by Joan Awa
Catching Waves – The Fu’a is Unstoppable
2012 Miss Earth Guam Sarah Filush wears the Fu’a during a performance on pageant day in search of the new 2014 Miss Earth Guam. Sarah and Fu’a resurface on a recent blog, No Rest for the Awake, Minagahet Chamorro earlier this year.
On September 17th, 2014 the crowning of the new Miss Earth Guam took place at the Sheraton Laguna. Chamorrita Swimwear was chosen as a sponsor to the ladies’ official swimsuit runway presentation and photos taken by none other than the talented photographer, Manny Rona. The night of the pageant, a special and watery-eyed performance by former 2012 Miss Earth Guam Sarah Filush chose to wear our Fu'a Coco during her re-enactment of Guam’s creation story. Alongside her very supportive boyfriend, MMA fighter, Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho, the dynamic duo brought tears to our eyes as they danced and portrayed the brother and sister who created Guam and its people. Just like the creation story of firsts, the Fu’a is Chamorrita Swimwear’s first design, making the performance much more meaningful and memorable just like the iconic piece.
The creation story of Guam has been passed down through oral tradition and remains a living and breathing legend; that is why several versions exist today. A common theme to the variants is the brother and sister, Puntan and Fu’una being the ultimate ancestor of the Chamorro people. According to the legend, the siblings wanted to use their powers for a purpose, by creating a place of existence and the people who will dwell in it. As instructed by her brother, Fu’una dissected parts of his body and created the sun and moon with his eyes, the rainbow from his eyebrows and the earth from his back. When she finished her creations, she thrusted her body onto the earth, which created Fouha Rock, life had sprung from this point and people began to inhabit the earth.
Memories were created the night of the pageant and enough for those to reference the applauded performance of Sarah and our Fu’a as they resurface on the blog of Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua who is a professor at the University of Guam and is involved with numerous local organizations and programs. He dedicates his blog to, “…the use and revitalization of the Chamoru language and decolonization of Guam” and also to gain awareness in the teaching of the culture of the indigenous people of Guam and the rest of the islands in the Marianas. Dr. Bevacqua writes on his thoughts of the new program, We Are Guam, which pushes for diversifying Guam’s tourism and taking the experience out of Tumon. The vigorous village of Tumon has always been the go-to spot for shopping, relaxing, wining and dining but what vacationers don’t get to experience is Guam itself.
Dr. Bevacqua includes an article written earlier this year by PNC on the launch of the We Are Guam program, which Sarah is involved in with Guam Visitor’s Bureau. GVB, for short, promotes Guam as the ultimate destination spot for tourists in assisting them with their trip planning and experience. Sarah’s fresh outlook to tourism brings a different dynamic to the tourism industry; it takes a whole community to give an outsider the full-blown hospitality of the island. And the only way to do this is to encourage the youth in immersing themselves with their culture. For Sarah, it’s greeting everyone with a smile and one warm ‘Hafa Adai’ at a time; making her iconic, just like our Fu’a.
About Joan Awa
Joan Awa was raised on the beautiful island of Guåhan and has remained a resident since. With no thoughts of leaving, she continues to pursue her writing within the island. She currently writes for local publications such as Uno Magazine and is working on several literary works of her own. She is a huge fan of local artisans, businesses and their products, including Chamorrita Swimwear, which she loves to blog for!