INTERNATIONAL HOUSEKEEPING WEEK

The unsung heroes of the CNMI’s tourism industry

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Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan general manager Wendy Herring opens this year’s Annual Housekeeping Gala Night by heralding housekeepers as the unsung heroes of the hotel industry. (Iva Maurin)

Hotel housekeepers were front and center at the 5th Annual Housekeeping Gala Night last Thursday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, with the Asia Pacific Hotel Inc. honoring them as “unsung heroes.”

The gala was the culmination of the weeklong celebration of the International Housekeeping Appreciation Week, a global event that puts a spotlight on the important role housekeepers play in the tourism industry.

Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan general manager Wendy Herring gave special recognition to Paulina Pascual, Fiesta’s executive housekeeper, for bringing the international celebration to the islands when she first started working at the resort in 2015.

“You are the unsung heroes of the hotel. [With] the work that you do… day in and day out, with the beautiful smiles on your faces, please know that you are appreciated,” Herring said.

Housekeepers performing at this year’s Annual Housekeeping Gala Night last Sept. 12 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, which served as the culmination of the weeklong celebration of International Housekeeping Week. (Iva Maurin)

During the entire week that ran from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12, housekeepers were treated to breakfast, fun activities, and a tea and cake party.

Kanoa Resort general manager Martin Jambor underscored the pressures that housekeepers face in their day-to-day job. In many cases, they are required to clean 16 rooms per day, depending on the number of the tourists coming into the island.

“It is a hard job to clean the rooms,” Jambor said, recalling he did that, too, as a trainee. He pointed out that people who stay in a hotel usually do not clean their room and make the bed in less than 10 minutes.

One of the housekeepers at the gala, Cherilyn Manalo, finds a sense of fulfillment in her job, recognizing that guests, when treated well, would eventually bring to the island other tourists, which would help boost the economy.

Manalo, who used to have an office job, said, “I love the sense of having to make tourists feel like they have a home here on Saipan.”

APHI, the umbrella group that handles Century Hotel, Kanoa Resort, and Fiesta Resort & Spa (both in Saipan and Guam), has been leading the celebration of the International Housekeeping Week on the island for five years now, with a vision that other hotels on the island would follow suit.

Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan housekeepers pose for a souvenir picture at the 5th Annual Housekeeping Gala Night last Thursday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. This year’s International Housekeeping Week was celebrated on Sept. 8-12, 2019. (Iva Maurin)

Kanoa Resort executive Glenn Policare, left, and Kanoa Resort general manager Martin Jambor, right, square off in a fun game shortly after breakfast at the Kanoa Resort as part of the celebration of this year’s International Housekeeping Week. (Iva Maurin)

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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