Tinian’s fiesta highlights 70th year of Yap Chamorro arrival

TINIAN — This year’s fiesta, which honors the island’s patron saint, San Jose, was “very significant” because it also commemorated the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Chamorros from Yap, Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas said.

On Thursday, a day prior to the start of fiesta activities, Chamorro historian Anthony Ramirez presented a collection of historical documents and photographs related to the Yap Chamorro migration in 1948, the mayor told Variety.

The exhibit at the Tinian Public Library about Tinian’s “roots” in Yap will run throughout this month, he added.

The mayor said several Chamorro families from Guam who had relocated to Yap settled on Tinian after World War II, adding that the descendants of those migrants now comprise a significant portion of the Tinian community.

San Nicolas thanked all educators and students, former Mayor Ignacio Quichocho, island lawmakers and other officials for expressing interest in Tinian history.

The mayor also thanked  the fiesta sponsors including the Marianas Visitors Authority, IT&E, Marianas Pacific Incorporated and Tan Holdings. He likewise expressed gratitude to Star Marianas, volunteers, program and competition participants and the community for “another successful fiesta.”

He noted that this year’s fiesta theme, “Homegrown,” recognized local talents, some of whom, such as  Pacific Cool and the Hofschneider Band, have gained international prominence in music.

San Jose Parish Priest Rey Rosal said the theme promoted the people of Tinian, their culture, skills, talents, history and patron saint who was a worker, foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary.

“Every one of us is heavenly gifted in a unique way,” Fr. Rosal said. “The God-given abilities, aptitudes or talents that you possess make the greatest difference in your life, providing you acknowledge them and get the most out of them for yourself and for others.”

He said every individual is unique.  “One should discover one’s talent and then use it wisely in order to make a personal contribution to society. Your talent is not just for you, but it allows you to serve others too.  Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God. It would be a great injustice to hide your talent.”

Fr. Rosal encouraged parishioners to share their talents and abilities especially with those in need.

As a musician and recording artist himself, Sen. Jude Hofschneider said they want to motivate the new generation to develop their talents and skills.

“This is an excellent idea, highlighting local talents in our fiesta celebration,” the senator said as he expressed appreciation for the initiative of fiesta organizers, particularly the overall event coordinator, Joseph Hocog.

“We have lots of musical talent on island,” Senator Hofschneider said.

Among the performers were Taotao Taga Dancers, Famagu’on Taga, Moika and Jesse Dela Cruz Band, Harmony, Hofschneider Band, Pacific Cool, James Selepeo and Marvin Deleon Guerrero Band, Little Superstars, Eddie Dela Crz, Moika Dela Cruz, Colleen Cing and Karen Lagunay, Mary Cris, Mary Jonilla Manuel, Ethan Palacios, Chamorritas, Neil Fama, XXI Dancers, Smarty Swag, Paul Demapan and Pozzy D, Scarlett and Quinn, Patrick “Chinaman” Arriola, Nikita Mendiola and Jessica Takasi and Janalynn Borja, Nathan Ada and Mango Session Band, Uprooted CNMI, James Selepeo and Maggie Naputi Band.

This year’s fiesta activities were held at their original venue, between the House of Taga and Krammer Beach pavilion.

“This is really the ideal place. It’s very cool here,” retiree Joe Topasna said.

There were 22 vendors providing games and selling local dishes, drinks, children’s toys, and clothing.

Accommodating visitors was something of a challenge since the closure of the Tinian Dynasty, but many local residents opened their homes to off-island guests.

“They don’t do it commercially,” Mayor San Nicolas said.

Rep. Edwin Aldan said the community is aware of the lack of accommodations so they are opening their homes to visitors.

For those who could not stay overnight, Star Marianas provided flights back to Saipan until 11 p.m., he added.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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