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Rota welcomes site transformations, tourism innovation

Friday, May 28, 2021

As Rota warmly welcomed the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (GCEA) with its famous “Aluf” or hand wave, its residents and leaders also welcomed our initiatives and projects, embracing the unified movement to improve the quality of life in The Marianas.

Over the weekend, Rota saw the transformation of its youth center and basketball court, the heart of sports and community activities for residents. Through GCEA’s Public Private Partnership initiative, the two sites located in Sinapalo were cleaned and repainted. The basketball court’s concrete bleachers and youth center’s parking lot that were stained were also cleaned and received a fresh coat of paint. To spruce up the facilities, the House of Representatives’ Rep. Joel Camacho and Rep. Angel Demapan, their staff, and family members created a mural on one of the walls of the youth center. The mural features a man playing his ukulele and a woman performing a traditional dance, with Rota’s famed Wedding Cake Mountain and blue waters serving as the backdrop.

Rota youth senator Abriette Manglona noted how the facilities now provide opportunities for them to hold sports competitions and other related events again. She thanked government leaders and fellow volunteers for extending the program to the island. Youth Sen. Manglona, Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig, House of Representatives’ Rep. Ivan Blanco, Rep. Lee Pan Guerrero, Rep. John Paul Sablan, Rep. Patrick San Nicolas, Rep. Ralph Yumul, and Rep. Joseph Flores, Rota Senator Donald Manglona, Senator Vinnie Sablan, and Senator Frank Cruz were among the volunteers for the Rota PPP who endured hours of hard work under the searing heat.

More transformations are planned for the two sites, as the Commonwealth Ports Authority-Rota, Filipino Community of Rota, Hotel Valentino, Rota Merchandising and DK Brothers, and the Rota Mayor’s Office have committed to continue their work. Other sites adopted on Rota include Airport Road, Benita Manglona Buildings, and Mendiola Park, all adopted last year. GCEA, through its Rota partners, will also look into transforming the Joaquin Mesngon Ogo Baseball Field and other important sites that residents and visitors use.

The GCEA formally brought the PPP campaign to Rota last weekend to kick off the council’s first-anniversary celebration. Our council officials, led by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, also held their monthly meeting at the Rota Mayor’s Office and presented to leaders of the House and Senate and residents a multi-island integrated destination study. The study was commissioned to maximize the potential of The Marianas as a multi-island tourist destination and highlight the strengths of each island. Mayor Atalig acknowledged that the island even before the pandemic struck, has been exploring “return to nature” experiences for tourists, highlighting Rota’s unparalleled natural beauty and the people’s warm hospitality. The study considered travel trends post-pandemic in making the recommendations for each island destination, identified opportunities for Rota to pursue sustainable, responsible, and community-based tourism that will be mutually beneficial to all three islands and create a longstanding impact on the economy of The Marianas.

GCEA’s first-anniversary celebration will continue next month, as the council heads to Tinian for a special PPP event. The council will explore more sites to adopt and transform and will be recruiting more businesses and residents to join the movement. Together, we can, one island at a time.

For more information, visit the GCEA on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at


Mike Sablan is the Vice President of Triple J Enterprises, Inc. and chairperson of the Domestic Policy and Recovery Committee of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers. As an advisory council for Gov. Torres and Lt. Gov. Palacios, the GCEA’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the Marianas for all residents.

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