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 just before you reach Songsong Village. The museum is housed at a cliff side overlooking a beautiful beach side resort across from the road. You cannot miss the green and white structure with a plight of cement stairs bordered by latte stones on both sides all the way to the top.
There is more than meets the eye to this structure on the cliff side because it houses a big number of World War 11 relics and memorabilia collected from all over the island, and donated by different people in the Marianas and from all over the world.
A surprise awaits visitors at the Marianas Trench Cave Museum which is operated and maintained by couple Matias and Mercedes Taisacan, members of the National Chamorro Association of the Mariana Islands. The museum itself is inside a huge natural limestone cave that runs under the couple’s house and into the mountainside, a cavern which is not visible outside.
Outside the big wooden doors are several artillery pieces and other artifacts, but once you get inside the limestone cave, more treasures await. The collection includes artifacts and precious antiques, rusty guns and rifles of various calibers, grinders, cracked and broken pottery which the couple tried to glue together, kitchen utensils such as pots, pans, plates, water pitchers and canteens, earthen jars and vessels, Japanese porcelain plates dating to the 1930s, pre-war assorted Japanese bottles and farming tools.
Also on display are Chinese porcelain human bowls dating back to the 1800s, and more. A rotary telephone, battered typewriter and rusty cash register are among the main attractions that carry volumes of stories from decades past.
The Marianas Trench Cave Museum is located across from the Chamoru Ancestral Park also operated by the Taisacans and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Entrance fee is $5 for adults. Field trips and group tours are also accommodated.
For more information call 532-0078 or check out the Facebook page of the Marianas Trench Cave Museum.