Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 12am

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    Tuesday, November 21, 2017-2:06:14P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Saipan Jungle Show Tour begins

SITTING within one of Navy Hill’s lush forests is a new botanical park that offers guests and residents a glimpse into the natural beauty, amazing wildlife and local cultures of the islands.

Ed Bonita Park, revitalized by a local start up called Saipan Jungle Show Tour, Inc., headed by Michael C. Manglona, Ken To’omata and Shane Romolor celebrated its soft opening with guests, tour agent representatives and family members last Sunday featuring all of the tour’s attractions.

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Local performers Joe Rosario and Kika Tenorio greet guests at Ed Bonita Park. Saipan Jungle Show Tour Inc. partners Shane Romolor, Michael Manglona and Ken To’omata are all smiles at the soft opening on Sunday of their new cultural garden attraction at Ed Bonita Park in Navy Hill while local dancers cheer in the background.
Performing the Poi Dance, local dancers Marlina Limes and Joe Rosario entertain guests at the Saipan Jungle Tour Show. A pan full of freshly made coconut candy awaits guests to try one the islands’ favorite desserts at Saipan Jungle Show Tour.
Local dancers Jeriko Reyes, Joe Rosario and Ken To’ommata perform for guests last Sunday during the Saipan Jungle Show Tour soft opening at Ed Bonita Park in Navy Hill. Pale Jesse Reyes led the blessing ceremony at Ed Bonita Park last Sunday while Michael Manglona, Vicky Concepcion and Josephine Mesta joined the ceremonies and a photo with local dancers.  Photos by Frankie Eliptico

Started as the brainchild of Michael’s father, Joaquin Manglona and brother Edward on family property several years ago, Ed Bonita Park offered walking and driving tours with small group of tourists daily.

“Just a few weeks ago, Ken had come up to me with this vision to showcase local performances, cultural demonstrations along with the jungle tours, and thus, SJST was born,” smiled Michael.

With dozens of local floral varieties, fresh fruits and large trees, Ed Bonita Park is a stroll into the islands’ vibrant forests, with wide concrete pathways meandering through the primary areas, including three huts and a main stage for performances.

“Each of the huts offers an experience for our guests, such as the popular cooking style called the ‘Umu’, using hot lava stones to cook meat and breadfruit wrapped in leaves and buried underground—it comes out with this unique flavor, so delicious!,” said Michael. “In the other huts, we also offer bead making or coconut weaving demonstrations.”

“There are also fish ponds that guests can try fishing from and several animal pens to see local wildlife such as the Hilitai and Coconut Crab,” he added.

To celebrate its opening, SJST is offering a special discount for local residents starting today for only $10 per adult and $5 for children (4 to 13 years old) and three years and below are free.

Jungle Tours only are being offered Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and consist of access to the Park for the whole day, plus all you can eat delicious fresh fruits, traditional foods, and all you can drink coconut juice.

“We serve local dish favorites, such as Empanadas, roasted Breadfruit with Coconut Milk, Coconut Candy, Chalakiles (Roasted Rice Soup), Corn Soup and others that we will be interchanging on a daily basis,” said Michael.

Saturdays are Jungle Tours with Show, which includes all of the Jungle Tour plus three shows complete with local traditional dances from all over the Pacific.

Saipan Jungle Tours, Inc. aims to provide guests and residents a way to enjoy the spirit and beauty of the islands, while taking a natural break from the demands of daily life.

“This is a wonderful way for families and friends to come and enjoy some time here together and we invite you to call and reserve a tour—we will make it a fun and positive experience for all our guests,” smiled Michael.

For more information or to reserve a tour, please call Saipan Jungle Show Tour at 286-SJST (7578) or email sjst670@gmail.com.