Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tagged!: If I were a painting I'd be a Dali

Elle of Momentos de Passion tagged me as well a few entries back. I’ll indulge the tiny readership that I have with the following 45 questions about me, even though the answers may give a bit of my identity away as well. I’ll try to be as vague but fair as possible, if you would allow me. Thank you for letting me share:

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My mother gave me my first name and it is a Chrisian name, one of the 12 Apostles. My father gave me my second name which is the acronym of the name of a protagonist in one of Harold Robbin’s books. There’s quite a contrast between the two if you knew how Robbins wrote his men.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
On the average, men cry about 16.8 times a year. I cry all the time and I am not ashamed, man! Hahaha! I welled up watching Definitely Maybe because I imagined myself having a conversation with my imagined daughter.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Handwriting is a lost art and when I was sixteen, I made it a point to learn to write like a draftsman (all capitals) for everyday, and one of my best friends gave me my first calligraphy books a year later. Thanks, Joey.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I like whatever’s turkey because that’s about all you can get here (I don’t like the swine), but when I visited Chicago, the roast beef and beef pastrami was a favorite.

5. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

Not right now- too much drama. Hehehe! I’ll seek the science geek in me eventually.

6. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Sarcasm? No! Never! Hahahaha! My best friend thinks even my straight forward answers are sarcastic. But it’s not true. I’m nice.

7. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes, all three.

8. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
I’ve been in bad wrecks, and being flung about in the air uncontrollably gives me flashbacks. I’d cliff dive though.

9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Growing up, I liked Frosted Flakes, but now I like Just Right or Muselix. Fiber is your friend. Hehehe!

10. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No, that’s why they’re all busted, and one of my self-nicknames is “The Destroyer of Shoes.”

11. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Stronger than I’d admit to or maybe even believe.


I had the privilege of seeing Salvador Dali’s Invention of Monsters at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was quite haunting.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Rocky Road (It’s called something else if it doesn’t have the marshmallows, Elle). I always go back to the Road but if they don’t have it at the Dipper, I like Death by Chocolate or Green Tea.

13. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their eyes, but my best friend would argue and say her “big brown eyes”! Hahaha!

14. RED or PINK?
Red is my power color.

15. WHAT IS THE THING THAT YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT YOURSELF?
Hmmmm? I can’t seem to get my life together right now but I know it’s just self doubt brought upon the standards of the world. So, I suppose it’s the self doubt. Working on it though.

16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
It’d be unfair to say since the feeling is most likely not mutual.

17. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
Like, with my own answers or their own answers? I’m confused.

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Black pants and black shoes albeit muddy from the rain.

19. Early riser or hit the snooze button?
Man, when did I start waking up at 4:30 in the morning? Is that part of aging?

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Gavin Rossdale’s Love Remains the Same & Dashboard Confessional’s Vindicated are on the playlist at the moment.

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, What color would you be?
Some dark hue of blue.

22. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Hmmmm…a woman’s skin and hair, jasmine, raw and worked wood. I don’t know why Finesse does it for me too, but it’s probably because of the French woman in their commercials a few years back.

23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
IM with Bev and the hotel’s lost & found attendant.

24. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Tammy and Elle both sent this to me. They’re cool as far as I can tell, but honestly we’ve never met.

25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Tennis, cycling, MMA and boxing. Pacquiao VS De La Hoya, December 6th, baby!

26. HAIR COLOR?
Black (and more and more grey everyday).

27. EYE COLOR?
Dark brown

28. CONTACTS?
Need to get them.

29. FAVORITE FOOD?
Lots. I’m a big fan- The Destroyer of Food (another self-nick).

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Most stories within scary movies usually aren’t that good and are predictable, and I am disillusioned by happy endings. Now, Message in a Bottle- THAT, my friend is a more realistic ending!

31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
In a movie theater, Batman- The Dark Knight

32. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Red since I lazily opted for an iron-free shirt today (but I really wanted to wear my white with the stripes that wrinkles too easily).

33. HUGS OR KISSES?
I wish it was both…man, am I not good for both?

34. FAVORITE DESSERT?
I’ll devour any chocolate put forth in front of me; like Galactus ravaging a planet.

35. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Hmmm…never really sent out one of these. I am not sure but I will bet Bev.

36. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
I’ll send this to Greg just to irk him.

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
My summer list is a bit heavy that includes Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere (Thank’s boss!), WM. Paul Young’s The Shack, and Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours by Daphne Rose Kingma. Sounds like fun, eh? Oh, curiosity got the best of me (also
Boni’s reports & witty repartees) and I picked up Twilight at the airport Borders too.

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
My mouse, silly!

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?
I don’t have T.V. but the gym had the Democratic Convention on and I watched Chaos Theory on DVD.

40. FAVORITE Sound?
Waves crashing, birds singing, the piano or guitar, a pretty singing voice, fire crackling and laughter.

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles (thanks, Dad!). I introduced my 4th grade class to Yesterday and that year it became my gangs anthem (Geez! Isn't that quite a loaded song for a fourth grader?).

42. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Miami Beach, FL

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
If you mean talent as an inherent natural endowment, then no. I work hard at the things I like to do and with patience and practice I get to do them at a level that I am quite satisfied with. Hahaha! What a nerd answer! (Incidentally, nerd answers are inborn and not learned).

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Calamba, Laguna, Philippines (which by the way is Jose Rizal’s hometown).

45. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Hmmm…Anyone I send this to since I haven’t heard from them in a long time.

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber

Tagged!: I remember

Tamara of the Seaweed, Sand and Sunset tagged me a few blogs away about the 20 oldest memories I have of Saipan. I hope I haven’t offended you, girl, since I am only answering to this now. I’ve been fairly busy and have been off-island a few times. I had to brush off the cobwebs quite a bit and came up with a pretty extensive list here. Thank you for allowing me to share.

1. The first time I met people from Saipan was on Guahan in 1987 while fishing in Agat. It wasn’t a good memory since my dad got into an argument with them for not returning the fishing rods that we lent them while we were packing up to leave. I thought it was mostly my fault though because I forgot to ask for the rods back from them while my dad was packing our stuff up.

2. I grew up on Guahan and my father was in the garment factory business. I vaguely remember labor horror stories he recounted with his drinking buddies especially involving Filipinos, so unfortunately, this was the first albeit biased picture I had of Saipan. On Guahan, there were activists who were basically telling me that as an immigrant I was stealing their land, their jobs and the island’s resources, and it was pretty hard for my teenage mind to comprehend at the time.

3. I infrequently read articles about Governor Froilan Tenorio that regularly included black and white pictures of him with an unfavorable smirk or frown. Unfortunately, this just reinforced the early biased picture in my mind thinking that the people here were mean.

4. When my wife passed away, I was unsure of what I should do with my life next. The nurses I was working with suggested that I go back to school. One of my patients called me over and whispered that there was a school on Saipan that I should consider. A week later, I bought a plane ticket, rented a car and drove to Northern Marianas College, transcripts in hand to meet with my future instructors. It was funny because two of them just came from Guahan and rode the same plane with me to Saipan. They looked over my records, gave me a schedule of classes, and said, “We’ll see you in August!” 2002 was my very first visit to Saipan.

5. On my visit, I also met some people from the SDA Dental and Eye Clinic. I met the brothers Dr. Hardt, and Ernie and Jo Lacorte. They assured me that I will be in good company here. To meet them at the clinic, they said, “Keep heading north on Beach Road and turn right at the tank.” I remember when there were no street signs yet.

6. August came and I became a new Saipan resident that year; I remember it was rainy season. The air was fresh and the island was green. I thought Guam was green, but you are so much closer to nature on Saipan. The sosugi (Acacia auriculiformis) was in golden bloom with a slight fragrance that lingered around NMC campus. New faces abound, and I smiled a lot. I remember talking too much on the first day because of my excitement. I met my classmates, whom I was to see and will be in most of my classes for the next two years. I met Laurina, my best friend on Saipan.

7. I remember finally figuring out that on Saipan, people don’t atan baba you. I was walking to my first Garapan Street Market and met gazes from people expecting to act tough and to give them the stink eye, but instead people said, “Hello” and “Hi.” This was very different from what I knew from Guahan and I finally came to know that people on Saipan are way way friendlier in comparison. The openness and kindness in the hearts of the people here still amazes me to this day.

8. I remember feeling alone on Saipan. I left everyone I knew behind opting to go and get educated and to finally find myself. I had many nights of Solitaire, and walks by myself down the Beach Path and the different parks asking God to take my loneliness away. I remember eating alone in restaurants, watching movies alone, getting lost in the forest alone. I’ve finally become the nomad, wanderer, loner, and the vagabond that I fantasized about in my adolescent years. As I gazed into the sunset or at the direction where my former lives were spent, I missed my family and my friends.
Sunset at Coral Ocean Point

9. I remember phone calls, letters, emails, checks and care packages that kept me connected with people that I loved and cared about that were now separated by time and distance. I remind myself everyday to communicate and stay in touch better but I often fail.

10. I remember falling in love again with the land and the sea. I sought nature out during hikes with my church family, and alone exploring the forest and the sea. Coral Ocean Point was my spot when school became hectic and I needed its cool waters to renew my spirits. I remember how far I felt from everyone I knew on my new adoptive island gazing at the sunsets there.

11. I remember being amazed by bird songs and seeing the different native birds that were now extinct on Guahan. I’d stare minutes at a time at the egigi and the nosa. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw the metallic green feathers of the totot fly right by me at American Memorial Park. Man, I thought they were all extinct! I also remember asking myself what the heck was a fakpe and why do people at NMC have it on their license plates. I remember commiting a good part of my life here to contribute to the protection of the CNMI's natural resources.

Golden White-eye or canario perched on my neighbor's orange tree.

12. I remember finding my first slingstone with Laurina as we jogged down Beach Road. I kept making her laugh with my disbelief and excitement. That was the first time I felt a real connection with the ancient Chamorros and I told myself that I will do what I can to learn and to do what I can to preserve the knowledge of the past.

13. I remember how the kids at church appreciated their new “uncle”. I remember Kayla who always wanted to sit with me. All of the kids are growing up now, many into their teen years and I am glad to still have that connection with them. We’ve spent a lot of bible lessons, potlucks, hikes, bowling, etc. Man, I need to do more with them before they all grow up and I become too “uncool” to hang out with.

14. I remember Thanksgivings and Christmases with Maycocks and the Paez’. I’ve been uncelebratory and opted to being a loner for too long now to finally realize that spending these holidays with them were some of the best times I’ve had.

15. I remember taking care of very sick people and their families. I saw the flaws in the way people took care of themselves and saw direct results of smoking, second-hand smoking, eating too much, eating the wrong things, chewing betel nut/tobacco, not exercising, taking drugs, not taking prescribed drugs, not using condoms, not getting check ups, not getting their kids checked up, drinking and worshiping the culture that is drinking, drunk driving, and so on. I remember the inevitable deaths of some of the people that I took care of.

16. I remember the first SMs I met on Saipan: Danny, Yeneer, Jill, Amanda, and Winnelle. We had some good times learning about and exploring our new island home.

17. I still think it’s hard to make guy friends on Saipan because most of their times are taken up by their spouses, girlfriends and kids. There was one time that I thought I had the beginnings of a good guy-based group with John, Pete, Greg, Tim, Jeremy, Scott, and Rich. Then somehow one by one they either left, moved or just got busy with their own schedules.

18. Then there were the women who touched my life during my first few years on Saipan. But, we won’t get into that today. It’s too early in the morning.

19. I remember my red Ford Explorer and how she took me everywhere and how big of a problem she was to maintain in good running condition. We had our times though.

20. Lastly, good people. Lots of good people come and go on Saipan and they all make this the special place that it is.

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber

Saturday, August 30, 2008

7792: 2 lbs later

In this installment of the Beachcomber on Saipan, I will share with you some of the foods and the company that I partook in during my visit to our nation's capital. I am sure most of you have seen pictures of the monuments so I decided to give you something different about D.C. I thought of this idea a bit late, so I won't be able to share most of what I ate with you since there are no solid documentations other than the memories of my appetite fulfilled.

While travelling, you better throw out the window the diet that you're were in while you were at home. There was simply no way that I could have continue eating six small meals a day when breakfast, lunch and even dinner at times were provided for you by your generous hosts. Even hitting the gym everyday at the hotel could not compete with the additional calories that was added to my temporary diet and I found myself gaining a steady 2 lbs. through out the whole week. But, at any rate, it is only once in a while that we get to celebrate good food and the company that goes along with it. So, thank you for allowing me to share!

Most of the meals that were provide for us included a healthy serving of salad such as this one that included spinach, cheese, strawberries and thick Italian dressing.
In addition, the luncheons usually included exquisite desserts like these chocolate cakes that were surprisingly light. They were garnished with strawberries, blue and blackberries which is a definite plus for me since a small container of these summer delights on Saipan will cost you close to $7.00.
Only in D.C. will you see butter in the shape of the Capitol. Patriotic. Cute!
The day's lunch included the company of some of the best people that I know: Jessica from Guahan, Johnny from the Federated State of Micronesia (Pohnpei State) and Bernie, also from Guahan.
Churreria Madrid, a Spanish restaurant that I recommend. The food was muy delicioso!

A stylized map of Spain. Our food came from Galecia which is the northwestern region of the country that also borders Portugal in its southern border. Spain is made up of Autonomous Communities such as Galecia which is constitutionally recognized as individual, separate singular regions with separate nationalities while maintaining indissoluble unity with the nation that is Spain. That's your geo-political lesson for the day!
Oh, oh! Here's Bernie with something to add!
Gustop, Jessica, and Hana: what an excellent group to eat with. We were all so funny as we attempted to order in Spanish in our best Latin accents! Ah ja jay!
The Chief and the Spark plug: Johnny and Bernie. Jessica and Gustop from Palau: great young people to eat with. The conversation topics were entertaining and diverse. What good company these two were!
I call Hanna my Palauan Mamma. It's a good thing she has a big heart for my sophomoric endearments!
Estrella Galicia: Literally Galician star, a Spanish beer. Although I am not an alcohol drinker, I appreciate people who were willing to try different things on the menu. I always shake my head with disappointment when I am with people (either from Guahan or Saipan) who stick with ordering Bud or Miller when there is a whole different drink menu to experience. Live a little, man!
For my side orders or guardiciones I decided on some black beans and yellow rice. I just love colorful foods! Frijoles Negro: I've never had a more flavorful black bean soup. Arroz Amarillo: yellow-saffron rice.
Menestra de Verduras con Carne: a mouth watering tender-beef stew for me. It reminds me of the Filipino Caldereta which is probably influenced by this dish. they both have beef, chilies, potatoes, carrots, and a tomato-based sauce.
Paella Castellana: Hana had some saffron rice concoction with seafood, chicken and Spanish sausage.
Pechuga de Pollo: Johnny had the grilled chicken and it was quite tasty.
Pulpo a la Galega: Galecian style octopus. Bernie kept asking me to try her dish. I think she forgot that I don't eat seafood. Plus, octopi are such smart creatures it's a shame to eat the little smarties.
Mariscada: Jessica had a seafood stew in white wine.
Camarones a la Plancha: Gustop decided on some grilled shrimp in Red Sauce.
For dessert we had some churros. These were thinner and more convoluted than the ones you can get at the Costco on Guahan or Saipan. I had to borrow the menu's picture because we devoured our order in just s few seconds. Definitely worth it!
On our last evening together, we explored a bit of Dupont Circle. This is a great Malaysian restaurant we happened upon. Everything was delish!
If you ever go to Dupont Circle, don't miss out. I should have gone there more often.
Penang Iced Tea with Milk: I don't think I've tasted a more flavorful iced-tea (I had two servings!). Bernie took her tea hot. Yummy none the less!
Roti Canai: For an appetizer this was a great pick- chicken curry dipping sauce and a thin, crispy Indian-style pancake.
Penang BBQ Chicken: This is what I got although I was expecting a totally different BBQ-style dish. Although tasty, it reminded me of sweet & sour chicken.


Penang Clay Pot Noodles: Bernie picked a fancy stew with noodles, shrimps, squid, scallops, veggies and egg gravy all cooked and served in a clay pot.
Penang Char Mee Hoon: Johnny picked a rice vermicelli dish with chicken, tofu, eggs, bean sprouts, and veggies. Tastes kind of like Pad Thai.
One day for lunch, a quick deli-style sandwich was sufficient. This tasty turkey sandwich was a good choice. The restaurant is called Open City and in the evening hours, the windows opened up to connect the inside with the outside tables. It's located at the corner of Calvert Street. I could picture myself sitting at this coffee house daily or grabbing a quick lunch here often. It made me wonder if I should try living in DC for a while. This town is great.
My partner in crime, Johnny. On our first evening in D.C., we attacked some Indian food. The restaurant is called Taste of India just like Saipan's own and is located close to Open City. Chicken tikka dish with roti (flat unleavened bread) and lentil soup. The spices in the heavy sauce was very flavorful.
Let's celebrate good food and excellent company! Lets eat!
Ti napu.
The Beachcomber

Thursday, August 28, 2008

7792: Even though you can't see me

After eating an authentic Spanish meal, my friends and I found this Latin music store. We had a blast the whole time as we tried to speak Español with our best efforts while ordering our meals and asking the store clerks for assistance. I bet my friends and I sounded really ridiculous. I knew it was all worth the effort though when the clerk said, "De nada" after I thanked her. So cute! That does it! I'm taking language lessons!
I've been wanting to expand my appreciation of Latin music, so this was a pretty timely find. I need more suggestions if you have any.I mean, after a while anyone will crave more than just Juanes. I got Mana's new 2008 release Arde el Cielo and an old Alex Ubago, Fantasia o Realidad. I fell in love with Aunque No te Pueda Ver a few years back and decided I needed more from Alex now. I hope you enjoy it too.

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber

7792: Suzuki Hayabusa




Hayabusa is Japanese for fast chicken. Just kidding. Hayabusa means Peregrine falcon. It's the fastest production street bike out there. One day, my friend. One day.
Ti napu.
The Beachcomber

7792: Dance with me?

video

Something has got to be said...

...about dancing the Electric Slide...

...in the nation's capital...

...with your federal partners.

Gracias por la baila, doctora!

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

7792: Sunrise Haiku


Sunrise some place else
I let go of your embrace
Tired of the sunsets
Ti napu.
The Beachcomber

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In the Land of Women: Babe, you're not lost

I scanned an abridged version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and happened upon a section that talks about how a woman tends to withdraw if she doesn't feel good about herself. There is a natural cycle for women, what the author calls the wave that is centered on their ability to give to other people. The wave is said to be stable if a woman feels full of love and energy to give to others. If they continue to give to others and if they don't receive the same amount of love and attention returned to them, then their wave begins to intensify and grow until it eventually crashes. A woman then feels that she has nothing else to give to those in her life. This is when she needs the love of those around her (including herself of course) so that she can come out of the bottom of the wave (per se). Once she is restored by this support (and self love) she is able to again climb to the top of the wave, and once again have love and energy to give.

It was a surprise to know that one of the things that impressed you about me was that I didn’t seem to be held down by the conventions of the world. Honestly, I was late in figuring out that I’ve spent a whole lot of time and effort trying to improve myself. I kept wondering what was wrong with me and how I should change myself in order to make my life work. Then there it was: There was nothing wrong with me, and there was a whole lot of wrongs that I was taught about myself, and how life should be.

Guess what? There’s nothing wrong with you neither. In fact, I think you’re perfect the way you are. This is just a reminder:

'Cause you are not alone
I'm always there with you
And we'll get lost together
Until the light comes pouring through
It's when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your world's crashing down
And you can't bear the cross
I said, babe, you're not lost

(from Michael Buble's song Lost)

Take care of yourself. Ti napu.

The Beachcomber

Tagged!

I've been bad.
I've been tagged.
I haven't answered.
I will soon.
I hope you're patient.
I've got I-itis.


Ti napu.


The Beachcomber

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Native Medicine Symposium

I had the honor of attending the Inetnon Amot Natibu/Ammwelil Safeyal Faluwasch also known as the Native Medicine Symposium held at the Man'amko Center on August 9, 2008. I've always wanted to learn more about traditional healing methods of the Chamorros and Carolinians. I was glad that this event was put together for free by passionate people who understand the value of passing traditional knowledge on to the current generation (even if they are not local) so that the healing arts do not disappear in time.

The student volunteers at the registration table who are hopefully going to retain this part of their culture.

Some medicinal plants brought as examples courtesy of the CNMI Forestry Division.

Cousins, Laurina Flores Boyer and Manny Flores Borja. Laurina is a Registered Nurse and Señot Borja is the ANA Project Director who helped put the symposium together.

Piper guahamense or Wild piper is often added to medicinal mixtures. It is aromatic and fleshy. It's funny because my sister, brother and I used to make play medicine with this same piper many years ago in the Philippines when we were kids. The Chamorros call this Papulun aniti or the "pepper leaf of the supernatural spirit." Some may argue with me and say that aniti means the devil but I believe this to be a word change that the Catholic clergy made many years ago.

A sample of Lulujut (Maytenus thompsonii) an important ingredient in many local medicines. The young leaves have an attractive pink tinge.

Some samples of seeds, stems, roots and leaves that are used as local medicine.




At first, there was a panel discussion with Chief Lino Olopai, Señora Manglona, Señot Donald Flores, si Señot Kapileo yan Senadot Maria T. Pangelinan.
Si Señot Rafael Rangamar, Dr. Daniel C. Lamar, yan si Señora Manglona. It was an interesting panel especially since it included Dr. Lamar, a Western educated and licensed physician who before going into medical school studied herbology. He was emotional at one point talking about plants being alive and part of our spiritual world and how it was his mother that introduced him to herbal medicine. National treasures: Our traditional healers; suruhanus yan suruhanas of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.
Dr. Lamar brought some Centella asiatica which he said is used for the promotion of healthy skin, anti-wrinkle, for enhancing mental acuity and staving off memory deterioration as well as improving blood flow by strengthening blood vessels and controlling varicose veins.

This is a relative of the sunflower and daisy that Dr. Lamar brought along from his house. The leaves are velvety and had a pleasant odor when crushed. Known as Sambong (Blumea balsamifera) in the Philippines and it is a antiurolithiasis (against kidney and gallbladderstones) and a diuretic used to aid the treatment of kidney disorders. The Sambong leaves can also be used to treat colds and mild hypertension.
Si Señora Liz Rechebei, Uncles Ben Borja and Donald Flores sharing plant lore and a merriment.

My good friend and father figure, Refaluwasch chief and traditional navigator, si Señot Lino Olopai. Laurina Boyer is smiling beautifully at the back.

Si Señot Rafael Rangamar, Lino's cousin and a Refaluwasch (Carolinian) medicine man. He spoke in his native tongue and he kept laughing as he recounted stories of midwifery and pointed at a few family members (like his wife and daughter) in the audience who were delivered traditionally. I enjoyed his jolly demeanor.

Si Señora Manglona, a suruhana from Rota explaining the use and efficacy of Åmot Sågue’ .

Åmot Sågue’ or medicine for post surgical pain presentation board.

This is the presentation board for Åmot Tabatdiyo or medicine for headaches and nosebleeds.

This is the presentation board for Åmot Makpong Patgon or medicine for children with urinary problems. Our Rotanese suruhana said that this mixture can even get rid of the strong ammonia-like smell of the urine.
My very first local medicinal brew and the programme. The brew is a concoction for general good health and for cleansing the insides. It tasted like warm Oolong tea.

Hey, there's Ellen's mom, Jeanne (third from the left). She was selling some of her artworks at the fair.
The captive audience listening about planting and conservation.

A presentation by Señora Calvo on Åmot Mahulat and showing some of the ingredients .
Here's Señora Toves preparing medicine for congestion. She said that the traditional herbs worked better than over the counter expectorants and decongestants.

The table was shaking too much so the pounding had to be moved to the floor. She used a stone mortar and a pestle made from an Ifit (Intsia bijuga) stump. Ifit is the State Tree of Guahan and is a very dense local hardwood. Dr. Lamar was the brave volunteer that took a few drops of the concoction up the nostrils.

It looks like a few people had to hold him down in this picture but they were actually just helping him from slipping off the chair since he needed to almost lie down for the mixture to go down his nasopharynx cavity.
Of course, Dr. Lamar had to get a phone call from the hospital in the middle of the whole demonstration.
The crowd laughed all the way through the demonstration. Doc said that it did not sting as much as he thought it would and that it felt good. They gave a few small bags of the decongestant mix and it smelled so strong that I almost felt dizzy from the aroma.
Too bad my camera didn't get a good after picture of Dr. Lamar. As you can see he was doing all right after the experience.
This is the presentation board for Åmot Mahulat or medicine for sore mouth/tongue/throat.

Si Señot Kapileo reminded us that there is a lot of secrecy when it comes to traditional healing since in the past, enemies could render medicines useless, ineffective or can even manipulate them to be harmful. This is one of the reasons why healers prefer not to plant herbs near their houses and just keep the knowledge of where to find the necessary plants in the jungles. A book of traditional medicine was passed on to him from Chuuk and he says that his successor has to not only be able to read Chuukese but also be able to prove their worth as a useful member of the community.
Our traditional healers from Tinian. The speaker here, "Dr. Gurak" told us that he heals with energy/spirituality and not herbs.

Si Señot Joe "Dr. Gurak" Cruz. He told the men he had real good medicine for us specifically and to speak to him in private after the presentations if we wanted to learn more.

Many thanks to the organizers and presenters for sharing your knowledge with me. I will continue to promote the natural heritage of the Commonwealth in order to uphold the local traditions and knowledge.

Ti napu.
The Beachcomber