The Marianas Visitors Authority and Asiana Airlines hosted a familiarization tour of the Northern Marianas in October for Russian travel agencies from Vladivostok, including Star Travel, Vlad Discovery, Fregat Aero, Laguana, Biletur, Lucky Tours, Dialog Narodov and Nadezhda. A representative of Asiana Airlines also participated. Shown here, Russian travel agents hold gifts of coconut oil and guyuria (cookies). (From left) Kim Iana, Molokoedova Galina, Koroleva Ksenia, Subbotina Maila and Bulavina Elena.
Photo courtesy of the Marianas Visitors Authority
Asian media highlight the NMI
The Northern Mariana Islands was visited by several Asian media outlets for television, magazine and other media coverage:
- In October the Marianas Visitors Authority hosted a familiarization tour for major Korean newspapers and magazines for news coverage of the NMI’s recovery of August’s Typhoon Soudelor. Representatives from Korea Tourism News, Traveler, Lady Kyunghyang, Bar & Dining, Olive Media One, Mail Economy and Money Today toured the Marianas.
- Representatives of Chinese radio and television stations of the Guangdong Province including FM 99.3 radio, “Yangcheng Evening News” and Modern weekly magazine visited the NMI in December on a familiarization trip hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority.
- A destination video starring Miss International China Xinyue Lui and other pageant winners, including runner-up Yanjing Chen, filmed in the NMI and will be posted online in January viewable to more than one million viewers daily.
- Korea’s top golf channel, SBS Golf, filmed at Lao Lao Bay Golf & Resort from Dec. 9 to 12. The cast and crew also took a familiarization tour of Garapan and Marpi’s scenic and historical sites.
- Ma Feng Wo Bee Leaders Club, a Chinese travel social networking service website with 80 million users, participated in a familiarization trip to the NMI from Nov. 29 to 25. Ma Feng Wo targets free independent travelers and has had more than 60 million downloads of its travel guidebooks and other information.
- Qunar, China’s leading mobile and online travel platform, posted a video in December filmed in Saipan to introduce travel tips, preferred attractions and local culture. The website publishes five times each week to travel lovers and receives more than 83 million views each month.
- Affiliated Japanese newspapers Nishinihon Sports, Daily Sports, Chunichi Sports and Tokyo Chunichi Sports will feature Saipan’s sports activities. The newspapers circulate 1.5 million copies combined via subscription and newsstands to males 30 to 60 years old.
- Japanese lifestyle magazine HUNT has produced a guidebook about Rota for distribution. Some 50,000 copies of the 16-page, full-color guidebook circulated as a magazine insert in November, with an additional 5,000 copies provided to the Marianas Visitors Authority. HUNT magazine is published quarterly by Neko Publishing and is targeted toward men 30 to 60 years old who like to travel, fish and explore the outdoors.
Student contest focuses on China tourism
The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability, Ada’s Trust & Investments, Inc., Bank of Guam and Docomo Pacific will host the 2016 UOG Center for Island Sustainability Student Video and Essay Contest on the theme: “China Ready. Guam Ready?”
The purpose of the contest is to engage students to think about and share what they believe the China tourist market could have on Guam’s economy, tourism industry, environment and society.
The contests are open to UOG students, while the video contest will have a special category for high school seniors. Prizes range from $250 to $1,000.
Entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. on March 18 to the UOG Center for Island Sustainability Office, 735-2918.
Winning essays will be presented at the 7th Regional Conference on Island Sustainability from April 11–15 hosted by UOG’s Center for Island Sustainability.
MARC launches book about early childhood development in Chuuk
The Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam launched its latest publication, titled “Children of Chuuk Lagoon” by Dr. Mary L. Spencer on Nov. 19.
The book presents Spencer’s research on the daily lives of contemporary 6- to 14-year-old school children on Romonum Island in the Chuuk Lagoon. It features recorded observations of Romonum children in home, school and community settings. The book also includes testimonies from family members, educators and community leaders regarding the goals they have for their children’s futures in light of accelerated migration and rapid social change in Romonum.
Guam poet wins international poetry contest, performs in Paris
Guam poet and teacher John “Meta” Sarmiento won the 2015 Spoken Word for the World contest organized by environmental organization Global Call for Climate Action. Sarmiento performed his winning entry, “Island Haze,” in Paris ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held Nov. 30 to Dec. 10.
Johnnie Walker Blue Guam Special Edition bottle back by popular demand
Island Wines & Spirits announced the return of the Johnnie Walker Blue Guam Special Edition bottle. It was first launched in July with 600 bottles engraved in gold with the Guam Seal in a unique design to capture the island’s cultural heritage and beauty.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a premium blended scotch whisky featuring a blend of the rarest whiskies. The special edition bottles are available for purchase at Pay-Less Supermarket, Cost-U-Less, 76 Circle K, ABC Stores and Island Fresh.
UOG professor authors book on faculty self-development and growth
Yukiko Inoue-Smith, professor of educational psychology and research at the University of Guam School of Education, released a new book, titled “A Jungle Named Academia, Approaches to Self-Development and Growth.” Published by Hamilton Books, the book features forewords by Susan S. Klein and Mary L. Spencer and explores methods and the need for professors to maintain professional ethics, encouraging professors to reflect on their daily work.
Inoue-Smith is the author of “Blended and Online Learning Technologies” and “Online Education for Lifelong Learning” as well as tanka collections “Was it all a Dream?” and “Cat Tanka, Vol. 1.”
MARC seminar features documentary about Manenggon march and concentration camp
The Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam screened the documentary “Manenggon March and Concentration Camp Survivor Accounts” on Nov. 10 as part of its seminar series. Produced and directed by MARC Research Associate Rlene Santos Steffy and edited by UOG graduate of communication and journalism Jessi Jon Santos, the documentary presents personal accounts of Chamorro endurance during the two-week rush at the end of the Japanese occupation to assemble the island’s people into the Manenggon Valley.
Northern Mariana Islands represented at China travel mart
The Marianas Visitors Authority attended the China International Travel Mart held from Nov. 13 to 15 in Kunming, China. The event is the largest professional travel mart in Asia. More than 100,000 industry and media representatives and consumers attended the event. The MVA distributed information and brochures at its booth, which was highlighted by indigenous Carolinian cultural dancers and craft demonstrations. More than 100 countries and regions participated in the event.
First Chamorro animated film debuts on Guam
Hawaii-based production company Twiddle Productions Inc. in partnership with the Guam Department of Education Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division produced the first Chamorro animated film, “Maisa: The Chamoru Girl who Saves Guahan.” The film mixes live action, computer generated images and two-dimensional animated components to depict the Chamorro legend of maidens who saved the island from being devoured by a beast.
Acting, music and voice talent was provided by GDOE students and other local artists. GDOE Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division translated the script to Chamorro. Kahmeleon Productions provided on-site filming and production services. Twiddle Productions provided editing and animation services.
The film premiered on Dec. 7 with an exclusive showing for cast, crew and stakeholders at Agana Shopping Center Stadium Theaters, with public screenings available from Dec. 9 to 13.
The film will be used as an educational tool for GDOE.
Guam to launch public safety broadband network
Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense is preparing Guam for the design, deployment and operation of the National Public Safety Broad Network, a national high-speed wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. The broadcast network will help facilitate coordination between public safety entities and first responders, including the Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, Guam Department of Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, Guam Memorial Hospital and the Guam Army National Guard, and allow the agencies to exchange video, text and voice, via a secure network separate from the public network. The network will launch in 2018.
Blog highlights Guam, Taipei restaurants
Guam and Taipei restaurants are rated in a blog authored by Ping-Yian “Edward” Lu, chief nutritionist of GNC Guam. Lu lists restaurants in Guam and Taipei, rating them with Michelin stars based on his personal dining experience.
Lu was inspired by his travels between Guam and Taipei, as well as his experience dining at Michelin-rated restaurants abroad. Guam and Taipei have not been rated by Michelin since 2009, Lu writes. The blog, titled “Ed’s Michelin List,” can be found at http://edsmichelinlist.blogspot.com.
University paper celebrates 50 years
The University of Guam Communication Society and local chapter of the National Communication Association Lambda Pi Eta celebrated the 50th anniversary of Triton’s Call, the university’s student-run newspaper, on Nov.13 with a gathering of current and past members of the paper, including editors, writers and communications department faculty. The event also raised funds for students to participate in off-island conferences to help develop academic and professional portfolios.
District, Ninth Circuit sponsor essay and video contest
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States’ landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, the District Court of Guam and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit are sponsoring an essay and video contest for high school students. At the local level, the District Court of Guam is offering cash prizes of $150, $100 and $50 for the first three places in each contest, which will be submitted to the Ninth Circuit contest to compete for cash prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 for first, second and third place respectively.
Contestants may enter one or both contests, and the video contest is open to small teams of students. The contest is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors attending public, private, parochial and charter schools as well as homeschooled students of equivalent grade status. A panel designated by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood will be judging the Guam entries for inclusion as finalists in the Ninth Circuit contest. Submissions close on April 15. Guam winners will be announced on May 13 and Circuit contest winners on June 6.
Winners announced in NMI photo competition
Best Sunshine International announced the winners of its weRcnmi photography contest held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. The open competition was judged by members of the community. The first-place winner of the $2,000 cash prize was Ivan Blanco with his entry titled “Makeshift Playground.” Second-place winner Jack Stewart received $1,000 with his entry titled “Simba.” Macy Manzanares and Frederic Guinuti were tied for third place. Consolation prizes of $100 each were awarded to Tony Peters, Aysem Bray, Kevin Ada, Andrei Zerkov, Josephine Togawa, Geri Dela Cruz, Selmalyn Taitano, Nesea Cruz, Ponce Corotan and Mary Ann Lagmay.
The winning entry of the weRcnmi photography contest, “Makeshift Playground,” was submitted by Ivan Blanco, with the caption: “A 5-year-old girl surveys the playground (the ocean) under a makeshift cover built from damaged pine tree branches.”