To the indigenous Chamorro people, family is a gift. It is a community, in itself. This is a visible staple of the Chamorro people, seen and heard throughout the island of Guam, and the Marianas.
Along the roadsides, wooden signs adorn the curves; painted in bright colors, or a somber black, they often announce the location of a family funeral. These signs have arrows pointing sharply into the small, tight streets of villages like Sina Jana, Chalan Pago, and Yigo.
A procession of cars stretch across these roads, sometimes escorted by police officers, as family members respectfully pursue a dark hearse, prepared to bury their loved one. Dozens, sometimes hundreds of people gather together to remember the family that have passed on—- family they had loved, and still love.
There are birthday parties and family picnics set up at every other sunlit beach, as the sounds of laughter and conversations fill the air, mingling with the robust scent of chicken and pork roasting over a barbeque grill.
For better or worse, family has always been important to the Chamorro people; this sentiment has been true for over 2,000 years. According to Lawrence J. Cunningham on Ancient Chamorro society: “The family as a whole was more important than its individual members. Family provided the personal identity and social status of each individual.”
Frank “The Crank” Camacho is no exception to this cultural belief. His family is his identity. He had this to say about his parents, and older sister: “Family is the most important thing to me! I was brought up by two loving parents and an older sister. Up to this day, I still have a high regard for the Stronghold of my family, my Dad! He is the Hardest Worker I will ever know. ‘Set your goals, and don’t let anything or anyone stop you from reaching your goals,’ an often said quote by my dad. My Mom, the Heart of my family! I’m still an apprentice of her wisdom, learning about sentiment, love, care, and respect! A superior product of these teachings and sense is my only older sister. I’m very fortunate to have a loving older sister who symbolizes an ideal role model for me. When the path gets blurry and cloudy, I look up to her!”
In this sincere confession, it is clear that Frank is a genuine believer of the gift of family; he is a testament to the ancient Chamorros, who defined the importance of family as a way of life.
Now, as a father himself, Frank “The Crank” Camacho has taken on an epic responsibility to raise and care for his children with his wife, award-winning filmmaker Sara Filush-Camacho.
Frank cherishes the moments with his family, his wife, and his children. When he is away from the islands he calls home, training and fighting all over the world and diligently furthering his career, he does not miss an opportunity to video call his wife and watch his sons’ face light up the screen of his smartphone.
If he is able to, he will take his little family with him on this warrior’s journey. Just recently, the Fulish-Camacho family were able to enjoy a day at the beach in Saipan, and a trip to Michigan before that.
Anyone can be a father, but very few people in this world are prepared to be a good father; Frank takes on this challenge with a smile, just as eagerly as he has taken on the challenge of training in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, earning a Black Belt in this difficult high-energy sport, fighting for Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC), and becoming an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Athlete.