A few weeks ago, we packed our bags and went to Guam, an American territory, for two episodes of our TV show “Foodprints.”
I had never been to Guam, which is a three-hour flight from Manila. Its climate is quite similar to Manila although not as humid. Guam looks like a more organized Subic.
As our group proceeded to Pacific Star Hotel where we were billeted, I enjoyed the breathtaking views of the sea. Guam also reminded me of Batanes. Beautiful!
It was Labor Day when we went to Ypao Beach, which had various tents set up by different government groups. Each tent had a buffet spread.
Curious what kind of food Guamanians were serving, I went close to the buffet tables and observed. I noticed a dish called kilagwen—or broiled chicken chopped into cubes and seasoned with lemon, herbs and spices. It was good, something that slowly grew on me as I encountered the dish almost every day.
I was met by some of the Labor Day organizers and we had lunch together. I hopped from buffet table to buffet table. People in this picnic were very kind and friendly.
We toured the island and saw one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. Two Lovers Point, according to legend, was where a local chief’s daughter, who was being forced to marry a Spanish officer, chose to jump to her death with her local Chamorro fiance, but not after tying their hair together to symbolized their eternal union.
Marveling at the beauty of Two Lovers Point, you realize there is a gracious God who loves us!
We were invited to the home of Guam resident Clarissa Perez, who, with her four aunts, showed us how to make kilagwen.
They’re one of the most gracious and accommodating families I have met. In no time we were talking like long-lost relatives.
We watched “Tao Tao Tasi”—a beach dinner show featuring Chamorro cuisine and culture. Among the dozens of guests around, somehow they found me to join a contest in which I made a fool of myself while shaking my bootie and dancing the hula without a skirt.
Part of the reason I say Guam is some kind of paradise is the shopping options. K Mart is here, as well as Ross, Home Depot, Godiva, Macy’s and a lot more American brands otherwise found only on the mainland.
We also joined a Guam food tour where we were shown sites, met local artists and dined in great places. Very interesting!
On our first day, we were in a booth of Harley Davidson bikers. They were all wearing black leather jackets, looking tough but were actually kind as they shared their barbecue with us.
In return, we invited them to the barbecue area of the Pacific Star hotel where I cooked chicken dinakdakan and broiled talong with fresh garlic and coconut milk. Based on the empty plates after, I guess they, too, enjoyed the food.
I thoroughly enjoyed my pampered stay at the Pacific Star. The hotel’s general manager, Roy Abraham, was once the GM at the Marriott in Cebu and, later on, in Marriott Manila.
I must say the Pacific Star serves the best food selections in Guam, including an authentic Indian buffet and the most delicious steak dinner at Manhattan, a restaurant in the hotel.
Beautiful scenery, the kindest people I have come across (consistent during my week’s stay), shopping and super great food as long as you know where to go—that’s Guam. For those who haven’t been there, it’s paradise waiting to be discovered.
Check out our Guam feature on “Foodprints” on the Lifestyle Network sometime this month.
“Foodprints” airs every Monday, 9 p.m., with replays on Tuesday, 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon; and Monday, 9:30 a.m.
The good news is that United Airlines is back in Guam, with an evening schedule that departs Manila at 10:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.