2020 Christmas tree lighting at the Hyatt


Hyatt Regency Saipan’s management and staff gather around the 20-foot Christmas tree for their annual lighting ceremony last Tuesday. (BEA CABRERA)

Hyatt Regency Saipan officially started the Christmas season in the CNMI by lighting their 20-foot Christmas tree on the day of their 40th anniversary. The ceremony was made simple this year to comply with social distancing regulations and attended by Hyatt management, staff, employees, and hotel guests with their families.

Zen Tomokane

“Our lighting of the tree is a good reminder of tradition, bringing people together and a promise of good things to come. Christmas to me is all about happy memories, a time for giving and forgiving. As for my Christmas wish, I will give it up for somebody else to get his or her wish.”
—Hyatt Executive Sous Chef Zen Tomokane




Ty Pauling


“Christmas is often about other people, particularly in the hospitality service where you do not do the job because you enjoy being away on the holidays, but you do it to bring that joy to everyone else. Lighting of the Hyatt tree means another year of service to the CNMI. This year is a bit subdued than normal because we don’t have the carolers, the bands, and big fanfare that we usually do but this brings us back to important things in life—the Hyatt employees and their families that are here.”
—Hyatt Food & Beverage Director Ty Pauling


Gino Libuw

“Christmas is the best season of the year and to me it means family. The lighting of the tree prepares us for the real celebration of Christmas and with it, I wish good health for my family and for the COVID-19 vaccine to arrive so that things will go back to normal.”
—Hyatt supervisor Gino Libuw




Rosalyn Quinpanilla

“Christmas is definitely about family and the lighting of the tree represents the family that we have here at the hotel. It is significant for us because it marks the many years we have been here on Saipan. I have been with Hyatt for 27 years and 22 of that were spent with Hyatt Regency Saipan. My wish for Hyatt is to remain on Saipan. Hyatt is a great employer. We have been blessed to be here that long and we hope to continue to be here.”
—Hyatt director of rooms Rosalyn Quinpanilla



Almond Santos

“Christmas is a time to celebrate with loved ones and we share this joyous time of lighting the Hyatt Christmas tree with our associates who are not with us… and hope that this Christmas tree brings joy to everyone. My Christmas wish is not for me but for Hyatt to get its lease agreement renewed.”
—Almond Santos, Plant Manager of Hyatt Engineering Dept.




Denise Montenegro

“Christmas is a time for being grateful for what happened and received in 2020. It is also a time of reflection. This year is very special because we chose to light the tree on our anniversary day. …Like me, most of the staff wish that the lease will get renewed and Hyatt can continue to be here and be part of the community for a long time. Hyatt Regency Saipan has been a part of our life and community.”
—Hyatt learning manager Denise Montenegro



Nick Nishikawa

“On our 40th anniversary and lighting of our Christmas tree, we want to see people with smiling faces and just enjoy. Despite the many difficulties this year has brought to our island and the whole world, we want to celebrate it like it is just an ordinary year. My Christmas wish is get new lease.”
—Hyatt general manager Nick Nishikawa




Jonathan Cepeda

“Christmas is for family, friends, and co-workers. As a company, we share and feel the Christmas spirit together. It’s officially Christmas at the Hyatt and we must show gratefulness and happy times. My Christmas wish is for our lease to get extended so we will have jobs to support our families.”
—Hyatt housekeeping team leader Jonathan Cepeda




Frank Camacho

“Christmas is a time for family and friends to gather. Lighting the tree gives us hope that there is something good and better out there that makes us forget what is happening around the world right now, especially with the pandemic. We also hope that the new lease agreement will come through so we can still stay and keep our guests happy and provide for our families.”
—Hyatt housekeeping team leader Frank Camacho



Evan Yamagishi

“Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and because through Him, we are saved. My wish is for Hyatt to have another 40 year [lease].”
—Hyatt director of Finance Evan Yamagishi




Leigh Anne Gases

“Christmas is about being with family and here at the Hyatt, even in our workplace, we are family and spending this time at the workplace is still like spending time with family. The lighting of the Hyatt Christmas tree is a tradition. I’ve been working here for five years and I never missed one. I am glad we have this, especially during these hard times. I wish they extend the lease so all of us here can still continue to work together.”
—Leigh Anne Gases, supervisor at Club Elan



Kovanni Cabrera

“Christmas is family, love, and signifies the start of the Christmas festivities and our busiest season. I hope we can pick up more business because it has been slow due to COVID-19. As for my Christmas wish, extend our lease please!”
—Hyatt events assistant manager Kovanni Cabrera





Hyatt Regency Saipan management led by general manager Nick Nishikawa, left, raise their hands forming 4-0, which means 40 years of Hyatt service and community partnership in the CNMI. (BEA CABRERA)

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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