On Friday morning, a signing ceremony was held to recognize the official name change of “Inarajan” back to “Inalahan.”
A signing ceremony for Bill 60 was held at the Inalahan Mayor’s office.
The bill officially recognizes the name change of Inarajan to its original name in the CHamoru language, “Inalahan.”
According to Senator Telo Taitague, it was an honor to introduce the bill to legislation, as she is originally from the southern village. Senator Taitague said that the bill is more than just a name change. The restoration of Inalahan’s native name fosters the preservation of the CHamoru identity in future generations.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero was present to sign the bill into law, which was co-sponsored by Speaker Therese Terlaje, as well as Senators Joanne Brown, Sabina Perez, Frank Blas, Jr., Tony Ada, Joe San Agustin, Chris Duenas, Telena Nelson, James Moylan, Clynton Ridgell, and Jose (Pedo) Terlaje.
According to Inalahan Mayor Anthony Chargualaf, he and the residents of Inalahan recognize the importance of preserving the southern village’s historical reputation. Chargualaf added that small efforts such as restoring original village names are a significant step towards keeping the CHamoru language alive.
“Changing the name from Inarajan — the English version — to the CHamoru version Inalahan, again ties in very much to what I was saying earlier. If we’re being dubbed the historic village, then we need to go back and hold that true!” the mayor said.
Inalahan’s name change has inspired fellow southern villages such as Agat and Merizo to restore their indigenous CHamoru names. According to Senator Telo, these changes serve as a reminder of the obligation to protect our land and natural resources, which ultimately renews our strength as an island community.