Friday, September 16, 2011

Guam’s ‘Estorian Inalahan’ out, tours planned

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 12:00AM BY ZITA TAITANO - Marianas Variety

HAGÅTÑA — For years, Dr. Judy Selk Flores had wanted to contribute back to the community, especially her home village. All that is now a reality with the publication of her book, “Estorian Inalahan.”

Dr. Judy Selk Flores speaks to guests during the launch of her book “Estorian Inalahan” last Friday at the Lujan House compound in Hagåtña. Looking on is Rosanna Barcinas of the Guam Preservation Trust. Photo by Zita Y. Taitano

A book-launching ceremony was held recently at the Lujan House in Hagåtña for Flores’ book. Friends, family members and residents of Inalahan gathered to celebrate with her.

Flores said her book started with her master’s thesis, which she based on the arts and the culture of Guam back in 1995. She continued with the theme as she worked on her Ph.D. But getting everything together for the book wasn’t easy, especially when it came to cost.

“The Guam Preservation Trust helped me through those years with a very generous grant, but to get it published is just so expensive. This year I was able to get funding from the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation from the Spanish government which gives grants to document the Spanish era in the Pacific,” she said.

Although the book contains information about the history of Guam and the Chamorro people, Flores focused on Inalahan and the people.

“One of the things that fascinated me was the village of Pa’a which was wiped out,” she said.

In her studies, she discovered that the chief of Pa’a at the time was Choco, a man from China who, according to her book, was cast ashore and lived among the villagers for 20 years. Records indicate he lived in Inalahan when Padre Luis San Vitores arrived on Guam. Choco was reportedly known to be influential with the Chamorros in going against the Spanish.

She also learned another important piece of information about Pa’a village.

“What I found through talking with archaeologists is that the ancient village of Pa’a is where my house is now and that was really exciting,” she said.

The site is along the beach. There is a lot nearby set aside for an archaeological field school.


Other items featured are stories she heard while growing up in the village including Pale Jesus Baza Duenas who was tortured and beheaded by the Japanese for hiding George Tweed, a sailor who kept out of sight for nearly two years thanks to several Chamorros like Pale Duenas. Tweed managed to escape just before the liberation of the island occurred.

The book also contains stories of families including the Flores, Leon Guerrero and San Nicolas families.

In the meantime, Flores admits she isn’t done with her projects just yet.

“From this book, I’m working on opening a museum in one of the historic houses in Inalahan. We want to develop San Jose Street as a tourist spot. They already have the paintings there from last summer,” she said, referring to murals on the historic homes in the main street of the village.

Additionally, Flores will also be working with tour agents to bring tourists down south to walk around some of the historic homes.

“Estorian Inalahan” is on sale for $39 at Framed Etc. Call 477-7873 for more information. The store is located in Anigua on the ground floor of the New Marina Hotel just off Marine Corps Drive.

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