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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Profile: Edwin Sta. Theresa - A ‘shuttered’ love affair

HIS first job when he came to Saipan over 15 years ago involved asking people to take off their shirts, putting on lab gowns and telling them to hold their breath as he conducted lung x-rays at a medical clinic.
Edwin Sta. TheresaHe processed the negatives, inserted them into individual folders, and turned the results over to the front desk day after day.
But Edwin Sta. Theresa, production manager of Digital Motion, has one love of his life that he suppressed for his career as a radiologist/x-ray technician — photography.
His affair with the shutter started way back in his teen years when he became friends with a classmate whose father was into photography. Watching his classmate’s father at work, he asked for a chance to try using the camera. As soon as he peered into the viewfinder and pressed the shutter to capture his first subject, he knew his fate was sealed.
But career took over and Sta. Theresa shelved his first love, until finally one day over half a decade ago, he took off his lab gown and decided to pursue his desires. The rest is history.
As one of the island’s popular photography and video services provider covering various events, work for Sta. Theresa is very far from the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. routine.

He is at the forefront of every special and memorable occasion, capturing and preserving every second on camera as each event unfolds. Work is unpredictable and exciting. He is there when a couple exchanges “I do’s,” right from the moment when the bride and groom start to dress up until the moment the guests leave the reception. He is witness to all the happy times at anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and other momentous occasions.
Sta. Theresa also does television commercials for government and private agencies, television shows and other promotional or documentary videos.

Not everything he captures on camera and video is pleasant though. At times, when the world is still asleep, Sta. Theresa is already out with his heavy video equipment slung over his shoulders capturing each bitter moment as family members mourn the loss of a loved one, or staying awake late into the night when the world is already asleep doing editing work at his computer to catch up on deadlines.
“It’s a very enjoyable yet challenging job. It’s one job where you sometimes find it hard to detach yourself from the emotional outbursts of your subjects but the rewards are great because years later, the results of your effort remain in the shelves of memories in each home for future generations to go over,” Sta. Theresa said.
With the advent of technology, business as a photographer/videographer in the CNMI now is not paved with roses. Along with others in the industry, Sta. Theresa has financial battles to combat as more and more people are learning about photography and basic equipment become more affordable. There are bills to pay and no regular paycheck comes every two weeks.
“Unlike before, so many people now would prefer to take their own photos and videos to save money, but when our clients realize how important these events are, they will come to realize that it takes someone with the dedication and skill to document special events and preserve them for the future,” Sta. Theresa said. He may be tired after a day’s work, but he is satisfied. His love affair with the shutter is finally out in the open.
Digital Motion is located on the third floor of the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe. For more information,  check out www.digitalmotionpro.com or call 235-6603.
(This article was first published HERE)

Blossoms Floral Depot: A wonderland of Valentine’s Day specialties

SHOWING your special someone how much you love and care for them has never been made easier than stepping into the Blossom’s Floral Depot for a wide choice of ideal Valentine’s Day gifts.
From left, florists Roland, Ador and Ricky Photo by Raquel C. BagnolBlossoms Floral Depot office manager Carlyn DLG. Hofschneider said  Valentine’s has always been their busiest week but this is one time of the year where individual preferences are being given top priority.
“Each person has different preferences in how they want flowers to be arranged, or what flowers they want to order. Come to us and let our florists meet your specific needs,” Hofschneider said.
“Tell us what you would like in your arrangements and we will take care of everything from there,” she added.
Blossoms Floral Depot offers fresh or silk arrangements, new Valentine’s containers, red roses, cards, stuffed animals, balloons, heart candies and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes.
“Despite the hard economic times, it is encouraging to know that people really find money to buy gifts for their loved-ones,” Hofschneider said.
Orders had been pouring in for flowers, bouquets, floral arrangements and baskets, and chocolates since last week.
Hofschneider said topping the list of favorites are roses.
“We had been getting a lot of orders for the dozen and half a dozen roses,” she said.
Fresh roses come straight from California. Hofschneider said most of the clients who ordered flowers and gift baskets for their loved ones wanted the gifts delivered before work starts on Monday.
“It’s always exciting especially for women to receive flowers and chocolates at work, but these times, it goes the same for men, too,” Hofschneider said.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still make someone special by picking out a single, long-stemmed rose which you can hand personally to your loved one for as affordable as $6.
For orders above $60, Blossoms Floral Depot will deliver for free to anywhere in the island. You can splurge on a dozen tastefully arranged roses for only $85 and Blossoms Floral Depot will deliver it for you.
Hofschneider said last year, they ordered over 3,000 stems of fresh roses but had to place another order before Valentine’s Day because supplies ran out fast.
“We are urging you all to come and place your orders now before our supplies ran out,” she said.
Valentine’s Day baskets range from $18 and up, stuffed toys start from $5, chocolate boxes from $8 to $18.
If you don’t have an idea what floral arrangement or what gift to give to your loved-one, just visit Blossoms Floral Depot and they can help you out.
To give a chance for those who have not ordered or picked up their Valentine’s Day gifts yet, Blossoms Floral Depot will be extending their hours of operation on Feb. 12 and 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and even on Feb. 14.
Hofschneider said  they also accept phone-in orders. Floral arrangements are available at all Shell gas stations.
Blossoms Floral Depot is located at the J.E.T. Building near J’s Restaurant in Gualo Rai. For reservations or inquiries call 235-2276/7372 or fax 235-7371. (published HERE)

Beyond skin deep

HAVING a natural flawless skin is the envy of many and not many are blessed with it, but for individuals who are not as lucky, don’t lose hope to acquire soft and smooth skin because you can do it here without having to spend thousands of dollars for off-island treatments.
Dr. DeLinda D. Wills, a U.S. board certified general surgeon who opened her own aesthetic clinic last year, said  going for a skin assessment is the first thing to do.
When you come in for skin consultation, your skin condition will be assessed because every person differs from each other. “Treatments that will work for one person may not work for another,” Wills said.
Soon after you get your skin assessment and treatment, Wills said that maintenance is the next thing to do.
Maintenance, she said, is not just an ordinary 11-letter word but it entails lots of patience and dedication which will eventually pay off if you are committed enough to it.
“When you start to see even a small wrinkle anywhere on your face, spend a few dollars and have it fixed immediately. Do not wait until you retire and the problem becomes too big to deal with and you will need a complete overhaul,” Wills said.
“If you want to save in the future, go for skin maintenance now. What little you may have spent now adds up to big savings in the future,” she added.
When you see for example the starter pack that Wills will prescribe for her patients to maintain a fresher and youthful looking skin, you will be astounded and confused.
Wills said maintaining your beauty regimen may be hard at first but you will soon get the hang of it.
With so many bottles containing different ointments and creams and oils, each one carrying different instructions and dosage, cleaning your face is an impossible task, especially if you have a full day at work and the last thing you would want to do is to crawl into bed and sleep.
Wills said getting into the beauty routine will become a habit very soon that “you can’t or won’t leave home without your beauty kit.”
Maintenance care for the skin and face is not only for women, Wills said. She said that men too are beginning to see the importance of having and maintaining fresher and smoother look using customized treatments.
Exposure to the relentlessly blazing sun outside everyday is “murder to the skin,” but this can be stopped by preventive measures, Wills said.
Come to Aulelei Medical Clinic, located at Suite 315 of Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe for a skin assessment and come out with a complete regimen kit designed to combat the harsh elements of nature like excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays that harms your skin.
Whatever skin problems and conditions you have — acne, oily or dry skin, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and rosacea and more, Wills guarantees skin assessment and treatment.
Aside from skin assessments, professional skin treatments or physician directed skincare, Wills also accepts Botox cosmetic and Juvederm consultation, Botox cosmetic, and Juvederm dermal filler featuring product lines from PCA skin and Obagi Medical.
“My final word is — I insist on maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance and I cannot stress that word enough,” Wills said.
For appointments or for more information, 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. (published HERE)

That's entertainment

A member of the Project Impact dance group impresses street market shoppers and vendors as he somersaults during a group performance in Garapan.

One sweet potato, two sweet potato...

ROTA — The covers were lifted and the hungry and excited crowd gathered in anticipation, picking up plates and forks as they fell in line to sample over 30 mouth-watering products derived from one of the Pacific’s most stable root crop —  the sweet potato,  known here as kamuti.
Photos by Raquel C. BagnolThe first annual sweet potato festival on Rota was in progress and guests had a grand time forking food into their plates and sampling the delights laid out on the table. From simple grilled sweet potato to the most complicated pies, tarts, cakes, fritters and other colorful and appetizing desserts to casseroles blended with herbs and spices, salads — everything was gone in a few minutes, and one could already hear the rave reviews of the guests.
Sweet potatoes can be eaten raw, grilled, baked, mashed, boiled, candied, steamed, or processed, and you still get the vitamins and other benefits.
Sweet potatoes grow in various colors and sizes, an abundant resource that Rota is blessed with, and a resource that the island wants to tap into to create a product brand and to spur the economy at the same time.
NMC-CREES Dr. Dilip Nadwani and Anthony Tudela in their research paper titled “Sweet Potato in the CNMI” said sweet potato has been a staple food for the Pacific Islanders for several centuries and is the most widely produced crop in the CNMI, mainly on Rota. Over 50 percent of the commercially produced sweet potatoes on Rota are shipped to Guam while the rest are for Saipan.
Nadwani and Tudela said  “the sweet potato is very important to a healthy nutrition based on its high contents of fibrous starches, potassium, iron, calcium and several vitamins.”
This versatile root crop which can be harvested from three to five months is fast finding its place in household tables all year round as the interest in healthy and natural foods increase.
Benefits of sweet potatoes
The U.S. Department of Agriculture enumerates the benefits of sweet potatoes, including being an “antidiabetic” food.
USDA researches showed that sweet potatoes contain proteins with high content of carotenes and vitamin C, making it a valuable food for boosting antioxidants in the body.
Sweet potatoes are also excellent source of carotenes, particularly the darker varieties, and offer a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, manganese, copper, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, and dietary fiber.
With the abundance of sweet potato in the CNMI, and with a hundred and one variations that you can do to come up with delectable recipes, the choice is yours. You can add sweet potatoes to your diet not only on special holidays but throughout the year.
(This article was first published at the Marianas Variety)