Parade finally pushes through

CAO wins LibDay float competition

Carolinian Affairs Office executive director John Tagabuel, fourth from right, leads Carolinian traditional dancers in a performance atop the winning float in this year’s Liberation Day parade. Tagabuel said the float was inspired by their forefathers’ canoe. (Mark Rabago)

The long-awaited 2018 Liberation Day parade finally pushed through last Saturday after it was postponed from its Fourth of July original date due to the treacherous weather.

This year’s theme was “Sea to Shining Sea” and none exemplified it more than the Carolinian Affairs Office’s entry to this year’s float competition.

CAO executive director John Tagabuel said the making of this year’s winning float, which mimicked a traditional Carolinian canoe, was all a labor of love.

“The design was of a traditional Carolinian canoe. We made the entire float like a canoe with all the parts of it—the sail, the mast, the rudder, and cargo. We wove coconut leaves and hung them around the lowboy trailer in the form of a canoe and painted them like we do a traditional Carolinian canoe,” he said.

Liberation Day organizing committee chair Joe Ayuyu Jr. said finishing second to CAO in the float competition was a rare triple tie among the Department of Land and Natural Resources, TanHoldings, and San Vicente Lancheros.

DLNR’s float featured a giant turtle, while those of TanHoldings and San Vicente Lancheros were inspired by King Neptune and traditional farming, grazing and fishing, respectively.

For the raffle, Paya Rasa won the grand prize of $10,000.

Ayuyu said despite the delay of a couple weeks, the 2018 Liberation Day was a great success and thanked organizers and sponsors for their hard work and contributions.

“I think it’s late but very successful. I am glad about the turnout and I am happy that everybody still came out and prepared their floats and everything looked very nice and it looks like people’s spirits didn’t deteriorate even though it was pushed back and I am very thankful. We stayed on track with the time today and thank the [Saipan] Mayor’s Office and everybody who really helped out today, ” he said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres agreed with Ayuyu about the 2018 Liberation Day parade’s success even though it was moved from its July 4 schedule.

“It is actually a great event and I apologize for moving it. I want to thank the chairman, Joe Ayuyu Jr., for moving it and making the right decision and it’s Mother Nature, but we are celebrating it today and I am very happy a lot of people are out here,” he said.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang also gave his perspective on the unintended belated celebration of Liberation Day.

“I think it’s better late than never and it is good weather. Although, it is very hot but I prefer hot weather than a rainy day,” he said.

The Liberation Day parade actually kicked off 30 minutes before its scheduled 3pm start time with the Young Guns motorcycle on the starting gate at the Quartermaster Intersection.

At the parade viewing stage right across the Garapan Fishing Base some 4 kilometers north, VIPs slowly filed in. Among those in attendance were Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor B Hocog, Apatang, Command Master Chief Patrick Ortega, House vice speaker Janet U. Maratita (R-Saipan), Rep. Alice S. Igitol (R-Saipan), Philippine honorary consul to the CNMI Glicerio M. Arago, and Japan Consul Kinji Shinoda.

The CNMI color guard spearheaded the marching group section along with CNMI PSS JROTC. Later, the Young Guns returned to provide a gift to Torres. Also, 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera arrived to sit beside the VIPs. The marching groups that followed were the Man’amko King and Queen and their royal court, the CNMI Senior Little League All-Star team, Northern Mariana Island Football Association, Japan Society of the Northern Marianas, Saipan Awaodori Team, Japan Domannaka, Coca-Cola Beverage Co. (Micronesia), Inc., Rotary Club of Saipan, Kagman Elementary School Leliyal Akkabwung Common Language Immersion Project, Marianas Rugby Club, Lion’s Club International, CNMI National Rugby Team, Chinese Association of Saipan, Saipan Falun Dafa Association, Saipan Studio 29:11, and GLS Wasp.

As for the floats, the Office of the Governor started off the occasion, leading up to Lady Diann Torres Foundation, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Rehabilitation Office, Saipan Mayor’s Office, Triple J Enterprises Inc., TanHoldings, Department of Land and Natural Resources, ACH Chuuk CNMI Association, United Filipino Organization, Longowesfischil Urul Faluw, Department of Corrections, Carolinian Affairs Office, San Vicente Lancheros, and the Liberation Day Royal Court.


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