“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.
OUR GREAT TEAM!
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!