Post Ticker

Hagåtña – First European City in the Pacific


Every time I am in new place, I am always excited. My travel to Guam was quite pricey because all my expenses were all in US Dollars. But I tried my best to find ways to make some of my adventure to be cost-effective or a bit of cheap but still not 100% cheap.

First Time Visit

In my second day in Guam, I didn’t book a tour. I got some brochure for public transportation around Tumon Bay, the place where I stayed in the island and the most tourist populated in Guam. Using the public transportation information that I had, I planned to visit the capital city of Guam Hagåtña to do its Heritage Walking Trail.

Hagåtña or its old name in Spanish “Agaña” is the capital city of US Territory of Guam which located at the middle west part of the island. From the hotel that I stayed which was Grand Plaza Hotel, I walked just few minutes towards T Galleria by DFS mall, wherein I thought its the shuttle bus terminal that goes to Hagåtña from Tumon Bay. Unfortunately, when I reached the said mall and when I asked somebody there, I was told that I already passed the terminal, which is Tumon Sands Plaza. I walked back to Tumon Sands Plaza, I saw the bus coming out from the side of the mall, I waved to the driver of the bus, it stopped in front of me and he opened the door. I asked if he was going to Hagåtña and he confirmed that he was, so I hopped into his bus.

The shuttle bus offers one way ticket, round trip and a day ticket. Since I will be visiting Hagåtña, I bought a round trip, to be able to visit the city and to be able to come back in Tumon Bay. The bus fare was $10. I don’t have specific map for Hagåtña Heritage Walking Trail because the Guam Visitor Center is far from my hotel, therefore I relied only using my research result from the internet. So the places that I found in the walk were the places that I was able to identify from the map that I found in the internet.

I got off the bus when it reached the stop near the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, the first Catholic Church in Guam which significant historical event in the island when it was dedicated last 1669. The church is also included in the Heritage Walking Trail from the map that I found in the internet. From there, I passed the church and walked towards the Plaza de España.

IMG_1864_s

Plaza de España

As my observation in a Spanish community which very visible in my country (and I think it’s the same case in other country with Spanish influence or probably not specific to Spanish but with the Roman Catholic influence together with imperialism) is the location of a church and its political government office center.  In Hagåtña, the case is not different, Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica is not far from Plaza de España where the Governor’s Palace was formerly standing. I had seen this kind of setting in my country where Catholic churches are near in either in a City or Municipality Hall. Back home we usually call it ‘Bayan’ which most of the time, becomes the capital center of a city or even a province.

IMG_1847_s

IMG_1819_s

While walking at Plaza de España, I saw the map displays information what we can see in the area and what’s left in the site. Based on history, it served as the colonial Spanish Governor’s Palace from 1734 until World War II. The former building stands here became the center stage of government and civic activities from Spanish colonization, to American administration and even to Japanese regime. What we can see right now are only portion of the plaza which they were able to restore since it was destroyed last 1944 during the liberation of Guam from Japanese.

Here are some of the restored part of the Plaza de España

Azotea and Site of Governor’s Palace

IMG_1822_s

IMG_1823_s

IMG_1824_s

IMG_1828_s

IMG_1829_s

Chocolate House

IMG_1825_s

IMG_1826_s

IMG_1827_s

IMG_1832_s

Three-Arch Gate to Almacen (Arsenal)

IMG_1837_s

IMG_1841_s

IMG_1843_s

Garden House (former Guam Museum)

IMG_1830_s

IMG_1831_s

Kiosko

IMG_1842_s

IMG_1844_s

IMG_1845_s

IMG_1846_s

Siesta Shed and Fountain

IMG_1838_s

IMG_1839_s

IMG_1840_s

Surroundings

IMG_1849

IMG_1850

IMG_1851

IMG_1854_s

Insular Guard Monument

Not far from Plaza de España, I found an interesting monument and when I approached it, I learned that it’s a memorial towards the fallen Chamorro men who valiantly defend Guam against Japanese invasion in 1941.

IMG_1815_s2

IMG_1816_s2

IMG_1848

Guam Museum

I wanted to visit Guam Museum but unfortunately, at the time that I was in the city, the museum is closed. A quiet unique design of a museum.

IMG_1852_s

IMG_1855_s

IMG_1856_s

IMG_1857_s

Skinner Plaza

IMG_1859_s

IMG_1858_s

The Pietà of Hagåtña at Skinner Plaza

IMG_1860_s

IMG_1861_s

For all Men and Women Wounded in all Wars

IMG_1863_s

The Tower below dedicated to Guam sons who fought during Korean War

IMG_1862_s

I saw this one, while I was trying my way to find a bus to go back to Tumon Bay. This inscribe a significant event of Guam.

IMG_1865_s

Agana Shopping

While I was waiting at the bus stop for its schedule to leave the terminal going back to Tumon Bay, I was curious what can I see inside the Agan Shopping Center. Since I still have enough time to walk a bit inside the mall, I discovered something that one part of the shopping center will be familiar to me which is called SM Island. I verified that its part of the SM Store which widely spread in my country, they even have BDO bank branch in the island.

IMG_9885_s

IMG_9886_s

IMG_1867_S

When my time to get back to the bus stop, I went out and waited for a while just to make sure I will not miss it. That was how I spent my first time in Hagåtña.

Second Time Visit

It was Wednesday, I came from an adventure that day, but I still have enough time to visit Chamorro Village. The village is in Hagåtña, not far from where I had my first Heritage walk in the city. While visiting the island, I heard that Night Market in Chamorro is exciting and full of people and the food are all good and in cheap price. Because it happens only once a week, which is every Wednesday Night, it became a popular event and famous destination both for local and tourist alike. The public bus schedule for Hagåtña are changed because a different bus line will serve exclusively for such event.

Because I never drive (since I never knew it), I heavily relied in public transportation. And because of that, before even Wednesday night, I checked the brochure information that I have related to bus going to the village on Wednesday night. And that night, from hotel, I walked towards T Galleria by DFS mall and I bought bus ticket which cost $7 and it is a return trip to Tumon Bay. After I bought the ticket I followed the instructions where to take the bus and there I realized, that a lot of people wants to visit Chamorro Village Night Market. We waited a bit and then our bus came and in less than half an hour driving to Hagåtña, we arrived in the famous local village. When I first came to peek the area during the first time visited in the city, it was a quiet place but that night, it was totally opposite. From the time we went off the bus, there are lots of people who can be seen immediately. Aside from the bus line that serves visitors that night, there is tourist bus and private vehicles. So there are quite traffic to experience in the city.

Chamorro Village Night Market

My curiosity leads me to the entrance and both sides has kiosks displaying different products being sell to entice people who comes in and out that way. Near the main entrance, there was a building with lots of people some people seats and having a great dining experience with local food and some were enjoying dancing along side with the music. The dance music was familiar to me, it was Cha-cha. I stopped a bit and watch them a bit. These people know how to have a great time.

IMG_1983_s

Dancing Cha-Cha

IMG_1984_s

IMG_9990_s

IMG_9992_s

Chamorro Village at its earlier time

IMG_1985_s

IMG_1988_s

IMG_1989_s

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chamorro Village before it darks

IMG_2010_s

IMG_2009_s

IMG_9985_s

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Agana Bay

Because we arrived the village a bit early and the sky still clear, I just passed the village and went straight to a point where I can see the Agana Bay. With my camera, I tried to take some snapshots of the bay but it was not as clear as it should be.

IMG_1995_s

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Food

Since it was a night market, what else should I be doing. There are many choices of food. But I don’t want to think anymore which one I should choose. Therefore, I selected the store where it has too many people queuing on it. Well, for one reason, why there are so many people wants to try their food? And why people never complain about the long line. And even there was long line, the wait time was worth of it, when I was so near to see my options, I was confused which one should I chose. I made my mind and then I told them my order and they prepare it so fast. So it’s not really that long to wait. I chose the special plate and to be honest I wasn’t able to finish my food because I was already full.

IMG_9988_s

IMG_9989_s

Chamorro Local Dance Performance

After I had my dinner, I walked around again to see what else to see in the Chamorro Village Night Market. One thing is for sure, you will not get hungry since you have lots of options to eat. Then, local products are spread in different parts of the village. Lots of local kiosks stray around the area. My wandering in the village continue until I heard a music being played not far from where I stand. Then I followed the sounds where it coming from. Then, I saw people were gathered and I discovered there is a small stage nearby. I saw people were watching something, I approached the stage and saw some Chamorro locals doing a local dance performance. I was intrigued what it look like. I was curious if it was similar local dances that we have back home. I enjoyed the show specially the part where they have fires while dancing. It was worth time to enjoy the show.

IMG_2017_s

IMG_2018_s

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After watching the dance show, I decided to walk a bit more and check if there are distinct local products that I can find, but in the end, I bought some few post cards in Guam. I decided to go back and I didn’t want to be left behind by bus, so I left the market 30 minutes before the last bus will leave the village. The bus schedule was from 6:30 to 8:30 PM every Wednesday.

Third Time Visit

I was able to return to Hagåtña for the third time unintentionally during my Island Tour that I booked because there were no other way for me to see most of the island using public transportation. The buses are only available in Tamuning, Tumon Bay and Hagåtña, outside this part of the island, the only option is to take a taxi, rent a private vehicle or join a tour.

The tour visit lots of places in the island and Hagåtña is just part of it. We had stopped in the city that gave me a chance to see other parts of the walking trail that I haven’t been able to see during my first visit. The surprising thing was that these other parts of walking trail that I was talking about was not far from where I had been during the first visit.

Below are the continuation of Hagåtña Heritage Walking Trail that I had during island tour.

Stone Latte Park

This latte stone is a symbolical pillar that represents the culture of local people (Chamorro) in the island. And the shape of this are commonly seen around Guam. These pillars were the Chamorro houses stands before. These lattes are used as the foundations of important structures in Chamorro Villages.

IMG_2065_s

IMG_2069_s

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Latte Stone Memorial Park

Based on the displayed description of the monument, I learned that he is a man who advocates the for the Chamorro rights that has been long denied by US because of historic injustices and for equality under the law. He was credited for the success of federal land and disbursement of Chamorro Land Trust property  to eligible Chamorros.

IMG_2071_s

IMG_2073_s

Japanese Caves Latte Park

Not far from Latte Stone Park, the interlocking caves used by Japanese for storage and air-raid shelters can be found.

IMG_2080_s

Well, it was three visit in the same city, but for those three times that I had been in Hagåtña, all were discovery. All things that I saw and experience were different in those visit. And with those visits, I realized some of its culture has similarity to mine but still there’s distinction to emphasize for its own identity.

About DBA Mountaineer (561 Articles)
An IT Professional who is in love to travel to learn more about our world, like natures a lot specially mountains.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Adventures of a Day Hiker

My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)

The Travels and Misadventures of Miss HeatherLynnP

"I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." ~ Susan Sontag

Young, Stressed & Travel Obsessed

The adventures of an average twenty something college student

Alexis Chateau PR

Championing the Underdogs Since 2006

LexieAnimeTravel

Travel, Anime, Roadtrips, Lyfestyle

dotthemaptravelblog.wordpress.com/

Sailing seas, flying skies, exploring paradise!

Stewie Overseas

Japan travel blog

A Scandi Life

A lifestyle blog about all things Scandinavian

GlobeTrotters: When Pig's Fly

Travel, Fitness, Northern. Three of the finer things in life! Join me in exploring the globe and telling a funny story along the way with a little piggy

Variety as Life Spice

Words by a post-90s in Hong Kong

Expat(ish)

Que la vie t'apprenne, mais que tu restes le même

wanderlustplusone

Blog about the fun of travelling with children to weird and wonderful places across the world.

Glimpses of The World

Sit Back and Let's Travel

thisisyouth

On the quest to live an interesting life.

Always A Foreigner

Finding the Best Places Together

Uncover Travel

Uncover Travel | Bucket list adventures across the globe with vacation itineraries, sightseeing tours, hotel and restaurant recommendations.

Caitlin Jean Russell

Travel Tips, Photographs and Experiences

Swede in Barca

A lifestyle blog about life in Barcelona, Travel Destinations & so much more

Central West Explorer

Australia doesn't need filters

The Travelling Diary Of a Dippy-Dotty Girl

She travels so that the world may not escape her

The Wandering Flamingo

Wander Often • Wonder Always

Where's Joanne?

Travels and more.

MY LENSCAPE

Travel Photography Blog

Gamintraveler

Love, Travel Lifestyle and Destinations

Evelina

by Evelina Di Lauro

Alexis Chateau

Activist. Writer. Explorer.

traveledlife

Georg Papp

My World Wanders

Adventure, Photography, And World Wandering

unbolt me

the literary asylum

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

angelalimaq

food, travel and musings of a TV presenter.

A walk in my shoes

Fashion coffee and everything in between ...

Magazu Travelling

on my own little adventure

Images+Keystrokes

Travel narratives and snapshots by Mr. & Mrs. Jose

Samantha In Transit

Where to next?

Memoirs of Taste

On Navigating the World, Life, and Finding Meaning in Everything // See, Touch, Feel, Taste.

Love Travelling

Travel diaries providing inspiration for planning the perfect trip

The Black Veil One

My Diary Travel, Photography, My Sight About Somethings

%d bloggers like this: