Voices of Our Elders Media Files
Toni “Malia” Ramirez is an oral historian for the Department of Parks and Recreation Historic Resources Division.
Born in 1937, Antonio Degracia Castro is the daughter of Manuel Borja Degracia and Dolores Taitano Tolentino, and the youngest of nine children. Her brothers are Esteban, Francisco, Manuel and Herman. Her sisters are Monica, Ana, Elena and Enriqueta. As a young child Castro lived in Abo’ on the outskirts of Sumay Village before World War II broke out on Guam. her family moved to what is now Santa Rita where she resided until her father relocated the family to Talofofo in 1953 to begin farming with his friend Francisco Cruz. Dolores Degracia passed away shortly after the war, when Antonia was only 12 years old. Castro graduated from George Washington High School in 1957 and soon married her husband, Juan Pablo Castro, whom she had met a year earlier. Their marriage lasted 55 years and together they had seven children: Gloria, Louise, Zeta, Richard, Viola, Hilda and Douglas.
Castro graduated from the University of Guam in 1974 and immediately began her teaching career at M.U. Lujan Elementary School. She then went on to teach at Talofofo, Agat, Inarajan and Merizo Elementary Schools. In 1991, she joined the Chamorro Studies Division as a School Program Consultant for the Bilingual Bicultural Program. She wrote for the Chamorro language feature Fino’ Chamorro in the Pacific Daily News and taught Chamorro teachers to weave using coconut and pandanus leaves, as well as how to make and use traditional throw nets (talaya). Castro authored several books for the Chamorro Studies Division in addition to a book about her experiences during World War II on Guam—Lasting Pain. Castro keeps busy by caring for family members, planting around her house in Talofofo, and enjoying her crafts and writing.
Eric Forbes, OFM Cap., earned a BA in history at San Francisco State University in 1984. He earned his masters of divinity in 1990 from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also taken post-graduate courses in pastoral counseling at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and Franciscan studies at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York.
Forbes is the Capuchin superior for Guam and Hawaii. Born and raised on Guam, he graduated from Father Duenas Memorial School in 1980. Forbes entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in 1984 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1990. He was previously a pastor on Guam and Saipan, and the vocation and formation director for the Capuchin Order.
He is also a columnist for the Pacific Daily News and a contributor in Guam History : Perspectives, Vol 1 (Mangilao, GU: MARC). Forbes authored Historia de la Mision de Guam de los Capuchinos Espanoles (Pamplona, Spain : Curia Provincial de Capuchinos, 2001) as well as, The German Capuchins in the Marianas 1907-1919 (2007: Capuchin Friars, Guam). His most recent publication is Pale’ Roman (2009 : Capuchin Friars, Guam).
Forbes authors a blog about the Chamorro language and Marianas history: Paleric.
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Antonia “Tan Tona” Degracia Castro’s version of The Maidens that Saved Guam.
The English version of the film.
La Nao de China
This short film by Diver Below with permissions from Pete Peterson. The original can be viewed here.
Fino’ i Mañaina-ta
Family History: Tending the Family Tree
A presentation by Toni “Malia” Ramirez
26 September, Saturday