The Tan Siu Lin Foundation selected Tahine’s TV Production as the winner of the Champion Investor Award at the inaugural Saipan Chamber of Commerce Pitchfest for promoting the local culture.
Owned by the husband-and-wife tandem of Vicente and Tanya Salas, Tahine’s TV Production was among the eight finalists in last month’s Pitchfest, which the chamber organized to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to share their ideas with a panel of judges and an audience and win seed money to grow or launch their business.
Vicente Salas said Tahine’s services include having clients wear indigenous/cultural outfits and immersing themselves in role-playing scenes about the traditional day-to-day life unique to the Marianas. The experience, which is available for both tourists and residents, is documented in photos and videos.
“There is an absence of a cultural experience tourism service in the local market that specifically allows customers to immerse themselves in Marianas culture by dressing up in indigenous cultural attire for photo shoots. This type of tourism experience is prevalent in many other countries in the Pacific, Middle East and the continental U.S., particularly the southwestern states, where they are referred to as ‘old timey’ or ‘old Western’ themed photo shoots,” Vicente said.
“It’s high time we have an ‘antes na tiempo’ (Chamorro phrase for ancient times)themed photo and video service out here in the Marianas. We created a platform for locals and tourists alike to capture and eternally relive in pictures the timeless and priceless experience of authentic indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian cultures, and even elements of contemporary Marianas culture,” added Tanya Salas, who also owns a fashion company that makes and sells traditional jewelry and accessories.
The TSL Foundation, the charitable arm of TanHoldings, believes that Tahine’s TV Production not only offers tourists a unique cultural experience in the Marianas, but also encourages the promotion and preservation of the islands’ local culture.
“We have a very rich culture and it’s a great concept integrating models in indigenous attire into video footage and photographs to highlight our local heritage,” said TanHoldings Corporate Affairs’ Community Relations director Carline Sablan.
“We congratulate Tahine’s TV Production for winning the Champion Investor Award. We hope that this award will help take the business to the next level,” she added. “It was quite evident from the presentations that the finalists have the energy and passion to pursue their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. We look forward to next year’s great business ideas.” (PR)