Panoramic Stopover in Sinapalo, Rota

ROTA — A few miles past the Sunset Hotel in the village of Sinapalo, there is a spot by the roadside you must not miss. There is nothing spectacular about it — a couple of unused benches covered by leaves and twigs and a pile of stones bordering the edge of the cliff. I’ve driven…

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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…

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The glory that was the Palms beachfront

        RECENTLY, I had the chance to spend a blissful hour taking photos of the sunset at the once-bustling beachside of the now closed Palms Resort in San Roque. I and my photographer buddy Donna walked on the sand from Paupau Beach as we made our way to the lonely beachfront one…

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The bell by the fire pit

ROTA–A few yards behind the swimming pool at the Rota Resort & Country Club is a lovely spot that’s perfect for outdoor parties at sundown or at night. We discovered it at noontime a few months back after an hour at the Swimming Hole when my buddy Pat decided to rinse off the salt water…

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Heaven 2: Where Blue Meets Blue

THE surprises never stop if you keep on driving off the beaten tracks and explore any of Saipan’s rugged, dirt roads. Recently, a friend and I followed the rough dirt road on Capital Hill passed the Wireless Cemetery. I had no idea where the road was leading to. My companion had been in the area…

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I stepped on a ‘wedding cake’

The first time I saw the flat-top mountain everybody referred to as the Wedding Cake, it did not look like a layer of cake to me at all. It was just like any other elevated piece of land. I later learned that it got the name because it resembled a tiered cake. When I drove…

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‘Shooting’ a Japanese cannon

THE first time I saw this Japanese cannon at Naftan Point, Saipan’s southernmost tip, was in 2009 when I went for an early morning hike with my co-workers, and I vowed never to return to that place. For someone whose only form of exercise was going up and down the stairs at the office, another…

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‘Trespassers’ at Poña Point Fishing Cliff

 ROTA — A fork on the road leading to a small clearing with a signboard that announced “Poña Point Fishing Cliff” caught my attention the first time I went driving aimlessly here a couple of years ago. I saw the sign again while on the same road last March, but I didn’t have the guts…

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Peace memorial on a mountaintop

At the island’s highest elevation stands a stone structure that few people visit: a World War II peace memorial. I made attempts to see Sabana Peace Memorial Park on my first visits but failed. On my first try, I and a companion drove the rocky and dusty road and stopped when we reached a rusty…

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