Where is Saipan?
Saipan is roughly the same latitude as Jamaica, and the same longitude as Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia. It takes about seven hours to fly to Guam from Hawaii, and then about 30 minutes to fly from Guam to Saipan. Saipan is on the other side of the International Date Line from the United States. To find out what date and time it is on Saipan right now, click here.
How did you end up there?
Whats it like there?
The indigenous people are either Chamorro or Carolinian, but they make up less than half of the population. Most of the people who live here are alien contract workers from countries all over Asia, and the majority of the islands population is from the Phillippines. Only about three percent of us hail from the U.S. mainland. For more information about the peoples of the islands, see the History section (which is still under construction).
The main industries are tourism and garment manufacturing, but most of the indigenous people work for the government. The tourism industry worldwide has fallen on hard times, since the September 11 attacks. Its especially bad here in the CNMI, where most tourists are from Japan. Even before September 11, the number of Japanese visitors had been dwindling, but after the attacks, the numbers went down to almost zero. Slowly, however, the tourists, including the Japanese, are returning. No amount of terrorism can dull these islands beauty, nor can it alter their proximity to millions of sun-starved Asian city-dwellers.
The garment industry also has its problems. It has been attacked in the international media, by human rights advocates such as Peter Gabriel, and in a class action lawsuit brought by the same attorneys who won the class action suit on behalf of the Holocaust victims. But the industrys biggest enemies appear to be representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress with ties to organized labor. Fortunately for the industry, many of those representatives and senators have enemies of their own, whove been able to stall a federal takeover of Saipans immigration and labor situation.
Health care is pretty good on Saipan, as long as you stay healthy. Our first child was born here, and the birth, though complicated, went as well as could be expected. But if you get really sick, you dont want to be here.
But what is that makes it so nice here? The beaches. The shorelines. The ocean breeze. The cliffs, the jungles, and the mountains. The deep, clear, cool water chock full of huge, tasty fish. The agupa attitude: tomorrows as good as today. Agupa. That means Tomorrow. And Tomorrow wont get here until that sun stops shining on Today. Saipans got everything youd expect from a tropical paradise. Its easy to get comfortable here. Too easy, sometimes
What do you do there?
I work on my music and other writing projects out of my home office/studio, and I record and produce other Saipan musical artists, but most of my time is spent with my family. My wife Cate and I have two beautiful daughters, Georgia and Emeline. Georgia was born here on Saipan on November 5, 1999, and Emeline was born in Lakeland, Florida on September 16, 2001. I relish being able to drive Georgia to and from her Montesorri school, to take her to the beach or for ice-cream, and generally just being a stay-at-home Dad.
In my spare time, I co-host a variety television show called Eye On The CNMI, which is broadcast live in the Marianas every Monday night, and taped for replay throughout the week (theres not a whole lot of local programming, so they use what they got a lot). Im the musical director of the show, and I wrote and recorded the theme song. You can hear it, and a lot more of my music, on my MP3.com site.
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