As part of the Maila Ta Fan Boka Festival tour, we were introduced to festivals and fiestas in Guam. Fiestas are a result of the Spanish influence in Guam. We got to join the revelry at the Agat Mango Festival and the Santa Rita Fiesta.
At the Agat Mango Festival, we saw some really interesting exhibits of mango varieties. How I wish I could try them out. But they were only for display. But you could see that there are so many varieties of mangoes.
There was one table which featured six ways of enjoying your mangoes. We all know the mangga't bagoong from the Philippines. But they also suggested to pair mangoes with Tabasco (U.S.), soy sauce (Japan), li hing powder (Hawaii), rock salt (Marianas Islands) and kimchi (South Korea). In Mexico, I got to try mangoes with chili powder. Fruits are actually eaten with chili powder in Mexico. Any peculiar mango dips you might have in mind?
The also had contests for the Most Beautiful Mango, Biggest Mango and Most Bizarre Mango. Of course, like in any festival, we had a sumptuous lunch.
During our last day, we dropped by the Santa Rita Fiesta. Aside from the usual cultural performances, the highlight of the day was lunch at the mayor's house. Now that was indeed a feast!
Fiestas in Guam would not be complete without hotnon babui! You guessed it, lechon!
Fiestas would also not be complete without the different kinds of kelaguen made from fish, chicken an beef.
There was just so much food! I let the photos tell the story of how much we had. And that's just half of the dishes they served us.
Guam Fiesta Schedule
Here is a list of fiestas and festivals in Guam. Unlike the Philippines where most fiestas are fixed even if it falls on a weekday, Guam's fiestas are moved to the nearest weekend closest to the feast date of the saint. So the dates below reflect those for 2011. Check with the Guam Visitors Bureau for the dates next year.
Tumon: Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores (January 15)
Chalan Pago: Nuestra Señora de la Paz Buen Viaje (January 22)
Mongmong: Nuestra Señora de las Aguas (January 29)
Gupot Fanha'aniyan Pulan Chamoru (Chamorro Lunar Calendar Festival)
Maina: Our Lady of Purification (February 5)
Yigo: Our Lady of Lourdes (February 12)
Fiestan Dinana' Minagof (Chamorro Dance Festival)
Inarajan: St. Joseph, husband of Mary (March 19)
Barrigada: San Vicente Ferrer (April 9)
Agafa Gumas, Yigo: Santa Bernadita (April 18)
Talofofo Banana Festival at Ipan Beach Park in Talofofo
Inarajan: St. Joseph the Worker (April 30)
Fin'nana na Ferian Fina'Hechuran Unai (Annual Sand Sculpture Festival), Matapang Beach, Tumon
Merizo: San Dimas (May 7)
Malojloj: San Isidro (May 14)
Agat Mango Festival at Agat Sagan Bisita
Tamuning: St. Anthony (June 18)
Ordot: San Juan Bautista (June 25)
Chalan Pago: The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (July 1)
Toto: Immaculate Heart of Mary (July 2)
Agat: Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)
Agat: Santa Ana (July 30)
Tamuning: St. Victor (August 6)
Piti: Assumption of Our Lady ((August 13)
Annual Gupot Y Peskadot (Fisherman's Festival) at Guam Fishermen's Cooperative in Hagatna
Barrigada: San Roque (August 20)
Agat: Santa Rosa (August 27)
Cañada, Barrigada: San Ramon (September 3)
Hagåtña: Dulce Nombre de Maria (September 10)
Talofofo: San Miguel (September 17)
Dededo: St. Andrew Kim (September 18)
Annual Mangilao Donne' Festival in Mangilao
Mangilao: Santa Teresita (September 24)
Yona: St. Francis of Assisi (October 1)
Umatac: San Dionisio (October 8)
Guam Micronesian Island Fair
Sinajana: St. Jude (October 29)
Dededo: Santa Barbara (December 3)
Hagåtña: Immaculate Conception/Santa Marian Kamalen (December 8)
Santa Rita: Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 10)
Asan: Nino Perdido y Sagrada Familia (December 31)
Note: This familiarization tour of Guam, USA was organized by the Guam Visitors Bureau in cooperation with Continental Airlines. Continental Airlines flies from Manila to Guam and vice versa everyday.