Finadene: You can Help Spread the Secret!

The Secret

If you knew of a great secret would you share it? My guess is you’d probably keep it to yourself for a bit. But really, how many people can keep something for so long?

That’s why I’m sharing ours today. Our island’s secret is of a culinary kind, and one that many people from the Mariana Islands (Guam, Saipan, Rota, and Tinian) are familiar with.  It is our favorite complementary mixture of ingredients used to enhance flavors in many of our island main dishes.  This island favorite is fina’dene.  It’s not really a secret, but shhhhhh (pointer over lips)…..we’d like to think so.

How Finadene Looks

What is Fina’dene

Fina’dene (prounced fi-na’ de-ne) is a condiment made with soy sauce, lemon or lime juice, onions, scallions, spicy boonie peppers, and red juicy cherry tomatoes.  Introduce this sauce to your cooked chicken, ribs, or steak, and wow – all of a sudden it brings out bolder flavors. If you are so inclined – take a spoonful of sauce and vegetables and pour it on your rice.

It is also visually appealing. The contrast of colors make it an artful culinary delight. Dark browns against white, and reds showing through make for a beautiful presentation. (Sorry, its the artist in me).

Variations of Fina’dene

Fina’dene is so popular in the islands – one is bound to find it at the end of a long fiesta table populated with dozens of delectable dishes.  While most islanders or transplants follow the traditional recipe, there are  variations of fina’dene types, some with a vinegar base rather than soy sauce, and others with hints of garlic and lemon or lime zest. Never-the-less the main ingredients are fairly standard as we previously mentioned. Some recipes differ primarily in the proportion of soy to lemon or lime juice. Some recipes call for a 1:1 ratio, while others call for a 1:1/2 ratio. My personal taste is for the later, because I like things a less tart. If you are the wild type and enjoy your fina’dene with a kick, more power to you. Use lemons over limes or the smaller Asian citrus called Calamansi.

Fina’dene-Made-Easy Measuring Mug Debuts

While many islanders grew up eating fina’dene with their meal, others wish they could wiz up a batch for their next party or smaller get-together. Well, to make things easier, I’ve designed a product that will make fina’dene a cinch to make for yourself, for your family, or even your friends. The neatest thing is that you’ll always do it the right way every time. The  product is called FINA’DENE MADE EASY, and it truly is. Even your college aged kids can easily follow these simple directions. Prepare your vegetables in advance, and follow the instructions on the mug by adding up to 6 ingredients. Once you are done, mix, let sit for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator, serve, and enjoy! Hey – it’s really that simple.

Yes. I know. Everyone makes their fina’dene a little different. No problem. Just moderate your fixings to your taste or those who you’ll be serving. Like your fina’dene sweet? Add some Hawaiian shoyu. Need to watch your sodium? Use a low sodium soy sauce. Your options are endless.

You can buy this product which is also a gift box of the islands.

Fina’dene-Made-Easy Measuring Mug Showcases Guam’s Culture

When you visit our website to learn more about this product, take your time to see how I’ve turned this culinary product into an original art project. This was done by incorporating educational facts about Guam and the Marianas right on the box with a parchment motif of the 14 Mariana islands. In the interior of the packaging are two original island-styled illustrations depicting the Chamorro culture. These two pieces include a Chamorro girl (my youngest daughter) enjoying a fiesta plate meal with fina’dene of course, and a beach scene in northern Guam.

If you would like to purchase this island-styled gift, or a dual product which includes this gift and a “Got Fina’dene” apron, simply visit us at GerardAflagueCollection.Com and order it there.  Use the code FIRST5OFF at checkout for a 5% discount.

This FINA’DENE MADE EASY measuring mug is a 16 ounce frosted mug with heavy-duty handle, that will make a wonderful gift for anyone, for any occasion.

Si Yu’os Ma’ase and blessings!

The Mariana Trench and the Creation of the Mariana Archipelago

New Guam Satellite Map Illustration

New Guam Illustration from Cloudless Satellite NASA Photo of Guam from Space

The earth is a beautiful living planet with major plate tectonic movements that sometimes bring about violent earthquakes. Over a longer period of time, this subduction action (of one plate going below another and the resulting recycling of the crust back into the mantle) also results in the creation of island chains over time. In the case of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, scientists have surmised that they were created with the movement of the Pacific tectonic plate going deep underneath the Philippine plate over earth’s long history.

These 15 islands in the archipelago are an ancient terrestrial storyboard. The movement of these plates, have resulted in wondrous and spectacular underwater as well as above water landforms, many of which are volcanoes. Interestingly scientists have determined that Guam, the southernmost island in the archipelago, is the oldest island among them (about 30 million years old, as compared to its northern-most island cousin which is theorized to be only 5 million years old).

The Marianas Trench is in close proximity to Guam, with the deepest point of the earth (Challenger Deep) a few hundreds miles southwest of the southern tip of the island. This makes for an even more interesting study, especially for those that call Guam home. What does the existence of the trench, and the movement of the plates mean for this regions fate? Well, scientists have studied this region for many years, and have discovered that while there are earthquakes in this region of the world as a result of these plates colliding, it has been discovered that these plates (at their meeting point) are being lubricated by a mud-like substance that percolates from the sea-floor. They theorize that this in turn reduces the chance for such violent tremors like that being experienced in Japan or the Indonesian region.

With that being said, the most memorable Guam earthquake recently on record was in Aug 8, 1993, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale and lasting about 60 seconds. (I was in this earthquake and I must say this was a whopper. I’ll probably write a blog soon of my experience since this is so fresh in my memory.) While there were no deaths that resulted from it directly, there was significant damage including a major hotel that was recently built and opened for business within the same time period. If scientists are right that the existence of this mud-like lubricant deep within the chasm of the Marianas trench reduces violent earthquakes, this means good news for those that call the islands in the Marianas their home.

Over the years, the scientific community has studied many aspects of this part of the world, from the landforms of the Marianas, to the depths of the Marianas Trench and the surrounding areas. My interest to understand my island home and its neighboring island chain, has stirred a desire in me to create an illustration of Guam in context with the world and its place among the other 14 islands within the archipelago. This never-before seen and newly created illustration includes narratives and close-up insets of areas within Guam that are significant to its economy. As part of this illustration, I’ve also included a few economic facts that provide for a more interesting and though-provoking study of the island of Guam.

To order this illustration in one of many art mediums, click here to be taken to the product page and pay online with a credit card or with a PayPal account.

Cool Guam Gifts, Guam Products, and Guam Souvenirs Online Now!

It’s been only six short months since we started selling Guam gifts and many Guam art products, as well as many other unique Guam home and office decor online. Thus, we can proudly say that we’ve grown beyond our expectations among other things. To accommodate our growth and popularity, we have integrated another website URL called PacificIslandGuam.Com to bring about Internet traffic from online viewers searching for the topic Guam or Pacific Island Guam. Our presence will be thus further catapulted online as we are integrating a wider search engine approach.

As part of this effort, we are also updating our website to provide a more contemporary shopping experience online. While we currently offer fine-art illustrations, Guam apparel, and Guam gift-plaques, we will be expanding our product line with other interesting products including Guam lasered apparel with unique logo designs, Guam-themed bed sets, Guam pillows, Guam awards, Guam curtains, and much more.

Visit us at Gerard Aflague Collection for a variety of Guam wood products, Guam gifts, Guam souvenirs, Guam bags, Guam engraved products, Guam bath products, Guam living home and decor products, and much more.

I ask that you spread the word and tell your family and friends about our website PacificIslandGuam.Com and all the uniquely designed products from the Gerard Aflague Collection. And while we look forward to being able to fill your hunger on one of hundreds of products online, feel free to use the code FIRST5OFF as a first-time customer to earn 5% off your new order.

Island-Styled Aprons Debut as Popular Guam Island-Styled Gift Products

Pacific island living is personified in many forms. Whether you are an islander living on Guam, a tourist visiting for Guam’s sun and surf, a transplant living in the mainland, or a college student studying abroad, the one thing they have in common is that the essence of the island continues to remain in their heart and soul.

For some, reminiscing on the images and words that remind them of the islands is enough to satisfy the hunger inside. One product that fills this void of the Pacific-Islands is embodied in custom apron products designed with the islands of Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii in mind. With many exclusively designed choice products on PacificIslandGuam.Com, the kitchen or should I say the chef can dress to impress their love for the islands. Designed exclusively by an islander, these aprons are only a few of many Guam products that are available as Guam gifts to family and friends that are local or abroad.

While there are over 28 apron designs for purchase online, more are being designed and made available weekly. If these designs are not what you were seeking, you can request for custom designed aprons that fit your specific needs and application. While Guam hotels and many Guam retail outlets don’t offer these products, you can visit us online today and oder your favorite designs for gift-giving which can be shipped directly to your family or friends on your gift-giving list.

Marianas Name-Art Gifts of Guam & Saipan

There are a vast array of unique gifts of Guam and the CNMI on the Internet, including t-shirts, wood carvings, and much more. However, one of the newer and interesting products is Island Name-Art – exclusively available on PacificIslandGuam.Com, dba Gerard Aflague Collection. This is a new fine-art product that depicts the many flora and fauna of the Mariana Islands including the Guam Rail, Micronesian Kingfisher, Marianas Fruitbat, Coconut Trees, and much more, comes in both a traditional Giclee print.

With a beautiful motif of the islands with a Chamorro hut, a rainbow, Flying Proa, and much more, designs highlight names in a distinctive styles displaying male, female, and surnames, including the words Hafa Adai – the Mariana Islands greeting, and the words Guam, and the University of Guam, among others.

Female Island Name-Art

Guam gifts are many, but this new Island-Styled  product is a very beautifully designed fine-art print appropriate that is second to none. Displayed in a large 10×24 inch print, this illustration displays beautifully for children’s rooms, foyers, or even island-style gift-giving.  To order one of several designs, or to create your custom Island Name-Art, visit PacificIslandGuam.Com today!

Affordable Embrodiery and Guam Patches Now Available for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gis, and Other Apparel Including Jackets

Affordable Embroidery

Looking for affordable custom embroidery? We custom design and service your embroidery needs on hundreds of apparel items. All our embroidery work is high-quality products, with most of our embroidery made in the United States. Email us at sales@gerardaflaguecollection.com for inquiries and send us your designs if you’ve got them in hand. Send us any quotes you might have from another embroidery provider and we will make an effort to beat their prices.

Modern Guam Seal Patches

Through the Gerard Aflague Collection, we have recently released several large-sized embroidered patches with our exclusive Modern Guam Seal design appropriate for many different types of apparel, but most popularly for Brazilain Jiu Jitsu Gis. These high-quality patches come in 5, 7, and 9 inch sizes, and are multicolored with the word “Guam” in bright red, bright yellow, and bright blue.

These patches are absolutely the best designed Modern Guam Seal patches that exist online for purchase. Each nine inch patch has over 120,000 stitches. This is one of the highest counts for such a patch of its kind. Unlike many of the patches made in China, our patches are proudly made in the United States.

Our nine inch version will provide the best look on Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Gis, Karate Gis, Sports Jackets, Leather Jackets, and other sports gear, as it shows the island logo best from many feet away. Our five and seven inch versions also make a great impression but would be most appropriate on pant leg, arm, and bag applications. All our Modern Guam Seal patches come with both a heat applied backing as well as a small perimeter edge of material to allow a seamstress to affix a patch to a piece of apparel.

Many islanders who practice the art of Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Guam and across the mainland, and who are avid Fokai followers, have been inquiring about high-quality Guam Seal patches that are embroidered and appropriate for martial arts gis. Some of our male and female Chamorro (Chamoru) or Guamanian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, fighters, and competitors on Guam, Japan, Hawaii, and California seek high-quality embroidered Guam Seal patches to represent our island of Guam and the Pacific. One such competitor from California recently requested for patches in anticipation for his international competition.  It’s because of customer inquiries that we have been able to provide these awesome patches to our customers.

Guam patch

While we have these patches available, we also have other more affordable patches including what you see on your left, which is a large seven inch patch of the word Guam together with a petroglyph drawing which is found in one of Guam’s caves, as well as a Chamorro – Hafa Adai 2×4 inch patch shown below.

Chamorro - Hafa Adai patch

Chamorro – Hafa Adai patch

We also offer direct embroidery of our designs on various apparel. If you are interested in any of our patches, please visit our online store at GerardAflagueCollection.Com. To inquire about getting your gear embroidered directly with our exclusive Modern Guam Seal design, please leave us a message on our website.

On this post,  you will find a few photographs of Jiu Jitsu gis with the Modern Guam Seal patch affixed.

Giving Back to Our Island Home in Our Small Way by Helping Guam’s Homeless

The last four months of doing business as Gerard Aflague Collection has been positive – overall. We’ve attended three large island-themed public events in California and Colorado, are working with Faith Bookstore in Guam to retail our products, and have served customers online from Guam, Saipan, throughout the mainland, as well as Germany and Japan.

We look forward to networking with more folks…with a wider audience. We are doing just that. We’ve begun working with the Facebook group 671 Recipes to connect with over 20,000 subscribers to spread the word about our work, and we are working with smaller stateside contacts who retail their goods at local events all across the mainland. We see our efforts to connect being nothing but a positive experience.

We’ve seen what the power of social media can do in terms of connecting us. We’ve been very encouraged by many folks who have mentioned that we are doing a good thing by creating beautiful things that personify our pacific island lifestyle, culture, and heritage. But we wanted to do more. We began to offer inspirational products. But this still wasn’t enough in our minds.

As we thought about what we were doing, we asked ourselves how hard would it be to give back a small percentage of our sales or in-kind donations to help the homeless situation in Guam. So we entered into conversations with the Salvation Army in Guam and came to understand the connection between drug addiction and homelessness. While they receive grant funding for their efforts, they could always use the extra help from other sources.

So starting in mid-August, we will be donating a portion of our sales to the Salvation Army in Guam to assist the homeless. We are happy that they were receptive to our call. We hope that giving back to our island home in our small way will bring about some value to their great efforts to support our island home and its people.

Si Yu’os Ma’ase.

 

 

 

We’ve Expanded Our Wares

We thought we’d bring you up to speed on what has been happening over the last several months. In a nutshell, we’ve expanded our products on Gerard Aflague Collection.

While we began by offering primarily basic poster illustrations, we now have expanded our offerings so that customers can now select various types of museum quality prints to choose from, including Giclee posters, canvas, aluminum slate, wall adhesives, as well as our fine art plaques.

If you have not visited us over the last several months, we have also added a host of home and office products including shower curtains, rugs, glassware, i-phone cases, totes, coasters, and t-shirts. Much of these products are essentially made for gift-giving.

In the last few weeks we’ve added some blankets that are pretty neat as they are printed edge to edge and are a dual use product. They keep you warm, and when not used, can be hung on a wall as decor.

 

We have also added some unique gift-sized table top and wall hanging plaques, some of which are very popular with islanders including the plaque that asks your visitors to take off their footwear.

In the interest of pacific island folks, we’ve tried to expand our products so you can have more choices for gift-giving and decor.

Remember, that while we are all about creating new and interesting products, we always are available to custom design a product for your specific need. Thank you and Si Yu’os Ma’ase.

Premium Fine Art Products Come Center Stage, More Being Prototyped

High-End Guam-Themed Fine-Art Plaques Now Available

Weekly we wrestle with what to offer as a new product. We brainstorm what most customers can find online and identify gaps. We came up with the following things: t-shirts, jewelry, wristbands, mugs, and the other more common things that come up on a Google search. So we knew what was not being offered.

We thought that what was needed was home decor that was of fine-art caliber. That was an area that was not being met. But we began with the end in mind, like everything else that we do. So we set out a few goals. We wanted our customer to be able to afford a fine-art product, be satisfied with the construction and quality of the products, and be over-joyed with what they eventually will hold in their hand and show those around them.

We designed a couple of products that we thought would resonate with them. Using paper and pen, we sketched out a concept of what we wanted to create. We thought their culture and family name were very close to their heart, so we decided to target meeting these two areas.

We brainstormed and asked ourselves, what can islanders choose as a fine-art piece that speaks of their island home, or in some cases their family and clan names (in Guam, family names are further broken down into sub-clan names using a term that distinguishes one branch of a clan from another). This is sort of like creating categories of families within clans.

So we can up with a design where we’d panel 16 of our choice illustrations of Guam, and create a center piece that essentially and literally pops creating a shadow effect. The two examples we came up with were our Guam-themed and Custom Name two-stack plaque. We wanted to create some pretty substantial fine art pieces that islanders can be proud of displaying in their homes and offices.

We worked with production to bring this to life, and we were absolutely blown away with not only its clarity, vividness, and clean feel, but also its beauty. We were so happy with it, we felt that we could easily begin offering it for sale.

So in these two images, we present what we now have available. They are both sized at 11 x 22 x 1 inch in dimension, and weight approximately 4 pounds. They can be wall mounted with provided hardware, as well as propped on an easel and displayed on a table top.  While these are substantial in size, we are considering coming up with a smaller size that is priced less.


This first product is a generic Guahan plaque that exemplifies the essence of Guam in picture. With a bamboo motif font, the word Guahan is set on center and is raised about a half-inch from the bottom plaque.


This second product is a customized family name plaque. We offer customers the ability to place their family name, and if they desire, their Chamorro family branch name, and the date their own family was established (or in some cases, the year that their family name or clan was established, which could be hundreds of years past).

As you can see, both of these pieces are not only bright and vivid, but they also are a lifetime family heirloom. We scoured the United States to find what is essentially the best plaque company in the nation with the most superior quality construction and someone we were happy to work with. We are happy to say that we found that partnership. And because of our relationship, we now can say that we will be offering an array of plaque products for customers that expect the very best in what they purchase.

Click > To see the Guahan Plaque Product
Click > To see the Family Name Plaque Product

Gerard Aflague Collection Expands Pacific-Island Market

Mabuhay! The Gerard Aflague Collection, a Pacific-Island themed company that sells contemporary cultural products, is only three months old, and we are now expanding our collection into other Pacific-Island markets. We vended at our second festival yesterday (June 9) at the Filipino-American Community of Colorado. While we began offering a Chamorro-centric line of products, my wife who was born and raised in Guam is of Filipino decent, suggested that we expand our line into the Philippine pacific-island target market. It only makes sense. With the census count marking the US population of Filipinos at over 2 million, it allows us to reach a wider customer base that can only help grow our business both online and at festivals.

While our goal is to embrace the whole of our Pacific-island family including those in Micronesia (Palau and FSM), Melanesia, and Polynesia, we have the intent to do this every so slowly as to be able to be sustainable.

The festival was held in Edgewater, Colorado and received over 500 people. While a smaller festival than the Chamorro festival in San Diego in March, our selection was wider, with a t-shirt line added to our offerings.

The people of the Philippines that attended the event are a fun loving, and peaceful people. They are wonderful people with beautiful smiles. The festival was filled with singing, dancing, and music among other things.

A pacific-island fiesta is always a fun time. I had an opportunity to taste banana lumpia, Halo Halo, a cold-icy treat with sweet beans and ice cream, and many other island delicacies.

My kids and wife, also enjoyed themselves. While they helped putting our vending site together, they also took part in the festivities.

Many customers enjoyed the posters, t-shirts, and decals that we designed for our collection. We were inspired by their suggestions and efforts to tell us what they really enjoyed to see. One guy, named Mike, who is now a good friend of mine, asked that we design a shirt that says “Got Balut?” similar to our decal. He also wanted to see us design a t-shirt with the Philippine flag and two cocks fighting. We will be offering these two t-shirts as a result of his suggestions. We take our customer suggestions seriously and want to be sensitive and responsive to their needs and wants.

So much went into planning for this event. We are encouraged that so many people enjoyed our collection. It is our intention to be apart of the Philippine community across the state and into the mid-west. Thank you to all who attended and we again look forward to many more event opportunities. Maraming Salamat!

Pacific Islanders Cherish Connections through Clan and Family Names

In the Pacific Islands of the Marianas, family names are not only valued, they are cherished. So many folks are not only known by their surname, but they go further to define a particular branch that they belong to, in order to be easily recognized by others. Ask any Chamorro you meet what family they belong to. Not only will they say their official surname, but they will likely follow it with “familian [you add the name]”. Most will be able to quickly reconcile what branch of the tree they belong to, among the many trees and branches that make up Guam’s rich genealogical records.

This is a custom illustration that can be purchased and customized with your family name. This design depicts a stained glass spiritual theme. Click the image to order.

Take for example my family. I’m from the Aflague clan. Not much is known as to the origins of my surname, however, to differentiate my branch from another branch within my clan, they’ve identified my father’s branch to be from the Katson group, also known in Chamorro as “I familian Katson”.  I was told that my branch name actually came from the Flores clan. I’m not sure how accurate that is. But it makes sense. My grandfather’s middle name is Flores. For those who may not know, my grandfather was the first goldsmith on Guam, back in the early years, who made hundreds if not thousands of pieces of jewelry for many old time Guam families. In fact, many knew the jewelry made by my grandfather as “I alahas Katson”, which means “Katson’s Jewelry”. I run into a few folks from time to time who have said that they still have a wedding ring, or bracelets made by my grandfather. I was not born when my grandfather was in the business of jewelry making, however, he took his passion as a goldsmith very seriously and made it a venture that allowed my family to prosper and enjoy the fruits of their labor. His daughter, Mariquita, eventually took the reigns of the business and furthered their efforts into the 70s in Guam. If any of you are reading this and still have any of his pieces, please let me know. I’d be interested in seeing some of his designs in picture. I know this is a long shot, but you never know what you are going to get, unless you ask.

This is an illustration depicting a tropical setting with the island of Guam inset. We customize this illustration with your family names. Click this image to order now.

If the name Katson rings a bell in another way, its because my family are the long time entrepreneurs of Chorizos Chamorro. Going back to the 60s and 70s, my father’s brother, Vincente or “Ben”, went into the sausage making business with his sons. From there, his sons and others formed a sausage factory in front of the old Marks Department Store on the beach side of Anigua in the 70s. I distinctly remember their big delivery truck with the logo that had the “Katson’s Chorizos Chamorro”, with a cute picture of a cartoon pig face as their mascot. This business has now gone national after many decades, and is based out of California through a partnership with the Calvos in Guam. My first cousins and their nephews are now taking part in this venture.

So as can be seen, family names in Guam hold more value  than most western cultures, as folks seem to dig deep to uncover the underlying connections that become less and less apparent as new generations of families develop. This unique aspect of our familial connections make for enjoyable conversations at parties and get-togethers with other families. If you don’t believe me, just observe at an upcoming Chamorro gathering and hear the initial conversations of strangers meeting up for the first time. I’ll bet that they will share these two pieces of information to form the basis of where they both came from.You’ll see them introducing themselves, telling each other what their last names are, followed by their family names.  It’s intriguing to say the least. If anything, its an ice-breaker of sorts. Afterward the real conversations begin.

This is an illustration depicting a tropical setting with the Saipan island. We customize this illustration with your family names. Click this image to order now.

So as was mentioned,  in the Pacific Islands, clan names, and family names hold a very special significance in the lives of our people. We use it to connect, to categorize, and to be identified more easily. Because of the value that I know Pacific Islanders put on their geneology, I’ve produced a few illustrations that can be customized with family and clan names.

This is an opportunity for folks to display  not only  a representation of where they come from in a colorful tropical theme, but also to be able to proudly showcase who they are as pacific islanders. These two elements come together to provide something unique, it is nothing short of a conversation piece. I envisioned these illustrations as a one-of-a-kind gifts to other families who would find this more than just beautiful. Set in an 18″x24″ frame, and hung in your home’s foyer or living room, it is a testament to who you are and where you come from.These pieces are  Giclee illustrations that depicts the look of stained glass, however, they are printed on museum quality illustrated stock.

If you want to be one of the first ones to have your name customized on one of these one-of-a-kind unique stained glass design illustrations, or if you want to order one as a unique gift to someone special, click one of the images above for more ordering information. If anything, please leave a comment below. I’d be interested in what your perspectives are of the significance and value of family names in the Pacific Islands. Adios for now!

Granddaughter Recreates Her Memories of Grandma to Share as a Heirloom

Over the last two months of blogging, connecting on Facebook, at festivals, as well as through my online website, I’ve connected with hundreds of folks. While most are from Guam, the CNMI, FSM, and from the mainland, it is difficult to predict just who you’ll meet next, or where your journey will take you.

Most people contact me to purchase artwork that has been designed on my online store. However, this one instance would be a little different, and touching indeed.

Last week, I received an email from a girl named Katie online who found out about what I did by reading our story in the Guam Pacific Daily News. Unlike the many others that just hop on my website and browse my illustrations, she had a different objective.

She mentioned that she lived in Guam, and that recently she lost her grandma that she loved dearly. Her story was that she wanted to commission my services to develop a custom illustration of her grandma to be able to relive her memories and share it with her many other family members. She had an admirable goal in mind.

I asked how she wanted to remember her grandma. She said she wanted a large illustration that she not only could frame in her home, but also share it with others. I asked more questions about her grandmother. I mentioned to her that not only can I design this for her, but that we should think of how this piece would be a valuable heirloom for her entire family. I suggested that this piece could be made available as copies to other family members as a unique gift that would be heartfelt and very meaningful. We began the planning process.

She described her grandmother and her times where she would spend weekends together. Her grandmother as a tradition would make a Chamorro dish called chicken kelaguen in her own kitchen. She described how her grandma looked, what she’d have on the table in preparation for making the dish, and other little things as part of the cooking process. As we discussed about life with grandma, I asked if there was anything special that brought back memories about being in that kitchen.

Katie mentioned that her grandma would always have purple orchids in a blue vase on the table in the kitchen. She also added that she wore a silver wedding ring on her finger. This was something that she remembered distinctly. As I asked what photos she had of her grandmother in her kitchen, she said that she only had random photos that could only be used to assist in building this concept.

So with a couple of photos she provided, a little back and forth discussion to understand what her grandma was like and the environment that she remembers, I went to the drawing board. I created a life-like illustration depicting her grandmother standing in her kitchen, actively preparing a dish of kelaguen for the family. Adding a smile to grandma can only enhance the satisfaction and value of seeing her as she was remembered. While her illustration included a beautiful vase with purple orchids, I couldn’t help but add a few of my personal illustrated pieces among others, such as the Guam Rail poster on her wall, a small gecko walking the wall of her kitchen, a flame tree in her back yard, and of course, a rooster walking across her lawn.

While we could have made her illustration exactly what grandma’s house was actually like, it would have restricted our creativity, and the potential for making this piece not only special, but also strikingly beautiful. All told, she gave me free reign to be as creative as possible.

We finished her illustration in about three days, and after going back and forth on email to try to refine the illustration, she finally was able to see the finished piece and she was nothing short of ecstatic. She said “I love it! it really looks like my grandmother! Thank you soo much! My dad wants an illustration too and I know my other relatives will want a copy for themselves. Thank you again so much and God bless!!

If there was any illustration that I have done that has brought me so much satisfaction, it probably has to be this piece. I not only had an opportunity to design something so meaningful and beautiful for someone else, but I also connected with the story behind the art piece. I’m just happy that I could be of help to someone who wanted to relive their memories with someone they loved so dearly.

Kate. If you’re reading this, I hope that this illustration that we worked on together will bring you years of enjoyment and the opportunity to share with your extended family your memories of your grandmother. I know its hard to lose someone you love, however, this is your memory that we were able to illustrate  and bring to life for others to enjoy. I believe as the years pass, your illustration will be more and more meaningful as you will be able to share this special moment, not only with family and friends today, but also with others that will only know grandma through picture (such as your own children and grandchildren). God bless.

Gerard Aflague has a passion for illustrated art and being able to share his interpretation of his culture and the many things that embody it.  He is a self-taught illustrator. If you would like to contact him, he can be reached at gerard.v.aflague@gmail.com or you can call him in Denver at 703-508-9989.

Guam’s PDN Features the Gerard Aflague Collection

Sunday, April 22 was a special day for my family and the Gerard Aflague Collection. This is the day that Guam found out about our efforts to design and market cultural art and illustrations for homes and offices, among other things, across the United States and the Pacific on my website.

The Pacific Daily News, Guam’s largest newspaper owned by Gannett Co., featured a full two-page lifestyle article on our business identifying how we got started, and adding some tips to help the aspiring online entrepreneur. Click to read the article here.

We are encouraged that the Guam Pacific Daily News asked to feature our efforts to promote the culture in the Marianas. I want to thank Therese Howe in Virginia for her time and that of the staff for helping to share my story online and on print .  It is an honor to be part of something bigger, and I hope that I can continue to be a source of digital cultural art to a wider audience across the world, network with organizations to share my skills and talent, as well as work with non-profit organizations and other cultural groups to be a global source for educating the world about Micronesia and the many cultures that make up this region.

Unique T-Shirt Designs Debut This Week

I’m excited to announce that we’ve started to release a line of apparel, starting with t-shirts as part of our effort to expand our product offerings. In an effort to differentiate our product offerings from many others who sell t-shirts, I’ve come up with the following list.

Unique lines – While many other island t-shirt companies come up with a very focused or random method of determining designs, we have come up with three tee shirt lines focusing on 1) the youth demographic, 2) nostalgic designs, and 3) highlighting our flora and fauna.

Single and multiple colors – While most t-shirt companies that make island tees focus on one, two, and three color combinations in their designs, we have made an extra effort to not only provide for these color combinations, but we also are happy to offer full color designs that allow us to be limitless with our colorful expression.

Reasonable Prices – We have worked with Denver based providers to identify quality tees, while at the same time allowing for lower price points in order to pass along the savings to you. While we have started with our full-color tee line at $19.99, we expect that our single, double, and triple color offerings will be priced less than this. Most of our competitors are pricing their island tees between $19 and $29.

Free Shipping – All our tees are priced with FREE shipping to addresses across the 50 states, all U.S. territories, including Guam, and affiliated areas including APO/FPO, CNMI, FSM, and Palau.

Gift Wrapping Available – If you plan to purchase a tee and would like to ship it to another address, we would be happy to wrap it in distinctly beautiful island style gift wrapping.

New Designs Weekly – Check back on our website as we will be offering new island designs weekly. Heck, check back daily. You might be surprised.

So now that you know the low down, all you have to do is try ordering one of our distinctly and uniquely designed tees today. We are sure that you’ll be happy with your experience and with your purchase.

Before I go, I should share one more thing. Because we not only sell tees now, but also an awesome line of island themed posters, stickers, and other stuff, you can order a bunch of stuff and be a happy camper when you receive them all.

To see our newest line of products, click our Gerard Aflague Collection tee line, and when you see a tee you like, please spread the word by “liking the page” with our Facebook button. Check back often as we are putting up new designs almost every day!

Adios for now!

Colorful GAC Illustrated Decals Debut

We are expanding on our offerings. In the days ahead, our website will be adding full-color sticker decal products to our collection of offerings. While most decals that are offered across the web only provide for basic illustrations, we will offer both single color, vinyl material, and full color images illustrated by me personally.

Unlike traditional sticker decals, we will be offering the ability to customize any illustration that we have available as a sticker by adding a short name of your choice to it. For example, we just added rooster decal stickers to our line of products. While it already has predesignated names on them, such as “Saipan”, etc., we can replace it, or add to it so that you have a unique product that you would be wanting to display proudly on your car, laptop, wall, or other smooth surface.

Our sticker decal material is non-fading, waterproof, and can be applied both for exterior or interior applications. All our stickers will now be contour cut to provide for a more beautiful and professional display. We plan to offer free shipping on all our sticker products and expect to migrate to that in the near future for all our other stickers.

Remember, we ship to all 50 states, U.S. military installations, Guam, CNMI, the FSM, and Palau, among others. Feel free to comment in response to this post if you have any special custom requests on what illustrated decals and stickers you would like designed for your car, i-pod, or home’s interior wall.

Chief Quipuha: Guam’s Ancient Chamoru Leader

Chief Quipuha, also known as Chief Kepuha, was an interesting leader in his own right. As the Chief of Hagatna in the 1600s, he was the village chief who received Pale San Vitores and his entourage as they made there way into Guam as part of their missionary efforts spreading the Catholic faith.

So much controversy surrounds the demeanor of Chief Quipuha among the natives at the time. It turned out that he was very cordial to the missionaries and made an effort to accomodate their stay in the island. Some say that Chief Quipuha may have wanted to elevate his village’s prominence with their presence. While others speculate various motives.

As I did not know, Chief Quipuha had a son who was aptly named Chief Quipuha II. He was more of a rebel than his father. As the story goes, he was less than pleased with all the plans that the missionaries put into action as part of their efforts to turn natives into bible believing and God fearing villagers.

Chief Quipuha is embodied in statue in the village of Hagatna in Guam. Interestingly enough, while the statue itself was funded with federal monies as a result of the rebuilding of the island after its destruction from Typhoon Pamela in 1976, it was more than just an icon for tourists and villagers alike to appreciate. The character of Chief Quipuha is such that many Chamorros espouse the leadership of this great ancient Chamorro. In 2008, in honor of his qualities, they decorated this statue with a moon shaped bone pendant necklace.

So much can be said of this great leader in the writings of the Spaniards. For more details of the illustration of Chief Quipuha, click here.

Landmark Memorializes Japanese Casualties

Suicide Cliff, a well-known landmark on the tiny island of Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, commemorates the spot where thousands of citizens and Japanese soldiers [estimates number it closer to 22,000] jumped to their death many feet below.

In 1944, Saipan was one of many battlegrounds in the Pacific, where Japan and the United States fought a horrific and bloody battle. Other places included Guam, the Philippines, Palau, and the Solomon Islands, to name a few. The United States started north and made their way south.

In testimony from United States soldiers that fought on Saipan, they described efforts to persuade the enemy through load speakers, to stand away from the cliff edge, however, with no effective result. Many citizens and Japanese soldiers jumped over the cliff, while others were thrown by Japanese soldiers themselves. It was described that the number of those Japanese soldiers and citizens were in the tens of thousands, with all but about 1,000 Japanese soldiers left.

This beautiful illustration is of Suicide Cliff in Saipan.

On Saipan, the battle was ferocious, and while the Japanese fought hard, they retreated into the mountains against the American soldiers. It was told that the Japanese convinced the citizens that the Americans were barbarians, and as a result took part in committing suicide.

Some estimates have put the battle of Saipan the costliest to date for the Americans as over 14 thousand causalities resulted. As for the Japanese, practically the whole garrison was killed, amounting to over 31,000, including Lt. General Yoshitsugu Saito, their leader on the island, who committed suicide.

After the Saipan battle, it was Japan’s end of a dynasty. It was told that Premier Hideko Tojo of Japan, declared that they were dealing with a national crisis that was unprecedented in its history. What followed would be the full resignation of his war cabinet. This was a major turning point in the war, because up until about this time, the military was essentially running the government.

The illustration of Suicide Cliff in Saipan has much history and bloodshed behind it, however, today, if you were to visit this site, it not only holds memorials to those that perished, it presents itself as a World War II park looking over the majestic ocean, with rugged limestone cliffs, nestled in an open grassy area with Flame trees that dot this island landscape.

Details of this illustration can be found at on the Gerard Aflague Collection online.

Wishing You a Wonderful Easter Holiday

While Easter Season is a wonderful time to celebrate with egg hunts and easter baskets, we cannot forget the real reason we are celebrating this time of year.

Our Savior, while sacrificing on the cross for our inequities, finally won the battle over evil, and rose from the dead. In this act of finality, we are promised something so precious and so free. While he gave everything for each of us, we receive His gift through His grace.

So during this Easter Holiday, may we all remember the real reason for the season, and take part in celebrating with family and friends for it is because of His blood that we are set free.

Guam Villages Sport New Flags

Did you know that Guam villages have their own flags? Yup. They do. In fact, it’s been a little over a year since Guam adopted these flags representing the culture and landmarks of each village. This effort is aligned with the Guam public law on the establishment of such flags. Guam Code Annotated 2000, §1031 reads that the various Municipal Planning Councils of the Territory may adopt an official municipal flag which depicts the history and culture of the respective village. However, efforts to publicize their achievement have been paltry.

With this knowledge, Gerard wanted to do his share and elevate the awareness of these flags to the general public by designing and publishing Guam Village Facts and Flag Illustrations. By using social networking sites to ask Guam residents their opinion, he was able to gauge their interest.

We are encouraged by the response. Many of those who viewed them were drawn to the flag colors and complimentary design elements. Many felt it embodied their village and captured a few of their landmarks. Additionally, the illustrations in total represented their village and they said that they were really intrigued by the designs, Gerard said.

With all Guam 19 municipal flags available online, interested customers now have an opportunity to purchase and display a unique illustration that represents their Guam village.

To see all Guam Village Facts and Flag Poster Illustrations, visit http://www.gerardaflaguecollection.com/flags/

3rd Annual Cultural Fest in San Diego a Success

The Chamorro Cultural Fest Committee of San Diego, California, hosted its 3rd Annual Chamorro Cultural Fest at the Market Creek Plaza, bringing together thousands of attendees to share in food, culture, games, and fun. This day long event which took place on March 24, 2012, seemed to be more than a fiesta, it was an amalgamation of talents which resulted in a synergistic energy, making the event that much more exciting and fun filled – an event that only comes once a year. The fact that it was free was more than a reason to celebrate. It was a success, all in all.

With the motto of  “Celebrating the People of the Mariana Islands”, there sure were many opportunities to do so. With dancers, singers, wood carvers, artists, and chefs, among others, one could surmise that there in fact was a celebration of talents from the Mariana Islands. With a half dozen workshops to provide the audience with interesting and educational opportunities to learn the culture and arts, it was hardly a boring experience. The line up at the workshops included learning the art of batik making with Judy Flores from the Guam Batik Gallery; story-telling with Tanya Taimanglo and Alison Cuasay from Guam Books and Beads; learning about the Sakman from  Mario Borja from Tungo’ Ramentan Chamorro; learning dance and culture from Heidi Quenga from Kutturan Chamoru Foundation, and from Vince Reyes from Inet’non Gefpa’go; and learning the art of Raffia Braiding and Korona making from Ju’ne Sablan Hawkins.

While the lines to the food vendors were long and drawn out, the taste of the islands could not dissuade anyone from leaving their place in the queu. The festival ended at sun down, while the event in the evening at the Jacobs Center just started revving up. With the DUB band, Ben “Maga Lahi” Lizama, Malafunkshun, and many other performers in attendance, hundreds of concert goers were lined up outside in anticipation of the doors opening at eight in the evening.

We had a wonderful time in San Diego, without a doubt. It is our hope to be able to do this again next year, God willing.

With our company opening up shop online a little less than a month ago, and having no prior vendor experience at a fair, we were absolutely encouraged by the many visitors and customers who came by to take in the many interesting illustrations. It is an honor to design tasteful and unique illustrated art for the many folks that were seeking our artwork, knowing that it will be displayed in the homes and offices of many across California and Las Vegas from where most people came from. While we brought over 40 unique illustrations to display and sell, we were unfortunately unable to bring three of our more recent designs including Two Lover’s Point, Bear Rock, and the Plumeria. However, these are available online now.

We stand committed to designing colorful and interestingly unique illustrated art that represents the Pacific Islands of Micronesia, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marianas Islands, including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian. We believe that there is a market for those wanting a unique type of culturally-themed island art as a conversation piece to be displayed in homes and offices that is tasteful.

If you know of a Chamorro cultural event that is coming up in the islands or in the mainland, feel free to leave us a message and let us now about it.

Plumeria Leis: Easy to Make

ImagePlumeria is a tropical flower related to the Oleander, and both possess a sap may irritate eyes and skin. While Plumeria take many forms and colors, the more common are the white Plumeria with the yellow center, and the more interesting flowers that have come on the scene are the deep pink tones.

Having a plumeria tree within proximity provides for opportunities to make beautiful and fragrant lies. To make a lei, you will need:

Jar of oil such i.e. Vaseline, Lei needle, 4-8 pound fishing line, 30-50 Plumeria flowers, galloon zip type plastic bag, and measuring tape.

Steps:

1. Measure the length of the lie you would like by roping the fishing line around your neck to measure an adequate amount.

2. Thread the fishing line through the lei needle. Create a knot at the end of the line where the two join open ended. Create several knots if needed to ensure that the flowers are caught at the end. Ensure that the knot is bigger than the average diameter of the flower opening.

3. Keep flowers that are harvested from the tree in a zipped plastic bag and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

4. Use oil based grease to lubricate needle. Needle flowers one side up, with all in the same direction.

5. Use your desired pattern of colors. Example: 5 yellow, and 2 pink Plumeria.

6. Upon stringing all your flowers through the needle, create a loop with both ends of the line and tie off well with several knots.

7. Place completed leis in zipped plastic bags and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Stickers Now Available for I-Phone, I-Pad, and Car Windows

Gerard Aflague Collection is now making available an assortment of full-color, vinyl stickers that are repositional, and colorful with an island theme. Over 25 different designs will be added to our product line that will depict regional locals abbreviated in 2 letters, Guam and CNMI seals, and various words that represent several regions in the Pacific.

The two letter decals are great to affix to car vehicles letting others know where your origins are from, while the Guam and CNMI seals are sized to fit nicely on the back panel of an I-Phone, I-pad, or other clean flat surface showing your island pride. As for the various words such as “Chamorro” and “Pacific Islander” to name a few, they work well on car windows, phones, i-pads, or on bumpers.

Your imagination is endless on the number of ways you can use these stickers.

Limited designs are available in inventory. Pre-orders are being taken now at our website, and products will be shipped March 26, 2012.

See all the designs here.

Gift Certificates Now Available

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your family or friends received a unique colorful illustrated art piece from our website?

Gerard Aflague Collection now has a convenient way for you to send a personalized gift certificate to your family or friends via email in amounts between $1 – $1,000 to be redeemed on our site for any of the products we offer. Give them a gift certificate for their birthday, anniversary, or a holiday.

How it works:

1. You send them a gift certificate through our website.
2. They receive an email advising them of a gift certificate in an amount of your choice.
3. They browse our products and select what they want to buy.
4. At checkout, they use the gift certificate redemption number, and the amount is deducted from their total.
5. We send them the products that they ordered.

Leave the worry to us. We will make sure they get what they want, and we will ensure that it is delivered promptly to their home or office. Did you know that we even send them periodic emails advising them that their package has been packed, or is now being shipped and on its way?

It’s a simple process. We encourage you to play with our online gift certificate form and just see how quickly it works. Click here to demo how your gift certificate would look if you were to send one to your family or friends. We hope you take advantage of our gift certificate program on our website.

Our gift certificate will not expire.

This is a sample of what they would see when they receive an email from you.

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Legend of Guam’s Two Lovers

Probably the most notable landmark on the Island of Guam is Two Lover’s Point, or Puntan Dos Amantes as they call it in Guam’s native tongue “Chamoru.” It is a beautiful cliff on the westward side of the island  jetting hundreds of feet up out of the Philippine Sea among the dolphins and thousands of other marine life found along this shore.

The name Two Lover’s Point was coined after a popular local legend. Long ago, during a time in Guam’s history when Spain ruled the island, there lived a family of aristocracy in the capital village of Hagatna. The father of this family was a rich Spanish man, while the mother came from a family of a great Chamoru chief. They owned much land in the island and were well respected.

Their daughter was full of beauty, and admired by many in the local villages. Her hair flowed with grace and had a healthy glow to it. She brought her parents much pride and joy because of what she had become. Her father was greatly wanting to have her daughter joined with a Spanish Captain in marriage. Upon knowing of his plans, she was upset and fled from Hagatna. She went in a northern direction meandering the tropical shores, until she found a peacefully quiet place.

While pondering her situation, the day quickly became night, and the moonlight shone upon the ocean, showing a glimmering sight. At that time, while sitting on the sandy shore, she met a handsome and rugged young Chamoru warrior from a local family. He had a gentle demeanor, with bright eyes, long flowing hair, and a healthy physique. They instantly fell in love.

When her father later learned of their meeting, he called for her to marry the Spanish Captain immediately. In hearing of this, she scurried away to the high-point above the shore where she met her native lover. At this point, her father summoned Spanish soldiers to pursue the lovers. In this pursuit, they found themselves trapped at the edge of the cliff, with no where to go.

The young native warrior told them to stay back, while the father told them to remain. The lovers immediately took their long hair, and tied it into a large knot. They searched momentarily into each other’s eyes, and kissed one last time. Afterward, they leaped effortlessly off the high and steep cliff into the roaring blue waters below. Hundreds of feet in the air, they embraced with a love that never could be separated. Her father rushed after them to the edge and stared in disbelief as his daughter was no longer to be found.

Two Lover’s Point above Tumon Bay, remains in its place, weathered by the sun, wind, and water, coined from this legend that continues to be the symbol of true love, between the souls of a two beings that found a love ever so pure, that no one could take it away.

This legend and the Guam landmark is embodied in the latest colorful illustration designed as part of the Gerard Aflague Collection. Click here to order your very own illustration of this well-known Guam landmark today.

Gerard Aflague Collection Offers Select Illustrated Postcards

Gerard Aflague Collection is accepting pre-orders on a pre-selected set of six illustrated postcards.

Pre-Orders Available Online – Shipping Begins March 26, 2012.

While we know that sending emails to family and friends can sometimes seem impersonal, we felt it appropriate to make a few of our illustrated designs available on postcards as an option to communicate with your family and friends.

You can select one, or multiple copies of one, or order a set of six images. These postcards make a wonderful gift set, or provide for a unqiue way to say hello to family and friends from afar.

Each postcard contains not only a beautifully illustrated image, but the back side of the postcard also sports a tropical coconut tree theme with a colorful Guam Rail and Micronesian Fisher to add to its character.

Each postcard is 4.25 inches wide x 6 inches tall, and comes with a glossy coating on the front panel, with a matte finish on the back panel (writing side). Postage rates for postcards of this size are .32 cents for first-class mail.

Browse our website online to see all the postcards offered for pre-order sale.

One of Guam’s Animal Landforms Emerges

Bear Rock, a natural land form found at Agfayan Point in Inarajan village on Guam is depicted in the most recent colorful illustration published for the Gerard Aflague Collection online.

Residents and visitors alike who have ventured across the island can’t help but catch a glimpse of Bear Rock against the backdrop of the southern skies as they make there way through Route 4 meandering through the sleepy village of Inarajan, between Talafofo and Merizo village. Off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Bear Rock is probably the most obvious animal-like rock formation on Guam, aside from Camel Rock.

This rock formation jets out from a rocky outcrop over 50 feet in the air. Probably formed through the weathering and erosion process that occurs in the natural geologic process of time. Its anyone’s guess as to how long this rock will keep its bearish characteristics.

Click here to see and purchase this illustration of the Bear Rock in the Gerard Aflague Collection.

GAC Debuts at the San Diego Chamorro Cultural Fest this month

Gerard Aflague Collection (GAC) will take its illustrated products on the road this month. GAC will be one of many vendors at the Chamorro cultural festival in San Diego, California on March 24, 2012.

Over 40 unique illustrations will be available for sale at the festival. Our “Chamorro Style – Fiesta Plate” illustration will be our centerpiece. It will be presented as the focal point of our illustrated offerings. This piece will be printed on 4×5 foot banner, with 39 other illustrations displayed life-size along side it. We also plan to incorporate unique marketing strategies, like Facebook giveaways hourly, visitor photo-ops with our life sized Guam Rail, a special raffle to qualified entrants that visit our booth to win five posters of their choice, and customers who purchase will be entered to win a durable plaqued poster that lasts over 150 years.

This is the first opportunity that we will be a vendor on-site. It will be interesting to gauge customer interest for our unique culturally-themed products. If we do well, we may decide to attend other Pacific Island related events throughout the country and in the islands.

Ancient Chamorro Engineering

It’s a wonder to realize the feats of the ancient Chamorros as it relates to their engineering acumen and marvel relative to building sea-going vessels.

The flying proa, a swift ocean going transport, sailed the Pacific Ocean in ancient times at a rate of 20 miles an hour as one estimate put it. A unique design construction that made this proa different from most vessels made during its time was the nature of the head and stern. You see, most vessels in the world, made their head uniquely different from their stern (or back of the boat). While the proa, had made both ends exactly the same. Where the difference lies in it its sides. One side is relatively flat, while the other side is rounded.

Obviously this design by itself, makes the vessel prone to tipping, which is why they engineered an attached hollowed log to the rounded side allowing for a more stable sea-going vessel. The use of bamboo is obvious in the construction of its frame to mount its sail, and as attached appendages to its other far reaching parts. Understanding the value of bamboo requires an understanding of its characteristics. With bamboo’s flexibility, and lightweight characteristic (due to its relatively hollow nature), one could see how a natural material such as this provides an appropriate useful construction material for the building of a proa.

Wonderfully designed with a beautiful sail, this provided them an opportunity to use the wind as a source of power for their journeys. It seems that the Chamorros understood the advantage of having a vessel that relied on the trade winds of the Pacific, allowing them to sail up and down the Marianas islands.

As a tribute to the Chamorros’ engineering sea-going work of art, we have illustrated their design on an 18×24 inch poster for public display. Visit our website to see and own this beautifully illustrated piece of art.

Fruit Dove Takes the Spotlight

The Palau and Marianas Fruit Dove take center stage as depicted in our most recent illustrations published for the Gerard Aflague Collection. Known scientifically in Palau as Ptilinopus pelewensis, and in the Marianas as Ptilinopus roseicapilla, this bird species shows its beauty through its variety of showy colors.

While this bird is endemic in the islands of Palau, it is considered extinct on the island of Guam, with populations dwindling in the Northern Marianas islands due to the accidental introduction of the Brown Tree Snake. The Tottot as it is called in Guam, the Paluman Tottot as it is called in the Northern Marianas, and the Biib as it is known in Palau is more than just a bird in Micronesia. It happens the be the official national bird of the islands of Palau and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

In its short range habitat of Micronesia, this bird lays a single white egg and is cared for by both parents. It has a red forehead, greyish head, back and breast, and yellowish orange belly patch and undertail coverts.

Click here to see the illustration of the Palau Fruit Dove in the Gerard Aflague Collection.