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Discovering Guam

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By Kim Atienza

‘MATANGLAWIN,’ our science-environmental show on ABS-CBN (every Sunday, 9:45 a.m.), recently explored Guam, only three and a half hours away from Manila.

Our team, composed of Wil Dasovich, Daniel Marsh, and Jako de Leon, discovered quite a few wonderful things about Guam.

Guam is an island territory of the United States of America. With its hot and sunny weather, it’s a perfect place for summer.

The “Matanglawin” team learned about the culture of Chamorros, the indigenous people of Guam. It is said that Chamorros have existed in Guam for over 4000 years long before.

The trio first explored the Valley of Latte, a famous place for tourists.

The village folk showed how Chamorros lived back then, how they made fire, what they ate.

Found in the village were the so-called lattes, or pillar stones. They feature a cup resting on top, can last a thousand years, even in the midst of strong typhoons.

Latte posts are made of limestone, basalt or sandstone. Still standing up to this day, they measure from 2 ft. up to 7 ft. in height.

In 1521, the same year Ferdinand Magellan landed on the Philippines, he landed on Guam five weeks prior.

Like the Philippines, Guam was also colonized by Spain, Japan and finally the United States. The beautiful beaches there once served as a battlefield.

Guam is located in Southeast Asia home of the Austronesian family. This makes local Guamanians look a bit like us Filipinos.

The Fish Eye Marine Park in Guam is an underwater observatory opened in 1996. It lies 10 meters deep in the sea with 24 windows to see the wonders of marine life in Guam.

There are about 200 species such as masked banner fish, scissortail sergeant, sergeant major damsel fish etc. There are also 26 kinds of sharks being meticulously cared for. There are grey reef shark, zebra nurse shark, silk nurse shark and many more.

Did you know that when sharks lay upside down, they could go into tonic immobility. This makes them temporarily paralyzed.

It’s the state where they are relaxed and their breathing deepens. This could last 15 minutes.

If you want to see Guam in an unusual way, ride a bus that can transform into a boat! You can ride the “Ride the Ducks” that travels in both land and sea. It can load 38 passengers.

Dinner shows like Tao Tao Tasi (People of the Sea) are popular in Guam hotels. They tell the story of ancient Chamorros in the Pacific, portraying them as warriors, lovers, fun-loving people. The one our team watched featured Tahiti dancers and fire dancers from Samoa.

There’s truth to the rumor. Guam is America’s best kept secret.

TRIVIA PA MORE (Various Sources):

– The tallest land animal is the giraffe. It’s capable of looking into a second story window with ease. Its neck measures around 6-foot (1.8 meter) and weighs about 600 pounds (272 kilograms).

– There are no bridges over the Amazon River.

– The man who found the 5,000 year-old corpse of Otzi the Iceman in 1991 (Oldest natural European mummy) was also found dead frozen in ice in 2004.

Send your questions on anything and everything to Kuya Kim through my Twitter account @kuyakim_atienza using #AlaminKayKuyaKim.

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