Hawaii Filipino Chronicle Supplement - November 19, 2022

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t’s a historical moment for Hawaii’s Filipino community as the Ha waii Filipino Chronicle celebrates its 30th year. From the moment HFC stepped into the forefront in our community, rise to take on issue after issue, and through generations, the HFC has always been a strong, smart and compassionate voice of advocacy.

The paper has worked hand in hand with leaders within and outside our Filipino sphere. The HFC has left its mark in history. It was the con nective tissue that united Filipinos in the late 1980s amidst the fraction alization spurred on by Marcos’ exile. HFC was a lighthouse of political wisdom when it galvanized community-power and steered them to elect the first Filipino governor in the United States, Gov. Ben Cayetano in the 1990s and early 2000s. In the first quarter century of the 2000s to present, a seasoned, mature HFC transitioned into institutional status. It helped to establish clarity, comfort and calm in our community during the big gest crisis in American history that was COVID-19 and the deepest re cession it dug, in an era of political chaos under Trump.

At this moment, as our Filipino community -- transitioned from “the sleeping giant” of the 1980s to the “woked force” it is now -- HFC (as the vanguard it’s been) presses forward to meet whatever unknown challeng es our community will face. Mabuhay, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle!

We hope that you enjoy this special supplement.

Supplement NOVEMBER 19, 2022
FILIPINO CHRONICLE: 30 Years as The Voice and Advocate of the Filipino Community PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: The HFC- A Powerful Voice of Advocacy for FilipinosS2 PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE: A Labor of LoveS3 COVER STORY: Hawaii Filipino Chronicle: 30 Years As The Voice and Advocate of the Filipino CommunityS4 PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: HFC’s 30 Years of Public Service to the Filipino CommunityS7 ALL IDEAS CONSIDERED: 30th Anniversary of a Kama’aina: An Event That No One Can UndoS8 FEATURE: Chronicle Launches Annual Scholarship Awards ProgramS9 CHRONICLE PULSE: Why Do You Read The Chronicle?S11 WHAT’S INSIDE

The HFC – A Powerful Voice of Advocacy for Filipinos

Iwas in my early 20s when I joined the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC). The paper had just started one year earlier. Soon af ter, I became associate editor for the HFC. Now close to 30 years later, I’m pleased to have been a part of chronicling an impressive body of work on our community, arguably a lifetime’s collection.

In order to appreciate the news paper’s success, we have to go way back to the beginning and look at the environment from which the HFC started. In many ways our growth as a newspaper has paralleled the growth of our community; and our advocacy helped fashion this transi tion to what our community is today.

In the early 1990s, Hawaii’s Fil ipino community was in desperate need of a public relations make-over. Our image then was narrow and ste reotypical. We were made fun of. Our youth lacked pride and had inse

curities over their ethnicity.

But image was the least of our worries; it turned out there were real measurable areas where we actually did need upliftment – in education, in political representation, in upper management, and so on. Our com munity back then was fragmented and suffered from a severe crab-inthe-bucket syndrome, similar to oth er newbie immigrant communities, historically.

What was in dire need is really what the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle has been working to accomplish now over a quarter of a century, is com munity empowerment. We accom plished this by becoming our own storytellers. I remember countless stories by the mainstream media in the 1990s that focused on our youth as gang members, which couldn’t be furthest from reality. The main stream media back then portrayed us in a singular brush stroke.

What the publishers, editors and writers of the HFC did was flip the script. We expanded perceptions of what people thought of our commu nity. We began to feature inspiring role-models, trailblazers, people in our community making a differ ence.

But it hasn’t just been rosy self-reflection. We’ve highlighted our community’s lingering struggles as well, which as an impassioned political analyst, I see that progress has been slow – but certainly inching forward.

And an extension of our commu nity’s progress – the HFC has also earned respect as a serious, reliable newspaper.

Journalism has also vastly changed in the last 30 years.

It has become a niche media, no longer aspirational in just walking down the middle road. Through our bold advocacy, particularly via our editorials, the HFC is a local pioneer within our industry in this vein. It was never just about sharing information

and news for us, but also about advo cating for our audience, our Filipino community, while applying sound, fair journalistic principles.

On any topic that the main stream media would report on, for example, like on the high cost of prescription drugs, we’d approach the topic like any other mainstream reporting, but add to that specif ically how Filipinos are coping. This enables us to see where there are commonalities with the greater population and anything that might be unique to our community. This is what makes our newspaper more relevant to our audience.

It’s been a long, gratifying jour ney. Thank you to all our supporters over the years. To the owners of the HFC, our anchor staff and frequent contributors to the HFC, know that we’ve been a part of something spe cial – by giving a voice of clarity and truth to what could be called nothing short of a true people’s movement.

Mabuhay to the HFC. Mabuhay to our Filipino community.

HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo holding a copy of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s 25th Anniversary issue.

A Labor of Love

By every measure, the Chronicle should have closed several years ago. As a business model, the print media, especially the ethnic media, has seen its better days. It has been reported that “in the last few years 2,000 newspapers have either closed or merged leaving 1,300 communities without local news coverage.”

Hawaii is no exception. There is now only one daily newspaper and almost all the small ethnic news papers have shut down. Nationally, our favorite news magazines such as Newsweek and Time and Read er’s Digest have slimmed down (Newsweek and Time changed their editorial direction).

The advent of social media, technological advances and the changing needs and preferences of readers have wreaked havoc in the traditional model of newspaper publishing. Restructuring and downsizing have not been adequate to withstand the dwindling advertising dollars. And yet, the local Filipinos are lucky to have two enduring and competing newspapers to serve them. In a perfect world, friendly com petition is good. Each one complements the other. Which is why, we “want to swim with the competition and we don’t want to have them for lunch.”

And yes, the two newspapers require doubling of community support. Ethnic media exists because the community it serves needs it. We call ourselves “the true voice of the Filipino community because we cover the good, the bad and the ugly.”

We give you inspiring stories as well as heartbreaking ones. We are tough, fair and balanced in our editorials which have become the “soul” of the paper. We are your advocates when we perceive unfairness in our social and governmental systems. We are your “eyes and ears” as we aim to accurately record and report the Filipino narrative.

We still exist today because we have the Filipino community behind us. And we are grateful for all your support which helped us reach our 30th year anniversary. Thank you, also to our advertisers, friends, readers and staff.

The Chronicle may not be a good business model but we believe it is doing a very good job as a com munity service.


Charlie and Chona Montesines- Sonido Publishers ׀ Hawaii Filipino Chronicle

HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE: 30 Years as The Voice and Advocate of the Filipino Community T

hrough the years, the Hawaii Filipino Chroni cle (HFC) has fortified a place in local media and flexed its muscle and gravitas in its reporting on critical issues. This year the news paper celebrates its 30th Anniversary – years of advocating for the Filipino community and state on issues from immigration and healthcare to social benefits and business, to name a few.

A local historian could argue that the Chronicle has been around in the most crucial period in the state’s modern development. Enter a time capsule, pick any historical spot in the past 30 years – the newspaper has been there to illuminate all the chang es in motion.

Its advocacy, editorials, and cover stories have made a difference to the extent that any enduring media can: raise awareness, connect with a loyal audience, and help to shape whatev er materializes in policy and public opinion.

Some might even say the HFC was born as a people’s movement of sort. Its mission: linked to the Filipino community’s needs. As it always had been from the beginning.

The Start

HFC co-publisher (her hus band Dr. Charlie Sonido is the other co-publisher) and managing editor Chona Montesines-Sonido, explains: “The newspaper was created at a time

when there was division in the Filipi no community. How members in our community have chosen to separate themselves back in the late 80s, ear ly 90s, was over where they stood on former President Ferdinand Marcos who had been in exile in Hawaii. You were either pro-Marcos or anti-Mar cos.”

It’s arguable that the communi ty had been fragmented even before Marcos came to the island; that it was never fully united before his arrival in part because the community was still in its early stages of developing.

In a way, a newspaper like the Chronicle came at the right time. It had to be created to help bring about unity and help to steer and report on the community through its matura tion.

Montesines-Sonido said the newspaper’s very first issue had this intention of unity in mind. “It was an issue on the situation surrounding

President Marcos’ exile. It was an is sue to unify Filipinos. The editorial board at the time felt it was the most appropriate topic for our inaugural issue.”

She reflects on the first issue, “It was the hardest one to produce. I re member my associate editors then, and myself worked into the wee hours of the morning before submit ting our first issue. Until 5 a.m.

“We were working with our pub lishing consultants from MW Con sultants. They did our marketing analysis for advertising, did our mar keting brochures and our logo. They helped us layout our first issue. I am ever grateful to this day to MW Con sultants and our staff who’ve helped put together our inaugural issue.”

Since then, especially in the be ginning, she says there had been many sleepless nights to produce the newspaper.

Dr. Sonido points out that besides bringing about a more unified local Filipino community, HFC was creat ed for other reasons – for immigrants to learn about their new country and for non-Filipinos to also learn about Filipino culture.

He said: “Thirty years ago as re cent immigrants, we looked up to es tablished Filipino institutions to help us learn about the local and mainland Filipino American experiences. One of those was the ethnic Filipino print media that already existed which pro vided a very good source of not only the most current news but also acted as an excellent vehicle to highlight the achievements and challenges of

Filipinos, local and immigrants that were not fully covered by the local media.

“We wanted a reputable local Filipino newspaper where immigrant Filipinos learn not only about what is happening in the Philippines but also about Filipinos in Hawaii or on the mainland. At the same time, we wanted non-Filipinos and local- born Filipinos to have a better understand ing of the Filipino culture and expe rience.”

What goes into production?

A tour de force in driving HFC, Montesines-Sonido said there are three major phases in producing a newspaper: editorial planning, pro duction, and marketing.

“We work on all three, all yearround. First editorial content is de veloped. That is planned two months before the new year starts. But time-sensitive and hot issues of the time will often take precedence and change some of our original editorial plans. Editorial planning is fluid and changes throughout the year.”

The Chronicle’s editorial board considers content in the following weight. “First, because we are an eth nic newspaper, we determine content based on its relevance and impor tance to the Filipino community and our readers,” said Montesines-Soni do.

“It could be pressing issues also covered by the mainstream media. What’s unique is we also mix into planning topics not covered by other media, for example, stories related to our Filipino heritage, culture and tra dition, that we would like our young generation to know about.

“Topics that empower us as a community such as politics, voting, immigration, education, are also giv en priority.

“We also like to showcase role models and Filipinos who make a difference in our community and state, people whom we could all be proud of.”

In the next phase, production, she says articles are then assigned and the angle we want conveyed to writers. “Before assigning articles, I make sure to be well aware of the topic and do my own research, so I can explain the angle we’d want to

(continue on S5)
Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) publisher and managing editor Chona Montesines-Sonido (front, center) and publisher Dr. Charlie Sonido (back, 2nd from left) enjoying the holiday season with the HFC staff. This year, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle celebrates its 30th Anniversary.


pursue. After the articles are submit ted to us, the story is reviewed by my editors who sometimes add to it or rewrite content.

“On the other side of production, I work with my graphic artist on cre ative presentation, layout of articles and the cover page. This often takes juggling and moving things around like a puzzle. The pieces must fit to gether nicely with the entire issue in mind. As urgent news come in, we make sure to make room for them.

“We are constantly editing until the very end when we submit the pa per for printing.”

Finally, as marketing goes, it goes hand-in-hand with budgeting and every other phase in producing the newspaper.

“Sometimes we produce sup plements that accompany thematic issues which help to generate addi tional revenue. For example, we do an annual health supplement.”

In the beginning months of the newspaper, it was important that the public knew we existed, said Monte sines-Sonido.

As part of the initial marketing, the newspaper was mailed to thou sands of homes in the state. Out lets were set up at restaurants, book stores, physicians’ offices, and all kinds of businesses where people could get a free copy of the newspa per.

In the beginning years, HFC had verified audit to show advertisers its target readership and market reach.

Eventually, it developed a net work with government agencies, politicians, non-profits, community organizations, and private companies that became news beats and sources of news.

That reach has expanded to main land, global, and Philippines-based organizations.

“The Filipino community plays a great role in producing the newspa per. After all, this is about them. Pro fessional and quality journalism are always in my mind when producing each issue.”

“In the end, we strive to produce a masterpiece each issue. We strive to make a difference whether it is en couraging voters to go out and vote during election or presenting our Fil ipino candidates and building them up so the community can rally be hind them.

“One highlight was having a first Fil-Am governor in the nation. This speaks so much about the Filipino community. At the time, our goal and

mission aligned with empowering Filipinos to vote as a bloc in electing former Governor Cayetano.”

Dr. Sonido says the HFC has been in the forefront in local Hawaii politics. “We interviewed Mayors Harris and Fasi, Gov Cayetano and other Filipino and non-Filipino poli ticians and asked them why Filipinos should vote for them. We questioned them about their positions on Filipi nos’ unique needs and challenges.”

Other Hawaii politicians at all levels of government, both Filipinos and non-Filipinos have been inter viewed by the Chronicle.

These interviews have helped Filipinos learn more about politi cians. Inversely, for politicians and policy makers to learn more about Hawaii’s Filipino community.

HFC also conducts extensive election polls that not only have been useful predictors of who Filipinos are voting for, but also which issues are important to them.

“Our polls and analysis have es tablished a name for HFC and we’ve landed TV and radio interviews on them,” said Dr. Sonido.

Fundraising for journalism students

Montesines-Sonido, the passion ate publisher who has dedicated most of her working years to the newspa per, encourages the community to help support the HFC Journalism Scholarship Program that she and Dr. Sonido established during the pa per’s 25th anniversary.

“Filipinos are underrepresented in journalism as in other areas like education; and we are committed to have our future journalists to carry on the task we had started; and con tinue where we will leave off…”

The know-hows of professional journalism is one-half of the equation in media production; but the other, equally crucial half, is meeting mon ey goals, the business end.

Financial Challenge

“The know-hows of professional journalism is one-half of the equa tion in media production; but the other, equally crucial half, is meeting mon[1]ey goals, the business end.”

“Our editorial product has estab lished a name for ourselves in local media. But making financial ends meet has always been a challenge. In the beginning, we had a partner in the company up to 1996. After that, we have been shouldering all the losses which is substantially big.

“In our 29 years of existence, I

remember posting an income only for 5 years and the rest of those years were losses. People don’t realize the amount of money, time and effort put in trying to maintain and keep afloat a community newspaper.

“Surviving in the digital age with the Internet as the main medium of communication has made financial challenges even greater.”

Dr. Sonido said maintaining HFC financially is even more diffi cult now. “Print media, in general, has been in significant precipitous decline since the advent of social media. Even the most popular and established newspapers either have closed shop or cut back tremendous ly to survive. For HFC, it was a labor of love that started it, and it is still a labor of love that continues to sustain it. As a financial model, it really nev er prospered just like most Filipino newspaper. You can’t send your chil dren to college with the profit you earn from it. In fact, we have more losses than income.”

Montesines-Sonido said, “If the community supports the newspaper which exists for them, the chances of surviving is greater. The owners of HFC are supporting it financially for the benefit of the community. But

there may come a time when people retire and cannot continue to support it financially. And I dread when that time comes because the community would have lost a voice and advocate on their side.”

While the owners of HFC have reported substantial losses, other ethnic media in the U.S. main land have reported growth especial ly at urban centers like New York City and Los Angeles. The Chinese American media and Hispanic media in particular have shown tremendous growth while even many in the main stream media report sluggish gains at best or have already called it quits.

This suggests that not all ethnic communities are as supportive of their ethnic media. With the Filipi no American population being as large as it is, close in number to the Chinese community, there should be no reason why Filipino newspapers cannot enjoy the same success go ing forward.

What the community says about the Chronicle

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, members in the communi ty and staff have shared a myriad of (continue

(Hawaii Filipino Chronicle....from S4)
on S6)

opinions on why they are thankful for the Filipino Chronicle in its anniver sary issue.

It has always been political with serious editorials. Veteran politician and former senator Will Espero had been following the newspaper from the very beginning. He said: “I enjoy the many issues and topics written about. I also support many of the edi torials written by staff.

“HFC is an important resource for Hawaii’s Filipinos and others. It pro vides timely news and information for all. HFC is a needed outlet for the growing Filipino community.”

Espero, who has contributed leg islative updates to the newspaper over his many years in public office, added, “Being a diverse, multi-cul tural community, it is important that the Filipino voice be heard. The Fili pino perspective is needed for policy makers, decision makers, business, and elected officials. We Filipinos must be involved and engaged. We must stay informed and in tune with the issues and changes impacting our state and nation.

“The coverage of Filipino candi dates was useful in the recent elec tions. I was not aware some candi dates had Filipino ancestry,” he said.

Caroline Julian-Freitas, a veteran contributing writer to the HFC and former TV producer, said, the Fili pino Chronicle “has provided great insight, analysis, thought-provoking and relevant stories important to the Filipinos of Hawaii. The Chronicle’s profiles on Filipino leaders, political insights and issues are what makes it a go-to newspaper for Filipinos in the community. HFC continues to unite and bring great pride to the community.”

Rose Cruz Churma, former Pres ident of the FilCom Center, has been providing book reviews for the HFC and press releases for various com munity organizations she is involved with. She called the HFC the “voice” of the Filipino community in Hawaii

“It provides in-depth articles that impact Filipinos of Hawaii. It strives to present serious articles that may not be as popular as personality profiles or pictorials of social events. I am thankful there are choices to those of us who still read the news in print and value an articulate and thoughtful article.

“I like the fact that each issue may contain an interesting article worth reading. In today’s world where we are inundated with information

in various formats, it is refreshing to read articles by local writers on a variety of topics, most of which are unique to Hawaii.”

On the HFC’s historical impact, Cruz Churma said, “there is a need for newspapers that track footprints of our collective presence as an ethnic group. Years from now, researchers will use the HFC’s past issues to tell our story, maybe even alter history books to show the tremendous contri butions of our community.”

“The HFC has also continual ly provide reviews and articles that promote and celebrate aspects of our history, culture and art that encour age thoughtful understanding and provide a deeper appreciation for what we are. Your editorials are less about the editor but more about the issues being discussed. In essence, the HFC strives to follow the basic tenets of journalism and has suc ceeded for the last 29 years.”

Frequent contributor to HFC Teresita Bernales, Ed.D., said she loves the feature articles, supple ments, and stories on people who have made significant contributions to the betterment of the community.

“The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle is a gem and it keeps getting better as it ages. Keep on upholding the values of journalism as being the 4th State. You serve a very important role of be ing a watchdog, foremost --keeping our officials honest,” said Bernales.

Honolulu City Councilman Bran don Elefante said he’s been reading HFC since 2012. He is specifically thankful to the newspaper for shar ing stories that highlight news in the community.

Another long-time reader (over 10 years) of HFC, Beth Hoban, said she is thankful that the community has a newspaper that enables Filipi nos to read about themselves. She and her family enjoy reading the in terviews.

President and CEO of a health care business, Hoban enjoys HFC’s stories related to the kupunas. HFC has reported on the Kupuna Caregivers Program and other se niors-related topics for years. Cov erage on seniors have been “in sightful to get a perspective of an elderly person’s vision about aging and the impact family has on a ku puna,” she said.

Contributing writer Serafin Col menares, Jr. looks forward to HFC for the timely news and features. He also enjoys the newspaper’s Philip pine news sections.

Realizing the continued interest of immigrants’ home country, one of HFC’s missions has always been to cover Philippine news and features.

Dr. Flora Medina-Manual, a pe diatrician and advertiser, is specifi cally thankful to HFC’s publisher for her “excellent job” and “sacrifice” for keeping the newspaper going.

“HFC has touched every aspect of our lives with regards to medical ad vances and informative topics on im migration, social security and social activities,” said Dr. Medina-Manual.

HFC co-publisher Dr. Sonido also serves as the newspaper’s med ical editor who writes informative health articles or invites others in the medical community to submit arti cles. The newspaper’s coverage on the charitable work of medical orga nizations like the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii, Bayanihan Clinic Without Walls, and others, has been an ongoing theme.


Reaching 30 years is a milestone for HFC. Its relevancy remains to day as it did from the beginning. But like other newspapers, HFC is faced with the challenge of securing a solid niche in the digital mass market that will eventually dictate all print me dia’s ability to survive.

That do-or-die tipping point has not arrived yet; that HFC must even tually grow big, a lot bigger than it is now. What would the community’s role be in this transition? Will other multiple investors step in to grow it as the giant Chinese and Hispanic dailies? Will a younger generation of writers, journalists, political analysts, professionals in various fields carry on the torch?

In the next 29 years, 50 years, can it grow into an ethnic media in stitution? Or will it end as a legacy of its current owners and core staff, and be referred to as a great historical ar chive that once “chronicled” the lives of Filipinos during one of their most dynamic generations?

Only time will tell. Perhaps, as it was 29 years ago, the Filipino com munity’s needs will shine a light on that right path.

For now, in the spirit of Thanks giving season, Montesines-Sonido said “We are very grateful for the many blessings we have received from above and from our supporters, advertisers, families and friends who have helped us to continue our work to be the voice of the Filipino com munity!”

(Hawaii Filipino Chronicle....from S4)

HFC’s 30 Years of Public Service to the Filipino Community

In my winning essay (a contest sponsored by the Hawaii Filipi no Chronicle for its 25th anni versary) I asked the question: Will the Filipino Chronicle be able to continue for another quarter centu ry?

If quality of work is an indica tor of future longevity, I’d say the Filipino Chronicle’s future looks promising. Five years after posing this question, the Chronicle hasn’t slowed down any, exceeding expec tations I had with their high-quality work.

Clearly there is no scientific way to measure the positive (or for that matter negative) impact a pub lication might have on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, except by way of testimonials. So I’d like to offer one. Many in our Filipino community looked to the Chronicle during those difficult times for valu able information and inspiration.

As someone in our Filipino community, and as someone who was among your many readers who turned to the Chronicle for infor mation and guidance during the most critical period of COVID-19, I would like to express how grateful I am and offer my deepest and sin cerest appreciation for the paper’s work on COVID-19 related matters.

Thirty years of public service to our community is a long time. I be lieve the HFC has been influential in helping our community be more unified and empowered.

I look to HFC as an institution of sorts. You have been collaborat ing with public and private entities for years. Your paper has enhanced the lives (I can speak to this per sonally during COVID-19) of many in our Filipino community. But it’s likely also to others (non-Filipinos) in the state who at one time or an other might have read something in your paper and connected to it in some way that was inspirational. After all, the HFC has been around for three decades.

The Filipino Chronicle has in deed made its mark in modern Ha waii history for their positive im pact on our Filipino community on

the islands.

HFC’s staff have reported on a myriad of other pressing issues (be sides COVID-19 mentioned above) from politics, human rights, dis crimination, to child abuse, labor rights and immigration, to name only a few.

And it’s not just HFC-staff writ ing for your newspaper. I’ve read interesting and informative articles contributed to your paper from re spected leaders and politicians, ed ucators, social scientists and advo cates and experts on various fields

Just recently, many in our com munity appreciated your paper’s midterm elections coverage that in cluded valuable voting information, insightful perspectives on many of the issues. I liked the advocacy role your editorial board took on these important issues.

Many in our community who’ve emigrated from the Philippines and were turned off by our negative ex periences that we had in Philippines election, were not inspired to vote in U.S. elections even after we became U.S. citizens in our new country.

But I believe HFC has helped to build confidence in U.S. elections and got many of us to start voting here. Your repeated encouragement for us to empower ourselves by vot ing is convincing.

I appreciate the paper’s role in promoting and preserving Fil ipino culture to as far back to our pre-Hispanic, indigenous history. Your Philippines’ coverage goes a long way to help bridge FilAms to their ancestral homeland.

In light of your anniversary

being so close to Thanksgiving, I would like to say thanks to the en tire team at the HFC -- the owners, management, editors, writers, col umnists.

I predict HFC will be around for many years continuing to do great work.

FRONDA is a past HFC Essay Contest winner.


30th Anniversary Of A Kama aina: An Event No One Can Undo

With my apologies to the dictionary authors, and to the Hawaiian people, I am using the word kama`aina to mean something more: by implication, ex tension and application, to an entity, not a person, by which in my view, is native-born, familiar, local, acquaint ed and more.

For some 29 years now, or so, we have become aware of the pervasive presence of a land-like child, grow ing up in our midst. Now it is of age, and big enough to be considered an old-timer hereabouts.

To the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, I assign this sense of the meaning of kama`aina/old-timer as a name tag of endearment.

At 30, yes it is relatively young, still growing, but old enough that we are familiar with and acquainted with. Status granted: it’s here to stay.


The event was coming and it’s here. The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle

is marking its 30th year. Its feet are al ready on the wrung-ladder of the 30s. Not by any stretch should this event be written off as a common day hap penstance. It is an ordinary coming-to with an extraordinariness. Age-wise.


Hey, man, some 29 years ago, what were you? An infant. Now you’re 30. What issues and values are we talking about? How well were you growing up all these years? Tell us.

Sensible curiously honest people want and need to know. Which were you with the changing times? Getting lost south or finding your way north? Did you open new doors? Put up sky windows? Did floor makeovers? Hang windchimes and blew whistles?

You did some facelifting changes, you say? Oh, yes! Some healthy good ones. Good. But that was a long time ago. No? You made it a point to come out to the open as frequently and as freely as nobody like you would ever have done.

We noticed you were careful in dotting your i’s delivering all the in

formation we needed to know. You were diligent and very consistent in crossing your t’s, and publishing the truth.

Your impeccable taste in display ing and sharing techno-art and tech no-savvy is beyond reproach. You stylishly avoided splitting infinitives to prevent and avoid divisive or un necessary rifts of any kind. You were wise not to use dangling modifiers, presenting news accounts in a simple straightforward way. You used appro priate punctuation marks in the right places for brevity and clarity.

You took a stand and stood your ground. Editorial integrity, your man tra shines on every page. And when and where necessary, you made dis creet use of italics or boldface for em phasis. A work-ethic standard. Bless you. Welcome: You have enough leg room for growth even in this environ ment of overcrowding and informa tion overload.

You’re flying safely high in cyber space. You’re accessible online with paperless hospitality. Yet, you’re bone and muscles down to earth, reaching deep into inkwells of cursive and up percase nuances and appearances: interesting elemental vignettes of hu man behavior and consciousness.

Headlines that provoke deep thought. Features that leave lasting impressions. Travelogues to exotic places. Cuisine from out-of-the-way food venues. Immigration. Depor tation. The Spratley Islands. OFWs. Outstanding and standout Filipino personalities.

You dig in and bring out informa tion, the news realities we’re interest ed in. Things some people ignore or take for granted. You deliver. It’s good to know. Thank you.

Need we ask: what more and what else can you do? How much more and how else can you be? Besides behaving and acting your age, perhaps, you can spread your wings like an eagle, with keen and watchful eyes over panoramic views and hidden nooks where interest ing things can and may happen far deep and wide. The range of possibilities, if not the field of opportunities.

Enough? Think again. How do we measure growth? Age alone is not a reliable yardstick. Numbers tell how deep you can dive, how high you can fly, and how far you can reach. But numbers mean nothing if they leave a footnote of relevance to life.

Impact. It’s how you share your

knowledge and experience that gives significance to your mission, and your enterprise. It’s how you bridge the years of your past-present-future work span. Your purpose and direction val idate the impact of your existence on relationships that matter.

Sellout, outsell

Last question: do you have the will and energy to sustain your enter prise? Yes with your high points of fervor and integrity, we can exclaim: “Of course, of course.”

Of course, what? Of course, it feels good to be energized and growing well, despite limited resources. The inclina tion, the desire, the drive to succeed: with these, you have a lot full.

Insight and vision gave you the courage to start. Now you are a tan gible presence. A forceful voice. Pow er, you say? Wait a minute. What’s this? Knowledge is power. We know that. But the power we have in mind is something else. Word power? Mind power?

Power is what we – the readers, the supporters, the advertisers, the critics, the community – generate that gives the raw element of sustenance.

It comes in variant forms of dif ferent colors, shapes and sizes. Some times it appears in catchphrases like “Happy Anniversary! Congratulations and best wishes! Good job! Well done! More power to you!”

Sometimes power is the dough rolling in without a push yourself for gain. Where do you get the power to do that? The community, the people you serve. Under the lights and behind the scenes, it’s the kind of power that nurtures and strengthens your sense of pride, responsibility and commitment to the task at hand. Your enterprise, our enterprise.

Again, of course, you are on course. With the potential and the leverage for sustained growth. That is reason enough to celebrate.

Kama`aina, native-born: The Ha waii Filipino Chronicle. Happy 30th Anniversary! Mabuhay! Mahalo! Maraming salamat! More years, more power, more anniversaries!

[( kama’aina, nvi, Native-born, one born in a place, host; native plant; acquainted, familiar. Lit., land child.) This word entry, its meaning and definition is lifted from the revised and enlarged edition of “Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English Ha waiian” by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert. University of Hawaii Press, 1986.]


Chronicle Invites Students to Apply and Donors to Donate to Its Scholarship Awards Program

For the past 29 years, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle has served the community by being a reliable source of news that informs and edu cates its readers locally, nationally and internationally. For the next 30 years and beyond, Hawaii’s #1 Filipino news paper wants to do—and give back— even more by establishing a journalism scholarship awards program.

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido, publisher and managing editor of the Chronicle, noticed an under-repre sentation of Filipinos in journalism (including mass communications and media) in general. So, she envisioned investing in the future by offering fi nancial help to college students of Fil ipino heritage majoring in the field at one of the four-year accredited univer sities in Hawaii. She wanted our local talents to stay in Hawaii since the com munity will benefit a lot from them.

“We need future Fil-Am writers and leaders in the fields of journalism and mass communications. We are short of Filipino journalists who will continue our work and serve the Filipi nos and our community-at-large in the future,” Sonido said.

Few Filipinos in JMC Field

Filipinos and Filipino-Americans represent the fastest growing ethnic group in Hawaii and make up 23% of the state’s population. Filipinos and Filipino-Americans also comprise the largest Pacific Islander cultural com munity in America but are underrepre sented in the fields of journalism and mass communications (JMC).

“The dim outlook in journalism is a fact that needs to be faced head-on,” said Teresita Bernales, Ed.D., scholar ship committee member and one of the judges. The Chronicle “is a venue that will be there for a long time to inform, to inspire people to action, to serve the community’s needs and to provide continuity of good journalism by en couraging youth to enter this field.”

For the past few years, the Chron icle’s journalism scholarship has awarded three outstanding students of Filipino heritage to support their stud ies and careers in JMC.

“We need good journalists who are the ‘eyes and ears of the community’, and the Chronicle believes that we must build a pool of journalists in the future to safeguard our democracy and create a group that reports ‘checks and balanc

es’ actions happening in the government and around us,” Sonido said.

“With good reporting in place by well-trained journalists, we can secure a fair, informative and steady flow of news in our community and around the world. It is important that we support these students who are preparing for their future in the JMC field.”

New Filipino Media Foundation

In order to administer the journal ism scholarship awards program initi ated by Sonido through the Hawaii Fil ipino Chronicle, Inc., she established the Filipino Media Foundation, a new public 501(c)(3) charity non-profit or ganization.

Sonido also assembled a group of educators and journalists to form a scholarship committee. She appoint ed Edna Bautista, Ed. D., to formulate the scholarship’s provisions, terms, requirements, application forms and logistics. Bautista serves as the journal ism scholarship committee chair and is a non-voting member.

“There weren’t many scholarships like this available at all when I graduat ed high school and went to study com munication in college in Hawaii. So it’s wonderful that the Chronicle has estab lished an important financial resource and created educational opportunities for aspiring young journalists and mass communicators of Filipino descent,” Bautista said. “I’m very honored to help the Chronicle give back to the community and serve on the scholar ship committee.”

Journalism Scholarship Committee

“The Chronicle has formed a scholarship committee comprised of excellent members whose backgrounds in education and journalism are out standing,” Sonido said. These role models for future journalists include Edna Baustista, Ed.D., Belinda Aqui no, Ph.D., Dennis Bautista, Ph.D., Ter esita Bernales, Ed.D. and Glenn Wakai.

The Chronicle’s Fil-Am scholars

Since its inception in 2019, the Chronicle has awarded three Filipino American scholars from two Hawaii universities: 2019’s Alyssa Acob from Hawaii Pacific University, 2020’s Brenna Flores from Chaminade Uni versity, and 2021’s Jasmine Sadang from Hawaii Pacific University.

“Winning the journalism scholar ship not only helped me financially, but it gave me hope and encouragement to

know that there are peo ple out there—especially in the Filipino communi ty—that want to invest in the next generation,” said Acob.

For Flores, the schol arship “presented me with a platform to explore my Filipino heri tage and learn more about it.”

As a message to fellow JMC stu dents, Sadang expressed her support in the field: “If you love writing, story telling or anything media related, you definitely should try out the JMC field because who knows? You’ll probably love it! You don’t want to live your life thinking that you should’ve taken the other road.”

For the scholars, the Chronicle’s scholarship program allowed them to continue their studies in journalism and media while being able to explore their talents, creativity and culture through interviewing sources and writing arti cles for the Chronicle.

Eligibility and Application require ments

In commemorations of its 30th publication year, the Chronicle con tinues to celebrate and award $2,500 to an outstanding scholarship winner every year.

Eligible scholarship applicants must be Filipino or part-Filipino; U.S. citizen; Hawaii high school graduate; full-time college student (at least 12 credits undergraduate) enrolled as an incoming freshman, sophomore, junior or non-graduating senior at an accred ited four-year public or private college/ university in Hawaii by the 2022 fall semester; and a journalism, mass com munications or media-related major; and must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA (on 4.0 scale).

They must also submit the official scholarship application form (down (continue on S11)


Why Do You Read the Chronicle?

I read the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) to be up to date with local and national news regarding Filipino affairs. They share stories about real people and the good things happening in the community. I always look forward to reading the next issue.

I like staying up-to-date with news and issues affecting the Filipino community in Hawaii.


, Beauty Consultant, Ewa Beach, HI

HFC is in both digital and print form making it accessi ble to anyone, anywhere.

The focus of the news is multifaceted. You can read about local, national and international news in one issue. Their coverage is unparalleled. The articles are interesting, and the staff members are real people in our community that we can relate to.

Waipahu, HI

HFC is where I also learned how to cook those old rec ipes from our great ancestors. I loved trying them. When it comes to legal things, especially immigration laws, they have a column for that. They don’t publish nonsense things. They have a trusty editorial staff that publishes valuable articles and respective opinion articles for the newspaper. This is a free news paper, and it should be utilized wisely. From Philippine news to local news, to even international news, it’s covered here at HFC. Read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Most of the time, you will find what you’re looking for last minute here in HFC like ads for place to rent, up coming community events or even people you want to seek for assistance. Their availability to advertisers and readers is awesome. The friendly staff treat you like a part of their family. HFC also encourages new opinions, new faces and the next generation.

loadable from the Chronicle website) and provide reference letters, transcripts and samples of journalistic writing.

Applicants must write an essay addressing how their Filipino cultur al heritage influenced their outlook on life, how they became interested in a journalism/mass communication/ media field, how their future career in journalism would benefit the Filipino and general community and how they would contribute to Hawaii’s growth and development in the future.

Support the students

Although proceeds from the gala go

toward the scholarship fund, more mon ey is needed to support and sustain the annual journalism scholarship awards program. Another fundraising event is planned within five years. Please sup port the students and invest in the future of Filipinos working in JMC fields.

Donations are welcome via the Filipino Media Foundation and are 100% tax deductible. To donate, please contact the Chronicle office at filipinochronicle@gmail.com or call (808) 284-4185 or you can send your donation to Filipino Media Founda tion, 46-471 Holonui Place, Kaneohe, HI 96744-4226.

As a retiree, I like to read HFC to get involved in the Filipino community events. The paper is updated with the latest community events to connect with our culture and heritage. I appreciate the way the staff writes in sim ple language that is very easy to digest. HFC features multiple Filipinos in Hawaii from different backgrounds like housekeeper, nurses, constructions workers, etc. The news here is fantastic. You can find people you have not heard in years. I enjoy seeing Filipinos fea tured in HFC for their birthdays, weddings, or special occasions.

DR. EDWIN JATICO, retired Food Safety Specialist, Dept. of Health, Aiea, HI.
(Chronicle Invites....from S9)
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