Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We Have Lift Off! Well, a Commercial....

Quite excited about Betelnut Radio's commercial for our 3rd Annual Chamorro Cultural Fest! More steps in the right direction for CHE'LU and Guam Books and Beads. This is the culmination of awesome Chamorro networking. We need more of that, support, praise, positive energy in our community.

Hooray! I blogged on February 29th! Here's to a productive leap year.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Me + CHE'LU = Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do!

“A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”--Mahatma Gandhi

With the momentum of CHE’LU’s 3rd Annual Chamorro Cultural Fest beginning, I wanted to capture the excitement and pride I have in being one part of this wonderful non-profit group, Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity. We had our second planning meeting this morning, and I find that after every gathering I come home proud, refreshed and excited about my culture, the Chamorro culture. The 25 individuals who carved out time in their day to join forces work hard to put on a party like no other in San Diego, one specifically geared towards Chamorros and those who love Guam/CNMI and the culture.

Our 3rd fest is expected to draw approximately 3,000 people since we have grown every year. Our Board of Directors and its volunteers contribute so much of their heart and it’s evident in the festival—an 8 hour party with entertainment, ethnic food, vendors and workshops. My group, Guam Books and Beads will attend again. The fest offers a platform for me and my mali’, Alison to feature our Chamorro literature and her jewelry. I’m excited to have Judy Flores from Guam there again, a marvelous artist whom I idolized from the time I was still living on Guam.

Hafa Adai Entertainment is bringing a dream to reality by putting on the Mariana Islands Concert for that evening. Yes, we will be tired from the FEST, but we will sing and dance into the next day. So, si yu’os ma’ase to the Lababit’s for this great service. With Ben Maga’Lahi and June Lizama, Eric Borja, DUB, Tribal Theory, Parker Yobei and Chris Malafunkshun Barnett; you KNOW it’s going to be a great groundbreaking show!

I know I’m running on like a paid advertisement, but I couldn’t be happier to be a part of such a great Chamorro network. I wish the CHE’LU model can take hold in other cities in the mainland.

My late father, a Chamorro teacher at JFKHS, Tedy Gamboa Chargualaf (Familian Chode-Asan) passed away almost five years ago. He never had a chance to see me take such an interest in our heritage. And, for that I am regretful. But, I take comfort in knowing that I am doing my part to uphold and honor his memory in my work, and in instilling Chamorro pride in my children and anyone who befriends me.


I am an ambassador of our culture and those who attend this fest and the concert can be ambassadors too. We are nothing without our heritage. It makes us a unique people and it deserves to be celebrated and shared with others. Biba Chamorro! Hope to see you at the fest!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Remembering Brandon Lee

Happy 47th birthday to the Dragon's son.

So, I posted this one line above last night, on the actual birthday of Brandon Lee. I can’t lie, when I was a teenager, I dreamed of marrying him one day. Bruce Lee’s son! I was going to be Brandon’s wife, chill with Shannon (his gorgeous sister) and have Bruce Lee’s grandchildren…

Anyway, being 18 and still obsessed in anything Bruce Lee, I followed Brandon’s acting career. The Crow was in production, then the worse happened. He died as a result of an injury he sustained on the set. This was 1993. The movie was completed and I waited and waited (on Guam) for its release. I was 19 by this time. This was before streaming video, Youtube and instant gratification of any sort. So after 4 months, I sat in the theater with my youngest brother. I was tense and emotional throughout the movie, wondering if they would show the scene in which he was shot (doubting they would). I came out of the movie, satisfied, sad and emotionally drained.

I was glad to find out that Brandon had a lovely fiancee’, but sad that they never got married or had children (yes, I thought it would be me-but I’m also a realist). I remember showing a magazine photo of Brandon and his gorgeous wife-to-never-be to my mom and she said, “Too bad they didn’t have children. Did they?” No. No legacy.

Moving on, Brandon would have been 47. I’m sure he would have still looked great, practicing martial arts, filling in the niche of action hero, maybe making a leap to dramatic roles. He had the chops.

With that said, here’s to living your life to its fullest potential. Something I struggle with daily. The people who die young, like Brandon and his father, Bruce, who are full of talent, life and awesomeness—they burn bright and explode with beauty. A quick firework show for us to enjoy in the short time it’s on….but always remembered.


A Story of a Stolen Mermaid--(and the Infringement of an Artist)

Fact: I wrote Sirena: A Mermaid Legend from Guam in 2010. Fact: My brother, Sonny Chargualaf is the talented artist behind the imagery. ...