Hafa Adai! In an effort to preserve ideas, thoughts, and personal reflections of our Chamorro culture that we hold dear to our korasón (heart), Lois Taitano Gumataotao and I naturally formed the Korasón Organization. As part of our organization’s mission, we have spearheaded the creation of a cultural anthology with much love and cultural pride. We hope that you will enjoy our cultural poems, which will be shared on my blog. The poems written are based on our personal experiences and research relative to the island’s history and its connection with the Guam community. A common identity we share with our Pacific Islanders is our rich oral society filled with plentiful stories, legends, and other important values shared throughout generations. It is our mission to continue to preserve such stories, including our island’s rich culture and traditions, in creatively woven lines of poetry, ultimately resulting to meaningful connections fellow islanders share.
It is our hope that by reading our poems, you can grasp cultural identity from within yourself and be enlightened. We have reflected on our personal experiences, researched, and interviewed family and friends, to enable the people of Guam to better understand the island’s history, its cultural significance, and its social environments, through our eyes. Hence, the project’s title, Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People. We especially would like to thank the Guam Humanities Council, as it provided us the means to further carry out our cultural project. Our collection of cultural poems is certainly a labor of love that we have committed ourselves to, but it is well worth the time invested, especially knowing that it will serve as a cultural resource for generations to come. Continue to visit my blog, as I will post various cultural poems that I’m sure you’ll enjoy! Un Dangkulo Na Si Yu’os Ma’ase!
Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera
Here’s the first poem I’d like to share regarding our island’s refreshing cool waters! Enjoy! Biba Tåsi!
The bay and the tåsi* - Another meaning for fun.
The refreshing cool waters – For the enjoyment of all.
This all sounds good on a day so hot and humid
For it is a valuable source that’s sure to be sought.
To float in the water and feel the rippling waves
Will tempt you to splash and swim there all day.
Underneath the sparkling blue water you will see
The amazing sea creatures living in harmony.
The guihan*, dolphins, haggan*, and whales
Make fascinating underwater trails.
Beautiful waters include the Hagatña River
And the Talofofo Falls which is just as grandeur.
You’ll also find fishing boats and ships
That sail the horizon,
Traveling gradually with ease.
Yet one particular beautiful water creature
I’m reminded of Is the legendary Sirena who loved to swim
In the water all day.
Sirena found the water to be heavenly
And it’s no surprise
Because of its wondrous beauty.
So take the time to visit Guam’s waters where
You can happily swim and enjoy nature at its best.
© mnrivera and ltgumataotao
Source: Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People by Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao