So this post is kinda late, as I had intended to post it earlier in the week but a lot of things came up so i never finished it..... better late than never, I suppose.
By the end of the week, the island of Saipan will be bidding farewell to one of the greatest public figures that it has ever seen. Angelo Villagomez, whom we all know and have come to love in the past four years, is moving on to the next chapter of his life and leaving Saipan for Florida. In the past four years that he has been on Saipan, he has done so much for the community; a lot more than many other public figures have ever done. No, he never loaned out picnic tables or tents for those big parties that we all love so much. What he did, and what he will be leaving us with, is so much more valuable. Just the establishment of Beautify CNMI alone is enough to write pages upon pages about. With Beautify CNMI, he managed to create a nonpartisan organization that united our people, regardless of which political party they belonged to, under the common goal of beautifying our islands. Together, we have successfully cleaned, and will continue to clean many areas on island in our mission to rid the islands of the various eyesores that pollute our image. While I cannot be there in person, I fully support the mission of Beautify CNMI. In a politically divided CNMI, it is the one thing that unites us under one vision, the vision of a beautiful and tourist-friendly vacation destination. We have Angelo to thank for that.
He has inspired so many of us to take action and speak out for what we believe in. The amount of participation by my peers in political and environmental discussions has skyrocketed thanks to all of his efforts. He truly was an inspiration to us all and the catalyst for change in many. He has paved the way for all of us to go, and now it is our job to continue on with what he started. He may not be on island anymore, but we can continue carrying out his (and our) dream of creating and sustaining another beautiful and prosperous CNMI. I have spoken to a lot of my friends and former classmates from home, and they have all expressed an interest in returning home someday to try to help our islands rise up from the ashes, when those very same people had once picked up their bags and left saying that they would never return because there was no hope left. Angelo has brought that spark of hope back for many of us, and I will be forever grateful for that. As for me, I never gave up hope. I kept trying to convince my peers that there would always be hope as long as we never gave up on our islands, but many of them didn't see that hope until Angelo came into the picture and showed us all what was possible with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of faith.
And so, it is now up to us, CNMI, to carry on with his vision. Let's all continue to work together to help make our dreams a reality. We can do it. Just look at everything we have accomplished in the last couple of years. Think about how much more we can accomplish if we just keep on with it for the next couple of years and into the future! Thank you so much for everything you have done for us and our home, Angelo. Your presence on island will truly be missed, and the day of your return someday in the future will be a greatly anticipated event. May you have a safe journey to Florida and may you continue to be successful where ever your life takes you. We hope to see you again someday.