My first trip home was back in 2005 with my grandpa (tåtan bihu) and grandma (nånan biha). They hadn’t been there since he was transferred out due to military services in 1972. As young as I was and knowing little of the culture (kuttura) I was born into, I didn’t realize how big of a treat this was until now. Besides seeing family, I became witness to many landmarks such as Inarajan (Inalåhan) Pool and Magellan’s Point. Out of all the beautiful sights, my favorite had to be Two Lovers Point or Puntan Dos Amantes. I cared not of the terrifying heights and, instead, found solace in the view of Tumon Bay in the nearby distance.
Of the several legends of Guam (Guåhan), one of the more bittersweet stories (estoria siha) tells that of forbidden love. In the ancient (antigo) CHamoru ways, much like other societies, they lived by a certain social caste system: the chamorri and the manachang. The manachang were considered today as your modern day sect that didn’t own land whereas the chamorri did. At that ancient period in time, it was unheard of for two people of the opposing classes to be bonded in matrimony.
The Tale of Two Lovers Point takes place during the Spanish Colonial era and illustrates the struggle between two CHamoru who want nothing but to be together. The woman (palao’an)—who was of the matao sect of the chamorri—was the oldest offspring of a wealthy Spanish man and his wife: the daughter of a village chief (maga’låhi). Their daughter was beloved by many of the villagers for her outward, natural beauty as well as her modest personality. As per Spanish tradition, her father insisted that she marry a Spanish male (låhi). The daughter, however, found out and became distraught. Hence, she fled to the Northern part of the island to flee her problems. It was there at the beach where she met a CHamoru male whose lineage was unlike hers. He was of the manachang social class; already making their hopes of acceptance to be belittled by all. This didn’t stop the woman for she promised him they’d see each other again.
When her father found out about the details of his daughter’s outing, he was furious and implored that she stay true to the Spanish ways. However, she didn’t listen. She fled once more and met her lover upon a cliff where they were then cornered by her father and Spanish soldiers. The advances came to a halt and then gave a window of opportunity for these CHamoru lovers. The legend then ends with them both tying their hair together in a knot and leaping to their eternal peace.
When I first heard the story, it made the cliff itself feel even more real. I wanted to see how far they fell for myself. My grandparents, uncle (tihu), and aunt (tiha) however didn’t want to venture to the viewing spot to gaze down with me. As much of a spoiled brat I was (and probably still am), my grandpa gave in and went with me so I wouldn’t be alone. However, I was the only one who actually went to the edge. He stayed far behind and took the picture (litråtu) instead.
~ Si Jocelyn