Saipan street is renamed after Deda family patriarch


Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Reps. Joe Flores (Ind-Saipan) and Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan), and members of the Deda family pose along the sign of the renamed street, after its unveiling in San Antonio last Friday. (CHRYSTAL MARINO)

Members of one of San Antonio’s longstanding families gathered last Friday for the unveiling of a new signage that officially renames one of their village streets after their late patriarch, Manuel Blas Sablan, more affectionately known as “Tun Manet Deda.”

The Hakmang Avenue was renamed as the Tun Manet Deda Avenue during a short ceremony held at the Deda family homestead in San Antonio. The short ceremony, officiated by Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, was attended by Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan) and Joe Flores (Ind-Saipan), Office of the Mayor staff, and several family members.

The late Manuel B. Sablan was born on Dec. 9, 1914, and, just prior to World War II, served as chief of police under the Japanese government from 1934 to 1944. After the war, Sablan studied Police Method Course in Guam, which led up to him becoming the assistant Chief of Police at Camp Susupe for the duration of three years. Sablan also had several business endeavors, one of which was the opening of “San Antonio by the Sea” bar in 1949. This bar was the only bar on Saipan at the time. Sablan later became the Economic Aid and Tax Collector under the Municipality of Saipan from 1950 to 1953, and later became a legislator in 1955, 1957, 1958. Along with all of his service to the island, Sablan was also heavily involved with his church in San Antonio, and his family.

“Tun Manet Deda gave so much to the village of San Antonio. …For his countless contribution and generosity to this village of San Antonio and the early government of our island, it is only appropriate to name this street in remembrance of his legacy,” said Apatang during the event.

The unveiling of the street sign was followed by a closing blessing and prayer by Fr, Arman Hagos.

Speaking on behalf of the family, John Tenorio Sablan said, “We are very grateful for naming the street after my father. He’s been a public servant and a businessman for a long time. He’s been helping the church, too, in the San Antonio church for so many years, and my mom and the family. And we are still doing that; we are still following their footsteps. …They were very good parents.”

Josephine Tenorio Sablan also shared several details about her father and family, noting his involvement in the church, and their family’s history in the neighborhood. “We appreciate the mayor for recognizing that,” she said.

Chrystal Marino | Correspondents | Correspondents
A correspondent for Saipan Tribune, Chrystal Marino enjoys travelling, writing and meeting new people. When she is not writing, she finds ways to be involved in the community. She currently covers community beats. For any community news stories reach out to her at
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.