It’s Christmas in the Marianas

ORGANIZERS of the 16th annual Christmas in the Marianas said the first Saturday of this year’s month-long series of events at the Paseo de Marianas was very successful.

MVA community projects manager Martin Duenas said, compared to 2016, they have better lights and more participants this year.

“The kids are also getting more creative,” he said, referring to the tree-decoration contest in which students from participating schools use recyclable materials.

Parking in the area, however, remains a challenge, he added.

The event is organized by MVA and PDM Promoters Inc.

According to Misako Kamata, PDM Promoters Inc. president, Christmas in the Marianas is getting better each year.

“We have 18 schools participating in the tree-decoration contest and that’s a very good turnout,” she added.

The participating schools are Northern Marianas International School, Koblerville Elementary School, Agape Christian School, Herbert Middle School, Dandan Middle School, Saipan Seventh-day Adventist School, Tanapag Middle School, Green Meadow School, Saipan Community School, Oleai Elementary School, Saipan International School, Chacha Oceanview Middle School, Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, Grace Christian Academy, William S Reyes Elementary School, and Garapan Elementary School.

The first prize is $5,000; second, $3,000; third, $3,000; fourth, $1,000; and fifth, $500.

Green Meadow School principal Milagros M. Songcuan said their entry was the “combined efforts of students and teachers,” and their theme is “Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ — we celebrate and are thankful for the birth of Jesus Christ, a gift from God.”

KES event coordinator Rita Villagomez said their theme is “KES Ocean Wonderland” because children, parents, teachers and the school love the ocean which plays a big role in local culture.

“KES wants everyone to see that we cherish our ocean and all the life that it contains. Therefore, the biggest ornament on the tree, which is the big blue and white flower, represents the beautiful coral that we have in our ocean.”

Dandan Middle School vice principal Reo Arriola said they their theme is, “Japan with Love.”

“At our school, we embrace every culture and celebrate every student. This year, we have chosen to represent the spirit of Christmas with a Japanese flair by creating ornaments that suggest the peope and culture of Japan,” he said.

Oleai school event coordinator Puspa Arriola said their theme is the beach. “We decided to highlight the treasures of our island, its sea life including turtles, jelly fish, star fish, the proas and the Sirena folktale,” she added.

Northern Marianas International School vice principal Jener A. Pineda said their theme is the environment and diversity. “Our children are taught to respect the environment and embrace our island culture,” he added.

MVA event coordinator Lyn Sablan said for the caroling contest, the participants are Northern Marianas International Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary School, Kagman Elementary School, San Vicente Elementary School, Oleai Elementary School and Hopwood Middle School.

Sablan said they will announce the caroling-contest winner on Dec. 9.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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