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