From the shOres of SaipaN to the hot desert saNd (Arizona) Hafa Adai! I've come to realize that there is no place that could quite emulate the beauty of our island home SaipaN. Being away from home for years has truly made me appreciate the simple pleasures that our beautiful island has to offer. The warm island hospitality of the Chamorro & Carolinian people, the culture and heritage that makes our identity, the delicious local cuisine that fills our belly, and the breath taking island scenery that holds a story of its own are just some of our islands simple treasures that we are blessed with.
I love SAIPAN because your neighbors are your family, strangers are your friends, and gatherings are hosted 365 days a year regardless of the weather forecast which may consist of either sunshine or rain! Growing up in such a family and culturally oriented environment has played a role in keeping me humble as I strive to build a life of my own oceans away from home. Hence, prior to the infancy of my journey in regards to being away from home I must admit that this CHAMORRITA grew quite homesick. As eerie and silly as it may sound I often found myself pretending that I was listening to Chamorro Hour here in the mainland as I played some of my dad (Bokonggo) and brother's (Leif/Uniku') albums as well as music from other talented local musicians from back home as I sat back and reminisced on the island life.
Thus, this ritual did nothing more but ignite how I would yearn to be surrounded by the company of my familia and those I loved and left behind. Although I no longer reside on SaipaN in time I've learned to improvise with some of the amenities that the desert has to offer such as the lake in place of a beach, cactus for coconut trees, or trading in my zories for w*nTer boots. It is imperative that we preserve our islands natural beauty & tradition and not have it replicated by an outside source that does not meet the needs of our people. I know I'll return back home one day and when I do I can't wait to sink my feet into the water and witness a CNMI sunset that surrounds our sandy shores as I say to myself "it feels good to be home". Nevertheless, one thing is for sure and that is " I will never forget who I am and where I'm from" because my heart will always belong to beautiful SAIPAN...memOrias~sheiKa
(p.s) where else in the world will you find the cultural concept of E.B.G? (eat,baLutan,aNd Go) kiddiNg
I arrived in Saipan back in 2001 and how it seemed just like yesterday! Before coming here I researched on the web what to expect but being here is really much different than just looking at it on a computer screen. It is a fact that Saipan is as big as one fourth of Metro Manila where I grew up, but Manila compares little to what Saipan has to offer. First of all 5 golf courses! Nothing is more heaven sent that having 5 courses in such a small land mass!
I never thought that I would meet my wife here, being that both of us are from the Philippines, of all the places in the world, in Saipan would our fates cross. My son was born here and though he is Filipino by race, his only word would be SAIPAN as his home. Going to the Philippines for him is just "vacationing" at my mom's or my wife's family. I understand that most of us come from all walks of life and most of us are not even locals, but I for one consider myself now as "Saipanese" (pardon the jargon). I know that there is no such word but I feel that for all of us to be at home here in Saipan, we should all consider the fact that all of us here are to stay and though some may oppose it we have become part of what we now call "our home" too. We are no different than all the other places in the continental United States where it has become a melting pot of people, culture, religion and ideas. I feel that it is the need to improve the quality of life for the individual and that of his community that pushes a person to be part of a place he can be proud to be called a member of.
More power to all of you and let us all strive to keep Saipan beautiful for all the generations to come!
Julius Caesar Cino
Trade Marketing Manager
Micronesian Brokers, Inc.
I came across your Web site accidently today and it brought back many memories for me. I was stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard Loran Station on Saipan in 1947. I was there for a whole year. We were located at the southern end of the island, right on the beach, near the channel across from Tinian. Across from the then 27th Division U.S. Army cemetary.
It was a beautiful island, with a wonderful climate. There was a young fellow, a native Chamorro, who unofficially worked at the station Juaqien Cabrerra I believe was his name, might still be there, if so give him my regards, he was a hard working young fellow. No civilians were permitted on the island at that time, only Navy Civil Service employees. I remember it well, Marpi Point, Mount Topichou, Sasupi (forgive the spelling of the sites in this letter) letter Garapan was still in ruins from the war and Chalan Kanoa was our closest village, no one was permitted into the village, it was out of bounds to all military personnel, however there were some small shops along the Beach Road, one was a barber shop where I used to get my hair cut. I hold my Bank of Guam, Agana, Saipan Branch bank book in my hand as I write this missive, account # 1881. I closed it on February 25th, 1949.
Closing with many fond memories of Saipan, and definitely a fan of the Marianas, I remain:
Respectfully, Peter L. Mundy