Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Jan 2019 12am







    Saturday, January 19, 2019-3:15:47P.M.






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Tinian: Beautiful and hot

TINIAN — Strong collaboration between the government and private sector ensured once again the success of the Tinian Pika Festival, Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas said at the opening of the 14th annual festival on Saturday.

“You truly are the driving force behind the continued success of our festival,” he said, referring to all who supported the event which celebrates the island’s famous hot pepper, donne sali.

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The Famaguon Tinian Cultural Dancers perform on stage.  Photo by Junhan B. TodiñoThe Famaguon Tinian Cultural Dancers perform on stage. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

The mayor urged not only the local leadership but also the community to “again show our visitors that Tinian is more than just beautiful — we’re hot.”

Marianas Visitors Authority community project manager Martin Duenas said this year’s event not only attracted tourists but also municipal officials from Guam. “The event turnout is very good,” he said.

During the canoe race, one of the competitors, the Pika Punket Pike capsized, but Department of Public Safety boating safety personnel were able to bring the paddlers safely back to Kammer Beach.

The canoe race was won by JC Café Team with Chance “Em” in second place and Pika Pika in third.

There was also an arm-wrestling contest and the hot pepper contest for males and females.

This year, instead of the usual noodle soup with hot peppers, the contestants had to go through three stages: eating regular hot peppers, eating two extremely hot peppers, and then eating noddle soup with ground hot peppers.

As of press time Sunday evening, the names of the contest winners were not yet available.

Tinian MVA manager Vida Borja said the festival participants “had fun.”

Among the performers were the Tubera siblings Erica, Lawrence and Justin, the Saipan Music and Dance Studio, Jonilla Manuel, Infinity 2.0, Famaguon Tinian Cultural Dancers, Tinian High School Music Club, Smarty Swag, Team X Dancers, Teope Awen-Ukelele performers, Tinian Head Start Program Dancers, Le Trisha Palacios and the Tinian High School Music Club.

The master of ceremony was Luis John Castro.