Discovery Day Events Continue in Umatac Next Weekend

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Guam – The Umatac Mayor’s Office, in partnership with the Humåtak Community Foundation has announced that its “Discovery 2014” celebrations will continue this coming weekend, 7 -9, at Umatac Bay. 

A Friday release from the Umatac Mayor’s Office invites“everyone to the Discovery Day at Humatak Bay.” And  the celebrations this coming weekend, like this weekend past,  features Heritage Walking Tours in the village of Umatac.  Volunteer “Heritage Youths” are serving as guides to 6 historic sites in Umatac village.  “These docents or guides will be welcoming visitors to their respective sites that they’ve studied, explaining the history of their respective sites.”  

And, for the fisrt time in 12 years, Monday marked the official return, at least for this year, of  a GovGuam holiday whose official name has been changed from “Discovery Day” to “Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day”. 

The movement to reinstate the holiday began in December when Senator Tommy Morrison introduced Bill 238-32, to reinstating the “Discovery Day” holiday. It never got a public hearing so he appealed to the administration to issue an Executive Order declaring it a holiday once again. The Executive Order is good for 2014 only. Legislation is still required to make it a permanent holiday once again. The Administration has acknowledged that this holiday, like any GovGuam holiday, will cost about $400-thousand dollars.  [See the list of GovGuam and Federal Holidays below].  

Although the original name of the Holiday was “Discovery Day”, this year’s proclamation has re-named it “Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day” in deference to those who object to celebrating Magellan’s “discovery” of an island which had been occupied by the Chamorro people for more than 1,000 years when the explorer arrived here on March 6, 1521.

Despite its discontinuation as an official GovGuam holiday 12 years ago, the village of Umatac has kept the name “Discovery Day” and carries on the tradition of re-enacting Magellan’s first landing. 

[Sunday Magellan landing re-enactment at Umtac Bay]

In a release Monday, Senator Tommy Morrison said “the public should use the day to educate youth and visitors.” 

 He said  While the name has been changed, the essence of Bill 238-32 remains intact- Guam, once again, has a day set aside to celebrate and discover Guam’s rich history and culture. This Monday, the people of Guam will once again pause to reflect on and discover our island’s rich history, heritage, and culture,” [Read Senator Morrison’s full release below:]. 


GovGuam currently recognizes 11 holidays, [12 this year with “Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day”]. The Federal Government recognizes 10.

                                         GOVGUAM HOLIDAYS                                                               FEDERAL HOLIDAYS

1.   Jan. 1       NEW YEARS DAY

1. NEW YEARS DAY

2.   Jan. 21     MARTIN LUTHER KING’S DAY

2. MARTIN LUTHER KING’S DAY

 3. [ TEMPORARY – 1st Monday in March ] -“Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day”

3.WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY (aka Presidents Day) – Feb. 18

3.   May 27   MEMORIAL DAY

4. MEMORIAL DAY

4.   July 4      INDEPENDENCE DAY

5. INDEPENDENCE DAY

5.   July 22    LIBERATION DAY

 

6.   Sep. 2     LABOR DAY

6. LABOR DAY

 

7. COLUMBUS DAY – Oct. 14

7.   Nov. 1     ALL SOULS DAY

 

8.   Nov. 11   VETERANS DAY

8. VETERANS DAY

9.   Nov. 28   THANKSGIVING DAY

9. THANKSGIVING DAY

10. Dec. 9     SANTA MARIAN KAMALEN DAY

 

11. Dec. 25   CHRISTMAS DAY

10. CHRISTMAS DAY

READ the release from Senator Morrison below:

GUAM PAUSES TO CELEBRATE HISTORY & HERITAGE

Senator Morrison, “Use the day to educate youth and visitors.”
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 March 3, 2014
 
Hagatna, Guam.    Today the island of Guam will once again pause for a holiday to celebrate Guam’s rich history and heritage after over a decade.
 
At the request of Senator Tommy Morrison, last Wednesday, acting Governor Ray Tenorio signed an executive order declaring Monday a government holiday.  The executive order states, ‘not a single day among the 11 holidays is dedicated to the commemoration of our history and the celebration of our culture and heritage.”
 
The movement to reinstate a March holiday celebrating history and heritage began in December when Senator Tommy Morrison introduced Bill 238-32, reinstating the Discovery Day holiday. “After further receiving feedback from the public and consulting the administration, the name has been changed to ‘Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day,” Morrison said.
 
“While the name has been changed, the essence of Bill 238-32 remains intact- Guam, once again, has a day set aside to celebrate and discover Guam’s rich history and culture. This Monday, the people of Guam will once again pause to reflect on and discover our island’s rich history, heritage, and culture,” Morrison said.
 
Morrison said the public should use the day to educate youth and visitors. “When our community pauses for a holiday, our youth and visitors will naturally ask the question, ‘What is Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day?’ and with this question begins the opportunity to educate.   Holidays and activities that center around them, naturally teach and create forums of discussion conducive to education.”
 
Guam History & Chamorro Heritage Day will kick off Chamorro Month festivities.