Showing posts with label Pacific Islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pacific Islands. Show all posts

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Guam: Agat Mango Festival, Santa Rita Fiesta & more Guam events

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.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Guam: Shopping at DFS Galleria & Guam Premier Outlets (GPO)

Guam is a duty-free territory. So that means branded merchandise and many other products are cheaper in Guam than the rest of the U.S. and a lot of countries. Those who've been to the U.S. also know the sales tax which can go as high as 12 percent. Guam does not have a sales tax. Which gives another reason to shop in Guam.

For the prestigious brands and designer goods, the best place to get them would be at DFS Galleria Guam. We actually had a chance to shop there and some of the affordable brands were cheaper than other places. Of course I didn't bother to enter those really expensive branded stores. But I'm sure those who can afford them will find a lot of bargains there. You can check out the brands at DFS Galleria Guam here.

Guam Premier Outlets was another place we got to visit. I suggest you visit Ross first to have a point of comparison with other stores. Most of the time, Ross comes out cheaper. Sometimes they don't. There are also items which you may not find in Ross which are available at the brand stores. Here's the GPO store listing.

You can also check out Micronesia Mall which I got to visit during my previous trip to Guam. Here's the mall map and store listing of Micronesia Mall. It's actually owned by Lucio Tan. SM isn't far behind with the Agana Shopping Center which I have yet to visit.

If you're looking for a place to shop without having to fly all the way to the U.S., keep Guam in mind.

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. Time to book that shopping trip now!

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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