Hard to believe, but this was the first ever Carolinian Language Symposium held. The reason for the Symposium was to address the rapid erosion of the Carolinian (Refaluwasch) language proficiency in the Refaluwasch community.
Registering for the Symposium, from the left are Joe Itibus, Gus Kaipat and Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, who was on hand to help present a House Resolution to the Carolinian Affairs Office.
Ana Somol, Eugene, Bobbie Iginoef, Tata Felix Fitial, and Nana Laura Ilaal
DPS Color Guards at the official start of the ceremonies.
Brother Gus Kaipat sings the U.S. National Anthem acapella.
Forefront, far right: Angie Ignoef-Mangarero, Executive Assistant of the Carolinian Affairs Office. She is the first female to ever hold this position since the Commonwealth was established. In this red booklet that she's holding, I was listed among several predominently male Refaluwasch as a "first Refaluwasch producer." How ironic that she was left off the list of "Refaluwasch pioneers." I don't recall if "Felicidad (Daling) Ogumoro was mentioned also, but she was the "first female Congresswoman" that the CNMI ever had! Hmmm....
Gus Kaipat, Joe Limes, and Edson Limes led Lt. Governor Tim Villagomez, Governor Ben Fitial, and the rest of us in singing the Chamorro-Carolinian National Anthem..
Here, everyone takes a crash course in the song that Edson Limes composed for this Symposium. The term for it is probably called "crash singing." Not exactly what the name implies. Edson did a great job and with the lyrics provided, the audience quickly learned the song well enough to sing along. In the middle row from closest to farthest are Public School System Commissioner David Borja, Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, and Vice Speaker Justo Quitugua.
Nana Gaudencia Sablan, Jack Ogumorro, and Mariano Sablan, Jr. (June). That necklace he's wearing is a traditional Refaluwasch necklace called "Lighatut'ture", pronounced "Li-ha-tut-ture."
Angelica (Angie) Iginoef-Mangarero is the first woman to be appointed to the position of Executive Assistant of the Carolinian Affairs Office. Governor Benigno R. Fitial appointed her to this position. Not only was this appointment historic, but Governor Fitial also made history when he appointed Rebecca Warfield to the position of Commissioner of Department of Public Safety (DPS). Good appointments, Governor, and CONGRATULATIONS to Angie and Rebecca. You are important role models to the women and young ladies in our Commonwealth.
Governor Benigno Repeki Fitial addressing the audience.
Lt. Governor Timothy Villagomez addressing the attendees, sharing that he has "a little bit" of Refaluwasch blood in him, which comes from his late father's side.
Symposium attendees. Governor Fitial urged government agencies to grant leaves of absences for their employees to attend this conference provided that services aren't interrupted.
Back row backs from left: Vicky Selepeo Magofna, Nana Rosie Roppul-Warakai, Tom Tebuteb, me (Rep. Cinta Kaipat), and I don't know the rest of the people to my right. I wish I could report on the Symposium, but right after Vice Speaker Justo Quitugua, Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, and I presented the House Resolution, we left to attend the House Session scheduled for that day and the following day. I was quite disappointed that the last-minute scheduling of the House Sessions prevented me from attending the rest of the Symposium, especially since I was scheduled to be a presenter and panelist months ago. I may not have been able to contribute as a presenter or panelist, but I at least hosted lunch the first day of the Symposium.
Tangible pieces of traditional Carolinian/Refaluwasch artwork, clothing, jewelry, and weavings.
Artwork and assorted publications that were supported by the Library Friends, some with funding through an ANA Grant that led to the construction of the Children's Library called Children of Our Homeland Library. I am a Board Member of Library Friends as well as its past vice president.
Library Friends Display Table.
Replicas of the traditional Refaluwasch canoe.
A replica of a traditional Refaluwasch Utt.