We Chamorus have a word for such yearnings. “Mahalang” speaks of missing someone or something. It stirs a number of feelings inside me – loneliness, homesickness, a longing for the familiar. I see a lifetime of images of Guam compressed within the time it takes to utter the phase, “Mahalang yu’.” Manny Crisostomo, 1992
Manny took sabbatical from the Detroit Free Press and returned to Guam in 1990 to fulfill his desire to document the spirit, resilience, lives and culture of the indigenous people of Guam. He completed his book of Legacy of Guam: I kustumbren Chamoru in 1992.
Crisostomo’s body of work is not just a documentary. As the artist reconciling his ordination into the modernist’s critical view of the world, Crisostomo leaves behind the “noble savage” and offers the rest of us an antidote to our dilemma – ART. Throughout the pages of “i kustumbren Chamoru,” a catharsis builds without the distraction of sentimentality. The sense of identity and accommodation become tangible objects. We can change, we can be what we want to be, and we can help one another. Ben Santos, Legacy of Guam, 1992