Category Archives: My Videos

Tinian Blow Hole

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TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands–From a distance, nothing seems extra-ordinary about the long stretch of rocky limestone cliffs and the long wire fence that went all the way near the water’s edge, but if you stay a a bit longer, you will witness one of the spectacular wonders that nature has bestowed on Tinian.

The Blow Hole in Tinian, North Field is one of the most popular must-visit sites in the island. On windy days, the water spurts up to 200 feet in the air.
Video by Raquel C Bagnol

Sensoji Temple tour

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I wanted to try a cone of the multi-colored ice cream from one of the stalls and lick it on the way back to our assembly place but changed my mind when I saw the sign “Don’t eating the street.” Okay.

By Raquel C Bagnol

TOKYO, JAPAN—at the northern part of Tokyo is Sensoji Temple, an impressive Buddhist temple which is among Tokyo’s oldest and most famous temples. Built sometime in the 7th century, the temple attracts hundreds of tourists and worshippers from all over the world each day.

I was with a group of kids from Saipan who were in Tokyo for the annual Awaodori Festival back in 2010 (yeah and it took me 4 years to finally decide to post it. lol ) and the trip wouldn’t have been complete without visiting Sensoji Temple.

Arriving from the Asakusa subway station, we made our way to the Kiminarimon, or Thunder Gate, a majestic structure which serves as the entrance to the Sensoji Temple a few meters away.

Entering the Kiminarimon will lead you to the Asakusa Nakamise shopping arcade. Here is a street buzzing with the never-ending click of cameras from people of different colors and sizes and shapes speaking different languages from all over the world.

I squeezed my way around, merging with the tourists and locals, clicking my cameras and missing the chance to sample the Japanese delicacies.

Just before going up to the Sensoji temple is a huge bronze incense burner where the smoke wafting from the burning incense sticks are supposed to bring good luck.

A few feet away is a fountain of water with dragons spitting out water. Sawada-san and Misako-san, our chaperones, told us to use the ladles to transfer water from the fountain and rinse both hands or mouth and spit the water for purification and cleansing rites just before going to the temple. I skipped the ritual because I couldn’t risk getting my cameras wet.

I savored it all—the sight of the five-storied pagoda standing proudly beside the main temple, the flickering candles worshippers lighted inside the temple, the chanting, clouds of smoke from the incense burner, the splashing of water from the cleansing fountain, the lively trade going on at Asakusa Nakamise shopping street, the vendors calling out customers to buy their wares, pigeons flying around, and tourists taking photos of everything and anything.

I wanted to try a cone of the multi-colored ice cream from one of the stalls and lick it on the way back to our assembly place but changed my mind when I saw the sign “Don’t eating the street.” Okay. I’m obedient.

The only souvenir I took home was a pack of fake cigarettes which I bought for 399 yen, a reminder of a colorful afternoon at the Sensoji temple grounds.

Firedancer on Tinian

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vid firedance

(Video: Raquel C Bagnol)

TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands– A boy from Tinian mesmerizes the guests as he dances with fire during one of the annual Pika or hot pepper festival nights.

Firedancing is always the most awaited part in most of the traditional dance presentations at events on Saipan and Tinian. Firedancing is also one of the main dinner attractions  for some of the hotels like Mariana Resort & Spa, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Saipan World Resort, and Pacific Islands Club during the Island Theme nights.

Watch and hold your breath as these dancers show their skill in juggling sticks with fire on both ends.

Smiling Cove Marina

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vid smiling cove

SAIPAN, CNMI–  The Smiling Cove Marina at the Lower Base in Saipan is one of my most favorite hangouts any time of the day. It is where a big majority of marine sports and activities originate, from fishing early in the morning up to the sunset dinner cruises at sunset.

The dock teems with tourists day in and day out boarding on boats headed to Managaha Island just a few minutes across the Saipan Lagoon. This Cove is where all the fun begins, and ends at the end of the day.

One more reason to love this island rock!

Moorea & Tahiti

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Filmed on the islands of Moorea & Tahiti by Patrick Horton.

Special thanks to Tahiti Tourism, Air Tahiti Nui, Olivier Briac & The Tiki Village Theatre.

© Patrick Horton

Visit the magical island of Moorea, a few minutes from Tahiti by plane and about half an hour by high-speed catamaran. Moorea is dubbed as a magical island soaring out “of the ocean in an explosion of green velvet.”


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