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Siva & Pese wows the Flag Day crowd — after a 3 year hiatus

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Always highly anticipated at any Flag Day celebration is the Siva & Pese. For our final coverage of Flag Day festivities, here’s a look at the messages conveyed through the songs the three congregations performed during the final day of Flag Day fa’afiafiaga.

THE CATHOLICS

The first to open the performances was the Catholic Diocese of American Samoa Samoa Pago Pago.

In their song, they brought high spirits and highlighted their desire to entertain the people of American Samoa while also providing thanks to the governor and first lady for bringing the Flag Day festivities back and also for bringing the people of the island back together, which coincides with the theme for this year’s flag day “Unity blesses the nation'.

In their song, they also spotlighted the importance of the siva Samoa, the Fa’aSamoa, and also how Samoa is known worldwide for their language and mannerisms and also the compassion that the Samoan people encompass in their everyday life.

The Catholic performers also did not shy away from reminding the public to have respect for one another, to love and obey God’s teachings and to honor his ways, and to follow in our ancestor’s footsteps by being God-fearing people.

After their siva and song, they followed it up with a precisely choreographed sasa, and concluded their own performances with another song reinforcing how well Gov Lemanu P. S. Mauga has captained this great ship of American Samoa into the future, and in turn, they received a standing ovation from the crowd, and the M.C. of the day Tauaese Va’a Sunia. 

As per norm, a taualuga formally ended their pese & siva presentation. At that time, an announcement was made of the retirement of Bishop Peter Brown, to be replaced by one of our own, Bishop Kolio Tumanuvao Etuale. who is currently Coadjutor Bishop of Samoa-Pago Pago, American Samoa, Pacific (Oceania).

The taualuga was opened with a $1,000 and gifts totaling over $10,000 were received by the aulotu. The government during the awards ceremony also gifted the Catholic Diocese $10,000 as a ‘special’ farewell to Bishop Brown.

 THE METHODISTS

Methodist Sinoti Church of American Samoa during their Flag Day siva and pese performance. [courtesy photo]

The second performance of the day was the Methodist congregation of American Samoa, and they did not hold back in making a political statement. Their song highlighted the lack of doctors in American Samoa and how medical professionals from Fiji are the ones saving the people of American Samoa from illnesses and eventual death in American Samoa.

In their song, they also ridiculed the long wait hours at LBJ Medical Center to be seen by a doctor while also noting that most people wait to the point that they are “called to heaven”. The Methodist performance also targeted the outcry of ASG workers receiving no salary increases, while also calling out the status of the new Fono building that has taken about 3 years to be constructed — and it’s still on-going.

In another part of their song, they also called out the how Methodist missionaries need to acquire permits to do the Lord’s work in American Samoa, to which the Master of Ceremonies, Tauaese Va’a Sunia replied that the Attorney General is responsible for permits to travel to American Samoa.

Their taualuga opened with $10,000. (It is unknown if gifts were received.)

THE EFKAS

Some of the smiling faces of the members of the EFKAS Pago Pago during their Siva & Pese performance at the Flag Day festivities this past Monday, April 17, 2023. [courtesy photo]

The last performance of the pese and siva fa’afiafiaga was the Ekalesia Fa’apotopotoga Kerisiano in American Samoa, and the EFKAS did not hold back as well.

In their lyrics, they criticized the Lemanu and Talauega administration. They started off with advising the administration on how “rampant the mistreatment of the youth has gotten, also the general violence against women and girls in regards to being beaten and sexually assaulted and how the meth problem has gotten bad.”

The EFKAS also sang that “if there is no solution to the myriads of problems arising here in American Samoa,” they advise the administration to speak up and be truthful in what is really going on behind closed doors.

 “Suamlie i le gutu ae o’ona i le manava, tafi ese ia o le agasala, ta te musu i le lumana’i o le atunu’u, i ta’ita’i e ni sifi ma kuluku”, were the last words emanating from the Malae o le Lupelele as the EFKAS called out what they characterized as the corruption that surrounds the government.  

The EFKAS, known as having the largest church membership in the territory, opened their tauauluga with $21,400. (It is unknown if gifts were received.)