When I signed up to be a Beaver and a student of Anthropology at the Oregon State University, I didn’t realize the tools and knowledge gained would one day be useful in dissecting the lifeways of my own people, the Yapese. Wearing the Beaver glasses and looking in from the outside, it’s amazing what has been going on regarding the ETG era. This is Change afterall.
Fellow Yapese, whether we like it or not, our state of Yap is not isolated any longer. We do not live in an era of telegraphs any longer. We are in an era of twitting and facebooking, not to mention binging and googling. What this means is that we must learn to adapt and when you do that, cultures do change along the way.
A very good example of this would be BRIBING! Does Yapese culture discourages people from giving something when seeking a favor? Or asking for forgiveness? Do we have to punish someone that comes with a bottle of tuba to ask for favors? Do we call that bribery? If I were to come to Chief Pilung with an envelope full of cash, let’s say $5,000, to seek his help in fighting this ETG development, am I bribing or merely practicing the Yapese tradition/culture? Which one is it? What is the Yapese law regarding bribery? How about our culture? Do we totally ignore it and punish someone? If so, why? Are we in the process of throwing out our tradition/culture and replace it with some new laws passed down by a modern legislative body?
What does Yap need to advance in its development? Does Yap need an investment like that of ETG? If so, why some Yapese are against it?
As shown by our governmental structure, with modern branches (the Legislative)Â alongside our traditional chiefs (council of pilung and tamol), we’d like to make both worlds work. I must admit how impressed I was and is on how we’ve accomplished so much using this system. I pride myself in knowing Yap is blessed with some awesome minds that helped sow up this model of governance to show the world that those two forms can co-exist. It’s truly is a model!
Now, let’s get back to ETG to see where this development can work for the betterment of our state and our people. If our government, and especially the bright Yapese minds can come up with a form of government that is both modern and traditional, then I am sure they can find a solution to address the concerns of some Yapese on the ETG project.
Speaking with Mr. Gang Yang this morning, he assured me several things that were bothersome to many. First, Mr. Yang told me that there was no Casino planned for the project. Second, he told me that the project has been revised to make it smaller. He didn’t mention this but I am sure this relates to the many concerns raised regarding the size and scope of this project. I really appreciate Mr. Yang’s willingness to talk about the proposed development, even to a Yapese lone blogger like myself. lol.
Communication and Debating is the roadway to understanding the issues, facts and opinions, hatreds and valid concerns, as well as a bridge to changing a few minds. I would highly recommend that our citizens, especially those that are against ETG, open up their hearts to change and development and allow ETG to present its case. This will allow those of us that have not made up our minds to get all the information we need.
Mr. Gang Yang of ETG on Yap, assured me one thing and that is to have his office on Yap available to answer any and all questions and concerns regarding the project. He told me he has reached out to the opponents, the likes of Concern Yap Citizens (CYC) but was not afforded the chance for a constructive dialogue. Please CYC, give Mr. Yang a call so that he can update you on the latest development on the project. He needs to hear of your concerns too so that he and his company along with our Yap State government can at least put those under consideration.
The concerns raised are real and valid and must be taken seriously. I thank Mr. Henry K. O. Norman of the Yap Developments Facebook Group for sending me his findings all of which are linked on this blog. I am, however, not really convinced that our Yap State Government is careless enough to overlook the items/concerns raised. I must think that our government, knowing all these issues, have studied them and found them to be things they can find patches for. I could be wrong. :). Hopefully not though. lol.
It’s a normal phenomenon for Yap citizens to be concerned on developments that are large in scale and scope and especially if the ownership is not of American Origin. Our past experiences, especially during the Japanese occupation, dictates our view on these matters. So it’s very important, for our state’s development to have an open mind when it comes to new development or new proposals. The only way to see the benefits or advantages so we can weigh it against the disadvantages is to have an open mind. We must see it from everyone’s point of view. Only then can we make an objective conclusion and thus voice our opposing and/or supportng views.
After speaking with Mr. Yang and pouring over the documentations provided to me by Mr. Norman, I concluded one thing. There is very minimal communication going on between the two parties. The way I see it, both sides need to come to the table and figure out a way to compromise and hopefully come up with a better alternative that can be beneficial and comforting to all parties involved. The underlining theme is for both Yap and ETG to benefit financially from this development. That should be comforting enough for most of us! No one is trying to destroy anyone here….
It tore my heart when people talk about Yap loosing its traditional and cultural values as well as its identity as the most traditional state in the Federated States of Micronesia. Why? It’s not that I believe the development will destroy our traditional and cultural values, but the fact that people think we YAPESE are some crazy people that will simply give up those values because of a development. If you think that Yapese are simple minded people, then you got the wrong view of us. ETG can bring all the money they have and invest it in our state, but they cannot take our cultural values away from us. You can call me a hypocrite all you want for saying culture changes with the tide and then say we cannot loose our cultural values, but the truth is just because those values change doesn’t mean they are not yours. lol.
Now that I got that out of my guts, it’s time I say Happy Easter to all of you fellow Yapese and concern Yap Friends out there. May God bless your hearts and May God bless our dear Yap State.
The following documents are provided to me by Mr. Norman. Please take them and learn from them. There are valuable lessons in all of them. Just be sure you keep your mind wide open so you can grasp the fascinating underpinning themes. Please enjoy!
Quotes from fb Remathau Group:
Xavier X. Fethal: My dear friend Cal Tiweyang, Clashing of Cultures is nothing new to Yap State and its people. The people had experienced it first hand as they evolved through the years, first the Spanish Era, German Era, Japanese Era and today the United States.
Xavier X. Fethal: with all that being said, it’s great that you are sharing with us what’s coming down the pipeline from one side of the panel. I think we still need to hear from both sides on how things were unfolded, not just because someone comes to me with a basket full of money and betalnuts, I shall give up my island of losiop to be leased for 99 years. At the same time my entire clan is left hanging, not knowing how things will unfold should that casino resort did not turn out accordingly to their business plan. It true we need all the help in terms of rejuvenating our local economy, but at what price are we to give in? The question here is… how much of a balance do we need to maintain or let go? Can you imagine coming to IFA and see a twin tower with signs that reads, “NO TRASPASSING”, private property! Then again this is just me, I hope and pray our leaders are not selling us out!
Cal Tiweyang: Bro Xav, read the entire article cuz I think you missed the points I’m trying to convey. Happy Easter though. Lol.
Xavier X. Fethal: Cal, it’s great we have to venue to share and speak our minds openly. Thank you for taking the time to share with us, I got your point and let’s get others involved to express their own thoughts and ideas.
Cal Tiweyang: Well said Xav..
Loren Filipon: Gentlemen, our leaders are not thinking about our islands future, they are focussing on how much each of them can earn from these kinds of deals, We can not afford to sell or lease our lands to these foreigners, Lets have the new generations have their own places instead of some wetbacks ruling our own ancestors lands, these islands are created for reasons, not for our leaders to be profitable,so Xav, you point is well taken, one of us travel to Yap and treated like a foreigners, happy Easter to all,of you and your familia, gob bless!!!!!
Ja E Tea: Why are we ‘Remetau’ debating this issue? We are remetau, as we all proudly claim on here. Our opinions, however legit they may be, should not matter when leasing lands and proposing new development in the Yap proper. If the land owners (proper) are willing to lease their lands for a prosperous Yap, let them be. I, for one, am for this proposed development. It presents our state a great economic opportunity. This is a same opportunity most of us are seeking by migrating abroad, better pay and better life. So why denying the vast majority of our unemployed waab citizen the opportunity to prosper in the changing economy. Yap + ETG = Job Creation/less unemployment rate, better hospital, bigger airport etc, hell with the golf course.
Cal Tiweyang: It’s our way of saying Mogethin guys. If you have something to share, bless your soul. If not, cheer those that are. Gare meta reimwal?
Xavier X. Fethal: Ja E Tea, don’t be blinded by the Chinese money. Let’s not forget that dealing with a Chinese investor is no different then having the Communist Government. ideologies, and propagandas enforced on our ppl and island community. If the Chinese can sell out their own mothers, daughters and kids for money, one can only imagine what they can do to our own people! Let’s keep in mind folks, once we agreed to such a contract…it’s good for the entire Yap state, not just Yap proper, I don’t know about you guys, but for some unknown foreigner to come sit one my land for 99 years is unacceptable in my book!