Banda Kawayan is a musical group based at the FilCom Center. The Banda, which consists of an intergenerational group of volunteers devoted to the perpetuation of Filipino performing arts, rehearses at the FilCom on weekends and after school hours. To date, the group has served as the opening act for all of FilCom Sundays, FilCom’s annual events such as the Bayanihan Dinner last October 5, 2012, the annual Filipino Fiesta at Kapiolani Park and other events.
It’s most recent performance was at the Mapua World 2013 Convention at Ala Moana Hotel last March 16. The Banda serenaded 500 delegates worldwide, mostly alumni and their spouses of Mapua Institute of Technology, a prestigious university in the Philippines known for its rigorous courses in engineering and architecture. The convention attracted delegates from all corners of the world including Canada, Australia and the Middle East.
Banda Kawayan was created with the help of the late U.S. Senator Dan Inouye who advocated the approval of a grant from the Department of Education. The Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO) and U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (ILMS) were also key supporters, including Hawaiian Airlines who helped in transporting the instruments from Manila to Honolulu.
The grant was used to purchase the instruments which were carefully handcrafted by Professor Siegfredo B. Calabig, Instrument Maker and Music Director of Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Rossini Icabales Calabig and Jaime Fadul Calabig were flown from Manila to Honolulu to share their knowledge in tuning, maintaining, and playing the instruments – a month’s long process from October 2009 to November 2009. They trained locally based musical instructors Pike Velasco, Gladys Ganitano and Arceli Rebollido. Since then, Maestro Pike Velasco has served as the group’s musical director and conductor.
The first set of instruments was shipped in two 450-pound crates. The crates contained 96 pieces of bamboo Instruments, enough to accommodate a group of 16-32 performers.
The current Banda Kawayan members are:
Marc Non is 11 years old and is a sixth grader at August Ahrens Elementary School. He joined the Banda in June 2011 to fulfill his desires of being a part of a musical group. He used to be one of our Tongatong players and is now a Marimba player.
Mellissa Marie Pasion first joined the Banda in October 2009 when she was 11 years and studying at August Ahrens Elementary School. She is now 14 and a 9th grade student at Waipahu High School. Her mother encouraged her to join the Banda because Melissa wanted to represent her culture by learning how to play rare bamboo instruments. Mellissa was the first one to purchase her own Marimba instrument.
Johnsen Martinez is now 10 years old, a fifth grader at August Ahrens Elementary School. He joined the Banda with his cousin Mellissa in October 2009. He was the youngest member then at age 7. He can now play the Tongatong and Marimba.
Cielito Oda is a music lover; she can sing, dance and play musical instruments. She is also a member of the Himig at Indak Choir and a volunteer instructor of the Ballroom Dance class being held at the FilCom Center every Tuesday night. She joined the Banda when it first started in October 2009; she is now an Angklung player expert and critic.
Edel Matias is a retired registered nurse, a social worker and a successful entrepreneur. She joined the Banda in October 2009 and plays Angklung instrument. She is also a member of the Himig at Indak Choir and sings soprano.
Daniel Christopher T. Ferrer is now 12 years old and attends Maryknoll School as a seventh grader. He is a member of the Honolulu Boy Choir. His mother Erlinda introduced him to the band and found it interesting, inspiring him to join the Banda himself. He was 9 years old when he joined the Banda in October 2009. He plays the piano and is an awesome Marimba player.
Erlinda Ferrer, is a registered nurse and a home care operator. She became a member to support her son Daniel. She plays the Angklung.
Beatrice “Bea” Ramos-Razon, a registered nurse and president of Nursing Advocates and Mentors, Inc. (NAMI) which coordinates NCLEX review classes at the FilCom Center. She joined the Banda in October 2009 and prefers to play the Angklung instrument. She joined the Banda to fulfill her dream to play a very unique musical instrument. She is now an expert with the Angklung and plays the instrument very gracefully.
Faye Aglibot graduated as high school valedictorian from Lanakila Baptist School. She is now 20 years old and a college student at Hawaii Pacific University taking up Nursing. She has been a member since October 2009 together with her father Joey. Faye joined to learn more about Filipino culture through traditional music. She is now skilled in playing the Marimba instrument. She mentors the young members of the Banda.
Joey Aglibot is an architect and loves music. He joined the Banda in October 2009 with his daughter Faye. He is our senior Kalagong player and trainer. He can also play the guitar.
Therenz Andres is 15 years old and a student at Waipahu High School. He has been a member since October 2009. He joined the Banda to meet new friends and communicate with other people, learn how to play all of the instruments with interest and dedication, and to learn more about Filipino culture. He plays the Tongatong and Marimba.
Keith Cachola is 12 years old and joined the Banda in September 2010. Keith plays Marimba very well and even has her own Marimba instrument purchased by her mom in the Philippines. She comes to practice with her cousin Mikah. Together with her cousin, they play in family gatherings and private parties.
Mikah Agcaoili is 9 years old and attends Lanakila Baptist School, and is also a team player. Mikah’s interest in the instruments has kept him a member of the Banda since October 2010. He is very good in Kalagong and always generates excitement from the audiences. He is now the star player for Kalagong.
Dannah Faye Dahilig is 11 years old and attends Friendship Christian School. She is the youngest member of the Banda. Her mom bought one of the Marimba instruments so she can practice more frequently at home. She is a fast learner and is able to play the instrument smoothly. She really has an ear for music. She always comes to rehearsals with her very young four-year old sister and her grandmother.
Abella Kristofel, is a 6th grader at August Ahrens Elementary School and became a member of the Banda in January 2011. He is our best Kalatok player. He started learning the Tongatong and he can also play Marimba well.
Geofrey John Julian is 14 years old and has been a member since October 2009. He can play Tongatong and now he is also good in Marimba. He joined because he saw it as an opportunity to improve himself and has gained more friends.
Jethra Agbayani is now 14 years old and studying at Waipahu Intermediate School. She joined the Banda in February 2010 with her Grandmother, Lorna Udasco. She joined because she wanted to learn how to play unique instruments that represents her culture. She plays the Marimba.
Leovigildo Ramirez was one of the students of our Smart Seniors Program and attended the Music Class. He has been a member since November 2009. He joined the Banda to avoid Alzheimer disease by exercising his mental ability.
Arceli Rebollido is the Filcom’s Program Director. She has been very patient in organizing and taking care of the Banda members when it comes to rehearsals and performances. Because of her passion for music, she is one of the pioneer members of the Banda as a Marimba player. She can also sing and play the piano. She trains the members for some dance moves which adds color to the musical performance of the Banda. She also serves as the Banda’s make-up artist and ensures that all members are beautiful and photogenic.
Banda Kawayan’s Director and Conductor, Maestro Pike Velasco, is a retired school principal and music coordinator in the Philippines. Currently a teacher at August Ahrens Elementary School, Maestro Pike explained, “We are constantly recruiting young and young-at-heart people alike who want to learn to play a bamboo instrument and experience performing at different venues.” Those interested to try, please call 808 680 0451 or email at email@example.com.
Bulacan Circle & Associates of Hawaii
Established in 1980, Bulacan Circle & Associates of Hawaii celebrated its 18th installation of officers and 32nd anniversary celebration on November 24, 2012, at the Pagoda Hotel. At that event, the group recognized the founders of the organization — the late Diosdado Baluyot of Paombong; the late Gregorio Salamat of Hagonoy, and Angel Sapitan Dytioco of Hagonoy, also the organization’s first president.
The group organizes social activities to strengthen ties among its members such as picnics, fundraisers and other activities. The group also undertakes community service projects, gives assistance to disaster victims abroad, and works with other Filipino and civic organizations on projects.
The most recent project of the Bulacan Circle at FilCom was providing the cast and support crew for the Panunuluyan staged at FilCom during the Pasko sa FIlCom last December. The next challenge for the group is to conceptualize and implement the next FilCom Sunday on February 24 titled “The Best of the Tagalog Region.”
The organization uses its social media such as Facebook page to share news, highlights, and information on upcoming meetings, fundraisers, special events and share recognition and acknowledgement of BCAH members and families.
The group invites and welcomes all to become a family member of the BCAH. One does not have to be a Bulakenyo (someone with family roots in Bulacan) to join. The only requirement is a fun-spirited and helpful attitude! Its annual membership fees are $20/family or $10/individual and free for those who are at least 70-years old.
The 2012 to 2014 slate of officers are:
President: Albert Roque of Hagonoy, Bulacan
Vice President: Marcie Wong
Recording Secretary: Jennifer Batara
Corresponding Secretary: Ester Ana
Treasurer: Beth Simon
Auditor: Linda Abuel
Sgt-at-Arms: Sal Ana & Ricky Simon
Board Members: Conrad Abuel & Lin Wong
Immediate Past President & Public Relations Officer: Angie Santiago
UNITED VISAYAN COMMUNITY OF HAWAII, INC.
94-833 Awanei St., Waipahu, HI 96797
In the mid 1940′s a widow of a Visayan Sakada needed help with her late husband’s funeral expense. In desperation she approached the Waipahu ILWU unit for assistance. She was referred to Pastor Limatoc, a Visayan who was a member of the union’s executive board. Limatoc approached Paulino Largo and Perdo Alporque first and later met with Felix Dellatian, Hermogenes Ancog and Isidro Daguman, to discuss the plight of the widow. These seven raised monies from relatives, friends, coworkers and others in the Visayan community, which was given to the widow.
Realizing a community need, these men met again at a later date to discuss how best to raise money for the benevolent aid to families of Visayan lineage whose loved ones had passed away or were otherwise in dire need of financial help. As word spread other families joined the cause and the group formed an organization known as the “Waipahu Visayan Hinabangay Club” In the Visayan language “Hinabangay” means helping each other. This is similar to the local term “Ohana”. On August 20, 1948 the group was locally organized.
Eventually Visayans all over Oahu joined the club and the name was changed to “United Visayan Community of Hawaii. Between 1948 and 1957 the organization held its meetings at various Oahu locations. Most often used were the Plantation’s Filipino Clubhouse, Catholic Churches Parish Hall, Santa Ana Hall and homes of various members.
On November 2, 1956 the Charter of Incorporation was granted by the Treasury Department, Territory of Hawaii and the club became the “United Visayan Community of Hawaii, Inc.” its present name. Through a generous donation from the Ige family in Waipahu the members obtained a parcel of land and were able to construct a clubhouse at the present location. Each member donated $23.00 toward the land purchase and construction of the meeting hall. In 1957 the United Visayan Hall located at 94-833 Awanei St., Waipahu, HI opened its doors for the members first meeting.
In 1961, the organization purchased 100 burial plots from Sunset Memorial Park in Pearl City to insure that members be buried centrally together. To achieve this, the property at Waipahu was mortgaged to complete the purchase. Plots were sold to members at an affordable price, and within ten years the plots were fully paid from the fundraising efforts of the club. ‘
Membership reached its peak of about 2,000 in the early 1960′s. After that membership began to decline due to several factors. Most notable were the death of members, members returning to the Philippines at the end of their contracts and members moving on to the mainland U.S. in search of better opportunities or to be with other family members. At the present time, there are about 185 family unit members comprising a gross membership of about 300.
On December 21, 1968, the organization was approved as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Hawaii.
Throughout the years the club has continued to collect monies to help defray funeral expense of members. Additionally when members are ill or hospitalized the organization sends flowers and get well cards. The Visayan Hall remains the gathering place for all fundraising events.
Recognizing the changing community environment the United Visayan Community of Hawaii, Inc. revised its by-laws in 2009 in preparation for becoming a federally recognized nonprofit. To that end the club now reaches out to the greater community through the offering of dance classes, Visayan language classes, cultural events and other fundraising programs. The hall is available to members and non-members alike to rent for graduation, birthday and other parties, and to other organizations for meetings, seminars or other programs. The cultural events serve to continue and strengthen its bonds to the motherland while community event help its members to assimilate into the host community.
The organization’s current officers are:
President – Richard Ancog
Vice President – George Carpenter
Sceretary – Vicky Caracol
Asst. Sec. – Marilyn Silva
Treasurer – Natty Prescott
Asst. Treasurer – Pat Tanaid
Auditor – Bessie Obra
Asst. Auditor – Dennis Bunda
Corres Sec – Valerie Ancog
Asst. Corres Sec – Julie Tampon
District 1 – Priscilla Romero
District 2 – Sam Tomontong
District 3 – Abbie Kaliko
District 3 – Isobel Mahimer
Property Superintendent – Joe Vendiola
UVC Chaplain – Ernie Labarios
UVC PRO – Ben Acohido
UVC Parliamentarian – Pedro Tampon
JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber
The Filipino Junior Chamber is dedicated to the personal and professional development of its members, as well as creating impact and positive change within its communities, particularly the Filipino Community.
The Filipino Junior Chamber’s legacy can be traced as far back as 1970 when Geminiano “Toy” Arre, Jr. made history by becoming the first president of non-Japanese descent to lead the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. During Toy’s tenure, he led the effort with Ernest Mina to form the first Filipino-themed JCI chapter in Hawaii with Ed Hasegawa as its first president: the Bayanihan Jaycees. Unfortunately, the word ‘Bayanihan’ was forced to be removed due to the U.S. Junior Chamber’s policy banning ethnic connotations to chapter names. Although it got renamed to the Metropolitan Jaycees, the chapter’s bayanihan spirit remained.
The U.S. Junior Chamber’s policy eventually changed and a new chapter later emerged as the Oahu Filipino Jaycees. It became a solid source for young leadership in the local Filipino community, bringing forth today’s notable individuals such as Judge Rey Graulty, Roland Casamina, Larry Ordonez, Alex Sonson, and Willie Espero. Some of its members would ultimately be instrumental in helping establish Oahu’s Annual Filipino Fiesta and the Filipino Community Center.
After some time of hibernation, today’s organization began to form in the late 1990s by Harry Alonso. In 1998, the Filipino Junior Chamber officially reemerged as the Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce (HFJCC) with Michelle Acosta as its first president. Under Eric Barsatan’s leadership in 2008, HFJCC branded itself simply as the ‘Filipino Junior Chamber.’
Under Jay Raymundo’s leadership in 2011, HFJCC officially renamed itself ‘JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce’ as JCI resources have become more readily available to its national and local organization members.
In 2012, Ryan Fernandez became the first ex officio board member of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. This position would continue to be held by current Filipino Junior Chamber presidents and open leadership and networking opportunities to members.
Like the chapters that preceded it, the current chapter has a diverse and talented membership. Current and former members are sought for their leadership by businesses, government of all levels, and the community. Today, the Filipino Junior Chamber is the local community’s PREMIER organization for young adults in leadership development.
For more information or to join, please contact Niccolo Gruta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Filipino Junior Chamber is affiliated with the following organizations: Hawaii Junior Chamber; Junior Chamber International; United States Junior Chamber and Oahu Filipino Community Council
JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber Officers for 2013
Chairman- Ryan Fernandez
President- Randy Cortez
Executive VP- Galileo Tan
Treasurer- Mary Aguilar
Secretary- Heide Torno
Management VP- Rachel Cabanizas
Business Development VP- Zhoydell Magaoay
Individual Development VP- Vacant
Community Development VP- Kristane Gaspar
International Development VP- Niccolo Gruta
Membership Development VP- Gabriel Torno
Board Staff- Brandon Elefante, Christian Evangelista, Eligie Pinacate, Joshua Javier
Annual Flores de Mayo/Filipino Fiesta
Night of Honor/ The Outstanding Young Filipinos (TOYF)
Save a Bottle Save a Life (SBSL)
Night of Honor/TOYF
The Filipino Junior Chamber cordially invites you to the 3rd Night of Honor, scheduled for Sunday, December 9, 2012. This event will introduce the FJC’s incoming executive board and will continue on to bestow the highest honors by the United States Junior Chamber to two of the organization’s current and former members. This year’s recipients are Scott Arakaki, attorney at Badger Arakaki, LLC and Jay Raymundo, CEO of Aloha Rehabilitation Services. The event will culminate with the recognition of The Outstanding Young Filipinos in Hawaii, residents of Filipino Ancestry who have gone through great efforts to better themselves and the community.
The event will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom, doors open at 6pm, program to start at 6:30pm. Business Formal/Filipiniana attire. Tickets are $60. For RSVP, please contact Brandon Elefante at (808)-779-9126 or email at email@example.com.
Nursing Advocates and Mentors, Inc. (NAMI)
Nursing Advocates and Mentors, Inc. (NAMI) founded in 2001, is celebrating its 11th Anniversary this November 17, 2012, Saturday with a Fundraising Gala at the Filcom Center, Waipahu. NAMI is a volunteer organization with a mission to address global nursing shortage by providing guidance and assistance for colleagues to obtain their professional license in nursing.
The NAMI Team of 16 Professionals and Volunteers is led by their Founding President, Beatrice Ramos-Razon, a Registered Nurse and (FACDONA) Fellow and Certified Director of Nursing Administration. Board members include Co-Founder/Secretary Jun Obaldo, Co-Founder/ Auditor Michael Berueda, Co-Founder/ Director Margie Berueda, Treasurer Bong Curameng, Directors Aurora Curameng and Delmar Magno.
With valuable partnership with the FilCom Center under the leadership of its President Rose Churma, NAMI coordinates free review classes to successfully prepare Nurses. The sessions run from January to June and July to November, every Wednesday: computer test practices from 5-6pm and lectures from 6-9pm. The program is fully supported by about 35 Volunteer Lecturers who are Medical and Nursing Specialists and Professors of Nursing from the various universities, colleges, medical centers and health care agencies.
Together with the FilCom Center and the Volunteer Lecturers, NAMI contribute greatly to preparing a new generation of Registered Nurses and supporting the medical and healthcare system for the people of Hawaii.
Filipino-American Historical Society of Hawai’I (FAHSOH)
In recognition of this year’s Filipino American History Month, FAHSOH is coordinating the FilAm History Fest 2012: Filipino Organizations in Hawaii, an event that highlights the diversity of Filipino civic, cultural, mutual aid and professional organizations in Hawaii. Since Filipinos migrated to Hawaii, individuals have sought ways to help and recognize each other and their heritage through organizations.
As a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization FAHSOH preserves, enhances and promotes an appreciation of Filipino heritage and the experiences of Filipino Americans in Hawai’i. Organized in 1980 FAHSOH brings together individuals who are interested in learning more about Filipino heritage and increasing their understanding of the Filipino American experience. FAHSOH shares this knowledge with the wider community through exhibits, community forums, workshops, publications and other public presentations and dialogues.
FAHSOH also collaborates with other organizations and individuals in the community who share similar interests in promoting the understanding of the Filipino American experience and that of other ethnic groups in Hawai’i. Membership is open to all who are committed to supporting the aims of FAHSOH and are willing to share in the responsibility of implementing the projects and activities of the Society.
Some of the highlights of FAHSOH past programs are:
- Production of “Sangang Daan” Video (1981)
- Forums: “Remembering the Olden Days: The Filipino-American Experience in Hawai’i (Life in Rural Hawai’i, Life in Urban Hawai’i, The Second Generation)” (1991)
- Publication of The Filipino-American Experience in Hawai’i (Social Process in Hawai’i, vol. 33) (1991)
- Forum: “Filipino-American Experience in Hawai’i (The Younger Generation, The New Generation)” (1992)
- Exhibits: “The Filipinos’ Continuing Quest for Freedom and Dignity, Parts I & II” (1996 & 1998)
- Forum: “The Legacy of Filipino Plantation Workers in Hawai’i” (1996)
- Production of “Katipunan: A Cry for Freedom” (1997)
- Exhibit: “Kasaysayan and Ka Mo’aukala: The Continuing Revolutions of the Philippines and Hawai’i” (2001)
- Publication of ”Unbending Cane”, by Melinda Tria Kerkvliet (2002)
- Forum: “Documenting Filipino American Lives in Hawai’i” (2004)
- Establishing eFIL: Filipino Digital Archives and History Center of Hawai’i (2006)
- Host for the 2006 Filipino American National Historical Society national conference in Honolulu
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.
The Congress of Visayan Organizations
By Jun Colmenares
The Congress of Visayan Organizations or COVO, is the umbrella of Visayan organizations in the State of Hawaii. It was founded in 1985 and has about 15 member organizations from Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai and the Big Island representing the Visayas and Mindanao. Its goals are to unite all Visayan organizations in Hawaii, preserve and promote Visayan language and culture, and assist in the socio-economic uplift of Filipinos, particularly those of Visayan ancestry.
COVO has been one of the most active Filipino organizations in the state and has partnered with other organizations, including the Filipino Community Center, the Philippine Consulate General, the UH Center for Philippine Studies, among others, in various projects, including humanitarian assistance to the Philippines. Its annual events include the Santo Niño fiesta in January, its anniversary celebration in February, the Filipino Fiesta and Parade in May, the annual statewide convention in August, and Pasko in December. In addition, special projects include the annual scholarship program, sister-city and sister-state/province projects, the Lapu-Lapu Awards, the Visayan Hour radio program, the Visayan centennial celebration, the Florentino Das book project, disaster fundraising drives and others. Because of its active involvement in the community and its important projects and activities, COVO received the Philippine Presidential (Banaag) Award for outstanding Filipino organizations overseas in 2010.
COVO is holding its 25th Annual Statewide Convention and 6th Lapu-Lapu Awards Gala on August 12, 2012 at the Philippine Consulate General and Ala Moana Hotel Ballroom The theme for this year’s convention is “COVO: Working With the Community.” Convention speakers are Dr. Danelo Cañete, cardiologist, and Rose Churma, FilCom president. Guest speaker at the Lapu-Lapu Awards is Dr. Patricio Abinales, professor at UH-Manoa. This year’s Lapu-Lapu Awards will be given to outstanding Visayans from the Big Island.
Balaan Catalina Society
The Balaan (Holy) Catalina Society is the oldest Visayan organization in the State of Hawaii. It was founded in 1930 by Visayan sakadas, most of whom were from Carcar, a town in Cebu whose patroness is St. Catherine (Santa Catalina) of Alexandria. It is also the first Filipino organization in Hawaii to have its own fully-paid club house and chapel. Its initial membership was primarily Carcaranons, but today, the members are a mix of individuals from the Visayas and Mindanao, either born in the Philippines or descended from Filipino settlers in Hawaii. It celebrates its foundation anniversary every July and the feast of Santa Catalina in November.
While it started as a semi-religious and mutual aid organization, the Balaan Catalina Society has expanded its role and has become more involved in civic, cultural, community and humanitarian activities. On its own, or as a COVO member, it has been involved in projects such as Weed & Seed, participated in the annual Filipino Fiesta and Parade as Sinulog dancers, supported the FilCom Center in various capacities, distributed computers and hospital beds and equipment to Cebu and other areas, and participated in medical missions and other disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. It is one, if not the most active and staunchest supporters of COVO.
This year it is celebrating its 82nd anniversary on August 4, 2012 with a dinner-program at the Empress Restaurant. Its longevity is a testament to the loyalty of its membership and the dedication and hard work of its leadership. Its current president is Vicky Sato.
UFCH Unites Filipino Communities Statewide
by Jenny Alconcel Quezon
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.