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I Am Proud Of My Filipino And Chamorro Culture

721 words - 3 pages

Please mark the bubble which correctly describes your ethnicity. I scan the options which range from Caucasian to African American to Hispanic and as usual, I proceed to mark the bubble which says Pacific Islander. Whenever people first meet me I get the inevitable query, “Are you Mexican..Hawaiian..Korean..Chinese..Vietnamese..etc.?” Typically, they get half my ethnicity correct, but no one has ever guessed what the other half is. What many people do not know about me is that I am a full-blooded Pacific Islander. My dad’s parents are both Filipino and my mom’s parents are both Chamorro. Many people have guessed Filipino, but many ask, “what the heck is Chamorro?” Chamorro’s are the indigenous people of Guam, the westernmost possession of the United States, and has been since 1898. The largest island in the Micronesia, it comprises 210 square miles, or the size of a very small US town. Therefore, with my background being of two lands very far way, I saw my heritage as a mere result of my parents’ ancestry , held no ethnic pride for either culture. This indifference was transformed soon after my parents told me I would be spending two weeks of my summer vacation in Guam.
I learned a little about the Chamorro culture and traditions from my family, so I did not understand how a trip to Guam would enhance my knowledge. I was probably more ambivalent because a trip to Guam entails a thirteen hour flight. Although the main motivation of the trip was a family reunion, my parents insisted the trip would be a good experience for me, because I had never been fully exposed to the Chamorro culture. I reluctantly packed my bags, boarded the Continental Airlines plane(one of only 2 airlines which serves Guam), and off we were on our adventure. Shortly after my arrival, I began to see how the stories I had heard, did not compare to the actual experience of being on Guam. My senses came alive as we drove around the island. The sights of luscious green...

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