencing the hand was the norm, although the verbal formula “Allow me to kiss your feet” remained. This is similar to the old custom of ending a letter in Spanish with “I kiss your hand” even though that was not meant literally.

Other than that, I think we are on shakier ground drawing other conclusions. Many of my own conclusions are couched in words like “perhaps” or “possibly” because coincidences and similarities alone are not sufficient to prove connections.

Good history involves good evidence. And alas, good evidence is absent more often than not.

Successful trip by the Fineghayan! BIBA and Congratulations TASA!

May 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

Successful trip by the Fineghayan! BIBA and Congratulations TASA!

BIBA! Congratulations to TASA, the crew of the Fineghayan, and to the people of the Mariana Islands for another successful voyage on a locally made traditional vessel using celestial navigation and other methods of traditional way-finding.

Key to growing the interest and pursuit of traditional way finding in our island— —Special thanks and respect to Lamotrek and the other islands of the CNMI who have been able to keep these methods intact a d active for hundreds if not thousands of years.
#fanoghechamorro
#fokaiamphibiousdivision
#justaddwater

CLICK ON THE RIGHT ARROW TO VIEW PHOTOTS AND VIDEO!

 

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Traditions Affirming our Seafaring Ancestry. SAKMAN!

May 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

Traditions Affirming our Seafaring Ancestry.

Big respect for TASA amd all the other contributing organizations out there that are wotking hard to reinvigorate traditional sailing and out raditional vessels.

With more than 4000 years of history. The people of the Mariana Islands were incredible craftsman and seafarers.
Despite the unstoppable reality of modernization Great to see the voices and teachings of our ancestors continues to resonate among us.

May our mistakes today provide solutions for those that might choose to follow.

#fanoghechamorro

 

 

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Photo of the Week! MIA LEE with Manta Rays in Tumon Guam

May 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

An article resurfaced from 2002 Pacific Daily News

April 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

 

An article resurfaced from 2002 Pacific Daily News

Fokai for years was misconceived a sa fight geoup, though we were heavily connected into martial artd and venturing into combay sport, “Team Fokai” actually consisted of an array pf different athletes.

Consisting of an assembly of some of Guams top performers, Here is an assembly of some of our first official ambassadors Melchor Manibusan (wrestling) our very first sponsored athlete, along with Stephen Roberto (jiujitsu)  Ron (mountain biking) Pete Alvarez(motocross) and Joeito Santiago (surfing). also pictured is Chief Satellite distributor-at-the time VJ Santos

#teamfokai
#itsafamilything
#sinceeversince

Marianas Open attracting World Class Jiujitsu Athletes and Competition

April 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

All around the worldn The reuitation of Guam jiujitsu is tremendous. The character of our people training and competing all over the world has been backed with the many so fierce in inter ational jiujitsu competitions. In many ways it has created Guam as a mecca for #jiujitsuinparadise Aftsr a decades worth of trial, error, and evolution–the locally promoted @marianasopen has grown largely ro bring opportunity to Guam a to cultivate and landmark Guam as a land of opportunity and a prime destination for world jiujitsu. Keeping world class opportuitty on the home court, this acceses our entire jiujitsu community to grow beyond the confines of a being a tiny dot in the Pacific. Social media messages, phone calls from around the world, extended conversations with jiujitsu players around the world resonate an epic accolade of some type of rrmarkable Guam story. Amazing. The world is truly watching. #jiujitsuinparadise #fanoghechamorro #sharejiujitsu

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Marianas Open attracting World Class Jiujitsu Athletes and Competition

All around the world The reputation of Guam jiujitsu is tremendous. The character of our people training and competing all over the world has been backed with the many so fierce in international jiujitsu competitions.
In many ways it has created Guam as a mecca for #jiujitsuinparadise After a decades worth of trial, error, and evolution–the locally promoted Marianas Open
has grown largely ro bring opportunity to Guam a to cultivate and landmark Guam as a land of opportunity and a prime destination for world jiujitsu.
Keeping world class opportunity on the home court, this access our entire jiujitsu community to grow beyond the confines of a being a tiny dot in the Pacific.
Social media messages, phone calls from around the world, extended conversations with jiujitsu players around the world resonate an epic accolade of some type of rrmarkable Guam story. Amazing.
The world is truly watching.

Congratulations Brandon & Jessica Vera 4.20.18!

April 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces


 

FOR LIFE:
An incredible time for an unbelievsble gatheriing of amazing people in a paradise thst wont quit.
Guam is proud to host you on your special day. 4.20.2018!

CONGRATULATIONS Brandon and Jessica Vera for a fantastic celebration of love, life, and adventure.. #happilyverafter
#forlife
#itsafamilything

Felipe Pena Fokai Shop 2018

April 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

 

Hafa Adai and Welcome back to Guam Felipe Pena Marianas Open Undisputed blackbelt open weight champion is back to defend hist title agains Guam’s most stacked blackbelt division to date.

#JiuJitsuInParadise
#Sharejiujitsu
#marianasopen2018

Fanoghe. Fokai. LIMA

April 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Special Forces

Fanoghe. Fokai. LIMA


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