Along the northern shoreline of the beautiful island of Rota, a freshwater swimming hole can be found that is protected by lush jungle and coral reefs. It seems as if its big tide pool. However, the pool’s looks are deceiving. Once you jump in and taste the water, you will know that the water is not 100% salt water. It is a great place to hang out with friends and family enjoying the warmth of the sun.
I found this beauty while my partner and I were exploring the back roads of Rota. We saw this hilitai from afar allowing myself to creep out of the car very slowly to snap a few shots. It’s yellow spotted skin helps camouflage the creature into the rootedness of the dense Rota jungle. The closer I approached, the more it proved to be a very shy and timid creatures. The hilitai is one of many creatures that can be find on the beautiful island of Rota.
The beautiful island Rota serves as a safe haven for various indigenous creatures of the Northern Mariana Islands. The humble Ayuyu, commonly known as the coconut crab, is one of many indigenous creatures that can be found on the island. There are a few common places to find this creature in its natural habitat. The easiest way to spot an Ayuyu is to take a stroll on the back road of Rota that connects the Song Song village to the Sinapalo village. It is a dirt road that is nested into the beautiful jungle that engulfs the limestone island. Be sure to take this journey at night due to their increased crab activity during this time of the day. Keep an eye out for the reflection of their eyes from the lights of your vehicle.
Pre Cybuk Le’mai (Breadfruit) preparation on the island of Tinian. This type of tree was crucial for the existence of the Chamorro people because it was their “carbohydrate” to fuel and nourish their bodies every single day. There are different ways to prepare this specific stable crop. One way is to simply put it into a fire and let it cook on the outside. Once cooked, its almost like a baked potato but much more tasty. Another way to prepare Le’mai is by cutting off the exposed skin of the crop then chopping it into cubes (as shown in the picture). Boil it in water and coconut milk and then you’ll end up with cybuk. Stay tuned for the finished product!
I recently made a trip to the island of Tinian to hang out with some friends during the 2014 Tinian Fiesta. Immediately upon arriving at the dock (took my cousin’s boat which was an hour boat ride), we went straight up to the ranch to begin preparing for the evenings feast. This was the fire that was prepared to roast a small-medium sized pig. One of the “local” delicacies is roasted pig. Once the fire is prepared, it is spread around in a circle, surrounding the pig on a spick. The pig is then evenly roasted by turing the spic for several hours. Stay tuned for more pictures!
Banzai Cliff, Saipan. It puts me in awe how a specific landscape can have many different appearances. This was taken at night. I was hoping for some star action to light up the horizon, but was refused by the mercy of the weather.
Laulau Bay, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. One of THE nicest places on Saipan, Laulau Bay is located on the South Eastern side of Saipan. Growing up, Laulau Bay was the place where my family would gather and hang out at the beach, bbq, and have fun in the sun. In my teenage years, this was the place where I learned how to spearfish. Now a days, it is a place where I go to relax and get away from “everything”. Sitting by the cliff side, one can hear the constant crashing of the waves upon the ancient coral reef. White noise, which changes the frequency of the mind to a channel that embraces peace, calm, and tranquility. Thoughts of “stress” vanish into the ocean mist phasing out, as the ocean tide recedes.
A view of Banzai Cliff, Saipan. During WWII, Banzai Cliff was one of the last points of retreat for the Japanese. When the Americans took over the island, they started from the South working their way towards the Northern part of Saipan. Instead of choosing to surrender, a large portion of the Japanese military jumped off this specific cliff to meet their end. Fast forward 50 years, you can see where the ancient limestone cliffs meet the fluid ocean. During the Winter time, the ocean can be very treacherous with huge waves that pound against the cliff side. If your by the edge, you can literally feel the power of Mother Nature.
A panoramic shot of Managaha Island. If your ever visiting Saipan, it is a MUST to take a trip to the beautiful island paradise. If you’ve never tried it, go banana boating, parasailing, or snorkeling. Great island attractions!
Picture yourself on Guam, cruising North-bound on Tumon Rd. heading towards Gun Beach. You pass the gate and find yourself looking at an enormous “shack” nested into a few coconut trees with a perfect view of the sunset. Looking in-land, you’ll find a hidden path that will take you to a traditional attraction called Gokna. In this traditionally inspired village, you can take a step back in time and witness how “life” was interpreted during the Ancient Chamorro times. You can see the coconut leaf thatched hutts, concrete latte stones, a fire pit, and a Taro patch. These were all essential items to have in a village to survive. The latte stones served as the foundation of the chamorro house, providing them shelter. The taro patch was a very important source of food because it served as their “carbohydrate” to perform daily functions through out the day. Typically, an Ancient Chamorro could be a hunter, a fisherman, a farmer, a craftsmen, and other occupations. An ancient chamorro’s diet consisted of fish, taro, lemai, and other ingredients from the Earth.