Maureen N. Maratita

That you are reading this column is somewhat of a miracle.

As any journalist will tell you, we have a professional tendency to write dangerously close to deadline. Among all the distractions in the news business, the deadline is usually the only thing we absolutely, always remember. …


And we also have faith that somehow divine intervention will provide the necessary inspiration to craft a story — or in this case a column.

As an example of how easily we are distracted, I wondered to myself — is there actually divine intervention — a patron saint of journalists? I couldn’t find one, but I did find this.

“Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into”) is an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or visual art and other artistic endeavors. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration or “enthusiasm” came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus.”

Good enough. …


Deadline Day started out well. The coffee was perking in our house when I rose to greet the day. A quick check on whether it was raining again, and I (metaphorically) rolled up my sleeves and reached for my phone and turned on the laptop. That’s my morning method.

What met me was:

Another WhatsApp in a long series from my brother in London about traveling to England, plus links to yet another story on the fact that “sources say” that the U.K. government will lift restrictions on Europeans and Americans visiting. Surely the Times and the BBC have it right?

I checked Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s approval rating. 

Yes, another distraction.

But I am somewhat gratified to see it’s dropped again. What did he expect after chaos at the airports, and all those changes in COVID policy that surprised his residents on vacation abroad?

Somebody posts the latest figures on Guam’s vaccination stats. We are at 79.91 with 104 to go.

I switch to Signal. The same post on Guam’s vaccination stats.

I mosey over to the laptop with a fresh cup of coffee and start scrolling through the emails that have accumulated.

Two scams. Delete.

“…all United customers — no matter what cabin of service they’re flying in — can use the airline’s award-winning mobile app and website to pre-order meals, snacks and beverages up to five days before they’re scheduled to travel.”

I ask myself, “Really?” Five days before I travel, I’ve hardly begun to pack. Forward.

But two news tips — the day is looking better. They are good enough to make the day memorable. Save and Save.

News advisory for lunch time coverage. Another “Really?” Reply.

Then came the sudden request to attend a press conference at the University of Guam with the Lt. Governor. Yes, Guam is lifting its restrictions. No cap on gatherings and 100% occupancy at businesses. The mask mandate continues.

Today’s other news? Earthquake on the Alaskan peninsula of 8.2; two boats are collecting residents of Pagan in the Northern Islands of the Northern Mariana Islands. There is no rumbling from the volcano, but “shaking” on the island. The U.S. Geological Survey is checking.

I resist the temptation to delve into our files to see how many residents there are on Pagan. I lose. Three in 2018. There must be more now.

The press releases and one infographic on the lifting of restrictions from throughout the Guam administration continue for hours — until 9.18 p.m. Another, “Really?” This time with feeling as that one comes in, way after every media organization has filed the story. What more can there be to say?

Nothing. Really. …

I ponder the punctuation, in that last line, but decide my job is done. Tomorrow, like on Groundhog Day, I’ll start again. …


— Maureen N. Maratita is the publisher at Glimpses Media. Publications at Glimpses Media include the Marianas Business Journal, MBJ Life, The Real Estate Journal, Guam Business Magazine, Beach Road Magazine, Buenas and Drive Guam.