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    Friday, November 24, 2017-1:17:16P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Russian ‘fam’ tour to visit Rota Coconut Festival

(MVA) — A familiarization or fam tour being organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority will bring Russian media to the Rota Coconut Festival in September.

Five magazines representing Russian airlines will explore the allures of Tinian on Sept. 15, the natural beauty and warm island hospitality of Rota on Sept. 16, and the attractions of Saipan on the remaining days of their tour of the Marianas.

Senbon Yashi on Rota is one of the 30 Treasures of the Marianas.  Photo by Junji Takasago

Scheduled to join the fam tour are Aeroflot, the inflight magazine of the nation’s #1 air carrier by the same name; Ural Airlines Magazine and JetSet, an inflight magazine for business class of Ural Airlines; VIM magazine of VIM Airlines; S7 Magazine of S7 Airlines; and Uyutnoe Nebo, the UTair Aviation official inflight magazine.

“We know that Russian tourists typically stay longer and aren’t hesitant to spend more for a quality vacation, which makes side trips to Rota and Tinian ideal for a deeper experience during their stay in The Marianas,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion. “With this broad promotional outreach, we will reach the travelling public — and in some cases the wealthy travelling public — via these five major airlines in Russia. The Rota Coconut Festival will be a wonderful opportunity for them to see and taste some of the best memories the Marianas can offer.”

Festivities for the weeklong Rota Coconut Festival kick off with a proclamation signing on Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. by Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig at the Office of the Mayor. True to the festival theme, “I Niyok Para Hagu Yan Guahu” (Coconut for You and Me), on Tuesday (Sept. 12) residents and visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to the beauty of the island by planting coconut seedlings. On Wednesday (Sept. 13), government workers and others will show their festival spirit with attire or accessories made from various parts of the coconut tree. The best Chamorro Huts will be judged on Thursday (Sept.) at Joaquin Ogo “Tun Kindo” Baseball Field in Songsong Village, where the first evening of the night market from 6 to 10 p.m. will feature various food vendors and live entertainment. The night market will continue on Friday and Saturday evenings at the same time.

Friday (Sept. 15) will bring a full-day focus on the various uses and benefits of the coconut tree beginning at 9 a.m., including its history, a display of various sizes and colors of coconut, a detailed description of tree parts, threats to the species, models of huts constructed with coconut and palm, value-added products, a display of clothing and accessories, medicinal uses, and samples of carvings and weavings.

Special highlights will include coconut oil production, coconut frond weaving, coconut husking and grating, “ayuyu” (coconut crab) hunting display, furniture-making, and “manha” (young coconut meat) titiyas, coconut candy and coconut juice sampling,

The final day of the Coconut Festival on Saturday (Sept. 16) will open with a fashion show, followed by open competitions in coconut husking and grinding. Festival goers will have a chance to cheer for their favorite entry in the Ayuyu Race. Saturday will also tantalize the taste buds with cooking competitions for the following dishes: “manha titiyas,” “manha” pie, “apigigi” (roasted young coconut), doughnuts, coconut candy, “ahu” (sweet, young coconut soup), “miso ayuyu,” soup, and other dishes.

The weeklong event is organized by the Rota Mayor’s Office with support from Rota Municipal Council, Rota Legislative Delegation, Marianas Visitors Authority, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and all other government agencies.

For more information, contact special assistant for programs and grants Aubry Hocog of the Rota Mayor’s Office at 532-9451 or aubryhocog@gmail.com or Sandra Atalig of MVA at 532-0327 or satalig@mymarianas.com.