Commission on Decolonization Invites Guam’s Youth to Fanhita Manhoben


Exciting happenings are forthcoming for Guam’s youth, thanks to a collaborative event between The Commission on Decolonization, in partnership with Beyond the Reef, and an Unknown Project.

PNC’s Destiny Cruz has more…

Bridging different art mediums with discussions about issues related to Guam’s quest for self-governance, the Commission on Decolonization looks to engage with the island’s youth, aged 14-25, through an upcoming two-day conference.

Fanhita Manhoben: Decolonization Through the Arts, set to be held at the Guam Museum, will offer relevant, engaging, immersive, and educational workshops tailored to acquiring hands-on experience in music, songwriting, visual arts, and poetry– to again center the focus around exploring decolonization.

This afternoon, PNC spoke with Melvin Won Pat Borja, Executive Director of the Commission on Decolonization, who shed light on the conference’s expansive aim, which includes instilling a sense of empowerment in one’s identity, talent, and capabilities to pursue and excel in professional endeavors.

Borja said, “Every workshop will focus on issues that are salient to the topic, right? So even thematically, we’re really focused on identity, representation, and empowerment. So, you know, these are three, really, fundamental pillars that help a student have a deeper understanding of the decolonization issue and how it impacts them and appeals to them and applies to them.”

To further drive home the three fundamental pillars Borja discussed, Fanhita Manhoben highlights Guam’s local talent. Featured artists include The John Dank Show and Joshua Barrigada–who have garnered local and international success, and who will partake in a panel discussion with the youth participants.

Furthermore, Borja said, “We deliberately chose artists that have found success not just on the local scene, but even nationally and internationally. I think it’s great for these young people to connect with these working professionals, especially local working professionals, and understand that it’s not just some pipe dream–that they could make it or that they could be successful and support themselves with their art.”

According to Won Pat Borja, an additional gallery exhibition is in the works to feature the art generated by the participants from the conference. Moreover, he says there will be future opportunities for the participating musicians to showcase their music.

Moreover, apart from the two-day conference, Won Pat Borja says there will be an additional conference day dedicated to the collaborating student organizers. The third day will equip them with the skill set to create their school-based events that are student-driven to perpetuate empowerment and ownership and weave in issues around decolonization and self-determination.

Students interested in attending may register via Eventbrite. Once registered, the individual’s school student liaison/teacher representative will be in contact to coordinate their field trip form. The conference will run from September 28th-29th.

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Starting as the weather personality for the Pacific News Center in 2019, then as a reporter, Destiny Cruz is now PNC’s lead anchor, producer, writer, and TV host for two of Sorensen Media Group’s shows. Over three years at PNC, Destiny has covered issues impacting our island in areas including legislation and health, to name a few, in addition to highlighting the meaningful stories of Guam’s community in features and lifestyle. Corresponding with her professional growth, Destiny has acquired personal achievements that have contributed to her development as a dynamic woman: she is a proud graduate of the Guam Community College, earning her degree in liberal studies, a former Miss Guam (Miss World Guam 2017), and singer/songwriter.