SAVE THE DATE-October 6, 2012–Bayanihan Gala Dinner
U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka
The FilCom Center will hold its 10th Year Anniversary Fundraising Event and Bayanihan Gala Dinner on Saturday October 6, 2012 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom. This year will be extra special since we are honoring Senator Daniel Akaka for his decades of service to Hawaii. The event will also honor American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and First Hawaiian Bank for their important and valued contributions to Hawaii.
In addition a Silent Auction will be held during the event. In previous events, the Silent Auction has been a major income generating activity in various fundraising events.
For more information about the event, please call Committee Chair, Paul G. Alimbuyao at (808) 754-8691 or the Co-Chairs of this event, Rosemarie E. Aquino at (808) 258-2782 or Nobleza Magsanoc Lewis at (808) 753-5211.
RAMRAMBAK-A Festival of Ilokano and Amianan Cultures
A cultural extravaganza of Ilokano and Amianan cultures that demonstrates similarities and uniqueness of the 47 indigenous groups of Northern Philippines will be presented during the first FilCom Sunday on September 30. Some of the performances will be linked to the immigrant life of the those coming from the Ilokano and Amianan cultures, particularly those whose presence in Hawaii spans more than 100 years. Dances, songs, skits, parodies, choral pieces, oratories, rituals and video productions will form part of the festival. Performers will be from all walks of life and from various age-groups.
This is a joint project of the FilCom Center and with other civic and cultural organizations led Aurelio Agcaoili of the UH Manoa Ilokano Program, the Timpuyog Dagiti Manunurat nga Ilokano Global (TMI Global), GUMIL-Hawaii, Nakem Youth, BIBAK, and the Ilokano Programs of Farrington and Waipahu High Schools.
This is scheduled for September 30, starting at 4:00 p.m. Tables will be rented out at $50 each for groups interested in selling or showcasing their products or services. Contact the FilCom Center office for more information.
Financial Literacy Sessions at FilCom Center
Do you want to how to stretch your income, when and how much insurance to get, how to pay for college and other financial matters? The Filipino Community Center is offering financial literacy courses every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. The classes started last September 4 and will continue until November 6. Classes cost $10 each, $25 for five classes, and $50 for all 10 classes. For those who may miss the first session on September 4, it will be repeated on November 13. The series will help attendees navigate the complexities of improving one’s financial situation, protecting assets, preparing for retirement, tax responsibilities, savings money, paying for college, and more.
To sign up for classes and for more information, contact FilCom Center at 680-6451, email email@example.com.
US Citizenship Course Continues until September 15 at FilCom
The first five-week citizenship classes held at FilCom Center will have its final session on Saturday, September 15. About 20 students attended the classes. For the last class session, the instructor, Bow Min Chin of Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center (HIJC) of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, with the help of volunteers, will conduct a mock interview for each one of the students. The mock interview will cover the civics and English parts of the naturalization test. Each of the mock exams will not take more than 15-20 minutes and may consist of two rounds. A pot-luck “graduation luncheon” will conclude the course.
The United States naturalization preparation classes were held on Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon starting last August 18 and ends on September 15. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to all attendees who completed all five sessions.
The course included how to fill out the most current forms required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; reviewed questions that will be asked; and initiated writing exercises. The mock interviews will be held on the last day. The sessions will help applicants gain confidence in taking the naturalization tests and interviews. For those interested in acquiring US citizenship and are interested in attending future classes, please call the FIlCom Center office or inquire via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FilCom Children’s Choir to Perform at February 9 Concert
Auditions for children ages 8 to 12 are being held on Fridays and Mondays, from, 3 to 5 p.m. at the FilCom Center. Registration for the auditions continues to be accepted at the FilCom Center office. The first public performance of the children’s choir is set for February 9, 2013 concert to be held at the Casamina-Flores Ballroom at the center. Call 808 680-0451 for more information.
Children’s Folk Dancing at FilCom
Children ages 6 to 10 interested in learning Philippine folk dances can enroll in the Filipiniana Dance program offered at the FilCom Center on Saturday afternoons. The classes will be taught by Maribel “Belle” Marrack, a former teacher from the National Teachers’ College of Quiapo, Manila. “Folk dancing is part of the school children’s curriculum. I taught both elementary school pupils and the student teachers” , according to Belle, who recently moved to Hawaii. For more information, please contact the FilCom office.
Iris Gil Villacrusis -Artist, Fashion Designer and Cultural Warrior
Iris Gil is an artist whose discerning eye and talent creates wearable works of art for women. For example, he designed the gown worn by Miss Hawaii Filipina when she won the crown last July in Hilo. More recently, one of the winners at the recently concluded Maria Clara Ball last September 1, wore one of his black and purple creations. His gowns are so versatile since it can be worn as a contemporary sleeveless gown, or with the butterfly sleeves of the terno, or with the bell sleeves and panuelo of the Maria Clara gown-three outfits for the price of one.
Last August 24, Iris spent some time at the FIlCom Center to install the indigenous fabric exhibit at the Tech Room. One part of the room contains the weaving of the north while the other has displays of the fabrics common to the south. Some of the items on display came from his extensive collection of fabrics and costumes from the Philippines.
Iris was born in Olongapo City, Philippines, but traces his Visayan origin to his paternal grandfather, who was born and raised in Palompon, Leyte. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and minor in Fine Arts at Mission College, California. He also received an Associate Degree in Fashion Design at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.
In 2001 he moved to Paris, France and attended Ecole Chambre Syndical dela Coutre, a premier fashion school in Paris. While in Paris, he worked as a Design Assistant at Haute Couture House and at Malhia Kent Fabric Design House that designs apparels for Dior, Chanel, Valentino, among others. He also did theatrical costuming for stage plays.
In 2004 he moved back to the U.S. and worked in Interior Design in Dallas, Texas for one year after which, he moved to Hawaii in 2005 and settled in Hawaiian Paradise Park where he opened his own business, Iris Gil Design, a dress shop specializing in Filipiniana and Hawaiian attire. Iris had been designing dresses for over 15 years and in interior design for over six years using fabrics from India, Japan and Philippines. His love for Filipino fashion and culture led to Habi at Baro exhibit, which he set up by himself at Wailoa Center in Hilo for the whole month of May in 2010. The exhibit created interest and excitement in the community such that he was requested to set up a similar exhibit at the Lyman Museum for a month, UH-Hilo in October to December 2011, UH-Manoa in September to December 2012 and at Hale Halawae in Kona during the “Paskong Pinoy” celebration. He also conducted a workshop called “Pinay Dressing-Wearing Culture in Everyday Apparel” for the Filipino Association of University Women at their annual event.
Moreover, Iris has been the costume designer of historical costumes for the Royal Court of the Merrie Monarch festival for the last five years and unselfishly shared his talents with the Hilo Orchid Society by designing the floral displays for its annual Orchid Show, which is the oldest and the largest orchid show in the State.
With his strong desire to promote Philippine culture and tradition to the Filipinos in Hawaii and to the general public, Iris is very busy working in obtaining funds and collaborating with various organizations for future Philippine culture exhibits/presentations at the FilCom Center, Bishop Museum, East West Center at UH-Manoa and the public schools.
Kauai Philippine Cultural Center
By Millie Wellington
The Kauai Philippine Cultural Center, an organization established by a dynamic group of Kauai Filipino leaders with a mission to erect and establish a Philippine cultural center on the Garden Island met last August 18, 2012 at the County of Kauai Planning Commission meeting room to begin the first step in the process of developing a feasibility study on the project. Invited to take part in the discussions were members of the community representing Filipino organizations, the business community, interests in education and views in featuring its multi ethnic diversity. Among those attending were former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, Phyllis Kunimura, founder of Preschool KIDS and widow of the late Mayor Tony Kunimura, and Mattie Yoshioka, Director of the Kauai Economic Development Board. The current Honorable Mayor Bernard Carvalho also visited briefly to state his strong and continued support of the project’s development.
The cultural center’s proposal became public in 2010 when it was a Vision 2020 topic of current KPCC President Lesther Calipjo’s inaugural speech as president of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce. His visionary appeal struck the hearts of many in that gathering, namely Kauai’s legislative team. By the end of that year, the founding committee which was formed had successfully applied for and received KPCC’s designation as a 501(c)(3 )non-profit organization. In 2011 an award of $30,000 was earmarked for a feasibility study development of the project by the state’s legislative ‘Grant in Aid” funding. Following this in the Spring of 2012 another legislative Grant in Aid award in the amount of $1.5 million was approved for the building of KPCC. The mounting support for the project has not stopped considering that a few months ago on July 25, 2012 a historic action was made by the Kauai County Administration and unanimously passed by members of the County Council to approve a 99 year License Agreement for 3.5 acres of a prime location site in Lihue for the construction and development of the Kauai Philippine Cultural Center.
The apparent momentum created by the bold and dedicated leadership of KPCC’s current Corporate President Lesther Calipjo and his board of committed community leaders, has ignited a growing surge of interest on the Garden Island. Rose Churma, President & COO of the FILCOM on Oahu was asked to facilitate the first step in developing the Feasibility Study and Business Plan for the center. She encouraged participants to give input on what they envision the center to have structurally designed to types of services and programs they would like to see being offered. Discussions brought to focus a wide support for the center being sustainable as a gathering place for all.
In This Issue
US Citizenship Course
FilCom’s Children Choir
Children’s Folk Dancing
Last Saturday, September 1, the delegates of the Order of the Knights of Rizal’s regional convention that was held at the Ala Moana Hotel’s Hibiscus Ballroom from September 1 to 3, 2012, made a short visit to the FilCom Center as part of their island tour. About 70 delegates arrived at about 3:30 p.m. where they were serenaded by the Banda Kawayan at the Consuelo Courtyard. After merienda at the Tech Room where the visitors were shown a history of FilCom via a 5-minute video presentation and briefing by the staff, the visitors toured the facility and made a special stop to drape some leis on the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal.
The statue faces Waipahu Street, and is very visible to motorists and pedestrians alike. However, not very many know of its history, or how this statue became part of the FilCom grounds.
The installation of the ten-foot bronze statue of Dr. Jose Rizal on June 6, 2002 was implemented thru the efforts of the Order of the Knights of Rizal (KOR), Hawaii Chapter, and other volunteers. The coordination was spearheaded by KOR’s Sir Ben Sanchez, who served as the chapter commander during its installation.
The ten-foot bronze statue was donated by the government of the Philippines to its Consulate General of Honolulu during the tenure of Consul-General Minerva Falcon. The Philippines Consulate General, in turn, donated the statue to the Filipino Community Center. In addition to members of the Knights of Rizal, there were others who made this possible:
The technical assistance were donated by-Ben Ugale, architect; Lino Visaya, structural engineer; Lenny Villanueva, electrical engineer and Manny Lanuevo, construction management. Sir Willie Caliedo, a KOR member, volunteered his company crane during the construction phase while Manny de Aquino installed the ceramic floor tiles around the statue which was provided by the center.
Lito Alcantra, owner of Group Builders, took care of storing the statue from 1998 to 2002 until the center was built; Eddie Flores Jr. assisted in the bidding phase, and getting the FilCom Board to approve the project; Nic Musico, who was instrumental in transporting the statue from the Philippines to Hawaii.
Roland Casamina, President Emeritus of FilCom Center , paid for the cost of the construction as a donation to the FilCom Center. FilCom Center, in turn, awarded the construction contract to A.J. Construction, who was the lowest bidder.
Dr. Serafin “Jun” Colmenares, Jr. who was then president of the Congress of Visayan Organizations (COVO) and a member of KOR provided Dr. Jose Rizal’s biography which was engraved on the plaque at the base of the statue. He also chaired the statue’s unveiling celebrations in 2002.
Dr. Jose Rizal’s statue is a significant and appropriate landmark on the center’s grounds -and as such, we thank the Knights of Rizal members. Because of their foresight, the statue has become an enduring symbol for Filipinos of Hawaii.