Guam’s 4,000-year-old Chamorro culture continues to stand out at the world’s leading tourism-related event in Japan.
Led by Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio, Team Guam is among 150 countries and regions that are present at the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Tourism Expo Japan 2016. An estimated 170,000 people are expected to flock to the Tokyo Big Sight through Sunday.
“The people of Guam can be proud of our Guam delegation at JATA for showcasing not just our beautiful island and beautiful people, but of course our beautiful culture,” said Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio. “We have Jesse and Ruby and all the other practitioners of our culture and our song, but it’s really about the people and we’re really highlighting that with our images and the people themselves from Guam.”
Arthur Pangelinan, Tony Mantanona and cultural dancers teach JATA patrons how to weave in their Chamorro Craft School.
“I’ve been coming to JATA since 1988. It’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into making this a successful event every year,” said Guam Visitors Bureau Board Chairman Mark Baldyga.“ While we still face challenges in the Japan market, our Guam team continues to step up its game. On behalf of the GVB Board of Directors, I just want to thank Governor Eddie Calvo, Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio, Senator Tina Muna Barnes, GVB President Nathan Denight, GVB Vice President Telo Taitague, Japan Manager Yuji Mitsumori and the rest of the management, staff, cultural musicians, dancers, weavers, industry partners and everyone involved in making Guam shine at JATA. We greatly appreciate everyone’s hard work.”
Guam Booth focuses on unique highlights
An emphasis on culture, sports and events has attracted thousands to the Guam booth through the Håfa Adai Chamorro Dance Show with Jesse and Ruby, a photo session with Ms. Earth Guam 2016 Gloria Nelson and Mr. Guam first runner-up Edward Malaca, Chamorro Craft School with Tony Mantanona and Arthur Pangelinan, a Håfa Adai quiz show and various presentations. A special concert at Guam booth will also be featured tomorrow from Alice, a half Chamorro and half Japanese pop star from Japan.
Master of Chamorro Dance Frank Rabon leads the rehearsal of the Guam Chamorro Dance Academy. Over 80 Japanese dancers will perform on the Guam and JATA stages on Sunday to thousands of people.
In addition, the Guam booth featured two exclusive San-Ai fashion shows, with top models from Japan showcasing the new San-Ai Swimwear Collection. San-Ai 2016 Campaign Girl Erika Matsumoto was also given a special award for her efforts to promote Guam.
Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) Community Development Officer Kraig Camacho and other members of Team Guam also put a spotlight on sports tourism, encouraging people to learn more about signature events, like the Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races, and consider experiencing Guam as a “Sports Paradise Island.”
Jesse and Ruby and their team of dancers lead JATA attendees through the Boonie Stomp dance during the Håfa Adai Chamorro Dance Show at the Guam booth.
Chamorro Dance to be featured on JATA main stage
Ahead of their big performance tomorrow on both the Guam and JATA stages, over 80 Japanese dancers from the Guam Chamorro Dance Academy (GCDA) rehearsed with Master of Chamorro Dance Frank Rabon. GVB started GCDA back in 2009 to teach the art of traditional Chamorro dance to interested Japanese people. The program now has over 2,000 members from six cities in Japan that continue to teach and promote the Chamorro culture. GCDA has also expanded to the U.S. mainland in 2014 and most recently, Taiwan, in 2016.
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