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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rota opens first NMI Chamorro Village Cultural Center

Marianas Variety
March 22, 2011

ROTA — Artwork and other items depicting the island’s culture and traditions now have a permanent place where they will be showcased and preserved for posterity.
Father Delfin Tumaca, right, blesses the new Rota Chamorro Village Cultural Center at the Department of Cultural and Community Affairs resident office in Songsong, Rota on Saturday morning. Looking on is the mayor’s wife, Estrella Mendiola. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolThe Rota Chamorro Village Cultural Center at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs resident office in Songsong was officially opened on Saturday morning.
Rota Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola, Sen. Juan Ayuyu, Rota-Ind., and cultural experts were among those who participated in the occasion.
Father Delfin Tumaca blessed the building prior to the ceremonial ribbon-cutting after which the public got a glimpse of items depicting Rota’s culture and traditions in the form of photographs, sketches and drawings, wood and stone carvings, wood husking, woven products, shells and beadwork, handmade jewelry, tools, decorations and ornaments as well as preparation of traditional medicines.
In their messages, Mayor Mendiola, Rota Municipal Council secretary Prudencio Manglona, Inetnon Amoy yan Kutturan Natibu/Mwiischil Safey mey Kkoor Aramasal Faluw or IAKN/MSKF president Isidoro T. Cabrera, IAKN/MSKF project director Manny F. Borja and recording artist Barrie C. Toves said they were very happy with the opening of the cultural center, the first in the CNMI.
It  was funded by a grant from the U.S. Administration for Native Americans.
The IAKN/MSKF, a non-profit organization, was chartered in 2007 to advocate and support traditional healing and cultural programs of the indigenous Chamorros and Carolinians, to help protect habitats of medicinal plants, to document cultural traditions in the vernacular languages, to publish educational materials, and to produce non-print materials including DVDs, CDs, and television programming.
In September last year, IAKN/MSKF received a grant to establish village cultural centers on Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

Hard Rock joins Japan relief drive

SAIPAN’S Hard Rock Café  has placed a donation box on its counter to help raise funds for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.
Hard Rock Café Saipan operations manager Rey Perez said he will seek the support of residents until the end of the month.
“We are knocking on the doors of our fellowmen to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Your contributions, no matter how little, will go a long way in helping them rebuild their lives,” Perez said.
At the end of the month, Perez said Hard Rock Café will turn over the donations to the local Red Cross.
“As of now, we only accept monetary donations,” he said.
Hard Rock Café Saipan is  one of the branches around the world that have joined “ALL IS ONE — Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Movement.”
Hard Rock International has launched several initiatives in conjunction with the Red Cross to support relief efforts in  Japan.
Among the initiatives Hard Rock is conducting is the global “CRANK IT UP” Program which encourages diners and customers to round off their bills to the nearest dollar amount so the remainder will be donated to help the relief efforts in Japan.
Each Hard Rock Café outlet is also conducting a donation box drive and proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.
Hard Rock Café will also tap various resources, including social media such as Facebook and Twitter, to deliver messages to supporters on how they can donate.
You can help by dropping your donations at the Hard Rock Café donation box in Garapan. For more information, call 233-7625.