Brief respite at Chamoru Park

ROTA — The huge latte stones and the black and white sign board bearing the words “Chamoru Ancestral Park” caught my attention the first time I drove past this site on my way to Songsong from Sinapalo some weeks back, and I immediately made a U-turn to explore the place.

Photos by Raquel C. BagnolParking my rented car at the roadside, I surveyed the surroundings and gingerly picked my way toward the latte stones. The place was deserted.

Except for the rumbling of the giant waves on the rocky cliffs some meters away and the occasional chirping of birds, total silence reigned.

I first thought the place was a sacred burial ground and I had no right to be there. Huge rusty chains fenced the sides of the park. Curiosity, however, got the best of me and I took step after cautious step around, pausing to take photos of anything and everything while trying to shake off the eerie feeling that someone or something was looking at me and whatever or whoever it was would spring at me anytime. It was just past 2 p.m. and I was too old to be scared in broad daylight.

As if in some slow-motion movie, I picked my way around the well-manicured grass, stopping now and then to run a hand at some of the meticulously arranged stone formations and all the while looking beyond my shoulder to make sure I was really alone.

I made my way to the wooden cottages near the sea, almost dropping my cameras when I backed against a post and came face to face with a white coconut husk mask hanging from it.

Stepping a few paces away, I collected my breath, turned toward the sea and simply gaped at the spectacular view. Watching miles and miles of blue water stretching out to eternity and huge waves chasing each other in an endless race toward the sharp cliffs bordered by white wooden railings was a sight to behold. I forgot my fears and simply gaped and took photos and wished that I could stay there longer.

The 28,420-sq. meter Chamoru Ancestral Park, which I learned is owned and maintained by Matias and Mercedes Taisacan, is just one of the charms that win over anyone who visits Rota. The Taisacans also run a family-owned museum containing pre and post World War II relics.

If you are planning a trip to Rota, don’t miss the chance to hang out for sometime at this wonderful spot located directly across from the Marianas Trench Cave Museum on your way to Songsong. For more information, call 532-0078. (This article was first published HERE)

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