FilCom to Honor Veteran Broadcast Journalist Emme Tomimbang on November 9
The Filipino Community Center will be celebrating its 11th Annual Fundraiser Event on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the FilCom Center in Waipahu. This year FilCom will be honoring Emme Tomimbang, veteran broadcast journalist and executive producer/host of “Emme’s Island Moments.”
Emme’s first interview with entertainer Willie K
Tomimbang is a Filipina entrepreneur known for her decades of experience in media reporting and anchoring on various news stations such as KITV (1975-1987) and KHON (1987-1992). And her syndicated television series debuted in 1994, featuring ‘talk story’ topics from food and entertainment to lifestyle and politics. Before and after her stint in news, guests ranged from the local ‘up-and-comings’ to the ‘now famous’ talents such as, Grammy award -wining artist Bruno Mars, American Idol Finalist Jasmine Trias, actress Tia Carrere, Hollywood actor Mark Dacascos, President Barack Obama, singer Willie K, and more. Now her own boss, Emme remained close to home airing her shows on KHON, KGMB and K5, giving her television audiences a new perspective on ‘Hawai’i news.’
Emme and her dad Tommy Tomimbang
Emme was exposed to the media realm at a young age with her father’s influence in show biz. Her late father, Eutiquio “Tommy” Tomimbang was a Filipino immigrant from Siquijor, an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Tommy came to the United States in the 1940’s, worked in the plantation fields and ironically was part of a Filipino television and radio show, featuring Filipino music and entertainment. In the early days coming from a media background like that, Emme had already developed an itch for a career in television and communications. Today, she is certainly an iconic face in Hawai’i television and is a prime example of an immigrant family sowing seeds of success.
Appropriately so, Tomimbang is also a founding member of the Board of Governors at the FilCom Center. In 2006, EMME Inc. produced the Filipino historical documentary “MABUHAY WITH ALOHA: The Hawaii Filipino Experience 1906-2006” in honor of the Filipino Centennial and arrival of sakadas (Filipino plantation workers) in Hawai’i. The documentary has been screened at various functions and events in Hawai’i including the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival in October 2006, Philippines, Mainland and abroad, and is also being integrated in educational programs of Philippine history. Later that year, Tomimbang received the Pamana Ng Pilipina Award from the Office of the President at Malacanang Palace.
Emme has generously given back to the Filipino community and community at large, and for that, the FilCom Center would like to recognize her efforts in enriching the lives of Hawai’i’s people. FilCom’s 11thAnnual Fundraiser Event, “Sharing Memorable Moments with Emme & Friends“ will be a star-studded evening of food, wine and entertainment featuring Emme’s great friends in the food and entertainment industry such as top celebrity chefs Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi and DK Kodama and more. The event will also have live performances from musical artists like Na-Hoku award winner, Willie K and other guests.
Emme and her Chef friends filming “Emme’s Island Moments: Local Grinds on the Town” (1998)
“Sharing Memorable Moments with Emme & Friends”is a benefit for The Filipino Community Center, now entering its second decade as a cultural, educational and social programs resource for the entire State of Hawai’i. The Center serves thousands of people each year with programs for youth, senior citizens and families. With your help as well as support from our community partners, we hope to continue our mission to promote and perpetuate Filipino customs and embrace Hawai’i’s cultural diversity.
For sponsorship and table sales information, please firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808 680 0451. Donations are now possible on-line at our website at www.filcom.org. We also welcome donations to our Silent Auction to be held simultaneously.
5-Session Kinabukasan Series Resumes on August 6
Originally conceived as a way to help immigrants navigate the complexities of adjusting to their adopted country, the Kinabukasan Series resumes next month and will be held at its usual Tuesday evening schedule-6 to 8 p.m.– at the FilCom Center. For the Fall 2013 sessions, each segment will be conducted as a forum comprising of three to four panelists. These sessions are also opportunities to tap the skills and talents of the community’s young professionals to allow them the opportunity to share their expertise. The five-session series is sponsored by Western Union.
August 6- “Know your legal rights—and civic responsibilities.” The session will focus on resources available to those needing legal intervention. The session will also encourage immigrants to seek US citizenship by describing the benefits as well as pitfalls of those without citizenship. The forum will also encourage community involvement by participating in groups such as the Neighborhood Boards.
September 3- “Protecting your identity-how this can affect home ownership.” The class will discuss the importance of maintaining a good credit rating and how to avoid identity theft. It will also try to help young families navigate the process of homeownership.
October 1- “The new affordable care law-its impact on our health and pocketbook.” The session will explain the implications of Obama-care to typical working families and small business. Panelists will also explain how it will affect health coverage for the elderly and its impact on caregivers-majority of which are Filipino.
November 5- “Getting ready for retirement: should I go back home?” This session will explain the impact of dual citizenship to those who want to retire in the Philippines due to costs of aging in the USA. It will also discuss where retirees can seek assistance for various needs, as well as advantages of joining retiree groups like the AARP.
December 3- “Taxes 101: How to save money by preparing your tax returns.” The panelists for this forum will provide advice to those who want to learn how to file their own tax returns, provide tips to reduce tax liability and help demystify the IRS.
PNAH Sponsors a Zumbathon Fundraiser Starting August 19
The Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii (PNAH) is the first community group to respond to FilCom’s fundraising request. Last June, The FilCom sent out letters to its Board of Directors, Board of Governors and community partners asking for assistance to retire the non-profit’s $2.9 million loan which is affecting the organization’s financial health. The PNAH responded immediately with plans to conduct a Zumbathon at selected Monday evenings at the FilCom Center. The first event-considered a “dry-run” by the organizers, will be held on August 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Consuelo Courtyard. The PNAH has started handing out flyers and tickets for the event. The organizers will be assisted by several dance leaders for the August 19 event and a few are part of Pinoy Crew 808 group. Pinoy Crew 808 holds regular zumba classes at the FilCom on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Consuelo Courtyard.
FilCom Partners with Hawaii Literacy to improve English Proficiency of Filipino Immigrants
Hawaii Literacy and the FilCom Center agreed to be strategic partners and will each provide the resources and or services to improve the English proficiency of community members seeking to improve their language and verbal skills in English-skills which are necessary to get employment, pass the citizenship tests and integrate successfully as productive citizens of Hawaii.
Hawaii Literacy will provide training to prospective volunteer tutors from the surrounding community to increasing the number of tutors available to the community while FilCom will provide the facility that can accommodate the required training. Hawaii Literacy agreed to provide quality assurance of the trainings and provide the necessary oversight, while Filcom Center will provide the advertisement and promotion of the trainings which will help Hawaii Literacy recruit prospective volunteer-tutors within the community. The first sessions were conducted in June at the FilCom Center. Additional training sessions are planned with the trained tutors to assist those who will be attending the Citizenship classes to begin in September 2013.
Jay Menes is a Manila-based artist who is the featured storyteller for the FilCom’s RAMP project on July 28. RAMP- which stands for “reading, arts, music and play”– is a regular feature of the monthly FilCom Sunday. RAMP is geared primarily to encourage reading for families and children.
A multi-talented artist who does hosting, singing, storytelling, directing, facilitating workshops, acting on stage or on screen, Jay is also an entrepreneur by heart and worked for a Malaysian bank in the Philippinesfor seven years before pursuing a career as a freelance performing artist.
After his stint as a banker, Jay pursued a career as a freelance performing artist and got into business. He now enjoys meeting and interacting with children, educators, parents and students. He is the prime mover in promoting the art of storytelling in the Philippines since March 2011. Jay is the first Filipino member of International Storytelling Network Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos.
Jay also exhibits his love for children and books through his storytelling. “What better way of loving storybooks is there than bringing the stories to life through story-telling,” says Jay when he first visited FilCom last July 22 to do the TV taping and interview with Janelle So ofKababayan Today. As president of Storyhouse , he promotes storytelling performances in the Philippines. He believes that storytelling will definitely create remarkable improvements in students and to those who want to improve their public speaking skills.
Jay is also a freelance actor since 1999 and has appeared in several theater plays and T.V. programs on almost all Philippine-based television and has appeared in a few local and international short films. He has also facilitatedworkshops for a theater group teaching basic acting for children, teens and adults. A certified Adarna House Publishing storyteller and facilitator since 2004, Jay has been handling most of the storytelling workshops of Adarna House for their partner clients such as Insular Life, Chevron, Ortigas Foundation, MMLDC, Plan Philippines and other Local Government Unit projects.
Himig at Indak
The group started in February 2005 providing ballroom dancing instruction at the FilCom Center under the initiative of the first three volunteer couples–Roland and Edith Pascua, Jess and Tess Quemado and Ernie and Lydia Pascua. In the beginning, there were about 15 students enrolled in the ballroom dancing. The group decided to add Filipino folk dances to the repertoire with the recruitment of Ray Rausa, a folk dancing instructor. Two years later, with Leo Delgado’s musical talent, singing was also added to the repertoire. Thus the group’s name of Himig at Indak–Himig for singing and Indak for dancing-aptly describes the group. The Himig has been continuously active with the direction of the very talented Maestro Rafael “Pike” Velasco. The Indak is now headed by the very popular and generous couple, Roland and Editha Pascua.
The Himig at Indak group has been volunteering for more than eight (8) years now, doing ballroom dancing classes and choir rehearsals at FilCom every Tuesday and Sunday evenings. The group also performs at events held by community and Filipino organizations and private parties at no charge. During the March FilCom Sundays’ episode, the group showcased their talents to the community. The title of the event was Salubong – an Easter Presentation and they did an awesome job.
The group charges $10 monthly from participants and all of the fees generated are transmitted to FilCom like other program fees. Expenses by the group are also drawn from the fees collected. Since July 2013, the Himig at Indak’sballroom group has been credited for raising more than $40,000 in revenues for the FilCom Center since February 2005.
Even with their very busy schedules at work and family, the Himig at Indak group consistently volunteers at FilCom events-as ballroom dancing instructors or students, choir participant, performer or other roles that benefit the FilCom Center.
The Himig at Indak active members are:
ROLAND & EDITH PASCUA: Roland just retired from his Roland’s vending and refrigeration services business while Edith works at The Berry Company as sales support specialist. Roland and Edith are one of the couples who started Ballroom Instruction with the FilCom Center. Roland and Edith act as the ballroom head instructors. Both of them are also members of the choir, Roland sings base and Edith sings alto.
JESS & TESS QUEMADO: Jess is an engineer who retired from a federal job and Tess worked at the FilCom Center as administrative assistant for eight years. Jess and Tess are one of the couples who started Ballroom Dancing at FilCom. Jess is one of the Advisers while Tess is the Secretary. Tess is also a member of choir and sings soprano.
ERNIE & LYDIA PASCUA: Ernie is an engineer at Mechanical Engineer of Hawaii Corporation and Lydia works with State of Hawaii as a nurse at Halawa Correctional Facility. Ernie and Lydia are one of the couples who started Ballroom at FilCom and both act as the group’s Advisers. Both Ernie & Lydia are members of the Choir, Ernie sings base while Lydia sings soprano.
RAFAEL “PIKE” VELASCO: Maestro Pike is a retired school principal and music coordinator in the Philippines and currently a teacher at August Ahrens Elementary School. He is the music and artistic director of FilCom, conductor of the Himig at Indak Choir, Banda Kawayan and the Children’s Choir.
ARCELI REBOLLIDO: Arceli is the program director of the FilCom Center. She joined the Himig at Indak group in 2006; she now serves as the treasurer for the Himig at Indak ballroom dancing since Tess retired at FilCom. Arceli is also a member of the choir and sings soprano. She is also an instructor of the Banda Kawayan.
SONNY & CORAZON RULLODA:Sonny works at Dole Plantation and Cora works at Liberty Dialysis as chemo tech. They are both instructors of the Ballroom Dancing. They have been teaching ballroom dance to a different group before they became volunteer instructors of the Himig at Indak ballroom. Sonny and Cora are also members of the choir, Sonny sings tenor and Cora sings alto.
CIELITO ODA: Cielo used to work as sales clerk at Fan Shop. She has been volunteering from the beginning as Instructor of ballroom dancing. She sings alto for the choir. Cielo is also a member of the Banda Kawayan.
BIEN & NIDIA PASCUA: Bien works at Ala Moana Hotel as Steward and Nidia works at Queens Medical Center as Instrument Tech. They started volunteering as instructors for the ballroom dancing since the beginning. They are also both members of the Choir. Bien sings base while Nidia sings soprano.
MAR & CRISTETA UGALE: Mar works at Aston Pacific Monarch Hotel as AOAO maintenance and Cris works at Ala Moana Hotel as rooms control clerk. They started volunteering as instructors for the ballroom dancing since the beginning and also members of the choir. Mar sings tenor and Cris sings alto.
CESAR & TESSIE ARUCAN: Cesar works with the City and County of Honolulu Waste Water Treatment Plant as an operator and Tessie is a nurse at Kuakini Medical Center. They are both members for the ballroom dancing and choir. Cesar sings tenor and Tess sings alto.
ASTRID GLADYS E. EMPERADOR: Gladys joined the
group in 2009. She works at the Law Office of Atty. Vernon Rivera as Paralegal and also a piano teacher. She serves as the pianist of the Himig at Indak choir.
VERNON P. RIVERA: Vernon, the legal adviser of the group, joined Himig at Indak in 2008. He is a lawyer in profession and he is also a war veteran.
DOMI & VECY PASCUAL: This couple first joined the ballroom dancing and then choir when started in 2007. Domy sings base and Vecy sings soprano. They are both retired accountant with the federal, Vecy at US Army Corps of Engineer and Domy at Defense Finance and Accounting.
EDDIE ROSARIO: Eddie works at Aston Hotel Waikiki Sunset as maitenance. He is a volunteer instructor for the Himig at Indak ballroom dancing.
VIRGINIA LEANO: Virgie joined choir in December 2011 and the ballroom dancing few years earlier. She retired for the City and County of Honolulu Building Department as building plan checker. Virgie sings soprano.
ORLANDO & EDEL MATIAS: Orlando and Edel first joined the choir in March 2012 and joined ballroom dancing few months after. Orlando is an engineer, contractor and a business owner and Edel is a retired nurse and case manager. This couple owns the O&E Matias Electrical Services. Orlando sings tenor and Edel sings soprano. Edel is also an active member of the Banda Kawayan.
ELISEO & ANDREA AGUADA: They both joined the choir in June 2012. Eli is a businessman and Andrea is a retired bank employee. Eli sings tenor and can also play guitar. Andrea sings soprano.
RAMON SUMIBCAY: Because of his passion in music, Ramon joined the choir in October 2012. He is a retired US Army and now a care home operator. He is the guitarist of the group, sings tenor and he can also play piano.
CHERRIE CRUZ: Cherrie joined the choir in April 2012, she sings soprano. Cherrie is a couturier; she made all the choir ladies gowns.
RAY RAUSA: Started from the beginning teaching folk dancing to teenagers from Waipahu Intermediate and Waipahu High School. It was Ray’s idea on naming the group as “Himig at Indak”.
Our mission is to develop, own and operate a community center that provides social, economic and education services and to promote and perpetuate Filipino culture and customs in the state of Hawaii.
One of the criticisms of FilCom is that it offers very few, or none at all, programs that are attractive to local-born Filipinos, majority of which are young and in their twenties or thirties. This year, we finally will showcase “Kundiman”, July’s FilCom Sunday, where the spoken word, poetry, live art and music will saturate the entire Consuelo Courtyard and permeate the adjoining program spaces. The event was conceptualized and developed by our Program Specialist, Marie Ramos, who recently graduated last May from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in Ethnic Studies. I am sure that what she learned at UH Manoa heavily influenced her decisions on what aspect of the Filipino-American experience should be part of the Sunday night’s experience. I am also sure that her Waipahu experiences, especially her high school years at Waipahu High School, had an impact on her choices of artists and cultural practitioners she chose to include in the program.
So in essence, this July’s FilCom Sunday will give us a glimpse of what young Filipino Americans dream of and think about. It will give us an inkling of how they view this world and their plans to improve it, and perhaps make a difference.
Last month, when the Filipino American Historical Society of Hawaii’s (FAHSOH) eFil program vacated its spaces at FilCom, left behind were traveling exhibition materials from the Smithsonian which were shown at Bishop Museum as part of the centennial celebrations in 2006. The exhibits called “Singgalot, The Ties that Bind” or portions of it, will be displayed again, and for the first time, at the FilCom Center. Rarely seen historical images detail Filipino migration to the United States with carefully selected and insightful photographs and images. Singgalot celebrates Filipino Americans as they share their struggles, challenges, and achievements with the rest of the nation.
The content of the exhibits complements the activities planned for July’s FilCom Sunday as we share the experiences of the young second generation Filipino Americans in the form of spoken poetry, dynamic visual arts, music and dance.
Also participating this July’s FilCom Sunday is a visiting storyteller from the Philippines, Jay Menes, who will share his version of the spoken word as he mesmerizes the audience with the re-telling of the Philippines’ classic folk tales. Filipino food will also be available from a food truck that specializes in okoy, a fried concoction of tiny shrimps and vegies bound in an egg and flour batter that is uniquely Filipino. Complementing the okoy offerings is another food truck selling Peruvian food. After all, July 28 is Peruvian independence day, an opportune time to compare cuisines of two cultures who were heavily influenced by Spain.
See you this Sunday–July 28 from 4:30 to 8:30 in the evening at the FilCom Center.
KUNDIMAN Performing Artists
On-going and Upcoming
FilCom Programs & Events
The following programs and events have been scheduled at the FilCom Center for 2013. Grouped according to different thrusts, the programs were designed along the non-profit’s mission statement and the expressed needs of the community.
Cultural Promotion & Community Empowerment
Banda Kawayan, rehearsals from 3 to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Music Room. Led by Maestro Pike Velasco, the musical group is continually seeking children and youth to participate.
Himig at Indak, rehearsals for ballroom dancing at 7 to 8 pm, choir practice at 8 to 9 pm, Tuesdays, 2ndFloor Breezeway. $10 monthly registration fee.
FilCom Children’s Choir, rehearsals from 3-5 pm Mondays at 3rd floor conference room; auditions for kids ages 6 to 12 are on-going.
Filipino Folk Dancing, TBD
Walang Sayang Program-promoting sustainability and responsible stewardship of our planet. Related activities are held at FilCom Center events; sponsored by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii.
Family Legacy Project
Memorabilia and archival documents of Filipino families that made an impact on Hawaii are digitized and uploaded at the eFil website on as-needed basis
NCLEX Nursing Licensure Review Classes; Every Wednesdays from 5 to 9 p.m. – Tech Center; Conducted by NAMI, Inc.; $100 registration fee.
(Spring) Jan. 16 to June 5, 2013
(Fall) July 10 to Nov. 20, 2013
Computer Enrichment & Workforce Training Workshops; 3rd Floor Conference Rm. or Tech Center; Year-round; $25 registration fee
Computer Basics, Wednesdays, 10 to 12 noon & 2 to 4 p.m.; 4 session cycles
WORD, Saturdays, 10 to 12 noon; 4 session cycles
EXCEL, Saturdays, 2 to 4 pm, 4 session cycles
US Citizenship Classes 2013– 5-session series, Saturdays, Tech Center; conducted by HIJC of Legal Aid of Hawaii; $25 registration fee;
(Fall) Sept 14 to Oct 5, 2013; 10am to 12 nn Saturdays
US Immigration Community Outreach Program, 5-session series, Saturdays, Tech Center; conducted by USCIS
(Fall) Sept 14 to Oct 5, 2013; 9 am to 10 am Saturdays
Kinabukasan Series 2013-5-session financial literacy series, Tech Center; Free and open to the public
August 6 to December 3
Tuesdays, 6-8 pm
Magnegosyo – Entrepreneurship Series
Starts September 17, 2013 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6-8 pm
Health & Wellness Mondays – starts May 6 Monday Co-sponsored by Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii, 6:00 PM Tech Center 2; Free and open to the public.
Kabataan 2013: Filipino for Kids Summer Program, for children 6 to 12 years old; June 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20 & 27, Saturdays, 8 to 12 noon at FilCom, 2nd floor; $25 registration fee plus $10 for t-shirt and supplies.
Filipino for Kids: RAMP (Read, Art, Music & Play) a reading program for kids 2 to 12. Funded by the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Fund for Family Literacy of the Hawaii Community Foundation; held every FIlCom Sunday and Pasko sa FilCom, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., Tech Center 1, 2nd floor; Free and open to the public as part of FilCom events.
Sharing Memorable Moments with Emme & Friends, November 9, 2013. FilCom’s annual fundraising dinner will be held at the FilCom Center.
Pasko! sa FilCom, December 15, Sunday. An annual event that recreates a Filipino Christmas.
FilCom Sundays, Cultural performances or educational activities held every last Sunday of the month from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.;
July 28-Spoken Word-Slam Poetry
August 25- Mindanao
September 29-Ramrambak 2, Celebrating the Amianan Culture
October 27-Filipinos of Hawaii, a Historical Perspective on Filipino Martial Arts