Despite the rainy weather over the weekend, the return of Tinian’s Gineptin Ha’anen Taga Festival after a two-year hiatus broke all expectations, with crowds of residents converging on the festival grounds at the Tinian Mayor’s Office.
Joseph Hocog, who is the event coordinator for the Tinian Mayor’s Office, said the festival, which celebrates the history of legendary cultural figure Chief Taga, had “visitors coming in from all over the region.”
The three-day event (Oct. 21 to 23) also showcased CNMI culture through traditional food, performances, and arts and crafts. Hocog said in a phone interview Monday that the festivities included a presentation on traditionally prepared food, medicine, and arts and crafts hosted by the CNMI Women’s Affairs Office; cooking competition for grilled fish and a youth cooking competition for ahu’, a warm and sweet dessert made using young coconuts; cultural performances by groups Tao Tao Taga and Ina’famaolek Youth; and more.
Hocog also said that kindergarten to sixth-grade students from Tinian Elementary School and seventh and eighth-grades from Tinian Jr./Sr. High School were brought over to the festival last Friday to enjoy the festivities and learn more about their cultures.
Official visitor numbers were unavailable Monday as guest registration is still being reviewed, Hocog said.
Hocog said this was the third edition of the festival following a two-year break due to Super Typhoon Yutu and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contributors to the festival included the TMO, the Marianas Visitors Authority, and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, among others. Partners included the Rota Mayor’s Office, Tinian Municipal Council, WAO, the CNMI Arts Council, and Ina’famaolek Youth.