calendar of events • travel • restaurants & food • trends • recreation • sports • culture & arts • special features • nightlife • coupons & much more
Miss Saigon cast brings their passion to the stage
Exhibition explores Yap’s waters
Yap’s manta rays are the focus of the Manta Mania research exhibition in February. Photo courtesy of Manta Trust. See story page 14.
NASA Astronaut Paul S. Lockhart
Events in December and January
New Box Seats donates
ESSENCE OF GUAM
Hagåtña, Asan-Maina, MTM 8
restaurants & food
Learn Chamorro 14
Misktatonic Gardens 16
out & about
Readers and events photos
R&R Pacific is a lifestyle magazine that features the people, culture and activities that collectively make up Guam. We provide our readers a window into the different facets of Guam’s diverse community through vibrant photography and engaging articles.
www.facebook.com/rrpacificguam About the cover: Fire dancing performances at Chamorro Village. Photo by Rueben Olivas.
R&R Pacific December/January
Maureen N. Maratita
Annie San Nicolas
Kellie C. Morgan
Vincent Leon Guerrero
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R&R Pacific • December/January 2017 • Entire contents copyrighted 2016 by Glimpses of Guam, Inc. R&R Pacific is published monthly by Glimpses of Guam, Inc., 161 US Army Juan C. Fejeran St., Barrigada Heights, GU 96913. Telephone: (671) 649-0883, Fax: (671) 649-8883, Email: email@example.com • All rights reserved. No material may be printed in part or in whole without written permission from the publisher.
Be amazed by
By Dean Hethington
Chances are if you’re going to Cambodia, you’re going there to see Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and one of the Wonders of the World. It’s the centerpiece of Angkor Archaeological Park, a 400-square-kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with numerous 9th to 15th century ancient temples, moated cities, palaces, basins, dykes, terraces, pools, reservoirs and canals and the remains of an exceptional civilization. It tells the story of the rise and fall of the Khmer Empire. It’s amazing to see how many visitors show up at 5:30 a.m. for a sunrise over Angkor Wat. The light is so exquisite — it’s assuredly a “Bucket List” experience. Be thrilled by the extraordinary artistry of the magnificent bas-relief walls, carvings and the 1,800 Apsaras, seductive bare-breasted dancing nymphs, each startlingly unique. Much restoration has been done to Angkor, however Ta Prohm, where Angelina Jolie swung through temple ruins as Lara Croft and where the movie “Tomb Raider” was filmed was left as found — walls crumbling intertwined with tree roots — showing how the surrounding temples were originally discovered and later popularized by the drawings and descriptions of Frenchman Henri Mouhot in the mid-19th century. Be sure to see this temple early morning as well to avoid a crush of selfie-crazed sightseers. A three-day pass for
the entire park is $40. Take a balloon ride over Angkor with a tour company on the road from the airport as it offers an exciting appreciation of the ruins from on high. Seeing the site from 600 feet gives perspective on how massive the temple complex truly is. Balloon rides start at $35. It is commonly recommended that visitors spend at least three days touring the park. Many stay for a week in the nearby town, Siem Reap, traveling back and forth and around by tuk tuk, a three-wheeled four-person carriage pulled by motorcycle. The town has its own attractions and definitely has a night life on Pub Street and at the Siem Reap Night Market, which offers a Mardi Gras type of atmosphere. Other local attractions include the Aqua, an Australian-owned bar and restaurant situated around a giant public swimming pool where one can take a swim. Another poolside bar is at the Palm Garden Cafe in Apsara Siem Reap. An accommodation recommendation is the newly renovated Lotus Blanc, Siem Reap, which is a four-star hotel starting at $75/night on booking.com that features modern-chic and comfortable rooms, a phenomenal pool and friendly and knowledgeable staff. The Great Tonle Sap Lake is only 15 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Known as the beating heart of the mighty Mekong River, the lake is
(Left) Angkor Wat, Cambodia; (Right) The Independence monument, with its Khmer architecture style, in Phnom Penh.
formed during the rainy season (April through November) when the swollen Mekong River backs up into the Tonle Sap and fills up the lake, expanding it from 2,500 square kilometers to 12,000. At Chong Khneas boat dock, take a boat to see floating villages, markets, repair shops and livestock in floating pens. Almost everything is floating there during the rainy season. From Chong Khneas, as well, boats are available to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, what is considered the single most important breeding ground in Southeast Asia for globally threatened large water birds. You can get from Siem Reap to the capital, Phnom Penh, by bus, boat, plane, taxi or mini-bus. You can also rent a car. For $12, Giant Ibis buses take passengers on a journey of about six hours to the capital, offering Wi-Fi and power outlets on board as well as a food stop. Three airlines also operate flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh five or six times daily. It takes about 45 minutes and costs $100 each way. In Phnom Penh, stay at The Plantation, Phnom Penh, an urban resort and spa and sanctuary with “zen-calm rooms.” As you head to one of two pools, lie down on a cabana bed or have a cocktail before heading upstairs to the notable restaurant.
CAMBODIA Visas: Most nations’ citizens receive a 30-day visa on arrival: Tourist visas cost $20. Business visa (the only one that can be extended) cost $25. Getting there: Flight durations range from 8 hours and 20 minutes to 14 hours, depending on the routes and will include one or more stopovers. Routes include Guam to Phonm Penh or Guam to Siem Reap via Eva Air, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Korean Air. Best time of year to travel: The dry season starts in December. December through February when the weather is cooler. It’s hot from late February through April until the rainy season starts, and the rains come late April through November. Exchange Rate: Cambodian riel is 4,000 to one U.S. dollar. Cambodia is a dollar economy. Small bills are best for everyday use. ATMs will give you dollars or riel. People prefer dollars. Must see: Angkor Wat Must Eat in Phnom Penh: The Lost Room — open for dinner and drinks only in the now trendy Tonle Bassac neighborhood. It’s cozy but stylish with an off-the-beaten-track feel, inspiring the name. The menu features a range of small plates that are meant for sharing, such as warm spiced goat-and-feta-cheese dip with crudites and peri peri kampot crab cakes with onion jam. Be sure to try the crispy pork belly braised in dark ale.
CONTINUED ON Page 6
During the long drawn-out wars in Cambodia, when many international journalists were in residence, the Foreign Correspondents Club Phnom Penh was the center of activity. Now, one can sip cold, strong drinks there at half price everyday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The club also serves food overlooking the Tonle Sap River and Mekong confluence. All along the riverside are hotels, guest houses, fantastic restaurants and bars â€” a center of a real nightlife not to be forgotten. Many of the best pieces, such as ancient sculptures and statues, ceramics, bronzes and ethnographic objects, are part of the Phnom Penh National Museumâ€™s collection which houses more than 14,000 items from prehistory to periods before, during and after the Khmer Empire. The museum is located just north of the must-see Royal Palace, along with the Silver Pagoda in the same complex. In the garden of the National Museum, Plae Paka, be sure to take in a traditional Apsara dance performance. You can also enjoy these authentic dances with dinner at many restaurants in Siem Reap. Cambodia has so much to offer, including the beaches of Sihanoukville, the unspoiled islands offshore or river cruises along the mighty Mekong. Cambodia offers a living culture and access to other attractions and countries in the Southeast Asia region, of which Cambodia is at the heart.
(Right) A traditional apsara Khmer Cambodian dance depicting the ramayana epic in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
BY JOY WHITE
Paul S. Lockhart Education: bachelor’s in mathematics from Texas Tech University; master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas; graduate of the Royal College of Defense Studies, London
Former NASA astronaut and U.S. Air Force Col. Paul S. Lockhart visited Guam in October to meet with students at local schools. R&R Pacific was able to grab a few star-struck minutes with him to talk science and space. This was the first time the U.S. Air Force funded the Space Foundation and Lockhart to provide space awareness training for DoDEA Guam students and educators as well as the Child and Youth Programs and Homeschoolers for Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam. Joint Region Marianas Region School Liaison Officer Lydia Broussard was instrumental in bringing this program to Guam. Broussard included an opportunity for the local community to attend a space presentation by Lockhart at Top o’ the Mar, which was free to the public.
Military experience: Commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1981; assigned to the 49th Flight Interceptor Squadron, U.S. Air Force, Europe and Edwards Air Force Base Testing Wing at the Air Force Developmental Test Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he was selected as the operations officer for the 39th Flight Test Squadron. NASA and Space flight experience: Selected by NASA in April 1996 for the program, reporting to Johnson Space Center in August 1996; logged 26 days, 39 minutes and 82 seconds in space aboard the STS-111 Endeavor from June 5 to 19, 2002 and the STS-113 Endeavor from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7, 2002 to conduct missions at the International Space Station.
R&R: How did you first become interested in going into space? Lockhart: My interest in space goes all the way back to John Glenn — watching John Glenn and early astronauts in their launches. […] In the early ‘60s space flight was so captivating and so unique and exciting that all of the major program broadcasts — CBS, NBC and ABC — all stopped everything they were doing and they would show you the entire launch preparation of those early launches. …For a young man, sitting in front of a black and white television, having grown up in West Texas where I grew up around cowboys and stuff, that, to me, was the next big adventure. That’s when it started. I didn’t know what I was doing then in terms of how to get to become an astronaut, but that’s where that first seed was planted.
“you have this perspective that the Earth is fragile in certain ways, but also much bigger than we are as individuals. I would sometimes feel a little bit insignificant...” — Col. Paul S. Lockhart, former NASA Astronaut & Retired U.S. Airforce
R&R: What was it like in space and how did it change you? Lockhart: It didn’t. It confirmed what I believed about myself and it affirmed, I think, my entire upbringing, between the teachers I had when I was a young person, the belief in me by [my ROTC colonel at Texas Tech University and] my squadron mates that had been with me in Europe. All of that had come together, and it affirmed that their belief in my ability to be able to carry out the flights properly was true. . . . But it did give me this great perspective that the Earth is a massive natural planet and we’re really just a small piece of it. When the sight of the Earth is that of what I had in space, which is that I’m looking down at the Earth and you see the massive rivers, such as the Amazon and the massive dust storms that occur in Southeastern China as the winds pass the Ural Mountains and come down, you have this perspective that the Earth is fragile in certain ways, but also much bigger than we are as individuals. I would sometimes feel a little bit insignificant, so what I would do then was I would think about my family. The view from space is gorgeous. Space is darker; the sun is a little bit brighter. It’s actually harder to look at, because the light’s not being deflected by the atmosphere. The moon hangs there about the same size, but it’s clearer when you look at it. When you’re on the sun side of the Earth […] the Earth is lit very beautifully and the sky is black. But the stars are not any closer. They are just the specks that are there. You can see
them a little clearer, but they’re not sparkling or anything. Everything that you want to focus on when you look out the window is straight down on the Earth because that’s where all the colors are, the blues, the greens, the oranges. And each place has its own color, too. When I think of Australia, I think of oranges, browns [and] a little bit of green and that’s because of the immense dessert. And right off Australia is, of course, New Zealand with those big mountains. They came across as an emerald, with a really green forest and white snowcapped mountains. Then you go to the Pacific Islands, and they’re gorgeous and you see that blue of the ocean and the various types of Pacific Islands — whether they’re lagoons or full-islands or chains of islands, you can see that. They look like little beautiful pearls that are strung throughout the ocean. R&R: Are you seeing a decrease in interest in space from the general public? Lockhart: The interest in space in young children is always very high. Space always engages young children. And it always engages, I think a lot of our older adults. I think the ones that we have to convince how important space flight is and why it’s necessary are the young adults that are starting their lives, and they’re starting to get engaged and raise families and things of this nature. ... But I don’t see a decrease in the interest in space. I continue to see a misunderstanding of space, and what I mean by that is a lot of young adults and people don’t really understand simple facts about our space program. […] We have young people and we have old people who ask “when did you walk on the moon?” But we, as a nation, nobody has walked on the moon since 1972. The second misunderstanding is the amount of funding we spend in the space program. You’re asking about NASA’s budget and how big is it? Oh, it’s $17 billion. And you go, “Oh my gosh, that must be 90% of the federal budget. And what are we getting from it?” Well, if I tell you that for each federal dollar you spent, break it up into 100 pennies and I take one penny, and I break that up into 10 pieces, and I take one of those 10 pieces — that’s your NASA budget right there. And then they say, “what do we get from that?” A tremendous amount. A lot of the advanced electronics that have led to this entire revolution in computers and personal devices and satellite communications were all pushed forward by the space program. R&R: What science trends are you most excited about? Lockhart: I’m interested in seeing how commercial space flight fares over the next 10 years. Commercial space flight is the push from NASA and several people in the public sector that have interest in space to drive the cost down for going into low Earth orbit and taking tourists up. We’re getting closer to doing that. And I’m interested in seeing how that happens. R&R: What’s your advice to aspiring scientists and space explorers? Lockhart: If they want to be engaged in our space program and any science disciplines or technology or engineering or math, they need to be open to all different kinds of sciences and experiences and partake. … Now science itself across many different disciplines is just converging . … It’s almost as if you have to understand all the various technology that is merging so fast in so many different directions. I’d tell somebody, just be open, be inquisitive, develop many skill sets, learn to work with people, play on teams, play sports, learn a foreign language, learn to play an instrument, all of that. Make yourself well-rounded, go out there and learn to speak with people.
DECEMBER & JANUARY Dec. 3 to Jan. 15
Guam Visitors Bureau “Christmas Love from Guam” Holiday Illumination Light Park
Harvest Christian Academy Choir and Orchestra Concert
Time: 6 p.m. to midnight Location: Pale San Vitores Road, across the street from the GVB office Free admission.
Time: 7 p.m. Location: Harvest Auditorium in Canada, Barrigada Free admission.
Dec. 1 to 4
Dec. 9 and 10
University Theatre production of “Twelfth Night”
University Music Holiday Concert
Time: 7 p.m. on Dec. 1; 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 2; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. on Dec. 4 Location: UOG Fine Arts Theatre, University of Guam Tickets will be available at the door.
Time: 7 p.m. Location: UOG Fine Arts Theatre, University of Guam Tickets will be available at the door. Dec. 11
Dec. 2 and 3
Miss Saigon Time: box office opens at 7 p.m. and curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Location: Southern High School Auditorium Tickets available at the box office.
Guam Symphony Society 2016 Seaside Concert Time: 3 p.m. Location: Gov. Joseph Flores (Ypao) Memorial Beach Park amphitheater Free admission. Dec. 31
Guam Children’s Ballet Company production of “Alice in Winter Wonderland” Time: Noon Location: San Vicente School, Barrigada Admission: Tickets for adults will be available at the door. Free for children under 15 years old,
New Year’s Eve Visit Guam “2017 Year of Love” Festival Time: 5 p.m. to midnight Location: Pale San Vitores Road, Gov. Joseph F. Flores (Ypao) Memorial Beach Park Features Tumon Night Market, holiday illumination light park and 10-minute fireworks display Free admission.
2016 Holiday Crafts Fair Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Location: Jeff’s Pirates Cove, Ipan For more information, call 777-1284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 25 and 26
Guam Symphony Society Young Artists Competition Location: UOG Fine Arts Theatre, University of Guam
Harvest Christian Academy Festival of Lights
Guam Symphony Society Chamber Series II – Mozart, Schumann & Bruch
Time: 5 p.m. Location: Harvest Auditorium in Canada, Barrigada Free admission. Dec. 7
University Music Fall Student Recital Time: 7 p.m. Location: UOG Fine Arts Theatre, University of Guam Free Admission.
Location: University of Guam Fine Arts Theater Features two members of the Korean Chamber Ensemble Jan. 28 and 29
Fourth Annual Latte Peace Festival Location: Tamuning Park Free admission.
Merry Christmas! from R&r pacific
thu 1 • University Theatre production of “Twelfth Night” (Dec. 1 - 4)
fri 2 MOVIES Jackie Incarnate
• Miss Saigon (Dec. 2 and 3) • Guam Street Grinds & Finds
• GVB “Christmas Love from Guam” Holiday Illumination Light Park (Dec. 3 - Jan. 15) • Guam Children’s Ballet Company production of “Alice in Winter Wonderland” • Miss Saigon
• 2016 Holiday Crafts Fair
4 • University Music Faculty Recital
• University Music Fall Student Recital
Office Christmas Party La La Land
• University Music Holiday Concert
• University Music Holiday Concert Dec. 9 and 10)
• Guam Symphony Society 2016 Seaside Concert
• Harvest Christian Academy Choir and Orchestra Concert
• Harvest Christian Academy Festival of Lights
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Collateral Beauty A Kind of Murder The Space Between Us Solace
Passengers Sing Assassin’s Creed Why Him
Gold Live by Night Hidden Figures
New Year’s Eve • New Year’s Eve Visit Guam “2017 Year of Love” Festival
FEATURED MOVIE Dec. 16
Rouge One Directed by Gareth Edwards Starring Felicity Jones, Ben Bendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen and Diego Luna
In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. (Synopsis from starwars.com.)
*Event times and dates may change without notice.
january sun 1
New Year’s Day
Underworld: Blood Wars Amityville: The Awakening
The Bye Bye Man Sleepless
XXX: Return of Xander Cage Split
25 • Guam Symphony Society Young Artists Competition
26 • Guam Symphony Society Young Artists Competition
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter A Dog’s Purpose Bastards • Guam Symphony Society Chamber Series II – Mozart, Schumann & Bruch
• Fourth Annual Latte Peace Festival (Jan. 28 and 29)
FEATURED MOVIE Jan. 20
Split Directed by M. Night Shyamalan Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson
Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter apart. (Official plot version from universalpictures.com.)
28 • Fourth Annual Latte Peace Festival (Jan. 28 and 29)
Featured Event///Manta Mania
Discovering Yap’s manta rays Manta Mania exhibition returns, offering a glimpse into conservation and culture BY JOY WHITE | Photos courtesy of Julie Hartup and Manta Trust
Julie Hartup, project leader of Manta Trust and founding director of the Micronesian Conservation Coalition, says she chose to dedicate her studies to the manta ray because she didn’t want to get bored. “I never get tired of them. Whether I see one or 90, I’m just as excited,” she says. Yap is known for its manta population, but Hartup found that no one was studying them. The Manta Trust and the Micronesian Conservation Coalition, in partnership with Manta Bay Resort in Yap, are hosting the third Manta Mania, a citizen science field research exhibition, from Feb. 12 to 18. Participants will get the opportunity to dive in Yap’s waters to observe reef mantas, attend presentations from scientists, learn about the Yapese culture and people and explore the island. Manta rays will not be the only fish in the Yapese sea and some time will also be spent observing sharks and other creatures. There will about 45 presentations, including videos, and after the day’s activities participants will get to share the experiences and the evening together, Hartup says. Speakers at the event will include Cathy Townsend, an Australian scientist, and Steve Lindfield of Palau, who is using stereo video to measure fish populations. Families and non-divers are welcome, as several events are planned on land, such as hikes, and the island offers a variety of other activities. “I tried to put something together where people can walk away with a full experience and they see why Yap is so special,” Hartup says. The event serves as a platform to spread awareness about manta rays, conservation efforts and global research. Manta Mania is also a way to help build responsible eco-tourism for Yap. While participants are attending from as far as Germany and London, the event aims to inspire Guamanians to take an interest in conservation efforts, which should be “built from within,” Hartup says.
Featured Event///Manta Mania
Hartup, who is working toward a master’s degree at the University of Guam, will also be collecting data on population and migration and mating behaviors. So far Hartup has tracked 53 manta rays on Guam and 50 in Yap. Although she was familiar with the species as a biology student, Hartup was not prepared to discover that manta rays display personalities and exhibit social structures within the flock. “They have personalities … some are curious, some are shy … In interactions with manta rays, there’s a level of understanding sometimes,” Hartup says. In addition, manta rays are beautiful, she says. “They’re very graceful and strong and fast.” For more information about Manta Mania or to reserve a spot, visit mantaraybayresort.com or mantatrust.org or email micronesianconservation@gmail. com. Packages including accommodation are available starting at $1,699.
STORY BY JOY WHITE PHOTOS BY JOE CRUZ
Cover Feature///Miss Saigon
(From left) Marianna Hernandez as Ellen; Raymond Mathews as Chirs; Jennella Nelmida as Kim; Paul Valdez as Thuy; Lara Tjernagel, understudy for Kim; Travis Aguon as the Engineer; Ernest Ochoco, director; Sam Hashimoto as Chris; Richel Mejares as Kim; Carl Pachecho as John; and Kleriza Versario as Kim.
While audiences are held captive by performers onstage, behind the curtain, the cast of “Miss Saigon” is living out what to many of them have become very personal roles. “Miss Saigon” tells the story of two lovers separated by war. Kim, a young woman who must work in a brothel during the Vietnam War, and Chris, an American soldier, meet and fall in love in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, before U.S. troops are forced out. The production is brought to Guam on Dec. 2 and 3 by Broadway Guam in conjunction with Step Up Entertainment & Dance Company. Director and producer Ernest Ochoco has a personal connection with the play. Ochoco’s mother was in Vietnam just before it fell to the Vietcong. With the help of a friend —who also happened to be an officer in the military — she was able to escape the country and rejoin her husband, who was working on Guam as a civil engineer. She was pregnant at the time. Ochoco’s mother, who passed away about two years ago, always told him the story. He gets emotional as he talks about how important the show is to him personally. “Being a part of [“Miss Saigon”] and just knowing that my life was saved because of my mother’s courage and her strength — she saved my life in so many ways since then - this is a love letter to my mom to thank her for all that she’s done for me. And besides it being theatrical, it’s a very personal show to me and who I am,” Ochoco says. Choreographer Margarita Dancel has long wanted to bring the production to Guam. Dancel was born and spent much of her childhood in Okinawa and knew several children conceived during World War II. She observed the challenges they faced and recognized the connection.
In Guam’s rendition of the play, Kim is portrayed by Richel Mejarnes, 24, and Jenella Nelmida, 19. Both were inspired by the Filipina singer and actor Lea Salonga, who at 18 originated the role of Kim. For the role, Salonga won the Olivier and Theatre World Awards and became the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award. Mejarnes, who has experience in several local productions with Ochoco and the GATE Theater, first became interested in the role of Kim after watching a production of Miss Saigon at the Philippine University of St. Isabel. An accounting major at the University of Guam, Mejarnes was unsure if she wanted to act on a professional. “I was waiting for a sign [to tell me if I was] staying on Guam to work as an accountant or to go out there and audition. Then I get a call, and it’s [the opportunity to play] Kim,” she says. Nelmida was a member of the Glee Club of Mariana High School in Saipan, with which she competed at the International Thespian Festival, performing “I Give My Life for You” from “Miss Saigon.” The song brought her to tears and inspired her. “The story itself is so powerful,” she says. Lara Tjernagel, 16, serves as the understudy for the role of Kim and says she sees herself in Kim, as they are the same age. Kim is initially a shy character, but must be strong to face challenges. “She is portrayed as weak but at the same time very independent. […] It’s inspiring,” Tjernagel says. Chris is portrayed by Raymond Sulla Mathews, 20, and Sam Hashimoto, and understudied by Howard Smithers, 18. “Miss Saigon” was one of Mathews’ top three favorite plays,
(Left) Mathews; Howard Smithers understudy for Chris; Valdez; Aguon; Hashimoto; and Pachecho. (Right) Kim and Chris, portrayed by Richel Mejares and Sam Hashimoto, fell in love during the Vietnam War.
along with “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera.” When he heard that Guam was putting on a production of “Miss Saigon,” he decided to take a break as a student at a Missouri college, and come back to audition. His past roles have been as the comic relief, including a portrayal as Lumiere in a rendition of “Beauty and the Beast.” Performing in “Miss Saigon” allows him to explore a more serious character. “This [role] has been my favorite so far. The other [roles I’ve had] have been great. But I feel there is so much depth and the range of emotion in ‘Miss Saigon’ is a lot more,” he says. Smithers has performed throughout his life in various school plays at Santa Barbara Catholic School and Father Duenas Memorial School. For the seriousness of his role as Chris, Smithers says he draws from his own experiences for inspiration. “Two months after auditions, my father passed away. I wanted to continue so that now he can see me perform. He never knew I was a good singer or musician. He didn’t get to see what I was made of,” Smithers says. Beyond the tragic love story of Chris and Kim, “Miss Saigon” presents the audience with other complex characters. Chris’ best friend, John, is played Carl Pacheco, 22. A selfproclaimed “silly guy,” Pacheco had to dig deep to perform a character whose disposition changes over the course of the play. “He undergoes a transformation from happy to serious,” Pacheco says. Pacheco relates to the relationship between Chris and John, “Throughout the whole play, Chris is his best friend in a time of war. He doesn’t want him to die. As a friend, his life is as precious as his own. He was worried for his friend and for the future,” Pacheco says. Then, there’s Ellen, Chris’ wife. Yes, it is complicated, as the two
actresses portraying Ellen can explain. Ellen is portrayed by Mariana Hernandez and Erin McCracken. Both sympathize with the impossible situation Ellen finds herself in. “Ellen is the underdog,” McCracken says. The Engineer — the owner of the brothel in which Kim works who helps the couple throughout the play — portrayed by Travis Aguon, 19, can give the audience a lesson in working hard to accomplish their goals. “He makes things happen when he sets his mind to do something,” Aguon says. “Everyone should have that attitude — to chase after their goals and achieve them.” Gigi, a prostitute in the brothel that Kim works in, sets the tone of the play with a number in the beginning called “The Movie In My Mind,” in which Gigi and the girls sing about dreams of being “saved” by an American soldier, leaving Vietnam and living a happy life in the United States. “It’s a very sad song,” says Krystal Paco, who plays Gigi. “[…] She establishes the setting. She puts on a tough act, but you when you hear her sing, you can feel her vulnerability.” The cast and crew come together for the love of theater, says Stage Manager Romina Sotomil. Sotomil, along with Stage Managers Cameron Murphy and Sherrilyn Bautista, work together to insure that the props, music and cast are taken care of. “In any production it’s hard work, but there’s a sense of accomplishment you feel as a team once the show is done because you started at its conception to seeing it come alive,” she says. Proceeds from the play will be donated to local charities with Erica’s House and Youth for Youth being the major beneficiaries, as the play explores women’s and children’s issues.
Community///New Box Seats
Playing his cards right Shop owner donates to Palau PHOTO AND STORY BY KELLIE C. MORGAN
“I am not in this business to make a profit — I believe that I need to stay involved with young people to keep myself young. If, at the end of the year, I have a zero in my profit category, then I am [still] a happy man.” — Alan Schueler, owner, New Box Seats
Alan Schueler, owner of New Box Seats in Barrigada, is in business to bring joy to his customers. New Box Seats specializes in trading cards and card games, such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. Over the past year, he has collected unwanted cards to send to the gamers of Palau free of charge. Each box contains roughly 4,000 cards and is valued at more than $1,000. When visitors from Palau visit the store, he allows them to take as many boxes as they want back to their island to distribute to everyone. “I am not in this business to make a profit — I believe that I need to stay involved
with young people to keep myself young,” Schueler says. “I don’t want to be an old person who just sits inside. If, at the end of the year, I have a zero in my profit category, then I am [still] a happy man.” The 84-year-old runs the store with the help of his grandson, who works part-time as needed. Schueler came to Guam with the U.S. Navy and then served with the federal government in Guam. In 2003, he took full ownership of New Box Seats, formerly Box Seats, and converted the inventory from sports cards to gaming materials. “I started out just buying sports cards for one nickel. That’s where my startup came from,” Schueler says. “Sports cards aren’t
really a relevant market anymore. The other stores on this island have a crazy markup on Magic cards. It’s all about the profit for them. I want to offer these games for everyone to be able to afford. That’s why I have no problem giving things away.” Despite being robbed multiple times, Schueler continues to expand his inventory and hosts different tournaments and gaming events. He says he loves to keep his shelves colorful to draw the attention of his customers. His shelves are lined with hundreds of different board and card games, from floor to ceiling.
Essence of Guam///Asan-Maina
Asan-Maina Assan-Ma’ina Mayor: Joana Margaret C. Blas Mayor-elect: Frankie Salas Population: 2,137 Fiestas: In honor of Nino Perdido in December in Asan and in honor of our Lady of Purification in January in Maina
POINTS OF INTEREST 1.
Photos by Rueben Olivas
Niño Perdido Y Sagrada Familia of Asan
2. Our Lady of Purification of Maina
3. Asan Beach Unit, War in the
Pacific National Historical Park
4. Harley Davidson 1
2 Katrina Lienhardt Resident of Maina for one year “I liked that the mayor would always make sure that the village is clean. They would have cleanup crews and I would see them cleaning up the leaves and everything.”
Essence of Guam///Mongong-Toto-Maite
Mongmong-Toto-Maite Mongmong-To’to- Maite’ Mayor: Andrew C. Villagomez Mayor-elect: Rudy A. Paco Population: 6,825 Fiestas: In honor of Nuestra Senor de Las Aguas on the last day of January in Maite and in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on the second or third Saturday of Jun in Toto
POINTS OF INTEREST 5
Photos by Rueben Olivas
1. Our Lady of the Waters Mongmong 2. Immaculate Heart of Mary in Toto 3. Cars Plus 4. Townhouse 5. Coast360 Federal Credit Union
Maria D.R. Taitano Resident of Toto for 32 years “MTM’s physical location on island is a major ‘plus’ for us. We are essentially the crossroads of the island and can be reached via different connections from Barrigada/ Mangilao, Dededo, Tamuning, Agana etc […] The tri- village is small yet we have two Catholic churches, a public elementary school, a few housing areas and our fair share of mom and pop stores that provide what we need without having to go far. The commercial growth has been fantastic […] I totally love where I live and I’m happy to see the growth in the area.”
Essence of Guam///Hagåtña
Mayor: John A. Cruz Population: 1,051 Fiesta: In honor of Santa Maria Kamalen in December; and Dolce Nombre de Maria in September
POINTS OF INTEREST 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Chamorro Village Agana Shopping Center Plaza de Espana Sen. Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Memorial Park
Photos by Rueben Olivas
Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica Sen. Antonio M. Palomo Guam and Chamorro Educational Facility Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library (Guam Museum)
Historic Lujan House and Guam Preservation Trust
Michael Guamataotao Resident of Hagatna for 30 years “It’s my home. I was born and raised here. It’s the capital of Guam. We have all the branches of government and different businesses. You never have to leave the village. Having lived here for about 30 years, I’ve seen it change from what it used to be until now.”
Restaurants & Food///Fusion
The multicultural flavor of
Fusion Restaurants BY JOY WHITE
Guam is a melting pot of cultures and that is definitely evident in the variety of cuisines found in local restaurants. Many restaurants take their dishes to a new level by fusing the flavors of different cultures to produce unique and tasty fare.
Meskla Chamorru Fusion Bistro Asian, Chamorro and barbecue fusion Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday Address: 130 E. Marine Corps Drive, Ste #B103, Hagåtña Phone number: (671) 479-2652 / (671) 479-2653 Our recommendation: The brunch buffet to get the opportunity to try a little bit of everything
Amista Pacific European fusion Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Address: W Soledad Ave., Hagåtña, 96910, Guam Phone: (671) 969-3213 Our recommendation: Drunken chicken and pork chop combo plate
Restaurants & Food///Fusion
Katre Bistro Mediterranean Asian fusion cuisine Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday; and 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday Address: 122 Archbishop FC Flores, Hagåtña Phone number: (671) 989-8808 Our recommendation: Shrimp scampi
Jai Fusion Restaurant
Asian fusion Hours of operation: 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday to Friday Address: Agat Point Commercial Center, Agat Phone number: (671) 565-8136 Our recommendation: Honey walnut cutlet
Jamaican, Guam and Filipino fusion Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day Address: Chamorro Village, Hagåtña; Calrose Building, Tumon; and Dededo Mall Phone number: (671) 647-3000 (Hagåtña); (671) 472-2000 (Tumon); (671) 633-3000 (Dededo) Our recommendation: Adobo ribs
Courtesy of Jai Fusion Restaurant
Courtesy of Jamaican Grill
Special Feature///Learn Chamorro
Learning the language The Learn Chamorro Project Inc. brings together technology and language BY JOY WHITE
The Learn Chamorro Project Inc., a registered non-profit organization, started with one family’s efforts to teach their children the language. Troy Aguon, executive director of Learn Chamorro Project, had returned to Guam from the United States with his young children to find that there were no materials teaching the language. The project was created to design and develop youthfriendly Chamorro language games utilizing technology. The goal is to make learning the basic Chamorro language fun and exciting for youth and the whole family. In 2011, the first Learn Chamorro language DVD and the LearnChamorro.com website was created. The organization also creates and distributes puzzles to print media, incorporating technology with the use of a QR Code that links audiences to LearnChamorro.com. Then, Aguon and the team designed and developed the first and only Chamorro language smartphone application, providing users with a dictionary with pictures, a daily conversational phrase library and pronunciation audio. “The younger generation of today’s Chamorro people are at a critical time where technology is such an integral part of their everyday lives — entertainment, communication, education, etc. We either have to embrace it to our advantage and develop tools and resources to teach our kids the Chamorro language and culture or allow it to distract them so much that they lose interest in knowing and learning who they are and their identity,” the organization’s official profile states.
“We either have to embrace it to our advantage and develop tools and resources to teach our kids the Chamorro language and culture ...” — troy aguon, executive director, learn chamorro project
The Learn Chamorro Project Inc. Executive Director Troy Aguon honed his experience with technology with the launch of a Las Vegas job search website in 1997. Photo courtesy of Troy Aguon
Learn Chamorro language DVD
The free Learn Chamorro app features games that challenge users by timing them to complete each level. Users can play against each other in daily, weekly and monthly challenges to compete for the best time. Players can also post results on Facebook. The app is available from Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for the iPhone. “The main goal is to provide the tools and the perfect vehicle — mobile technology— for parents and kids to engage with each other at home and have fun while learning the Chamorro language through history, culture, fun and games,” Aguon says. In less than three months after its launch, the app made the list of Google Top 100 Most Downloaded free app out of over one million other free apps, he says. The organization is working to launch another app containing an online video library to conduct an informal online Chamorro course. The Learn Chamorro Project is also working in line with the Guam Department of Education Chamorro Studies to provide more than 3,000 free puzzles to students. More than 140 Chamorro teachers are participating in the Learn Chamorro Challenge with students. The organization is operated by Aguon and led by a board of three, including Maria Aguon and Trisha Lujan and Dr. Michael Bevacqua as a consultant.
Learn Chamorro app game
Special Feature///Miskatonic Gardens
Miskatonic Gardens Specializing in unique plants By lara ozaki
MISKATONIC GARDENS Phone: (671) 787-4399 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.miskatonicgardens.com Facebook: facebook.com/miskatonicgardens Instagram: @miskatonicgardens
With plump leaves resembling the petals of a flower in bloom, succulent plants have a distinct charm. The plants’ charm and minimal need for care prompted Skyisha Resendez to start Miskatonic Gardens, a Guam-based nursery specializing in succulents, air plants, cacti and carnivorous plants. Miskatonic Gardens sells more than 25 types of succulents at the Oka and Dededo locations of Pay-Less Supermarkets. Echeverias and sempervirens, shaped like flowers, are among the popular types, Resendez says. She continues to work on expanding distribution through discussions with Home Depot and other hardware stores, while trying to keep up with the growing demand. Succulents, sometimes called fat plants, are plants with thick fleshy leaves, stems or roots and can refer to a variety of plants. The thick part of the plant retains water in arid climates or soil conditions, which make maintenance of the plants generally easier than other popular plants. “[Succulents are] actually pretty maintenance-free. Especially here on Guam you almost never need to water them,” Resendez says. Rather, care should be taken to avoid overwatering the plants, as well as making sure they get enough sunlight. Miskatonic Gardens is named after one of Resendez’s favorite author’s fictional Miskatonic University which appears in “Herbert WestReanimator” and other works by H.P. Lovecraft. “I think that succulents are weird and unique, and I imagine that university would have some weird plants,” she says. “I just really like Lovecraft – and it’s unique. Unique names tend to stick.” She began her sales last Mother’s Day by creating unique arrangements. Her success led to ordering additional plants and venturing into her business. Most succulents can be grown from a leaf pulled off from an existing plant instead of from seeds. Resendez says her supply is a combination of local propagation and off-island orders, as succulents grow very slowly. She would like to eventually produce all her plants locally. “I like plants and I love flowers but I could never keep normal flowers and plants alive so I resorted to cacti,” Resendez says. “I love cacti but they’re not as pretty as regular flowering plants. After looking more into cacti, I discovered succulents.” Resendez initially ordered several succulents online through a freight forwarder, as shipping was limited. “A lot of them died on the way over, but the few that did survive, I was able to propagate them and then I started ordering more and more,” she says. “I gave some to people as gifts, and then I figured that other people like them so I should try selling them.” Miskatonic Gardens operates from a nursery in Yona, on a plot of around 1.5 acres, and Resendez works with a partner who helps with the operational side of the business. The current business doesn’t permit customers to visit the site, but Resendez says she would like to open her own storefront or a public nursery in the future. Resendez has noticed a lot of demand for succulents on Guam. “I think it’s because there’s a void in that market. There are some vendors or a few gardeners here and there that grow maybe one or two types of succulents, but there’s no one that specializes in it here,” she says. “I think I got lucky in finding that specific void in that market and being able to fill it.” In addition to retail sales, Miskatonic Gardens can accommodate special orders for weddings, parties and events. Carnivorous plants and air plants are also available for special order, but Resendez says she hasn’t experienced much demand compared to succulents, as they are typically more expensive. “We’re also thinking of having succulent arrangement classes,” Resendez says, which will be in partnership with Pay-Less Supermarkets sometime next year. — Skyisha Resendez is an employee of a sister company to Glimpses Publications.
out & about
Photos by Justin Green
The International Women’s Club Madame hosted its International Ball on Nov. 12 at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
Photos by Joy White
Miss World Guam contestants presented funds raised during the pageant to various Guam non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross Guam Chapter, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, American Cancer Society, Guam Cancer Care, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rainbows For All Chilrden, the Special Olympics and Game Time Inc. The candidates raised a total of $12,000.
Photos by Colin Kirk
Baldyga Group held a grand opening on Nov. 4 for the SandCastle’s newest show, Zubrick, and an “After-Party” at the Globe.
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Photos by Joy White Photos courtesy of Monty Martin
Kathleen Aquino won first place at the Rock & Scare Flair Competition 2016 held on Oct. 14 at Hard Rock Café Guam.
Humanities Guåhan closed its “Art + Journalism - Manny Crisostomo, 40 Years of Images” exhibit with a panel on filmmaking on Oct. 29. The exhibit highlighted the career of Pulitzer Prize winner and multimedia photojournalist Crisostomo, a native of Guam.
Photo courtesy of Evelyn Sanchez
The staff of R&R Pacific and its sister publication, Guam Business Magazine, ran into Fiji and House of Shem when the artists were on island to perform at the Hafa Adai Festival of the Arts on Nov. 4 and 5.
Photos by Joy White
The 2016 Guam International Film Festival, GIFF Vision, launched with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 16 at the Guam Museum.
Cast of Miss Saigon | Manta Mania in Yap's waters | Out & About | NASA astronaut Paul S. Lockhart | Essence of Guam | Fusion Restaurants | M...