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Monday, March 05, 2012

Guam Island Fiesta Tour » Experience Guam's Tradition and Culture

Guam Cultural Dancers
The original inhabitants of Guam are believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 B.C., and having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Chamorro possessed a strong matriarchal society and it was through the power and prestige of the women, and the failure of the Spanish overlords to recognize this fact, that much of the Chamorro culture, including the language, music, dance, and traditions have survived to this day.

True to an old Chamorro proverb, "I erensia, lina'la', espiritu-ta," which means "Our heritage gives life to our spirit."

Indeed, Guam shares a vibrant story of rich local tradition and unique Chamorro culture; and it is for this reason why the Guam Island Fiesta Tour (GIFT) has been a continuous success for the past years. Inviting visitors into the homes of local families for fiesta celebrations, GIFT provides a glimpse of Guam's history and culture, encapsulating centuries' worth of tradition through a day of local festivities.

The program is sponsored by Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) in partnership with the Mayors Council of Guam and LamLam Tours to offer an immersive and intimate experience to tourists and residents. GIFT occurs in correspondence with local fiesta celebrations to honor a Catholic patron saint, allowing visitors to join the festivities with local residents.

Participants are greeted with shell leis and Chamorro dance performances, invited to participate in interactive cultural activities like coconut husking, talaya throwing, and tuba drinking, and are treated to large tables laden with authentic Chamorro cuisine.

We are not just telling our visitors about Guam’s history, our food, or the way we celebrate with song and dance – we’re showing them and inviting them to experience it first-hand,” said GVB General Manager Joann Camacho. 

We have received outstanding feedback from everyone involved. Our visitors love it, our families enjoy teaching about our Chamorro culture, and our industry stakeholders have begun packaging GIFT as an optional tour with airlines and hotel stays.

For 2012, GIFT will happen in fiestas in Barrigada, Inarajan, Merizo, Tamuning, Santa Rita, Agat, Talofofo, Mangilao, Yona, Agana Heights, and Dededo, kicking off with the Barrigada celebration of San Vicente Ferrer on April 15.

For reservations, visitors may contact their tour agent or Kiyoko or Rex at LamLam Tours at (671) 649-5314/5. For $30 per adult or $20 per child, LamLam Tours will pick up visitors at several hotels in the morning, transport them to the host family, and return to hotels at 2 p.m.

For more information about GIFT, visit www.facebook.com/i.like.guam or e-mail info@visitguam.com.ph. You may also call the Philippine office at 519-6756. 

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For more info, please contact:
Jelly Macachor / Niña Espiritu / EON Inc.
893.5642 loc. 108  /  loc. 140   e-mail: jelly@eon.com.ph  / nina@eon.com.ph

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Related links:
» "Guam Island Fiesta Tour". The Art of Judy Flores Blog
» "The Culture of Guam"  from: ns.gov.gu
» "Guam fiesta tour gives visitors intimate cultural experience" Saipan Tribune News Article (posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2012)






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Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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