Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tinian company to launch locally made perfumes

BREAKWATER, the name of a locally made perfume, will soon make its way to the store shelves here and abroad as a local company gears up for the launching of its new line of products early in May.
Mary Susan Cruz, owner of Susan’s Creations on Tinian, said the new line of perfumes is ready for launching.
“We are only waiting to finalize the names, labeling and packaging but the products are ready,” Cruz told the Variety yesterday.
She said  the local perfumes they will be launching are manufactured using local products.
“The perfumes will initially be in 10 different ‘flavors’ and they are not only competitive with the leading brands but also affordable to the local market,” Cruz said.
Launching the new perfume lines, she added, will hopefully add more exposure to Tinian and the CNMI islands.
“We will be selling the perfumes to our international markets, to tourists and to online customers along with all our other products,” Cruz said.
“These perfumes will carry something of the CNMI islands in each bottle — from the name, the flavor and the packaging,” Cruz said.
With this new product line, they hope to tell the world where Tinian and the CNMI is.
“Tinian and the CNMI are only known for their roles in World War II.  We want to give the world something else to think about our beautiful islands,” Cruz said.
The new perfume line will be launched by the last week of April, and will be on the store shelves by the time Tinian celebrates its town fiesta during the first week of May.
(first published HERE)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tinian Hot Pepper Festival more colorful despite economic crisis

TINIAN — Tinian’s Hot Pepper Festival turned out to be more colorful and livelier this year despite the economic crisis and the government’s austerity measures.
Host LJ Castro, front right, leads Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, center, and other residents during a square dance at the Hot Pepper Festival on Saturday night. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol Marianas Visitors Authority representative Vida Borja from Tinian told the Variety that compared to the past years, more people showed up for the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
“We have more tourists this weekend, and more community involvement which is really our main target,” Borja said.
JC Café restaurant manager Lot G. Bunao said  business was good for the establishments that put up booths for the two-day event.
“The first day was good but I was a little worried that there will be fewer people on the second day. I was wrong because more people turned up on Sunday, especially at night,” Bunao said.
Businesswoman Susan Cruz said the austerity measures did not hinder residents and guests from enjoying all the contests and activities.
Children and adults had a great time at the different games and contests at the festival which was hosted by LJ Castro.
A cooking show highlighted Saturday’s events as participants prepared different dishes using Donni Sali, Tinian’s world famous hot pepper.
Even the slight drizzle on Saturday night did not deter the people who kept on dancing to the live beat of the band and musicians from Guam. (published HERE)

Hearts in One: A night of singing and dancing

SPECTATORS of the Hearts in One Musical Variety Show at the multi-purpose center in Susupe on Friday went home happy that they not only enjoyed the show but they also supported the 2011 World Youth Delegates from Saipan who will be going to Spain this year.
The BodyMovers perform during the Hearts in One Musical Variety Show at the multi-purpose center on Friday night. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolOrganized by  Allen’s School of Dance and Performing Arts, the show featured a night of entertainment presented by some of the island’s talented singers and dancers.
The audience was treated to a variety of songs and dances performed by the students of Allen’s School of Dance and Performing Arts, Uncle Ben’s Music and Dance Studio, Saipan Music and Dance Studio, BodyMovers, Kid’z Legacy, Project Impact, local singers Rein Bacud and Ricky Custodio and the 2011 World Youth Delegates choir members.
It was a night of music: from contemporary to hiphop remix, folk, Latin, jazz and more.
The BodyMovers led by Allen Cuyugan sang and danced.
Show producer and director Cuyugan said it was their first time to put up a non-stop musical variety show and he was happy with the turnout.
“We would like to thank the people who supported us in the event, and we hope to do more shows in the future to entertain the people,” Cuyugan said.
Lucky ticket holders went home with gift certificates, free cellphone cards, gift packs, and a $100 cash prize courtesy of the show’s sponsors iConnect, Shenanigans Restaurant, Jacem, KFC, IT&E, Koi’s Restaurant & Bar, China House Restaurant and Marissa Nakajima.

Instructors and choreographers from the different dance studios who were part of the show are willing to teach individuals who want to become part of future shows, Cuyugan said.
Allen’s School of Dance and Performing Arts is located at the back of DFS Galleria in Garapan. For more information, call 233-LLEN (5536) or 989-1192. (published HERE)

Surviving shots

I WAS in a chair beside a stretcher where my buddy was writhing in pain in the CHC emergency room at 3 a.m. three days ago when a couple of nurses came in.  My buddy was suffering from gastro acidity and the “cocktail” the nurses gave him earlier did not lessen his pain.
“We’re going to give him fluids now,” one of the nurses addressed me, and I visibly paled. He started to roll up the left sleeve of my buddy’s jacket and got everything ready for the intravenous shot. I cringed and started to shake inwardly as I fought the weakness that started to crawl from my knees and to the rest of my body.
I always have this fear of needles, even if I’m just watching someone getting a shot. I gripped my buddy’s right elbow not to comfort him but to control my shaking as the needle went through his left hand and the nurses finally had the dextrose and another bag of liquid for gastro acidity in place. Weak-kneed, I watched the liquid trickling slowly from the bags and into my buddy’s arm and was able to breathe normally again only when his breathing finally became even and he started to snore softly.

But the worst was yet to come. A little boy was admitted in who would not not stop crying when nurses and hospital staff pinned him to the bed to give him a shot. I peered through the curtains but one of the nurses waved me away. Seeing my buddy having IV injections and hearing the boy wailing was an ordeal I had to endure for the next couple of hours.
“You were so pale I thought we had to administer the IV on you instead,” one of the nurses told me when we checked out that morning. They did not know that I nearly fainted from fighting my fear of needles.
I know I’m not alone. Thousands of other people all over the world would wish to disappear each time a doctor asks them to roll up their sleeves to get a shot. Thousands are suffering from fear of needles so that they would rather suffer and endure the pain and not see a doctor until they have to.
“We have patients who would rather suffer toothache instead of seeing the dentist because they are afraid of injections,” Dental Care resident dentist Fred Gogan said.
According to Dr. Ken Pierson of the Saipan Seventh Day Adventist Dental Clinic, “Sometimes, patients who have fear of needles try to endure the pain and wait until it’s too late for us to save their teeth.”
Both dentists said the fear of needles is something that can be conquered.
Tips to survive shots
Here are some tips from the www.kids.org website and other sources on how to survive shots or conquer your fear of needles.
•    Distract yourself while you're waiting for your shot. You can listen to music, answer puzzles, read a book or bring a movie player so you will be distracted from thinking about the shot.
•    Take slow, deep breaths all the way down into your belly to help you relax. Breathing exercises can help you relax.
•    Talking to a friend for support can also help you distract your attention. Talk about pleasant topics such as coming activities and plans.
•    Focus your full attention on something in the room. It can be a poster, a picture or a sign on the wall, or anything. Concentrate on the details. For example you are looking at a picture, study the colors, the setting or whatever it takes to take your mind off from the shot.
•    While taking a needle shot, don’t’ look at it. Turn your face toward the opposite direction or to a wall or anything away from your arm.
•    Relax. If you are tense, it will only make you feel more hurt. Don’t move your arms or make any sudden movements that will only make the experience more traumatic for you.
•    Don’t think of the needle before or after your shot because it will only add up to the anxiety and fear you have of the needle.
•    Do not hesitate to tell your doctor or nurse that you are afraid of needles. They deal with people like you every day and can help you relax.
•    Condition your mind that the jab of a needle is just one tiny quick bite.
•    Remember that the shot can help you get well or for your own good.
•    If you feel faint or lightheaded after a shot, rest for a few minutes.
Getting shots is an experience that can be tough not only for parents and kids, but for a lot of adults too. It may help to know that your fear is not unique and you are not alone.
The tips to survive shots are easier said than done and it’s more tempting to skip the shots but the good news is you can challenge yourself to face the fear. (This article was first published HERE)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NMI’s first ‘Bully Show’ draws hundreds of spectators

HUNDREDS of excited spectators flocked to watch the first  PitBull Bully Show at the Garapan Central Park on Saturday afternoon.
Saipan’s Edong Elenzano of El Drako Kennels pats one of his pitbulls before the Bully Show at the Garapan Central Park on Saturday. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol   The show brought together for the first the best pitbulls from the CNMI and Guam, presented by the Marianas PitBull Alliance and Alpha Dogg Productions of Guam.
Gracing the event to judge the show were Randy Haina from Hawaii American Bully Kennel Club and special guests from Guam: David Crisostomo of Irondogs Pitbull Kennels and Cris Castro of Bullies of Barrigada Heights.
Children and adults alike enjoyed catching a glimpse of the different pitbulls prior to the Bully Show.
The spectators also enjoyed the display of big bikes and big cars outside the Round House where the show was held.
Sponsors for the event are Budweiser, IT&E, Aquarius Beach Hotel, Megavision El Drako Tattoo, Alamo/National Car Rental, J’s Restaurant, Paradise Island Animal Hospital, Power 99, Shell and Saipan Apparel.

The winners for the different categories in Saturday’s first Bully Show who went home with various prizes were:
Standard Pre-Novice Puppy class (3-6 months female)
1st place - El Drako Kennels Zilla’Ani
Standard Pre-Novice Puppy (Class 3-6 months male)
1st place - El Drako Kennel’s Brockzilla (owned by Norman Del Rosario)
Standard Novice Puppy (6-9 months)
1st place - Marianas Pacificu Kennels Amu-Pacqiao
Standard Class (9-12 months)
1st place - Kulan Zamu Kennelz Buddy-Zamo
2nd place - Figu Kennels Chaife-Matatnga                                           
3rd place - Judge (owned by Francis Mendiola)
Standard Class (Junior 1-2 years old)
1st place - El Drako Kennels True Bull “Chubbs”
Standard Adult (2-3 years old)
1st place - El Drako Kennels G-Force aka Junior
2nd place - FPK’s Magas (owner- Ed Guinto)
Standard Senior Class (3 & up years old)
1st place - El Drako kennels Makoa
2nd place - Kulan Zamu Kennelz Bubba Junior
Best Overall Male and Best of Show: Kulan Zamu Kennelz Purple Ribbon Buddy Zamo (owned by Vinnie Sablan).
For more information about taking care of pitbulls or to join the MPBA, call Norman del Rosario at 287-2875. (published HERE)
For more photos, please check out my facebook page HERE

Saipan’s Torres wins $1,400 in Pika Festival poker tournament

Saipan’s Jack Torres went home $1,400 richer after he won the Pika Festival Texas Hold ’Em Poker Tournament hosted by the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino on Saturday evening.
Torres bested 45 other players in the game that started at 10 p.m. and finished at past 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Coming in second and bagging the $450 prize was Motetsu Gaja, followed by third place winner of $300 Ernesto Rivera, both from Tinian.
Fourth place winner Sim Tae Seob and fifth placer Sim Tae Seob won $100 and $50.
Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino marketing manager Chell Funtanar said the turnout was good despite the fact that they did not reach their targeted number of players.
She said some of the players who had already registered for the poker tournament backed out because the tournament started out so late and they were already playing at the slot machines in the casino.
“Some of them were already winning at the machines and did not want to leave their games anymore,” Funtanar said.
They plan to hold more Texas Hold ’ Em poker tournaments within the year to entice more people from Saipan and Rota as well as tourists to come to Tinian.
Tinian Dynasty scheduled the Texas Hold ’Em Poker tournament on Saturday in time for the two-day Pika Festival or hot pepper festival at Tachogna Beach.
“We made the timing so that our players can also have the chance to experience the island’s famous hot pepper festival,” she said.
A Baccarrat Challenge is slated for March 12-13. Over the weekend, the casino also re-launched its Paradise Slot Club, the island’s premier player’s club. Frequent casino players can sign up to earn benefits such as free meals, free hotel accommodation, airline passes, invitations to parties and special events, free entries to tournaments, gift certificates at Monster Pizza or Dynasty gift shops, and more.
Membership is free. Benefits add up each time  points are earned playing slots, video, poker or Sega horse race. 
For more information, contact Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino at 328-2233, fax number 328-1133, email tinian.dynasty@pticom.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.tinian-dynasty.com.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cultural dance

Members of the Taotao Taga Dance Academy entertain hotel staffers and guests with their performances at a  recent gathering at the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.

Tinian talents shine in first Showtime Challenge

THEIR talents varied from singing, dancing, sketching, drawing and other skills. They all did their best as they vied for the top prizes in the first ever JC Café’s Showtime Magpasikat (Be Famous) Challenge on Tinian last week.
Contributed photoBefore the night was over, three contestants got the nod of the judges and grabbed the top three places.
Marilyn Papio went home $150 richer for winning the first place with her rendition of “The Power of Love.” Erwin Carlaje’s rendition of “Paano ang Puso Ko” (What About My Heart) won him $100 for  second place, while Jaylo’s on-the-spot graphic sketch of a lady model won him $75 for third place.
The event, which was JC Café’s pre-Valentine presentation, was held on Feb.11, 2011 at JC Café-Tinian. It turned out to be an evening of fun and entertainment   for everybody, even those who claimed having no special talents. JC Café’s staffers opened the show with a dance performance.
The judges for the contest who were not spared from showing their individual talents on stage were Elvira Morgan of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, Julian Hofschneider of Tinian High School and Joey Lenteja of Tinian Health Center.
Lucky individuals who joined the audience talent showdown and whose performances rocked the house with loud laughter also went home with various prizes such as stuffed toys, gift certificates, grocery items, and personal accessories.
An intermission of non-stop music — trance, hiphop, techno, chacha-reggae, Palauan R&B, Electric Slide, New Wave and Pinoy beat — set everyone in a party mood.
Julio and Estenza Mojica, owner of 3K’s Market, were chosen as this year’s 2011 Couple of the Year, a traditional award given by JC Café each year. Couples also received fresh roses during the night.
As its newest feature, a search for “Face of the Night” was held and Aida Juma-oas of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino emerged as the winner.
Cellphone cards were also given out to the guests who texted their comments about the food and services at JC Café.
With the success of the first Showtime Challenge, JC Café manager Lot G. Bunao said they will be holding monthly contests set for March 12, April 9, May 7, June 4 and the grand finals on July 9.
Monthly prizes will be $100, $75, $5 for the first, second and third placers.  Grand Finals prizes would be $250, $100 and $50 for the top three places.
Sponsors for the event were Pacific Amusement, Pacific Quick Print, Triple J Saipan, Truong’s Restaurant, H-Mart, Dolphin’s Wholesale, Taro Sue, Island Florals & Gifts, Gizelle Salon, Crystal Clear-Tinian, Huang Shun Corporation, Lucky Qiang, Johnson’s Airconditioning, M/M Bill Cing, Sallyfin Catangay, Vannesa Talavera and Leny Marcelo.
Event hosts were Barnard Maraon and Isabel Barrios.
Published HERE

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Profile: DeLinda D. Wills:The other side of surgery

SHE was in her early twenties, a successful chemist and laboratory technician for Mobile Cicero Lube Plant in Illinois.
Dr. DeLinda D. WillsOne morning, Dr. DeLinda D. Wills, a U.S. board certified general surgeon, woke up dizzy with a blurry vision and with a loud buzzing in her ears.
Alarmed, Wills consulted a doctor who told her it was infection. She stayed in bed for three days thinking that she was going to die. On the fourth day, she got up, got a book on anatomy and physiology and read it from cover to cover.
That book changed her life forever. Wills decided to go into medical school right then and there. She handed her resignation to her employer and bid goodbye to a well-paying job she had for six years. Her employer refused to accept her resignation and gave her three months to “think it over,” assuring her the job will be there when she returned. Wills knew there was no going back.
Medical school was an upward battle for Wills, who was then already in her late 20’s. She was no longer on scholarship like she had in college, and suddenly she was scrimping and going into debts to survive. But she loved every minute of it.
Wills finished medical school and completed her general surgery residency at the Louisiana State University of Shreveport in 2007. She answered a call to serve as a doctor at the LBJ Tropical medical Center in American Samoa.
She came to Saipan and worked as a general surgeon at the Commonwealth Health Center for two months in 2008, went home and back for another two months in 2009. She came back to work for CHC for the third time in Feb. 2010 and finally opened Aulelei Medical to fulfill one of her dreams.
Dream job
In April last year, Wills opened the Aulelei Medical clinic on the third floor of the Marianas Business Plaza, and life and her medical career took on another new meaning.
Although she still works as a surgeon at CHC on weekends, Aulelei Medical is her haven, where she takes people under her wing and makes them feel beautiful.
She said Aulelei Medical is her other side of her career.
“I’ve always been vain, and I wanted to take off the haggard looks from people and make them look fresh and young all the time,” Wills said.
“Helping people on the aesthetic side is like planting something and seeing it grow and blossom and that brings unequalled satisfaction,” she added.
Wills operates a one-man clinic, doing everything by herself to cut on operating costs.
Since last year, people have been coming to her for skin consultations and customized treatments for all kinds of skin problems, and she is more than happy to help.
“I want to get the impression out of the people’s minds that going for a facial or skin treatment and rejuvenation is expensive. Money is only good as long as what you do with it, and if you want to do something, go after it because it is the only to have it. If you save money now and not pay attention to your body now, it may be too late when you finally decide and you will end up spending more,” she said.
Wills spends her weekdays treating skin problems of men and women — acne, oily or dry skin, hyperpigmentation, melasma,  rosacea and does Botox cosmetic and Juvederm consultation, Botox cosmetic, and Juvederm dermal fillers.
Aulelei Medical Clinic is located at Suite 315 of the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe. Visit www.auleleimedical.com, e-mail drwills@auleleimedical.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 235-7314 for appointments.
(published HERE)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watabe Wedding opens newest location at the Hyatt

WATABE Wedding, one of the wedding coordinators and boutiques that have been operating on island for over 15 years, opened the doors of its newest location in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Saipan on Monday evening.
From left, Watabe Wedding general manager Kentaro Egawa with wedding coordinator Fusako Ngirarois, branch manager Ayumi Hiramine, and make-up artist Yuri Iida during their grand opening in the Hyatt lobby on Monday night. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolWatabe Wedding general manager Kentaro Egawa said they have been doing business here since 1994, but the Hyatt is their third location.
“We grabbed the chance to move to the Hyatt because we want to be accessible to where the tourists  are,” Egawa said.
Watabe Wedding first opened shop at the Grand Saipan Hotel then moved to the fourth floor of the Bank of Guam Building where they stayed for the past 10 years.
Egawa said they cater mostly to tourist weddings at an average of about 300 a year.
“The wedding business on island is not that good, but still we manage to get by,” he said.
Watabe Wedding plans for resort weddings and parties, including the details of wedding gowns, dress and tuxedos for men, wedding photos and even the honeymoon.
Egawa said  Saipan is a very ideal place for weddings and honeymoons.
“It has a beautiful weather and spectacular views. We also have clients who want to celebrate their anniversaries here,” Egawa said.
Wedding gowns shipped  from Vietnam in various designs are available at Watabe Wedding. The gowns can be rented at a cost of $700 and up, or bought and altered to fit anyone.
“We have over 180 designs to choose from, and if you want to customize your own gown design, we can do it for you,” Egawa said.
Included with the gowns for rent are shoes, veil, gloves and free makeup. Accessories are not included but Watabe Wedding has a wide selection of wedding accessories on display.
Watabe Wedding has a comfortable make-up room where a makeup specialist will take care of the bride and groom before the wedding.
Watabe Wedding is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information,  visit Watabe Wedding in the Hyatt lobby, call 235-9332 or go to www.watabe-wedding.co.jp. (published HERE)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NMI’s first health magazine launched

THE commonwealth’s first monthly health magazine was launched at the 360 Revolving Restaurant in Susupe on Friday evening to help spread awareness on relevant health issues and eventually lower the high cost of healthcare.
CNMI Health Digest publisher Dr. Johnny Fong, standing left, with, from left, Dr. Christine Brown, Kaiser Home Health Agency Advisory Committee member; Kaiser medical director Dr. Gregory Kotheimer; Kaiser administrator Normita Cabalbag; and Kaiser clinical instructor Jenifer Bahatan. Copies of the first issue of CNMI Health Digest, a 40-page glossy magazine, was distributed during its launching and will soon be making its way to  public establishments for people to take home and read.
Publisher Dr. Johnny Fong said  the magazine is information-packed.
“This is something they will keep because they can use the health information and tips that we are putting out,” Fong said.
Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez, right, shares a light moment with Dr. Johnny Fong and Dr. Michael Koning at the 360 Revolving Restaurant on Friday.     Grace D. Lim is Fong’s co-publisher, while Fong’s daughter, Jacqueline Fong, a journalist, serves as the editor in chief.
She hopes the magazine can contribute to the improvement of local healthcare.
Dr. Fong told the Variety that coming up with the concept of publishing a health magazine took him only one month.
“This is something that the community needs and we hope to help improve the healthcare system,” he said.
Dr. Johnny Fong holds a copy of the newly launched CNMI Health Digest magazine with his daughter, Jacqueline Fong, who serves as its editor. Photos by Raquel C. BagnolThe CNMI Health Digest will soon be downloadable in PDF format, he said.
In their joint message, Gov. Benigno Fitial and Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos said  the magazine can help a lot in providing the people with a greater understanding of the different illnesses and proper care and treatments that should be availed of here.
Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez saidthe CNMI Health Digest will be their “partner in the journey to highlight they key health issues and educating…residents about health living and programs available here to achieve a healthy life.”
Published monthly by the University of Loyola at CNMI and with an editorial panel of medical practitioners, the magazine will cover regular issues on adult medicine, child health, maternal, mental health and preventive medicine.
The first issue of the CNMI Health Digest was printed in the Philippines with 1,500 copies, but the succeeding issues will be printed here, Dr. Fong said.
He said they are planning  2,500 copies for the second issue, and more in the future.
At each issue of the CNMI Health Digest, a test questionnaire is printed to evaluate what the reader has understood about the different issues published in the magazine. Just answer the questions to win prizes. Winners of $25 each will be picked out from four different categories — grade school, high school, college and adults for each issue.
On Jan. 1, 2012, more prizes are at stake including the grand prize of one year scholarship to the University of Loyola at CNMI and $1,000 cash, second prize of one year scholarship to SAEF School or Kids Cove and $500 cash, and third prize of one year scholarship to SAEF or Kids Cove and $250 cash.
For more information, call 234-8008, fax r 234-8028 or email cnmihealthdigest@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . (first published here)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine’s play about the realities of love, marriage and relationships

“I LOVE you” — everyone’s favorite three little words. “You’re perfect” — first mistake. “Now change” — disaster.
The Friends of the Arts cast of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” on stage at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club on Saturday night. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolThese three phrases are the title of a rollicking musical comedy staged on Friday and Saturday at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club.
According to  director Susan Fishman-Tudor, “Romantic love didn’t always make the world go round and, if it did, judging by the statistics we read, the world may stop turning at any moment.”
Fishman-Tudor said  when the Friends of the Arts chose “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” for their Valentine’s Day musical presentation, it seemed like a good idea.
“The show is just plain fun, and the commitment by all of the cast and crew was phenomenal,” she said.
The play drew non-stop laughter from the audience as the actors and actresses portrayed different aspects of love, relationships and marriage and life in songs and dialogues.
“Everything was very realistic, and I’m sure many of us were able to relate to the situations. The actors/actresses were fantastic — one great show,” Joe Race, a local author, told the Variety.
“This is one play that people should come out to watch. The play moved very fast and people came out of the venue still laughing,” he added.
Police Officer Jason Tarkong said he was amazed by the local talent featured by the play.
“It’s wonderful to find such talented men and women who can act and also sing,” Tarkong added.
“I am urging those who are not here tonight to catch the final night because they will be missing a lot,” another member of the audience said.
The cast
The cast who played multiple roles in the hilarious vignettes are Paul Dujua, who also provided the musical direction to this and many other FOA plays; Leo F. Goode Jr. who played Scrooge in FOA’s 2007 Christmas production, sang in the 2009 Valentine’s show, and was assistant director in  “My Fair Lady”; Jerry Loyola, a former University of the Philippines “singing ambassador”; and Ruth de Lemos Loyola, a former student actress with FOA.
The other cast members are Wilden Mangahis, a 12th grader at Marianas High School who has been in several FOA, the Thespians and MHS productions; Keneisha Parks, a talented singer and performer and senior at MHS; Kimberly Parks, a sophomore at MHS who hopes to work on Broadway in the future; Roseanne Sablan, an 11th grade student at Saipan Southern High School who is also a member of the Manta Ray Band that performed at the New York Carnegie Hall competition last year; Wincel Mae Bubos, a 9th grade student at Marianas High School; Darren Cajipo, also a 9th grader at MHS; Meredith Callan, a new resident of the CNMI from San Diego who eagerly displayed her talents in her debut  performance with the FOA; and Carlane Castro, a 12th grade student at MHS who has appeared in previous shows, including “The Secret Garden.”
The production staff included assistant director Linda Wingenbach, line producer Andrew Golden, music director/poster/artwork coordinator Paul Dujua, set director Harold Easton, art director Wesley Foster, and advertising/program Frank Gibson.
The Friends of the Arts will soon be ready for another presentation slated for the end of April. Auditions will be open soon for “The Three Musketeers.” For a copy of the script, email thespians@hotmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Tonight is the final show at the PIC’s Charley’s Cabaret with a special Valentine’s Dinner from 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $33 for non-FOA adults, $30 for FOA adult members and $28 for students.
For tickets or for more information contact Susan Fishman-Tudor at 287-2225 or Frank Gibson at 287-7476. *published HERE)

Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day

IF you want to celebrate this special day in style or in a budget-friendly way, here are some of the top destinations to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one.
Hyatt Regency Saipan
Share a bottle of Champagne with your loved-one over a five-course dinner at Giovanni’s for $150 a couple for non-members of the Club at the Hyatt ($120 for members) today from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A special menu for the Valentine’s Dinner at the Teppanyaki is available from 6-10 p.m. for $125 per person, or $100 for Club members.
Hyatt’s Miyako Restaurant offers a lavish selection of Japanese buffet for $50 per person ($35 for Club members) inclusive of beer and a glass of wine. The Kili Café & Terrace offers a delightful dinner buffet designed to suit your tastes. Miyako and Kili Café & Terrace Valentine’s Dinner is from 6- to 10 p.m.
All Valentine’s dinner options come with a long-stem rose and a box of chocolates for the ladies. For reservations, call 234-1234 extension 26.
Aqua Resort Club
For a romantic dinner tonight, head out to the Raraina at the Aqua Resort Club and indulge in a premier hearts package including 40 minutes of aroma therapy massage for two, fresh red rose and chocolates, bottle of red or sparkling wine, a special dinner, and a souvenir photo with frame, for $199 per couple.
The Couple’s Heart package consists of a fresh red rose and box of chocolates, a special set dinner and souvenir photo with frame for $75 per couple. Dinner is from 6  to 9:30 p.m.
For reservations, call 322-1234.
360 Revolving Restaurant
Dining at one of Saipan’s highest points with a superb view of the island and a spectacular sunset is within your reach. The 360 Revolving Restaurant offers a Valentine’s Dinner specials for $35 per person. Choose between certified Angus beef New York strip loin or baked Atlantic salmon fillets in red wine for your main course. Cap your dinner with the famous 360 chocolate mousse with strawberries.
Upgrade your Valentine’s dinner at $55 per person with more choices to make the day extra special. A 20 percent local discount is applicable. For reservations, call 287-4639, 234-3600 or 285-0360, or e-mail reservations@360saipan.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Café at the Park
The Café at the Park offers three sumptuous set menus for its Valentine’s Dinner main courses from 6 to 10 p.m.
Choose from a secret hanger steak and salmon fillet, or go for Set B which is fire grilled spicy marinated lamb chops and tiger prawns or Set C which is fire grilled prime ribs marinated in red wine sauce and mahi-mahi fillet.
All sets come with appetizers, soup, salad, dessert and a glass of red or white wine and bottomless tea, at $29.95 per person.  For reservations, call 233-1010/12.
Shenanigans Restaurant offers a 5-course Valentine’s dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. today.
You can the option of baked seafood, roasted rack of lamb or the Surf and Turf or NY steak, with all the trimmings for the main course, and an eat-all-you-can dessert buffet. The special Valentine’s Day dinner is $50 per person. For reservations,  call Marivic at 287-3260, Bel at 285-8324, 233-8324,233-8326 or visit www.shenaniganssaipan.com.
J’s Restaurant
J’s Restaurant’s Gualo Rai and San Jose branches are offering a Valentine’s Special available for lunch or dinner today at $19.95 per person. The specials include New York Steak, lasagna, tossed salad and minestrone soup. J’s Restaurant is open 24 hours. All major credit cards are accepted.
For reservations, call 235-8640 (Gualo Rai) or 234-6420 (San Jose). (published HERE)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The birth of man’s best friend

THE first rays of the sun peeped from the horizon, signaling the start of a new day. The neighborhood was beginning to spring to life and people were getting up, refreshed from a good night’s rest.
Photo by Raquel C. BagnolIt was not the case for Rico, a bartender at one of the bars in Garapan who arrived home from work at 3 a.m. He was looking forward to a hot bath and sweet sleep, but there he was, crouched inside a small kennel, fatigue and anxiousness etched on his face and his clothes splattered with blood.
Beside Rico, equally anxious and half-lying on the cage floor was Maddy, a three-year-old Pitbull who was trying to nurse five newly born puppies and trying to push another puppy out to the world at the same time. Maddy still had more puppies, but she was not having an easy time although it was her second time to give birth to puppies. She had been in labor for hours.
Six months ago, Maddy delivered 15 cute puppies, although most of them didn’t make it alive.
Under ordinary circumstances, Maddy would not have allowed anyone inside her kennel, much more allow anyone to touch her newly born puppies. But it was an extraordinary situation and instinct must have told her that Rico was not a threat to her and her newborn puppies.
I stood groggy from lack of sleep near the kennel, camera poised while waiting for the next puppy to come out. It was my first time to watch a dog in labor and the birth of puppies, and it was a wonder how a small dog could bring out many puppies into the world. From the two other kennels, the other Pitbulls were silent while watching the process of birth.
In a few minutes, Maddy half stood up and gave what seemed like a mighty push. Rico extracted a small black and white bundle wrapped in a slippery sack which Maddy quickly licked clean until we heard the new puppy whimper.
Before the morning was over, Maddy finally delivered the 11th puppy before she settled down for a brief rest.
One of the puppies kept on whimpering and Rico said they might lose her. He was right. Maddy lost one of her puppies before the day ended.
Maddy still had more work to do — weeks of breastfeeding the puppies until they become ready for some real food. Soon, the puppies will be separated and go to different owners who will care for them. Maddy will give birth again and the cycle will continue.
“Assisting dogs in delivering puppies is not a pleasant task, with the foul odor and holding the slimy puppies in your hands, but seeing the miracle of birth and that your pet survived through the ordeal with your help is very satisfying,” Rico said.
If you want to learn more about Pitbulls, attend the island’s first Pitbull dog show  at the Garapan Central Park from 1 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 19. If you want to take care of your own Pitbull, you can call Rico at   234-3387. (published HERE)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome

YOU are busy typing away on your keyboard, trying to beat the daily deadline that has become a part of your everyday life. Suddenly, a sharp, piercing pain shoots from your wrist and up to your arm.

Or maybe, you have been experiencing a numbing, tingling or weak feeling from your wrist and up your arm while typing on your keyboard or doing computer editing work for months.
You may think it is just a passing cramp, and you spend more time playing online games, harvesting your virtual farms or enlarging your islands and cities on Facebook as soon as you get home from a day of typing work and never stop until you fall asleep in front of your computer. Don’t take the feeling for granted because the risk is high that you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Excessive mouse usage is one of the most common factors that contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health website defines carpal tunnel syndrome as a painful progressive condition caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when your median nerve, the nerve which runs from your forearm into the hand is squeezed or pressed. This syndrome is common among people whose work involves repetitive motions such as sewing, driving, assembly line work, painting, writing, the use of tools that vibrate, and even those who play musical instruments.
The carpal tunnel is a very narrow area in your wrist where the nerve enters your hand, and any swelling caused by pressure or squeezing can cause pain, tingling or numbness.
The National Institutes of Health said  this condition mostly occurs in people 30 to 60 years old, with the risk three times more in women, and the dominant hand gets affected first. This means if you are right handed, you can more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in your right wrist and hand first.
A number of medical problems are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. These include bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist, diabetes, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, kidney failure and dialysis, obesity, menopause, premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy, infections, and rheumatoid arthritis.
You may be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome if you are feeling any or all of the following:
• A numb or tingling sensation in your thumb, in two or three fingers or in the palm, in one or both hands.
• Pain in your wrist or hand that extends to the elbow
• Weak grip, weakness or having difficulty in carrying things, such as bags
• Difficulty in forming a fist or grasping small objects
• Having problems with the coordination of your fingers in one or both hands
• Feeling of wanting to shake out your hand and fingers upon waking up 
• Tingling sensation during the day
• In severe cases, you may find it hard to tell between hot and cold by touch
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with medications, injections or by surgery but it takes months before a full healing.
You can also try wearing a splint at night for a few weeks, and during the day if necessary. Hot and cold compress on your wrists is also recommended, and avoid sleeping on your wrists. This is application especially to individuals for whom sleeping with their head cradled in their wrists may be a favorite position.
You can also try exercises and warm up stretches to relax your palm and wrists.
If you are typing or editing in your computer every day, you can use devices such as special keyboards, mouse and keyboard drawers, keyboard trays, typing pads, and other ergonomic aids.
You can also use a wrist rest, a soft cushion which you can buy for a few dollars to reduce the stress on your wrist.
Check if your keyboard is of the right position. Your keyboard should be low enough so your wrists are not bent upward as you type.
Lift your wrists as you type. Some of us may get too lazy and type with the wrists resting on the table.
Take frequent breaks while typing, and stop if you feel any tingling or pain in your wrist or arm.
As much as you can, try to avoid or reduce the repetitive movements of your hands. Check out tools that are designed to reduce wrist injury.
If the pain or tingling feeling lasts for days, see your doctor.
Prevention is better than cure, and don’t wait until everything is too late before you resort to preventive measures. You’ve only got two wrists and hands and you can’t afford to lose them. Everything else can wait.
For more information, check out http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. (published HERE)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A glimpse at the plastic bag pandemic

WAS there ever a day in your life when a plastic bag was not a part of it? Plastic bags are most handy objects you pull out when you need to carry anything, even small items.

How many times do you go to the grocery each week? When you buy even one can of soda, a bottle of mineral water, or even small things such as a pen, you will come out of the store carrying a plastic bag.
Check around your kitchen and your garage and any part of your house. Chances are you will see plastic bags all over. According to an Environmental Protection Agency report, an average family accumulates about 60 plastic bags in four trips to the store. In 2008, the EPA estimated that about 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps were produced, and 90 percent of that volume was discarded. Only from 0.5 percent to 3 percent of all the plastic bags ends up being recycled.
Plastic bags come in all colors, shapes and sizes and you may have taken their existence for granted because they have always been there, providing convenience and protection for your things.
About one million plastic bags are used all over the world every minute of the day, and that comes up to about 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags a year, according to www.Worldcentric.org website. Of that volume, Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags each year. About 10 percent of all the plastic bags produced end up in the ocean.
A staggering figure, if you consider it, and here are some alarming facts about using plastic bags.

Plastic bags are made from oil, which is a non-renewable resource. The millions of gallons of petroleum required to produce plastic bags could have been used for transportation purpose.
Another staggering fact is it takes up to 1,000 years for a single plastic bag to degrade. This means a single plastic bag that you throw today will stay to pollute the world long after you and your future generations are gone. Just think of the extent of damage a thousand or a billion plastic bags can do.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable. When you throw them away, they clog the sewers and waterways, end up in landfills or flow out into the oceans. Plastic bags pose as hazards to wild life, marine mammals and birds that mistake them for food, killing them or making them sick.
In the CNMI where tourism is its main industry, the sight of plastic bags scattered all over the streets and coastal areas will do the islands no good.
Next to cigarette butts, plastic bags are the second most common debris collected in any cleanup operations for the past years. Last year alone, individuals who joined a one-day clean-up picked up over 1,300 plastic bags along Saipan’s coastal areas. Just think how much more plastic bags have been swept to the seas, or scattered all over the land.
What you can do
The community cannot just stand and watch helplessly as today’s generation continues to damage the environment for the future.
The Mariana Islands Nature Alliance in collaboration with the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative and the Division of Environmental Quality is launching a campaign to stop using plastic bags in the CNMI.
Last week, Jon Igitol of MINA said they have already started training cashiers and store personnel in some business establishments about the “No Need Bag” campaign.
“We are encouraging the community not to use plastic bags for small purchases and start carrying a reusable bag,” Igitol said.
You can help by considering a personal ban on the use of plastic bags. You can switch to reusable shopping bags that you can easily roll or fold small enough to fit easily into a pocket.
Only take a bag when you really need it, pack it as full as possible, and start recycling your plastic bags. When you are having a picnic at the beach, collect any trash, especially plastic bags before you leave.
For more information about the “No Bags Campaign”  call MINA at 233-REEF (7333). Published HERE

Ways to reuse plastic bags
1. Use your plastic bags as trash can liners. Now you don’t need to buy expensive trash bags.
2. Use plastic bags as gloves to protect you from touching anything you would not want to touch, like animal waste.
3. Use plastic bags instead of expensive filler when packing.
4. Create art — plastic bag crochet patterns are available online.
5. Use bags for storage. They take up less space and keep your stuff nice and dry.
6. Use them as dental floss. Crease the bag until you have a long thin line. Put it in between your teeth and floss!
7. Cut the bags to make bibs or aprons.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chinese community greets lunar new year with lavish celebration

OVER 300 members of the Chinese Association of Saipan greeted the lunar new year with a fun-filled celebration in the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday evening.
The event opened with a colorful and lively lion dance followed by entertainment numbers that featured students of the Chinese Education Center, the instructors of the Rose Dance School and individual performers such as Lu Bin and Paul Dujua.

In his short message, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial wished everybody good luck and a prosperous Year of the Rabbit.
He urged everybody to take after the rabbit and adapt its ability to leap and sprint toward success in any endeavor.
Chinese Association director Rose Chan said  she wishes more people will learn about Chinese culture.
“We want more students for the Chinese Education Center,” she said.
Chan said she wishes good health and economic prosperity for everybody this year.
“The global economic hardship   that we are going through is not an excuse not to move on. Like the rabbit, we will spring forward and make things happen,” she said.
Highlighting the celebration were games for the children, the distribution of the HongBao or money envelopes, and raffle draws in which winners went home with attractive prizes such as hotel accommodations, meal coupons, water passes, home décor and accessories, gift certificates,  home appliances, cash prizes and the grand prize of a round trip ticket to Shanghai for one individual, all courtesy of the various sponsors and contributors.
The CNMI is home to about 2,000 Chinese citizens. (published hERE)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dancing for luck and good fortune

THE beating of the drums started and the lion dancers fall into position. Despite the noonday heat, a small audience gathered taking photos and videos to capture another brilliant, wickedly energetic Chinese traditional dance to welcome the Lunar New Year.
Photo by Raquel C. BagnolChopsticks were suspended in mid-air as diners at the Gourmet Restaurant in Garapan gaped at the two “lions” with ornately decorated heads and bright eyes trying to squeeze their long bodies into the restaurant, entering every room to bring good luck for the coming year.
The lion dancers prance back outside, performing acrobatic stunts with agile movements before ending the performance by eating the green vegetables hanging outside the restaurant door and spreading the rest of the fresh vegetables at the doorway and inside the restaurant.
Chinese Association of Saipan director Rose Chan said the vegetables represented good health and life.
From early morning until late last night, the lion dancers of the Chinese Association of Saipan visited hotels, restaurants and business establishments all the way from Susupe to Garapan and distributed goodies to the children for health and prosperity in this new Year of the Rabbit.
Two individuals enact the lion dance. One dancer handles the head while the other holds the tail, and together, they move in a specific rhythm blending with the beating of the drums and cymbals.
Each year, the lion dancers always amaze the community with their colorful costumes and lively dance moves as they try to mimic a lion’s movements.
“The lion dance has always been a part of the Chinese culture and heritage to wish for good luck and prosperity,” Chan said.
Yesterday, the world witnessed colorful presentations from lion dancers all over the world as the Chinese community welcomed the New Year, summoning luck and good fortune.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! (published HERE)

FHP Health Center opens new clinic at TSL Plaza

THE FHP Health Center Saipan formally opened the doors of its new location on the second floor of the TSL Plaza in Garapan yesterday morning.
From left, Century Insurance president David Sablan, clinical nurse manager Rose Grino, clinic supervisor Nora Sablan, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez, Father Ryan Jimenez, and Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the new FHP Health Center at the TSL Plaza in Garapan yesterday. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol The new 5,195-square foot clinic has eight examination rooms, a pharmacy section, comfortable treatment rooms and a spacious reception area.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, in his short message during yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the opening of a new health facility with state of the art equipment is a good development for the people of the CNMI.
“This is another indication that the CNMI, despite the economic challenges, continues to have developments not only in terms of tourism but also in health care,” Fitial said.
With the new facilities, Fitial said FHP is now better  equipped to offer higher quality service to patients.
Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez said partnership with the private clinics in providing health care to the residents of the CNMI helps a lot in light of the financial burdens the government health services are going through.
“We look forward to continue working with the private clinics to help provide access to medical and health care services for the people,” Villagomez said.
Doctors and professionals at the FHP Health Center are Dr. Daniel Lamar who has been serving the Saipan community for over 15 years specializing in general family medicine including obstetrics; Dr. Nathan C.Y. Tan, a family practice physician who has practiced in Wisconsin, Hawaii and the CNMI, and whose specialty places emphasis on wellness; and prevention, certified physician’s assistant Lone B. Stephens who has been serving Saipan community for over five years; certified nurse/midwife Roca Q. Sablan who brings with her over 11 years of experience from the Commonwealth Health Center; and other skilled professionals.
Clinic supervisor Nora Sablan said  regular operations at the new FHP clinic will start on Monday, Feb. 7, with specialists rotating between Guam and Saipan to serve the patients.
FHP clinical nurse manager Rose Grino said they look forward to more years of serving the community.
FHP Health Center has been operating on Saipan for the past 22 years and was formerly located at the First Hawaiian Bank Building on Beach Road for the past 15 years.
FHP Clinic/TakeCare is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. Walk-in and appointments are accepted.
For more information, call 235-0994, fax 234-3742, or email www.takecareasia.com. (published Here)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give in to the temptation at Handbags etc.

HER love for bags started with a handbag she received from her parents for her 16th birthday. Since then, Eleanor T. Cabrera, president of Handbags etc. has continued a life-long affair with handbags.
Photos by Ed PropstWanting to share her love for handbags and to provide more options and wider shopping experience for women, Cabrera opened Handbags etc. at the Morgen Building on Beach Road in Oleai on Dec. 4, 2010.
Some women buy a handbag because they need it. Others shop around to complete an outfit, while others buy handbags to suit a mood. Others just want to express their individual style. Whatever reasons you have for buying a handbag, you can find it at Handbags etc.
Stepping into Handbags etc. transports a woman into a warm and friendly handbag lover’s dream world that provides an ambiance designed to melt your defenses against the temptation of falling in love at first sight, whether you are a “bag person” or not.
You can feast your eyes on the limited quantities of handbags of selected designs and colors but whatever your preferences, style, and budget, you will be sure to find your personality among the tastefully designed shelves at Handbags etc.
Personalized styles
Handbags, etc. carries bags that suit the unique and personal styles, preferences and needs of each individual.Eleonor Cabrera holds some of the bags sold at her store.
Check out the store’s displays of eco-friendly bags where fashion meets environmental consciousness. Stop by and see the store’s collection of eco-bamboo, vegan leather, and other earth-friendly bags — each promoting the basics of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.
Essential bags
Almost all women never leave home without a bag. It could be a travel and cosmetic bags diaper bag, wristlets and clutches, shell bags and more to put their essentials in such as ID and cash/credit cards, choice cosmetics, cellular phone, paperwork, or all of the above. Handbags etc., just has the right bag for whatever needs you have.
Are you looking for that perfect handbag to complete your outfit for any occasion? Handbags etc. is the place to find that fashionable, trendy yet affordable design available at the store in limited qualities.
Women who go for practicality in their choice of bags will find a wide selection of attractive yet affordable bags to choose from at Handbags etc.
You can be practical yet stylish at the same time.
Gently used program
Handbags etc. allocates a special section for gently used or pre-owned bags that other customers would find valuable.
Cabrera encourages women who have handbags in excellent condition that have been sitting idle at their homes can sell them to Handbags etc. in exchange for store credits.
Cabrera said handbags on the gently used shelves don’t stay too long at the store. They are always among the most saleable items.
This year, Handbags etc. will launch an improved website that will provide an online connection to supply handbag lovers across the Marianas and beyond.
Leave your inhibitions at the door, browse through the shelves of attractive hand bags for a totally different shopping experience and chances are you will find that bag you have been looking for.
Handbags etc. also carries fashion jewelry, wallets, manicure sets and other bag essentials and accessories such as bag wraps and hooks.
The store has a comfortable ottoman and a flatscreen TV to entertain spouses as their wives shop for bags.
Cabrera said the store caters mostly to women but by next month, they are planning to ship in men’s wallets for a start that women will find as perfect gifts for their partners.
Watch out for discounts and promo prices on hand bags and other items for the Valentine’s Specials.
Handbags, etc. is open from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.
However, Handbags etc. will have special Valentine’s store hours on Sunday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Monday the 14th, Valentine’s Day, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  All major credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or more information, visit www.handbagsetc670.com, join the Facebook page or call 235-4277. (published HERE)

New sushi chef for Hyatt Regency

DINERS at the Hyatt Regency Saipan’s Miyako Restaurant are in for more sumptuous culinary creations with the appointment of a new sushi chef.
Effective Jan. 18, Joseph Deleon Guerrero took in his new role to oversee the culinary operations of Miyako Restaurant.
Deleon Guerrero will also ensure that the quality of the ingredients and dishes served adhere to the Hyatt’s international standards.
Deleon Guerrero started his career with the Hyatt Regency as a human resources intern in 2004 and later transferred to the front office as a guest service officer.
In 2006, Deleon Guerrero worked as an apprentice chef at a Japanese restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he developed his skills as a sushi chef.
He made his decision to follow the path of culinary arts as his lifelong career after only two weeks of working as an apprentice.
Deleon Guerrero grabbed the chance to work as chef de partie at the Hyatt’s Miyako Restaurant in Oct. 2009, a post which gave him the chance to diversify his culinary skills.
He envisions himself as the area director of culinary operations in 20 years.
“Hyatt can train you to advance in the career path you have chosen. With the right blend of employee motivation, effective training and strong determination, Hyatt careers are limitless,” Deleon Guerrero said.
He also thanks his team, mentors and hotel management for their untiring support.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No more sleepless night due to toothache

IT usually starts with a slight throbbing which you try to ignore as you try to fall asleep. But you know too well that you can’t win the battle, and very soon, the throbbing starts to get worse until it becomes an unbearable giant ache.
If you haven’t experienced what it is to toss and turn the whole night as you try to bear the hammering pain that’s drilling and grilling your gums, and fighting the urge to shake your snoring companions so they too can share your pain, then you don’t know what the word “toothache” is all about.
Some people suffer toothache loudly, announcing their pain to everyone and everybody who would care to listen. Others are the exact opposite.
I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been there, I’m still there, and I’ve been suffering several sleepless nights in pain for the past week but I belong to the sufferers who bear the pain as silently as I can.
Like everybody who is suffering from the same situation, we all know that a trip to the dentist is long overdue but for some reason or another, we try to hold it off for as long as we can.
It’s fear of needles and dentists in my case. You have your own reasons for delaying that trip to the dentist, but sooner or later, we all know that we have to make that trip.
Sleepless nights caused by toothaches can be prevented, according to Seventh Day Adventist Dental Clinic director Kenneth D. Pierson in a recent interview.
Pierson said although the number of children getting their teeth fixed has been increasing over the last years, more children suffering from cavities could have been spared from the pain and trouble had their parents been made aware of the importance of taking care of the teeth right from the start.
“Dental problems such as cavities are global. It spares no one, but the problem could be prevented if you take care of the teeth at home when the children are small,” Pierson said.
“Toothache from cavities is an unnecessary problem that could have been solved by prevention and knowledge in proper dental practices,” he added.
Snacking or eating between meals, and giving children soft drinks, tetra pack juices, and candies are the culprits.
“Kids will always choose soda and candies over vegetables but keep this in mind that what may sound like the best-tasting foods are not always the best foods for your teeth, and sometimes you just have to say NO to them,” Pierson said.
“When your children ask for sodas or tetra juices, give them water instead. It’s safer,” he added.
Resident dentist Fred Gogan at the Dental Care Clinic in a separate interview said the people in the CNMI are up to date with the latest fashion in some things, but not in dental care.
Gogan said he has extracted more teeth from people in the CNMI in the seven months he has been here compared to where he used to work in his 26 years of dental practice.
“When you get an aching tooth, everything else will be affected,” he said.
He said only a handful of people on island visit the dentist regularly for maintenance check.
“Most of the clients come in when after sleepless nights of pain. They come to us when they HAVE to, and that is not good,” Gogan said.
What dentists can do is  alleviate the pain that the children and a big number of adults are suffering, and prevent more pain in the future.
But it’s up to the parents and adults to prevent toothache-caused sleepless nights for their children in the future, and for the adults to have their teeth fixed now.
Pierson and Gogan both encourage members of community to visit them for a dental checkup.  I know I should be talking to myself about a visit to a dentist, ASAP. (published HERE)

Full house for ‘Oba: The Last Samurai’

CNMI leaders, businesspersons, local and Japanese media and other members of the community  filled the 200 seats reserved for the premier of the Japanese film “Oba: The Last Samurai” at the Hollywood Theater on Monday evening.
Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan chats with Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores prior to the screening of “Oba: The Last Samurai” at the Hollywood Theater on Monday evening. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolMembers of the audience interviewed by this reporter said they were “awed” and “touched” by the film.
The movie  ran for 80 minutes and was filmed mostly in Rayong, Thailand. It included footage from Saipan as it depicted how Captain Oba, played by Yutaka Takenouchi, and his men fought the U.S. forces before finally surrendering in Dec. 1945.
Some of the viewers told the Variety that even though they have lived on island for years, it was the first time they learned about Oba’s story.
Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said he liked the movie.
“There is so much humanity despite the war, and I felt the respect between the captains of both the U.S. forces and the Japanese soldiers for each other,” he added.
IT&E marketing associate Brad Ruszala said the film can help many people rediscover the past.
“It is a powerfully amazing movie, one that evokes emotional reference to the history of the place,” he added.
U.S. Department of the Interior field representative Jeff Schorr said he thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
“I thought it was presented fairly. It was faithful to  history, from my understanding of it,  without ‘Hollywood-type’ exaggeration.  The Japanese production was excellent, the acting seemed appropriate to the situation,” Schorr said.
Before watching the movie, he said he re-read his copy of Don Jones’ book “Oba: The Last Samurai,” from which the film was based.
“I trust it will give both local, Japanese and American audiences an insight into the history of the Battle of Saipan in 1944-45,” Schorr added.
DFS Saipan Ltd. assistant general manager for operations Ben Babauta said the movie was “very exciting,”
Rotary Club president Glen Perez said the film was “very excellent.”
He added, “It is exciting to note how peace transpired between the U.S. and the Japanese forces after the war. The movie depicted the struggles of Captain Oba and his men who saved the lives of many people and ended up being heroes — something which a lot of us don’t know about.”
U.S. District Court chief deputy clerk William “Bill” Bezzant said he could not help but compare “Oba: The Last Samurai” to the 2002 movie “Windtalkers,” which starred Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater, and was also about the Battle of Saipan.
He said “Windtalkers” was filmed mostly in a desert in California and did not incorporate actual scenes from Saipan.
“ ‘Oba: The Last Samurai’ is very authentic. A viewer who lives here will find it hard to distinguish the interchanging locations between Saipan and Thailand because it is as though the whole movie was filmed here,” Bezzant said.
He said the movie was also very accurate.
Lawyer Teresa Kim-Tenorio said she “assumed it would just be another typical war movie. However, within the first few minutes, I was completely hooked. I loved it. The plot was unique, in that it focused on loyalty and peace, as opposed to hate and bloodshed. I believe it touched me more knowing it happened here.”
Aya Matsumoto of  Pacific Eagle Enterprise  Inc. said the movie portrayed both sides of the war.
“In some movies only one side is portrayed but in ‘Oba,’ you can see how the two opposing forces joined in peace afterward,” Matsumoto said.
Dignitaries who attended the VIP screening at 5 p.m. on Monday included Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores and Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz.
The cast, which included lead actor Yutaka Takenouchi, supporting actor Takayuki Yamada and film director Hideyiki Hirayama, also attended the premiere.
The movie will be shown in theaters all over Japan on Feb. 11. (published HERE)