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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wish upon a pair of Bojobo dolls

LEGEND has it that these little dolls resided in the woods and used to peep out from Bo Jo Bo vines in the village of San Roque, Saipan  hundreds of years ago.
Now, fashioned into dolls from coconut husk and fiber, the Bojobo dolls populate the stores in pairs to make any visit to Saipan, Tinian and Rota complete.
Bojobo dolls are always sold in pairs, a male and a female, sporting a variety of skirt colors are available in various sizes which you could conveniently hang in your car, room, with your keys or anywhere you want to.
Believed to bring good luck in love, money, prosperity and make other wishes come true, the Bojobo dolls have become one of the most-sought and must-not-leave-CNMI-without-it gift item.
From Saipan, Tinian and Rota, the Bojobo dolls have spread out to all parts of the world where tourists come from to serve as a souvenir and remind them that they that they had been to the CNMI.
“Faith can move mountains, and all you have to do is follow the instructions. Entwine the dolls according to what you wish for, hang them in a place where you can see them often and believe in your wish,” a tourist told the Variety in Garapan one day.
“There’s no harm in believing, and besides, the dolls are perfect gift items and decorations,” the tourist added.
If entwined correctly, the Bojobo dolls are believed to bring you luck in love, money and wealth, marriage, fortune, strength, happiness, long life, children, prosperity, friendship and peace.
Bojobo dolls can be bought from $4 and up from all department stores, souvenir shops and hotel gift shops on Saipan, Tinian and Rota, during the street market in Garapan every Thursday, and from online stores.
Grab a pair of these dolls which has become a significant symbol of a visit to the CNMI.
Instructions on how to tie the Bojobo dolls are attached when you purchase the dolls
1. PEACE. Leave us as is
2. FRIENDSHIP. Cross his left hand and her right hand together.
3. LOVE. Cross his left hand and her right hand together. Cross his right hand and her left hand together.
4. MARRIAGE.    Cross his left hand and her right hand together. Cross his left and right hand together. Cross her left and right hand together.
5. PROSPERITY. Cross the left and right hand together.
6. HEALTH. Cross the left and right hand together.
7. STRENGTH. Cross his left and right hand together. Cross her left and right hand together.
8. FORTUNE. Cross his left and right hand together. Cross her left and right leg together.
9. WEALTH. Cross his left and right hand together. Cross her left & right leg together. Cross her left and right hand together.
10. HAPPINESS. Cross his left and right hand over her body.
11. LONG LIFE. Cross her left and right hand together. Cross his left and right hand over her body.
12. CHILDREN. Cross his left and right hand over her body. Cross her left and right hand over his body.
First published HERE

To catch a dream

IF you’ve been at the souvenir shops around the island, you probably have seen these attractive round things with colored feathers and a web of colored yarn or twine crisscrossing in web-like patterns all over the ring like a trap with a small hole at the center.
If you haven’t seen a dream catcher before, you will think that they are just one of those regular door decorations ideal for souvenir or a gift.
Dream catchers  are usually hung in the doorways. They look like a huge mischievous spider’s web, colorful feathers fluttering as they spin with the wind.
But I learned that there is more behind each dream catcher.
Dream catchers, also known as dream nets, are believed to snare your bad dreams and get them entangled in the sinewy threads while the good dreams slip through the center hole.
These were hanged above the cradle of the babies in the ancient Native American Chippewa tradition.
Go online and you will find several fascinating versions of the legend of the dream catcher.
The traditional dream catcher was intended to trap the negative and bad dreams in the web while allowing the good dreams to slip through the hole, slide down into the feathers and straight to where you were sleeping. You tend to forget the bad dreams with the rising of the sun.
Some enterprising artists in the islands came up with a new design. Instead of the tangled web with a hole in the center, they placed a corkboard material and painted it with scenic views of the islands. Saipan, Tinian and Rota are printed on one side.
I bought a medium-sized dream catcher a year ago and it’s still hanging from a nail in my bedroom wall. I later learned that you should give a dream catcher space to freely spin around, contrary to what I earlier did, but mine was the localized version of the dream catcher, with an attractive painting of huge waves and an island scene.
Though the idea of trapping the bad dreams in the tangled web is gone, the revised version is still a hit among tourists as gift or souvenir items.
“It doesn’t matter whether you believe in them (dream catchers) or not, but they look lovely hanging from the doors and even on cars,” one tourist said.
Dream catchers come in various sizes, costing from $4 and up, depending on the size and they are available in all main stores such as Joeten , Star Sands Plaza, and all other shops where souvenirs are sold on island.
(This article was first published HERE)

Luxe Duty Free: Saipan’s newest shopping option

THE economic crisis is not an excuse to forego simple joys that will make one feel beautiful, according to a businesswoman who recently opened a luxury shop in Garapan.
Beauty consultant Hou Na promotes the Tony Moly products of Luxe Duty Free in Garapan. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
Beauty consultant Hou Na promotes the Tony Moly products of Luxe Duty Free in Garapan. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
Braving the gloomy economic situation, Luxe general manager Diane Lee (Hye Sook) opened  Luxe Duty Free Shop beside Shenanigan’s in Garapan to try to lift the spirits of the people, especially the women and help them to look beautiful and feel cheerful without having to spend much.
Lee, who has been living on island for the past 24 years and is operating two other businesses, said she had to think many times before finally deciding to open Luxe a couple of weeks ago.
“The economy here is bad, but I want tourists and locals to have more shopping options. When I look at the people, I want to help make them beautiful by offering high quality products at affordable prices,” Lee said.
All the bags, shoes, jewelry, watches and other designer items are from the U.S. and Europe while the cosmetic lines are from Korea.
Luxe Duty Free carry complete lines of skin care products and cosmetics from Tony Moly, a popular cosmetics brand for all age groups in Japan and Korea.
The Tony Moly brand has a wide variety of perfumes, skin care, lip care, cleansing, massage and pack, makeup, hair and body, men’s care and accessories that give solution to troubled skin care.
“Our cosmetics are safe to use for all skin types, and we have a trained and licensed beauty consultant who can help recommend what is best for each customer,” Lee said.

 She added that one would be enticed and proud to carry their products which are housed in creative and attractive containers. Lipsticks are not all in regular tubes but rather in attractive cases shaped like apples, oranges, lemons, and more.
“Don’t be scared by the name Luxe (short for luxury) because you will find lipsticks, lip gloss, skin creams, and other high quality cosmetics and accessories starting at $10,” Lee said.
She is saddened to see individuals who do not take care of their skin and are not fashion-conscious.
“I know times are hard, but we can still be beautiful and fashionable. I love the people here. It is where my two daughters grew up and became successful and making all feel good and beautiful is my way of giving back to the community,” Lee said.
Luxe Duty Free offers free makeup consultation and free makeup to anyone without obliging them to buy.
“Being exposed to the harsh rays of the sun every day, the people here need to take care of their faces and skin and we have the products to meet that need,” Lee said.
Luxe Duty Free provides shoppers a relaxing experience with its ambiance complete with Korean music playing in the background.
Check out Luxe Duty Free’s display shelves for designer bags and purses like Coach, Fendi, Liu-Jo, Ensoen, Serapian, Bellemarie and more, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories and locally produced items like virgin oil, noni juice, coffee and other merchandise.
Luxe Duty Free is open from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Major credit cards are accepted. For inquiries, call 233-2525, 233-4747 or email dianeklee@pticom.com.