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CHAMORI IDENTITY

 

with

 

Norbert Perez

“A Visionary Icon”

 

By

 

Shelly Ann Santiago

Staff Writer

March 15th, 2010

 

 

 

PACIFICTIMES (Pacific Times Magazine):   Aloha Mr. Perez.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:    Hello Shelly.

 

PACIFICTIMES:   Thank you for taking time to do this interview.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  I’m delighted to do it.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Our many readers will appreciate your thoughts on the Name-Change issue.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:   I’m sure they will. I’m glad to clear up some questions.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Do you approve of changing our island’s name from GUAM to GUAHAN?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  I whole-heartedly approve. It’s been a long time coming.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Some folks say that you forced Governor Camacho to sign his Executive Order. Is that correct?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  NO. That isn’t true.  I advised him & I encouraged him.  I can’t twist his arm from thousands of miles away, can I?

 

PACIFICTIMES:  So you played no role in getting him to sign that Executive Order?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Absolutely not.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Some are insinuating that you forced his hand through mental telepathy. Did you? 

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Absolutely NOT.  I advised him and I encouraged him to sign the Order so he can cement his legacy.

 

PACIFICTIMES:   I see.  Is this Name-Change important for our people?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:   For sure it is. It is the single most important change for our island in the last 100 years.  It is an historical event.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  You have read through the PDN and KUAM blogs against this name-change. Most are concerned about the added costs. What do you say?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: The cost to change our island’s name from GUAM to GUAHAN is so miniscule. People are simply looking at the short term outlay, which I believe will be $zero because Uncle Sam will pay for it all.  I think people are just afraid of being inconvenienced, which is a small sweat as compared to the positive and long-term possibilities.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  There is the opposite side which countered by saying we should just leave it alone.  Can you comment on that?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  We can’t just leave it alone. The Governor has already signed the Executive Order and he has already prompted use in Washington D.C.  It is already LAW.

 

PACIFICTIMES:   Can he rescind it?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:   Sure he can, but he won’t.

 

PACIFICTIMES:   Why not?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  The Governor will not rescind his Order.  He is a vain man and he does care about his legacy. He wants to be the man who changed our island’s name from GUAM back to GUAHAN.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  What about the Legislature?  Can they reverse the Governor’s Order?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  They probably can but they would be committing political suicide. The Governor isn’t worried because he isn’t up for re-election.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Was the Governor correct in making this change?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Absolutely and I warmly applaud him for his courage. I told him that I will stand behind him to the end and we will celebrate victory.

 

 

PACIFICTIMES:  You know you are making a huge splash around the island. I don’t mean you but members of our team. First it was Larry and Roman. Then we have Pamela and Regina making the rounds at the village meetings and funerals.  Carlos and Pito are being cussed out in Umatac.  Aileen, Lolita, Tami and Krista will soon move up in notoriety.  You are aware of that, aren’t you?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Of course I am. If you noticed, I recently admonished Roke Terlaje for getting too emotional with the bloggers. Since Pammie took over, we have been most successful. She is a natural at it.  Our main objective with using these blogs is to disseminate our Information.  It is called a filtered transfer. The bloggers are the active grapevine. They monitor the island’s heartbeat and they disburse our message throughout the community. 

 

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Some of the bloggers become hateful and so sarcastic. They call you crazy. They call us a Cult. Why do you allow them?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Do I care if they call me crazy? Certainly not.  Do I care if they call us weirdos? It doesn’t bother me. But I know that it can and will bother some of our people. Good example was Roke. We cannot afford a breakdown, from our end. This is why I want everyone trained to be professional and passive. So far everything is fantastic and moving along in harmony.  

 

PACIFICTIMES:  I have read some of the remarks from these bloggers and some of them are downright MEAN.  I asked Pammie how she can take all those abuses?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: She is a headstrong woman, isn’t she? Well she can dish it out with the best of them. I love her style. She is great.

 

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Pammie told me that she is very successful.  When people are talking about her and quoting her on these blogs, she is SUCCEEDING.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  She is right-On.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  But, don’t they hate her?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Not really. Imagine this. If she breaks off and doesn’t blog for a week or two, these addicts will be wondering and missing her.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Let’s get back to the main issue.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Okay, Shelly.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Tell us what we are doing by protesting?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:   What we are doing by protesting is highlighting the ETHNIC CLEANSING going on in our island which started out in 1898.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Some bloggers have stated that there is no ETHNIC CLEANSING on our island and the United Nations has a clear definition of what is Ethnic Cleansing. What say you to that?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: That is typical horseradish. The definition of Ethnic Cleansing by the United Nations applies to what happened in Kosovo and others. That definition is so broad and generalized that it will cover our ETHNIC CLEANSING charge here.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Are we filing a complaint with the United Nations?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  NOT yet. We will if things don’t begin to roll.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  What do you mean?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  I want this Name-Change to be an internal matter. The last thing I want to do is to protest and advertise this issue to the world. I want the people of Guahan to support this name change. I want the Legislature to pass it and send the measure to Congress. Then I want Congress to amend the Organic Act to reflect our island as GUAHAN and our people as CHAMORI.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  What do you mean by Internal?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  I do not believe America wants to be known as an Ethnic Cleansing Nation. That will provide substantive fodder for all the JIHADIST Kooks around the world. Nations who do not like America will exploit this issue to embarrass America.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  If you don’t want that, why protest?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Simple….We want this name change done and we will force everyone to make those changes. The local people who are fighting us are doing so for all the wrong reasons.

 

PACIFICTIMES: What are those reasons? 

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Some are just concerned about politics. Some just don’t want Felix Camacho to enjoy this legacy. Some are afraid of a United Chamori people. Some are consumed with hatred for me.  There are many, many excuses and all of them STUPID and ignore the big picture.

 

PACIFICTIMES: How far do you expect this to go?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  As far as it takes.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  How about the cost? 

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Like I stated. If we do this right, it will cost us NOTHING. This is a federal matter and correcting it will be a congressional responsibility. That includes the costs.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Will making this name-change affect our island and our people?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Most definitely. Every issue, every problem on our island is directly related to this name-change and our lack of identity. Some may not believe that but it is so true.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Isn't publishing our web site and visiting the blogs....are we already protesting?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Absolutely. This is why it didn't hurt us when the President delayed his visit to Guahan. It HELPED us.

 

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Do you think the Presdient and the White House already know about our Protest?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Of course they do. Many in Congress know as well.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Some emails have filtered in saying that Pammie is destroying our credibility and hurting our cause. Do you believe that?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Certainly Not. I applaud everyone and everything we do. Many are appalled by our directness and passion. Most will probably hate us by the time this is over and I welcome that. We are not running a popularity contest. We are not candidates for office. We are exerting our wills to change our island's landscape. And believe me, it is already happening.

 

PACIFICTIMES: That is what Lawrence said the other day. “Read between the Lines”.

 

NORBERT PEREZ: For sure. Read between the Lines or Read the writings on the wall. Why do you suppose we are so popular (negative or positive) The people are reading our messages and they are resonating.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Please explain.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Just imagine the people in Umatac.  It is beyond my wildest dreams how they could condone and embrace their Discovery Day Activities. It is so offensive and demeaning to our people.  Just the history of Magellan and the Spanish and the atrocities they committed on our people is disgusting. Yet they celebrate the raping of our women; they celebrate the murder of our ancestors in the name of God. This is truly despicable.

 

PACIFICTIMES: But didn't you tell Carlos Rojas to offer them alternative themes to replace their Discovery Day program?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Of course. It is on the table and they are welcomed to use them. We would be happy and honored to work with them.

 

PACIFICTIMES: That is a fair gesture. How about the War Reparations. Aren't you against that?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: I most certainly am.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Why?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  From a realistic perspective, the War Claims will never fly. It is a dead issue.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  Why?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: The biggest problem with the War Reparations is the Message and the Messengers. Do you honestly believe that folks in Washington and Japan are taking us seriously about the War Claims? Do they take us seriously when we abandon our own principles and embrace the Discovery Day celebrations? What is next? The people of Malesso' celebrating the TINTA Massacres? We are a sick people and it boils down to Ethnic Cleansing and the Lost of our Identity.

 

PACIFICTIMES: That makes sense.

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Of course it does. What truly pains me is how our politicians have exploited our manamkos, using them year after year to perpetuate their own selfish agendas. The way they force our people to re-live their intimate nightmares. This is plainly a form of Mental Abuse.

 

PACIFICTIMES: It sure is, huh? But how could they know which Congress will consent to paying our people? 

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Come on, Shelly. The War Reparations Bill started with Delegate Won Pat in the 1960s. Delegate Ben Blaz and Delegate Robert Underwood spent years trying to move it along without success. Now it is Delegate Bordallo's turn at-bat.  

 

PACIFICTIMES:  I see what you your saying. Is there a chance at all?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  I wish there was but somehow the outlook is bleak. America is in  the midst of an economic depression which means our CASH COW is leaner than ever.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  You were quoted as saying that you will cancel our protest if the Legislature affirms the Governor's Executive Order. Is this correct?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Of course, I will do it in a heartbeat.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Why is that?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:   I will do it and allow the process of change to occur internally. The Legislature will affirm the Governor's Executive Order, send the measure to Congress so they can amend the Organic Act. This is the Internal flow of things. This is the normal route.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Do you believe the Legislature will give a thumbs up? 

 

NORBERT PEREZ: I am not sure. I hope they would but I'm not sure. The politics on the Island is so crazy. They do things for all the wrong reasons. They've been doing it since 1950.

 

PACIFICTIMES: How is Pamela doing with that “ma'agoddai” web site?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Oh, she coming along just fine. This girl is so excited and so passionate about our cause and our sacred mission.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Really? How do you mean?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Well the other day, she called me to tell me that she received several calls from people on Guahan and Saipan to offer ideas about the “Ma'agoddai” or “mana'fugu” experiences.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  What kind of experiences?

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Many people on island call themselves Chamorus, Chamorros or Guamanians either by schooling or social network. They have never experienced the “ma'agoddai” experience and how it is a personal connection with our ancestors.

 

PACIFICTIMES: Please explain?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Think about it. We have an identity crisis. Our people our confused. This “ma'agoddai” or “mana'fugu” experience takes it to a whole new level. This is not Norbert Perez or Pamela Sanchez telling them who they are. This is our ancestors reaching out to them.

 

PACIFICTIMES: But most people are afraid of the Taotaomo'nas.

 

NORBERT PEREZ: I don't see why they should. Are you afraid of your grandmother or your grandfather?

 

PACIFICTIMES:  This is so wonderful, Mr. Perez. Thank you for sharing with us.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Thank you Shelly.

 

 

PACIFICTIMES: One final question. Are you gonna run for Mayor of Maui County?

 

NORBERT PEREZ: Heck NO. Graciela will not allow me to become a candidate.

 

PACIFICTIMES:  I see. Regina told me the same thing.

 

NORBERT PEREZ:  Thank you Shelly and Si Yu'os Ma'ase'.

 

 

PACIFICTIMES: Thank you, sir. Thank you so much.

 

 

THE END

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