Earlier today, hundreds of people from all over the island drove down to Umatac to honor CHamoru Heritage Day.
As the waves of Umatac Bay swayed back and forth, island residents and visitors gathered at its shore to view the exhibits featured at the Guam History and CHamoru Heritage Day Festival.
The festival offered heritage site tours, a sling stone demonstration, a coral conservation presentation, and cultural performances.
But the most anticipated event every year, according to Humåtak Community Foundation Chairman Joe Quinata, is the re-enactment of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s ship landing on Guam.
“It is a story that needs to be told. It is a story that we should learn from. It is a story that started everything. Guam is the first Pacific island that was visited by a European and Magellan was the first European who landed on Guam. It is a story we need to tell because it is a tragic story,” Quinata said.
He added that the show is over 70 years old and that this year, around 100 performers told the story of Magellan docking his ship.
Despite the violence portrayed in the story of Magellan’s landing, Quinata says that events such as the heritage festival are important to give people the opportunity to connect with their history.
“It is important to me because it is tradition. It is important to me because it tells me who I am and wh my people are. It tells me why we do what we do today and because I have my kids and my kids’ kids to have to listen to the same story that my father, grandfather, and great grandfather told us,” Quinata said.