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Vol. 1 Issue No. 4

your guide & access to everything

ENERGY SAVING TIPS Every month you pay to power your home. You pay for electricity. You pay for air conditioning. You pay for water. All of those costs add up. But you can save money on each of those bills. How? By making your home more energy efficient.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEANS: • Getting the most use out of each unit of energy you purchase. • Using energy wisely. • Eliminating the ways your home wastes energy.

c. Install low-flow shower heads • Why? They use one-third to one-half the water that regular showerheads use. d. Buy a water heater that fits your needs • Why? If you buy a new water heater that is too big, you will pay to heat up water you don’t need. That’s a waste of both energy and money.

MAKING YOUR HOME MORE EFFICIENT WILL: • Make it more comfortable • Make it safer • Save you money

WAYS TO SAVE ON: 1. LIGHTING – About 10 percent of your energy bill is spent lighting your home. a. Turn off the lights. • Why? One 100-watt bulb left on overnight costs $25.00 per year. b. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. • Why? A typical home can save $80 per year, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2. APPLIANCES – Each of your appliances has two price tags. The first is

the price you pay for it at the store. The second is the price you pay to run that appliance over its lifetime. a. Always buy Energy Star appliances • Why? They are more efficient than other appliances, so they will cost less to operate. b. Get the right size. • Why? Oversized appliances waste energy. Choose an extra-large fridge only if you have a large family that needs it.


a. Check your refrigerator’s temperature • Why? You lose money if you keep it too cold. To check, put one thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator and another between packages in the freezer. Read them after 24 hours. The temperature should be between 36°F and 38°F in the refrigerator and 0°F and 5°F in the freezer. b. Use microwave and crock pots to cook small meals. • Why? They use less energy than the stove or oven.


a. Fix leaky water faucets • Why? Thirty drops of water per minute can waste up to 50 gallons of water per month. b. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

5. Laundry – Washing machines use two types of resources. They need electricity to power their motors and they need water to do their work. a. Wash and dry only full loads. • Why? The machines use roughly the same amount of water and energy to wash or dry one item as they do full load. b. Line-dry your clothes. • The clothes dryer uses a significant amount of energy and can actually shorten the life of your clothes because of shrinkage and other wear and tear on the fabric. Hang your clothes on a clothes line or drying rack to save energy and your clothes. 6. Living Room – Living rooms are home to most of the electronics in our

house. We watch TV, turn on the computer and pick up the phone from our living area. And the costs add up, even when those electronics are off. a. Power strips: a smart way to save: Your electronics can draw energy even while they are off – and that costs you money. Power strips help prevent that.

7. Cooling

a. Clean filters monthly • Why? Dirty or clogged filters block airflow and reduce efficiency. b. Use a fan first • Why? Ceiling fans create a windchill effect by moving air through your home. Fans can help cool your home during moderate temperatures without the use of an air conditioner. If you use fans along with an AC, you can raise the temperature on your thermostat by 4°F without decreasing the comfort level. c. Install room air conditioners correctly • Why? If the unit is not installed tightly, cooled air will escape from your home. d. Place your room air conditioner properly • Why? If the thermostat of your unit is near electronics or appliances that produce heat, it will read higher than it should. Put the unit in a shaded window where it will not be heated by sunlight. e. Set the thermostat to 78°F in summer • Why? The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your cooling bill will be.

For more information, please feel free to contact the

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS – DIVISION OF ENERGY State Energy Program (SEP) – Tel. No.: 664-4480/82/84 Fax: 664-4483 Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – Tel. No.: 664-4481 Office located in Capitol Hill Bldg. 1337 Energy, Efficiency and Conservation Block Gran (EECBG) – Office located at Springs Development Building, Chalan Pale Arnold Highway, Saipan or call Tel. No.: 664-4487/89/90 Fax: 664-4488 Website at This publication was made possible through a grant from the US Department of Energy, State Energy Program, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

General Guidelines for Emblem a

Newsletter Magazine Advertising Branding

your media & public relations specialist

Our company creates variety of designed, tailor-made brochures, pamphlets, posters, newsletter, flyers, reports/annual reports, leaflets as well as write its content suitable to the clients needs portraying accomplishments, accolades and information that is used to communicate with its stakeholders in the community. Opened in July 2009 and continue to strengthen its presence in the Commonwealth. The company is an affiliated business partner with printing companies on Saipan as well associate partners with Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune. Related news, events, functions, photography, research and marketing are part of what we do for our clients. Going beyond the expectations and setting trends make BISON Relations a company you want by your side. To contact us, please send email to or simply call Wayne at 483-5587, Uly at 287-5506 or Donna at 285-3664.


explore dream 8

Judy’s Impresses Sweet escape 15


Something extraordinarily special Buttercups

27 Naked Fish


what’s inside... 1

Tops + MORE march 2012

feature stories

Intergrated Professionals Solutions


P34 “My disability only limits my ability, but it’s not going to stop me and bring me down”, said Francisco Alfonso, the proud owner of ACTION LOCKSMITH located in San Antonio.

special business section

“An organization is only as good as the people in it… if we have a strong team of talented and motivated individuals within our firm, the business opportunities will fall in line. It allows the firm to take full advantage of new trends in business without having to reinvent the wheel and getting vested employees who think of new ways to do business and new streams of revenue.” Michael Ada, Principal Owner- IPS

A Vocational Rehabilitation Success

Wayne Pangelinan Publisher Ulysses Torres Sabuco Managing Editor Niño M. Flores Graphic Artist Donna Liwag Rivera Executive Marketing Manager

Contributing Writers Edwin Propst Alexis Amor E. Asuncion Derwin Johnson

Tops+ More is a reading/information resource published by Bison Relations. Our office is located in Chalan Piao with mailing address at P.O. Box 503674 CK. For customer service, advertising rates and other inquiries email at or call (670) 483.5587/285.3664. Articles, manuscripts, photographs and other information published herein are property of Tops + More Magazine and or with permission of the writer/author.

We are online and search us on: @TopsPlusMore

Editorial Office Chalan Piao, Saipan P.O. Box 503674 CK Saipan, MP 96950, CNMI, USA

Tops + MORE March 2012


Living by: Vince Merfalen


ccasionally as I go about the CNMI, I will run into an autistic teen and their families. They make no eye contact or greet me as I approach. The average observer would actually have a hard time discerning whether they even know I am there. I say hello and introduce myself. They mostly remain silent, sit calmly, stare blankly, and rock slightly back and forth. I awkwardly initiate a predominantly one-sided conversation, chat briefly with the parents and then move on. These teens are part of a new generation of soon to be adults with autism. The Autism Society of America estimates that number will most likely skyrocket, given the CDC’s recognition of an increase in the numbers of children with autism. The newest numbers suggest that one in every 110 children has autism. Like the US and the rest of the world, the number of autism cases in the CNMI is growing. Autism is a developmental disorder of communication. There is no cure. Living with a person with autism imposes great demands on families often resulting in high levels of stress. Every member of the family is affected in different ways. When meeting one for the first time, you might think that these individuals are mentally retarded, but in fact, they are not. They really understand what is going on and they can communicate what they are thinking and feeling. Parents and caregivers place their primary focus on helping their child with ASD, which may put strain on their marriage, other children, work, finances, and personal relationships and responsibilities. The Autism Society of the CNMI want to equip families with some of the basic tools they may need to provide the best outcomes for their loved ones on the autism spectrum. We want families to be able to provide the best support to the autistic family member. For more information on the Living with Autism and the Autism Society of the CNMI, send an email to


Tops + MORE march 2012

Photos taken during

2011 Hotdog Walk

Integrated Professional Solutions, LLC is an enterprise focused on economic development opportunities in the Marianas and Micronesia. Our objective is to create publicprivate partnerships that foster growth in critical sectors of the economy. Our primary focus is in the areas of tourism, transportation, communication, and energy. Working together we can all increase the standards of living through public and private partnerships committed to developing sustained economic growth.

Services: Grant Services Integrated Professional Solutions (IPS) is experienced in various types of Grant Services from both the public and private sectors such as: • Research of available grant funding • Preparation/Review/Submittal of grant applications • Grant coordination/correspondence with awarding agency

Program Management Services Mailing Address: PMB 82 P.O. BOX 10001 Saipan, MP 96950 Tel. No.: 670-234-3014 Office Location: 3rd Floor Marianas Business Plaza Bldg. Susupe, Saipan

Integrated Professional Solutions (IPS) is experienced in various types of program management from both the public and private sectors. Programs currently being managed by IPS include: • CNMI American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Awards • Broadband Mapping through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

Logistics & Event Coordination Integrated Professional Solutions, your singlesource solution for corporate events and business programs, specializing in: • Special events of distinction • Community service & public relations events • Sales meetings, conferences & training seminars

Research & Planning Services Integrated Professional Solutions provides research and planning services which include: • strategy formulation • strategic plans execution • strategic process improvements • communication of strategies to all stakeholders IPS will analyze business performance, industry trends, existing or new regulatory requirements and their impact on business operations; make recommendations on alternative courses of action, including risk assessment, capital investment, acquisitions, divestment, and expansion at the corporate level.

What’s Hot now

Eating in style for less

Cobb Salad


Revolving Restaurant 360 Tenderloin and Prawns


Saipan 96950 Northern Mariana Islands Telephone: (+ 1 670 ) 234-0360

ur ve


when you dine in during Lunch or Dinner upon presentation of the coupon.

For reservations, please call:

Char-cheeseburger with fixings 5

Tops + MORE march 2012

Tel:233-6086 • Fax 233-6087 Hours of Operation: Lunch: 11:30-2:00pm (Monday - Saturday) PMB 559 Box 10000 Saipan, MP 96950-8900 Tel.: (670) 233-6086 Fax: 1-670-233-6087

Dinner: 6:00pm-12midnight (Monday to Sunday)

Publisher’s Message


ur CNMI remains young in many facets of its existence as compared to other parts of the world. Young but not fledgling, our Commonwealth is driven by tourism and hospitality. Yet, there is another phase at how we continue to thrive and be self-sustainable. I for one still hope that we can emerge from this morass and be great again.

In the 80’s through the late 90’s, at the height of the Asian heydays, it was easy to make a buck or two by opening your doors. Many of our local businesses have made an impact in our community’s livelihood. Years after that, some of the local businesses had and continue to survive the volatile business market caused by both within and outside factors (say, the recession that hit the United States and its derivative effect reverberating into the CNMI, fuel costs, rising spending, etc). Consumer confidence is questionable, so as investor confidence. Today is quite different from then. How can we turnaround? This moribund economy requires innovation, marketing, plans and actions, and commitment, among others. Though we still struggle with an economy that has yet to bounce back, there are businesses that have or continue to make a difference. They have made inroads in an era of cutthroat competition. Our latest issue delves into our local businesses and their stories: those who have been in existence, those who set up shop and ought to be acknowledged, and for anyone who may venture into the same direction should read their stories,

hoping to be able to get some pointers or even encouragement and motivation; that we can still do business in the CNMI and make it big. Alongside the Commonwealth’s economic development is the issue of inclusion, and in particular, autism. I and our managing editor agree that our community needs no (thoughtful) debate over inclusion. What we should all reflect on as a community is the need to give and support the voice for autism. Our very own Autism Society of the CNMI want to equip families with basic tools to provide the best outcomes for their loved ones on the autism spectrum. We here at Tops+More urge everyone to provide the best support to families with children of special needs more than anyone else. These societal concerns and developments are our addition to this fourth issue of Tops+More. As we continue to complement the community’s voracious appetite for food, we are here once again providing you our regular serving of food and dining, entertainment and recreation stories. TOPS + More bids you good reading.

Tops + MORE March 2012


Most people, food lovers and alike, pay attention more and appreciate the taste of the food before them. A few are connoisseurs who observe the nuances not just flavors and aromas, but also of the hues and shades of everything around them. There are a few who take the colors and translate them to varied visuals delights, creating breathtaking works of arts. Having both is a hard-to-find place until Judy’s Restaurant and Café sets the tone of good food and an Art Nouveau café. With its sitting area defined by its collection of eclectic woodworks, art works and Asian antique products, there is completeness; an air of relaxation that makes one feel quiet and peaceful.

Tender pork loin on string potatoes with mustard gravy Daily specials at Judy’s vary each day. The Tuesday pork loin in mustard gravy is a favorite choice. Smothered with its light tangy mustard sauce, the soft and tender cut makes your lunch (or a special chef request for dinner) an experience. It is served with crispy potatoes (or rice, as an optional request as well).

Tops + MORE March 2012


Seafood Spaghetti on white cream sauce This pasta made a strong impression. Its taste, plating and not-so-overpowering white sauce make the al dente pasta just as you want it done, perfect. It is mixed with shrimp, mussels and clams. It is served with toasted buttered garlic French bread.

Judy’s restaurant and café is a latest addition to the island’s steady restaurantfood industry. Judy’s was originally an antiques and flower shop that gravitated into a café/restaurant, an offshoot of the owner’s vision following a visit at a Boston establishment. With its fine collection of antiques and other contemporary oriental potteries, Judy’s food are also both visual and a gastronomical delight. Their collection or varied array of coffee – macchiato, espresso, latte – hot and cold – are irresistible; worth imbibing. Drive by As Lito and Judy’s welcoming heart and elegance draws you in and settle into one of those comfortable wooden chairs or couches. So did we.

Char-cheeseburger with fixings

A cheeseburger, as a comfort food, can be upped if it is char-grilled on open flame, to bring the taste to, so to speak, another level. And it is less greasy, perfection for another of your surf-and-turf cravings. This is a large burger that is enough to satisfy our mean craving. Its fixings come with sweet onions, pickles, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes with large potato wedges seasoned lightly at its side. With special seasonings, we just cannot let this pass.


Tops + MORE march 2012

Joel Tudela

Cell: (670) 989-8833 P.O. Box 5141 CHRB Saipan MP 96950

& fine dining By Ed Propst

Photo by: Joel Tudela

I love fine dining. Who doesn’t? But as a father of three, it seems my wife and I, with the kids in tow, have gotten more accustomed to fast dining instead. When Daisy and I first started dating, it was dinner and a movie. Today, it’s more like, dinner and diaper changing. Naturally, when I was asked to do a fine dining review at Aqua Resort’s Raraina, I was excited. Daisy and I remembered Raraina as being very romantic, while offering the most exquisite menu. My only question was, would it be as good as I remembered it to be?

he freshness of their ingredients gives The Raraina an edge when it comes to seafood. The oyster, baked with spinach, cheese and topped with caviar is an elegant, five-star perfect starter for a classy fine dining atmosphere. This is not your commonly served oyster—they are particularly and perfectly prepared and served in champagne. At The Raraina, seafood lovers will discover the versatility of this shellfish and how the chef introduces us to something new; not our regular raw, stirfried or as a soup garnish. The Chef’s creativity and ability to pair foods is revealed with how our baked oyster was matched with Escargot Bourgouignonne.


Tops + MORE march 2012

There are those who never tried Escargot–or simply snail. All I can say is, you are missing out. At The Raraina, it taste good as I remember it to be, perhaps even better. It had perfect garlic and butter sauce, literally melting in my mouth. The two are my all-time favorites. I love Raraina’s setting. With its soft lighting emanating a romantic and easy-feeling atmosphere and its rustic French décor giving the look and feel of a first class, fine dining restaurant, Raraina is stunning. What is even more alluring is that the tables are far apart from each other to keep intimate dinner conversations between you and your companion.

The Entrées While every entrée on the menu looked tempting, we settled on three “must have’s.” Our first entrée of the evening was pan-seared Alaskan salmon in orange/lemon gremolata. I found the orange and lemon gremolata was a perfect blend, as it added a bit of citrus sweetness with a hint of tartness to the salmon. The salmon was cooked perfectly.

Exceptional Service and a Tableside Caesar Our main server for the evening was Ann. She was extraordinary and accommodating, but what really impressed me was that she knew the menu by heart. I like to peruse menus and ask questions, and Ann had a thorough response for everything on the menu, even suggesting what wine would go best with our entrée. Ann also made us a Caesar Salad by tableside. Call me old school, but I love it when Caesar Salads are made in front of you. It is fun to watch, and it gets the full attention of your senses and palate. This was an authentic Caesar, with egg yolks, fresh parmesan, anchovies, and a dash of other ingredients that you will have to check out yourself. And the end result? A beautiful Caesar Salad; one of the best I have ever had. Along with our Caesar Salad, we had some tantalizing cold appetizers. To start with, we had green asparagus and lobster tail with fresh tomato pesto. Pairing lobster tail with asparagus and tomato pesto was brilliant, in that it seemed rich, yet it was refreshingly light. It was a perfect way to start an appetizer. We then moved on to smoked salmon rolls with salad with walnut oil vinaigrette. I don’t always order salmon for reasons I opt to keep it to myself. This salmon roll was perfect. Aside from being cooked perfectly, the walnut oil vinaigrette gave it a nice finish and moist. I absolutely loved it. Although I heard a lot of great reviews about it, I have never tried the Onion Soup. Perhaps it is because I was afraid my onion breath might knock my wife out after dinner. But this is not at all the case. Cooked slowly with beef broth, it is not overpowering. This is a house special that Raraina’s chefs must be take pride in. And I must agree. (Just keep a breath mint handy, just in case.)

Our second entrée was certified Angus beef tenderloin strips ala stroganoff. As she was with our Caesar Salad earlier, our server Ann was at our tableside once again, this time preparing another of my favorite dishes. Ann did a marvelous job, with the beef being very moist and tender. It was as good as it gets. Ann has some impressive culinary skills and I honestly believe she could hold her own in any fine dining kitchen. And just when you think it can’t get any better, out comes the third entrée – Lobster Thermidor baked with a mushroom and cream hollandaise sauce. Of all the ways to serve lobster, I don’t think anything is as pleasing to the palate as thermidor. It is creamy and rich, so chances are you’ll have to run an extra mile in the morning. But it will be well worth it.

Chocolate Delice for Dessert If you are a chocolate lover like I am, you must try the Chocolate Delice. It is a biscuit covered in chocolate cream, chocolate ganache, and topped with a rich caramel sauce. It is delicious and decadent and goes perfectly with a nice espresso or a hot cup of coffee. As we conclude our fine dining experience, Raraina offers the ultimate fine dining experience. Whether it’s a romantic dinner with your partner or a dinner with friends, Raraina has it all. For me, it is an opportunity to spend quality time and rediscover romance with my beautiful wife.

A Perfect Place to

By Alexis Amor E. Asuncion


ike a young man trying to win the heart of a lovely lady for the first time and was actually triumphant in the end. That’s Raraina Restaurant at Aqua Resort for me. It is just as captivating

All throughout the evening, Raraina staff made us feel exceedingly special, like royalty. However, the incredible experience I had is not the usual kind of courtship we see where a man put his best foot forward to win over his woman. It is of those few exceptional ones where in everything starts at friendship and it gets lovely as we go along the evening; it is the genuinely unique qualities of The Raraina as it unfolds one at a time. There is nothing we could do but be amazed and fall in love with the fine dining experience. The manager of The Raraina welcomed us with great pleasure. We were told that we can request for anything on the menu. Waiting for everyone to decide what to order gave me a chance to look around. The vaulted ceiling caught my attention. The architectural design is exceptional, making me feel like I am dining at the MalacaĂąang Palace (seat of power) in the Philippines. The distances of the tables

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are perfect for intimate dinners. I also love the candle lit at the middle of our table complemented with fresh flowers. We had Escargots “Bourgouignonne” (snails) and baked oysters in champagne as hot appetizers. Both prepared with such exquisite taste that I can even still remember how both were brimming with luscious goodness. While everyone had Onion Gratin soup, I had the Cream of Corn. I have to be honest that I am not a fan of onions and also corn but I still eat corn depending on how it is served, so I had chosen the latter. The soup was delightful. It has a bit of sweetness which I particularly like. I would recommend it to anyone who isn’t a big fan of corn too because it certainly changed the way I feel about it. One of the amazing events of the night was the serenade. As we were enjoying our soup, a lovely lady and two men with their guitars surprised us by singing acapella at our table. It was magical. I never expected this part of the night. I had to stop eating and marvel at the wonderful singing. It was simply amazing and I was falling in love with the place. Next on our plate was Raraina’s one-ofa-kind Caesar Salad. It was indeed special as it was prepared right in front of our very eyes. We witnessed how they meticulously turn every bit of the ingredient into a masterpiece. Our main dishes were Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon in basic olive, Filet de Boeuf A’la Stroganof and Thermidore Lobster baked with Mushroom and cream. The Salmon was tender and smooth in texture. It was simply prepared yet it has a distinguished fine taste. The Filet was certified Angus beef which was also cooked and prepared

right in front of us. The way it was cooked was impressive with tossing flames. It was like watching a cooking show. Last but definitely not the least was the Lobster - it was perfect. I was in love. We had Chocolate delice for dessert to end the night. I requested for coffee to complement the sweetness of the cake. It has a seemingly cherry on top but then when I took a bite, I found out it was papaya. It made me smile. Raraina sure has its ways of surprising and making me smile that night. I was in awe all throughout the evening. The wait staff were all smiling and attentive from beginning to end. “Did you enjoy the night?”, was asked by one of them. “Yes, yes, definitely yes.”

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insatiable, irresistible cakes Erica Thornburgh and Jessica Sonoda have always loved the idea of owning a business that caters to the culinary world. Siblings Erica and Jessica were looking for something to do on the side that was not physically taxing but one that they enjoy and love to do. And so Sweet Escape came to being. With an investment of about $10K, the siblings established Sweet Escape in September of 2011. It was a risk for these sisters by going into the kitchen world, leaving behind jobs that brought in personal security and comfort. With techniques and great recipes, it also allowed them to put forward variety of desserts and pastries. And plus, they are super cute, easy and appealing on the eyes. From cakes to cupcakes, they also have several special treats like smoothies, coffee delights, caramel apples, and Dreyers ice cream that come with a variety of flavor. Open from 11:00am-8:00pm Monday through Saturday, Sweet escape is sure to dazzle your senses. “Where every batch is made from scratch” jest Erica and Jessica. Their entire approach to their pastries is made from scratch. Made from the very products sold on island. At Sweet Escape, anyone can celebrate life’s sweetest moments. Just look for Erica or Jessica, your first bite- be it regular or love bite (mini) - their selection of cake pops and cup cakes, among others, are sure to make your day...a day to remember. At Sweet Escape, we love all things cupcake, gush the siblings. And, oh, they are also perfect for gifts and giveaways to someone special.

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Mother’s Day Dinner Special


1st prize One night stay at the Hotel (Cottage) 2nd Prize Round of Golf at MCC (for two) 3rd Prize Lunch plus Spa (for two) To be drawn right after dinner, need not to be present to win prize.

For More Info And Reservations, Pls. Call


More than Just the Numbers: Painting A Clear Picture …Integrated Professional Solutions – Young and motivated

“An organization is only as good as the people in it….. so if we have a strong team of talented and motivated individuals within our firm, the business opportunities will fall in line. It allows the firm to take full advantage of new trends in business without having to reinvent the wheel and getting vested employees who think of new ways to do business and new streams of revenue. The concept is to invest in people because at the end of the day, the people within an organization are where the value of the company lies” Michael Ada, Principal Owner- IPS

The Company Established on October 15, 2010, IPS is managed and operated by a young team of professionals. With their unique expertise and specialized services, IPS has an advantage that not many companies possess. Currently, IPS manages the ARRA funds for the CNMI central government totalling 88M US Dollars and has been an integral partner to government entities, private businesses, and non-profit organizations in the Commonwealth. Owned and operated locally, IPS is a consulting firm with professionals in the fields of: management, grant writing, logistics planning and coordination, professional training, and program development.

Focus IPS has been very fortunate to have leveraged its expertise to assist both public and private sector clients. This includes being part of a locally based team to bring the first solar powered production facility to the region

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in the Marpi Solar Pilot Project. IPS has helped several government agencies work through issues related to grant management and has been instrumental in guiding the success of the various ARRA funded projects throughout the CNMI jurisdiction. Its work has allowed the CNMI to interact with a variety of entities for realizing additional opportunities. Some key successes include: developing and writing the CNMI’s State Trade Export Program Grant Application on behalf of the Marianas Visitor’s Authority and the Department of Commerce. As a result, the CNMI received the sixth (6) largest award out of forty-six (46) applicants throughout the nation totalling approximately, $1,022,000.00. This particular grant is a big boost to the CNMI as a large portion of the proceeds are to be used for MVA’s promotions abroad. Other successes include: the development of the Marianas EB5 Regional Center Application through their partnership with the Triple J Corporation. This innovative federal program will change the face of how foreign investment dollars are brought into the CNMI, which will result in local job creation.

IPS Team (From Left to Right) : Floyd Dela Cruz, Alfreda Camacho, Mike Ada, Joyce Cabrera & Fred Camacho

“Integrated Professional Solutions has been a strong partner for the Triple J Corporation in a new and innovative business endeavor. The knowledge and skill displayed by the IPS team in the research, writing, and technical know-how has made them strong asset to the business community,” chairman and CEO Robert H. Jones said. He added, “IPS is a great asset for any organization.” In addition, IPS has aided the Northern Marianas Trades Institute (NMTI) in managing several grant programs and has continued to provide guidance to the organization as to its operational structure. These efforts have enabled NMTI to augment their current course offerings as well as to provide tuition-free classes for qualified students. “IPS has been a tremendous asset to the Northern Marianas Trade Institute and its students in researching and securing grant funds to help augment the schools current needs. The constant dedication and professionalism displayed by the IPS team has enabled the NMTI to increase its current enrollment and to continue the vision of providing quality vocational training to its student,” explains Anthony Pellegrino, NMTI presidents. IPS has also been able to work with international clients including the Japan based Solar System Corporation (SSC) whose Solar Farm facility, located in Marpi, Saipan, is slated to begin production of solar energy in April of 2012. SSC has also contracted IPS to assist in securing a bid with the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) to provide independent solar photovoltaic energy. SSC has also established the first solar farm test site in San Roque, Saipan completely cost free for the people of the CNMI. According to Naotaka Kagawa, SSC’s director, “We were very impressed and satisfied with IPS professionalism and knowledge. Mike Ada and his entire staff were extremely friendly, courteous and helpful, and we would recommend his company to anyone looking for assistance in establishing their business in Saipan.” IPS has made several positive contributions to the CNMI community with both its public and private clients. In the public sector, the CNMI government secured the services of IPS to work directly with the various governmental agencies receiving ARRA funds, to solicit, contract, and complete projects related to: the improve-

ments of the Cross-Island Roads, approximately forty (40) repair and renovation projects for the CNMI Public School System, the Procurement and Installation of Turbochargers for the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, the Procurement and Installation of the PSS Green Energy Project, and the Procurement and Installation of Street Lights throughout the islands of: Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. IPS in collaboration with Island Training Solutions handled the logistical planning of the 2011 Economic Restoration Summit. In addition IPS also assisted with the Department of Commerce Job Fair which led to approximately fifty (50) new job placements. “IPS has been a tremendous help to me in navigating the world of local and federal grants, and the staff have a variety of skills that my business had benifited from. They have been professional, knowledgeable and responsive to my needs,” Jim Arenovski of Island Training Solutions said. Arenovski, the 2011 Saipan Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year, also added, “Mike Ada and his team are a great company to work with on bringing ideas and projects to fruition. They are always up to the task. I am happy to know IPS is there to assist small businesses.” IPS is truly grateful for its current clients and will continue to seek out new and innovative business opportunities for current and future clients and to best serve their needs. IPS, coming from humble beginnings, realizes the importance of giving back to the CNMI community without whom these opportunities would not be made available. “I am very humbled and proud to now be a part of the IPS team. Our culture and traditions make our island unique and I feel we all have a responsibility to do all we can to help our island and our people.” said Fred P. Camacho. “To be part of a young and thriving team is just one of the many reasons IPS stands out in our local community today. Our organization stands firm behind: professionalism, innovative solutions, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and providing the best quality of work not only for our partners and clients; but also for the communities which we serve...with this and so much more that IPS has given me, I am truly blessed,” said Alfreda P. Camacho, IPS’ Administrative Director

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Give your child a shot at a healthy future

Is Your Child Up To Date With His Or Her Shots?

If your child is currently enrolled in any daycare/ childcare facility or any public or private school in the cnmi, your child must be up to date with his/ her shots as required by public law 6-10. students may be suspended from school and parents may be subject to penalties until these requirements are met.

Parents may receive a reminder letter stating that a child is delinquent with his or her shots. upon receipt of this letter, parents should take action immediately. Parents may also call the immunization program at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation at 236-8745/8708/8780/8781/8734 with any questions or concerns. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child has completed all immunization requirements PRIOR to enrolling the child in any daycare/ childcare facility or any school, public or private, in the CNMI. Once immunization requirements are complete, parents will be issued a student health certificate as proof that all requirements have been met. This student health certificate must then be presented to school officials upon enrollment of the child.

It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that all children are completely vaccinated prior to enrollment by asking parents to present a current student health certificate. This will ensure that each student is protected against vaccine preventable communicable diseases and that these diseases will not be passed on to unimmunized and unprotected children, their families, and school faculty. It is also the school’s responsibility to maintain a continuous record of written evidence that each child is complete with his or her shots prior to enrollment. These records are to be made available to Public Health officials upon request. It is the responsibility of the Immunization Program and Public Health to provide immunization services, public education, and enforcement of the immunization requirements in Public Law 6-10. The intent of this law is not to keep our kids out of school. The intent of this law is to protect our children from crippling and fatal diseases that can be prevented with vaccines. When we protect our children from these diseases we are giving them a better chance at a healthy and productive future. When our kids are protected, our community is protected. There are outbreaks of polio, pertussis, parotitis, measles, and other vaccine preventable diseases in our region. It only takes one person to start an outbreak. Let’s all do our part in keeping the CNMI outbreak free.

Something extraordinarily special By Alexis Amor E. Asuncion


t was not just an ordinary day. I arrived at the Hyatt hotel lobby at 7:02 pm. I was feeling tired. It was a long day. The atmosphere of Hyatt’s lobby and the welcoming of their Marketing & Communication Assistant Manager, Luis Villagomez, and staff instantly made me feel better. They were all smiling and to top their amiable approach I was informed that “tonight is a special night”. Giovanni’s Restaurant is celebrating the International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC). IDIC is a prestigious event for culinary professionals all over the world, introduced by the Virtual Group of Italian Chefs (itchefs-VGIC). It’s all for the love of true Italian cuisine prepared in the traditional and authentic manner. Being informed that the Executive Chef of Giovanni’s Restaurant, Gabriele Colombo, is the only member of the itchefs-VGIC in Saipan also made an impression that tonight is, indeed, a remarkable night for me. While waiting to be served, the exquisite ambiance of Giovanni draw my attention. The finely polished tables, matched with elegantly looking chairs were the first things that caught. The black and white photographs on the wall made me feel like I was somewhere in part of Europe. Listening to someone play the piano has always made me feel

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relaxed as it reminds me of my grandmother who used to play the piano very well. The relaxing feeling complements the fine dimly-lit restaurant. Giovanni made me feel relaxed that night. It was tranquil. Our appetizer was the anti pasti misti. Artistically served, I was already impressed and we haven’t gotten to the main dish yet. I’m in for yet another great experience with the IDIC event at Hyatt Regency Saipan. To make the night doubly special, the chef de cuisine, Zenn Tomokane, served us a one-of-a-kind pizza, the recipe was just created that night and my amazing group of people and I were the first ones to taste it. Chef Zenn called it Pizza Franicia, named after his parents Frank and Anicia Tomokane. The pizza bread was thin, prepared in a unique way, and it perfectly held all the toppings together like a cracker.

Our main dish was the world-famous Italian dish, Ossobuco with gremolata alla milanese- traditional ingredient is veal shank served with Risotto, a uniquely cooked Arborio (expensive short grain rice). The meat was tender and tasteful and I just can’t get enough of the Risotto. Chef Zenn was amazing enough to show us the actual short grain rice they used in making the dish. Ossobuco + Risotto = Excellent dining experience. Another Hyatt original is the authentic After-the-Rain dessert: rainbow ice cream with fruits and flaming rum cake. It was ice cream served like no other, no comparison for sure in my experience. Who would’ve known that my typical work day was magnificently turned into something extraordinary.

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United States Congressman

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan Serving the people of the Northern Mariana Islands

As your representative in Congress, I introduce legislation in Washington to benefit our islands and I vote on issues that affect our future. Additionally, I can assist you in finding answers to questions and getting help with the issues you may have with federal agencies. I have put together this guide to constituent services to give you an idea of the aid your congressional office can provide. Please don’t hesitate to call, write, e-mail, or stop by our offices on Saipan, Tinian and Rota and at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.; we’re here to help you! Sincerely,

LIST OF SERVICES: Helping you with your interactions with federal agencies is a big part of my job. Here are some of the areas in which your congressional offices most often provide help: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Social Security and Medicare Benefits Federal Student Aid Veterans’ Benefits Military Service Problems Federal Grants Immigration Concerns Passport and Visa Applications Small Business Assistance Capitol & Washington, D.C. Tours U.S. Flag Requests Congressional Commendations Internships Presidential Greetings Federal Employee Issues Disaster Assistance U.S. Service Academy Nominations

Student Services We can provide information about federal financial aid programs available to college students and their families. We also offer internships for college students who want to learn about the workings of a congressional office.

Veterans If you have served our nation, your congressional office can assist you with inquries about your pension or other benefits to which you are entitled, as well as recover service medals earned.

Visiting the Capitol Constituents from the Northern Mariana Islands who plan to visit the Washington area can obtain information on tours and places of interest. We can help you make your trip more rewarding by arranging tours of the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Supreme Court. Give us plenty of advance notice and be sure to visit your congressional office at 423 Cannon House Office Building.

Senior Citizens I can help you determine what services Medicare covers, assist with reimbursement problems, and inquire about overdue Social Security payments for disabilities, Supplemental Security Income, survivor, and retirement benefits.

U.S. Service Academy Nominations Each year, based on merit, I can nominate students from the Northern Mariana Islands to the U.S. Service Academies, where you can earn a college degree and become a commissioned officer in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marines. Contact us early in your junior year to begin preparing to apply.

Commendations & U.S. Flags As a service to constituents, your congressional office can provide commendations for special people and events. You may also order a United States Flag that has been flown over the Capitol Building. These flags can be flown in honor, or memory of a person, or special occasion and may be flown on a specific date. A certificate of authenticity is included with each flag.

United States Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan Washington, D.C. 423 Cannon House Office Building U.S. House of Representatives Washington DC 20515 Phone (202) 225-2646 Fax (202) 226-4249 Toll Free Number 1-877-466-3465

Northern Mariana Islands Saipan District Office JCB II #4, Susupe, PO Box 504879 Saipan, MP 96950 Phone (670) 323-2647/8 Fax (670) 323-2649

Rota District Office PO Box 1361 Rota, MP 96951 Phone (670) 532-2647 Fax (670) 532-2649

Tinian District Office General Delivery Tinian, MP 96952 Phone (670) 433-2647 Fax (670) 433-2648

Subscribe to e-kilili weekly e-newsletter at This mailing was published, prepared and mailed at taxpayer expense.

E-mail On the Web Find us on:

buttercups: a place to sit and unwind


t is no question the cupcake trend has swept the nation but there are only a handful that brings out the delight, sensation and answer to one’s — or our cravings for sweets.

Leaving Hyatt Regency Saipan for her dream business venture, Camacho believes it was the right choice. With passion and drive, she is ready to put on the table anyone’s sweet needs, so to speak.

The newly opened Buttercups have taken the trend to the next level. It is a new “in” thing where one can sit and sip a selection of coffee, as well, in a muted and relaxed atmosphere.

“A place to sit and enjoy delights”, Camacho said. To complement her sweet delights is her own house-blend coffee specialty, as well.

Norisa Camacho is the face of Buttercups. A graduate from Le Cordon bleu, she is now touted as the next “sweets” expert.

Make a visit and try their endless cupcakes in festive, colorful, fun-filled flavor, just about a perfect dessert for any occasion. They are located at the Bencam Building Garapan and is open daily.

She intimated that her original intention for setting up shop was to cater to the desires of children. But it has taken a shift; and adult, too, fell for her delights: cupcakes, cookies and other sweet pastries. Her investment of about $15K was worth it; the demand increased. Her patrons grew. Today, barely four months into her business, she is optimistic that even with a slow down of economy, the islanders’ love for food will never cease.

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Black tip reef shark (Carcharhinidae) captive Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinidae) Beqa

Galeocerdo cuvier Tiger shark

Grey reef


harks come from the Class Chondrichtyes and are also known as the cartilaginous fishes. They’ve inhabited our oceans for millions of years, roaming and regulating the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Today, sharks all over the world are being harvested for their fins to the point of extinction. To curb their depleting populations, our leaders passed a law that would protect our sharks. In January 2011, CNMI Legislation passed House Bill 17-94, now CNMI Public Law 17-27, that prohibits any person from possessing, selling, offering for sale, trading, or distributing shark fins in the CNMI. The CNMI PL 17-27 will complement shark conservation efforts alongside the Palau Shark Sanctuary which was founded in 2001 in an effort to end the killing of Palau’s sharks; Hawaii’s law banning all shark products in 2010; and the Shark Conservation Act which was signed by U.S. President Barak Obama in 2011. These laws were established to ban the inhumane acts of shark finning in which off-shore fishermen harvest these animals’ fins and dump them back into sea. Sharks require a constant flow of water to be passed through their gills in order to “breathe”; without their fins, they suffocate and die. To add another layer of protection, our Micronesian leaders gathered together in 2011 at the 15th Micronesian Chief Executive Summit and agreed on the creation of a Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary which will be the first of its kind.

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By Francisco C. Villagomez

In 2011 Austin J. Gallagher and Dr. Neil Hammerschlag from the University of Miami examined the impact of these apex predators on coastal economies and the importance of including shark conservation. They found that a single reef shark could be valued at $73 a day alive, as opposed to a bowl of shark fin soup at $50. It is possible that shark-watching, a form of ecotourism could be a key approach to help boost our ailing economy. Sharks also play a key role in the regulation of the biodiversity in our coral reefs. For example, in Tasmania, Australia, the overfishing of sharks caused a boom in their main prey, octopus, which caused a crashed the spiny lobster fishery. A complete removal of sharks in our waters may cause a severe unbalance to our ecosystem. Because sharks are slow growing animals, have late maturation, and have few young, they are more vulnerable to the threat of extinction and are more susceptible to overfishing. To protect our sharks, the community is urged to support the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary agreement to prohibit the exportation of, commercial fishing and selling of any shark, shark part or shark product with in the Micronesia Region, including Palau, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia and her four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.

Tasi Watch Project:

Laolao Bay, located on Saipan’s eastern shore, is adjacent to the few land owners in the area who are mainly upland. The bay is home to many marine and terrestrial resources. CNMI environmental agencies are working collaboratively to reduce non-point source pollution in efforts to restore and protect those resources within the area. The Marianas Islands Nature Alliance (MINA) was awarded funding from the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative to aid in those efforts through the implementation of the Tasi Watch Project for Laolao Bay. The Tasi Watch Project is a community-led management program targeting Laolao Bay users. The goal of the program is

to allow the four watershed communities—Kagman, Papago, Dan-Dan, and San Vicente—to have the opportunity to manage the Bay’s near-shore marine resources. Community members will be enforcing current laws that pertain to fishing, proper use of fishing tools and methods, marine sanctuaries, marine debris, and turtle poaching. MINA is asking these communities to be the extended arm of the environmental program and be the VOICE OF CONSERVATION. MINA is continuously seeking volunteers for the Tasi Watch Project – please call 233 – 7333 (REEF) or email for more information.


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Comfort of Home

Be Entertained

Recently, Naked Fish Restaurant and Bar changed its look and feel. Quite an astonishing ambiance that enhances the view of Saipan’s amazing sunsets. Located on beach road, it’s easily accessible and aesthetically designed for that homey feeling – solace and safe – Naked Fish is comforting as home.

With Naked Fish, there is always something for everyone. Genuinely they pride themselves with great food, great service and great entertainment. Each evening aside from Sundays come with live bands. Mondays is karaoke nights for the avid-vocalist. Burdon T’s on acoustic and with guest singer Raine on Tuesday and Wednesday, Island groove with Marvin Deleon Guerrero on Thursday, Nekkid Guys with Pats and Badjoe on Friday and the OPM band on Saturday. Each evening is designed to accommodate Naked Fish’s eclectic mix of clients.

Naked Fish comes with all sorts of entertainment as it established itself to be the pinnacle hot spot for a relaxing evening after a long day. Its new design comes with an outdoor deck, a private dart room and booths for intimate and private gatherings with a wide floor space accommodating up to 120 people comfortably.

The new family friendly atmosphere compliments the food that are great to the palate, specialty drinks like their specialty coffee. Free Wi-Fi to its customers and its friendly hosts know you by name making your experience at Naked Fish personalized.

“Naked Fish... Where Family and Friends have a Good Time”

“I was expected to learn fast. Electronic and mechanical knowledge training was provided by Xerox, it was a whirlwind experience�

The Family Business Imprint: Marianas Printing Services Business Name: Marianas Printing Services, Inc. Location: San Jose, Saipan Owner: Luis Camacho Business Type: Printing Services Established: March 1957


ith more than five decade of steady growth, this family business is functioning well with shared vision and passion. They have produced great outcomes. Marianas Printing Services, Inc. today is a reflection of its long road to success. And how it started as a pure luck for Luis Camacho, the owner. Luis Camacho and wife have turned the family-business into a sizable company, a transition from its humble beginnings.

History It was during his early teenage life, already an accomplished entrepreneur at that time, when his exposure to the printing business dawned. Working as communications specialist during the Trust Territory Period of the thenCongress of Micronesia, he was task to work on copier machines. Back then, Camacho explains, he was only familiar with 3M copiers and Verifax. He first laid eye on Xerox photocopier machines at Guam Naval Base when a representative showed him the early selections of Xerox machines. That meeting turned into luck for Camacho after he spoke of the needs in Micronesia for printing copiers. Never did he realize that his family would pioneer the printing business in the region.

Tops + MORE March 2012 28

For the next 23 years, Camacho assisted the movement for Xerox in Micronesia. As he climbed the corporate ladder, he eventually became the representative for all of Micronesia. “I was expected to learn fast. Electronic, mechanical knowledge and trainings were provided by Xerox,” recalls Camacho of his “whirlwind experience”. That time photocopiers were heavy designed machines. He was credited for bringing photocopiers and related equipments into the doorstep in this side of the region, and his hard work was valuable. He was promoted as the key operator in the region. From his travels in the region, he learned and has grown into the go-to-guy in printing/copying business. He gained recognition in Micronesia as the poster model representative for Xerox Company in the early 70’s. Through the years, he has secured himself with the company, bought shares, started to be the forerunner and independent representative the Pacific region needed. Maintenance, sales, product deliveries and collections— he did it all, as a one-man show sacrificing his family to get the job done. His family supported him because of his passion. The experiences that he gained from his early years allowed Camacho to see beyond from an armchair the needs of the CNMI. It was in 1957 after his retirement in the Trust Territory govern-

29 Tops + MORE march 2012

ment that he and his family opened Marianas Printing Services.

Challenges Marianas Printing Services has been through a lot since its inception. From its manual press machines to the German-built Heidelberg machines, it was a labor of success. From the time of “gray era” in print business, Marianas Printing Services has embraced printing modernization with its four-color prints. And even with the onset of innovations, Camacho believes that quality of printed materials still depends in the understanding of how the process works best: it comes with experience. MPS continue to push out great products. Their services have been part of the Commonwealth’s demand for quality print work. Seeing the way business work these days, the family business that was a result of hard work, support and valuing what is essentially a local pride. Today, five decades into his company’s operation, there is no sign of slowing down. Marianas Printing will continue to ride out the tide of challenges. One thing is certain, though. Marianas Printing’s imprint in the Commonwealth is a sign of optimism.

The ARC events for this coming April as follows:

Administrative Professional Day

1. Easter Sunday April 9, will have Easter Sunday Brunch (Theme Buffet will be Chamolinian & Filipino dishes). Activities are Egg Painting Contest and Easter Egg Hunting. No entrance fee just avail our Easter Brunch for $30.00 for Adult and $ 15.00 for child 6 to 11 years old and 5 years old and below are free less 20% discount for all local residence. We will also have live music/singer entertainer and magic show for children. There will be lots of prizes for winners and give away gifts and chocolates and candies.

April 25 Wednesday, we will offer Special Lunch at $25.00 for adult and $ 12.50 for children 6 to 11 years old and 5years old and below are free of charge with 10% discount to all local residence. We will give Chocolate and Flower to all Administrative Assistant, we will also do souvenir group photo give away, will give all guests a welcome drink of our famous Green Mangorita that was made from fresh local picked mangos. We will also have raffle draw with very interesting prizes. Live singing entertainment from our handsome singers. Phone 1670 322 1234 Fax 1670 322 1220

2012 Mother’s Day Event General: • Sunday Brunch at Costa, Raraina & Vino Bar on May 13,2012. • Price at $30.00 adult & $15.00 child less 20% discount on all local residence. • Will featured Local Fiesta Chammoro Dishes. • All Mothers will receive Flowers & a Box of Chocolate upon entrance. • There will be on the spot Family Photo shooting for Giveaway Portrait at Taga Room, but can be claimed the following day. • All Mothers will receive ticket for raffle draw with lots of prizes awaits during the event. • Will have live music entertainment. • There will be Handicraft sale Booth by Ms. Tokie & Orchids & Ornamental Plants Sale at Lobby area as added attractions.

Pacific Airconditioning & Refrigeration Installation Service Repair

freon man

• Washer/Dryers/Waterheater • Home & Office Aircondition • Microwaves/Refrigerators • Freezer and Other Home Appliances • Automotive A/C • Parts & Supply

Tel.: (670) 234-9267 Fax: (670) 235-8410

Gualo Rai, Saipan

Saipan Southern High JROTC

Sun Shone Brightly for Manta Ray Battalion with a Win at Regionals


or over a decade, the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps of the CNMI Public School System has been a springboard for student excellence and success.

And it has also been a vehicle for Commonwealth public school students to excel after high school, one criticial yardstick at how CNMI public schools continue to put students first. This year’s regional drill competition that was held in Long Beach, California is another validation that the program, with a vision to instill leadership and citizenry among high school students, has transitioned to what it is today: a conduit to student learning and development At midday on that sunny Sunday morning of February 18, Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Ray Battalion, along with their counterparts of Rota and Tinian High Schools, made history. SSHS’ Manta Battalion clinched the third highest honor, after winning first in the armed exhibition and third in armed inspection categories. This was during the 8th Brigade Regional Drill Competition that PSS-JROTC made its historic-first participation and notching a historic place in the nationals, to be held end of March.

31 Tops + MORE march 2012

At the 8th Brigade Regional Drill Competition, Manta Ray Battalion competed against JROTC cadets from the State of California, Washington State, Oregon, parts of Nevada, Hawaii, Samoa, Japan, Korea and Guam. Manta Ray Battalion Senior Army Instructor, Command Sgt. Major Leonardo B. Rabago credits the hard work of the cadets. “Hard work, dedication, and practice from each of the students have made this possible”, commented Rabago. Through JROTC subjects/courses and training, the program is designed to prepare students for after-high school opportunities, including ensliting in the military. “Discipline is what most of our students gain from JROTC. Performing at their very best with focus on lifestyle subjects such as conflict resolution, sexual abuse, financial matters and goals, with

strong emphasis on self-discipline, leadership and citizenship,” adds Rabago. A class by itself, the program has been supported and endorsed by the PSS and State Board of Education leadership.

And for what it has transitioned today, led to the establishment of a similar program - Leadership Corps - which trains and immerses students prior to going into the JROTC program.

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Father Ike Ayuyu:


is Holiness the late Pope John Paul II once said, “If priests could open up their hearts and tell you of their priesthood, they would speak of joy and consolations. At times the responsibility to minister in the name of Jesus is awesome, but what a source of happiness. The longer we are priests, the more convinced we are that our lives make a difference,” the late John Paul II added. In the Commonwealth, there is one who gave up his life in service of the Lord: Father Isaac “Ike” Ayuyu, who in his greatest motivation of all is the joy he gives and project in the lives of the people he serves and the ministry. At the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa and the many parishes that he served, his dedication, love and responsibility to the ministry, and self-sacrifice and devotion were shining examples and they are returned with the respect by the community—those that were touched by his goodness. Ordained on August 30,1986, Pale Ike became the first ordained priest of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. Born on September 30, 1955 on Rota, his sacrifices are immeasurable. On January 12, 2012, the 112th United States Congress bestowed distinction to Pale Ike for his “outstanding achievement and immense conributions.” Shepherded by US Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho

33 Tops + MORE march 2012

Sablan, who hailed Pale Ike in a privilege speech before the US House of Representatives, presented him the US Congress resolution that will now be part of the official records of US Congress. For twenty-five years of his service, there is no words that would encapsulate Pale Ike’s sacrifices and his devotion to the Catholic Church. “On behalf of the 112th U.S. Congress, we are pleased to present to you this plaque recognizing your outstanding achievement and overall accomplishment to our community,” US Congressman Sablan said. Pale Ike, who is now the newly named Parish Priest for Santa Soledad Church, is humbled of the distinction. “I have been called to serve and will forever be grateful with that calling and the opportunity to touch the lives of the people of this Commonwealth,” Pale Ike said. Pale Ike, during the Jan. 12 ceremony, was joined by his extended family—the CNMI Worldwide Marriage Encounter group. “Our island community with the support the ME group applauds your commitment. We are grateful to be part of your life and be involved with your service,” couple Linda and Gonzalo Pangelinan said.

inspiring LOCKSMITH A Vocational Rehabilitation Success “My disability only limits my ability but it’s not going to stop me and bring me down” Francisco Alfonso

“It’s not easy being a locksmith, you have to be trusted”, Alfonso said when asked what is the greatest challenge a locksmith could ever have. Since he was trained and had earned special skills in building, fixing locks and breaking locks, Mr. Alfonso had to maintain and keep the trust of his clients and has been successful at that to date. One of the greatest rewards he gets from doing his job is helping a family secure their home. “My disability only limits my ability, but it’s not going to stop me and bring me down”, said Francisco Alfonso, the proud owner of ACTION LOCKSMITH located in San Antonio. The business has been established and in operation for more than fifteen years. And one of the things that make the business thrive is the passion and dedication Mr. Alfonso brings in each day. He is one of many beneficiaries of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation that provides service to residents and individuals with disabilities in the Northern Mariana Islands. Since his childhood, when he developed polio, his use of a wheelchair or a crutch allowed him to move around freely. Despite his disability, he possesses extraordinary skills. He faces each job with great passion and integrity. He is the only US certified locksmith on the island and has gone through training at the Locksmith Institute in Kansas. His accomplishments has given him a certificate from the Locksmith National Association.

“It makes me feel happy helping people sleep better at night knowing that their homes are safe and secured”. Alfonso had been helping the people in the CNMI with their safe keys and locks for many years. He is not only a professional locksmith and a successful business owner, but he is also an inspiration not only to people with disabilities but to everyone. He takes his disability as a blessing which had helped him become an accomplished person. “Do what you have to do and make the best out of everything”, adds Alfonso.

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Live Band

from Tuesday to Saturday

Tel: 235-FISH (3474) • email: nakedfishsaipan@gmail

Are you looking for a skill that would build a career? Come to the Northern Marianas Trades Institute (NMTI) and start a new life! Build skills for a lifetime! NMTI offers vocational courses that build skills in various trades. With hands on experience and classroom fundamentals, you will prepare yourself for skilled, higherpaying jobs. NMTI instructors are ready to train you. Are you ready for training?

Go Trade – GET Paid

During training, get a job in the field of your interest. After training, grow in a career you enjoy! NMTI will help you!

with Northern Marianas Trades Institute has been approved for a three -year accreditation period by the National Center for Construction and Educational Research (NCCER) Accredited Training Unit under the sponsorship of the Guam Contractor’s Association.

This advertisement was made available through grant number EA-21358-11-60-A-69 under the U.S. Department of Labor


From (left), Mr. Perry Inos Jr., Director of Central Statistics Division - CNMI, (center) Mr. Sim Stokes, SBA-OIT Program Manager, STEP Program - Washington D.C., and (right) Mr. David R. Maratita, Director of ABTC Division – CNMI.


he Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration to establish a 3-year pilot program, known as the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program, to make grants to States to assist eligible small business concerns. The objective of the STEP Grant Program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and increase the value of exports by small businesses in the States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. In September 2011, the CNMI Department of Commerce secured a cooperative grant in the amount of $1,022,000.00 from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. Under this grant, the Department of Commerce through the assistance of SBA resource partners will be providing services to eligible small businesses in the CNMI in preparation for international trade missions and trade shows, in an effort of increasing the number of small businesses that are exporting and increase the value of local export products that is made in the CNMI. Tops + MORE March 2012 36

State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program Participating in international trade shows and trade missions is among the most effective ways for small businesses to enter into new international markets or expand their visibility in existing markets

Explore Opportunities and Expand into new markets The Department of Commerce offers a new program, funded in part through the U.S. Small Business Administration, to assist the CNMI companies who wish to take advantage of international trade shows, trade missions or reverse trade missions to enter new markets or grow existing ones.

Who Can Participate? All existing CNMI companies that meet the SBA definition of a small business concern and are planning to export their products or services are eligible.

What Will It Cost Me? Participation in the program is free to all eligible small businesses.

How Will I Benefit? The CNMI STEP team will work with each company to design an export business plan that will support their specific needs related to increasing exports. Free consulting and other services will be available as well as assistance with the cost of fee-based programs.

How do I apply? The first step is to contact the Department of Commerce’s Small Business Development Center at (670) 664-3018 to receive information on the program and complete a survey. This will begin the evaluation process and lead to one-on-one consultation on appropriate services for your company.

37 Tops + MORE march 2012

What is the Next Step? Following the outcome of the SBDC evaluation and consultation, all eligible small businesses will be given the opportunity to participate in organizational sessions to be provided under the Foreign Trade Development Program (FTDP), which is free of charge. The FTDP program is designed to help foster the development of export business plans through segments of organizational sessions. This program will also give the participants the opportunity with the proper introduction of the CNMI’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. Through the FTDP program, small businesses will be provided with the necessary tools in understanding the steps in engaging in the international trade and exporting business, as well as opportunities that may benefit the CNMI small businesses in marketing their products through participation in International Trade Missions and Trade Shows.

Contact Us For more information, please call the Department of Commerce, Mr. Perry Inos Jr., at (670) 664-3023, email: mp, or Mr. David Maratita, at (670) 664-3065, email:

Funded in part through a grant award with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Buy 2 Half Slab BBQ Ribs

Free 9 pcs snack pack shanghai lumpia

Coupon must be presented upon order. Call 235-1418 to place order @ least 2 hrs. in advance

FREE ice tea

2 dozen minis

Offer is Valid from April 16 to May 15, 2012. Order must be made 24 hours in advance and must consist of only one flavor. • Offer valid only for one coupon per customer per day.

Free 9 pcs. Snack Pack Shanghai Lumpia

Present this coupon to get FREE iced tea when you order Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner item from the menu. Offers valid from April 16 -May 15, 2012. One coupon per person per visit only.

2 dozen minis

Offer is Valid from March 15 to April 15, 2012. Order must be made 24 hours in advance and must consist of only one flavor.

• Offer valid only for one coupon per customer per day.

Free 5 pcs. bbq sticks Coupon must be presented upon order. Call 235-1418 to place order @ least 2 hrs. in advance

Buy Party Package of $20.00 or more shanghai lumpia

FREE small french Fries

Present this coupon to get FREE small french fries when you order Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner item from the menu. Offers valid from May 16 - June 15, 2012. One coupon per person per visit only.



scoop of Ice Cream

2 dozen minis

Offer is Valid from May 16 to June 16, 2012. Order must be made 24 hours in advance and must consist of only one flavor. • Offer valid only for one coupon per customer per day.


Present this coupon to get FREE coffee when you order Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner item from the menu. Offers valid from March 15-April 15, 2012. One coupon per person per visit only.

10% OFF Buy 2 Grilled Tilapia or Bangus

Coupon must be presented upon order. Call 235-1418 to place order @ least 2 hrs. in advance

Coupon must be presented upon order. Call 235-1418 to place order @ least 2 hrs. in advance

Only with Tops+More Magazine -- our coupon section for best buy for your home improvement, personal and beauty products, fun and entertainment and dining. Cut this coupon and present this along with the purchase of product from selected establishments.

Buy 5 bbq sticks

when you dine in during Lunch or Dinner upon presentation of the coupon.

Free 9 pcs. snack pack shanghai lumpia

Buy 10 bbq sticks

Upon presentation of this coupon, entitles you to a 10% discount on all FOOD items. One coupon per person per visit only. Valid from March 15 - June 15, 2012. Good Food, Good Friends, Good Time.

Free 3 pcs. Snack Pack Shanghai Lumpia Coupon must be presented upon order. Call 235-1418 to place order @ least 2 hrs. in advance

FREE CHASER Mariana Resort and Spa Upon presentation of this coupon, you are entitled for FREE chaser during Happy Hour at Gekka Bar. Happy hour time is 4:00pm-6:00pm everyday. One coupon per person per visit. Valid date: March 15 - June 15, 2012

Charcoal Barbeque

Charcoal Menu List To PIC

Clean Laundry Charcoal Barbeque White Bldg.

Hopwood Jr. Sr. High



Old Garments Bldg.

• Pork BBQ – $1.00/stick • Chicken BBQ – $1.00/stick • Grilled Tilapia – $5.00/pc. • Grilled Milk Fish – $6.00/pc. • Fried lumpia – $1.00/3 rolls • Pork Baby Back Ribs -$6.00/half slab • Beef Intestine – $1.00/stick • Beef fingers - $2.75 each

Blue Sky Mart MOBIL

Chalan Piao

To As Perdido Chalan Kanoa Road

Special Lunch Pack


Every Thursday & Friday

Tel. No.: 670-285-3664 670-235-1418 Open daily 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Services Eligibility Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended establishes the following criteria for eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services. A person must: 1. Have a physical or mental impairment that constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; 2. Require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

Who Should Apply To find out if you should apply, first ask yourself the following questions: • Do I have a disability? • Am I having difficulty finding or keeping a job because of my disability? • Do I want to work or continue working? If you answered “yes” to all these questions, you may be able to benefit from VR services and are welcome to apply.

Services Provided The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, using an individualized process, works closely in partnership with its consumers to:

• Identify vocational interests and aptitudes • Determine a vocational goal • Develop an action plan, including securing necessary resources • Resolve barriers to employment • Secure appropriate employment • Ensure employment success through follow-up services

VR Services OVR can provide the following VR services or may refer VR clients to other agencies / programs that also serve individuals with disabilities:

• Assessment, counseling and vocational guidance • Medical services • Physical / mental restoration • Employment development & training • Assistive devices or technology • Job placement, job coaching, and follow-up • Occupational licenses, tools and equipment • Transportation, including call-a-ride • Independent living services • Advocacy

Tops Issue#4  

"Our CNMI remains young in many facets of its existence as compared to other parts of the word. Young but not fledging, our Commonwealth is...

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