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

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)