No to just one version of the national anthem

Posted on Sep 27 2011

This is in response to the “Chamorro or Carolinian version of CNMI anthem? Your choice” article, which was printed on the Sept. 21 issue of the Saipan Tribune. Personally, when I read the article, I felt like I was slapped left to right by our legislators, leaving their imprint on my cheeks, reverberating unfairness and ignorance on us, the Chamolinians. I firmly believe that our CNMI is confronting many serious predicaments that are crying out for solutions than to propose choices of our Commonwealth anthem. Let it be! Let it be! Whisper of wisdom; let it be! Representative Palacios’ proposal to allow the Commonwealth anthem to be sung in either Chamorro or Carolinian version at the beginning of any ceremony is just outright ridiculous. I do not need to be a psychic to predict which version will be chosen when this is amended. The Chamolinians are indigenous people of our Commonwealth; thus both versions should be sung. “The Legislature concurs that whether the Commonwealth anthem is sung in Chamorro or Carolinian, the significance will remain unchanged in the hearts of our people,” the bill findings say. Believe me—there will be a change in the hearts of our people, especially the Chamolinians, when their version, the Refalawasch, will be long forgotten. Please let us not forget that our Commonwealth anthem was written by our people. It was written as one anthem to be sung together to represent both people, so why the choice?

What and who is the Carolinian Affairs Office representing? The office needs to speak up and represent our interests. We need to have a say in this, and not let our legislators do what they conjure up in their offices as a need to change or amend. We are but a speck in our own land, and we have to push forth and not be trampled on. Will the next generation even know our version because we failed to speak up? Come on now! Let us not allow this to happen. Our Public School System mandates that students take the Chamorro and Carolinian language heritage studies and, given the diversity of races we have on our campuses, these students take this class. They learn both versions of the pledge of allegiance and our anthem. Now they get to choose which they would prefer? We are being inconsistent in teaching them what they should know that is important to us when they go into our communities. In consideration of all our people, I utterly disagree with what is being proposed. I may not be politically aware of the ins and outs of the process of bills, proposals, and whatnot; however, I know that this is unfair and inconsiderate to the Chamolinian people. I pray that the legislators dump this proposal in the bin and identify the more pressing issues we are facing as a Commonwealth to actually find better solutions than to come up with absurd proposals.
Thank you for your time and may God shine his grace on our legislators and office directors to forever whisper words of wisdom.

[B]Brian Lee Reyes[/B] [I]Chalan Kanoa, Saipan[/I]

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