(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) and Guam Department of Education (GDOE) have teamed up to share well-documented images of the biggest cultural event in Guam’s modern history with students at the island’s public schools.
GVB donated 50 copies to GDOE of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Manny Crisostomo’s book, “Journeys to the Heart: Pacific Islanders Celebrate Their Indigenous Cultures.” The over 200-page limited edition book highlights the two weeks that Guam hosted the prestigious Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPac) from May 22-June 4, 2016. Also known as the Olympics of Pacific Island Culture, FestPac brought 25 island nations and territories together in the capital city of Hagåtña.
“We’re happy to donate Manny’s book so all of Guam’s public school children can witness the magnificence of FestPac and how this once-in-a-lifetime event united our island with the rest of our sisters and brothers of the Pacific,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “We hope that it inspires and motivates them to continue to share Guam’s story and culture with the world as they grow up.”
“I want to thank GVB for generously donating this important cultural resource in light of the department’s role in supporting FestPac and our shared effort in making the event a success for our island,” GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said. “Not only will this book help our students to remember the message of cultural diversity and unity as they interact with their classmates and pursue their education, but it will also allow future generations of students to learn about our neighbors in the Pacific and appreciate the vibrant cultures of our region for many years to come. We plan to have these books available to students at every public school library by next year.”
“Journeys to the Heart: Pacific Islanders Celebrate Their Indigenous Cultures” launched last year in May at the Guam Museum thanks to a collaborative partnership between Crisostomo and GVB. Upon learning that his book would be distributed to the island’s school libraries, Crisostomo shared his excitement on what it means to him.
“I am humbled by this wonderful gesture and it brings me back to my childhood. I was nine-years-old when I discovered I could check out books at the library at C.L. Taitano Elementary School. I remember rushing home after school, climbing my tree house with my library books and reading till it got dark. Those library books sparked my curiosity about the world and set in motion my career as a journalist, documentary photographer, and author,” stated Crisostomo. “This is my sixth published book and my favorite. It’s special because it is dedicated to my mom who we buried on the eve of FestPac and my granddaughter who we baptized the next morning before the opening ceremonies. It’s a favorite because I love the medium of monochrome photography. It’s my homage to the Chamorus and our spirit, resilience and culture. And it speaks of our collective journey with our Oceanic brothers and sisters of who we are as Pacific Islanders. Wouldn’t it be cool if this book inspires a student on their chosen career path just like the stacks of library books I borrowed from the library jump started my journalistic journey?”
Media Contact: JOSH TYQUIENGCO - Public Information Officer