Borja prevails in indigenous language essay competition

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Chacha Oceanview Middle School’s Danyana Borja was this year’s overall winner in the essay competition of the third annual Chamorro Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies cultural arts performance last Saturday at Saipan Southern High School.

Borja took overall first place, topping other essay contestants in her grade level, elementary, and high school.

In the middle school level of the essay competition, Borja topped Chacha’s Tyara Reann Cruz and Chadlen Heaven Murphy who won second and third places, respectively, in the Chamorro essay category while Francisco M. Sablan’s Sebastian Saito took first place in the Carolinian category.

At the high school level, Borja topped Marianas High School’s Mark Pangelinan.

In other results, MHS’ Jaime Navarro took first place overall in the poster competition, Tanapag Middle School won the storytelling competition, Rota High School’s Dawno Agbayari won in the oratorical division, MHS won the dual language proficiency competition and the solo singing competition, Koblerville Elementary School topped the children’s choir competition, FMS won in the choral reading competition, and Hopwood Middle School won the cultural chant/dance and the contemporary dance competition.

According to Jonas Barcinas, CCLHS program manager, this year’s event was very successful.

“We were able to complete a one-day competition versus having it for two days or five days like the years before. We are improving every year and this time we were able to complete all events by 12:30pm,” he said.

Barcinas said the competition is intended to encourage students to speak their native tongue as well as showcase what they have learned in school.

“[The competition] is an educational platform to give our students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned from their teachers. This will also help build a positive mindset of our students and parent community to see that we are also making the effort to organize programs that can help engage students to learn and better understand the values and importance of speaking their native languages: Chamorro and Carolinian,” he said.

This year, the CCLHS program saw about 400 student-participants from over 20 schools under the Public School System.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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