29 Jun 2017
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE 2017 Liberation festivities on Tuesday were officially opened by Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang’s blowing of the kulu or conch shell, after which he urged to public to join the celebration of “Culture, Community and Service.”
There was some rain, but it ended quickly, allowing organizers to continue with the program.
Senate President Arnold Palacios, as acting governor, read a message from Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres:
“We celebrate service. We remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and devoted their lives to the protection of our freedoms. We remember our veterans, including those who defended the Marianas in World War II. And we honor our brothers, our sisters, our sons, and or daughters in uniform who continue to defend the CNMI each and every day.”
The governor also thanked his chief of staff, Matthew Deleon Guerrero, this year’s Liberation Day chairman, for putting together an event “that is an incubator for new businesses and new business ideas, especially for young people in the CNMI.”
Deleon Guerrero, in his remarks, said the committee aims to bring the celebration back to its roots of family and community.
“This is a community event, brought to you by your fellow members for your enjoyment. And these past few days have truly showcased the community’s spirit, allowing us to make it through the rain and unusual weather to join together as one family in this celebration,” Deleon Guerrero said.
Mayor Apatang said his office is working with a new team consisting of young, energetic, and precocious individuals from the private and public sectors.
“They were born and grew up here, attended schools here, and came from families who understand the true value of our unique island culture and history,” he said.
“I want to ask all of you to celebrate responsibly and teach one another that our celebration is to remember a new beginning in our life — in doing so, I know we accord and solidify the respect and love we have for our families who made many sacrifices for us.”
The ceremony included the introduction of the Liberation Royal Court members by Liberation Queen Committee chairwoman Laila Boyer: Mikeangela Charfauros, 16; Mikaella Dahil, 16; Chloe Fergurgur, 18; Peyton Gomez, 16; Kaila De Guzman, 16; Maxine Lopez, 15; Riannalyn Manabat, 18; and Carlicia Ruben, 16.
Joining them was 2016 Liberation Queen Christine Roque.
Boyer thanked local choreographer and pageant director Ernie Molina for undertaking the candidates’ development training.
The Simiyan Mananaita led by Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairman Luis John Castro performed traditional songs and dances.
Also performing were the Tiul Belau Palau Association, the Refaluwasch Warriors and Ray Peter.
This year’s Liberation Day sponsors are Hyatt Regency Saipan, McDonald’s Saipan, Marianas Variety, Tan Holdings, Joeten Daidai Foundation, Marianas Visitors Authority, Bank of Guam, Triple J, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Joeten Enterprises, Docomo Pacific, Power 99, IT&E and IP&E, Imperial Pacific International, KKMP, Skywalker Group, the CNMI Legislature, VaprSpot, Office of the Governor, Dave’s Electronics, and the Arts Council.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/96479-liberation-festivities-to-celebrate-culture-community-service