Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - June 15, 2024

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MAINLAND NEWS Fil-am ChEF rECEiVEs thE JamEs bEard award For bEst ChEF: CaliFornia

JUNE 15, 2024

CANDID PERSPECTIVES rEspECting thE Jury’s VErdiCt on CFdt34


From hawaii to wall strEEt: JEnniFEr ablan’s inspiring JournEy

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS ErasErhEads arE Coming to honolulu!


St. George Parish is Doing God’s Work, Congratulations on Its 70th Anniversary, And Much Success to Its Filipino Catholic Ministry

ongratulations to St. George Parish and all the priests who served there and its parishioners on their 70th anniversary. What a historic milestone reached for this religious community on Windward Oahu. The success of St. George’s longevity comes at the hands of many – first and foremost the blessings from God our savior and keeper of our Catholic faith, the Diocese of Honolulu, the early pioneering consecrated leaders of priests and nuns of St. George and neighboring support parishes St. Ann in Kaneohe and St Anthony in Kailua, the Sacred Hearts Fathers, and the multiple active parishioners and ministries of St. George Parish, and the current Rev. Fr. Raymund Ellorin, Pastor of St. George Parish.

CKudos also to the newly formed Filipino Catholic Ministry (FCM) of St. George on their First Grand Santacruzan, May Flower Celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary recently held on May 31. The event was a resounding success. This celebration is a popular Catholic tradition carried over from the Philippines perpetuating our Catholic religious culture and serves also to evangelize our youth into the Church. The Santacruzan commemorates the story of Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great who found the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. The Cross reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice for all of humanity and the ransom he paid for our sins. The Santacruzan also pays tribute to our Blessed Holy Mother and her love for her son Jesus.

God, Home, Community and the Holy Eucharist

Like all Catholic parishes across the globe, Catholics turn to the Church to strengthen our faith and connection to God (the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Parishes are our “home” away from home and they provide a holy sanctuary amid the secular world. We worship together and see those around us and alongside us at Mass as a community not just on Earth, but a glimpse of what our heavenly community could resemble.

And that church community extends to the greater community in the wonderful works of charity for the poor, the homeless, the sick and ministerial outreach to spread the Gospels and truth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

What’s special of St. George and all Catholic parishes, cathedrals and basilicas is the Holy Eucharist which is God’s second covenant with man, that we receive Jesus’ body and blood of Christ as one means for eternal life. The transubstantiation, the change by which the substance (though not the appearance) of the bread and wine in the Eucharist is in fact the real presence of Christ, that is His body and blood. This is what we Catholics believe and is an essential part to Mass and the church where we gather to worship.

Religious and spiritual role models

St. George and other Catholic churches is where we can also find role models outside of what is typically considered role models in the secular world. Jesus Christ is our first role model. We look to Jesus’ life, the way He lived, what He valued and His teachings. Often what society considers to be a role model not only reflects societal values, but it also shapes society itself. Typically, today’s society holds high in esteem and as our role models -- individuals who are rich, powerful, leaders in business, academe or the military. Certainly, such individuals are in some cases deserving of such respect in the secular world. But there should also be space for other role models – the downtrodden who are rich in spirit and continue the fight to survive with the help of God, our parents who work arduously to put food on our table with the help of God, or everyday people who hold their families and communities together with


Publisher & Executive Editor

lways monitoring the pulse on our Filipino community, we are pleased to share a major community event. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on St. George Parish celebrating their 70th anniversary and its Filipino Catholic Ministry (FCM) holdings their First Grand Santacruzan in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as part of the year-long anniversary festivities. Rev. Father Raymund Ellorin and members of the FCM share how St. George has inspired their spiritual life with God and the deep sense of community they get from the parish. In the article, we also get a fascinating historical accounting of the origins of St. George and the formation of the newly created FCM. Congratulations to all the consecrated leaders past and present and parishioners at St. George. We wish this vibrant church community many anniversaries to come.

Supplementing our coverage on St. George, HFC columnist Carlota Ader recaps the Santacruzan event, featuring participants, the roles they played, as well as providing lively pictures. Ader further contributes a Chronicle Pulse, posing the question to our readers: “What’s the Importance of Flores De Mayo and Santacruzan, Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary?”

Also, this issue, we have an inspiring feature on Hawaii local turned Wall Street financial journalist, Jennifer Alban. Writer Angela Bauza shares Ablan’s journey from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she served as the student newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief to the Big Apple where she covered high-stakes stories for over two decades and interviewed the likes of billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gross. Ablan said of her career choice, “I felt that Filipinos deserve a place in journalism and storytelling. I took a huge risk, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do it.”

Speaking of inspiring Filipino Americans on the mainland, we report on owner of Kuya Lord Restaurant in Los Angeles, Chef Lord Maynard Llera who recently won the Best Chef California category of the James Beard Foundation awards (often referred to as the “Oscars of Food”). Congratulations Chef Llera on the award and for promoting Filipino cuisine.

Also in the news, we are sad to announce Hawaii local talent turned Broadway star Jade Stice’s recent passing due to a hiking accident. An original cast member of “Miss Saigon” in New York City, Jade, 53, was an inspiration to local artists pursuing theater at the biggest stage. We offer our deepest condolences to the Stice family, who have been active prominent members in our Filipino community.

Switching gears to national politics, HFC columnist Emil Guillermo contributes “Respecting the Jury’s Verdict on CFDT34,” about the criminal conviction of former President Donald Trump. He writes, “Time for all of us to act like good founding fathers–and mothers…the great experiment has lasted more than 250 years…It only continues in the right direction if we all stand up and respect the rule of law— and that means honoring the jury’s decision on CFDT34.”

Lastly, have you heard of the legendary Philippines-based alternative rock band Eraserhead? HFC contributor Renelaine Bontol Pfister reports that Eraserhead is coming to Honolulu to kick off their Huling El Bimbo 2024 World Tour! The critically acclaimed band will be playing at the Hawaii Convention Center on July 6.

Be sure to read our other columns and news. Visit our updated mobile-friendly website and give us your feedback. Thank you for supporting the Chronicle. We wish all our wonderful dads a very Happy Father’s Day. Until the next issue, Aloha and Mabuhay!

the help of God. The list can go on and on of people not typically deemed to be “role models” according to secular standards, but who with the help of God have abundant gifts to give, to teach us through their sacrifices and are making our world fuller and not just one note, one brushstroke.

Many in our Filipino community who grew up going to Cat-

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Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta


Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant

Lilia Capalad

Editorial & Production Assistant

Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader

Rose Cruz Churma

Elpidio R. Estioko

Willie Espero

Perry Diaz

Emil Guillermo

Gary Hooser

Arcelita Imasa, M.D.

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

J.P. Orias

Charlie Sonido, M.D.

Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista

Edna Bautista, Ed.D.

Teresita Bernales, Ed.D.

Sheryll Bonilla, Esq.

Dr. Dylan Bothamley

Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D.

Linda Dela Cruz

Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand

Amelia Jacang, M.D.

Caroline Julian

Max Levin

Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D.

Federico Magdalena, Ph.D.

Matthew Mettias

Maita Millalos

Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D.

Renelaine Bontol-Pfister

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

Mark Lester Ranchez

Jay Valdez, Psy.D.

Glenn Wakai

Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent:

Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents:

Big Island (Hilo and Kona)

Grace LarsonDitas Udani


Millicent Wellington


Christine Sabado

Big Island Distributors

Grace LarsonDitas Udani

Kauai Distributors

Amylou Aguinaldo

Nestor Aguinaldo

Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros

Molokai Distributor

Maria Watanabe

Oahu Distributors

Yoshimasa Kaneko

Shalimar / Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives

Carlota Hufana Ader

JP Orias


Netanyahu Shouldn’t Speak Before Congress; AIPAC Is No Friend to the American People

Once again, the U.S. Congress is tone deaf to the average American.

Whether you’re in support of Israel’s campaign against Hamas or are calling for an immediate ceasefire, most Americans believe inviting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24 is a mistake and only further polarizes the nation. At a time when divisions in our country run deepest, it’s irresponsible, even fomenting, to have Netanyahu address Congress.

Netanyahu is a lightning rod of controversy. He’s under investigation for war crimes by the United Nation’s highest court. He’s been criticized by most leaders in the world, including by some leaders in ally nations. Further, polls show a majority of Americans support an immediate ceasefire and do not support additional military foreign aid to Israel.

But still, the top four leaders of the House and Senate invited Netanyahu on the premise that the U.S. stands in solidarity with Israel in their fight against terrorism. Admittedly, this could be justified as a policy. However, the presence of Netanyahu before Congress is damaging optics and amounts to arousing vitriol in large sectors of American

holic school or Sunday school recall our teachers who stressed not only secular values of what a role model is, but religious ones – an individual who puts God first, those who have taken up a consecrated life and professed solemn holy vows – our priests, deacons, nuns and missionaries. Wouldn’t you want to be a priest, a nun, or even a saint? – these questions were often asked of us as youth.

Yet, somehow, such religious values and morals have been overshadowed to where our religious communities are not as influential and our spiritual role models are no longer held in great value in secular society. But if we hold our faith high in importance – we can

and Undermines Fair Elections

society who hold contempt for him and his war tactics.

The invitation comes after massive Spring protests across colleges and universities of students demanding an end to the war and divestment of university funds and business relations with Israel.

The invitation also comes as President Joe Biden recently has called for a ceasefire saying Hamas is no longer capable of another Oct 7 attack, but Netanyahu is not letting up. Netanyahu also continues to reject the U.S. longstanding policy of a two-state solution recognizing both Israel and Palestine as separate independent governing entities.

Netanyahu at this point is going against the wishes of our current U.S. President and a policy that presidents since Bill Clinton has supported. And still, Netanyahu is given a high privilege to speak before Congress to propagandize his unpopular war.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2-ranking Senate Democratic leader who broke with the top four congressional leaders — Speaker Mike Johnson (RLa.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said “I’ve been waiting for Prime Min-

find abundant role models at St. George Parish and other places of holy worship.

An example, how refreshing that recently Pope Francis announced that Carlo Acutis will be the first saint of the millennial generation. Known as the “God Influencer,” soon to be Saint Carlo, was a digital evangelist. Carlo died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15. In his lifetime, he had a special love for God and the Holy Eucharist. He inspired all those around him to attend Mass. The Eucharist was the center of his life, and he would receive it almost daily. He interacted with the homeless and would bring Tupperware filled with food out to people living on the streets.

Within our own Filipino

ister Benjamin Netanyahu to embrace a two-state solution, which I believe is the only way to go forward in Israel. I would not have sent the letter of invitation. Until he embraces a two-state solution, I don’t think we can realistically expect this conflict to end.”

Some progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have already promised to boycott the speech, calling Netanyahu a “war criminal.” Some Democrats have called on Biden to condition or sever military aid to Israel. The list of politicians who plan to boycott the address is growing.

In March, Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S., called Netanyahu a “major obstacle to peace” and said he “lost his way by allowing his political survival to take the precedence over the best interests of Israel.” Still, Schumer invited Netanyahu to address Congress.

The power of AIPAC

It makes no sense politically for Netanyahu to be addressing Congress. The question begs: “Why is Congress doing it, and at such an untimely manner?”

Putting ideology as motivation aside as stated by politicians – support Israel against terrorism – the leaders of Congress is likely doing this at the behest of the powerful lobby

community, we have bountiful spiritual role models. Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle is one -- the current Pro-Prefect for the Section of Evangelization of Dicastery for Evangelization since 2022. Often fondly called “Chito” – this humble and scholarly priest is said to be among the papabile, a shortlist of cardinals who could be a future pope. We have our Filipino saints Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungod, as well as many others beatified and venerated by the Roman Catholic Church.

The community of St. George is doing far more than what can be seen in the visible band of sight. They are doing God’s work. May God bless St. George Parish to have many more anniversaries.

group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and their billionaire supporters. Since President Jimmy Carter, as Carter said himself, the Israeli lobby (different names then) has tremendous influence over Congress.

AIPAC is considered the number two most powerful lobby in D.C. (behind AARP). They spend millions to either support candidates of their choice or pour millions into opponents of candidates they deem insufficiently supportive of Israel. AIPAC employs their tactics in bipartisan fashion. That’s real power.

Congressman Republican Thomas Massie (Ky) recently described in an interview the pressure politicians face at the Hill. “Everybody has an AIPAC person. It’s like your babysitter, your AIPAC babysitter, who is always talking to you for AIPAC. I don’t know how it works on the Democrats side. But that’s how it works on the Republican side. And when you come to D.C. you have lunch with them. And they’ve got your cell number, and you have conversations with them.”

To give you an idea of how deep AIPAC’s coffers are, all four of the leaders who approved Netanyahu’s invitation -- Johnson, Schumer, Jeffries

and McConnell -- have received multi-millions of dollars each from AIPAC.

And this is not the first time Congress invited Netanyahu to basically undermine the wishes of a U.S. president. Remember in 2015 in his speech before Congress, Netanyahu called on America to reject President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. This, as Obama, was working to gain consensus for such a deal. Before that in 1996, he lectured Clinton on Israel. It shocked Clinton which drew the now famous rebuttal, “Who the F- does he [Netanya hu] think he is? Who’s the F superpower here?”

AIPAC has vowed to spend $100 million to defeat progressive candidates in primary races. They’ve already been successful in some and failed in others.

Nevertheless, Americans should be asking why a lobby such as AIPAC whose main interest is that of a foreign government, is permitted to have so much influence on our government. Clearly, this wouldn’t be allowed for any other foreign country such as China, Russia or even our ally countries. What makes Israel the exception? AIPAC is no friend to the American people. It undermines the democratic process and puts a foreign government’s interests over the American people.

(St. George ....from page 2)

St. George Parish Reaches Historic Milestone, 70th Anniversary and Its Filipino Catholic Ministry Holds First Santacruzan

St. George Parish in Waimanalo, its consecrated leaders and parishioners are counting their blessings as they celebrate the church’s 70th anniversary.

Just weeks ago, St. George’s newly formed Filipino Catholic Ministry (FCM) launched its First Grand Santacruzan in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a part of the year-long anniversary festivities which started in January 2024 with the Celebration of the Eucharist by the Bishop of Honolulu Larry Silva.

The celebrations will continue with events to culminate on December 15, 2024, with the Celebration of the Eucharist and Appreciation Dinner for all volunteers, said Rev. Fr. Raymund Ellorin, Pastor of St. George Parish.

Fr. Ellorin, originally from Ilocos Sur, Philippines and Pastor of St. George since 2017, said the 70th Anniversary is a time to remember, celebrate and believe in God. He said St. George Parish was established in December 1954 by Bishop James Sweeney who appointed Fr. Eugene Morin, SS.CC., as the first Pastor.

Fr. Ellorin thanked all parishioners who became part of this parish community over the years. He said to show “our sincere gratitude and recognition, we dedicated a space in our gathering hall for their [priests of St George] collective photo as a tribute to their services. It’s a special time to thank all the priests that served in St. George -Fr. Martial Jan, Fr. Patrick Logan, Fr. Eugene Morin, Fr. Mark Consalvi, Fr. Charles Kaleikoa, Fr. Henry Sabog, Msgr. William Mattimore, Fr. Alfred Rebuldela, Fr. Michael Scully, Fr. Robert Maher, Msgr. Romeo Nietes, and Fr. Scott Bush.”

St. George Parish -- located at 41 1323 Kalanianaole Highway – is in the beautiful and lush Waimanalo town on Windward Oahu. It showcases several gardens open to parishioners and visitors anytime, said Olivia Lessary, Program Committee member of the FCM and a parishioner at St. George for over 25 years.

An aesthetic gem to its surrounding, St.

George utilizes Hawaii’s natural resources. The front façade of the church was constructed of black lava rock; the sanctuary wall was constructed of white limestone. A new bell tower was constructed in 1981. The bell was discovered in a storage under the parish hall (the old church) and is believed to be the bell which was imported from France in 1870. In 1983, a small grotto and water fountain dedicated to the Blessed Virgin was constructed at the front of the church by members of the parish’s Filipino Catholic Club.

Dr. Alfie Riveral, head of the PR & Documentation Committee of the FCM and a member of the FCM Program Committee, said “The church and grounds are well-kept. A prayerful life is encouraged with a serene Meditation Garden, Guardian Angel Garden, and Mama Mary Garden. Waimanalo town is in the foothills of the Ko’olau mountain and is known for its pleasant climate for growing plants. St George Waimanalo definitely has a pleasant climate for spiritual growth.”

Prior to Bishop Sweeney’s proclamation recognizing St. George in 1954, Catholics of Waimanalo attended one of the first chapels on Oahu’s windward side as far back as 1842. The chapel’s parishioners were among the first of what would later become through some of their descendants St. George’s Catholic community. Back then, the chapel was visited by a priest from nearby St. Ann in Kaneohe to administer the sacraments.

Many parishioners of the chapel then (which was torn down in the 1930s) were labor workers imported from the Philippines and Portugal employed by the Waimanalo Sugar Company. The new church completed in 1933 was dedicated to St. George in appreciation of the plantation manager’s help in acquiring the donated land where the current parish sits. St. George is the patron saint of England, an early Christian martyr during the Middle Ages known for his valor and selflessness.

In the early years St. George was attached as a mission to St. Anthony Parish

in the neighboring town of Kailua. The administration of the parish was turned over from the Sacred Hearts Fathers to the Diocese of Honolulu in 1985.

Lessary said, “St. George’s environment is very pleasant, and the ambiance will give you peace of mind. I was born and raised Catholic in the Philippines and attended a Catholic school there. St. George parishioners are very welcoming which helped me a lot in my spiritual health for which I am grateful.”

Manny and Nonie Valmoja also have been going to St. George for over 25 years. They attend the parish with their children. The couple have been appointed as the Head of the Liturgical Committee of the FCM. “St. George is special to our family. This is where we praise and worship God. St. George will always be our church and our community. We were born into the Catholic Church. Attending St. George and listening to the Word of God, strengthens our Catholic faith.”

Geraldine Durango, FCM assistant treasurer, has been attending St. George for 38 years. A member of the choir, Durgango said “St. George is special to me because it is where my children were baptized, went to Catholic school, received First Communion and Confirmation. Attending St. George has strengthened my faith by having a supportive congregation.”

Filipino Catholic Ministries, the Filipino Ministry and Filipino Catholic Clubs

Like most Catholic parishes, under the leadership of the parish priest, the heart of the parish is comprised of various minis-

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(St. George.....from page 4)

tries like lectors, choir, Holy Communion, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA), youth, outreach and community services.

With a large contingent of Filipino congregants, there is also typically a Filipino Catholic Ministry or a Filipino Catholic Club in many parishes across the state of Hawaii. The two could be separate entities or synonymous in their function within a parish.

In 1949, Msgr. Osmundo Calip, from Nueva Segovia, Philippines was sent to Hawaii to do mission work. He is credited with establishing the Filipino Catholic Clubs (some now under the Diocesan Congress of Filipino Catholic Clubs), which remains an influential force providing for the spiritual and social needs of Filipinos throughout the state.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu in the 1980s created a Filipino ministry under the Office for Ethnic Ministries headed by the late Maryknoll Sister Grace Dorothy Lim, who was from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. The Filipino ministry of the Honolulu Diocese – distinct from parish FCMs which functions as Filipino Catholic Clubs – assists in getting Philippines-based priests to serve in local Hawaii parishes. Today, more than half of the active priests serving in the Honolulu Diocese are from the Philippines. The Diocese comprises of 66 parishes and 23 mission churches ministering to Catholics across six islands.

St. George’s Filipino Catholic Ministry

St. George’s FCM was established on September 10, 2023. Fr. Ellorin, who serves as St. George’s FCM’s spiritual director, said the newly formed Filipino Catholic Ministry in St. George is a big help to the parish. “Each member is active in different ministries at our church. The parish is thriving because of their presence and untiring energy to keep things moving and accomplish goals.”

Rebecca Cadizal Fuller, president of the FCM of St. George said FCM was created by the many active Filipino parishioners from Waimanalo, and neighboring town communities such as Kailua and Kaneohe. She said the mission of FCM is “to promote camaraderie and cohesive relationship among Filipinos and to keep the values and cultures bequeathed to us by our home country, the Philippines.”

While the FCM of St. George is new, Cadizal Fuller asserts their members are active and have already spearheaded several events. “We participated in the Sinulog Celebration or Feast of St. Niño in January 2023, even before we officially formed the FCM. When FCM was formed, we did Filipino Food Bazaar and Christmas Caroling to fund our costumes and props for the 2024 Sinulog presentation. The latest of the FCM activity is the First Grand Santacruzan of St. George Parish in honor

of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“I joined the Filipino Catholic Ministry to enrich my Catholic Faith and to also fulfill the FCM’s desire to help not only the members of our community but to extend help, if possible, to those who are in need in our home country [Philippines],” Cadizal Fuller said.

She said while the FCM of St. George is new, there are many established Filipino Ministries in Hawaii. “They have been around for years, providing charitable works and various services to many people. They sponsor big fundraising events, too.”

Dr. Riveral, FCM member was the Narrator of the Reyna (Queen’s) title for the recent Santacruzan. She was born into the Catholic faith and attended Catholic schools from grade school to her postgraduate studies and was very active in the student Catholic and Christian renewal ministry. “Since moving to Hawaii 20 years ago, I had a deep longing to play an active part of a church ministry. Only after attending St George Parish, did I feel the true sense of belonging.”

She said, “the FCM’s officers and members made me feel like I had known them for a very long time. The camaraderie, teamwork and friendship shared by everyone make our project tasks and assigned chores simple and effortless. All are friends and equals, there’s no hierarchy, no poli-

“I have strong devotion to San Lorenzo Ruiz [first Filipino saint], and we are fortunate that a memorial stone of San Lorenzo Ruiz along with the first-degree relics of St. George and St. Damien were installed in this Church. A Novena and Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz is held on the month of September. When my family and I started the service honoring and praying the Novena to San Lorenzo Ruiz, what I have been praying for a long time has come true, my son Lawrence was born. San Lorenzo Ruiz gave me a miracle. Since then, my faith has become much deeper. My son is one of the altar servers at St. George Catholic Church wherein I am a volunteer, too. Our devotions to San Lorenzo Ruiz helped deepen our Catholic faith.”

tics, just like the example of Jesus’ apostles. Fr. Raymund’s homilies are easy to understand and provide a practical guide to living the gospel in our daily lives,” Dr. Riveral said.

She mentions some of FCM’s activities include annual devotions to the Sto. Nino [baby Jesus] with Sinulog [Sto. Nino} festival, San Lorenzo Ruiz with Filipino Fiesta, May flower devotion to the Blessed mother, as well as weekly devotion to the Divine Mercy [God’s love].

Grace Gohol, treasurer of FCM St. George and member of the Parish’s Music Ministry, credits Fr. Ellorin for introducing to the Parish the values of Filipino Catholic traditions -- Sto Niño Sinulog Festival, San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day, and Santacruzan or Flores de Mayo.

Gohol is an immigrant from the Philippines like many who are members of FCM. She said her parents raised her family to be strong believers in God. “My faith and spirituality as a Catholic that was molded in the Philippines continue to grow along with my husband and my children. My service as a choir member as well as my daughter as one of the lectors strengthened our family’s faith and relationship to God.”

Dennis Escalante, Vice-President of the FCM of St. George is also an immigrant from the Philippines. He attributes a personal miracle as the reason for his active

– Dennis Escalante, Vice-President of the FCM of St. George Parish, Waimanalo

membership to FCM and St. George Parish.

He explains, “I have strong devotion to San Lorenzo Ruiz [first Filipino saint], and we are fortunate that a memorial stone of San Lorenzo Ruiz along with the first-degree relics of St. George and St. Damien were installed in this church. A Novena and Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz is held on the month of September. When my family and I started the service honoring and praying the Novena to San Lorenzo Ruiz, what I have been praying for a long time has come true, my son Lawrence was born. San Lorenzo Ruiz gave me a miracle,” Escalante said. “Since then, my faith has become much deeper. My son is one of the altar servers at St. George wherein I am a volunteer, too. Our devotions to San Lorenzo Ruiz helped deepen our Catholic faith.”

St. George Parish’s First Grand Santacruzan, May Flower Celebration

St. George Parish held its first Grand Santacruzan, May Flower Celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31.

The Santa Cruz de Mayo or Santacruzan is a religious celebration and processional pageantry which honors the Virgin Mary. It’s a popular tradition in the Philippines that’s held in May. This event is rich

in history, religion, and features a beautiful parade. The event involves ladies parading in gowns, and oftentimes, with an escort and a decorated arch being carried over their heads. It’s a Filipino Catholic tradition that commemorates and retells the story of Queen Helena or Reyna Helena, mother of Constantine the Great who found the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Each participant of the Santacruzan is assigned to represent a Biblical character or trait such as peace or truth.

The virtues associated with the Santacruzan are hope, faith and charity, according to the Philippine Heritage Society. The actual parade of the Santacruzan is also a way for the younger generation to be evangelized and carry on the Philippines’ Catholic religious roots and heritage. Filipino Catholics across the globe celebrate the Santacruzan.

Rachel Pascual, guest Santacruzan Queen from another Parish, represented Reyna Verdad (Truth) and was escorted by her husband Ferdinand Pascual. She said, “We were so blessed to have been invited to be a part of this Santacruzan. It was a privilege for us to offer flowers to our Blessed Mother. We were also joined by our friends Mr. and Mrs. Remar Aquino.

“Words can’t explain how (continue on page 6)



Maui TVR ‘Phase Out’ Wrong Means For Good Goal

It’s hard to criticize Maui

Mayor Richard Bissen’s stated motive for wanting to phase out more than 7,000 transient vacation rentals on Maui within an 18-month period.

In his May 2 news conference announcing his plan, Mayor Bissen said his priority was to secure housing for Maui’s local residents — and who can argue with that?

The whole state has had a housing crisis for years — as Gov. Josh Green declared when he issued his housing emergency proclamations in July 2023 — and Maui’s became even worse after the horrific August 2023 wildfires that wiped out almost 2,000 homes from the county’s already skimpy housing stock.

But even Gov. Green’s emergency order didn’t specifically target short-term rentals. Instead, he aimed his edict at what virtually all local economists realize is the main cause of Hawaii’s housing crisis — the state’s

(COVER STORY: St. George....from page 5)

blessed I felt when Fr. Raymond asked me to be one of the Queens. It was such a grace-filled Santacruzan organized by the St. George ladies led by Fr. Raymund. Rhoda and Dr. Alfie gave

extremely high number of land-use and other housing-related regulations that have hindered homebuilding.

At his news conference, Mayor Bissen gave no indication that he recognized this.

Asked whether he expected any pushback to his plan from “any of the partners involved in the repercussions of this bill,” he responded:

“I think the short answer is yes, and that’s why it hasn’t been done all this time. That’s why it’s been sitting, and sort of festering. It hasn’t gotten better and it’s not gonna get better.”

In effect, the good mayor was implying that he had exhausted all his options and nothing would get better unless he enacted his legally dubious and economically dangerous plan to convert about a third of Maui’s short-term rentals to owner-occupied or long-term rental housing.

Tampering with property rights and endangering a major driver of Maui’s economy, however, is not the best way to go.

In fact, Maui lawmakers have not exhausted all their

insightful reflections on the event itself. I was amazed at the organization of these ladies.”

Rachel elaborates, “All the Queens were given a sash and tiara for our participation. It was a fun-filled night with photo-op by Miguel, and lots of homemade food. We had a special place near the altar with sound system and the usherettes, Morie, Grace and Clifford walked us through the program. We then realized there were gifts given to each of us. Fr. Raymund was wonderful as he gave touching reflections and explanations of each Queen.”

Gezela Aquino, guest Santacruzan Queen from another Parish, represented Reyna De La Paz (Peace) and was escorted by her husband Remar Aquino. “My husband

policymaking options. They have made some strides in some areas, but there still are many regulatory obstacles they could remove to encourage homebuilding.

For example, the Council currently is considering Bill 71 (2024), which would increase the allowable density of second dwellings on ag lots.

And there are two bills that were approved in February by the Maui Planning Commission that would increase the number of homes per lot and allow more small kitchens per dwelling.

As outlined in the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report “How to facilitate more homebuilding in Hawaii,” Maui lawmakers could also encourage more mixeduse development, make it

and I were so grateful to join the Santacruzan and to offer flowers to our Blessed Mother. Being chosen to be Reyna de la Paz (Queen of Peace) I will, along with my husband, continue to pray for world peace and share our love, peace, and joy with everyone. Through the Cross that Queen Helena found, we [Catholics] should continue to practice and show everyone our Catholic Faith.” To most Christians, the cross is more than the near-universal symbol that carries the message of love, finality, but the fulfilled promise of Christ’s sacrifice for mankind’s sins.

Gezela said the yearround anniversary celebrations of St. George – from Bishop Silva’s opening Eucharistic Celebration in January to February’s honoring

sues Maui County could address to ease homebuilding — especially for displaced residents of Maui’s fire-ravaged areas who are desperate to rebuild their homes but have had to wait for permitting authorities to get out of the way.

easier to build multifamily housing, expand floor area ratios, reduce or eliminate parking requirements, allow lot-splitting, reduce setbacks, allow smaller lots and more.

It’s great that the county recently contracted with a private firm to help it process building applications, which now are being issued more quickly. But if it isn’t already, this arrangement should be made permanent.

The county also could speed up permitting by reducing the number of things that need to be permitted, increasing self-certification and implementing by-right approvals, whereby construction can proceed automatically because the proposed projects meet all zoning requirements.

There are many other is-

of married couples to Mother’s Day Celebration and the Santacruzan in May – have strengthened their faith and relationship with God.

What makes St. George Parish special

Gohol said St. George is special because it’s a welcoming community where they build a close relationship like one happy family. She is impressed with the programs and services like religious education, charitable activities and community services. “We have social gatherings and fellowship that help us to develop and build our confidence so that we can share our individual talents of speech and singing. I admire most the leadership of our current Pastor Fr. Ellorin. He is very approachable and open to new ideas.”

Mayor Bissen deserves credit for doing what he thinks is right. As he said at his May 2 news conference: “You don’t always go into a situation because you think it’s gonna be easy. You go into a situation because you think it’s right.”

My concern, however, is that he can be right about the goal — finding housing for Maui’s local residents — but not about the means to achieving that goal.

The fact is, he and other Maui lawmakers have not exhausted all their policy options — such as making a concerted effort to roll back the many useless homebuilding regulations — and unless they do, the housing situation on Maui truly is “not gonna get better.” 

KELI‘I AKINA is the president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

Mercy Morgia, head of FCM Food Committee, had been going to St. George since 1992. She also finds a special quality in the congregates’ welcoming nature. “You have that feeling of being at home like in the Philippines. My Catholic faith is very strong as a rock. The congregation here helps strengthen my faith because the people are nice, religious and filled with the aloha spirit.”

Fr. Ellorin expressed thankfulness for his parishioners and looks forward to the rest of this anniversary year. “St. George parishioners are simple, humble, and peace-loving. They are generous in sharing their time, treasure, and talent for the growth of the parish,” he said.

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen

The Importance of Flores De Mayo and Santacruzan, Honoring The Blessed Virgin Mary

In honor of last month’s Flores De Mayo and Santacuzan, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle asked readers these questions: Why is it important for Filipinos to observe cultural and religious celebrations like Flores de Mayo or Santacruzan? Why is it important to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary?

RJ Fundal, M.A. in Education, Kailua

It is a tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it also binds both religious and cultural aspects of the Filipinos. For us Catholics, the Blessed Virgin Mary is an important icon of faithfulness and obedience to God. She is the model of faith. When the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would become the mother of God, she answered a 100% “Yes.” Thus, honoring her as our mother plays an important role in our hearts. For a Catholic who wants to follow God, Mary is the best model to be imitated. We have to honor her because she gave life to our savior Jesus Christ, and she’s a symbol of God’s love and reminder of connection to all mankind.

Rebecca C. Fuller, LPN., FCM President, St. George Parish Waimanalo Filipino Catholics are devoted to their religious faith, and Flores de Mayo is a strong cultural Catholic event because it celebrates Queen Helena who is believed to have found the true cross where Jesus Christ had been crucified. It is also celebrated to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, a

steadfast Mother of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic Christian, honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is very important because she is the mother of Jesus Christ, our savior. She is the Mother of all Mothers. We pray for her at any time and at any place because she is there ready to listen to all our prayers.

Ruben Alonzo, Security Guard, Ewa Beach

We want to instill in our children that we have to continue celebrating the Flores de Mayo as part of our culture and heritage. This practice is to honor her with love and care. We inherit this tradition way back from the Spaniards. We have to remember that the Blessed Virgin Mary carried Jesus Christ in her womb that’s why that is a very important responsibility. We pray the rosary in honor of her, and she is full of love and care when we ask her something, she is always there to guide and grant our wishes just like a real mother giving assistance to her children like Jesus Christ.

Nida Escalante, Food Service Manager, Kaneohe

Most of us Filipinos are Catholics. Apart from the cultures we grew up in, we follow the traditions we have learned from our parents and grandparents as well. Flores de Mayo is a month-long celebration honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. It includes a nineday novena prayer and flower offering. It is right and worthy to venerate and honor the Blessed Virgin Mary because she is the one and only mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.




T. GEORGE PARISH in Waimanalo celebrated their 70th Anniversary last May 31, 2024 with a Santacruzan, followed by Mass and a Gala fellowship night where over 300 people attended coming from different parishes around the Island of Oahu and the other islands like Maui and the Big Island.

It started with SANTACRUZAN which was the procession of the Queens which is a popular Filipino Tradition introduced by the Spaniards in the 1800 and this has been the highlight of the Flores De Mayo or May Flower Celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is to reenact the pilgrimage led by Queen Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great, to find the cross where Jesus was crucified followed by the festivities in Jerusalem after.

1. THE ANGELS. The Holy Angels have a strong connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout her life on earth: at the Annunciation, the Nativity of her Divine Son, her Assumption into heaven and her Coronation as Queen of Angels and Men. The St. George Parish’s Satacruzan, guided by the Blessed Virgin Mary is being led by eight wonderful Angels and each one of them is holding a significant letter.

1. Holding Letter A is Angel MALIA GAERLAN

2. Letter V is Angel LEILANI GAERLAN

3. Letter E is Angel RYLIE ROSE BICKFORD


5. Letter A is Angel VICTORIA NEUMANN

6. Letter R is Angel PIPER NEUMANN

7. Letter I is Angel BOBBY NEUMANN

8. Letter A is Angel KEONE GAERLAN

Together, our Angels make up the word AVE MARIA, meaning Hail Mary, our prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Celebrant: Rev. Fr. Pascual Abaya Concelebrants: Rev. Fr. Norlito Conception and Rev. Fr. Raymund Ellorin



1. Reyna Banderada is represented by MS. LODIE ANTOPINA, a maiden clothed in red. She symbolizes the growth of the country’s Christianity. She bears a triangular yellow flag.

2. Reyna Juana is represented by MS. NIDA ESCALANTE. Formerly known as Humamai, spouse of Raha, Humabon. Their baptism is believed to be the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines. Reyna Juana is holding the image of Sto. Nino, an offering from Magallanes. The said image was enshrined and now known as Santo. Nino de Cebu.

3. Reyna Fe is represented by MS. FE DUQUE. She manifested the most significant characteristic of the Filipinos which is having a strong faith. Reyna Fe bears the “Cross” as a sign of this faith.

4. Reyna Esperanza is represented by MS. LEONIDES BOLIBOL. She showcased the second good characteristic of the Filipinos, which is obtaining hope. Reyna Esperanza bears an “anchor” as a symbol of this hope.

5. Reyna Caridad is represented by MS. ESTRELLA QUEZON. She exhibited the third good characteristic of Filipinos which is exhibiting eternal or pure love. Reyna Caridad bears a “heart” as a sign of this love.

6. Reyna Justicia is represented by MS. JERALDINE LABRADOR. She embodies the “reflection of righteousness” that means the law is impar-

tial to anyone. Reyna Justicia bears the “sword and scales”.

7. Reyna Sheba is represented by MS. CLAIRE DEL ROSARIO. The Queen who visited King Sollomon to test his knowledge. Later, she was overwhelmed not only by the King’s wisdom but also on his wealth and power. Reyna Sheba bears a “gold box”.

8. Reyna Esther is represented by MS. Myrna Kiessling. She was the Jewish Queen of Persia, came from the tribe of Jews who saved her dominion. Reyna Esther bears a scepter capped with the Star of David.

9. Reyna Veronica is represented by MS. OLIVIA LESSARY. This woman wiped the blood and the sweat on the face of Jesus. This miracle of all miracles, Jesus’ face is instilled on this woman’s bandana. She bears the “bandana with the image of Jesus”.

10. Reyna Luna is represented by PERSEVERANDA TAMAYO. The Queen Moon-she is the representation of the moon, the footstool of Mary as the Woman of Apocalypse. Reyna Luna carries a wand or baston topped with the crescent moon.

11. Reyna Candelaria is represented by MS. CARLOTA ADER. She symbolizes the Purification of Mary. Reyna Candelaria carries a longlit taper.

12. Reyna Vida is represented by CRISTETA RAMOS. The Queen of Life- she is an advocate of life. She carries the image of “Nino Jesus” which represents her continuous protection for every creation that exists on Earth.

13. Reyna de los Confesores is represented by MS. MILA WONG AR LETT. The Queen of Confessors. She kept the Faith of all her days on Earth and now shares in the reward of the Confessors as their Queen. She intercedes and prays for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. She holds a scroll or a purple candle.

14. Reyna de los Profetas is represented by MS. ROSE DADIS. The Queen of the Prophets- “a maiden will conceive and will give birth to a boy, and she will call him Emmanuel” which means “God is with us.” This happened to fulfill what God has said to the prophets. Reyna de los Profetas holds an hourglass that symbolizes the prophets.

15. Reyna Sta. Maria de Cleophas is represented by MS. ADELINA DELA PENA. She is known as Mary, the mother of James, and wife of Clopas. A steadfast follower of Christ, present during His crucifixion at Calvary. She bears a bottle of oil, alluding to her role as a Myrrh bearer.

16. Reyna de los Santos is represented by MS. GINA RIVAD. The Queen of Saints. Saints are the holy persons who were known for their “heroic sanctity”. We ask them to pray for us. They are part of the mystical Body of Christ, and so are united to us through Jesus. She holds a golden wreath, symbol of the crown of the saints.

17. Reyna Judith is represented by MS. NONIE VALMOJA with her escort MR.MANNY VALMOJA. She’s from Pethulia who saved the whole city from the Assyrians by cutting off the head of the cruel Holofernes. Thus, she bears the sword.

18. Reyna Samaritana is represented by MS. PESIO RAMOS with her escort MR. EMMANUEL VITALE. She is Queen Photina, the Samarian woman at the well with whom Christ conversed about the Water of Life. She carries a water jag.

19. Reyna Divina Pastora is represented by MS. PATRICIA MANANSALA with her escort MR. ALEX MANANSALA. The Divine Shepherdess. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in connection with her son’s role as the “Good Shepherd”, nurtured mankind and guided those who were astray. Reyna Divina Pastora bears the staff of a shepherd.

20. Reyna de las Estrellas is represented by MS. ROSE LACAR with her escort MR. THEO LACAR. The Queen of the Stars-Mary, just like stars, brings light to mind full of distress. Reyna de las Estrellas hold a staff” that shines.

21. Reyna de la Paz is represented by MS. GEZELA AQUINO with her



Escort MR. REMAR AQUINO. The Queen of Peace - Mary was fulfilled by the Holy Spirit and accepted the gift which is peace. The Queen of Peace holds a white dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

22. Reyna Verdad is represented by MS. RACHEL PASCUAL with her escort MR. FERDINAND PASCUAL. The Queen of truth -- she is an advocate of the truth. She holds the bible that will bring the good news to all those people who will follow the commandments of God.

23. Reyna de los Patriarcas is represented by MS. CORA GABORNO with her escort MR. OSCAR GABORNO. The Queen of Patriarchs- she possessed all the virtues of the Patriarchs in a more wonderful degree. The Patriarchs are the ancestors of the Israelites who faithfully walk in the path of holiness and lived serving God. She bears a wooden rod or staff.

24. Reyna Rosa Mystica is represented by MS. LUISA GALLARDO with her escort MR. JAIRO CASTILLO. She is the Queen of Spiritual Flowers. As the Mystical Rose, Mary is seen as a conduit of divine grace, offering solace, compassion, and guardian to those who seek her intercession. Mary with her body personality was appointed as the mother of our Savior. She holds a bouquet of roses which symbolizes Immaculate Heart of Mary.

25. Reyna Sta. Maria Magdalena is represented by MS. MAGDA GALVAN with her escort MR. LOREN-JO GALVAN. She was the first witness to the resurrection, earning her the title of Apostle to the Apostles. Catholic tradition once conflated her with Mary of Bethany as the woman who anointed and wiped Jesus’ feet. She carries a bottle of perfume.

26. Reyna Consolacion is represented by MS. GRACE GOHOL. She is the giver of hope for all the hopeless and weak-spirited. Together with her Angels, JEREMY and DANIELLA RAE ESCALANTE, she can help and guide the less fortunate children toward a better life and a brighter future. She carries the stork that symbolizes joy and represents hope.

27. Reyna de las Virgines is represented by MS. GRACELYN GOHOL. “Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”. This what Elizabeth said when she was filled with Holy Spirit because the child leaped in her womb after she heard the greeting of Mary. Reyna de las Virgines bears the “ROSARY” together with two Angels, JOSIAH JAMILE and LAWRENCE ESCALANTE.

28. Reyna de los Angeles is represented by MS. LOURDES RECIO JACAINE. The Queen of Angels- “Glory to God in the highest and peace to God’s people on Earth”. This was said by the angels when Jesus Christ Our Lord was born. Reyna de los Angeles is accompanied by two Angels, ANAKIN LEIA and KENOBI LUKE RAMOS.

29. Reyna del Santisimo Rosario is represented by MS. VANESSAQ DELA CRUZ with her escort MR. TONY DELA CRUZ. The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. She carries a Large Rosary. The Holy Rosary tells us about the life of Jesus and his Mother, Mary. The Rosary is a meditative prayer that can transform hearts and change lives. It is our prayer to God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Praying the Rosary allows us to encounter Mary and to enter the mysteries of Jesus Christ.


Filipino American Chef Receives the James Beard Award for Best Chef: California

Chef Lord Maynard Llera of Los Angeles restaurant Kuya Lord won the Best Chef: California award at the 2024 James Beard Award Ceremony held in Chicago last June 10.

The James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards are a highly prestigious event often referred to as the “Oscars of food.”

What started as a pop-up restaurant, Kuya Lord eventually moved to a permanent storefront in Melrose Hill, California in 2022. The menu focuses on Filipino cuisine with classics like lu-

cenachon (slow-cooked pork belly) and lechon kawali (twice-cooked pork belly).

Chef Llera’s Kuya Lord has also been named Los Angeles Times’101 Best Restaurants and Bon Appetit’s 24 Best New Restau-

30. Reyna del Cielo is represented by MS. REBECCA FULLER. The Queen of Heaven-On the final decade of the Glorious Mystery, Mary was assumed into heaven and was crowned Queen of heaven and earth. She holds a bouquet of flowers with two Angels by her side, AVERY ALCANTARA and ALEXANDRIA ALCANTARA.

31. Reyna de las Flores is represented by DR. JOSEPHINE WAITE with her escort DR. VERNON ANSDELL. The Queen of Flowers- The Queen of Flores de Mayo. By turning to Mary and seeking her intercession, we can experience the love and mercy of God in a deeper way. It is right to respect, appreciate, and give her the highest honor and veneration. Mary shows us the way to love everlasting. Together with this love, it is only right to offer her flowers and devote love as a sign of veneration and respect. Reyna de las Flores holds a cluster of flowers.

32. Reyna Helena is represented by MS. CHONA SONIDO with her escort MR. RJ FUNDAL. The Queen of Santacruzan. The discoverer of the True Cross. She is the representation of Saint Helena herself, the mother of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor. Queen Helena holds great significance in Christian tradition as she is believed to have discovered the True Cross wherein Jesus Christ was crucified. The symbol of the finding of the True Cross is the crucifix that she bears on her arms. She carries a Cross as a sign or proof that Reyna Helena finds the True Cross that saved us. Devotion to St. Helena grew over the years across the world. Her faith journey stirred many hearts. May she continue to inspire us to never get tired searching for Jesus.

The Gala Night fellowship followed after the Mass and there was entertainment as well as abundant food. Entertainment was provided by Virgil and Josie Sumait, Nicole Escalante and Alex Manansala, and Cotillon de Honor presented by the members of the FCM headed by Pres. Rebecca Fuller and Santacruzan Narrator and Choreographer Dr. ALFIE Riveral. The Guest Speaker was former State Representative, Ben Cabreros. There was also community singing by St. George Parish with their theme song, “WE Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe.” The party was emceed by Rhoda Balmori.

rants for 2023.

The James Beard award puts Chef Llera and Kuya Lord on the national map of Filipino American restaurants alongside Chicago’s Kasama and Seattle’s Musang.

Chef Lord Maynard Llera


St. George Parish, Waimanalo  May 31, 2024

Filipino, Japanese and Korean food was served during the Gala Night. Mr. & Mrs. Virgil & Josie Sumait performs Filipino and standard songs to entertain the attendees during the gala dinner. The husband and wife tandem also sang the Dios Te Salve during the entrance of the Reyna Elena at the gathering Hall. The mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Pascual Abaya, Rev. Fr. Norlito Concepcion, and Rev. Fr. Raymund Ellorin. The Holy Angels have a strong connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout her life on Earth. The Santacruzan is led by eight wonderful angels holding each letter of AVE MARIA, which means Hail Mary. From left to right, spelling AVE MARIA: Malia Gaerlan, Leilani Gaerlan, Rylie Rose Bickford, Victoria Neumann, Piper Neumann, Bobby Neumann, and Keone Gaerlan.


Dr. Alfie Riveral (center) with niece and her husband to her left and her brother and wife, Grace, (extreme right) who are visiting from the Philippines. Reyna Juana is Ms. Nida Escalante Reyna de los Angeles is Ms. Lourdes Recio Jacaine, Reyna de las Flores is Dr. Josephine Waite, Reyna del Cielo is Ms. Rebecca Fuller, Reyna de las Virgines is Ms. Gracelyn Gohol and Reyna del Santisimo Rosario is Ms. Vanessa Dela Cruz. Reyna de la Paz is Ms. Gezela Aquino, Reyna de los Patriarcas is Ms. Cora Gaborno, Reyna Verdad Ms. Rachel Pascual, Reyna Consolacion is Ms. Grace Gohol, Reyna Rosa Mystica is Ms. Luisa Gallardo, and Reyna Sta. Maria Magdalena is Ms. Magda Galvan. Reyna Judith is Ms. Nonie Valmoja, Reyna de los Santos is Ms. Gina Rivad, Reyna Sta. Maria de Cleophas is Ms. Adelina Dela Pena, Reyna de los Profetas is Ms. Rose Dadis, Reyna de los Confesores is Ms. Mila Wong Arlett, Reyna Samaritana is Ms. Pesio Ramos, Reyna Divina Pastora is Ms. Patricia Manansala, and Reynade las Estrellas is Ms. Rose Lacar. There are 32 Santacruzan Queens overall each represented by distinguished women in the Filipino community: L to R: Reyna Justicia is Ms. Jeraldine Labrador, Reyna Esperanza is Ms. Leonides Bolibol, Reyna Caridad is Ms. Estrella Quezon,Reyna Banderada is Ms. Lodie Antopina, Reyna Elena is Ms. Chona Sonido with her escort, RJ Fundal, Reyna Candelaria is Ms. Carlota Ader, Reyna Luna is Ms. Perseveranda Tamayo, Reyna Vida is Ms.Cristeta Ramos and Reyna Sheba is Ms.Claire Del Rosario. (At the back: L to R): Reyna Juana is Ms. Nida Escalante, Reyna Fe is Ms. Fe Duque, Reyna Veronica is Ms. Olivia Lessary and Reyna Esther is Ms. Myrna Kiessling. Reyna Fe is Ms. Fe Duque Reyna Justicia is Ms. Jeraldine Labrador Reyna Esperanza is Ms. Leonides Bolibol Reyna Esther is Ms. Myrna Kiessling Reyna Veronica is Ms. Olivia Lessary

eople keep asking me, “how beautiful and exotic” and “what makes Boracay the 5th Best island in Asia,” according to the Destin Asian Magazine’s 17th Annual Reader’s Choice Awards 2024.

PI didn’t know what to answer until my wife’s siblings and relatives and I visited Boracay last week in a seven-day tour of Panay Island for the first time.

I am already in my prime age, but that was the only time I had the chance to visit the famed tourist spots.

As a prelude to the Boracay trip, we drove to Iloilo City from our hotel room in Altavas, Aklan, and visited the parks, the old churches, the market place and other landmarks of Iloilo.

It has been a long time too since I visited the city during the Masagana 99 National Rice Program days.

I was then working with the Department of Agriculture as one of three government counterparts that implemented the massive communications component of the most ambitious rice program of the country with J. Walter Thompson who won the communications component when Guimaras was still a sub-province of Iloilo.

Now Guimaras is a separate thriving province with the island’s famous mangoes.

The following day, we went to Roxas City, Capiz, where we experienced having lunch in a floating raft restaurant in the Palina River being towed by a boat (balsa) while enjoying eating crabs, oysters, fish, vegetables, and other seafood served by the local chef.

That was my first experience, in fact, most of the group’s first experience of the floating restaurant circling the Palina River with mangroves on the side of the river serv-

The Boracay Escapade: Enjoying the “Crown Jewel of Philippine Tourism”

ing as safe places when the storm is strong and the winds are strong with the mangroves serving as a safe place to stop.

The river trip usually takes an hour but we had it only for 30 minutes because of strong winds that forced us to go to a safe mangrove area before resuming the cruise. It was raining at that time.

We were introduced to this kind of thrilling experience by my niece Rhoda Estioko (she was also vacationing in the Philippines from the US) with two of the staff of her brotherin-law’s beach resort in Capiz Romy Villar.

Towards the end of our Panay tour, we finally visited Boracay and scoured the place for three days.

The two-hour drive from our hotel in Altavas, Aklan to Boracay gave me a chance to talk to seaman Tottie Doroteo and discuss seafarers’ life in the sea. We were both passengers at the back with our SUV being driven by Ghaga Ventura with my wife Delia in the front seat.

The other 14-seater car with our group (my wife’s siblings and relatives) were trailing us: Roger Ventura, his wife Bot and their daughter Carol; Nelia Ventura Samar and her daughter Bekbek Reyes with her children Ayon and Nehlay; Nelia Ventura; Editha Ventura Azucenas; Rene Ventura; Ligaya Ventura Doroteo; and Fiona Ventura.

Tottie’s ship is owned by a Japanese company and has been employed with the cargo ship for many years now. He is a veteran seafarer! I learned that his ship is composed of the ship’s captain, 7 other officers plus 13 crewmembers for a total of 21. They have individual rooms but common toilets. Only the officers have their toilets in their rooms.

Most of the time, they have mixed crews but are mostly dominated by Filipinos who are hard-working, compared to other nationalities. That’s the reason the ship owners and the captain prefer Filipinos as


Salaries/wages range from $800 to $1,500 depending on their roles in the ship. When their contract is ended (usually from 6 to 9 months), they are given a $100 leave fee in addition to their monthly salaries. Then, they have to wait for a month to three months to be able to be hired again.

They have a fixed amount of allotment being sent to their spouse depending upon their agreement from $330-$800. Most of the crew members send allotments of $300 to $500 while officers send $800 as allotments.

They don’t spend, at all, their own money throughout the duration of their contract because they have free board and lodging and nothing to spend on while at sea.

One important thing is they contribute $50 to $80

as part of their benefit thrust which they can withdraw when they need it.

Most seamen have it accumulated and when they need money they can withdraw and even make a bigger loan when they need money. That’s the reason why most seamen have big houses and have a lot of appliances.

After a two-hour drive taking the less traveled shortcut at the edge of the mountains, we reached Caticlan, a progressive barangay of Boracay where the newly built Caticlan airport was.

At Caticlan, we have to register to go to Boracay and pay immigration and boat fare for a 10-minute trip to Boracay Island.

The Boracay Sun, Boracay’s monthly newspaper, reported in its May 2024 issue that Boracay Island and its

beaches have received notable awards from numerous travel organizations and agencies since 2011.

These contributions brought honor to the Philippines, also referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas.”

On a daily basis, for three days, we left our hotel in Boracay and showered the blessings of the Boracay beaches, even if it was raining.

We saw the sun in the afternoon of the second day and the whole day on the third day and enjoyed the pristine-calm waters, the gentle waves, the ambiance of nature, the sun, and the multitude of stores serving the tourists coming from all walk of lives in all parts of the world.

They, like us, came to Boracay to commune with nature and have a positive confirmation of what the visitors, tourists, journalists, media men, reviewers, businessmen, and critics are saying: Boracay Island Ranks the 5th best island in Asia.

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com

Broadway Star Jade Stice Dies At 53

Filipino American local Hawaii Broadway star Jade Stice sadly passed away at age 53 due to a hiking accident on the mainland.

An Oahu native and Kaneohe local, the then19-year-old Stice made her Broadway debut in 1991 as an original cast member in “Miss Saigon” in New York City.

She also went to join the first national tour of “Jekyll and Hyde”, and performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Rockefeller Center.

In 2004, she returned to Hawaii and performed in the local theatre community.

With her sister Ligaya

Stice, they founded the I’m a Bright Kid Foundation in honor of her former musical

Through the foundation, Stice shared her Broadway experience and knowledge with her students.

“The roots that she has here in Hawaii just kind of permeated her personally again, bringing those gifts and experiences that she learned professionally aboard and then being able to share that here locally,” her friend Allan Lau told KHON2.

“She embodied our motto with Mr. Bright, which is to believe in yourself. She believed in every child that walked through that door.”

Stice is survived by her three children.

theatre teacher Ron Bright of Castle High School in Kaneohe. Jade Stice


respect the rule of law.

I don’t always like it, but I understand why we need it in a democracy.

For example, when the homicide laws did not favor a prosecution in the murder of my cousin in California in 2014, I was outspoken and critical.

My family still did not get justice.

But unless there was some political will to change the law justifying shooting an unarmed man thought to be an intruder, I could do nothing but abide by our system.

That’s what it means to be an American.

Respecting The Jury’s Verdict on CFDT34

So why is accepting the truth so hard for CFDT34? If the name sounds like a dangerous radioactive isotope, it is–to our democracy.

CFDT34 is my coinage of a new acronym that we all should adopt.

It’s shorthand for “Convicted Felon Donald Trump,” with 34 being the number of criminal counts of guilt. This case wasn’t a minor indiscretion–34 guiltys represent a belief, if not a lifestyle. CFDT34!

We need to say CFDT34 aloud, as much as possible, as a constant reminder because too many Americans are in denial.

Especially, CFDT34 himself.

And while he can still travel somewhat freely, there are 38 countries that would deny CFDT34 entry.

China, Japan, and India

are among the countries that would deny him up front. The Philippines and South Korea would deny him if his status was “discovered.”

If you are CFDT34, of course, you will be discovered. Though he can go back to being a private citizen, CFDT34 simply does not have the class to end his run to be president again. He is unable to put the love of country above his enormous ego.

In fact, because he came close to overturning the 2020 election with fake electors and

insurrectionists, CFDT34 feels he can come back even stronger this time to challenge any future election and live up to his dream of becoming president for life.

Uh, that would be called a “dictator.”

CFDT34, if given a second chance, will likely do all he can to defy any majority that votes against him.

News reports say CFDT34 is already assembling teams and methods to undo and deny any unfavorable election results.

That would not be good for democracy.

Imagine if CFDT34 did this instead: Make the magnanimous decision to immediately put an end to his campaign for America’s sake.

Think of the benefits—to all of us, but especially to him.

If CFDT34 demonstrated a modicum of sense for the public good, he would be automatically be catapulted into the

ranks of the most memorable presidents in history.

Washington, Lincoln, and Trump? He’d be closer to those two than to Nixon.

CFDT34 would be the only twice impeached president, criminally convicted of 34 felony counts, with three other criminal trials to go, who, for the good of the country, chose not to run.

That would truly be historical. He’d be a hero---the felon who saved democracy.

Instead, CFDT34 is determined to play out his hand. He is fundraising tens of millions of dollars.

He is destroying the Republican party by having its leaders parrot his words in unison, or be abandoned like Liz Cheney. You heard them all post-verdict.

Rigged system? Never should have been tried? Where was the crime? The Federal Election Commission didn’t

(continue on page 16)



White Lady Black Christ

his book by Charlson Ong is called “a love letter to storied Quiapo and its Black Nazarene” by literary critic Caroline S. Hau.

TThis literary thriller that revolves around the Filipinos’ veneration of the Black Nazarene serves as a vehicle for the author to introduce an assorted mix of unique characters who define the contemporary Filipino.

There’s Chester Limhuatco and Jefferson Po— two Chinese Filipinos (sometimes called Chinoys by other social observers).

The former with the longer name that came about from his grandfather’s full name, is an accomplished

surgeon while the former with the short monosyllable, is a savvy businessman.

Another interesting character is Jose Crenshaw, son of a Filipina bar girl who worked in Angeles City and an African American father who he never met—who pledged to reenact the crucifixion.

Others include Emily, the “white lady” in the title with eerie comparisons with the white lady that appears at Balete Drive—and urban legend that pops up periodically for residents of Metro Manila.

Then there’s Carmen, Chester’s daughter, a typical upper-middle-class millennial who is well-traveled and educated who renews her curiosity about Quiapo because of her attraction to a foreigner

He makes Quiapo alive and intriguing.

who somehow gets intrigued with the Black Nazarene.

When reading the novel, there’s that sense that somehow we’ve met these characters sometime in our lives, or felt the same way as they did when reacting to a situation—a testament to the skills of the author as a novelist.

When I read a recent article on the move to make Quiapo a heritage site—in the same way as Vigan has been made one—this made me choose this literary thriller for a book review.

Perhaps with this novel, interest in Quiapo, in its preservation and revival as a historic, religious, and cultural site gains more traction.

The book’s author, Charlson Ong, is a multi-media creative who writes but also produces and directs films.

A multi-awarded author who has been recognized nationally for his short fiction and novels.

He has four short-story collections and four novels that include this book.

He wrote, co-produced and co-directed the film Tanabata’s Wife, which won


best adapted screenplay at the FAMAS awards in 2019.

Jose Dalisay, author of Soledad’s Sister notes that “This book establishes Ong firmly as the most versatile and inventive Filipino novelist in English of his generation.”

He is able to weave history and social commentary with large doses of humor and absurdity.

This is one book to enjoy before visiting Quiapo, and better yet—before joining the crowd of penitents on January 9 when the Black Nazarene is paraded on the streets of this historic district of Manila.

ROSE CRUZ CHURMA established Kalamansi Books & Things three decades ago. It has evolved from a mail-order bookstore into an online advocacy with the intent of helping global Pinoys discover their heritage by promoting books of value from the Philippines and those written by Filipinos in the Diaspora. We can be reached at kalamansibooks@gmail.com.

EJ Obiena: Pole Vaulting Superstar on Road to 2024 Olympics

rnest John “EJ”

EUy Obiena was the first athlete to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics for the Philippines national team.

The 27-year-old Obiena grew up in the Tondo district of Manila and is the current Asian record holder in pole vaulting.

He punched his ticket to the Olympics by winning the silver medal at the prestigious BAHAUS-Galan in Stockholm last year, finishing behind only world record holder Armand Duplantis in that qualifying event.

This will be Obiena’s second Olympic appearance, having previously competed

in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. In Tokyo, Obiena finished 11th overall with a mark of 5.70 meters.

In the time since his Olympic debut, Obiena has risen in stature and is considered to be one of the top contenders for a medal in the Men’s pole vault event at the 2024 Olympics.

He is currently ranked fourth in the world in the event, and perhaps more notably set a personal best of 6.0 meters in the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. That mark would have won the Silver in the 2020 Olympics.

Obiena’s personal best also granted him entry to the storied “six-meters club” so

named for the feat of clearing a vault height of six meters, something only 28 athletes have ever done in the history of the sport.

He has truly risen to superstar status in the sport.

Obiena’s participation in the 2024 Olympics is a major milestone for Philippine athletics, and there is a very real chance he could bring the Philippines a podium finish. 

Olympian EJ Obiena


Hard Work And Grace

Does God deserve the credit and the glory for our hard work?

This is a debate that has gone viral since a content creator replied to one of his fans telling him that it’s not God who gave him success but his hard work.

I am not here to bash the content creator for his response. He already received a lot of criticism, which is not necessary.

He is a Filipino who was raised in Thailand and they worship the elephant. He doesn’t believe in the God of Catholics and Christians. He definitely would not credit the god he serves for the success he has achieved.

This discussion intrigued me and caused me to reflect on my life. The achievements I receive, the

successes I gain in life, all the resources that I have… Are they attributed solely to hard work?

Hard work should definitely be recognized and rewarded. Besides, without it, nothing will be achieved.

It’s graduation season in the Philippines now, and many students are given awards for all their efforts and hard work during the past school year. Hard work is an integral part of the equation if we want to be successful in life.

But I believe that hard work is not the be-all and end-all. All our efforts will only take us somewhere, but not to the end. There’s one important factor that should not be missed out. It’s grace.

In 1 Corinthians 15:10 (The Message), Apostle Paul said, “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.

And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.”

The New Living Translation says, “But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it


was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.”

Oh grace, what a wonderful gift.

Looking at my life and where God has brought me now, living in Switzerland with my husband and two beautiful children, I must say that it’s all by God’s grace.

I have been working hard all my life as I moved from one country to another, but it is because of the amazing and sufficient grace of God working through me in everything that has brought me to where I am.

Every single day, I am grateful. I am nothing apart from His grace. I have nothing to boast about but only His grace. I live by His grace.

Yes, I boldly declare that God deserves the credit for everything because He is the Creator of all that we see and have.

Upsetting the Hawaii Political Applecart

he most important race in the Hawaii primary election on August 10th is for State House of Representatives District 25. Entrepreneur, attorney, philanthropist, and dedicated community advocate Kim Coco Iwamoto versus Speaker of the House Scott Saiki.

TLong-time political columnist David Shapiro summed it up perfectly in his column One Politician at a Time, writing - “Saiki vs. Iwamoto is the best chance to significantly upset Hawaii’s political status quo in 2024.”

I agree 100%.

The corruption, the payto-play, the do-nothing, good ole boy, self-centered toxic culture that permeates the fourth floor of the State Capitol - has got to go.

The election of Kim Coco Iwamoto would indeed rock the house. A former member of the State Board of Education and Civil Rights Commission, Kim Coco Iwamoto is values-based, smart, hard-working, collaborative yet independent, and fearless.

We desperately need to elect new leaders like Kim Coco Iwamoto who understand the depth of our community challenges, and who’re willing to roll up their sleeves and do the heavy lifting needed to take us forward.

Two other new candidates also deserving our strong support include Ikaika Lardizabal Hussey running for the House in District 29 and Tina Grandinetti running for District 20.

These two individuals are cut from a similar cloth. They understand the importance of supporting working men and women, the need to build

truly affordable housing, and that protecting people and the planet must always come first.

There are a handful of incumbents that meet the “change-maker” definition as well. Running for reelection is Representative Natalia Hussey-Burdick in District 50, Representative Jeanné Kapela in District 5, and Representative Amy Perruso in District 46.

The successful election of these true change-makers - individuals who are willing to stand up and speak truth to power in the legislature, willing to pull back the curtain on corruption and ethical abuse, and willing to put community needs ahead of ego and bank account - can in fact change our world.

When a handful of good and strong people on the inside are willing to raise their hands, ask the tough questions and speak out, then

Gazing at the breathtaking sunset, witnessing the birds that fly high up in the air, hearing the powerful waves that crash on the shore, and seeing the beautiful smiles on my children’s faces–they all point to God’s awesome grace, undeserved but freely given.

I saw this reel on Facebook where a pastor said:

“Our abilities, opportunities, and circumstances that God orchestrated in our lives for us to thrive are ultimately blessings from our God. By crediting God, we are not discounting our efforts. By thanking God, we are not diminishing our hard work. Acknowledging God in our hard work is ultimately knowing that we are just empowered by His grace.”

I firmly agree with her. I pray that as we work hard to reach our goals and fulfill our dreams, we will experience the empowerment of our God and recognize that it is all by His grace.

it doesn’t matter. Your help is needed - regardless of where you live.

community members are motivated even more to step forward. The combination is powerful and can move mountains.

But it will not happen unless we make it so. It’s up to us as citizens to take ownership of our government, step up to help the change-makers win, and then stick with them and support the positive changes that are possible.

Showing up on August 10 to vote is essential, but not enough. We each must do more.

Every campaign needs people on the ground, knocking on doors, holding signs along the highway, making telephone calls, hosting and volunteering to help with coffee hours, etc.

While living and voting in the district is the ideal, at this point with ballots set to be going out in just 45 days,

Please check out their websites, learn more about them, and then reach out to a change-maker candidate today, and offer to help. Show up and help knock on doors. Show up to “hold signs” on the highway. Hit “like” when you see their social media posts and “share” those posts to your networks. And yes, send in a few dollars as well, whether it be $20 or $200.

Trust me on this. Every person that can show up and every dollar that can be contributed is needed now more than ever during this critical home stretch sprint to August 10. Don’t wait. In the islands, and certainly for the change-maker candidates, the Primary Election is everything and the next 60 days are all-important.

GARY HOOSER is a former Hawai’i State Senator and Majority Leader.



Are Coming to Honolulu!

Filipino alternative rock band Eraserheads is coming to Honolulu to kick off their Huling El Bimbo 2024 World Tour!

The first leg of the band’s world tour will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center on July 6. Part of the concert proceeds will go to Tahanang Carmela D’Amore Orphanage in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Musicians Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro, and Raimund Marasigan met at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and named the band after David Lynch’s film Erasherhead.

The band’s first album, Ultraelectromagneticpop! was released in 1993, followed by Circus, Cutterpillow, Fruitcake, Sticker Happy, Natin99, Carbon Stereoxide, as well as anthologies.

They achieved massive success in the Philippines and in 1997, they received MTV Asia’s International Viewer’s Choice award and walked


As a huge fan of Eraserheads, I can attest that every Filipino child of the 90s has a favorite song (or songs!) by the band. We’re middle-aged now and still wholly devoted to Eraserheads.

Eraserheads, also called E-heads, broke up more than twenty years ago in 2002 but still released anthology albums and held mini-reunion concerts throughout the years in honor of their loyal fanbase.

I could barely contain my excitement when one of my best friends told me E-heads were coming to Honolulu. No questions asked, my friends and I are definitely going to

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Respecting....from page 13)

see a crime? Just a misdemeanor? Political weaponization?

All of that is baloney.

At trial, the evidence was overwhelming, and an independent jury delivered verdicts fair and square.

To hear the Republican leaders defend CFDT34 with outright lies is disheartening.

But to see Trump in his first public statements after railing out against what he called “the fascist system” against him is downright alarming.

And why stop with simple election denying? The man who would be fascist is employing a strategy of double-talk. He calls his opponents

“the fascists” while paying no respect to the rule of law.

Worse yet are the rightwing commentators adopting the CFDT34 talking points.

One popular podcast with millions of listeners is saying it was a federal case and Biden was in on it.

No, it was a New York state case, and Biden and his Justice Department had nothing to do with it. This was a simple business document falsification case that was elevated because CFDT34 wanted to keep the electorate from knowing about his affair with a porn star. We can do as the former Republican Never Trumper

Please indulge me in sharing with you my E-heads story. I grew up in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao, Philippines and that’s where I first saw Eraserheads in concert in the early 90’s.

It was held in Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology’s (MSUIIT) gymnasium. I remember the plastic yellow chairs destroyed by the end of the evening when adoring fans started standing and jumping on them in a frenzy, losing their minds and unable to stay seated.

I must’ve been thirteen or fourteen years old, and I was grateful to be there with my brother and his friends, who

and half-Asian American (Filipino) George Conway has done since the verdicts and just call out all the Republicans who appear on talk shows as shameless liars.

That, however, is much too direct for career politicos.

But the worrisome thing is if we don’t do that every time CFDT34 speaks an untruth, all the lies go unaddressed and become corrosive, further breeding distrust in our system.

Already a majority have some distrust in government according to Prof. Dan Gonzales in my “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” recently. “It makes it easy for Republicans to do

Maling Akala, Kaliwete, Magasin, Overdrive, and more.

Why do we love them so much, even decades after they disbanded? For me, their songs speak of everyday Filipino experiences: our young dreams, yearnings, friendships, disappointments, and heartaches.

Their lyrics articulated our own youthful existence. Despite being older now, our devotion as E-heads fans endures. Our love for the E-heads is timeless.

were two years older than me. They were “protecting” their little sister from the mob.

The next time I saw them in concert was at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco in 2012. I was living in Northern California then and I had to see my favorite Pinoy band. It was standing room only and turned into a giant karaoke party.

I owned cassette tapes of Ultraelectromagneticpop!, Circus, and Cutterpillow. I remember playing them over and over and memorizing the lyrics by heart.

I still remember the lyrics to their songs thirty years later: Ligaya, With a Smile, Minsan, Kailan, Ang Huling El Bimbo, Alapaap, Pare Ko,

what they’re doing.”

And that’s bad for all of us. It could lead, as Gonzales fears, to people not voting for CFDT34 or Biden, and voters just opting out in November.

The selfish nature of CFDT34 stains our democracy and emboldens public selfishness.

Is CFDT34 really like all of us? God help us.

But look at what that attitude does to the idea of “government for the people.” Only if it works for me. It leads to partisan fights that never end, and where nothing gets done. Like now, only worse.

That does not bode well

To see Eraserheads perform live in Honolulu, visit www.filtix.com/event/eraserheads-reunion-usa-tourlive-in-hawaii/. Tickets are also available at authorized resellers at Seafood City Waipahu.

Other Eraserheads tour dates include The Warfield in San Francisco, California on July 12, the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California on July 13, and the Great Canadian Casino Resort in Toronto, Canada on July 21.

Eraserheads’ Honolulu concert is presented by Life is Music Entertainment Production, LLC with Head Producer Leilanie “Lehua Blossom” Tanaka, with co-sponsors Sono Grata Productions LLC, L & A Production LLC, Beaute Aims Production, Pinoy Power Media, and Encore Productions LLC and in cooperation with Tiana Entertainment, Live Nation and WEU.

for the future of America. What to do? Time for all of us to act like good founding fathers–and mothers. I know the original folks who founded the Constitution weren’t perfect. Some were slaveholders. But the great experiment has lasted more than 250 years. It’s still a good model to follow--if we care enough to save it. It only continues in the right direction if we all stand up and respect the rule of law— and that means honoring the jury’s decision on CFDT34.

EMIL GUILLERMO is a journalist and commentator. His talk show is on www.amok.com.

The Eraserheads (L-R): Buddy Zabala, Raimund Marasigan, Ely Buendia, and Marcus Adoro with the Moon Man trophy. their Honolulu concert.

From Hawaii to Wall Street: Jennifer Ablan’s Inspiring Journey

ennifer Ablan has made a name for herself in the world of financial journalism and credits much of her professional success to her roots in Hawaii.

JHer journey from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she served as Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the student newspaper Ka Leo, to the bustling streets of New York City, is a testament to her resilience, dedication, and adaptability.

Ablan’s upbringing in Hawaii profoundly influenced her worldview and professional ethos.

“Growing up in Hawaii is a special experience. It is a true melting pot,” she reflects.

The state’s diverse cultural landscape instilled in her the importance of respecting different views and perspectives, a lesson that proved invaluable in her career.

Despite perceptions of Hawaii as merely a tourist destination, Ablan emphasizes that hard work, creativity, and competitiveness are ingrained in its people.

“Because Hawaii is seen as a tourist state, I think there is a perception that we are not complex or ambitious or creative or competitive. That could be further from the truth,” says Ablan.

Her time at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and as EIC of Ka Leo provided a foundation of problem-solving skills and perseverance.

“I learned how to solve problems with the limited technology and staff. We never had Zoom meetings, iPhones, or texting. Everything was very much basic and tougher, quite frankly,” she recounts.

These experiences pre-

pared her for the challenges of New York City, where she had to navigate complex issues and diverse populations.

Breaking Barriers in Financial Journalism as a Filipino American

Choosing journalism was a departure from the traditional paths expected of Filipino Americans, often steered towards the medical field.

Ablan, however, was determined to carve her own path.

“I come from a family of doctors, nurses, and nerds. My siblings have careers in the science field, organic chemistry, and biology. But I knew I wanted to be a serious journalist,” she explains.

Despite her parents’ high expectations, they still supported her ambitions, believing that excellence in any field would lead to success.

Ablan’s decision to move to New York City was driven by a desire to make a mark in journalism, a field she felt was underrepresented by Filipinos.

“I also felt that Filipinos deserve a place in journalism and storytelling. I took a huge risk, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do it,” Ablan shares.

Transitioning from covering student life and academic policies to the intricacies of Wall Street required significant self-education and adaptation.

Ablan’s fascination with finance began with a personal commitment to understanding the behavior of money and its impact on the world.

“I taught myself finance, business, the equity, and bond markets,” she recalls.

Her entry into financial journalism at Dow Jones and Barron’s marked the beginning of her deep dive into an industry that was then still growing its journalistic presence.

Navigating a predominantly male industry, Ablan faced numerous challenges. However, she viewed these obstacles as opportunities to prove her tenacity.

“I carry that with a badge of honor because only hard work can make that happen,” she asserts.

Her approach was to not be afraid to ask questions about anything she didn’t understand and really immerse herself in the subject matter.

“You garner respect if you know what you are talking about, so I made it my commitment to learn everything that I could,” she explains.

The Impact of Financial Journalism

Covering high-stakes stories and holding the powerful accountable have been some of the most rewarding aspects of Ablan’s career.

Over two decades, she has interviewed and reported on billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gross.

These experiences have taught her the importance of balance and integrity in journalism.

She says: “The most rewarding aspect of each role that I’ve taken on involves

grit. To get to the big stories, you have to do the marginal stories. Everything matters.”

Ablan believes that financial journalism plays a crucial role in shaping public perceptions of the economy.

“Money moves the world—in business, politics, medicine, in everything!” she declares.

Her commitment to accurate and insightful reporting emphasizes the importance of understanding economic

data, which, without emotion, tells the real story.

Empowering Future Generations

Outside of journalism, Ablan is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion as she strives to enhance representation in Corporate America.

For young women aspiring to enter journalism or finance, she shares a piece of advice: “Learn and read everything that you can and that is available to you.”

She also emphasizes the importance of taking risks and not living in fear, qualities she attributes to her Filipino upbringing.

“Young women need to embrace what our Filipino mothers are teaching us— there’s nothing quite like it,” she shares.

Ablan’s journey is a powerful narrative of perseverance, self-belief, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

From the diverse shores of Hawaii to the financial epicenter of New York City, her story inspires aspiring journalists and professionals across the globe.

Jennifer Ablan


Can you share about your working relationship with the Department of Labor?

– Reader Dear Reader,

Thank you for your question!

Recently, Julie Su, the Acting Secretary of the Federal Department of Labor commemorated the anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that killed 147 garment workers in New York City.

The Department of Labor and Hawaii Workers Center

Many of the mostly immigrant women who worked in cramped conditions were unable to escape because the employer had locked the exits and the only working exit from the tall building had collapsed in the fire.

No fire safety equipment existed on site.

The now infamous, horrendous, and preventable tragedy prompted the federal government to create programs that generations of American workers have relied on for economic security and dignity, including a nationwide minimum wage, health and safety regulations, restrictions on child labor, and more, including the Occupational Health and Safety Adminis-

tration (OSHA).

Secretary Su also noted that employers whose workforces are mostly women or immigrants have historically often broken the law, exposing workers to dangerous conditions and cheating workers of overtime pay or fair wages.

Workers are due overtime pay at one and one-half their hourly pay for more than 40 hours of work in a workweek.

This problem persists in the present.

The Hawaii Workers Center (HWC) and the Hawaii State and the Federal Departments of Labor are working to address it.

The HWC has helped many workers gain thousands of dollars in overtime pay and

back wages owed them due to “wage theft.”

We also help workers address unsafe working conditions due to heat, wet, slippery floors, lack of proper equipment or inadequate ventilation, and more.

We work closely with the Departments of Labor to correct these injustices.

Recently the Department of Labor fined a company $2.8 million after investigating serious injuries to three workers and recovered more than $1 million for 165 workers whose employer had cheated them of overtime pay, the largest settlement ever for California garment workers.

To learn more about your workers’ rights, and safety at work or to get assistance in addressing unsafe working


conditions, discrimination, or “wage theft” contact the Hawaii Workers Center.

Reach out to us at phone number (503)967-5377 or (503)WORKERS).

The Hawaii Workers Center also offers Know Your Workers’ Rights trainings and can help you learn about all your workers’ rights and stick up for your rights.

Contact nelson@hawaiiworkerscenter.org to request training.

Sincerely, Hawaii Workers Center

Dr. ARCELITA IMASA is a practicing family physician and the secretary of the Hawaii Workers Center’s Executive Committee of the Board. She grew up in the Philippines before migrating to Hawaii with her family more than a decade ago.

Ti Lagip Agtalinaed A Lagip Kas Iti Kinapateg Ti Gayyyem

SUBLIAK TI NAPALABAS, kas taldiap ken panagsubli kadagiti napateg a pagteng ken pasamak iti biag.

NAPANAWAK TI HAWAII, Mayo 2023, iti adu a napateg ken nakalalagip a banag, pakairamanan kadagiti gunglo a nakipabangonak, nakipagserbiak, nasinged a gagayyem ken pada a community volunteers.

KADAGUPAN dagiti immuna a community leaders iti Hawaii a kaunaan a naam-ammok, nakapulapolko kangrunaanna iti Honolulu, kas GUMIL Hawaii, umuna unay a grupo a nagkamengak kas mannurat.

Inkakaubingak ti agduyos ken agayat iti panagsuratan kas iti umuna nga ayatko.

Nangrugi amin idiay Tapao a nakayanakak. Maysaak a mannalon ken anak iti

baybay kas iti panagkalap. Naayatak iti tagtagnawa. Innamoyo. Tinnulong. Paset ti biagko ti Gunglo dagiti mannurat nga Ilokano pakairamanan ti Sta Cruz Writers Guild, 1962; Sinait Writers Association, 1962-1963; GUMIL Sinait, 1963-1971; GUMIL Ilocos Sur, 19641971; GUMIL Filipinas, 1968-1971. Natural kaniak a nagkamengak a dagus iti GUMIL Hawaii apaman a simmangpetak idi 1971, babaen iti awis ni Mrs. Pacita Cabulera Saludes, founding president.

KAS maibilang a lider iti komunidad a naam-ammmok kadagiti nangrugi iti 1971 da Mrs. Pacita Saludes, Felipe Madarang, Graciano Soriano, Clemente Duclayan, Rev Juan Dahiilig, Ambassador Ben Domingo, Rev Matias Miguel, Mario Orbito, Roland Bueno. Pete Ramos, Ric Labez, Mario Albalos, Jun Abinsay, Leo Blanco, Francisco Ponce, David Paco, Dip. Emilio Alcon a nagkuna: patibkerentayo ti Gumil tapno saan nga

agbalin nga “umel”.

Paset ti pannakatubay ti biagko iti direct involvementko iti community volunteer activities iti Lions Club International, Knights of Rizal, Leeward Lions Club, Honolulu Fil-Am Lions Club, ken dadduma pay.

SABALI laeng met dagiti nakapulpolapolko kadagiti simmaruno a tawen Kas kada Marlene Manzano, Danny Villaruz, Faustino Respicio, Flor Martinez, Larry Ordonez, Mel Gonzales, Art Abinsay, Mel Europa, Bert Ugalino, Leon Dagdagan, Rev. Canon Randolph N Albano ken dadduma pay.

ITOY a gundaway, ni Mario Orbito, kas maysa kadagiti kasingedan a gayyem iti biagko ti sagidek iti kinasiasinona, iti bukodko a padas. Isu ti maysa kadagiti kaunaan a community leader a naam-ammok idi kasangsangpetko iti Hawaii idi Hulio 1971.

Maysa ni Mario a kaduak iti Gumil Hawaii, Oahu Filipino Community Council, United Filipino Council of

Hawaii, Tri Media Council, Santak, Ilokandia Magasin, Pluma Magasin, Hawaii Filipino News a nagkakaduaanmi kada Ambassador Juan C. Dionisio, Sr.; Cartoonist Corky Trinidad, Pepi Nieva. Cisco Ugale, Co-Founder/ Sponsor ni Mario iti AMMAFLA Literary Contest, co-organizer iti Ilocos Sur International Association and Foundation [ISIF].

Kas Fine Arts graduate iti University of Santo Tomas, maysa a graphic artist ni Mario ket nagkaduakami iti printing, ti Ilokandia Magasin, ken isu ti kangrunaan nga agaramiid iti souvenir book dagiti nadumaduma nga organisasion, ket isu ti kaduami iti Bayengyeng [Bamboo Jug] ken Ayamuom [Scent] two anthology books of Ilokano poems and short stories by the Six en Honolulu: Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, Romulo Basuel, Arnold Jose, Francisco Ponce, Corazon Quiamas, Amado Yoro, and layout artist Myra Yoro.


daytoy Abril 5 aginggana iti 25 mairaman dagiti gapuananna iti maangay a 96th annual art exhbit iti Honolulu Printmakers Downtown Art Center. Kasta pay nga adda booth ni Mario iti maangay nga Art Festival iti Nuuanu Avenue---mairaman dagiti napateg ken orihinal a collections nga art work ni nalatak a Filipino cartoonist Corky Trinidad.

Kas panagtultuloy daytoy a panagkallautang, agtalinaedak a simpli, ken mangbigbig ti naggapuak a Hawaii a nangbukel ti paset ti pakasaritaak iti aganay a 52 a Hulio, ken ti nakayanakak a Tapao, Sinait, Ilocos Sur. Ket ituloyko nga isurat ti pudno a pitik, ti pulso, ti rikna ken ladawan ti komunidad a yanko ita, iti kabaelan a gaw-aten dagiti lima a sentidok.

AGBATI ken agtalinaed ti sibibiag a lagip kas paset tti biag ken pakasaritaan.

Sipapakurangak nga agyaman iti Hawaii Filipino Chronicle iti gundaway a maituloyko ti agsurat.


LET’S ZUMBA | Filipino Community Center | Every Monday starting January 8, 2024 at 6:15pm | FilCom Center, Consuelo Courtyard, 94-428 Mokuola Street, Waipahu | Need to unwind in movement and dance after a long workday? Join the community as we Zumba through the evening. Only $5 per class. Proceeds go to support these program-types for FilCom Center.


13TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF PACIFIC ARTS & CULTURE | The Pacific Community – SPC, Gravitas Pasifika | June 6-16, 10am-4pm | Hawaiʻi Convention Center, 1801 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu | The festival is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders. For more information, visit https://www.festpachawaii.org/.


31ST ANNUAL PISTAHAN PARADE AND FESTIVAL | The Pacific Community – SPC, Gravitas Pasifika | August 10-11, 2024 | Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, California | The Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAAE) of the rich tapestry of cultures and ethnic communities of the San Francisco Bay Area through its promotion of Filipino American art, music, film, dance, cuisine, history, and more. FAAE celebrates its ancestral heritage and contemporary traditions, broadening awareness and understanding of Filipino history and culture. For more information on the festival, visit www.pistahan.net.

Trusting God in His Perfect Timing

In 2005, having difficulty getting clients, my husband Boni and I decided to offer his financial consultancy services through Direct Mail.

I prepared a three-fold colored brochure, for which I spent 40,000 pesos, which was the last of my savings. To save on cost, I walked the Nagtahan Bridge in Manila to take a photo for the cover design.

Before we mailed out the letter, I remember praying over them quietly as a Bible verse came to mind: “The Lord will bless whatever you lay your hands to.” (Deuteronomy 28:12)

After months of waiting with not even a single call, we decided to follow up. Only one lady officer of a Makati-based conglomerate agreed to meet with us.

Unfortunately, the company did not need our services at that time. Sadly, all those efforts failed to produce even a single client.

Years passed, and Boni continued his consultancy business. As is the practice in the industry, fees are paid on a success basis. This means he only gets paid when the client receives the loan.

When a client refuses to get the loan, however, even if it has been approved, he does not get paid and all his work goes down the drain.

There were times when we had to dip into our savings to sustain our needs. Despite having no regular

income, we survived those years with our three kids finishing college.

We went through many economic and political crises and we cannot say we “just” survived. There were times when we even saw the business thrive during those crises.

But there was a particular incident I cannot forget. I remember one instance when my husband did not get paid after working on a project for nine months.

The account was huge, so hoping that he will get paid at the end, we used up all our savings and incurred credit card debt just to sustain ourselves.

It turned out that the said client had a bad reputation in the business world and usually did not fulfill his obligations. He failed to fulfill the conditions for the release of the loan and Boni did not get paid.

Because of this, we got buried in more debt. All we could do was surrender everything to God and rely on Him as our Great Provider. (Psalms 37:7)

That was seven years after our direct mail campaign. We thought nothing happened and we had forgotten about it already.

Then one day, while having a meeting in a coffee shop, Boni bumped into the lady who once met with him in response to our direct mail campaign.

Yes! She was the lady company officer, the sole person who had responded

to our direct mail. “What do you do now?” she asked. Boni answered, “Still the same!”

To which she responded: “Let’s meet and I will introduce you to someone who needs your services.”

The rest is history. Through a God-given client, whom she introduced, we were able to recover all the savings we have lost and more. Another client came, and another one. All those days of famine were temporary.

When we have God, days of famine and days of plenty are the same. We enjoy God’s abundance. (Psalm 37:19)

We realized why the former client did not get the loan and we did not get paid. God was protecting our name from being tarnished by his bad reputation.

All those years in the business suddenly made sense. In Jeremiah 29:13, the Lord says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

Truly, God reveals himself to those who seek Him.

We realized that no mat-

ter how long it takes, God answers our prayers at the right time. He delights in our work and surely, he will be the one who will abundantly reward us.

Men may take advantage of us or turn their back from their obligation to us, but when such things happen, the Lord knows and He will be the one to recompense us.

Is God concerned about our business?

He cares for our work more than we could ever imagine. (Proverbs 16:3Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established)

We may forget but He never will! None of our efforts and prayers will go to waste. (Proverbs 15:29The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous).

Harvest of seeds sown will come in due time. It may take longer than expected but it will surely come. (Galatians 6:9 - And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not

give up).

Yes, it took seven years of waiting and we entirely forgot about it.

But God remembers everything.

He will reward us with an answer which goes beyond what we expect. He is faithful to keep his promises. (Psalm 145:13 - The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made).

To date, several more years have passed, and we are still reaping what we have sown. He continues to bless the work of our hands.

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

ESTELA DE JESUS is the supportive wife of Boni de Jesus in this journey with God, as their faithful and great provider. They are blessed with three adult children and one grandson. Boni is an entrepreneur who provides financial consultancy to businesses. He is also a co-founder of Kapayaman Nation, a Facebook community of entrepreneurs whose goal is to help one another thrive.

Estela and Boni De Jesus
JUNE 15, 2024

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