How to survive Saipan-Tinian flights

UNLESS you own a boat or are a daring swimmer, you have no other option to commute from Saipan to Tinian and vice versa except to board those six or 10-seater Cessna planes operated by Star Marianas Air. For some passengers, the 10-minute or so flight means agonizing minutes of total fright and had elicited most of the world’s sincere prayers ever but for some others, the few minutes’ flight is a chance…

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Stepping on Stars

SAIPAN, CNMI—Have you ever heard of star-shaped sand but haven’t actually seen it? Here is your chance and you don’t even have to fly to Tinian’s Star Sands or Chulu Beach to do it. A friend and I went on a jungle tour to Kagman one afternoon some weeks back and we took the short cut passing through the very rough road from Kagman that goes straight to Laulau Beach. Tired and hungry,…

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Pika Festival: Getting hotter each year

THE heat is on as daring contestants take their places and wait for the go signal to chew a hundred pieces of red hot peppers in one minute. At the go signal, the contestants start to chew the peppers one by one while judges keep count. The first three to finish their peppers are declared winners. These tiny red and fiery peppers pack a mighty punch and you can see that in the…

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Remains of a World War 11 jail

TINIAN—I have passed by this particular spot on Tinian so many times in the past years thinking that it was just an ordinary abandoned structure left by the owners from years ago. I had always been intrigued by the grills and bars and the small rectangular slits for windows but never got to ask anyone about it, until a couple of weeks ago when I had an unplanned drive around the island with…

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Close call on Tinian’s cliff side

  I thought I have already explored every nook and cranny in this tiny island and have already written about all that it has to offer, but a quick, unplanned drive into roads that are almost non-existent last week proved me wrong. For the past years, I’ve been driving around Tinian from a tourists’ point of view. That means renting a car and driving to the most popular historical and scenic spots and…

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Stopover on Tinian’s Overlook

THE first thing that you will think of when you land on Tinian is that there’s nothing in the small island that can entertain you.From above, the island is just a short stretch of trees and forests bounded by, dotted by a few dilapidated structures.Looking out from the plane window, the beaches and the giant waves sending huge sprays on the cliffs bordering the island provide a spectacular view from above, but    aside…

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War Remnants on Tinian

TINIAN — Right across from the famous Taga House is an old structure that had often caught my attention, but I never got the chance to explore it when I visited this island previously. It is a bullet-riddled concrete structure that still stands as one of the many mute witnesses to the bloody battles of almost 70 years ago. Whenever I’m here, I usually head to North Field or to the other end…

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