TINIAN—The celebration of the 63rd Tinian San Jose Fiesta over the weekend was not only a parade of festivities at the Antonio M. Borja Amphitheater, but also a defiant show of resilience that showcased Tinian’s capacity to rise in the wake of one of the strongest typhoons to hit the island in years.
Cooking competitions, a tug-of-war, a concert, a cultural show, a magic display, a crab race, and a dance contest were held during the three-day event, with the island determined to show that it can power through the challenges it is facing in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, which hit Tinian in October 2018.
“We come together to keep our tradition, to showcase our local performers and arts and crafts, and show our island hospitality,” Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan said during the opening of the fiesta honoring the island’s patron saint, San Jose, the worker.
“Four months ago, our island was a place of inexistence because of the damage left by Yutu. But the storm could not stop us from celebrating the fiesta. The people of Tinian are resilient and optimistic and, with teamwork, we are able to pull this through,” said Sen. Jude Hofschneider.
In last Friday’s opening, ceremony, Taotao Taga Dance Co./Guma Simiyan Manainata/Famaguon Taga-Culture provided the cultural show, while Saipan’s Neil Fama wowed the crowd with his magic tricks. Then last Saturday, Guam’s the John Dank Show held a concert, while the six candidates for the 2019 Miss Marianas were introduced to the Tinian community.
In the many competitions, Fresku won the booth decorating and fiesta cook-off contest. Tropics finished second in the cook-off, while Sweetie’s Corner and Garden of Eden joined Fresku in the Top 3 winners for the booth decorating competition.
In the cha-cha dance contest, the pair of Jesus San Nicolas and Carmen Quitugua edged out Jay Jess San Nicolas and Joseph Roland Reyes and Jesus P. San Nicolas and Sylvia San Nicolas.
One of the 18 concession booths, Garden of Eden, will be donating all their sales to the rebuilding of the San Jose Church. Since the fiesta celebration was a fundraiser, other booths will also donate portions of their sales to the restoration of the church and its other facilities, including the social hall.
“We would like to thank all the supporters of our fiesta. Your generosity is much appreciated, especially after what we have gone through late last year,” Aldan said.
This year’s fiesta was sponsored by the Marianas Visitors Authority, Marianas Pacific, Mobil Oil Marianas, Bridge Investment Group, IT&E, Docomo Pacific, and the Tinian Mayor’s Office.