21st Fiesta & Parade Concludes a Successful Flores de Mayo Festival
21st Fiesta and Parade on May 11
. Mr. Ben Acohido served as the Grand Marshall of the parade which started at 9:30 a.m. at Fort deRussy. Also participating was Consul General Julius Torres and his staff, the FilCom Board of Directors led by Edmund Aczon, Roland Casamina, and Eddie Flores, Jr. Among the beauty queens who graced the parade were: Mrs. Hawaii- USA, Anjanette Lowe, Kalayaan Little Miss Philippines Arahmae Domingo, UFCH Mrs. Hawaii Filipina Cheryl Castro, Miss Oahu Filipina Heaven Lee Fines, KPHI Queen Rose C. Aquino, Philippine Cultural Foundation Little Miss Philippines Nyah Manuel, and 24 marching groups. Immediately following the parade on Kalakaua Avenue, entertainers were lined up behind the bandstand, where the screaming fans of GMA Pinoy TV Stars Kris Bernal and Aljur Abrenica could hardly wait for their segment at 3:30 PM. FilCom Banda Kawayan, Himig at Indak, Jonah Lorica, Chris Jay, The Young Ones, Hawaii Dimensions Band, Ron Quesada, Ryan Pugal, Charito Rivera, Brown Luxury Band, Dynamic Trio, Robert Garcia/Bandalan Doce Pares Eskrima Group, Ray Rausa Dance Troupe and the Waipahu Intermediate School Band rounded up the program from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. There were quiz-show winners for the $50 gift certificates concerning immigration issues and two lucky winners for the round-trip to the Philippines via Philippine Airlines. A special thank you goes to Lawrence Patricio who served as Kris Bernal’s hair stylist and make-up artist-the first time the organizers offered this service to the visiting stars. As in past years, the Fiesta was chaired by the Hawaii Filipino Jaycees headed by Randy Cortez and Galileo Tan. This year’s parade was chaired by Richard Ancog, President of the United Visayan Community.
Business and Trade Forum on May 7. As part of the weeklong festival, the Hawaii Philippines Business and Economic Council (HPBEC) headed by its Executive Director Harry Alonso, hosted a business and trade forum at the FilCom Center last May 7, Tuesday. The well-attended event attracted Hawaii businesses who were interested in doing business in the Philippines and by Philippine-based companies focused in making marketing inroads into the Hawaii-Filipino community. Plenary speakers were Archimedes Gomez, trade representative of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry based in Los Angeles, John Holman, Director, U.S. Commercial Service, and Perfecto Yasay, former Chair of the Philippines Securities & Exchange Commission. The lead panelists for the break-out sessions were Jim Lyon of Lyon and Associates (Outsourcing), Melody Calisay of East West Marketing (Export-Import), Dante Aragon of EMCC Inc.(Alternative Energy/Professional Services), and David Cordero of Pacific Century Realty (Real Estate Investments). The event was also co-sponsored by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, The Philippine Consulate General of Honolulu and Inquirer.Net. .Emceed by Nestor Garcia, the event also featured the HPBEC’s Hawaii Circle chaired by Dr. Belinda Aquino, Professor Emeritus at the UH Manoa and former Director of the Center for Philippine Studies. Hawaii Circle’s roundtable participants were Cecile Yasay (Oahu), Jane Clement (Big Island), and Danny Agsalog (Maui). Elisa Yadao (Oahu) and Lesther Calipjo (Kauai) were not able to attend due to previous commitments.
Santacruzan at FilCom on May 5. The festive Santacruzan 2013 pageant had to be moved to the Consuelo Courtyard due to the unpredictable rain that drenched Waipahu. Chaired by Jean Jeremiah, president of the Oahu Filipino Community Council (OFCC), there were 18 participants who depicted historical-religious character roles including eight angels performed by Ava Marie Alvarez, Ashley Hartsfield, Genel Sepada, Genessa Sepada, Aleah Ortiz, Keziah Tuazon, Anayah Manguba, and Abrianna Doldoles. The following served as sagalas to this year’s Santacruzan–Divina Pastora (Aimee Reyes), Reyna de las Estrellas/Queen of Stars (Alyssa Reyes), Rosa Mystica (Angelica Reyes), Reyna Paz/Queen of Peace (Amber Aduja), Reyna de las Propetas (Erika Ordonez), Reyna del Cielo (Rossi Patton), Reyna de las Virgines (Kurtney Duliz), Reyna de las Flores/Queen of Flowers (Armi Farinas) and Reyna Elena/Queen Helena (Heaven Lee Fines, Miss Oahu Filipina 2012).
Entertainment in the Casamina Flores Ballroom was provided by FilCom Banda Kawayan, Himig at Indak, Pike Velasco, Arceli Rebollido, Arnold Pontillas, and the Ray Rausa Dance Troupe, Amado Cacho, Marie Lauer and Tekniqlingz Crew. A mini costume show was performed by the Bulacan Circle & and Associates and the Santacruzan Reyna participants. The hosts of the event were Emmie Anderson and Cesar Bonilla.
The Flores de Mayo Festival was possible thru a grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the City & County of Honolulu and the generous sponsorships of Eddie Flores Jr. of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, GMA Pinoy TV, Philippine Airlines, Western Union/Money Mart, and Aloha Habilitation Services.
FilCom Sunday last April 28-Presented by GUMIL Oahu
April’s FilCom Sundays was entitled, “Taldiap ti Napalabas ti Kultura Ilokana” loosely translated as “A Glimpse of Our Cultural Heritage.” It was themed after various love stories from the Philippines. April’s FilCom Sunday was an unforgettable event of song and dance accompanied with storytelling, poetic jousts, and a one-act play put together by Gumil Oahu. As always, it was free and open to the public.
One of the highlights included a tale between “abalayans” (future in-laws) who objected to the marriage of their children. Both parties had a great dislike for the other’s child and prefered that their son/daughter be wedded to someone else. The obstacles and oppositions set up by their parents drove the young couple to elope and the end up together anyway.
The Bucanegan was an audience-based performance and was about two sisters who fall in love with the same man and competed for his affection. One was a divorcee and the other was a widow. A moderator presented the women to the viewers and each contender attempted to win the crowd’s favor.
“Ti Ayat Ti Baket, Nakikilnet Ngem Diket” was drama set in the immediate post-plantation era. It is about an old sakada who loses his wife and is overcome with loneliness. He looks to the Philippines for a young woman to marry; however his kumare, an older woman who is a widow herself does everything in her power to convince him that a young bride from the Philippines is a bad idea. She is in love with him and even tries to seduce him, stating that an older woman is better because she will not have the desires of running away with another man to have children.
FilCom’s Health and Wellness Mondays Started last May 6
Did you know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Asians and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders? Because of the need to educate the community, the Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii (PNAH) embarked on an ambitious project to offer a course called Healthy Heart, Healthy Family at the FilCom Center on Monday evenings. By attending the 11-week course, you will–
✔ Learn how to keep your heart and your family’s hearts healthy.
✔ Find ways to increase your physical activity eat in a heart healthy way, keep a healthy weight, and not smoke.
✔ Learn how to talk to your family, neighbors, and friends about heart disease.
✔ Enjoy video shows, games, role-playing, and other activities that make learning fun.
✔ Get to bring take-home materials that can be shared with others.
The classes meet once a week on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tech Room 2. The class schedule is as follows: May 6, May 13, May 20, June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8, and July 15. For more information contact: Medy Delara 808-833-0919 and Marianela Jacob 808-626-8959, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The course is free for now. Everyone who completes the classes will receive a certificate. The organizers also plan to follow up on the participants even after the sessions are over to track the success record and outcome of the classes. PNAH have collaborated with area doctors to recruit patients who fit the profile of folks who need a lifestyle change to improve their health.
The program was designed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Physicians and health practitioners who want to encourage their patients to attend the classes can call FilCom Center at 808 680 0451 to get additional information.
EDNA Y. ALIKPALA
The Volunteer for all Seasons
Edna has a long history of service in conjunction with the Filipino Community Center, dating from its initial development stages. She was the very first Secretary of the Executive Committee for the planning of the center and held a similar position with the Filipino Chamber of Commerce during the term of Lito Alcantra, who established a committee to plan for the building of a Filipino Community Center. Roland Casamina, who was appointed to chair the project, invited Edna to join the committee as its Secretary, where she served for at least seven years. After the inauguration of the Filcom, Edna took on the task of chairing the “Volunteers Appreciation Night” to honor all the volunteers that helped in “Building the Dream.” She then served as committee chair for the 2002 Mabuhay Festival and assisted in the selection committee for the caterers.
Everyone wanted Edna on their team, and why wouldn’t they? She is a phenomenal woman with a phenomenal heart. Her great knack for details and getting things done drew Eddie Flores to approach her to assist in planning the Filipino Fiesta. She served as co-chair for Food Booths for six years until the Jaycees took over the planning committee.
In 2011 and 2012, Edna represented the Oahu Filipino Community Council in the Parade Committee, which was chaired by the United Filipino Council of Hawaii under the leadership of Lynne Gutierrez. Edna and Lynne are now working together as co-chairs for the Flores De Mayo’s Cultural Village.
Edna’s commitment to the Filipino community is astounding. Her involvement with the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii spans over 25 years and is currently serving as its Vice President; previous positions with the organization include: Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Director, Newsletter Committee Chair, Scholarship Committee Chair, and Filipino Entrepreneur of the Year Chair. She was a Past President of both the Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW) and the Filipino Women’s Civic Club of Hawaii (FWCCH). She was also former Vice Chair of the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii and served as its Secretary for five years. Edna also held secretarial positions for the United Filipino Council of Hawaii, Oahu Filipino Community Council, and the Filipino Centennial Celebration Commission that planned the events highlighting the 100-year anniversary of the arrival of Sakadas. She is currently Director of both the Filipino Women’s Civic Club of Hawaii and Filipino Business Women’s Association.
If you think her impressive repertoire of volunteer work ends there, think again. She also devotes her time to New Hope Oahu in its Connections Ministry, Malama Ministry, Choir Ministry, Office Ministry and Filipino Ministry.
In October of 2009, Edna retired as Secretary III from the Department of Parks and Recreation, City and County of Honolulu after 30 years of service. She is a proud mother of one – her daughter, Erica Jean A. Cortez, a financial planner in Portland, Oregon.
Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii
The Philippine Nurse Association of Hawaii (PNAH) was born as the 32nd Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. (PNAA) charter member on November 24, 2000. Since then, the PNAH has made significant achievements as a community organization.
The PNAH was host to the 25th PNA of America National Convention in July 2004 as well as to the PNAA and PNA-Philippines 5th International Nursing Conference as part of the Centennial Celebrations of the first Filipino migrant workers to Hawaii. In 2006, the PNAH began as a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer organization. It also partnered with the UH Manoa’s “Mabuhay para sa Diabetes“, and “Health is Welath” community-based participatory research studies resulting in two publications and one international presentation in Cebu City, Philippines.
PNAH is also a strong supporter of NAMI (Nurse Advocates and Mentors, Inc.) NCLEX licensing review classes, and the National Kidney Foundation. PNAH has also partnered with the American Cancer Society “Ï Can Cope” cancer education classes and “Making Strides for Breast Cancer” 5K Run/Walk as well as the United Health Care” caregivers education seminars.”
PNAH was a donor to the “Building the Dream” fund campaign of the FilCom Center, as well as to Bantay Bata Foundation and Gawad Kalinga as part of the PNAA Philippines initiatives to helping homeless in the Philippines.
PNAH is also the proud sponsor of the “Healthy Heart Healthy Family” community initiative at the FilCom Center, a program that aims to prevent heart disease. This is a 10-week evening classes held every Monday on how to keep your heart and your family’s heart healthy.
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.
It is such a relief that the first Flores de Mayo Festival is finally over! Preparing for that week-long event overwhelmed the office. All our efforts were consumed with assisting the committee members implement the event. During my stint as Interim Executive Director of this non-profit from 1999 to 2001-during those hectic months when we were raising monies to fund the construction of the building and managing the project team that would eventually design and construct the FilCom Center–the only request from the fiesta & parade organizing committee was to simply show-up at the event!
During those days, the FilCom office was located at Umi Street in Kalihi. We were on the second floor of a walk up office building. The office was a single room, about 400 square feet. A conference surface consisting of several folding tables dominated the room. My work area was a corner of the conference table, but we had two workstations-shared by a full time staff and several part time staff and volunteers. I did most of my work at my home office, and usually the first order of business was arguing with Eddie Flores, Jr. who served as vice president to Roland Casamina, who was then President of the non-profit. I miss those days–not the arguments with Eddie, but the camaraderie with the Executive Committee members that Roland and Eddie pulled together to get this Center built.
One of them was Leonora Albayalde who passed away last month in Kauai. Leonora can be depended on to represent FilCom at all the community-based meetings in Waipahu. One time, after a long strategic planning session where the FilCom’s Executive Committee discussed for hours the realistic size of the building and the amount of money we need to find (about $14 M), Leonora pulled me aside and said, “Can you advice these folks to be less ambitious and settle for a smaller and simpler building. I want to be around to see this FilCom Center built.” I do not remember what I said, but the incident stuck in my mind. What I did learn from Roland and Eddie was that, it is okay to dream, and to dream big, but to work hard to make that dream come true.
Yesterday Eugene Watanabe, the FilCom Center’s architect-of-record dropped by to say hello. His smile was the same, but his hair has turned completely white, perhaps bleached from his days tending to his flower garden. He was the Principal Architect assigned by WATG to prepare the construction drawings for the FilCom years ago. He recalled how the Filipino architects and engineers would gather at WATG offices to work on the FilCom project after regular office hours on a volunteer basis. This is how we were able to negotiate a manageable fee from WATG, an architecture firm known for its elegant hotel designs all over the world. He was happy to note that some of the Construction Committee members headed by Manny Lanuevo are back-this time to get the PV system installed, among others.
So here I am as the chief steward for FilCom once again with different challenges but the same dreams-to make this Center the best it can be–as the symbol of what the Filipinos of Hawaii can achieve.
21st Filipino Fiesta & Parade
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, 2nd Floor 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.; $50 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;
(Summer) June 01 to June 29, 2013; 1 to 3 pm Saturdays
US Immigration Community Outreach Program, 5-session series, Saturdays, Tech Center; conducted by USCIS
(Summer) June 01 to June 29, 2013; 3 to 4 p.m., Saturdays
Kinabukasan Series 2013-5-session financial literacy series, Tech Center; Free and open to the public
Will resume July, 2013
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.
Filipino Flavors, October 5, 2013. FilCom’s annual fundraising dinner will be held at the FilCom Center.
Pukan Cane. November 16. An Ilocano play to be staged at FilCom in conjunction with the NAKEM Conference held in Hawaii November 2013.
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.;
June 30- TBD
July 28-Spoken Word-Slam Poetry
August 25-Cagayan Valley Presents…
September 29-Ramrambak 2, Celebrating the Amianan Culture
October 27-Filipinos of Hawaii, a Historical Perspective