By Kyle Mandapat
Hafa Adai and welcome to another edition of Planet Kyle’s Welcome to Guam! Hope your month is going well! Make sure you remember to wish your Moms a Happy Mother’s Day, after all, they popped you out. Alright, in case this is your first read, this is the column where I take a question from you regarding Guam and try my hardest to answer it.
Someone from our Guam office recently lost a family member and it was suggested that those who wished to could contribute to a Chenchule’ gift for the family. Can you tell me what this custom is all about, and is there anything else I should know about Chamorro customs when expressing condolences to those who recently lost a loved one?
Good question A! Well, here’s the deal… Death on Guam and the funeral process is way different than in the mainland. Chenchule’ can be given during many times of the process, we’ll get to that more later. Following the passing of a loved one, traditionally, Rosaries begin.
It is the custom on Guam, as majority of us are Catholic, that following the passing of a loved one, the family holds nine nights of rosaries. These will most likely be held at churches or at the family’s home. These rosaries are open to the public for the most part, anyone who knew the recently deceased. After the rosary is finished, the family invites people for refreshments — enter your first chance for chenchule’. One form of chenchule’ can be contributions of food for the refreshments. Whether the classic dozen of donuts, something you just bought at the store on the way or something you saw that Barefoot Contessa making, the support is definitely something your friend will appreciate. Just make sure that they are serving food before you go to the rosary. Nothing is more awkward than you showing up with a custard pie and no place to put it…
Funerals on Guam usually last all day. It usually consists of a viewing, a mass or service and the burial at a cemetery. There are two ways that people usually chenchule’ at funerals on Guam. Businesses or groups that the deceased were a part of usually send some flower arrangements. Be cool with this friends, send classy and subtle arrangements. This isn’t the chance for you to get that giant bouquet that also features a giant ice sculpture of Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Be Cool.
There is also a chenchule’ box available during the viewing for people to make monetary donations to the family. Honestly, funerals are super expensive. Any monetary chenchule’ is greatly appreciated. Generally speaking, the families use this to pay for the funeral and memorial service. They aren’t going to use the money to get plastic surgery for a new pair of Angelina Jolie lips.
Chenchule’ can also be given to people celebrating birthdays or other special occasions so feel free. Also, if someone chenchule’s you, make sure to remember, because it would suck if their birthday came around and you didn’t give him anything. At least try and spring for a “Family Matter”s DVD set.
Alright guys, hope this helps, until next time, remember to check me out every weekday morning on The Morning Blender with Kai and Kyle on Power 98! Be safe and see you later! Shooots!
Since his stage debut in 2006, Kyle Mandapat has been on the move with no plans of slowing down. Starting off in the entertainment scene on Guam as a Stand Up Comic, Kyle headlined over 20 locally sponsored comedy shows. It was his comedy show performances that lead to him being cast in the Fox6 Guam show, “The Buzz” where he started as an “On the Street” correspondent and later progressed to the co-host spot. In October of 2007, Kyle was introduced to radio audiences on Guam as an extra member of the Power 98 Morning Show. Kyle is currently a co-host on the rebranded morning show, “The Morning Blender with Kai and Kyle.”