Guam – The 23erd Annual Miconesian Fair has drawn thousands of island residents to Ypao Beach Park this weekend to take in the sites and sound, but most of all the flavors of our region.
The theme of the Fair this year is “Celebrating The Tastes of Micronesia.”
The Fair features foods and crafts, dances and music from Yap, Pohnpei, Palau, Kosrae, the Marshell Islands and the Marianas.
Click here for the Stage Schedule of the fair.
Registry gets a boost from fair
By Laura Matthews • Pacific Sunday News • October 17, 2010
Representatives from the office of Sen. Ben Pangelinan were at the 23rd Guam Micronesia Island Fair yesterday, taking the names of people eligible for the Decolonization Registry.
The fair wraps up today at Ypao Beach Park in Tumon.
“Our goal is to register individuals, but also to continue to raise awareness and consciousness for the registry to be completed in order for us to move forward in the decolonization plebiscite,” said Pangelinan, who’s running for re-election. “This is our effort and our contribution.”
The 23rd Legislature created the Commission on Decolonization and made it responsible for the implementation and exercise of Chamorro self-determination. The commission set a date for a plebiscite in which Chamorros could vote on a preference for political status — statehood, independence or free association. The plebiscite has yet to be held.
The commission also is tasked to collect a registry of people who meet the definition of Chamorro — those who were made U.S. citizens by the Organic Act of Guam in 1950 and their descendants.
In 2008, there were more than 10,000 people registered under that definition, according to Pacific Sunday News files. The total number of Chamorros on the registry must be equivalent to at least 75 percent of all registered voters. This year, the Guam Election Commission has 49,811 registered voters, which means the registry would need more than 37,000 people.
“We’ve been doing this now for a couple of years and we continually push,” said Pangelinan, who is running for re-election. “If we meet it, it will mean that we will have, then, the opportunity to move forward in setting where the Chamorro will be in the future. We all have a place in this world, no matter what size we are.”
Frank Cruz, from Barrigada, registered more than a year ago. He said it pleases him to see the senator and his representatives are taking an active role in trying to add more people to the Chamorro registry.
“I say it’s about time. I think just having a place where people can go sign up isn’t enough,” Cruz said. “You have to go out to reach the people. We’ve been talking about self-determination for a long time and nothing is happening.”
The fair is a way to bring all the Micronesian islands together to share their different cultures. The theme this year is “Celebrating The Tastes of Micronesia.” The participating islands are Guam, Saipan, Rota, Tinian, the Republic of Palau, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Representatives from each of the island showcased their food, dances, dress and arts, which captivated both tourists and locals who were in attendance. Traditional methods of food preparation also were displayed.
Herman Semes, a business adviser from Pohnpei, said he has been attending the fair for years and keeps coming back not only for business, but also the island experience.
“It’s very exciting and it’s a good time to bring everybody from the islands to enjoy the Micronesian spirit,” Semes said. “Off-islanders can appreciate how island people live and the products we live on.”