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After Pedro.

In his comments about Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Fr. John Schumacher, Jesuit historian, wrote that the inebriating tuba was introduced to the Chamorros after the glorious martyrdom of Fr. Diego de San Vitores and his protAaAaAeA@gAaAaAeA@, Pedro Calungsod. To think that Blessed San Vit had carefully chosen his catechists, making sure that none was addicted to tuba.

In 1669, a year after they arrived, San Vitores reported that there were no distilled spirits in Guam and that the Chamorros drank only rice water with shredded coconut, despite the shipwrecked Filipinos who had lived there for 23 years. Chamorro fiestas were "tame," according to an annual report by Jesuits accompanying Blessed San Vitores.

Curiously enough, only wholesome innovations were made by the Filipinos. It's hard to believe, but they taught the Chamorros how to make fire. The animals from the scuttled galleon increased and multiplied and when the evangelical mission of Blessed San Vitores arrived, sheep, pigs, cows, fowl were introduced. For the first time, the Chamorros saw a small bull and a horse.

However, the natives of the Marianas were not all docile; they killed missionaries. Yet San Vitores persisted in peaceful negotiations as he believed evangelization shouldn't be done with military power. Only when they were faced with 2,000 Chamorros intent on driving out the missionaries did San Vitores start building fortifications.

Shortly after his terrible death and that of Pedro Calungsod's, a regular force of Filipino and Mexican soldiers were sent to the Marianas. And with them came tuba (Filipino natives had already introduced this in Acapulco) which soon became the islanders' favorite drink.

In an official report circa 1720, the military commander accused the incumbent governor of sponsoring tuba production by the Chamorros, his suppliers for a lucrative tuba business. (


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Title Annotation:Opinions and Editorials
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jan 8, 2014
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