Pasko! sa FilCom – A Filipino Christmas Celebration on Sunday, December 15
Make your own parol (Christmas lantern), get one-of-a-kind gifts, and enjoy holiday sights and sounds with emcee Lanai Boy
The sights and sounds of the festive Filipino Christmas season will fill the halls of the Filipino Community Center (Filcom Center) in Waipahu when the annual Pasko! sa FilCom is celebrated Sunday, December 15, 3:30-7:30 p.m. The free event will feature Filipino food and holiday treats; a Children’s Christmas Store with everything at $1 or less, and traditional Christmas carols, music and dance. DJ Lanai Boy will emcee the program.
Those who want to have a parol, or Christmas star lantern, which traditionally hangs on every Filipino home during the holidays, can make their own with recycled materials supplied by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii. A parol making demonstration for and by kids is also on the agenda.
Kids can go holiday shopping at the Children’s Christmas Store with gifts $1 and for adults, special gift items will be offered at the Christmas Bazaar organized by Punahou’s Filipino Club. For Filipino treats and local delicacies, visit the Crave Okay food truck and RAMAR Food’s Magnolia ice cream stand ($1 a scoop). Aloha Plate, winner of the National Food Truck Network Competition, will be a special guest. Proceeds of all sales will go to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda victims.
The FilCom’s resident bamboo instrument band, the Banda Kawayan, it’s choral group Himig at Indak, a fashion show highlighting Filipino materials and designs by Big Island artist, Iris Viacrusis, the Royal Hawaiian Band, and more musical performances will provide festive entertainment perfect for the holidays.
Other participants are the San Nicolas Goodwill Foundation who will prepare Linubian, a delicacy made from pounded cassava, coconut and sweet rice, while folks from the Visayas area will show how suman sa ibus, a delicacy wrapped in coconut leaves, are made, Leeward Community College’s Filipino students, led by Dr. Raymund Liongson will have a pabitin which is always popular with the young kids.
Organizations that have been fundraising for the Typhoon Haiyan victims will be recognized during the program. The funds raised will be presented to FilCom during the festivities. Other organizations who have raised monies for the Typhoon Haiyan calamity, and who plan to have the funds matched by the Consuelo Foundation should call the FilCom office at 808 680 0451 and make arrangements to be included in the program so that their efforts are properly acknowledged.
Pasko! sa Filcom is sponsored by the Filipino Association of University Women, with support from various community groups.
Maria Andrea Jurado Receives the $1000 Prize for First “Letters to my Parents” Contest Held at FilCom Center
Ten Finalists read their letters during FilCom Sunday’s “Pasasalamat” last November 24
The FilCom Center, Sariling Gawa, and Reiyukai America is pleased to announce the first prize winner of the first “Letter to My Parents Contest in Hawai’i. The top ten finalists who read their letters during FilCom Sunday’s “Pasasalamat” on November 24 also received a $1000 scholarship certificate from Argosy University
The goal of this contest is to encourage the youth to acknowledge the role of their parents and/or guardians in their lives. Most of the contestants’ parents and family members attended the event, which proved to be a very emotional one. The letters resonated with the audience and by the end of the event, both contestants and audience were teary-eyed and moved by the experience.
The judges were Agnes Reyes, Programs Committee co-chair and FilCom Board member; Geronimo Malabed, Owner KNDI Radio 1270 AM; Alvin Ishihara, President, Budget Color Litho, Inc.
The ten finalists are individuals between the ages of 16 to 21 residing in the State of Hawai`i, or those born during the years 1992 to 1997. Some finalists chose one or a combination of Philippine languages and provided an English translation. One participant chose to sing part of his presentation.
“Walang Sayang” Parol-Making Challenge Resumes on December 15
The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii (UPAAH) promotes the idea of “Walang Sayang” or “Nothing Wasted” during Pasko! sa FilCom
An on-the-spot parol-making activity using materials that can be recycled and re-purposed will be offered on Sunday, December 15 as part of Pasko! sa FilCom.
With officers and members who love the Hawaii outdoors and who are tuned to the broader implications of global climate change, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii (UPAAH) embraced the idea of “Walang Sayang” Challenge. This led to last year’s testing of “Walang Sayang Challenge – On-the-Spot Parol-Making with Recycle-able Things”. The mechanics proved to be just right and resulted in the desired imagination, fun, and participation.
At last year’s Pasko! the participants varied-from parents with young kids, young-at-heart seniors to energetic businesswomen-pooled their creative talents to create very interesting parols made from recycled materials.
Just like last year, anyone can be a challenger. Interested parties can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling FilCom Center (808 680- 0451) up to Dec 15, the day of the event. There is no entry fee, but please inform us of your participation ahead of time so you are assured a spot to create your masterpiece. The challenge is open to all including UPAAH members.
Parol kits (bamboo sticks) from the Philippines will be made available to the first 10 challengers who sign up. All challengers who do not have this standard parol kit may challenge under the “free-style” category.
Each challenger can bring/have up to four assistants and all must sign a waiver of liability (forms will be distributed prior to the start of the challenge).
Each entry must promote sustainability and “walang sayang” spirit and each challenger must certify that up to 90% materials are recyclable or re-purposable (i.e. not brand new or unused). Each challenger can bring whatever materials and tools he or she needs to complete the parol provided these are safe and do not pose a health risk or danger to themselves and others.
The on-the-spot challenge will promote the spirit of fairness. Each challenger must make sure that they start with materials and tools that are clean and safe. Materials should be prepared so that they are clean and safe and not pre-made for the purpose of gaining advantage over other challenges.
We encourage all to participate. For inquiries, please call the 808 680 0451 or email at email@example.com.
Filipino Geneticist Returns to FilCom to Discuss “Lunasin” and Its Impact on Cancer Prevention
Dr. Alfredo Galvez, a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, will be conducting another freeseminar on December 14, Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the FilCom Center in Waipahu to reprise a workshop he conducted last September. He will discuss again the potentially life-altering effects of Lunasin and its effects on cancer as well as other serious health issues.
Dr. Galvez grew up in La Union, Philippines with an inherent love for science and a built-in desire to experiment with plants. Galvez graduated from the UP Los Banos with a Masters in Genetics and Plant Breeding. He received a scholarship to UC Davis where he pursued his PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology. He went on to become a Research Geneticist at the USDA in Washington State University where he had been for two years when a colleague from UP Los Banos asked his help in gene cloning at UC Berkeley. After joining their staff a serendipitous discovery was made. As an accidental by-product of their cloning work, Lunasin was discovered. Lunasin is an extraordinary plant peptide that has been shown to disrupt cancer cell division and prevent tumor formation. Galvez and his colleagues named it Lunasin which is the Tagalog word for “heal” or “remedy”.
Dr. Galvezis the pioneer in the field of epigenetics and was honored in August as an Outstanding Alumni in Molecular Biology by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America during the group’s national convention in Las Vegas. As the “father” of epigenetics his work has massive applications for the population at large. Previous thought has been that we are “stuck” with our genetic makeup. In other words, if cancer runs in the family, one is much more likely to contact cancer. Dr. Galvez is proving that this is not true. Though we cannot change our DNA, Lunasin has the ability to essentially turn “off” the bad genes and turn “on” the good genes in our bodies. This is a game changer in the area of disease control as well as many other areas.
In his research, Dr. Galvez realized that this impressive natural peptide, found in miniscule quantities in soybeans, blocks cell division and effectively turns down the dimmer switch in our genetic material. In other words, it makes cells less receptive to disease. This mechanism has been included in prestigious journals such as theJournal of Cancer Research. Further, a recent analysis in Cancer Metastasis Reviews noted that lunasin has been shown to be active against human breast cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia cells in the laboratory. In a mouse study, injection of lunasin into mice implanted with human breast cancer cells reduced tumor incidence by 33 to 49 percent.
Dr. Galvez also discovered that it is not Lunasin alone that refocuses our genetic material. He is making history because he developed a means of protecting the peptide so that sufficient amounts could be absorbed once inside the body. “I have been excited for years about the enormous potential of the Lunasin peptide, says Galvez, but it’s the bioactive Lunasin, that has opened the door to a broad range of dramatic health benefits and I am helping the world with affordable solutions.”
Dr. Galvez is presently a Research Scientist at the Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics, UC Davis, California. He is also the Director of Research for the Missouri Plant Science Center, Mexico, MO.
Seating is limited, so to save your seat, go to: www.drfredgalvez.com. Or, you can call (800) 933-3817. A session on December 13 Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. has also been scheduled at the FilCom Center. There is no charge for these events.
Carolyn Weygan Hildebrand
To Carolyn, her 1995 monograph entitled “A Snapshot About Filipinos in Hawaii” for the Hawaii Community Foundation led to her off-and-on volunteering for the FilCom Center. In the monograph, she subscribed to the asset-based framework to community development and highlighted a mindset that focused on community strengths, values, and capacity and not only its deficits and issues.
With that mindset, she has been volunteering to help weave together good ideas and simple opportunities. She coordinated the FilCom’s 2001 Hanapbuhay or micro-entrepreneurship workshop series, played tongatong and angklung instruments for the FilCom’s Banda Kawayan during the ensemble’s infancy stage, and crafted newsletter articles and much-needed grant funding applications to support FilCom’s programs.
Lately, she has been promoting the idea of “Walang Sayang” challenge as a fun way of connecting with each other about our Filipino sustainability values. Carolyn picked up the phrase “Walang Sayang” from Dr. Tess Davide-Amore, scientist from the University of Hawaii and Carolyn’s fellow University of the Philippines alumni. It is a Tagalog expression that Dr. Amore heard from her elders and which tell her that materials and resources can be used thoughtfully and not wastefully. “Walang Sayang” literally means “nothing wasted” and it affirms that Filipinos have values and traditions that can be tapped to promote sustainability. Carolyn picked up the idea of the on-the-spot parol-making challenge from watching TV variety or reality shows where the mindset was to make things work with time limits. The “Walang Sayang” challenge can come in a variety of form and intensity.
For Carolyn, parol-making as a subject of a “walang sayang” challenge reminds her of her Baguio schooldays. One monsoon season, her black umbrella that had a very sturdy frame was destroyed by a strong typhoon. For some reason that year, her school’s traditional parol-making competition included a category for best in recycled materials. She does not remember winning that year but recalls how she turned the distorted umbrella upside down and started seeing it as a spaceship amidst the stars. She recalls covering it with the usual lapel-de-japon but its silver decoration was made of silver foils from her cigarette-smoking uncles and neighbors.
She has a Certificate of Ph.D. Candidacy in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a MA Economics with Certificate in Planning Studies from UH Manoa and was an East West Center Degree Grant awardee from 1985 to 1987. She received a Diploma Certificate in Agribusiness Management from DMM Memorial University and a B.A. Social Sciences (Cum Laude) from the University of the Philippines in Baguio. She currently is the president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii (UPAAH) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Igorot Global Organization’s Igorot Scholarship Program.
FILIPINO ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN
In response to the growing concern among some Filipino – American women in Honolulu about the lack of ethnic pride among Filipino students, this professional or resource group was formed to answer the need to increase awareness of and pride in Filipino culture and traditions. The decision was made that the organization would be non-political, non-religious in nature, and would be service-oriented as well as provide a networking or support system among women of similar interests, professional background, and ethnic identity.
It was organized in July 1987 with charter members: Margot Adair, Dolores Bediones, Binky Camara, Virgie Chattergy, Rose Churma, Caridad delos Santos, Nieva Elizaga, Frances Eyster, Cecile Motus, Pepi Nieva, Consuelo Rogers, Prosy Strona, Cora Avinante Tanaka, and Lillian Uy. The first set of officers was a triumvirate consisting of: Lyna Burian, Ethel Ward, and Jovita Zimmerman. When the group realized that operating the organization by committee did not work they reverted to the traditional set of officers with Margot Adair as the first president.
The FAUW received 501c(3) status in 1991, and this facilitated funding for projects among which were from the Hawaii Community Foundation (book publication) and the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts (participation in PASKO, a Filipino Christmas Festival.)
PASKO! has been FAUW’s signature event in collaboration with other community organizations and performing artists. After more than a decade of being held at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now: Honolulu Museum of Arts), in 2005, it was held at the McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Park, and later at the Children’s Discovery Center, and by 2012, PASKO! “moved” to the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, where the group took responsibility for organizing the FilCom’s Christmas event.
FAUW has sponsored educational activities such as tutorials at the Kalihi Y and Kalakaua Intermediate School; hiring a project teacher who, together with FAUW members, engaged in literacy activities for pre-school children and their parents at Ewa Beach Elementary School. Besides including demonstrations of traditional foods, costumes, songs and dances, FAUW has promoted the works of Filipino – American artists in drama, literature, and painting through gallery exhibits and lectures.
FAUW hopes to entice the younger generation of women to join this organization who will promote and strengthen Filipino identity in Hawaii through initiatives in culture, the arts, and education. It is now headed by Apolonia Agonoy Stice, the group’s current president.
The President’s Message
So when the opportunity came for me to help stage similar events a decade later, I enthusiastically participated in what would be Pasko! festival sponsored by the Filipino Association of University Women at the Honolulu Museum of Arts.
We used the Museum’s main courtyard to stage the performances, while the breezeways surrounding the courtyard were lined with vendors selling crafts and other items representative of Filipino arts and culture. The Pasko! festival was a victim of its own success when it started attracting large crowds to the Museum grounds and sometimes exceeded the facility’s comfortable capacity. The group moved the event to McCoy Pavilion in 2005 and at the Children’s Discovery Center the following year. But somehow, the two places did not have the same ambience as its original location, which contributed significantly to the success of the event.
At about the same time that Pasko! was being held at the Honolulu Museum of Arts, I was recruited to help in an ambitious dream to build a Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. As a licensed architect in Hawaii, my practice was devoted to architectural programming-the front end of the design process where the building is conceptualized before the construction drawings are prepared. My experiences in staging the Pasko! festival influenced significantly the final configuration of the FilCom Center. At its heart is an expansive courtyard named after Consuelo Zobel Alger, the benefactress of Consuelo Foundation.
At the time we started the capital campaign back in 1998-1999, the mainstream corporations and foundations were very lukewarm to supporting the endeavor. After all similar initiatives were started before us, but none took root-until the President of the Consuelo Foundation back then, Patti Lyons, convinced her board to donate half a million dollars to the community’s dream. I recall her asking me which part of the building should be named after Consuelo. Without hesitation, I said, “The courtyard-the heart of the FilCom Center!” So now Consuelo’s portrait hangs by the lobby in front of the courtyard that bears her name.
During the last week of November, the Philippine-based staff of Consuelo Foundation finally visited the Center. As we posed for a souvenir photo in front of Consuelo’s portrait, I reflected on how the years had gone by. But the legacy of Consuelo will remain for a long time-at this beautiful courtyard that has housed countless happy memories for Filipino immigrants like me, who long ago was so homesick for home, but now realize that home is where your heart is. And on December 15, when we hold the Pasko! sa FilCom I will remember those early years in Hawaii and realize that this is home now.
This year will be the second time that FAUW will hold this Christmas festival at FilCom. In past years, the Center has celebrated a Filipino Christmas within its grounds. However, it is fitting that the group once more is at the helm of recreating a Filipino Christmas at the FilCom Center as they carry on a tradition they started more than two decades ago.
This December, the FilCom will also be the site of various fundraisers for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. On December 8, Pinoy Crew 808 will host a Zumbathon with all proceeds to go to the FilCom. The Kali Escrima Association is also planning a fundraising tournament. During Pasko! sa FilCom, several activities are geared for fundraising such as the Christmas Bazaar by the Punahou Filipino Club. Other groups who have raised funds and who plan to turn over the funds to FilCom will be recognized at the Pasko! program. All the funds raised will be matched by Consuelo Foundation up to $2.0 million.
Other groups who want to be acknowledged on that day should call the FilCom Center at 808 680-0451 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maraming salamat to our 11th Annual FilCom Fundraiser Sponsors!