Ross Manglona is 500 Sails’ Cultural Maritime Training Center director


Ross Manglona has his picture taken in front of the 500 Sails office/boatyard in Lower Base. (MARJORIE A. DARIA)

Ross S. Manglona is the new director of the Cultural Maritime Training Center of non-profit group 500 Sails, which is trying to revive the CNMI’s maritime tradition.

Born and raised in Saipan, Manglona was appointed to his new position effective Oct. 18, 2021.

According to a 500 Sails news release, Manglona is a highly respected leader who brings 25 years of vocational and educational experience that will continue to propel 500 Sails into the future. He is the son of Raimundo Hocog Manglona and Isabel Songao.

Manglona’s leadership experience spans several years as the director of Continuing Education & Workforce Development for the Northern Marianas Trades Institute and as dean for the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service, where he has been instrumental to both organizations in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and oversight of their programs and curricula. His background provides added value to 500 Sails in lights of its Administration for Native Americans – Social and Economic Development Strategies grant award for the CMTC.

Manglona has worked on a number of grants, including many from a national level with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which enhances 500 Sails’ current partnerships and furthers its mission of promoting cultural practices and traditions.

Manglona holds a master’s degree in General Education from Framingham State College and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and an associate degree in Liberal Arts from the Northern Marianas College.

In addition to his leadership roles, Manglona has also served as a research assistant and teacher on the islands of Tinian and Rota, greatly adding to 500 Sails’ reach to its sister islands.

“500 Sails is well on its way to becoming a leading institution of cultural maritime services, and I am ready to face the challenges of the position,” said Manglona. “We are choosing to fight to find ways to keep our people invested in its community, to invest in their education here, and be able to work here with well-paying jobs.”

Manglona hopes to inspire others along the way as he implements the Taotao Tasi Maritime Career Pathways Project that provides programmatic funding for the CMTC. He is excited to be a part of the 500 Sails team and to initiate the groundwork that 500 Sails co-founders Peter and Emma Perez have written into the ANA-SEDS grant for the CMTC. Through collaboration with NMC, the U.S. Coast Guard, and American Red Cross, a variety of courses will be offered, including vessel operation, merchant mariner, water safety instruction, canoe fabrication and maintenance, and traditional navigation.

“We are excited to welcome Ross to our team at 500 Sails. He brings a unique perspective to our operations, holds deep ties to Rota, and holds a wealth of leadership experience that will add to the mission of our organization” said Emma and Peter Perez.

500 Sails is a 501(c)3 and CNMI tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving, promoting, and preserving the maritime cultural traditions of the Mariana Islands through community engagement in canoe cultural values and activities. 500 Sails envisions a healthy thriving native community that has successfully integrated traditional cultural values into modern life.

Further information can be found on the 500 Sails website at
Manglona can be reached at or (670) 323-7245 (SAIL). (PR)

Press Release
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