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InsIde: Ex-prisoner of war and Marine Corps living historian writes second book at 86 Homegrown singer Walter Manglona hopes to hit it big CNMI Celebrates Multicultural 4th of July Register for NMC’s Fall Semester

Winner! CnMI’s first nFL champion tells his story Plus — Lone Gates scholar from the northern Marianas shares insights




august 2011


ON THE COVER WINNER! First CNMI NFL Champion Tells His Story Plus—Lone Gates scholar from the Northern Marianas shares insights


TALK OF THE TOWN Prizes & surprises at Rotary Club’s Las Vegas Night


WAY OFF BROADWAY Walter Manglona hopes to hit it big





A DAY IN THE LIFE OF... Winona Maratita: Learning the Ropes at the Pharmacy

Homegrown singer Walter Manglona hopes to hit it big

Ex-prisoner of war and Marine Corps living historian writes second book at 86


CNMI Celebrates Multicultural 4th of July


FEATURE Ex-prisoner of war and Marine historian writes second book at 86

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FEATURE Multiracial CNMI celebrates Fourth of July

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CnMI’s first nFL champion tells his story Plus — Lone Gates scholar from the northern Marianas shares insights

Register for NMC’s Fall Semester

ABOUT THE COVER John Edward Elenzano will forever be remembered as a great storyteller and orator. His victory at the National Forensic League’s storytelling event is the first for the CNMI — an accomplishment that eluded the island-chain for many years. Read on his story and find out how he almost blew away the top prize.

SPORTS PAGE Saipan’s ‘Road Runner’ aims for Ironman


Photography by Hideo Honda

Publisher Maureen N. Maratita BRM Manager Gemma Q. Casas Graphic Artists Rudy L. Armenta Monie B. Erasga-Domingo

Vol. X No. 10

Beach Road Magazine, Vol. X, No. 1 August 2011. Entire contents copyrighted 2011 by Glimpses of Saipan, Inc. Beach Road Magazine is published monthly by Glimpses of Saipan, Inc. P.O. Box 502080, Saipan, MP 96950 2/F Transpac Business Center Gualo Rai, Saipan Tel: (670) 235-7645 • Fax: (670) 234-1801 E-mail: All rights reserved. No material may be printed in part or in whole without written permission from the publisher.

Account Manager Susan Marchitti Sales Manager Annie San Nicolas Managing Director Marcos Fong


Glimpses Publications include Guam Business Magazine, Marianas Business Journal, Marine Drive Magazine, Beach Road Magazine and R&R Pacific



First CNMI NFL champion tells his story by GEMMA Q. CASAS


is name is synonymous with great storytelling and victory for the CNMI that had eluded so many others who competed before him in the National Forensic League. Eighteen-year-old John Edward Elenzano, who recently graduated from Mount Carmel High School, made history when he topped the NFL storytelling event held in Dallas, Texas last month. An aspiring pilot and engineer, Elenzano has been doing forensics since 2nd grade and had competed in the national level many times but never thought he would bag the first place in his last national competition. Elenzano was among the 16, out of over 4,700 competing students all over the U.S. and its territories, who were named the 2011 NFL Champions—the first from the CNMI. Founded in 1925, NFL is the oldest and biggest national academic speech and debate honor society for high school students in the country. Elenzano’s parents, Edong and Fe, both migrant workers from the Philippines, say his winning piece —“The Girl Who Became a Mean Bear”— came from a book they borrowed at the Joeten Kiyu Public Library titled “The Ways of My Grandmothers”— a collection of stories of survival among the tribal women of Blackfoot Indians written by Beverly Hungry Wolf. Edong says his wife renewed the book just before John Edward, whom they fondly call Kokoy, left for the competition, which has Native American tales as its theme. If John Edward didn’t have the book with him, he would have been disqualified from becoming a champion. “If you made it to the finals, you should show the book where you got your piece. Normally, Kokoy would just bring a photocopy. His mother even said he shouldn’t bring the book because he won’t make it to the finals anyway. But his sister insisted that he bring the book. So his mother renewed it at the Joeten Kiyu Public Library,” says Edong, a tattoo 


artist and art director at Megavision International. Gift for Gab When news about John Edward’s victory reached home, everyone was in disbelief, including his family. “We didn’t believe it at first. We thought people were just pulling our legs,” says his mother, Fe, a manager at Megavision. “But they told us to watch the NFL Live online. We did and we made it to the awarding ceremony and saw him being recognized.” The Elenzano couple has been in the CNMI since the late 1980s. Their children were born and raised here and are active community members, especially at the Gloria Dei Choir of the Chalan Kanoa Catholic Diocese. Edong says they have faith their son would shine but the odds of winning were high because his competitors were really excellent orators and storytellers. John Edward too was in disbelief. Although he has a 4.18 GPA, with no infractions on his student record and a gift for theatrics, John Edward says he wasn’t expecting to win the event and was happy to have made it to the finals. The CNMI team cheered endlessly when John Edward was hailed the champion but the gifted storyteller was suddenly stupefied. “I was exhilarated but speechless,” says John Edward. “I was shocked. I was happy enough to be able to reach

the finals, as no one from the CNMI has ever made that feat. But to stand on stage, and be called the Champion of Storytelling, I couldn’t reach into my feelings to show any more happiness.” His coach and chaperone, Mrs. Teresita Zulaybar, was also included in the circle of champions for coaches with his victory. “I was extremely satisfied performing my story in front of 400-500 people. But to hear my name as the champion is just unbelievable! Walking back to my seat in the back, I was congratulated by many strangers, and finally by my supportive CNMI team,” he adds. His younger sister, Anne Gelika, also a student at Mount Carmel High School, says she cried and vowed to hug his brother for the first time when he returns to Saipan. “I wish that happened to me but I was really happy for him,” she says in jest. “I cried when I heard the news. Everyone kept calling and texting me. I was overwhelmed and speechless.” “I missed my brother and I said to myself, ‘I will hug him for the very first time,’” she adds. John Mark, the oldest among the Elenzano children, says he’s very happy for his younger brother’s victory and bringing pride to the CNMI. “I am happy because my brother is the man,” he says. John Edward says his mother picked

The Elenzano Family. From left, John Mark, Edong, John Edward, Fe and Anne Gelika Elenzano.


ON THE COVER (Continued from page 4)

up the book and he chose the story about a group of orphaned tribal women, their struggles and survivals. “They were laughing and smiling,” he says about the audience when he narrated the story in the best possible way he could. His love for theatrical arts and speech forensics was evident even as a child. “I guess I enjoy those kinds of activities because I love being with people. Performing a piece you’ve practiced for so long feels better when shown in front of a crowd. But I can never feel good about having performed a piece I barely practiced which is definitely why I can’t perform impromptu performances or join any sport activities, even if I do enjoy them a lot. I usually perform badly under pressure,” he says. He also loves singing and is a regular singer at the 11 a.m. Sunday mass at the Mount Carmel Cathedral. He credits his mother and others who prayed for his NFL victory. “Definitely,” he says when asked if his mother’s relentless prayers helped him in the competition. “Including prayers and moral support from the CNMI Team and everyone else back in Saipan. Without the support of everyone, I would have never made it that far and enjoyed every bit of it.” Like so many others before him, John Edward also experienced losses but as a seasoned NFL competitor, it’s the joy of telling a story to the crowd that keeps him going. “If ever you don’t win, don’t take it seriously. NFL, like reading, is a learning experience that can be developed. I’ve had my share of losses. But in the end, I’ve emerged as the first NFL champion from the CNMI. So just have fun with it. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely fun,” he says. Goal Oriented These days, John Edward keeps himself busy preparing for his goal to be admitted to the U.S. Air Force Academy, or in any of the military branches. With his vision no longer 20/20, he’s ditching his dream of becoming a pilot for a degree in engineering through the military. “I will try to enlist in the air force,” he says. He describes himself as “just a normal guy who likes to stick to the rules.” But what sets him apart from his peers 


“If ever you don’t win, don’t take it seriously. NFL, like reading, is a learning experience that can be developed. I’ve had my share of losses,” says Elenzano.


Known as Sami to her friends and family, Samantha A’ani BirminghamBabauta has a lot of things to be grateful for this year. Barely out of high school, Sami is already working as Zumba instructor at Gold’s Gym and is going this fall semester to the University of Guam to take up Bachelor of Science in Exercise through a scholarship. When she finishes her first two years in college, Sami plans to move to the California State University of Chico to eventually become an exercise physiologist or exercise psychologist. She’s been chosen to receive the 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship and the only one from the CNMI at that. The scholarship will pay for her college education up to the master’s degree. She’s traveling to Los Angeles in November to attend the 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship Leadership Conference to hear speeches from wellknown personalities in the academe, politics and other industries, and possibly, even Bill Gates himself. Over 23,000 students all over the U.S. applied for GMS but only 1,000 of them were chosen, including Sami.



Gates Scholar

Although she doesn’t standout academically, Sami has shown strong leadership skills and a commitment to help her roots—powerful tools to convince GMS to finance her college studies. “I don’t even think that I graduated in the top 50 of my class. But I do know that grades do not measure intelligence, and the most valuable lessons are learned from life and not from the textbooks,” she tells BRM in an interview. Sami is actively involved in different extra-curricular activities. She was a volunteer at the environmental group Beautify CNMI! She also plays for the CNMI Women’s abauta i Birmingham-B Samantha A’an National Soccer Team. She was also the president of the Saipan Southern High School she and her family don’t have to be Nursing Club and was voted vice financially burdened in spending for her president of the Student Council before college education. she moved to MHS. “It plays an enormous role in my “It feels somewhat surreal,” she future. It pays for all my education costs says when asked about how she took for both my bachelor’s and my master’s the news about her scholarship. “I [degrees] and even my doctorate. I now still cannot comprehend the scope of have no excuses for not branching out this scholarship, and the doors it has into the world,” she says. opened for me. This scholarship has As the current ambassador of the erased all limitations I once had, and it’s GMS program in the CNMI, Sami is empowering to think that I can do attain responsible to promote it to other anything I want out of life, that I can go students and convince them that it’s not to any college anywhere I want to and limited to those who excel in academics. receive the highest quality of education “Many people have never even heard in my major.” of the GMS program and many students Marianas High School counselor who have are discouraged by the lengthy Joshua Franklin endorsed Sami to the process. My advice is to get involved, not scholarship while her teacher Autumn only in school, but also in the community. Beechler wrote a strong recommendation The GMS scholarship is not about having letter for her. a 4.0 average,” she says. Sami wrote 10 essays, in turn, to “It’s about leadership and experience. complete her application. How did you handle a challenging And last month, their efforts paid off, situation? Or how did an experience with the announcement that Sami was change you? When responding to chosen as this year’s lone 2011 GMS questions in the application, be yourself, scholar from the CNMI. and be honest. That’s the only way Her mother, a teacher and cancer you’re going to standout when competing survivor who raised her single-handedly, against students from the United States, cried when she learned about it. and the territories of Guam, American “My mom cried just after reading the Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto “congratulations” line in the letter, and so Rico,” she adds. did I. Becoming part of GMS’s class of Young as they are, John Edward and Cohort 12 is amazing. They only choose Sami are the epitome of pride and hope 1,000 students every year, and this year, for the Northern Marianas, carrying with over 23,000 students applied,” says them traits of a real winner despite the Sami. odds. BRM Becoming a GMS scholar means

mma Q. Casa Photo by Ge

is his love for reading and perfecting the art of performing before a crowd. “I love reading. Whether it’s reading a newspaper, magazine, bible, book, or even a blog on the internet—reading is a self-learning experience. It’s one of those skills that can only develop by dedication. Reading is not something you should just ignore. It is a long-term experience that will only benefit you, so why not make the most of it?” he says. “Whether you’re reading your textbook to study for an exam or reading Twilight, reading will benefit you with new knowledge and imagination. If you don’t find it fun, just take things slow. Sooner or later, you will develop a newfound appreciation to better yourself,” he adds. As he enters adulthood, John Edward hopes things get better for the CNMI. Like the rest of his generation, he is worried about the islands’ future and what would become of families whose parents have no status. “In my view, we need help. The economy does not look bright and with issues, including the immigration status of long-term migrant residents, the CNMI needs some way to fix this,” he says.


Prizes & surprises at Rotary Club’s Las Vegas Night TEXT AND PHOTOS by GEMMA Q. CASAS


ables of various shapes and sizes lined up the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall filled with people seeking fun, prizes and surprises as the Rotary Club held its annual Las Vegas Night fundraiser event at the hotel. Held on June 18, the event generated over $30,000 in ticket sales and an additional $6,000 in game earnings to finance various projects of the Saipan Rotary Club, according to organizers. Then Rotary President Glen Perez says he’s happy that the community threw in support to their fundraiser event despite the islands’ economic downturn. The hotel’s biggest hall was turned into a mini casino ala Las Vegas style, teeming with decors like giant gambling cards, dices and a joker. A mini bar with food and drinks is also available for players and other guests who gambled the night away in many table games offering Kina (another form of Bingo), Black Jack, Texas Hold’em, Craps and Roulette. Guests hang on to their raffle tickets throughout the night hoping to win the grand prize of either the $10,000 cash or the brand new Mazda 2 Sport or the lesser valued prizes. In the end, driver/car washer Frankie L. Castillo who works at Microl Corp. went home $10,000 richer with his winning ticket No. 5988—one of the 10 that he bought. Other major winners were Saipan Tribune reporter Clarissa David $2,500 first prize; Marilyn Jones-$1,500 second prize; Joseph Pangelinan$750 third prize; Gilbert Fauni-$500 5th prize. BRM


Rotarians gather around table games as players gamble the night away for a cause at the annual Las Vegas Night fundraiser event.

The Saipan World Resort’s Taga Hall was filled with people eager to win a few bucks at the annual Las Vegas Night’s fundraiser event.



Walter Manglona hopes to hit it big by GEMMA Q. CASAS


or the past 10 years, Walter Manglona has been bringing joy and laughter to the mundane lifestyle of the man’amko, or the elderly, who frequent the Aging Center, where he works as program coordinator. But this young musician, who dabbles in different music genres, may soon bid his favorite audience adios with a promising singing career waiting for him in the states. Manglona tells Beach Road Magazine he’s seriously considering to work with a group of musicians based in the U.S. to jumpstart his burgeoning singing career. The group, which he declined to name pending negotiations, came into the picture through his cousins’ networking. “I do have plans early next year. I am going to work with some musicians in the states. I will hire an agent,” says Walter whose song, “Right Here”, was played in one of the Lakers’ games in California. He’s been offered jobs in Guam and elsewhere with better pay and benefits, but he turned it down for the love of the man’amko. However, this time it may be different. “I love my job here. My clients are like my family. I try to create innovative ways to keep them entertained. They get tired fast. So if an activity starts to get boring, I try to change it. You don’t tell them to exercise. You have to disguise that in an activity,” he says. “I got offered a job in Guam and elsewhere that pays three times more than what I make here, but I do get sentimental and attached here. As long as I am able to make ends meet (I could stay). The man’amko depend on me to provide programs and activities for them. They show me and tell me that all the time. It’s just very unfortunate that we’re in this state of economy,” he adds. Walter is no beginner in the local music industry. He got his first 15 minutes of fame at age 17 in a musical competition in Guam held at Two Lovers Point. That earned him $5,000 and a contract for a recording company. In the years that followed, he went solo, produced his own music and recorded them at a studio he created. He also creates his own video and graphic design for his music, and promoting them as well. Born and raised in Rota, Walter says they grew up with music all around them. “My dad, David Manglona, is a musician. My two grandfathers



are also musicians. When we were young, my dad would have me and my younger brother Dean sing in family parties and play the guitar,” Walter says. “I was really shy then but for some reason it just came natural.” Growing up, he experimented with different genres but finally settled with R&B and hip-hop which fit his voice. “Just because you like rock doesn’t mean you can sing it,” he says.

He has written so many songs and one of his personal favorites is the “Chamorro Superman,” which topped the charts on Guam and continues to be a hit song. “Chamorro Superman is an acoustic ballad. It’s about getting a second chance. It’s basically about a guy who messed up and trying to win back his girl,” says Walter. “In life, we don’t always get a second chance. I could be a superman to come and save the day but everybody makes mistakes. We’re just human.” Walter hopes his Chamorro Superman track would not only fly high on Guam but elsewhere where his feet would lead him. BRM



CRUISIN’ ON BEACH ROAD WELCOME ABOARD. Dr. Sharon Hart, left, the new president of Northern Marianas College, attends her first State Board of Regents meeting with Chairman Juan Lizama presiding, June 14 at the NMC’s conference room.

GOLF ENTHUSIASTS. Tae Won Park, 2nd left, sales and marketing director of Hanwha Hotels & Resorts Co. Ltd., is joined by other business executives at the banquet party for Hanmi’s 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament.

IN ACTION. Seasoned Japanese photographer Hideo Honda (kneeling) studies his next angle for a photo shoot at Mt. Tapochao for BRM’s August main feature, the CNMI’s first National Forensic League Champion John Edward Elenzano.

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS to Aika Lanuza who turned 21 last month.

CHECK THIS OUT. Joseph Reyes, former chairman of the CNMI Republican Party who also served a term in the House of Representatives, is joined by his friend, businessman James Whang, at his newly-opened bar and restaurant, Joe’s Bar & Grill, located in Garapan fronting the Fiesta Resort & Spa.

WELCOME TO SAIPAN! Ruth Coleman, left, who retired as executive director of the CNMI Military and Veterans Affairs Office in June and now the administrative specialist for the federal Veterans Affairs Office in the CNMI, welcomes the officers and crew of the USS Cowpens, a CG-63 567foot Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, during a visit in May.

FAMILY OUTING. Employees of TransPacific International Inc. enjoy a gathering with their families at the Minachom Atdao.



RARE VISIT. Retired Lt. Col. Roy Elrod of Virginia is surrounded by reporters during his rare visit to Saipan where he fought and got wounded as a young Marine 67 years ago. Now 92 years old, Elrod says he had always dreamed of coming back to the island.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Marcia Ogana, left, celebrated her birthday last month with Anne Omori and their other friends.

WELCOME RECEPTION. Northern Marianas Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, middle, shakes hand with Shigeru Sato, senior managing director of Ken Corporation. From left—Pacific Islands Club Saipan General Manager Hiro Sugie, Sato, Sablan, CNMI Lt. Governor Eloy Inos and Ken Real Estate Lease Ltd. Managing Director Toshihiko-Ogata at PIC’s welcome reception on June 17 for Ken Corp. which acquired PIC Saipan.

CLASS PHOTO. The Current Issues Class of political science instructor Sam McPhetres gather for a photo souvenir after presenting their survey findings about the public’s sentiment on the proposal to reunify Northern Marianas with Guam. Majority of those surveyed are against the idea.

MAXINE TURNS 6! Maxine Rabago, right, tightly hugs her younger sister Kyla. Maxine is celebrating her 6th birthday on August 11.

PICNIC. Members of the Aging Office join the man’amko in a picnic at the Minachom Atdao after a brief sightseeing tour around the island.

ISLAND TOUR. The Manaloto and Demapan families in one of the beautiful sights they visited around the island during the July 4th and 65th Liberation Day celebration.

VISITING RUSSIAN EXPERTS. Elena Yurkovskaya, left, a specialist in psychological practices and life coaching, and Olga Gidalevich, a personal coach, conducted an eight-day retreat at the Pacific Islands Club especially designed for Russian women.

FUN IN THAILAND. San Vicente Elementary School teacher Alex Mercado and his wife Jenny, enjoy a photo shoot with two elephants during their vacation last month to Bangkok, Thailand. The couple married three years ago.

Congrats! Samantha Flores gets a big hug from her dad, Mar. She finished kindergarten with honors.



A DAY IN THE LIFE of Winona Maratita

Learning the ropes at the pharmacy by GEMMA Q. CASAS


inona-Rebekah B. Maratita was born and raised on Tinian. The daughter of Board of Education Chairwoman Lucia BlancoMaratita and the late David Maratita, this young woman aspires to become the first local licensed pharmacist. Coming from an island where access to medical service and medicine is difficult, Maratita hopes to change things when she gets her degree in pharmacy. This 19-year-old sophomore at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, spent her summer as intern at Brabu Pharmacy. She shares with Beach Road Magazine her insights working as a pharmaceutical intern. BRM: What is a typical day like for you at Brabu Pharmacy? Maratita: I usually fill prescriptions, count tablets, measure liquids, or type out prescription labels. Aside from that, I also help customers find the right overthe-counter products or advise them about certain medications (with the help of the



pharmacist, Ted Parker, of course). At the end of the day, it slows down and we have the chance to talk with one another, allowing me to gain more knowledge and advice from the pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. We then clean up and leave satisfied from a job well done. BRM: What are some of your memorable experiences at the pharmacy? Maratita: Brabu Pharmacy has such a welcoming environment. The second day on the job, I already had a nickname and I felt like part of the Brabu staff. So I would say that the bond I made with the staff would be the most memorable experience that I will take with me. I felt comfortable asking them questions about certain drugs or advice for Pharmacy School. We all had a lot of good laughs. I also appreciated my little pizza party we had on my last day at Brabu pharmacy. Each member of the Brabu staff treated me like one of their own, and I will leave back to school content and grateful for such an incredible opportunity. BRM: Why do you want to become a

pharmacist? Who influenced you to seek this field? Maratita: I was never interested in becoming a pharmacist. I was actually aspiring to become a teacher. However, the summer before my senior year, I decided to join the Summer Health Careers Program (a program developed by PSS intended to explore student’s career options in the health field). During that program, we had (Continued on page 20)




Ex-prisoner of war and Marine historian writes second book at 86 text and photos by GEMMA Q. CASAS


etired U.S. Marine Corps Major Richard “Rick” T. Spooner is no doubt a tough nut to crack. He survived World War II after being briefly imprisoned on Saipan by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1944 while thousands others perished in the battlefields and beaches around the island. He fought in the Battle of Okinawa and the Vietnam War. Now, 86, the veteran remains sharp and is into book writing. “Initially, I never thought of writing a book. I had no interest in writing a book. Then, a publisher came to me and asked me if I would. He heard about some classes that I held for the Marines on history and he told me, I should write about it. One on Tinian and Saipan and so I did,” Spooner tells Beach Road Magazine. His first book, “The Spirit of Semper Fidelis” – a personal memoir— was published in 2004. He remembers Saipan as a hell zone where hundreds of bodies littered around the shores — casualties of intense fighting between Japanese and American forces. “When I first saw Saipan, I thought it was hell. It was miserable. We lost a lot of people on the beach,” he recalls. “I was very lucky because I survived.” Spooner returned to Saipan on July 2, his first 67 years after the end of WWII, and was amazed at its great transformation. “It’s hard to visualize something that is evil and bad had turned into this place today,” he says. At the American Memorial Park, he launched his second book, “A Marine Anthology” which is a collection of stories and tales about the “Old Corps” and their exploits in many war zones which include France, the Philippines, Haiti and Saipan. “The book has factual history on the background but the names of the junior people in the book, I changed to protect the guilty. And the dialogue, I have to make it fiction. I couldn’t remember what we said when we were young Marines,” he says. After WWII, Spooner remained in the Marine Corps and eventually met his wife Gloria. “It was difficult for me to meet ladies. 16


Known as the Marines’ living historian, retired Major Richard T. Spooner signs one of his books for Commonwealth Ports Authority Assistant Police Chief Juan Dela Cruz whose son, Chioni, is busy browsing over the author’s other book they bought at the American Memorial Park.

One time, my boss said I have to recruit someone for the women’s Marine Corps. In those days, they were really trying to get women to join. So he sent me out to recruit. I failed miserably I couldn’t get any girl to sign up,” he says. “But one girl was a prospect. I kept following up with her but she never signed up for the Marines but she winded up marrying me,” he adds. The couple was blessed with three daughters and a son, retired Major Rick W. Spooner, who accompanied him in his trip to Saipan. Their children produced 17 grandchildren. Spooner says one of his daughters has nine children. Another didn’t marry while his only son has three children. “Three of my grandsons are also Marines,” he proudly says. Spooner retired from the Marine Corps in 1972 or 30 years after he first enlisted as a rifleman. But his dealings with the Marines would never stop. Four years before he retired, he opened a mini bar he named the Globe and

Laurel, which features a collection of memorabilia. The mini bar later expanded to include a restaurant and became his full-time “hobby” after retirement. Located outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base Quantico, the Globe and Laurel offers Spooner an opportunity to talk and exchange stories with young Marines. “You never stop being a Marine. It’s not a job. It’s a vocation like a priest. I talk to Marines every day,” he says. These days, Spooner also devotes much of his time finishing his third book which is untitled. “I am writing a third one. It’s going to be more like a novel. It takes place in Shanghai, China, in the 1930s. There’s a lot of Marine history there. Many Marines were assigned to China in those days,” he says. “It’s fiction so people would read it and keep it interesting. But the idea is to let them know why the Marines are there. What their mission was? Why did we have the Marines in China for so many years?” he adds. BRM




Multiracial CNMI celebrates Fourth of July TEXT AND PHOTOS by GEMMA Q. CASAS


throng of multiracial spectators lined up along Beach Road on July 4 to celebrate the United States’ 235th Independence Day and the islands’ 65th Liberation Day, unmindful of the intermittent heavy rains and extreme summer heat that almost spoiled the CNMI’s biggest community event. Unlike past events, this year’s Liberation Day celebration was low key, devoid of high profile guests and had fewer parade participants — indicative of the islands’ continuing struggle to survive a lingering economic crisis. Still, the public marked the occasion with optimism, beating both the cold rains and heat for many hours, to watch floats and various performances during the parade. 2011 Liberation Day Committee Overall Chairman Jonas Barcinas and Saipan Mayor Donald Flores led the parade with Governor Benigno R. Fitial, First Lady Josie Fitial, Lt. Governor Eloy S. Inos, Grand Marshals Ruth Coleman representing Saipan, Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, Rota Mayor Melchor Aquino, representing their respective islands and Daniel O. Kaipat for the Northern Islands, and other public officials in tow. Fifteen-year-old Joni C. Castro, a Saipan

Southern High School student, was crowned the 2011 Liberation Queen. Her royal court includes Royal Princess Nizelynn Teregeyo Masayos, 17, a student at Kagman High School and 1st Runner Up Mariah Indalecio Ada, 18, also a student at SSHS. Ayaka Kojima, 22, who was crowned as Miss Saipan Photogenic of Japan, also joined the celebration. Close to two dozen groups marched along the stretch of Beach Road representing different government offices, cause-oriented organizations, including groups from the Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, the Federated States of Micronesia, Falun Dafa, American Samoa and Palau communities, among others. With the theme, “A Band of Arms Liberating Communities to Freedom, the Island Way,” this year’s festivities focused on the importance of the CNMI’s rich history and youth power to preserve the indigenous culture while reviving the islands’ economy. The multiracial crowd got a surprise treat from Coca-Cola and Foremost Foods, Inc., which gave away 3,000 assorted products to quench their thirst and hunger albeit momentarily. BRM

BEVY OF BEAUTIES. The Royal Court beauties with the Liberation Day Committee officials and Saipan Mayor Donald Flores during the coronation night held on July 2.

SONGS OF FRIENDSHIP. Children from South Korea sing for the dignitaries and spectators while waiving the Korean flag.

ON YOUR MARK. Let the parade begin… TIME TO REFRESH. Dignitaries, from left, Lt. Governor Eloy Inos, First Lady Josie Fitial, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Mayor Donald Flores, a guest, and Vice Speaker Felicidad Ogumoro, quench their thirst, amid intermittent heavy rains and extreme summer heat that marked the July 4th celebration. BEAT IT. Spectators race against each other to get one of the 3,000 Foremost Foods, Inc. and Coca-Cola products given to the public during the Liberation Day parade. 18





Saipan’s ‘Road Runner’ aims for Ironman TEXT AND PHOTO by GEMMA Q. CASAS


e’s known in the CNMI as the “Road Runner”—a fitting comparison with the Disney cartoon character known for its speed and agility. Ketson “Jack” Kabilier has been running for over 19 years now and has never lost in any race. This father of four, who works for Safety First as safety technician, is from the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. He began his love for the sport in the 6th grade. When he won his first race in school in Chuuk, Jack never stopped running and his feet brought him to every part of Micronesia even as far as Australia, to compete. He permanently moved to the CNMI 15 years ago where he met his wife, Pat, whom he says is one of his biggest challenges as an athlete. Pat, a Carolinian, is not into running but he continues to encourage her to join him to stay fit like him. But the couple’s three sons and only daughter appear to be into running as well. Jack and his son Koen topped the 2010 Saipan International School 5K Run with his record speed of 20:26 minutes and

his son finishing the race in less than 40 minutes for the U10 Division. Jack’s fastest run was a record 17.58 minutes on a three-mile course. He’s also been named the best athlete in the CNMI many times. His latest victory is winning at the Chuuk Track and Field game held on July 6 in Guam. The 5’11” tall Kabilier says he’s currently preparing for the Honolulu Marathon scheduled for December. But his ultimate goal is to join the Ironman Triathlon in the U.S. which requires a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike and running for 26.2 miles without a break. The rigorous swim/bike/run-course must be completed within 17 hours—a true test for a man’s endurance. “I dream of making it to the Ironman,” says the lean Kabilier. “I am preparing for it and hope to make it maybe next year.” To stay fit, his daily workout regiment includes running a six-mile course in Kagman where they live and an hour or so of running after work along the Beach Road jogging pathway. “I will keep on running as long as I can,” he tells Beach Road Magazine. And long may he run. BRM Ketson “Jack” Kabilier

(Continued from page 14)

the chance to shadow some jobs at the Commonwealth Health Center in Saipan. I was assigned to the in-patient pharmacist, Anthony Raho, and was intrigued by the different types of medicine and how a pharmacist determines the uses, side effects, and dosage for each. I was impressed by how much knowledge he had to know and the importance of his profession in the health field. My interest increased as I discovered that there was no local pharmacist in the CNMI. My inspiration came from not only Anthony Raho, but as well as the people of my islands. I am determined to become the first local pharmacist so that I may contribute my skills, profession, and knowledge of the Chamorro culture to my community. BRM: Where are you currently based and studying? 20


Maratita: I am currently a sophomore at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. My major is General Science, with a Pre-Pharmacy option. After attaining my bachelor’s degree, I am planning on applying to the Pharmacy School at OSU, eventually receiving my Doctorate in Pharmacy. BRM: Do you plan to go back to the CNMI when you graduate from college? Maratita: I believe that all youth who go off-island for higher education should come back to the CNMI once they receive their degree. I am very determined to come back to serve my community and its people by becoming the first local pharmacist. I believe that it is a great way to show your gratitude and appreciation for all of the support our islands have given us. It shows a great sense of your character whether you come back to the

CNMI or not. I am an advocate for serving my home after I get my degree because I believe that since my community has been there for me throughout my education, they deserve the professional help from our generation. BRM: Based on your experience, how important is a pharmacist in the CNMI? Maratita: Having local doctors, nurses, and pharmacists allow patients to have a stronger connection with those who understand their background and culture. I believe that patients, especially those who grew up in the islands, would greatly benefit from a local pharmacist, one who would be able to speak their language and know their history. The CNMI deserves to have health care professionals who truly understand their culture and the communities they live in. BRM




Think About Your Health Status


o one wants to miss or postpone a trip, but there are times when staying home might be best for health reasons. First, evaluate your health or the health of those traveling with you by using the guide below. Then, talk to your doctor. He or she will help you assess your situation and help you decide whether to postpone your trip. In general, you should not travel by air if you: • Will be taking a baby less than 48 hours (2 days) old • Have passed 36 weeks of pregnancy (or 32 weeks if you are carrying twins, triplets, etc.) • Have recently had any type of surgery, especially stomach, brain, eye, or orthopedic (bone and joint) surgery. Check with your doctor to see when it is safe for you to travel. • Have had a recent stomach, eye, or head injury. Check with your doctor to see

when it is safe for you to travel. • Have had a recent heart attack or stroke • Are suffering from: • Chest pain • Any disease that you can easily spread to other people (For a listing of infectious diseases, how they are spread, and how long someone is contagious, see Understand How Infectious Diseases Are Spread.) • Swelling of the brain caused by bleeding, injury, or infection • Severe sinus, ear, or nose infections • Severe chronic respiratory diseases, breathlessness at rest, or a collapsed lung • Have a fever of 100° F (38° C) or greater AND one or more of the following: Obvious signs of illness (e.g., severe headache, weakness, skin and eyes turning yellow); Skin rash; Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; Persistent, severe cough; Confusion, especially if it has just started; Bruising or bleeding

(without previous injury); Diarrhea that does not go away; Vomiting that does not go away (other than motion sickness) Some airlines check for visibly sick passengers in the waiting area and during boarding. If you look like you may be sick, the airline may not let you get on the plane. Important: If you are sick, check with your airline to see what options you have for rescheduling your flight. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



HOROSCOPE ARIES: New ideas do not grow on trees — and right now, they might not seem to be growing in your mind, either! If you’re stuck with a serious case of writer’s block, have no fear! Step back from the project and give yourself time to breathe. It may sound counterintuitive, but right now the most stimulating thing you can do for your creativity is to turn your brain off. TAURUS: It’s more than okay for you to take risks — the universe will not punish bravery. It’s almost as if you have a ‘get out of jail free’ card right now, although you should be careful not to be overly reckless. You can push things pretty far, but you will eventually come to a barrier. GEMINI: This is a great day full of strong beginnings — but absolutely no follow-through! Nevertheless, you won’t be too concerned about continuing work on your projects when you are surrounded by so many people you love. They are very good distractions. CANCER: Multiple facets are good when it comes to rare diamonds or people’s personalities, but right now the many aspects of a project you’re working on may be pushing you over the edge. LEO: Being involved in groups will be very

AUGUST 2011 gratifying for you. It takes strong teamwork to make a big impression sometimes, and you will be lucky enough to be on a team that really knows how to make a statement. Get more involved than you usually do, and don’t let your brilliant ideas and quips go unsaid. VIRGO: An intense energy will put you in the mood for extremely detailed work -- you will want to figure out your finances to the last cent, spend time on an intricate craft project, or plan out every single aspect of an upcoming vacation. Watch out for other people’s small, unintentional errors today, and don’t be shy about asking for corrections and adjustments.

SAGITTARIUS: While you will have a strong urge to get philosophical with your friends, you won’t be able to really connect with them for deep conversations. Their minds will be elsewhere for a while, but that’s okay. You cannot always be on the exact same page every day. CAPRICORN: Dazzling charm is pouring out of you, enabling you to attract a lot of diverse people — including some very flighty folks. You know, the kind of people who always talk about wanting to get together but who always back out of plans at the last minute?

LIBRA: Whenever you perceive an opportunity to sway the topic of conversation, push it toward your new personal fad. Sharing what excites you is a great way to show new people what makes you tick and give them insight into your personality.

AQUARIUS: Your creativity is on an upswing right now, so you should give it plenty of room to soar! When you do, you’ll be able to find ways to add more color to your life — in every sense of the word. Suddenly, the people you find fascinating will find you fascinating, and conversations will go on for hours.

SCORPIO: Resist the temptation to edit your conversations — because what you have to say is something that people need to hear. Don’t be bashful about making waves, because a little bit of choppy water is exactly what is called for right now. People need to be shaken out of their complacency and woken up from their sleepy routines.

PISCES: Whenever you’re in doubt about what to do, stay right where you are! This is not a good time to move forward in any endeavors, projects or relationships. Keeping things at a standstill for one day will enable all the erratic energy around you to settle down. Give yourself time to take a deep metaphysical breath of fresh air.

Beach Road magazine Aug 2011 issue  

Beach Road Magazine is the island of Saipan’s leading lifestyle publication, distributed monthly at leading gas stations and venues througho...

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