What a foundation for my faith as a child! Every year without fail, my grandmother's sister lead in erecting one of the outdoor stations or altars for the annual Corpus Christi procession. In Chamorro, called the Lånchon Kotpus.
My grand aunt, Chong Torres (Chong Kitå'an) spent her own money buying the fabric and whatever else was needed for the Låncho.
She didn't work alone. The two Bonño sisters, Aunties Titde and Chilang, helped somehow. Maybe also Auntie Tera' Kaila. And Tan Kai Balentin donated flowers and potted plants. I am sure there were others who helped. I mainly just hung around and watched.
Our Låncho always had the Sacred Heart as its theme. The statue of the Sacred Heart was always borrowed year after year from the Capuchin Friary up the street, until a typhoon wrecked the statue. It's still the Sacred Heart up to now, but using a different statue.
Me at our Lånchon Kotpus in 1967. I was 5 years old.
At first, my Auntie Chong erected the Låncho at someone's house. Our house didn't have a suitable patio or veranda or garage that could be converted into a Låncho. But this family not far from us had a nice porch, with red-painted steps. The frame of the porch could be covered with fabric and - voila! - we had a Låncho!
As you can see in the picture above, my auntie always used red and white. And that's the old statue from the Friary.
Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the family whose porch we used. I'll try and ask around. The house was later torn down when Urban Renewal reconfigured the village streets. Many old Sinajaña homes were demolished because of Urban Renewal. Including ours. Which leads to the next phase.
Me holding my 2 year old niece Erin. 1982.
In 1971, our new concrete house was built, in another section of the village, across the public elementary school, very close to the parish church. My auntie built the house in such a way that the garage could easily be portioned off to make a Låncho, as you can see in the picture above.
Still red and white; still the same Friary statue.
Today, other people, good family friends, have taken over what my Auntie Chong lead for so many years. But my family is still involved in the erection of one of the parish Låncho on Corpus Christi by lending a spot on our family property near the church for one of the Låncho.
The Lånchon Kotpus instilled in me from an early age the awareness that the Host is the true Body of Jesus. The care and diligence I saw in my Auntie Chong's actions and even facial expression showed me that this is for Real.
Thank God for our local customs and traditions!
My Auntie Chong (Asunción)
My grandmother's youngest sister
Put up a Lånchon Kotpus every year for around 40 years till she died