Celebrating Guam: Titiyas Flatbread Recipe

Two Lovers Point  panoramicHafa Adai, Friends!  Hafa Adai is the warm welcome greeting from my beloved island of Guam.  Si Yu’us Ma’ase/ Thank you to all my friends and family members who reached out to my mother and I during this past week.  It means so much to us. We are delighted that our beloved island has been spared.  As a thank you, I wanted to share with you a very special and easy recipe for Titiyas or Tiyas (TEE-jus) as my family calls it- a delicious flatbread.  You will find it printed here along with an excerpt from my book Dee’s Dishes.  Read on for more information about Guam and her people.

Where in the World is Guam, Anyway?  a blog post written by my dad!

Why Guam was targeted.

Keep Calm, Guam. An interview with Korean expert and BBC notable Robert E. Kelly.

I visited Guam During the Nuclear Standoff and Loved Every Minute of It

My Guam Journals – posts and pics from my family’s vacation in Guam two years ago.

MY GIFT TO YOU: An excerpt from my book Dee’s Dishes- Available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. Stories and Recipes including more about Guam, including the Chicken Kelaguen recipe mentioned in many of the above links.

Remembering Grandma Santos

I was so fortunate to have my grandma living with us when I was a young girl. I loved her then, and I have even greater respect and admiration for her now. She was with us for all of our special occasions. She let my beloved cat cuddle near her, even though she wasn’t particularly fond of cats. She was so warm, and genuinely loving, as my relatives from Guam are. She always made sure to snuggle and hug my sister and I when it was the other sister’s birthday. And she could fry Vienna sausage like no one else.

I cannot even imagine the hardships she endured, growing up on Guam in the early twentieth century. Her island was captured by Japan during World War II happened, and her family was forced to march between villages along with the other native islanders. Her young son became separated from her during the march, and wasn’t reunited with the family for a day. Can you even imagine?

She sure made me feel special and loved, and I know she did the same for her other twenty-six grandchildren. She walked us to the park at the top of the hill so we could play on the playground. She wore a lace shawl over her head, reminiscent of how Catholic women had to cover their hair in church in pre-Vatican II times. I still remember the shiny black patent leather Mary Jane’s with the big fat buckle that she gave me one year. (Maybe that’s why I have always loved Mary Janes!)

Sometimes when I find a food truck now I will ask them to prepare a meal that I remember my grandma cooking for us. It is basically eggs and rice, with fried Vienna sausage. Then I douse it with soy sauce. (You know you are an Asian Pacific Islander if you keep a bottle of soy sauce in your desk at work!) The likes and loves start pouring in when I post a picture of my meal on Facebook or Instagram!  Many of my family, friends, and followers remember this comfort meal.

I remember the Tejas that Grandma cooked for us. Tejas is short for Titiyas, the traditional flatbread. I remember watching her making this in our home, when I was growing up. She’d give me a little of the dough and I could make my own tiny tejas. If I concentrate on the memory, I can almost smell her presence — Rose Milk hand lotion and Cheerios. It’s wonderful to now watch my own children make tejas with my mom.

I miss you, Grandma.



Flatbread from Guam

(pronounced tih-TEE-jus or TEE-jus for short.)

My grandmother would make this from memory, without ever measuring. My mom studied her process and came up with these measurements.


1 cube butter

½ cup sugar

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup milk (or coconut milk, per my mom)


Cream butter and sugar.

In the same bowl, pour in the flower and baking powder.

Stir just the top dry ingredients, before mixing all together with the milk.

Mix until contents form a ball.

Separate into five balls.

Flatten each ball and roll between two sheets of waxed paper with rolling pin.

Cook on griddle one to two minutes each side.

There is no need to use oil/spray on the pan because of the butter.

Makes five large tejas.

Great with cheese and ham. (Even spam.)

I hope you enjoyed reading.  Let me know if you have tried Tiyas!

Biba Guam!






My Guam Journals, Part 5.1

Day 5
We can’t believe this is our last full day on Guam. Dear daughter says she wishes we could stay another week. My friends at home are asking me to move to Guam, so that they can come visit us. I admit I fantasize a little, though I wonder what jobs might be available for us, and how our lifestyle might change. Where would we live? Would I have to get typhoon shutters? Would we rent out our house in California?
Instead of journal time this morning, we change into our suits and head out to the pool. It’s 7 am and the sun has been up for some time. We start in the pool, and for a brief second, this California girl thinks “This isn’t heated!” Then Duh! We are on Guam. We leave the pool and walk twenty feet to the beach. Now this is what I’m talking about! The calm, clear beach water is warmer than the pool. We wade out a bit, and see that none of the activities are open yet, they are just setting out the pedal boats, etc. We go back to the pools and the kids frolic as I check online. At a reasonable time, I text my dear parents to see if they are awake. Mom’s again having leftovers from the prior night’s party for her breakfast, but Dad will join us. He comes to the pool and suggests the hotel’s buffet breakfast. Sounds good! We towel off, pull on cover ups/ tee shirts and head inside. The buffet has a ton of Japanese food, as well as a sandwich bar, omelet stand, and traditional breakfast fare. The tator tots are labeled hash browns. This strikes me as funny.
We pile in the minivan and my mother takes the Auntie Bennett Way to the site. This includes wrong turns and turnarounds. At one point we find ourselves not quite finishing a u-turn at the McDonald’s exit. Naturally, we enter said exit and make our way to the drive thru. But my mother has passed the order stop, and the minivan’s side windows don’t roll down more than 4 inches, so my husband opens the sliding door to speak into the microphone. This is how we do it. On Guam.
Soon we are heading for Two Lovers Point. My husband doesn’t remember this from last time, but I do. It is a wonderful lookout point, and the site of legend. The tale is that the Chamorro Chief’s eldest daughter had been ordered to wed a Spanish soldier. But she had chosen a Chamorro suitor. They did not have the family’s blessing, so they could never marry. They tied their long shining black hair together into one big knot, and the jumped off this cliff to their deaths. They are now together forever, and the waves whisper their undying love.
After the entrance fee and legend signs, we climb the structure. This is a two story deck, and the first level actually jets out over the ocean. My engineer husband observes that the structure might not be sound. But that’s really why it works so well. There is only room for one or two people at the tip of the point, and when I look down, I feel a strange sensation as I sense how deep that drop really is. It’s a beautiful day and clear blue water meets blue sky in all directions. We take photos in every direction, of each other, we help take photos for other tourists and they, in turn, take ours. The staff encourages us to look this way and that, for signs of the lovers. In one direction the beach resembles the profile of the male lover, in the other direction it is said her profile is in the rocks. Even though it is hot and humid, the wind whips about, refreshingly. Dear husband says this is the best lookout point IN THE WORLD and I beam.
As we leave, I purchase postcards from the gift shop, and find my mother has made friends with the street vendors. The coconut slushie guy speaks three languages, and is enticing us with samples. The party music is blaring and another tourist bus pulls up. We cannot refuse. The coconut and mango slushies are the perfect cool & sweet treat.

Puntan Dos AmantesTwo Lovers Point  panoramicFamily