Papago Lancheros win Liberation float competition

THE Papago Lancheros, the runner up in 2015 and 2016, bested 10 other participants in the Liberation Day parade float competition on Tuesday to win the $4,000 first prize.

Float and parade committee co-chairman Jacob Muna said second place went to the Department of Corrections float which will get the $3,000 cash prize while the Carolinian Affairs Office will receive the third prize of $2,000. Tan Holdings Inc. was fourth and took home $1,000.

Gary and Rosemond Sword, the master and mistress of ceremonies, said the Papago Lancheros float “tells a story and displays various fruits and vegetables, all locally grown.”

The float also had visual presentations and replicas of Chamorro and Carolinians artifacts.

“It tells how our ancestors lived by utilizing natural resources,” the emcees said, adding that the Papago Lancheros want to “pass on their knowledge and skills to the younger generation.”

The Papago Lancheros float “tells the story of how the local people lived by utilizing natural resources.” Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

The Department of Corrections float had a lavish display that was culturally significant. It had an utt, a roast pig, a canoe, a latte stone and a flag, which all emphasized the importance of preserving and nurturing the islands’ culture.

The float was made mostly of indigenous materials such as coconut leaves, banana plants, bamboo, wood, grass and flowers.

“This float not only represents the celebration of culture, community, and service — it also showcases the dedication of correction officers and their commitment to help inmates make a choice to challenge themselves to work hard and remain committed until eventually the goal is accomplished. Their hard work and productive efforts are proof of positive change for themselves by completing the construction of such a beautiful float,” the emcees said.

The Department of Corrections float won second prize. Photo by Cherrie Anne Villahermosa

The other competitors were the ACH Chuuk-CNMI Association, the United Filipino Organization, Marianas Variety, the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and the CNMI Museum.

The judges were Dino Manning, Mariano Fajardo, Juan Babauta, Peter Aldan, Marcie Tomokane and Nola Hicks.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang thanked all the parade participants including the marching groups and the non-competing float teams.

He also thanked the community and the special guests, especially this year’s parade grand marshal, Clarence T. Tenorio.

“It was a very successful event,” the mayor said, adding that there was a big turnout of spectators compared to last year.

Liberation Committee overall chairman Matthew Deleon Guerrero commended all the parade participants for showcasing their talents and skills.

Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Chris Concepcion said many tourists were among the crowd of spectators.

He said MVA promoted the Liberation Day festivities, as part of marketing “The Marianas.”

Young locals, representing ancient Chamorros, wave to the crowd from the Imperial Pacific float. Photo by Lori Lyn Lirio

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero said it was another peaceful and orderly parade.

“Everything was under control,” he added.

For his part, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres commended the Saipan mayor’s office and the Liberation Committee for their success and for doing such a great job.

“We had very good weather compared to last year, and I thank all the people and the families who came and enjoyed the holiday,” the governor said.

Among the other special guests on the review stand were first lady Diann T. Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro, Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairman Luis John Castro, vice chairman Diego Kaipat, secretary Antonia Tudela, Imperial Pacific executives Margaret Cui Li Jie and Mark Brown, Japan Consul Kinji Shinoda, Philippine Honorary Consul to the CNMI Eli Arago, Korean Community of Saipan president Jae Yeol Lim and 2016 Liberation Queen Christine Roque.

The parade started at 3:30 p.m. and ended at 7:20 p.m.

View more photos from the event in our gallery

Source: Marianas Variety :

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