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Vol. 2 Issue No. 2

food guide on island



13 Why Immunize? To Love Is 16 A Decision Buying Local 19 Marianas Made

Saipan World Resort

Holiday Energy Conservation Tips Lighting: • Switch to Energy Star Qualified Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL’s). Produces less heat and cuts energy cost. • Turn off all unnecessary light. • Keep bulbs clean as dust can cut light output lumens by as much as 25% Appliances: • Buy appliances with high or more efficient ratings. • Look for Energy Star labels as the label signifies the strict energy efficiency standard guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Refrigerator: • Check your refrigerator and freezer temperature. Set refrigerator between 36˚ and 38˚ degrees and freezers between 0˚ to 5˚ degrees. • Cover and wrap food. Uncovered foods and liquids release moisture, which makes the fridge work harder. • Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly. When ice builds up. Your freezer uses more electricity. If it frosts up again quickly, check that the door seals are strong and intact. Air condition: • Set air con thermostat to 78˚ degrees, it helps saves energy and money. • Keep air con filters and vents cleaned as dirt and dust can make your system less efficient. • Install programmable thermostat. Set the times and temperatures to match your schedule, and save money and be cool when you return home. Water Heater: • Set thermostat for water heaters at an efficient setting of 120˚ degrees. • Buy a water heater that fits your needs. Don’t buy a water heater that is too big, you will pay to heat up water you don’t need. • Install low-flow showerhead and lowflow aerators on the faucets as they reduce the amount of water that flows. Cooking: • Cooking temperatures can drop as much as 50˚ degrees every time the oven door is opened, causing the oven to reheat. • Keep the center of the pan over the element, and keep the lid on when cooking on the stovetop. • Use small appliances such as crock pots, electric frying pans, toaster ovens, and microwave ovens to save when cooking.

Lt. Governor Eloy Inos with DPW-Energy Division Staff during the 2012 National Energy Action Month Proclamation day on September 26, 2012.

Funding made possible by U.S. Department of Energy, State Energy Program/America Recovery and Reinvestment Act.



Shenanigan’s Stimulates Senses

It starts with the invitation. Then we called upon some friends about the establishment and asked about its food, ambiance and service. Our first sense used is hearing the tell tale experience they endured while feasting at Shenanigan’s. Our delightful group of friends who we have dubbed our “food enthusiasts” say they have been there a few times and the experience was rather a great one to add!


Sushi Craves It was an evening of cravings. The craving of something fresh with the combination of fish and rice and other tasteful condiments. Alas, having Sushi will ease this crave of mine tonight.


A Man of Many Talents!

Wayne Pangelinan Publisher Niño M. Flores Graphic Designer Donna Liwag Rivera Executive Marketing Manager


Going Prepaid or Not?


Tips on Cooling Homes

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) 989.6505/989.6550. 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: Editorial Office Chalan Piao, Saipan P.O. Box 503674 CK Saipan, MP 96950, CNMI, USA


essage M s ’ r e h s i l b Pu


ison Relations is once again elated to bring you our publication Tops + More. With feature stories on delectable foods at various establishments, marriages and the Marriage Encounter movement, to the season of spirits and the misconstrued notion of going prepaid or not with the Commonwealth Utilities Corporations, we are sure you will once again enjoy this issue. We pride ourselves for keeping the positive attitude with our publication. While there are things to take note off on our ailing economy and difficult livelihood in our beloved islands, we should also be mindful of positive actions around us. Take for example Marvin Guerrero who is featured in this publication as a local musician. His story to succeed in a hobby that has turned into a business created opportunities for himself and others who possess the love for music to vocalize their talent with music.


Tops + MORE December 2012

Cooks at Shenanigan’s and Coconut Tei share their brief insights to serving the local clientele on dishes that are not just mouthwatering, but great tasting as well. While they are many more establishments we wish to visit and share through our experiences, we bring you these for now and hopefully in our coming issues in 2013, more establishments will be featured to enhance your 411 on where to go and what to experience. On behalf of our company Bison Relations who publishes Tops + More, we express our joyous holiday greetings to everyone. Be safe, lets prosper and build our CNMI to an all time high in 2013! We bid you good reading!


ovember through January of each year ushers the season for many good deeds. It is simply the spirit of giving, sharing, as well thanking for all the blessings received. A sense of hope for yet a new year is arriving as the present year is on countdown December 31. A New Year begins to shower upon the lives in the Commonwealth. These months cater to good fortune and love for families and friends both near and far. The island may not be entirely visible with the decors and beautiful arrangement showcasing the holiday spirit, but at the spirit of each person, a desire to make their own holidays special lie with each household. Each preparation designed to greet and celebrate the intention of the season. Children excited and are ready to experience the joys. Parents, grandparents, and friends see their roles to ensuring happiness, love, and gratitude is shared amongst each other. What is it that makes our hearts open further with the season? Is it not love? Love for the values we have learned. Love for the lives we live, love for the people we care so much about, love for our hearts to be filled with joy and nothing less. How about forgiveness? Could this be as-

sociated with the keen admiration of lifting your spirit? Forgiveness in that you free your mind and heart from the year’s difficulty, hardship and stress related activities. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness� Helen Keller. While we as people seek refuge to protecting ourselves and love ones throughout the years, the holidays always entail a different spirit. The spirit to give, forgive and love everyone around us. This is true nature for mankind. Despite the atrocities faced with a dampened economy, the loss of life, and hardship and struggle we all face, the spirit of the holidays perk-up the need for fulfillment of oneself and those around us. Blessings of fortune, health and prosperity coupled with honor, love, integrity and honesty bring forth a subtle peace of mind. Tranquil and solace during the festive season, the Commonwealth offers that too in ambiance. The radiant colors of sunrise and sunsets, beaming light rays through clouds, its admired colors distinctly remind us we live in paradise. Peace, safety, and love for our beloved Commonwealth. Happy Holidays CNMI!

Tops + MORE December 2012


Shenanigan’s Stimulates Senses


t starts with the invitation. Then we called upon some friends about the establishment and asked about its food, ambiance and service. Our first sense used is hearing the tell tale experiences they endured while feasting at Shenanigan’s. Our delightful group of friends who we have dubbed our “food enthusiasts” say they have been there a few times and the experience was rather a great one to add!


Tops + MORE December 2012

“The food may take a while, but it’s worth it,” says one food enthusiast who wishes to remain anonymous. Venturing out to the establishment in the early evening, Tops + More personnel were ready to see what Shenanigan’s were to dish out, it was a surprise and the careful thought of dishes presented by the cooks at Shenanigan’s were brought out personally by the owner Bel Busby.

“Our foods are an eclectic mix off European-Italian-Mediterranean with a twist,” states Bel. So it was about 6:21pm, the Saipan night is about to get dark, but the lights of Garapan turn bright and Shenanigan’s lit up their bright signboard and together with its stunning glow coming from the dim lights through the glass paned windows, it was a sight to see. While the bustling Garapan have people walking to and from various eateries for dinner, Shenanigan’s a stand-alone establishment at the corner of a main intersection is inviting in all its awe. Its colors inside make it an impeccable sighting for a night of fine foods. It’s soft natural colors of beige, brown and dark wooden stained tables provide the needed contrast to its interior colors. A mid-sized bar elegantly designed and with the eye catching chiller lights beaming, which showcases freshly made sweet treats that emanate deliciousness while signifying a play in our heads we must have that tonight.” Describing Shenanigan’s is all but of words that had our evening captivated with elegance, superior service quality and the personal endearment of Bel to ensure that each customers leave with an impression of

happy experiences. This was our sense of feeling. As Bel starts off with the welcoming greetings, she expresses that she has prepared several dishes that are sure to give us that WOW factor. Taken to heart, we all sat eagerly awaiting for what’s in store for us. “We have prepared a salad dish, a pasta dish, a vegetarian dish and desert to follow. We hope you all enjoy and we look forward to feedback,” adds Bel. As soon as the introduction was made, dish one made its way to the table. A salad played with fruits and veggies. The pictureperfect setting with colors that make this appetizer dish extremely tempting. “Crunch, crunch and more crunch,” this salad is amazing. Fresh spinach leaves, walnuts, crisp carrots, thinly sliced radish, romaine lettuce, goat cheese and apples for that sweet meets tangy flavors. The Moorish crunch salad is a great starter and from this we already knew we were in for a treat and we have now just had our third sense take place, the sense of taste will go on for the next rounds of spectacular dishes we are to receive. Dish two makes it way. Fettuccine Ala Cose - the smell of aromatic scents fills the

air as the dish makes it way to our table. The hot plated dish teeming with steam gives that mouthwatering experience. Our fourth sense was met paralyzing our bodies to our seats and fixating our eyes upon what is presented. Our focus on the beautifully plated pasta dish, granted the visual experience of eating with our eyes first was already entrancing and established. Placed in the middle of our table, the steam, the aromatic scents, the beautifully plating design could not keep us away from tasting. Surrounded with mussels and its rich creamy sauce, topped with a snowcap of Parmesan cheese, we had the dish to enjoy appealing to its greatness. Their homemade marinara sauce and basil pesto added the culinary pairings of sauces for savory goodness. This is truly an enjoyable pasta dish on island. Our five senses were all met at Shenanigan’s. From taste, smell, feel, hear and see, our WOW factor came with two thumbs up and we were just in the middle of our course meal experiences with Shenanigan’s. Our love affair for great tasting burgers has always been something we look forward to.

Tops + MORE December 2012


Shenanigan’s brought out their Honey Chipotle Barbeque Burger. Sweet, tangy and BIG! This comes with a side dish of red potatoes seasoned for a kick, one that I truly enjoyed. Not your typical fries, but that of baked potatoes seasoned with spices that add to the culmination of great taste in burgers. Its dripping sauce is a BBQ flavored pasting tangy and mildly sweet. The burger kept its moistness and the sesame bun captures the drip sauce while condiments of the burger topped with fresh lettuce, melted cheese, tomato and pickles, this American staple at Shenanigan’s defies the odds of what a great burger looks and taste like. Our fifth dish came by surprise. Morrocan Strudel - This dish is the gooey goodness for the healthy and watching your diet enthusiast. What seems to look as some form of baked protein in dark form is actually fruit – dates – and the inside fillings of this scrumptious looking delicacy is filled with a creamy light curry flavored sauce. Spinach, red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and tofu are encapsulated by thin tortilla bread. This is placed atop the rice pilaf that sits on a balsamic vinaigrette and cream sauce. The dates and sour cream placed perfectly on top of the tortilla giving the contrast of colors appealing to the eyes. It is a vegetarian dish at Shenanigan’s and they pride themselves of their foods, displays and taste. Closing off the evening required a taste of the products in the eye-catching chiller with its bright lights. A piece of Shenanigan’s pastries delight our senses to an all time high. With all five senses in roaming mode, capping off our night would be to satisfy the sweet tooth crave. A piece for you, a piece for me, oh wait another for me please! Moist, sweet, glazed, tart and enjoyable is what we can say. Try it for yourself!


Tops + MORE December 2012

Meeting the Cooks! 42 years old, Ben Vergara, one of the two cooks at Shenanigan’s has had no formal education for culinary, but with his hands-on experience through the years, he has developed his love for his talent and a keen interest in continuing what he does best. “I’m happy that people can enjoy the food I prepare. The various ethnicities that come through our doors always express gratitude for the good food we serve them,” comments Vergara. Upon arriving on Saipan back in 1996, Vergara has had positions in the kitchen at various establishments such as Kingfisher Golf Links, Kinpachi, Ocean View Hotel, Victoria Hotel, Coffee Care and now Shenanigan’s. Prior to that he worked in the Philippines also as a cook and focused on Japanese, European and Italian cuisines under head chefs that gave him his initial culinary experiences.

45 years old, Corazon Dean, a single parent with 4 children and 2 grandchildren found her niche at a calling to become a great cook. Talented in many ways her gift of creativity coupled with her eagerness to apply and learn various trades has landed her a position with Shenanigan’s when they first opened in February of 2010. Originally hired for wait staff, Shenanigan’s chef Tony Aloevera saw potential in her. He pulled her from behind the counter and into the kitchen and started to give her hands on training in the culinary world. Although Chef Aloevera has decided to move on last year October, he left the reigns of knowledge with Corazon to carry on. Corazon’s crash course in the culinary world was challenging and tested, but her willingness to succeed and thrive in what she now loves to do has given her great potential in the food industry. Her role now is to create and bake all the pastries found at Shenanigan’s and with her skill set and training with Chef Aloevera, she now has learned to prepare, cook and plate all the items listed on their menu with ease. “I’ve watched and looked at Chef Aloevera’s every movement. I applied it to myself and learned. Even though I was the only woman in the kitchen with no culinary background, I learned quick and found myself another talent I truly enjoy, cooking!” states Corazon.

Christma s Day Brunch December

24, 2012 @ 12 Nig h 10:00 am-2 t :00 pm $28.00/per Local disco son unt applied

s t n e v E y a d i l o H New Year’s Day Brunch


Christmas Dinner Course Menu December 24 & 25, 2012 Christmas Dinner Special composed of 8-course meal which includes our featured Italian wine and Champagne. Adult - $85.00 + 10% Service charge Local Discount Applied

January 1, 2012

New Year’s Eve Countdown Party December 31, 2012 from 9:30 pm-12:00 midnight Food, bottomless Draft Beer, Sake, Champagne & Soda included Be Entertained by our Local Dancer, Fireworks Display.

@ 12th Night 10:00 am-2:00 pm $28.00/person Local discount applied

Japanese Food Fair Dinner

Bottomless Beer/Sake, Appetizers: Kabocha nimono, Hijiki Nimono, Hiyayako; Sushi and Shashimi; “Zouini” rice cake soup, Ton-jiru, ChawanMushi, NIka-jaga, Oden; Shabu-shabu corner, Teppanyaki corner, Assorted Tempura, Desserts: (Oshiruko) sweet Zouni, Dark & White Chocolate Fountain, and many more.

Made to order cake: Traditional Fruit Cake Chocolate Cake

For More Info And Reservations, Pls. Call


White chocolate and Coconut Mousse

Tops + MORE December 2012


Sushi Craves!


Tops + MORE December 2012


t was an evening of cravings. The craving of something fresh with the combination of fish, rice and other tasteful condiments. Alas, having sushi will ease this crave of mine tonight. Driving through Garapan, you seek out the venues where sushi is made fresh. Of course Shinsen Sushi is there, but I drove on to seek other establishments that offer sushi. I decided to meet up with a friend at Coconut Tei Restaurant. It is there where to my surprise they now offered sushi as part of their evening menu. Japanese foods on island are not just a delicacy, but that of flavors through decades have become the CNMI’s foretold scrumptiousness of delightfulness we have all become accustomed to. Freshly goodness of sushi on island cannot be compared to some parts of the world. Our islands, uniquely surrounded by ocean offer abundance of fresh seafood that make our dishes deliciously fresh and various chefs on island make aesthetic and beautiful dishes given the texture and color of freshness we desire. Sushi in particular requires the freshest of fresh fish. On Saipan, there are a many places where sushi is served and ultimately the special offers become the deal breakers in any establishment. Coconut Tei Restaurant entrances their take on sushi specials. I got my fill of sushi rolls as well

the sushi ala-carte dish (Nigiri Sushi) that is savory and freshly made every evening. Satisfied of course! Located in Garapan, Cocont Tei prides itself of great tasting foods at affordable prices. Local favorites of Japanese flavors onto your palate make every dish satisfying. A symphony of harmonious flavors fused from local and Japanese ingredients has kept this establishment in business dishing out their specialties since 1989. Aside from their lunch specials, the common sushi that their regular customers request for are the daily evening specials, the kimbobs, tuna rolls, tempura rolls, crab meat rolls and the all time favorite, the salmon taboka cream cheese rolls. These common rolls are their special evening dishes that sell for a reasonable price and yet extremely filling! Tops + More feature rest with the assorted sushi ala-carte that offers a variety of exquisite sushi in one platter. It’s different texture, proteins and flavors that simply roam your mouth. Followed by genuine Japanese miso soup to enhance the wash down of each sushi taste. This dish is an exquisite dining experience.

“We bring out the freshness of the ingredients,” comments Cook Ed Gavito. While new to the establishment, 34 years old Ed Gavito shares his experience. Back in the Philippines after his hotel and restaurant education, he went into the kitchen and served as a line cook for many years. He later landed a job with Pacific Islands Club Saipan as their lead cook for 8 years. He is versed in the preparations and cooking of International cuisine, but states his fondness for perfecting his Japanese culinary cuisine. His past jobs placed him at top-notch hotels in the Philippines such as the ShangriLa and the Highlands Golf Resort in Edsa and Tagaytay respectively.

“With heart on what you do, it will be tasteful,” adds Gavito. Coconut Tei changes up their special sushi menu every two weeks keeping their customers excited and satisfied. Affordable meal prices from their lunch specials to evening ala-carte dishes on the menu and their sushi specials every evening keep their customers returning for good food while friendly service staff make Coconut Tei a worthwhile eating experience on island.

Tops + MORE December 2012


Marvin Guerrero

A man of many talents! “Don’t quit your day job!” says Marvin Guerrero. A talented musician, Guerrero prides himself of understanding culture through music. Learning how to play a keyboard and mastering the sounds of each note has defined his hobby into a secondary income. “I think of it as preserving art through music, my art that is,” adds Guerrero. While being employed at the Bank Of Saipan, Guerrero continues to nurture his talent. Starting off at age 12 (now 37) he recalls his progress along the way. While he started his musical hobby earlier on, by age 14 he was already making public appearances. Fascinated with music, he took this hobby where he can make income from doing what he loves most.

“Don’t quit your day job!”


Tops + MORE December 2012

From various events and establishments, his name is known in the island community. Whether its birthday parties, weddings, christening celebrations, and other functions you may see Marvin around. While he focuses on his talents, he moved up the ranks to be one of the CNMI’s recording studio owners. Four years ago, MG Music Production was born. The music aficionado Guerrero believes in his music and how music enthralls the very best of us. Whether feeling sad, pain, lonely, or opposite in feelings of joy, heartfelt and excited, music is just as the saying “laughter cures all!” “Music for me is inspiration, it allows me to express myself vocally,” jest Guerrero. Guerrero expands on his talent. And with MG Music Productions, he produces music for himself and opens doors for other musicians looking to fulfill their dream. The essence of having a recording studio on island to vocalize the beautiful sounds islanders possess is beautiful and he is an avenue where these dreams could come true.

In the past 4 years, his recording studio has been able to produce several labeled musician names in the islands. Those that has used his talents are Parker Yobei, Tom Basa Jr., Choir groups – Stella Choi and United in Love group are a few of what his talent have helped to produce, conjure up the tunes and mixes required to make the masters for each album. He believes in keeping his studio fee cost low allowing for anyone who has a passion to record, use his studio and his talent. Guerrero is well versed in the various genre of music and expresses that he is tied to the reggae roots. He has started to produce his new album that is expected out by the summer of 2013. Of the 12 songs in the new album, 9 are originally composed by Guerrero himself and 3 are cover songs or remake songs. He says that the CNMI will be surprised. “Its my life’s work. It will contain my experiences from my younger years to date,” happily expresses Guerrero. MG Music Production offers service in the production of music in digital form, as well assist in the mixing and mastering of any song/album. They also offer equipment rental and live entertainment. “Those interested in making a name for themselves in the industry should consider making an album. MG Music Production can assist and support new talents,” adds Guerrero. MG Music Productions is located at As Terlaje Hill. Contacts are (670) 989-0109 or via email at

Tops + MORE December 2012 10

Everyone in the CNMI must do their part to make travelling on our highways and roads safer.

Here’s how you can help: 1. Some people will drink too much. When

that happens, they become potential dangers to themselves and others. If you were with someone drinking excessively, you should see to it that he or she does not drive.

2. Make the suggestions to your friend not

to drive and instead drive him or her home. Please remember that “Buzzed driving is drunk driving”, and “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

3. Suggest to you friends that they stay over,

stay put until sober. saipan 664-9001 • rota 532-9433/9530 tinian 433-9222/2041 Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Try to convince the drugged or drunk person insisting on driving to hand over the car keys for safekeeping until sober. The person or friend may resent your suggestion but insist because an intoxicated person may be unreasonable or unable to reason.

5. Call a taxi or a designated driver to drive

the person home. Pay for the cab yourself. Your friend cannot object to a free ride home. When your friend comes to his/her senses, he/she would thank you and may reimburse you.

Did you know that you are REQUIRED BY LAW to have your child vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases PRIOR to enrolling your child in any daycare/childcare facility or any school (public or private) in the CNMI?

Public Law 6-10 states: Every parent of a child shall, at the time of enrollment of the child in any Commonwealth special education, preschool, elementary school, or secondary school, public or non public, irrespective of grade level, provide the school authorities with proof that the child has received all of the immunizations required by the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services. If the child has not received all of the required immunizations, the parents shall be notified immediately that they are required to initiate all required immunizations for their child within two weeks after the date of such notice. Every parent of a child already enrolled in a Commonwealth school, public or non public, whose child’s health records show incomplete immunizations, shall be required to initiate remedial action within two weeks following notification of the immunization deficiency. Failure to comply shall be grounds for suspension of the child from school until all immunization standards have been met.

Public Law 6-10 further states: Every school or child care facility shall obtain and main-

tain evidence (Health Certificate) on file for ready inspection by Public Health officials that every child has had all required immunizations. No child shall be enrolled in any public or private school or child care facility within the Commonwealth unless evidence (Health Certificate) is presented to the enrolling officer that the child. has had all required vaccinations or immunizations.

Basically it means that you must ensure that your child is up to date with all required shots prior to enrolling your child in school. You must present a valid Health Certificate as proof that your child has been completely immunized. If your child is already enrolled and you receive a notice of delinquency then you must take action within two weeks. Children may be suspended from school until all immunization requirements are met.

what does all that mean??

Using the word “suspended” sounds bad but it really isn’t. The intent of the law is to PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, OUR FAMILIES, SCHOOL FACULTY & STAFF, AND OUR COMMUNITY FROM CRIPPLING AND DEADLY DISEASES.

Bee Wise Immunize Vaccination


Exposure to disease

The more children that are immunized will increase the net of protection around our community.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines fight viruses and bacteria that can make you very sick, disabled, or even kill you.

• Child gets required shots. • Vaccines build immunity ( Immunity means protection from diseases).

• Child develops antibodies which act like little soldiers waiting for diseases to enter the body.

• Antibodies attack the disease and kill it. • Child does not get sick.

The wider the net of protection, the less chances of our children and members of our community getting sick.

Did you know it costs $1,486.31 (not including administration and doctor’s fees) to fully immunize your child? The Department of Public Health will provide vaccines free of charge to those who qualify.

for more information please contact chc’s immunization clinic at 236-8708/8745/8780/8783//8781/8734. no appointment is necessary. We love our-children – let’s protect them from crippling and deadly diseases and give them a “shot” at a healthy and productive future.

$38.99* 2 Part Oil Change

5 quarts of conventional Motor oil and oil filter * Add $3.50 for oil disposal fee.

Pacific auto Gualo Rai, Saipan Tel.: 234-9267

Also available

Motor craft, exact fit or napa wiper blades

Free installation of wiper blades


he CNMI Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a non-profit religious movement is hitting the island by storm. Led by Charles and Cathy Cepeda alongside Father Ike Ayuyu - the CNMI Ecclesial team- with countless others encourage married couples to be a part of the M.E. Movement. While there are still some issues in the community that think this is a program to revive hardened marriages, the notion is simply wrong. The program enables good marriages to be great marriages by strengthening fundamentals through communication tools, faith in God and applications for every day

u Are yo next?

life that has found its place to enhancing marriages in many encountered couples in the Commonwealth. “First of all, going through the Marriage Encounter Weekend has brought us to a whole new level in communication and understanding. It has opened new doors on how we would face challenges together, and to understand the true meaning of how “Love is a Decision,” says Michelle Tagabuel (John), Encountered Couple. To love is a decision learned through the M.E. program, a weekend that ultimately changes the perspective on what each marriage is built upon, the covenant where a man and woman make for each other, a life that is built

faces of

not only within themselves, but with strong faith in God. The M.E. Weekend does not end with a two-day retreat, but stems further delving into programs that bring relationship closer. Steps Along the Journey, Steeper Steps, Love Languages give recourse to building stronger happier marriages. From these added programs, encountered couples reap the joy with their families on cohesive relationships that are seen publicly without hesitation or respite. It is the joy of sharing a marriage unconditionally with each other and the world around. “M.E. provided an opportunity to increase the communication level between my spouse and I by the dialogue sessions. The strategies allowed for conversation on sensitive areas to be initiated. M.E. sessions have strengthened my relationship with my spouse and family. The lessons learned impacted the attitude and value of the importance of family commitment,” stated Coreen C. Palacios (John) “M.E. has inspired me to be closer to my wife and have faith in God’s work in my marriage. Positive vibes from M.E. has rubbed off on our kids and family Continue... on page 25

Marriage Encounter “We joined Marriage Encounter and it strengthened, changed, and gave us tools to communicate with each other. We have grown much closer to God and each other since.” “We created a family here on Saipan that is just as close to us as our family back in North America. We care, love and support each other and together we work and improve our marriages, our faith, and relationships.”

Jake & Jackie Van Dam

Get Encountered

Married in May 2007, encountered October 2008.

Contact: Coordinators Spring weekend John & Michelle Tagabuel April 19-21, 2013 285-0709 Tops + MORE December 2012 16

Tinian: L-R, Cris Camachon (OVR); Sid Seman (SRC Chairman); Ray Pangelinan (Receiving a plaque on behalf of MVA Tinian); William Cing (THC); Marie San Nicolas (DCCA)

Congratulations and a World of Thanks to the following generous employers for accommodating our persons with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities in their work settings for Fiscal Year 2012. Saipan:


Century Insurance Commonwealth Health Corporation Commonwealth Utilities Corporation Department of Community and Cultural Affairs - Office on Aging Department of Land and Natural Resources Developmental Disabilities Council Hyatt Regency Saipan Joeten Enterprises Marianas Visitors Authority Saipan Sea Ventures Transportation and Security Administration

Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Marianas Visitors Authority Tinian Health Center

Rota: Commonwealth Ports Authority Commonwealth Utilities Corporation Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Department of Public Safety Freedom Air Marianas Visitors Authority Rota Mayor’s Office

Saipan: L-R Juan N. Babauta (CHC); Jack Songsong (DLNR); Betty Lou Kosam (TSA); Jesse Sablan (Joeten Enterprises); Vivian Taitano (Hyatt Regency Saipan); Pamela Sablan (DD Council); Junita S. Ramon (MVA); Shanna Pangelinan (CUC); Miki Pellegrino (Saipan Sea Ventures); David Celis (DCCA, Office on Aging); (not in picture Century Insurance, Tan Holdings Corp.)

Rota: L-R, Peter Manglona (DPS); Martin Mendiola (CPA); Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola (Mayor’s Office); Tillie Taimanao (CUC); Jim Atalig (Freedom Air Rota); Sandra Atalig (MVA); (not in picture- Rota DCCA)

This message is brought to you by

arianas ade

By Perry Inos, Jr. Director CNMI SBDC



hen Spring came at a close and the Summer time began; a new image was created for local art and culinary enthusiasts and entrepreneurs of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands through a special gift shop named Marianas Made. Gathering 100% authentic specialty foods and crafts of the CNMI brings light to the CNMI Small Business Development Center’s goal to “buy local” in order to continue “sustaining CNMI”.

her to be more cautious. With seed money enough to initiate the business and purchase assets for the business, Debra properly planned out and sought further funding assistance through a grant and was awarded the funds, which increased her owner’s contribution to Marianas Made with the assistance, resources, and guidance of the CNMI SBDC. Debra was able to grow her e-commerce presence, hire an employee, and increase brand marketing for Marianas Made.

Debra Kay, Marianas Made owner established the CNMI as one of her heart felt homes. She brings business experience through previous business ventures in home décor and construction from Oregon. Debra stated, “ I saw a huge need in the community for artists and crafters to have a place to sell their wares year round.” Debra brings her own experiences from selling crafts of her own in Montana, Oregon, and Washington and only saw the potential and opportunity the CNMI had to offer.

Starting a business and growing is quite a challenge. For Debra, the challenge was being “overwhelmed at one point at the size of the project and SBDC’s Director, Perry Inos, Jr., helped break it down into smaller business units. Now Debra is able to have Marianas Made self-sustain itself with the confidence to go on a week vacation off island knowing that the business is in good hands.

Debra took the business idea she had and sought guidelines through CNMI Small Business Development Center. Debra stated that the CNMI SBDC helped “focused on getting the business plan written.” She also stated, “first and foremost having a written plan clarified and crystallized the idea in my head so that I could explain them concisely to others. Secondly, the financials became my guide.” The startup process is not as easy as it seems, as Debra describes it. “scary and exciting at the same time.” Her experiences in the CNMI with the business community and local residents allowed

19 Tops + MORE December 2012

Debra sees Marianas Made’s short-term goal as building “product line to include more specialty foods/goods. The food products combined with related craft items will be ready for gift packs and baskets for the holiday season.” Debra also mentioned that Marianas Made’s long-term goal in three years is “having a thriving business that supports two other businesses and eight employees. Lastly, the advise that Debra Kay gives others who want to start a business is to “make a careful well developed plan with contingencies. It is your playbook.” Marianas Made is open 5pm-9pm for inquiries contact Debra Kay at (670) 287-0772 or via email at

CUC Clarifies the Misconceptions of the People Efficiency is what consumers should consider and conservation and efficiency are two different things Gary Camacho, CUC Power Division Manager


he misconception of going prepaid versus the standard issued meters found in most homes operates the same way with the same rates. Ideally, saving on utility cost is high on each residential home and business alike. “No meters have different rates, they are all the same”, states Camacho. CUC continuously looks towards technology. Sourcing out better options for consumers and finding efficient means to operate in general will help the CNMI consumers overall. It was 5 years when the first prepaid meters arrived on Saipan, it was 2 years later when the first installation was placed. And over 2000 prepaid meters are now installed CNMI wide. Another 500 applications pending installation as new meters have not arrived on Saipan. CUC has issued advertisements on an RFP to purchase 1,000 units of the new ITRON, U.S. Made meters for the Commonwealth. These new meters are more advanced and have dual purpose. It can go on the regular monthly reading base or go on prepaid for which option the customer wishes to use. The ITRON meters are so advanced that they are controlled via the Internet as well. They can be adjusted to meet the necessary power usage a customer so desires, disconnected or reconnected online through the touch a finger and is considered to be top notch technology out today.

Current prepaid meters are purchased from Australia and with the shift of new technology, these ITRON meters cost $340.00 per unit and are more than the ones purchased from Australia, but its operating system is more conducive to CUC “People were apprehensive of new technology. Most were not positive of the pre-paid meters back then. Word of mouth and outreach expanded the word of the pre-paid meters and from then it soared”, adds Camacho. When asked about the misconception, Camacho explains that it is merely- knowing. The conventional meter is hard to read and understand. Billings are provided every 30 days and it is calculated based on the number of days whereas, pre-paid is used on what is available. “In most cases, it’s the 5 feet rule. When on the conventional meters, if your 5-feet away from a light switch, you don’t necessarily bother with turning it off, but when you know your meter hours and its depleting, that 5-feet rule does not apply, you simply make the effort to turn off the switch”, expressed Camacho. “Efficiency is what consumers should consider. Conservation and efficiency are two different things. Being efficient by utilizing energy saving units such as AC’s, refrigerators, and light bulbs would make a significant reduction on utility consumption while maintaining your lifestyle”, says Gary Camacho, CUC Power Division Manager.

Tops + MORE December 2012 20

Tips on


arly this year, my family and I moved from a semi-concrete home to a fully concrete home. There was a huge difference in the temperature inside the two homes. The semi-concrete cooled down a lot faster in the evenings than the fully concrete home. I was amazed at how hot our concrete home was and decided to take the temperature of our ceiling using a laser thermometer. The temperature ranged from 105-125F. The temperature stayed the same well into the night. It felt like we were living in an oven. Because of the intolerable heat, we kept the air conditioning unit in the master bedroom on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the coolest settings. The a/c units in the kid’s room came on at 3pm when they came home from school and stayed on until 6am. As a result our electricity bill was extremely high for the first couple months that we lived in our home. We needed to fix the problem.

After considering our options, I decided that the most inexpensive fix was to paint my roof. I heard a lot about reflective roof coatings but was not a firm believer. At this point, I was willing to try anything to fix our heat problem. The day after we coated the roof, we started noticing a difference. Our ceiling temperature was down in the nineties and continued to lower as the days went by. Today, the house is so much cooler and our ceiling temperature has not gone above the eighties. We no longer have to turn our air conditioning units on until late in the evenings when it is time for bed. And on rainy days my wife and I use a fan. There has been a significant difference in our electricity bill. Reflective roof coating is a relatively inexpensive but effective solution for concrete roofs. These can be professionally applied,

Gonzalo Pangelinan Freon Man Pacific Airconditioning/Auto

“The semi-concrete cooled down a lot faster in the evenings than the fully concrete home.” or done yourself. When applied properly, these coatings can be major energy savers. How do reflective roof coatings work? Coatings contain either (or both) cement particles or polymers and white pigments that reflect sunlight and reduce heatrelated roof damage. By reflecting the most sunlight from your roof the concrete roof in turn does not retain heat thus keeping your roof cooler and ultimately your home. To be effective, the coatings must be applied thickly, according to manufacturer’s instructions, on a clean, dry roof compatible with the coating. They should also be kept clean to maximize reflectance and minimize damage. You can save a lot of money by doing all the work yourself. If you do plan on making it a DYI project, start off by cleaning your roof. Use a water blaster to get rid of any build up on your roof. Then scrub the roof with bleach and finally make sure the roof is completely dry before you start painting. Be sure to read the instructions on the pail before purchasing. Some of the reflective paints require priming your roof. This project will take you two or three days to complete but in the end you reap the benefits of your hard work. Tops + MORE December 2012 22

Naked Fish is the alluring playground for great food with great friends. Needless to say the change in ambiance this year has catapulted the comfort experience for anyone who enters for the first time. Its eloquently designed bar, new booths and furniture while the blended tone of natural colors make their ambiance exquisite to the eye and offers a relaxing soothing effect. Let’s not forget the live musicians that bring out the mood of the establishment bringing NF up another notch in comparison to other community bars and restaurants. At Naked Fish, you know you’ll get great service when you see their hostesses welcome you with great smiles. Their friendly hostesses make your experiences one to remember. And who cannot ever mention great tasting flavorful foods. All time favorites that enhance the experience are the garlic octopus, their garlic fish and their variety of tangy, spicy fresh poke. Sure it is comfort bar foods, but you also have a menu of alacarte surprises, such as the new sliders and hot plates to name a few. At NF they are made just right with seasonings and spice. It is then you’ll realize you’ve got the all time package in one place.






d. G o o F od

s. G

nd e i r F od


ime T d o o

Open from Monday to Saturday

5:00pm-12:00 am Tops + MORE December 2012 24

The Story Behind It!


t was mid 2011 when the idea came to mind. Loving grilled foods and being the carnivore that I am, I sought to have great tasting BBQ on island. Various concoctions of marinade to find that perfect taste for meats I truly enjoy. Simple and at time extreme marinades were tested, tested and tested again, tried over and over until finally, it came by surprise I found it through a friend. Refined and made to perfection each time, seemingly the flavor is something that made me adore BBQ even more. We started to make them in large batches testing with a variety of meats, chicken, pork, and beef. Studied the time frame to cook each type of meat and how well will the marinade stick on flavors from each meat used. How long? How much time to marinade? I asked myself. In time through trial and error it was found. By September, it was decided that Charcoal BBQ was to be built. Built in the location of Chalan Piao offering the community in the south a local BBQ establishment of their own we started building. Location is vital for this local BBQ establishment. It is located right by the road, where when heading south bound passing Hopwood Junior High School field, the two lane merges into one, Charcoal BBQ stands on the left. We find ourselves in a great location to have Charcoal BBQ placed. A month and a half later it was done and we were ready to occupy it. The real challenge has begun. We opened to start training personnel, looking at our needed inventory, inviting our clientele and marketing our products. It started with many challenges, but it did not deter us from making it work. Today, we are known for our tasteful mouthwatering beef finger lunches that have hit he CNMI by storm. Our local marinade flavor unique to the islands palate is what is spoken off each time I meet someone, a friend, a relative or simply a passerby that says “Hey, food man! Charcoal BBQ right?” I smile with humbleness and then it comes, “I love your beef fingers!” It’s always nice to hear that I admit!

25 Tops + MORE December 2012

Tinkering with new products we opened up more lines of foods, but each time we did, we once again tested and tested, tried and tried over and over again until I am satisfied with its taste knowing it’s a product I am proud off. Our full line of grilled products at Charcoal BBQ offering our clientele choices have been making waves. Catering of our foods in small and large orders for company parties, small gatherings or simply anyone who wants to have some foods ready for the beach we are there to offer our grilled foods with a smile. We open in hours for our special lunches from Wednesday thru Friday every week from 8:00am to 1:00pm and evenings from 3pm-9pm every Monday thru Saturday, orders can be made 24 hours in advance for catered items, large orders, packaged orders on our specials at the least. We will make every attempt to meet your needs. Despite our opening times, if an order is made 24 hours in advance for a morning pick up, we will make this for you. We are determined to grow and bring more flavorful foods and dishes to our patrons. And with that in mind, we express our deepest thanks to everyone that made us become a part of your life through our tasteful grilled foods. Its been over a year since we have been opened and we hope that our people, friends and family continue to look at supporting local business establishments keeping us alive to serve and build our economy once more. When seeing the smoke come out our vent above Charcoal, you know we are grilling great foods!

Continue... from page 19

members that witness the difference after our weekend. After joining the Marriage Encounter Weekend the flames has been burning since then,” comments John Tagabuel (Michelle) encountered couple. Marriages are sacred. The unity between man and woman through the eyes of god is an experience Marriage Encounter offers. A blessing knowing that seeing through all life’s challenges in marriage and making the best choices of living with intentions of love, honesty, and faith, there is nothing that cannot be solved with an open mind and an open heart. “Marriage Encounter was an amazing experience. My wife Daisy and I were told what to expect, but it really was so much more than we could have ever imagined. We think of it as the gift that keeps on giving, because a dear friend gave us this gift by sponsoring us, and I am so glad we went through with it,” states Ed Propst (Daisy) Encountered Couple. Marriage Encounter has a rich history in the Commonwealth. Stemming since the 1970’s and brought into the island of Saipan by Bishop Thomas Camacho, it has sprung intentions of building strong marriages and strong belief in faith. The program cannot be labeled with a price. What is gained and practiced lives within each encountered person individually and as a couple. Its trickle effect furthers its fundamentals to children as well. They become M.E. children who too are learning of values that parents have learned and continue to practice.

Coconut-Tei Restaurant Lunch

Everyday 8:30 am - 2:00 pm


Buy 2 Half Slab BBQ Ribs

Valid only until March 31, 2013

Free 2 pcs. Chicken Sticks

Set menu comes

with miso soup, ice tea, 2 side dishes seafood

Everyday 5:00pm - 10:00pm (Last order 9:30 pm)

For order call: Tel. No.: 670-234-3923

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.


Free delivery in Morning and Lunch time (Garapan area only)


“After years of turning down requests by my spouse to join the M.E. weekend, I finally decided to give it a try. This last October and it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been married for ten years to a wonderful woman and I love her more than anything I have ever loved. ME has provided us the tools needed to better communicate and understand each other. I feel these tools have made our marriage much stronger and will guide us through our journey of love together for a lifetime,” Jay Santos (Joyce), Encountered Couple. “What we learned over a short weekend is priceless, most especially when it comes to communication. M.E. may not have improved my hearing, but it certainly made me a better listener. Do we still get in to arguments? Of course! We are human after all. But the biggest difference is that it does not escalate and we do not stay mad at each other. Thankful, blessed, and proud to be a part of the M.E. family!” adds Ed Propst (Daisy). “Thank You Marriage Encounter for showing us the real meaning of Marriage, Love, Listening, Forgiveness, Fights, Apologies and getting stronger with all of these! And thank you for all of the Beautiful People who walk this Journey with us! We are truly blessed to have them all in our Lives!” Facebook comment Encountered Couple John and Carol Hosono. “M.E. has shown their love and support by welcoming us to the family. The experience was very enriching with all the lessons and surprises brought forward by the M.E. community,” adds Coreen (John). The next Marriage Encounter Weekend is slated for April 19-21, 2013. For interested couples, please feel free to join the Marriage Encounter Facebook ( pages/CNMI-Marriage-Encounter) page and simply send a message of interest. The M.E. soldiers of love will get in touch with you to secure your place at the next weekend.

Buy 10 Sticks of Pork or Chicken BBQ Free 2 cans of Softdrinks


Free 2 pcs. Pork Sticks Buy 2 Grilled Tilapia or Bangus

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

Tops + MORE December 2012 26

Charcoal Barbeque

Pork Baby Back Ribs- $7.00/half slab • 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 • Beef Intestine – $1.00/stick • Beef fingers - $2.75 each • Grilled Reef Fish (Parrot Fish) – $10.00, $12.00 & $20.00 sizes available.

We also cater for party orders! Chalan Piao

Tel. No.: 670-235-1418 Open daily (Mon. to Sat.) 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Wed., Thurs. & Fri. Special Lunch Day

8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Healthy Start to a Happier and Healthier New Year!

EAT Right! • Start a small garden in your backyard

• Avoid portion distortion, instead, eat the right portion

• Get more local and fresh produce at your local farmers market

STAY Physically Active! • Take Action for Me and My Family: Make sure every child have at least one hour a day of physical activity. Adults must be physically active 30mins. to 1hour, 5 times a week. • Take Action for My Workplace: Plan group exercise or physical activities to make it more fun!

• Take Action for My Community: Let’s Move Marianas! Find out what’s going on in your community

Be Tobacco FREE • Protect your health, don’t smoke or chew tobacco • Consider QUITTING. • Help is Available! Attend Cessation classes (Quitline Program), contact 323--QUIT (7848)

Call 236-8638 or email for more details

Tops + More # 6  

Local CNMI publication brinnging delightful cuisines found in restautants, hotls and bars on island.

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