Roadtrip Rota

DRIVING aimlessly around the island of Rota is one of the most rewarding experiences on island, especially if it is your first time there and you came with a thirst for adventure. Upon your arrival, rent a car from the car rental companies outside the arrival area of the airport and as soon as you … Continue reading Roadtrip Rota


Trip back in time at a cave museum

ROTA—The drive from the village of Sinapalo to Songsong is not only breathtakingly beautiful with the pristine waters and the soft white sand along the coastal road but it is also littered with historical treasures dating back to the World War 11. One must-not-miss destination on Rota is the Marianas Trench Cave Museum in Lotgan … Continue reading Trip back in time at a cave museum

Scary afternoon at As Matmos Fishing Cliff

Panic gripped me. I had made sure that I stood on dry rocks not reached by the water and that one single wave got me.        ROTA, Northern Mariana Islands—There was no debate when I saw that sign by the roadside, a temptation too strong to resist, and I knew I was not going to … Continue reading Scary afternoon at As Matmos Fishing Cliff

Coconut Kingdom by the Sea in Rota

ROTA — One of my favorite spots here is the abandoned Coconut Village, a row of wooden cottages facing the Pacific Ocean. Driving from Sinapalo to Songsong, you can see a signboard by the road side directing you to the Rota Coconut Village Hotel about a third of a mile away. If you are new … Continue reading Coconut Kingdom by the Sea in Rota

Panoramic Stopover in Sinapalo, Rota

ROTA — A few miles past the Sunset Hotel in the village of Sinapalo, there is a spot by the roadside you must not miss. There is nothing spectacular about it — a couple of unused benches covered by leaves and twigs and a pile of stones bordering the edge of the cliff. I’ve driven … Continue reading Panoramic Stopover in Sinapalo, Rota

‘Enchanted’ wood on a mystical island

The first time I stumbled into this particular “enchanted” spot was during my first trip to the island in 2011. I returned to the same site the next day, and again last March, and then again and again when I was here in May. - It’s as enchanting as ever every time I go there, … Continue reading ‘Enchanted’ wood on a mystical island

The bell by the fire pit

ROTA--A few yards behind the swimming pool at the Rota Resort & Country Club is a lovely spot that’s perfect for outdoor parties at sundown or at night. We discovered it at noontime a few months back after an hour at the Swimming Hole when my buddy Pat decided to rinse off the salt water … Continue reading The bell by the fire pit

Rota: Visiting a prayer mountain

It was a place I never knew existed here and we reached it by taking the first left turn off the highway on the way up to Mt. Sabana one hot afternoon. We were on the rough, bumpy road w  hen our tour guide, Jack, instructed my buddy photographer, Pat. to take the grassy path … Continue reading Rota: Visiting a prayer mountain

I stepped on a ‘wedding cake’

The first time I saw the flat-top mountain everybody referred to as the Wedding Cake, it did not look like a layer of cake to me at all. It was just like any other elevated piece of land. I later learned that it got the name because it resembled a tiered cake. When I drove … Continue reading I stepped on a ‘wedding cake’

‘Trespassers’ at Poña Point Fishing Cliff

 ROTA — A fork on the road leading to a small clearing with a signboard that announced “Poña Point Fishing Cliff” caught my attention the first time I went driving aimlessly here a couple of years ago. I saw the sign again while on the same road last March, but I didn’t have the guts … Continue reading ‘Trespassers’ at Poña Point Fishing Cliff

Peace memorial on a mountaintop

At the island’s highest elevation stands a stone structure that few people visit: a World War II peace memorial. I made attempts to see Sabana Peace Memorial Park on my first visits but failed. On my first try, I and a companion drove the rocky and dusty road and stopped when we reached a rusty … Continue reading Peace memorial on a mountaintop

Exploring Tonga Cave

Right in the heart of Songsong Village on Rota is a huge cave which I tried to visit the first two times I was here but just didn’t get around to it. First, I ran out of time, and second, I was all alone and kind of scared to go in. - My chance to … Continue reading Exploring Tonga Cave

Remains of a sugar mill

 I still haven’t figured out how I missed seeing the remains of the old sugar mill on this island during my first two trips, but the dilapidated structure did not escape my lens during my most recent trip last month. Buddy Pat and I had been driving around the commercial seaport looking for just anything … Continue reading Remains of a sugar mill

Rota road trip

IF there is one place in the CNMI that provides the perfect location for driving around at your leisure and following all roads free from the thought that someone from behind will blow their horn, it is the island of Rota. This untouched gem in the Pacific, which carries loads of character and charm, is … Continue reading Rota road trip

Stopover at Teteto Beach

ROTA—Driving along the paved road from Songsong going to Sinapalo Village on Rota will give you a chance to enjoy many scenic spots that may hinder your trip if you are in a hurry, and this includes pristine beaches, lush jungles, historical sites, and more attractions packed into this small paradise of an island. One … Continue reading Stopover at Teteto Beach