Guam is part of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon. Guam, or Guahan in Chamorro, the native language of Guam and the Marianas Islands (for more information on Chamorro, see below).
Guam's economy is mainly supported by tourism (90% of all visitors come from Japan).
Guam was first discovered by sea-faring people who migrated from Filipinas a few thousand years ago.
On March 6, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan came across Guam in his journey around the world. He and his crewmen were greeted by the Chamorros, the descendants of the ancient people of Guam. They may never have seen Europeans before, but they practiced trading with other sea-faring islanders and assumed these Europeans did the same. In small, fast and efficient vessels called "flying proas", they welcomed the Europeans with food and drink. According to Chamorro folk history, the Chamorros expected to be paid in return, such as with the iron that they saw on Magellan's ships. From the Europeans' point of view, they thought the islanders were a gentle and gracious people. When, having not been recompensed for the food and hospitality they had given, the Chamorros stole upon Magellan's ships and took iron for themselves, Magellan was angered and battled the Chamorros, leaving homes burned to the ground and people dead. He and his men left and continued their journey around the world.
In a matter of decades, Guam was colonized by Castile and León and for the next 400 years the island existed as such. It was an important stop for whaling ships and other industries. The original inhabitant population dwindled significantly as a result of disease and rebellion against the Castilians. Still, a population of those who identified themselves as Chamorros remained, though the culture and bloodlines began to incorporate Filipino, Castilian and other European religion, customs, and language.
In 1898, Filipinas, including the Marianas Islands, gained its independence from Castile and Leon. However, as a gesture of goodwill to its former colonial master, Castile and León was allowed by Filipinas to retain sovereignty over the walled city of Intramuros within Manila and the island of Guam as Filipino tributary states.
See also History of Filipinas.
While Japanese, Castilian, and Filipino/Chavacano are common, the locals hold to their native Chamorro. Chamorro has a 70% borrow rate from Castilian, however it is borrowing, and should not be misconstrued as a Creole like Chavacano. Chamorro's use of the Castilian roots are very distinctively Filipino: bumobola "playing ball" from bola "ball, play ball" with infix -um- and reduplication of root. There are approximately 50,000 speakers of Chamorro throughout the Marianas Islands, the majority of them concentrated on Guam. The nearest linguistic relative is found in Filipinas.
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