Spreading goodwill to friends near and far, the Marianas Visitors Authority and local community partners are conveying a message of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, the MVA placed six signboards with inspirational messages at Garapan Fishing Base and outside the tourism bureau’s San Jose office on Saipan. The signboards were voluntarily painted by local school students on reused A-frames from the MVA’s annual sporting events. “Un Familia, Un Guinaya, Inafa’maolek, Tipiyeew,” (One Family, One Love, Unity), “United in Our Resilience,” and “Marianas Strong,” read several of the signs. The artwork was done by middle school students Soarin Jeong Hyun Oh, Filomenaleonisa Iakopo, and Elizabeth Babauta.
Earlier this month, MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo was featured in a video message highlighting the world’s unity. The message was shared on the MVA’s social media channels in English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.
“In the Marianas archipelago, we have a saying that the ocean between our islands does not separate us, but rather, it unites us,” Iakopo said. “During this difficult time of COVID-19, quarantine and social distancing, the world finds itself separated as never before However, this challenge has also proven that as families, neighbors, communities, and one world, we are also united more than ever…united in our resilience and united in our determination to overcome. We all look forward to the day when we can continue to socialize and live our lives as we once did, with the reminder that across all distances, we are one world family. In the Marianas, we look forward to that day, and we look forward to the return of visitors to our beautiful islands. The Marianas Visitors Authority stands ready to welcome you. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other.”
Production services for the video were donated by Island Image & Motion.
In addition, the MVA has launched a series of contests on Facebook and Instagram encouraging participants to demonstrate various skills while they stay home. #ChowMarianas awarded Rex Getty first place for his entry on making banana bunuelos. #ColorMarianas is now accepting short videos of original artwork from children ages 12 and submitted via their parents’ social media account. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, May 27, at 11:59pm ChST. Contest details are available on Facebook at My Marianas (Marianas Visitors Authority) or on Instagram at #TheMarianas.
MVA offices on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota are open this week from 8am to 12pm and will be open for regular working hours beginning Monday, May 26. (PR)