SAVE THE DATE: October 6, 2012–Bayanihan Gala Dinner
Senator Daniel Akaka will be honored for his many decades of service to Hawaii at FilCom’s annual Bayanihan Gala Dinner to be held on Saturday, October 6, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballroom. Mark your calendars for this important event!
The committee planning the event is chaired by Filcom Board members Paul Alimbuyao, with co-chairs Rosemarie Aquino and Nobleza Magsanoc-Lewis. Watch out for details and call the FilCom office if you want to help at the event!
Computer Classes to be Offered in July
Classes for new computer users start on July 16 thru August 7. The first four (4)-two (2)-hour sessions will focus on computer basics; the subsequent sessions will cover Microsoft Office’s Word and Excel applications, and the last sessions will help students surf the Internet and communicate via email.
Classes are limited to nine students to ensure one-on-one attention. Enrollment and registration are on first come, first served basis at $25 per student. To register and for more information, please call the FilCom Center at 808 680-0451.
New FilCom Children’s Choir Needs Singers
“Filcom will soon have a Children’s Choir!Auditions for children ages 8 to 12 will be held on Friday, August 3, and Monday, August 6, 3 to 5 p.m. Registration for the auditions are now being accepted at the FIlCom Center office. Call 808 680-0451 for more information.
“We are looking for boys and girls who are enthusiastic about singing, have a cheerful personality and mature enough to accept the discipline required at rehearsals,” explained Filcom’s Artistic Director Rafael Velasco, also called Maestro Pike. Maestro Pike conducts FilCom’s bamboo instrument band, Banda Kawayan. Currently a fourth grade teacher at August Ahrens Elementary, he served as the choir conductor for the Ilocos Norte Children’s Choir International, which has performed at Disneyland California, the Polynesian Cultural Center ,and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Maestro Pike was also a consultant and music coordinator for the Department of Education in his home province of Ilocos Norte.
Planning has started for “FIlCom Sundays,” afternoons of entertainment and community programs to be held every last Sunday of the month at the FIlCom Center. The concept emerged from the fun and excitement various groups had showcasing their talents during the 10th Anniversary celebration on June 15. Interested in participating? Contact the FilCom Center office!
Volunteer Spotlight: Imelda Gasmen
On summer weekends, the courtyard of the FilCom Center fills with the sounds of children dancing the tinikling, listening to Filipino folktales, and learning their abakada (abc). They’re attending Filcom’s Filipino for Kids Summer Enrichment Program, founded and organized by Imelda Fines Gasmen, or Ime. Watching her at work, “Ime” can readily stand for Inspiring, Multi-talented, and Energetic.
Ime is an instructor of Filipino and Philippine Literature at the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature of the University of Hawaii at Manoa; she is also a certified translator. She hails from Ilocos Sur and graduated valedictorian from Narvacan National Central High School. She is a graduate of the B.S. Development Communication program of the University of the Philippines Lost Banos and M.A. Communications program at UH Manoa.
Her students attest that she makes learning enjoyable; so enjoyable that among others, her former students return many times over and volunteer to help run Filipino Summer for Kids program and other activities. The summer program requires a lot of preparation but Ime enjoys it tremendously and finds that she is also growing more in her knowledge of Philippine culture and life. Her many talents and experiences have enabled her to craft attractive ways of imparting and packaging knowledge. According to Ime, it has been heartwarming to work with young children every summer. Children exude an innocence and purity that are different from her college students. It has been an ultimate reward to have children from past Filipino for Kids session come back as adult volunteers of the current session.
Given her background in development communication, Ime values community outreach and has what it takes to engage others at the grassroots level. When her two daughters were younger, she initiated a Reading in-the-Park program to promote literacy. She collaborated with a Lanai-based educator/librarian on a colorful Filipino Word Book designed for young ESL students. She also authored Tagalog for Kids Flash Cards for language learners.
Ime plays the guitar and was among the founding members of Banda Kawayan. She also introduced the popular parol-making activity at Pasko! events. She is a back-to-back winner of FilCom Pasko! Parol-making contests. Ime loves sports. She plays pingpong and attends the annual Great Aloha Run. She says that her favorite hobby is photography. Being a lady who has deep faith in God, Ime also draws much strength from the scriptures.
While volunteers credit Ime’s enjoyable ways as key to the success of the Filipino for Kids summer enrichment program. Ime credits the volunteers as a big part of its sustained success. She envisions that the portable program be replicated by other Filipino communities across the islands, the US, and the world.
The United Filipino Council of Hawaii (UFCH) was founded in 1959, coinciding with the announcement of statehood for Hawaii ,by Consul General Juan Dionisio. UFCH is the umbrella organization of Filipino island councils on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Lanai and Molokai. UFCH’s mission is to promote unity, friendship, camaraderie and mutual assistance among Filipinos in Hawaii; and perpetuate the Filipino heritage and culture.
The UFCH convention, now on its 54th year, will be hosted this year by the Big Island Filipino Community Council on July 27-29 at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort in Hilo. UFCH is holding the Miss Hawaii Filipina pageant during the convention. UFCH also hosts Mrs. Hawaii Filipina and Miss Teen Hawaii Filipina to raise funds for scholarships for college bound students.
Informational and educational panel presentations on social, health, political and economic issues affecting our communities will be discussed during the convention. The cost per delegate is $185 which includes the meals, pageant ticket, and convention packets.
Milli Asuncion (contact 808 895-1366) is the overall chair of the July convention with Lito Asuncion, Romel dela Cruz, and Dayday Hopkins as co-chairs. Delegate registration, nomination forms and respective council’s unit organization updates should be mailed to P.O. Box 4216, Hilo, Hawaii 96720. The deadline for the delegate forms is June 29. The pageant chair is Christina Ranan (contact 808 640-4180).
OFCC Elects New Officer
The Oahu Filipino Community Council (OFCC) held its 2012 annual convention on June 10 at the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu. Approximately 150 registered delegates from various unit member organizations attended the event. The theme of the all-day convention was “Communication and Action with Integrity is Effective Leadership.” The convention featured three panelists: David Forman of the UH College of Law, Rick Tsujimura, member of the Board of Governors of the East-West Center, and Rose Churma, president of the FIlCom Center.
New officers elected at the convention are: Jean Jeremiah, president; Aurelio Agcaoili, 1st vice president; Rhoda Yabes, 2nd vice president; Julius Soria, secretary; Perlita Sadorra, assistant secretary; Vanessa Pulido, treasurer; Rose Aquino, assistant treasurer; Cleo Bala Casino, auditor; and Baybee Hufana-Ablan, Eddie Bueno, Amelia Cabatu, Maggie Domingo, Edith Gudoy, Davelyn Quijano, Rossi Patton, and Ignacio Torres, directors. Each officer has a one-year term while the directors have a two-year terms.
Newly elected President Jean Jeremiah challenged the delegates “to make a difference by making the right choice.” She intends to work closely with unit member organizations and to uphold the mission of the OFCC to promote and perpetuate the Filipino cultural heritage, to help unite all Filipino organizations for the common welfare of the Filipino community, and to encourage all Filipinos to develop a strong sense of responsibility and a greater participation for the betterment of the Filipino community and the Island of Oahu as a whole.
More than seven hundred people attended the festive celebration at the Filcom Center on Friday, June 15, a wonderful launch of FilCom’s 10th Anniversary year. The outpouring of assistance and goodwill from the community was very palpable as volunteers came forward to offer donations of food, talent and financial support.
“Our 10th Anniversary celebration aims to renew friendships, sustain the dream, and allow our children’s children in the years to come the opportunity to appreciate our Filipino culture and to learn about our history and traditions,” said Filcom President Rose Cruz Churma.
The program started with an open house at 4 p.m. followed by a Grand March or sarabo of community organizations that have supported Filcom from the very beginning. The organizations included the UFCH, OFCC, Council of Visayan Organizations (COVO), Ilocus Surian Association of Hawaii (ISAH), Annac ti Batac International, Annac ti Caoayan 2002, Bulacan Circle & Associates of Hawaii, Caballeros de Dimasalang, Cagayan Valley Association of Hawaii, Calayab Association of Hawaii, Caviteneans & Associates of Hawaii, Dingras Association of Hawaii, Filipino American Historical Society of Hawaii (FAHSOH), Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW), Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawaii, Gumil Oahu, Hawaii Filipino Women’s Civic Club, Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, Kalayaan Philippines-Hawaii International, Knights of Rizal, Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trade (INCAT),Narvacan Association of Hawaii, Nursing Advocates and Mentors, Inc. (NAMI), Pampanga Circle of Hawaii, Paoay Association of Hawaii, Paoay-Curimao Hawaii Organization, Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii, San Nicolas Goodwill Foundation of Hawaii, Sarrat International of Hawaii, Tri-Star Line Group, United Laoageneos of Hawaii and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.
An ecumenical prayer service began the program followed by a video presentation “Isang Dekada” with highlights of Filcom’s first 10 years.
Governor Neil Abercrombie recognized Filcom’s contributions and former Filcom President Geminiano “Toy” Arre, Jr. was presented with a Senate commendation and certificate by Senator Clarence Nishihara for his hard work at the Center’s helm for seven years. Toy thanked the philanthropic spirit and generosity of private foundations and individuals, the Legislature, City Council, and Congress through the office of Senator Dan Inouye for the much-needed financial resources that allowed the FilCom Center to continue its programs.
Entertainment was provided by Himig at Indak, NAMI, Inc. Hawaii, Stephen Lucas, Eddie Lactaoen, Jezibel Leano, Kim Luz, Andrea Baptista, Eugene Tunac, Faniand Marie Tedios, Rossi Patton, Jenny Quezon, Dioni Cabrera, Friends Forever from Whitmore, and the Filipinesca Dance Co. The program was capped by “Ako Ay Pilipino,” the moving finale choreographed by Pike Velasco. Red roses lined the Consuelo Courtyard, where dinner was served courtesy of donations from Creations in Catering, Kambingan Filipino Express Restaurant, L&L Drive In, Loulen’s Restaurant, and Marian’s Catering.
Honorary event Chair Roland Casamina, co-chairs Melga Gendrano, Rosemarie Mendoza, together with the numerous volunteers and committee members, succeeded in making the celebration special and meaningful.
Special thanks go to sponsors and donors House of Finance, BuddyandMelga Gendrano, Fil-Am Enterprises, LLC., Bulacan Circle & Associates of Hawaii, Renato and Maria A.F. Etrata, Armstrong Building Maintenance, Acela Garcia, Alice Busmente and Mary Cordero/FilAm Courier, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, Philip Domingo, Edgar Duropan, Angelo and Rubing Dytioco, FilAm Termite, Alan Garcia/Photo Ops, Mele Heresa, KFG Properties, Inc., KNDI Radio, KPHI, Kit Zulueta/KIT Productions, Peter Manahan, Bennette Misalucha/Red Monarch Strategies, LLC, Online Graphics, Olelo, Pampanga Circle, Roland and Edith Pascua(sound systems and roses),Prestige Valet Service, Mike Rabe, San Nicolas Goodwill Foundation Inc., RudyandMyrna Valdez, Herb Yamamoto, Markand Fely Wayfield, and David Webb.
Mahalo and salamat to the planning committee members and more than 100 volunteers who gave from the heart!!!
Starting with this edition, the newsletter will highlight the contributions of its volunteers and community partners, who are so important to Filcom’s mission to serve the community. For this month, the spotlight is on Imelda Gasmen, the program director of the Filipino for Kids Summer Program and the United Filipino Council of Hawaii. If your organization is interested in being featured, contact us!