Friday, July 01, 2011

Guam: Lina'la' Cultural Village, Two Lovers Point & more Guam attractions

Guam is not just about shopping, food and the beach. There are some interesting things to see while in Guam. As part of the Maila Ta Fan Boka trip, we also visited several Guam attractions.

One of the places we visited was the Lina'La Cultural Village, where the group was given a preview of the living Chamorro museum that will open sometime this year.

While the exhibits which would showcase Guam's history were not yet finished. The actual Chamorro Village was almost done. In fact, we witnessed ceremonies for placing the nipa roof on the last house. The village aims to recreate how a Chamorro community looked like before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, with villagers to complete the living exhibit. The villagers would also speak only in Chamoru.

Lunch was by the beach beside the village. Like always it was a feast of grilled meats and kelaguen!

In the afternoon, we proceeded to Two Lovers Point, one of the most picturesque views on Guam. The story behind Two Lovers Point is about quite tragic. The parents of the girl were a wealthy Spanish aristocrat and a daughter of a great Chamorro chief. They had arranged for her to marry an influential Spanish captain. Upon finding out, the girl ran to a secluded shore in the northern part of the island where she met and fell in love with a young warrior from a modest Chamorro family.

The father found out about this and demanded that she marry the captain at once. She ran off to a high cliff above Tumon Bay to meet her Chamorro lover. They were pursued by her father, the captain and soldiers.

Caught in between the cliff and the pursuing group, the lovers tied their long hair together in a knot, looked into each others eyes and kissed, and jumped from the cliff in full view of the girl's father who could do nothing but stare in anguish.

Two Lovers Point has thus been a popular place for lovers to leave locks (in the same way that the lovers locked their hair in a knot) and throw away the keys over the cliff as a sign of lasting love for each other. The rest of us go there for the great view!

Later in the afternoon, we got to visit the historical center of Guam's capital Hagåtña. Among the sites located there is the Latte Stone Park which is a showcase of latte stones that served as pillars of ancient Chamorro houses. some of the stones in the park date back to 500 A.D.

Then there's Plaza de Espana, the ruins of the former Governor's Palace during the Spanish colonial period. Like Manila, much of Hagåtña was destroyed during the liberation of Guam in World War II. Beside it is the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. The current structure dates back to 1959, with the older church also destroyed during the war.

The day before we left, we made a brif visit to Underwater World, an indoor aquarium. Perfect place to visit especially if you have kids with you.

During our last day, we were able to convince our driver to stop at one of the sites of the War in the Pacific Memorial. Memorial Day was approaching so the grounds had hundreds of American and Guam flags to commemorate the event. I was also able to get a stamp for my U.S. National Park Passport.

In the southern part of the island are some of Guams old towns. There are old forts, villages and other historical structures. I got to visit Merizo in a previous trip where the old convent and bell tower still stands, the Malesso Kombento and Kampanayun Malesso.

Another popular attraction in the southern side of Guam is Talofofo Falls. Hopefully I get to see more of Guam in the future.

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.
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