From the PDN to the Pulitzer
By Therese Padua Howe Pacific Daily News
Guam’s first and only Pulitzer Prize winner, Manny Crisostomo, is returning after two decades to grace the pages of the Pacific Daily News.
He will be turning his lens to capture CHamorus around the world to showcase in a new weekly feature, “Manaotao Sanlagu: CHamorus from the Marianas.”
For you young’uns who may not know of him, Crisostomo is a photojournalist who has won some of journalism’s most prestigious awards. Oh, and the other titles he’s held over the years: adjunct journalism instructor, book author, magazine publisher, art gallery owner.
But let’s start at the beginning. Crisostomo, who grew up in Sinajana, was 17 years old when he started his career in photojournalism at the Pacific Daily News while he was a student at the University of Guam.
He eventually left island to earn a bachelor’s from the one of the most celebrated and oldest journalism schools in the country, University of Missouri-Columbia.
In 1989, he won the most coveted prize in journalism, the Pulitzer, while working as a photographer for Detroit Free Press. He was recognized for his work in a special section, “A Class Act, The Life and Times of Southwestern High School,” which documented the challenges faced by teenagers in a racially diverse community that was contending with drugs, violence and economic hardship.
Islanders, though, best know Crisostomo’s photography work focusing on the lives and culture of CHamorus as well as island landscapes, as captured in his books “Legacy of Guam: I Kustumbren Chamoru,” and “Guam From the Heavens.”
In 1995, Crisostomo added a new title to his resume — publisher — after launching Latte Magazine, a monthly publication highlighting life on Guam and in Micronesia.
Following his move to Northern California in 2001, Crisostomo embraced new technologies and techniques in photography and videography.
His successful foray into multimedia resulted in a slew of awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for the Disadvantaged in international photography for “The Leftover People,” which chronicled the last wave of Hmong refugees making their way from Thailand to Sacramento; the McClatchy President’s Award for a four-part series, “The Weight,” on rising childhood obesity at the first-ever weight loss boarding school for teens in California; and an EPpy Award from Editor & Publisher for the best media-affiliated websites for “The Weight.”
In 2016, he returned home to attend and document the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts when it was held on Guam. The deep renewal of a reconnection to home and the islands was transmuted in his book published a year later, “Journeys To The Heart.”
Now living in the Bay Area with his family, Crisostomo is also working on two new book projects: “Echoes of the Dance” and “My Micronesia.”
If you want the full set of his works, you’ll have to include “Mainstreet: Small Town Michigan, published in 1986; “Moving Pictures: A Look at Detroit from High Atop the People Mover,” published in 1987; “Art + Journalism: 40 Years of Images,” published in 2016.
See more of Manny's work at: