Sunday, October 21, 2012
On April 2, 1672, Maga’lahi Matå’pang, a Chamorro chieftain from the village of Tomhom, discovered the Spanish missionary Father Diego Luís de San Vitores and his Filipino servant Pedro Calungsod had baptized the chieftain's daughter without his permission. This was the last straw for the Chamorro chieftain. The missionaries were baptizing Chamorro children throughout the land, disregarding Chamorro customs and traditions. Matå’pang and other Chamorros believed the missionaries were using Christianity as a tool to control their people and destroy their beliefs. They also believed that the water used for baptizing the Chamorro children were poisonous due to some elders and children dying from illness, which may have been European diseases inadvertently brought by the missionaries to the island we now call Guam. Thus Matå’pang and other Chamorros banded together to murder San Vitores and Calungsod. Afterwards, Matå’pang joined other natives who were rebelling against the Spanish presence in the island. Today, a beach close to where Matå’pang killed San Vitores and Calungsod is called Matå’pang Beach, in honor of one of the heroes who resisted colonial rule.