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A P R I L 2 0 1 8 · Vo l u m e 1 1 9 : I s s u e 4



Pa g e 1 0 Re p o r t s o n t h e Asi a Paci f i c Ca re e r Co nf e re nce

Page 28 Ce l e brating Culture Night 2 018 w ith 24 c lubs

Page 44 So c ial w o rk majo r t o sp ea k o n sac rific e at gra d u a t i o n

APRIL 2018 • VOLUME 119 • ISSUE 4


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kev i n Brown COPY EDITORS Savanna Bachelder

Hannah Jones

Brooklyn Redd

Emmalee Smith

Antoniette Yee

Jessica Gonzalez Leon Helam Lau Zeek Cheng

VIDEOGRAPHERS Kel sy Si m m ons Cour t ney Bow Ni el sen

Tomson Cheang

Kenny Vi l ayvong

Adam Brace


Ally Pack Geena De Maio Anel Castro Chuer Vic Zhong PHOTOGRAPHERS A lvin Vi ncent Dy Ky le Gab Bat ac

M cKenna Locken Brooklyn Redd Wesl ey Ng ART DIRECTOR Lor i n Vi l ayvong MANAGING EDITOR Josh M ason

A dam Case

NEW S CE N T ER BOX 1920 BYUH LAIE, HI 96762 PRINTER P r int Ser vi ces


Email: keal akai @by u h. edu Ad Information: keal akai ads@gmai l . com Phone: (80 8 ) 6 7 5 -3 6 9 4 Fax: (8 0 8 ) 6 7 5 -3 4 9 1

Editorial, photo submissions & distribution inquiries: ke a l a k a i @ by u h . e d u . To s u b s c r i b e t o t h e R S S F E E D o r t o v i e w a d d i t i o n a l a r t i c l e s , go t o ke a l a k a i . by u h . e d u

ON THE COVER: The annual Culture Night celebration was held on March 23 and 24 in the Cannon Activities Center where more than 20 clubs performed. For more on Culture Night, see to pages 30 through 43. Photos by Ke Alaka‘i staff


The Ke Alaka‘i began publishing the same year the university, then called Church College of Hawaii, opened. It has continued printing for more than 60 years. The name means “the leader” in Hawaiian. It began as a monthly newsletter, evolved into a weekly newspaper, then a weekly magazine, and is now a monthly news magazine with a website and a social media presence. Today a staff of about 25 students works to provide information for BYU-Hawaii’s campus ohana and Laie’s community.



PH OTO SUBMISSIO N Women from the Korea Club perform the traditional precision fan dance during the 2018 Culture Night in the Cannon Activities Center. Photo by Alvin Dy

Share your photo with us and we may feature it in our next issue. E-mail us your high-resolution photo with a caption at



APR IL 2018


APRIL 2018 • VOLUME 119 • ISSUE 4



Survey of 200 randomly selected students reveals majority favors gun control



Day in the life of political science major Curtis Delfin


BYUH and PCC leaders say the two institutions transform students’ lives


Asia Pacific Career Conference brings employers from Asia and Pacific


APCC concludes with a hukilau, staff hopeful employers will catch students


Empower Your Dreams sets entrepreneurs on the path to success


Musical written by Broadway producers has world debut at BYUH


Campus Comment: What were your three favorite performances from Culture Night?



Map and stats of the different cultures showcased at Culture Night 4




Recap of the 24 club performances at Culture Night 2018


Musicians say Culture Night lets them share traditions with others

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Emcees face backlash for jokes and how they introduced certain clubs


Hong Kong Club performance shows city’s development with lion and dragon dance



Atu Falevai of Tonga to speak at graduation about sacrifice because of family’s example


Academic Advisor, Admissions officer JoAnn Lowe retires after 31 years


Colombian siblings want to change perception of their country


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President Nelson announces four changes at first General Conference as prophet


John S. Tanner was strict on obedience as mission president but also loving, say former missionaries


Honolulu Hawaii mission president says commitment and conversion feed each other



Filipino students start online broadcast show to feature music, food, and love


APRIL 21 SATURDAY Winter 2018 Graduation Ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Cannon Activities Center. The visiting graduation speaker will be Sister Jean B. Bingham, the General Relief Society president.


SUNDAY Devotional with President Russell M. Nelson and Sis. Wendy Nelson, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Sister Pat Holland at 6 p.m. in the CAC by ticket only. The devotional will be broadcast live to local chapels.

26 to May 1

THURSDAY-TUESDAY New Student Orientation activities include an Ohana Night, Circle Island Tour, President’s Fireside, English Placement Tests for international students, Majors Showcase, Ho’olaule’a Dinner and Ho’ike Night.

May 2

WEDNESDAY Spring Semester 2018 begins. Last day to add or drop classes without a fee is May 4. APR IL 2018


Gun control: a loaded issue






campus life

in this section Day in the life of a political science major Curtis Delfin


Career conference concludes with catching fish for a hukilau


Leaders of BYUH and PCC say students have transformative experience here


Entrepreneurs win $30,000 in prizes at 2018 Empower Your Dreams


Asia Pacific Career Conference brings employers from Asia and Pacific areas


World debut of original musical written by Broadway producers


Campus Comment: What were your three favorite performances from Culture Night?


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Curtis Delfin

Political science major B Y H AN N AH JO N E S Curtis Delfin, a junior from Guam majoring in political science, said he is passionate about diplomacy and stopping terrorism. He has enhanced his political science education by earning certificates and going on the department’s Washington, D.C. trip. Photo by Lorin Vilayvong.



What is your favorite part about political science? Delfin said he likes studying foreign relations and crime. “I like to learn about the need for law and why government and countries are the way they are and what led them there. Even history and facts are also really cool to learn about because it shapes how people are now and the way people think now.”

Why did you choose Political science? “I was really interested in analysis like research writing and analyzing information and being able to dissect and create arguments. Originally, I was an exercise science major, but my English class was a literary analysis class and that’s what interested me. Being able to read information and create arguments and then finding evidence to support your arguments. The debating kind of thing is what interested me.”

What do you want to do With it? Delfin said he would like to receive a master’s degree in either foreign relations or terrorism, so he can either work gathering intelligence or as a diplomat to smaller countries. “I’d like to work on behalf of Guam because Guam is very small. I’d like to take part in it and its relations with America,” Delfin explained.

Describe a typical day “I spend most of my time doing research. This semester is really interesting for me. It’s my first time where I have all of my classes all in one day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are all my classes. I have political science 300, which is the political science analysis that’s like research, writing and statistics. It’s the most difficult political science class. I’m also doing international law, and I spend most of my time working on these two classes. My typical day would be going to class and researching outside of class. I do a lot of reading and writing. “I think the foundation of creating arguments and logically reason effectively will help no matter what field you’re in. I also think political science really focuses on that kind of thing.”

What is your major about? “I’m learning about international law because I’m doing a legal studies certificate within political science. I guess the basis for that and everything in political science is learning about the different theories of social science. Why people behave the way they behave, why we need laws, how good governments work, and why certain nations fail.”

What are some jobs available for this type of major? Delfin enumerated some jobs in his major are “public relations officer, lawyer, lobbyist, senator, judge, criminal justice, and also within the international region. He said jobs include non-government jobs “like working with non-profits or even in the United Nations. I think just being able to understand their concepts and build relationships with other countries and being able to work with people and the government.”

What advice do you have for someone interested in social work? “It’s very challenging, but it’s very rewarding. We do a lot of networking. So I’m sure even in entrepreneurship or business, there are people who like that kind of thing.You need to be able to network no matter what major you have. I think political science can help you with those things as well.

Cons “As much as I love political science, my least favorite part would probably be all the writing and the reading. It helps me learn, but at the same time, it’s like that love-hate relationship. I’m not a fan of so much reading because I fall asleep a lot.”

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Leaders of BYUH and the PCC explain the powerful, life-changing transformative experience students can have on campus and at the center B Y AL LY PACK

Students and families celebrating graduation. Photo by Olivia Tsan 10


PCC workers gather for a photo after two students get engaged. Photos by Zachary Konecki

or the vast variety of employers from all over the world, Student Alumni and Career Services planned a presentation to showcase BYU-Hawaii students at the Asian Pacific Career Conference. President and CEO of the Polynesian Cultural Center Alfred Grace, Vice President of Student Development Debbie Hippolite Wright, Vice President of Administration Steve Tueller, Vice President of Academics John Bell, and BYUH’s President John S. Tanner each contributed their thoughts about the importance of students at BYU-Hawaii. Grace started off the info session by describing the benefits students offer to the PCC. He presented, “The Polynesian Cultural Center was created to sustain students who attended BYUH. BYUH is here, so the PCC is right next door. [As] an ambassador for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are asked to demonstrate and radiate a spirit of love and service by loving, welcoming, and directing all our guests with excellence.” Grace added to prove his statement by saying, “The PCC is the No. 1 paid attraction in Hawaii because the vast majority of employees here are BYU-Hawaii students. Ninety percent of the interaction that our customers will have with a PCC employee is with a student employee. I don’t know of any company who


would turn their life and well being over to students, but that is what we do here and as a company. We are supposed to sustain and be self-reliant, and we are relying on our students to make sure that we can be successful and survive.” Many of the creative elements and development ideas at the PCC, Grace said, actually come from student insight and recommendations. “The secret ingredient in our recipe has always been our student employees from BYU-Hawaii. They are held to high expectations here,” Grace stated. Marilyn Harmer, a service missionary for the LDS Church, said she attended the Asia Pacific Career Conference with her husband Chet Harmer and told their story of attending a luau at the PCC with a young man who was singing as he prepared their meal. “He wasn’t just singing to himself,” she said enthusiastically. “We all got to listen to him. He was joyful. He was happy to be there. I think this is the PCC’s spirit.” Grace commented, “Much of what you see in the marketplace and the cultural center is actually being operated and managed by students at BYU-Hawaii. A lot of our students are working really high-pressure situations. We serve generally over 200 meals a day at the PCC and they’re served within a two-hour

“The PCC is the No. 1 paid attraction in Hawaii because the vast majority of employees here are BYU-Hawaii students. ... I don’t know of any company who would turn their life and well being over to students, but that is what we do here and as a company.” -Alfred Grace, PCC president period. Not many restaurants try to serve that many meals and strive for significant ratings.” In addition, Grace talked of the awards the PCC has earned over the years, and the significance of those awards in conjunction with the difficult skill level, marketing system, and time and money needed to earn and maintain most of them. However, he said the PCC’s goals in achieving high-customer satisfaction and financial goals have not taken away from the employees, particularly student employees, opportunities and aspirations. He said, “Our jobs have been designed in a way that’s been appropriate for student jobs to have experiential outcomes and development while Continues on Page 12 APR IL 2018



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doing all of those and being able to maintain full productivity in business. They are working within the confines of a system that allows them to grow and develop in work and school.” Hippolite Wright, as an alumna herself, maintained Grace’s perspective and told her story. “I came here to Brigham Young University when I was a very young teenager and worked at the Cultural Center for the entire time,” she stated. “I remember that period of my life being one where I found who I was an as individual person. Coming here to BYU-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center allowed me to stand on my own, with the support of my family, to grow and to learn both professionally and personally. I’m proud to be an alumna of BYUHawaii and I am so passionate about the vision of our school to develop lifelong learners, leaders, and builders.” Hippolite Wright then started into her presentation to promote the Honor Code BYUH adheres to. “The code encourages us, invites us, to live the virtues encompassed in the gospel of the church of Jesus Christ. It is the over-arching framework to help women and men become people of honor and integrity, and to adhere to ethical standards in all aspects of their lives. “BYU-Hawaii focuses on developing specific skills,” she highlighted, “and these are our institutional learning outcomes. We’re



purposeful about teaching these skills and we also emphasize character development. “Our students have the opportunity to serve, and we have a vibrant Seasider sports program run by students. They plan, implement, and evaluate the program that happens throughout the semester. We also have a number of plays and performances to expand students’ perspectives around the arts.” She also voiced the excitement surrounding the annual event of Culture Night, and its purpose in getting those previously mentioned associations and groups to join together with cultural pride. “Students plan what they are going to perform, they teach the dances and the songs, they arrange the music, and they organize the schedules for practice. We do encourage each group to have members from different cultures and countries as well. It’s the learning and the sharing that goes on.” Hippolite Wright concluded, “With over 70 different countries represented on our campus, we embrace cultural diversity. We celebrate it. In this day and age, employees must know how to work with people who are different from themselves. We teach these kinds of skills in subtle ways. We encourage students to join student associations, and we provide opportunities to broaden their talents to become a well-rounded person.” Tueller focused his presentation on BYUH’s purpose in educating what he called

“the whole person.” He commented on the difficulty of focusing on an eternal perspective when temporal needs are not being fulfilled. “We take a similar approach [as the church],” Tueller offered. “We’re educating the whole person. We’re concerned with not only what students are learning in the classroom, but what they experience here working at the PCC, working on campus, and interacting with one another.” He presented applicable statistics about the service center that connects students to the community. “It instills an individual’s desire to give proactive service.” In 2017, Tueller said 2,000 students participated in service which equated to more than 4,000 service hours. He said the service opportunities students are offered build character on BYUH’s campus. He stated, “This is to give you a sense of the raw material that we are given to work with when we hire student employees on campus. Our student workforce comes with character. There is a minimum standard of excellence, character, and honesty that we require here.” With over 60 percent of our students as returned missionaries, Tueller said the most important factor of hosting returned missionaries was the requirement of them to step outside of themselves, and as he said, “start thinking about the welfare of other people.” He tied that statement back to what he said

Students perform the haka after a graduation ceremony. Photos by Olivia Tsan

regarding BYUH’s mission which is to educate the whole person. “We have some really bright, capable wonderful skilled students. We’re interested in educating the whole person, and we see that as our mission, and to help support academics to give them a great work experience. We’re delighted when students make those kinds of things happen.” Bell agreed with Tueller’s presentation. He stated, “We collaborate with church entities--our self-reliance managers here--to help students develop their own self-reliance. We think about this as a journey. Their holokai, or ocean voyage, began before they came. It’s a journey that we contribute to while they’re here. But it doesn’t end here. It’s a journey that continues on throughout their life, and in our faith, on to the eternity.” Bell said multiple schools might boast they are unique in changing their students. However, he said at BYUH, “We expect that the education here is more than a few facts that we hope they would remember. We expect them to be transformed. We help students develop in a strong spiritual sense: a sense of contributing, of moving outside of themselves. We help students to go beyond their own pursuits to contribute to their families, communities, employers, customers, and countries. “It’s not just that we want them to learn about these things. We want them to engage

and think in these areas and disciplines. Then they continue in the cycle of engagement, preparation and improvement so that they can become effective learners and employees. “That is what we value here. The journey doesn’t end with us. They are expecting to be doing this for eternity. They’re expecting to become something for eternity. That is what their faith is. That journey must continue.” Bell’s presentation inspired Marilyn Harmer to tell the story of another experience she had with a BYUH student. She said enthusiastically, “I remember a couple years ago we were walking along your campus and we saw a very tall girl. She must have been at least 6’2” or maybe 6’4”. I do not know which country she was from, but she ... had the most magnificent attire on.” Harmer described this student’s hat and outfit and that she was singing and enjoying herself. Harmer then said she asked to photograph this girl because she often used photos as an excuse to meet people. She said the girl agreed and “struck a wonderful pose.” Harmer described her as “the largest woman I’ve ever seen in my whole life. She was decorated like the most wonderful peacock that I could ever imagine.” As Harmer continued the story, she said her husband asked the girl, “Where are you from?’ And she said, ‘Heaven! And you must be from there too I hope!’” Harmer concluded

with, “This is something I’ve remembered always from BYU-Hawaii.” Tanner began his closing thoughts powerfully by stating, “We believe that we are all part of that one ohana, that one family. We have diversity, but we also believe in unity that binds us together. Brothers and sisters, we come from heaven,” as Harmer stated. According to President David O. McKay, President Tanner reminded his audience, the ground BYUH stands on would be the future of the church. Tanner said, “He said it would be an international, worldwide church. In fact, God loves all of his children equally. This college is a great gathering place for learning. That founding vision is celebrating his [prophecy]. Don’t forget that this is supposed to be a center of learning in Hawaii for the church.” Tanner added, “When you come into the university, if you haven’t walked around the campus yet, you’ll see that mural and then you’ll see all these flags and they represent your nations and many others. The flags are there to remind you that we like to interact with diversity.” Resolutely, Tanner then stated, “I like the fact that it’s in a circle because that reminds me of the unifying sense that we’re all nations of importance and we’re all brothers and sisters united, coming together as one.” •

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Nobby Muranaka and his son, Lane Muranaka, Jason Earl, and Kendal Peck all attended APCC. Photo by Gab Batac

A new way to prepare

for future careers The Asia Pacific Career Conference provides job opportunities from all around Asia and the Pacific B Y AL LY PACK



he Asia Pacific Career Conference was described by students and faculty as a unique, never-beforeseen event at BYU-Hawaii, which occurred on March 7-10. In the past, BYUH would bring selected students to their home countries to visit possible employers for internships or employment opportunities. But this time, instead of bringing the students back to their home countries, they decided to bring the employers to the students. Students, faculty, and employers said the key takeaway from the conference was the necessity students have to plan for the future path they want by knowing the steps needed to get there. Lani A. Pinpin, an employer and presenter from Microsoft over project management, advised, “Find a company you want to work for, and look at the job openings they have now. Start matching those skills already, so when you’re ready to go in front of them, you already have that skill.” A senior from Oregon majoring in human resources, Megan Powell, added, “I think it was a good opportunity for students who might not know what they want to do, to kind of see the opportunities and options out there. I think it opens our minds to the different things that are available.” Bob Kuo, a freshman from Taiwan majoring in business management, said he planned before the conference what he wanted to take away from it. “Although I am just a freshman, I came to prepare what I should do now for the future to get a job, practice how to do the interviews, and build a network.” Self-reliance manager over Cambodia, Phanna Yi, said Kuo had the right idea. His passionate advice about following one’s own path was, “I just want to say don’t be afraid. Try it out. Go do it. Just go do it.” However, some employers like Mark LeMonnier from, recognized many students are not preparing correctly for the career they seem to want. He said, “I’ve had conversations with students the past few days where it was clear they had a real passion for a


certain type of career, but when I was looking at the degree or looking at their resume or whatever it was, the match-up wasn’t really there.” To combat this issue, he instructed, “You’ve got to make sure you’re laser-focused; that you’re doing your homework and making sure the investment that you’re making in yourself is actually getting you in the right direction. It really is important to make sure that everything you’re doing is reflective of that.” He said the other recommendation he feels he and his coworkers suggest is, “As a student with interests, you have an ability to create resumes or CV’s that represent a lot of different interests.You can have multiple CV’s, and you should, depending on the type of opportunity that you’re going after. “You have opportunities to create different views of who you are.You own your brand.” However, for those students who have almost completed school, and don’t feel like they can re-route, LeMonnier also commented, “It’s not to say that there aren’t opportunities with different backgrounds.” His primary encouragement was, “You want to get yourself on the best path possible.” THE CHURCH’S SELFRELIANCE MANAGEMENT FEEDBACK: As of 2013, the Self-Reliance Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established to help church members become more self-reliant through education, job placement, and/or self-employment opportunities. Mark MacDonald, director of Alumni and Career Services, and lead organizer of the entire conference said the response from all self-reliance managers was extremely positive. He commented that out of the four groups represented at the conference-students, faculty, employers, and self-reliance management--the self-reliance management

“It’s really cool to see all the different groups from the CES to the church, the employment resource managers, employers, and the different country representatives to kind of come together with the same purpose to further the mission of the church and help develop these students, so they can be leaders in their countries at home.” -Lane Muranaka

team thought the experience was exceptionally effective. “The self-reliance managers loved it,” he commented. Franco Dellosa Advincula, the selfreliance manager over the Philippines, said, “This is the first time we were invited here. They expanded the conference and invited the self-reliance group, so that we can be of help to the students in finding possible employers for when they go back to their home countries.” Advincula also said, “What we can always do, because we’re not employers, is developing resources that they can tap into after they’re graduated. We’re trying to build relationships with employers so they can pursue more possible employment after school. Not a lot of the students are aware of the services we offer, so we’re doing this.” However, at the near-conclusion of the conference, self-reliance manager, Phanna Yi over Cambodia, said for him personally, it seemed like students at BYUH are truly Continues on Page 16

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LDS service missionaries Marilyn Harmer and Chet Harmer help students with their careers. Photos by Gab Batac

Continued from Page 15

preparing themselves to the best of their ability, and it really stands out. Nathan Draper, a self-reliance manager over Thailand, gave his opinion. “From a selfreliance perspective, the key issue for students is learning how to communicate effectively and showing leadership. It helps them stand above the rest of the people who they may be competing with. Being able to communicate comfortably, effectively, and confidently makes a huge difference.”



STUDENT AND EMPLOYER FEEDBACK: Nathan Murray, a sophomore majoring in computer science from Washington, said he attended the conference to “gather information, learn new things, and make connections.” He said, ”I think it’s beneficial to have [the employers] here so they can get more exposure to more students.” Yifen Beus, the department chair of visual Arts and Communication at BYUH, offered

a similar statement. She said, “I think the conference has been more efficient than taking 10 students over there. We service way more students and faculty this way.” Another faculty member, Daniel Bradshaw, the department chair of Music and Theatre, said, “I think it was a great idea. It’s been really cool as a faculty member, thinking about my students, to walk through the booths and sort of talk to people from the different areas and understand more about the countries they’re coming from and getting to know what

jobs are open there. It’s been really valuable.” Marilyn Harmer, a service missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a special guest at the conference commented, “This has been wonderful. And yesterday when I went to see all the businesses and everything, I was just blown away. I really was. I’ve been to other career fairs, but this was not just a career fair. This was a professionally presented career fair. I talked with many of the presenters as they brought their businesses and they were very positive. I think it’s just the first of a great many things.” As a student, Kuo added, “I feel like it [has] helped a lot. I attended several meetings and I learned different things in different meetings. Returning students or workers who started in BYU-Hawaii and shared their experience really help a lot because they have [had] the same experience here.” In the human resources track of business management as a senior from Oregon, Megan Powell said she enjoyed the Boeing info session the most for the same reason as Kuo. “[The speaker] was an alumnus and he was more personable with people. He was able to kind of relate that, and he was kind of talking about what he did and his story, which was relatable,” she expressed. William Powell, an alumnus, attended the conference with his wife. “I liked it because it let me understand better what these companies do and gave me a face to put with them, so I could kind of make connections.” He said it was easier to grow his network by saying, “Oh, I know this person who does this at that company.” In agreement, Murray said, “There were multiple digital marketers and programmers that I didn’t even know were going to be there, but I just happened to walk by their booths.” However, one of Murray’s complaints was, “more knowledge of what was actually going to be at the conference would have been beneficial because I know a lot of students from the mainland had no idea what was there. I felt like a lot of students thought ‘Oh, it’s only for Asia’ and didn’t go.”

However, Rick Tolmon, digital and growth marketing leader for computer software company, DOMO Inc. and an alumnus of BYU in Provo, who was born and raised in Laie, said employer Mark LeMonnier of was extremely interested in “the pool of talent that is here.” He suggested before the conference, “[Employers] don’t realize what we have here. Mark had no idea that here at BYUH there would be this type of diversity.” LeMonnier agreed with Tolmon. “This conference opened my eyes quite a bit to an opportunity... Having an ability to actually get in contact with students all over Asia has actually been an eye-opener for me. We’re always looking for more diversity in technology and more diversity at Ancestry in particular. I honestly probably had four or five conversations over the last few days that made me think, ‘I bet we can find some of that here,’ which would be really interesting.” Jamie Fa’oliu said LeMonnier’s statement was the main purpose of putting the conference on. As a senior double-majoring in English and political science from Tonga, Fa’oliu as an employee of Alumni and Career Services, was able to help organize the conference. The reason she chose to participate, she said, was ] she would have the opportunity to be a mediator between the employers and the students. “I just really wanted to present our students and tell [the employers] that our students are ready and worth hiring, and we are worth looking into. I hope that they found us fun but also professional and that we like to get things done. BYU-Hawaii students are awesome!” FACULTY AND SPECIAL GUEST INVOLVEMENT: In regards to the influence of the conference, Marilyn Harmer shared, “It’s given me some insight on how to be helpers. So that’s what we’ll do.” Marilyn and her husband, Chet Harmer, said they have been church service missionaries for over 15 years. “We always work with college students, helping them

with their careers. And so, it’s given me some insight. In fact, we have a son-in-law who develops and builds 3D printers, and so we found a part of the university that wants to teach students how to use 3D printers. So we’re going to donate something.” BYU Pathway Worldwide’s Kendall Peck offered a similar opinion to Marilyn Harmer’s. He contributed, “I work within the Church Education System also. And this for me has just enforced how much we’re shifting towards a unified goal and mission within our institutions together and support each other.” Lane Muranaka, a special guest from BYU-Idaho said the same thing as well. “It’s really cool to see all the different groups from the CES to the church, the employment resource managers, employers, and the different country representatives to kind of come together with the same purpose to further the mission of the church and help develop these students, so they can be leaders in their countries at home.” Peck also gave the example that often, people in his position – as representatives of students all around the world, who are taking online courses – are protective and discuss among themselves they don’t necessarily want someone who can compete with them somewhere like the Philippines. “But you just don’t feel that at all,” he commented. “I think what’s neat about what’s happening here is just kind of openness, in the terms that we’re all serving the same students for the same future.” Nobby Muranaka, a former BYU in Provo employee, and father to Lane Muranaka said, “I really think that our church emphasizes individual character; the integrity, kindness, patience, and respect for others and service and that’s basically our whole mission as members of the church. If we can embrace that mission of the church to teach character to our posterity and then join it as a family, then we all are family members.” •

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APCC meets


Employers from the APCC catch fish and BYU-Hawaii faculty say hopefully students as well B Y K E V I N B RO W N

The two teams pulling the net finally converge to bring the catch of fish onto shore. Photo by Sister Sharon Gray



s part of the conclusion to the Asia Pacific Career Conference, employers and their prospective employees helped pull the nets for a Hukilau at Hukilau Beach on Saturday, March 10. Community members came to teach more about the event, including long-time local residents Bob and BJ Kahawaii. Bob Kahawaii said his family had been doing Hukilaus every year since he came back from his 30-year service in the U.S. Navy. “When I came back, we tried to find an activity for our family that would become a tradition. “It’s not a race and it’s not about the amount of fish you catch when we do this. It is about coming together as a family or community and working together to create this experience.” Keni Kalama, relationship manager of Alumni and Career Services, said the Hukilau was the perfect activity to showcase the community’s culture. He related the APCC to the event when he addressed the employers. “The employers can be the fishermen, and the students can be the fish. That is kind of the idea of why we wanted to do a fishing event. I just want you to know that our students are delicious fish. We would love for you to hire them, to mentor them and to take them in. “People in Laie have been doing this forever, especially Bob Kahawaii and his family. We are grateful for them and the time they took to come do this for us.” Kahawaii said they do the Hukilau as a family every Memorial Day, but open it up to the community during other times of the year. “Usually we do a Hukilau in September or October for the donors of the university. All of my children pretty much went to BYUH.” BJ Kahawaii said, “When our family does the Hukilau, we usually have anywhere from 50 to 90 people on the beach.” As a member of the Laie Community Association, she said she also integrated this event into the community’s Pioneer Day celebrations in July. With more than 200 people attending during the windy morning hours, Bob


On the bottom of these nets, there is a leaf from the tea leaf plant that we have here in Hawaii. We use it for many things, but the dry leaf we use for scaring the fish. That is part of the Hukilau. The ‘lau’ is what we call the leaf interwoven in the rope. ‘Huki’ means pull, so that is where we get Hukilau. -Bob Kahawaii

Scan this QR code or visit our YouTube channel to watch our video of this event!

Kahawaii and his team divided everyone into two lines, younger people to one end of the beach and those 55 and older were sent to the other end. He said the younger side ends up doing most of the work. Bob Kahawaii explained the process before the fishing began. “On the bottom of these nets, there is a leaf from the tea leaf plant that we have here in Hawaii. We use it for many things, but the dry leaf we use for scaring the fish. That is part of the Hukilau. The ‘lau’ is what we call the leaf interwoven in the rope. ‘Huki’ means pull, so that is where we get Hukilau.” He said it isn’t too rare for a shark to end up in the net. “If it looks long and has a long pointy fin on its back, it is one! Every once in a while, we get one in here,” he joked. Bob Kahawaii’s team wore matching shirts and consisted of divers who watched the fish and net while it was in the water, someone who went by boat to release the net, and shore captains who managed the two pulling lines that pull the net area to make it smaller. Throughout the event, the divers would signal to the shore captains to halt any pulling if the net was caught on coral. Bob said, “We have about 900 feet of net, and another 600 to 700 feet of lau. The idea is to watch the net and make sure it doesn’t get caught on coral and rip. “Back in the day, we didn’t have very much money for net so we took care of our net. Because they were made out of cotton, cotton soaked up a lot of water and it would get heavy. Over time we have evolved to monofilament netting, which is a lot lighter.” The net drew closer and the two lines converged, bringing in the results of the catch. Sister Sharon Gray, a senior missionary from Utah who attended the event with her husband, said around 30 of the fish were goatfish, one was a long and skinny coronet fish and one was a larger chub fish. The coronet fish was later released back into the ocean. When asked about the amount of fish caught, BJ said, “We did good today. Of course, back in the day they would catch hundreds, but Continues on Page 20

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Bob Kahawaii and his team, along with help from students, community members and employers from the APCC, caught more than 30 fish from Hukilau Beach. Photo by Sister Sharon Gray

Continued from Page 19

we did good given the conditions of the water and amount of fish here today.” Participants and onlookers alike rushed to the nets to pick up the fish and take photos with them, a few of them were even brave enough to put the fish in their mouths or kiss them for the photo. This was a tradition “back in the days” even if the fish was still squirming around, said Bob Kahawaii. Karina Loeza, a junior from California studying business and entrepreneurship, said, “The trick to putting the fish in your mouth is to not think about it. Just know that you are going to have a fishy taste in your mouth for the rest of the day. It’s about the experience.” The last fish to be placed in the catch bucket was the only chub fish caught, the largest of them all. Participants passed it around and took photos of them kissing it and didn’t seem to mind or notice it had poop hanging out of its body. The Hukilau was created to raise funds for the construction of a new chapel, said Bob Kahawaii. 20


“The employers can be the fishermen, and the students can be the fish. ..I just want you to know that our students are delicious fish. We would love for you to hire them, to mentor them and to take them in. -Keni Kalama

According to a 2009 Deseret News article by Steve Fidel, a local chapel had burnt to the ground, possibly due to an oil lamp, and saints were forced to congregate in a social hall to ride out World War II. Fidel writes, “In January 1948, the Laie Ward was anxious to rebuild the chapel and launched the Hukilau to raise money. Tickets were printed and left with tour groups in Honolulu to lure them to the windward side of the island.” Bob Kahawaii said the tourist attraction would later become what is now the Polynesian Cultural Center. “They had food and entertainment during the [Hukilau]. That pretty much transitioned over to the PCC. The only thing they don’t do anymore is the Hukilau. That is up to us. It is a family and community event.You can’t pull all of this by yourself,” he said. BYUH President John Tanner arrived at the end of the event for photos with the fish and to talk to APCC employers. Fruit refreshments were also served by Alumni and Career Services to help take the fishy taste out of people’s mouths. •

Winners of the 2018 Empower Your Dreams contests receive their award money on April 5 in the Heber J. Grant Building. Photos by Wesley Ng.


Empower Your Dreams The road to entrepreneurial success can start at BYUH B Y H AN N AH JO N E S AN D AL LY PACK

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ompetitors and judges of Empower Your Dreams shared their stories and told future entrepreneurs to create a network of motivated people and work on ideas they are passionate about. Trevor Hanson, a supply manager for Tesla and one of the judges for Empower Your Dreams, explained, “I went to school here at BYUH, and while I was here, I created a hefty load of small businesses that helped me through school. I like how we have a unique demographic of students. It’s very cool to see robust business plans coming from people from third-world countries.” Chenoa Farnsworth, managing partner of Blue Startups and another judge, said, “The quality was better than I expected. I’ve done a lot of judging in a lot of business plan competitions, so that was nice and a surprise. I always like to learn new things that are happening right here on my own island that I may not be connected to so that was an eyeopener. “It was just a very rewarding experience. Everyone was appreciative of my time and my effort to be here. It’s always rewarding when you feel like you hopefully made a difference in someone’s trajectory.”




Battsengel Chagdgaa, a Mongolian senior double majoring in accounting and hospitality and tourism management, placed first in the global category with her soap company Gilgerem. She entered the competition after years of letting it pass by and watching Empower Your Dreams. “After I watched it, I had lots of new ideas written down,” she said. “I was planning on competing every semester, and then I ended up saying, ‘Oh next semester, next semester,’ so it’s my first and last chance I had.” Nathan Neely, the first-place contestant for social and a senior studying supply chain management from California, decided after a variety of other endeavors to start his company called Rubi (Rubi Life LLC). Rubi is a company designed to provide expecting mothers in third-world countries with a healthier way to monitor their unborn children. Neely’s advice for students comes from before Rubi with his previous ideas. “I started going here in 2010. I entered in every competition, and I never made the finals even though I probably spent more time than I should have on this. It was just a great feeling for me to finally have something that could win this competition that I failed at over years and years.”

He said an amazing business idea may come to you, but it’s okay to be second best at something as long as you’re willing to put in the work. Chagdgaa said, “First of all, [our] business is for real. We are really trying to expand it and I just want to see the success of it. I just want to do whatever I can. The company is the Gilgerem Organic Soapery. We have three main products with Mongolian traditional ingredients. It may sound strange to some people, but Mongolians know the traditional benefits of it.” Randi Lee, a local contestant who won first in the community category, owns Self-Love Apparel, a business with a mission to empower women. Lee created her clothing line intending to incorporate quotes of self-love. She explained, “My whole life has been leading up to this point because growing up and struggling with my weight, I just always struggled to love and accept myself, and it wasn’t until I started power lifting in 2014 that I finally started to value my body for what it could do versus what it looked like. “Once I found that, I had this immense sense of joy and fulfillment that I hadn’t had in my whole life. When we’re searching for things

Left: Chagdgaa’s business makes soap with Mongolian ingredients. Middle: Neeley’s allows pregnant women to get updates about their baby’s health. Right: Mangakahia’s sells hand-crafted ukuleles. Each of these contestants took first place in their category. Photos by Gab Batac, Battsengel Chagdgaa, and Sam Mangakahia

on the outside, we’re never truly happy. We have to find it inside, so that’s how I came up with the idea.” Samuel Mangakahia, a junior from Australia majoring in graphic design, won first place in the digital category with his business Hamiora. Selling hand-crafted ukuleles, rings and phone cases, Mangakahia said he’s grateful for what he’s learned from the competition. “It allowed me to carefully describe what I’m trying to sell. It’s given me the opportunity to pitch my idea to people who know business and have a lot of experience with investing in them.” Tyler Johnson, a senior from Arizona majoring in business finance, competed with his food truck known as Ty’s Beach Bus and took third place in the global category. “I learned a lot about myself and about what I want to do in consideration to my business.” He said he also learned “how to pitch [and] how to make a business plan on paper. It gave me a little extra cash that will go straight back into the business.” Johnson said he is excited for more customers during the summer months and plans to put his money into growing his business. “I have so many dreams for this business,” Lee similarly expressed. “I want to turn it into more than just

a clothing company—more of a community. My dream is to have women empowerment events like self-love events where people come together and feel empowered, learn how to love and give massive love to people around the world.” Each participant is assigned one of the business professors to help mentor them as they plan and prepare the execution of their business. Mangakahia commented on his mentors, “I value their time and the things that they teach us as far as business and how to continue to follow your dreams.” He said his mentors were very impactful towards the progress of his business and dreams. Hanson said the best way to build a business is to find something that fuels your passion. He explained, “It keeps you going. It allows you to do the big things in life that help you feel proud.Your passion can be fueled by many things.You think about the people who are most motivated in this world, and it’s like if you think about the single mom who works two jobs. She works harder than anybody else in the world. But why? It’s because of love. She just loves somebody and it fuels her passion.”

“I had two or three hours of sleep the last couple of days, but it was a great experience. It was one of my dreams, and I’m glad one of my dreams came true with a great result.” Hanson said, “We shouldn’t let the size of our school correlate with the size of our dreams or our confidence to move forward. … Paint in your mind the person you want to become and then do those things that person would do every single day and it will build your confidence.” He said at some point “you’ll look back at the day and think, ‘Man, I’m the person that I’d hope to be today. That’s awesome, and I feel good about it.’” Hanson added, “[BYUH students] can compete with the Princetons and the Provos of this world. They can compete with the ivy leagues, absolutely. I just want to know that that’s real. We can get jobs at Google, Tesla and Apple. We can start projects, we can get amazing partnerships and funding for our businesses and customers. It’s not something just big fancy schools have happen for them.” Farnsworth added, “I was impressed, especially because a lot of these companies were real companies and not idea companies, and that’s great to see such entrepreneurial spirit.” •

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comes to BYU-Hawaii Original musical from Broadway producers was performed on campus for the first time B Y K E V I N B RO W N AN D ADAM B RACE

Original musical, “Solana,” directed by Kristl Densley was inspired by the producers, Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid’s own personal experiences growing up. Photos by Kyle Gab Batac



Top: Nicole Villejo, a junior music major from Honolulu, played Chloe, the lead role in the musical, Spencer Grubbe, a senior from Oregon studying music, played her love interest. Aaron Densley and Melissa Walker Glenn played her adoptive parents. Photo by Kelsy Simmons

olana,” a new musical written by the New York-based duo, Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid, had its debut performance by students and faculty in the McKay Auditorium on March 15-17 and 20-22. Kristl Densley, the director of the musical and assistant professor of Theater, said the production came to BYU-Hawaii after she reached out to Broadway Musical Directors Heitzman and Reid, and offered them the chance to work on the development of their musical with BYUH theater students. She said they both jumped on the opportunity right away. Densley said Heitzman and Reid spent a month here in Hawaii revising the music selections and script of the musical. She wrote in her director’s note, “At one point in rehearsal, we ripped out the whole musical numbers and threw them away. It has been an amazing experience for our students to work furiously and in such a collaborative manner.” Heitzman and Reid sat down personally with the students for two days and asked them about their personal life experiences growing up in their families, according to Densley, and “many [experiences] had been incorporated into the musical.” Densley said the play describes the story of Chloe Ellsworth, an adopted Asian-American girl who lives on a family farm in Indiana. When an unexpected visitor arrives, everything changes and she is thrown into an unexpected fairy-tale journey. Full of twists and turns, the journey resolves with a greater understanding of herself and the unresolved feelings she harbored about her adoption. Inspiration for the musical came from Reid’s own family. Densley said, “The play was inspired by Ilene’s niece who was adopted from Korea as a baby. She grew up in a town where she didn’t look like anyone else. However, she always wanted to be a princess. Thus, ‘Solana’ was born.”


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Above: Chloe is comforted by her father, Albert. Left: Solana citizens dress Chloe. Photos by Kelsy Simmons APR IL 2018



Solana tells the story of an adopted girl who lives on a family farm in Indiana and feels like she doesn’t fit in because she looks different from people in her community. Continued from Page 19 Pononui Cabrina plays her grandfather in Solana. Photo by Kelsy Simmons

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According to students performing in the play, the musical touched on important themes prevalent in everyone’s lives. Nicole Villejo, a junior music major from Honolulu who played Chloe, spoke on what it was like becoming the lead role. “Getting to know Chloe means getting to know her life story. For me personally, it’s hard to put yourself in other people’s perspective. Getting out of my comfort zone and doing that is really fun, but it’s helped me to be more humble and less judgmental.” Densley said the musical has been a work in progress since production began. She explained, “A typical play on Broadway has eight to 10 hours of work each day. We had two to three with our students. Typical productions have about six weeks to block and put things together. The first four weeks we had were spent with the producers and with the music. In Heitzman and Reid’s composer’s note, they wrote, “We had focused time to explore our writing - create new songs and cut old ones… and all of this with the unwavering support of the brilliant faculty and willing students.” Densley stressed the artistic value of plays. “Plays are not meant to be read. They are meant to be performed. Movies are just so polished. With a play, the same thing will never happen twice. Each night the performance changes. How she said that line, how they danced that way, etc. We’re never going to capture those moments again. There’s something magical about that. Something happens that you can’t recreate.” To clear up audience members’ confusion from the first performances about why the cast was pointing below them during the curtain call, Densley said, “We had a live band on stage. They were tucked



underneath the set. There was confusion at the end and people were wondering, ‘Who are we clapping for?’” Hannah Williamson, a freshman from Minnesota studying education, said while her favorite part of the musical was the music itself, she said the themes have helped her understand more about her own life. From the play, Williamson explained she has learned to “be grateful for what you have. Don’t be so picky about what you want because when [Chloe] got it, she wasn’t sure if she actually wanted it.” Densley said she wanted students to rally around the idea of this musical. “We’re doing shows that reflect cultures of the students who you walk down the halls with. I want our audiences to reflect and support that. We were beyond excited to share this.” Jacob Titus, a junior from Wahiawa studying communications played a role in the Solana ensemble. He said of his experience, “The opportunity to be a part of this production has been an incredibly unique and enriching experience. I think our entire team has done a phenomenal job at incorporating a mix of Polynesian and Asian culture into the make-believe Pacific Island of Solana.” At the end of each performance, a questionnaire created by Heitzman and Reid was available for audience members to provide their feedback of the musical. Densley said, “Michael and Ilene sent us these questions. They wanted to see feedback about the musical and about which characters [audience members] would have liked to see more of for this to be produced in New York City.” •

Campus Comment:

What were your three favorite performances from Culture Night? B Y H E L AM L AU / PH OTO S B Y GAB B ATAC

Diandra Prahta Dewi Mongan, a freshman communications major from Indonesia: 1st Korea: “Korea had a really pretty pattern and beautiful drums like what I saw in the Olympics. The fans went along well with the song.” 2nd Cook Island: “I love the formation in Cook Island.” 3rd Hong Kong: “I love how Hong Kong used the LED dragon, which was really different from others. … I think it was so pretty.”

Daiki Sato, a senior accounting major from Japan: 1st Tahiti: “I like how Tahiti organized the formation sequence were women danced first and then men joined.” 2nd Korea: “Korea used to do K-pop before, but this time they focused on their traditional dance and instrument.” 3rd Hong Kong: “I was surprised to see the LED dragon. I was excited to see the dragon light up, and the dance with light gloves was cool.”

Auburn Bertuccini, a junior communications from California: 1st Korea: “I was expecting to see K-pop, so it was interesting to see Korea’s past culture instead of current culture. I also really liked the drums.” 2nd Hong Kong: “Hong Kong showed me the past culture through lion costumes and also current Hong Kong on the screen. I thought that was really interesting to see their past and present being put together. That was really cool that as soon as they turned off the light on the stage and turned on the dragons light.” 3rd Ballroom Dance: “I really like all of the different styles they added into it and going around the world to show cultures from all over, instead of a specific place.”

Jilliam Tea, a senior graphic design major from Samoa: 1st Philippines: “I like how colorful their costumes were. There were many people. The song choice was good and the performance was so active.” 2nd Latin America: “I just love the music and dance of Latin America. It was like a combination of Brazilian, European, and Chile.” 3rd Samoa: “The costume was traditional. I like the idea of the fire knife because they weren’t allowed to use fire. They used glow sticks to represent fire.”

Susan Nielsen, a freshman undecided major from Colorado: 1st Cook Island: “Cook Island chose a really good song and they also had great costumes.” 2nd New Zealand: “It was just so cool to see so many people in New Zealand and how animated they were.” 3rd Hawaii: “Hawaii was just really lovely, especially the girls dressed in yellow.”

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in this section Map and data on cultures represented at Culture Night


Recap of the 24 performances and intermission games


Musicians who performed share traditional origins of songs


Emcees face criticism and threats for jokes and script


Hong Kong Club highlights history of city with lion and dragon dance


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Culture Night


Place started: The Bronx, New York City Decade Began: 1970s A FR ICA

Students represented: 6 LDS Members on continent: 318,947


LDS Members in state: 73,927 L AT IN A MER ICA

Area covered: Most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico


Students represented: 8 Members in country: 1,843



Students represented: 40 LDS Members in French Polynesia: 26,828


Students represented: 146 LDS Members in country: 64,156 30


Students represented: 12 LDS Members in country: 1,354,127


Students represented: 90 LDS Members in country: 16,180

Sources: BYU-Hawaii,, and Google


Students represented:53 LDS Members in country: 11,436


Students represented: 92 LDS Members in country: Not Listed


Country started: England Century began: developed during 16th and 18th century


Students represented: 104 LDS Members in country: 128,856


Students represented: 82 LDS Members in country: 87,637


Students represented: 197 LDS Members in country: 745,959


Students represented: 84 LDS Members in region: 24,881


Students represented: 15 LDS Members in Country: 21,274


Students represented: 31 LDS Members in Areas combined: 13,391



Students represented: 48 LDS Members in country: 59,586

Students represented: 23 LDS Members in country: 7,289


Students represented: 47 Members in country: 19,737 MELANE S IA

Students represented: 68 Countries included: Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu,New Caledonia, Fiji


Students represented: LDS Members in country: 49112,366


Students represented: 43 LDS Members in country: 18,368 APR IL 2018







Top: Hawaiian Club was the first group to preform on Friday. Bottom left: Kiribati dedicates their dance to a recent tragedy of their island. Bottom right: Africa preforms for the first time since 2015. Photos by Alvin Dy.

First up for Culture Night 2018 was Hawaii. The club took the stage in the Cannon Activities Center with the women wearing bright yellow dresses and the men in white shirts and shorts. A traditional hula was performed with a live band with students singing. After the hula, pu’ili sticks were used, followed by another hula. The Ballroom Club was next. Its performance was dedicated to the different styles of ballroom dance, highlighting where they came from and accompanying them with modern songs. First was a swing dance originating from New York. Next was a dance from Cuba, the cha-cha, followed by a tango from Argentina. The group then travelled to Brazil with a samba and finished with a Viennese waltz from Germany. Africa performed after the Ballroom Club. It kicked off its performance by reenacting a scene from “The Lion King” and had a stuffed lion that was held up. The rest of the group then joined the floor dressed in red, green, and yellow and had their faces painted. After its performance, the Hong Kong Club followed. The dance started with a traditional lion dance accompanied by a drum and cymbals. Following that, tribute was paid for Bruce Lee, which was then followed by a hiphop number. A dragon then burst onto the floor as the club then performed a traditional dragon

dance. The lights then shut off and the dragon lit up with color and light. Students then filled the floor once again with finger lights and glowing hats and vests and danced to another upbeat song. Following Hong Kong’s performance, the emcees invited students to play a game. Groups of students were invited to come to the floor on a first-come, first-served basis to play charades. The winning group received tickets to “A Night of Music and Comedy” featuring music by Josh Tatofi and comedy by Augie T. Next up was the New Zealand Club. Students filled the floor with very little empty space. The performance began with a chant and then the group coming together in song before breaking into a dance. Afterwards, the women performed with poi balls. The floor was then cleared for the men to perform a haka. The club closed its performance with the group coming together in the front and everyone singing once again. Live music was performed throughout the group’s performance. Indonesia then came to the floor, starting with a video about the country. After the video, a group of men dressed in grass skirts armed with spears came forward and danced. The lights dimmed, allowing members of the club to come onto the floor dressed in all black and red or white, the colors of the Indonesian flag. The students then performed a traditional Indonesian dance called the saman, where dancContinues on page 34 APR IL 2018



Left: The Philippines Club’s finale of its performance at Culture Night. Middle: Tahiti are dressed in red and black. Left: Cook Islands dance to live music. Photos by Alvin Dy. Continued from page 33

ers form a single line and move and clap their hands in rhythmic, synchronized pattern. Brazil and Portugal performed next, showcasing different aspects of their cultures, starting with a Brazilian martial-arts-style dance called capoeira and four students performing fútbol tricks. The women of the group then took the stage, dressed in carnivalesque outfits, dancing to upbeat music. After them, the Hip Hop Club danced onto the floor. Dressed in all black, the dancers performed different hip-hop numbers. Following them, the emcees introduced another game where the audience was encouraged to turn to the person next to them, introduce themselves, and then talk about different subjects that were presented. After a break, Kiribati came to the floor with a traditional tirere dance, where each dancer had a foot-long stick and kept rhythm with the accompanying song. The performance was dedicated to a recent tragedy that struck the island in January 2018 when the ferry, M.V. Butiraoi, carrying a ship full of students sank. A dance was then performed to pay further respects to those affected. Following them, Cook Islands began with a chant that led into a dance performed to a more upbeat song. The traditional dance from the Cook Islands, called the Maori Ura, was then performed. The dance involves men and women dancing vigorously to tell a story. Following the custom, it was accompanied by live drummers. Promptly following the Cook Islands performance, an announcement was made to 34


remind audience to remain in their seats and not jump into the performances. According to the emcees, performers put a lot of hard work into the arrangements they would be performing and did not want anyone to take away from the experience. Taiwan came next starting its performance with students playing drums and recorders to the tune of Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” while two more students fought with staffs. Dances were performed to pop music with a hip hop number to finish. Closing out Friday night was Samoa. After announcing the final group, the crowd roared in excitement. Live music with drums and stringed instruments filled the back of the performing area. Samoa began with a group of men with glow-in-the-dark twirling batons. After them, the women, dressed in bright yellow dresses, began a dance with the men joining in at the end. The performance built in energy and excitement, becoming more and more intense as the performance came closer to its end. As the performance was coming to a close, the lights were cut early as students and community ran onto the floor throwing money when they were asked not to do it right before the Samoan performance. S ATU RDAY, MA R CH 24

Japan kicked off Saturday beginning with a sumo wrestler battling it out against different characters in Japanese culture such as Goku, Monkey D. Luffy, and a Japanese war general before ultimately losing to Kishidan. The rest of the club then took the stage and danced to

pop music dressed in street clothes. To close, the group created a giant pyramid with a flag that had Japan and some Japanese characters in large print. Up next was the Melanesia Club. The club showcased dances from the islands of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands; blending the different styles of dance into one performance. After the performance, a clean-up crew ran onto the floor and swept the debris off the floor quickly. The audience cheered and roared with applause as they swept the last few pieces off. Following Melanesia was China. Dressed in red robes with long flowy sleeves, the dancers took the floor and performed a traditional dance with arm movements highlighting their costumes. Next, one female took center stage continuing with a Chinese traditional sleeve ribbon dance, spinning and twirling around the floor. The club finished with a contemporary piece telling a love story. The cleaning crew ran onto the floor again. This time, they got the spotlight and the crowd went wild cheering for them. The Thailand Club then entered the stage. It began with a traditional northern Thai dance called the fon lep, where dancers wear long fingernails that elaborated their finger movements to add artistic style to the dance. The men then took the floor and performed a muay Thai-style dance. Dancers fought to a fast tempo drum beat. After Thailand, another intermission took place where the emcees called for three mar-

ried couples to come to the floor to play a version of “The Newlywed Game.” Five questions were asked, ranging from who is the cleanest in the relationship, what show would you binge watch together, and who has the most shoes. The prize for this game was two dinners to L&L Barbecue. Following intermission was Tahiti. Live music was performed as the group entered the floor with the first group of women performing a classic dance. The men, dressed in black lava lavas adorned with grass head and leg bands, joined in. Closing its performance, the men performed a Marquesan bird dance and a male haka. During the bird dance, there was a female soloist spotlighted. Up next was Latin America. The first group took the stage with men in white buttonups and black shorts and the women with white tops and flowing red skirts. Pop music played and club members danced. Following that number, a second group came to stage to perform to music from the movie “Coco.” Keanu Dellona dressed up as Coco with a guitar and danced around while three couples danced in the background. The rest of the club then took the floor with partners and danced to more Latino pop songs. At the close of it performance, flags of the Latin American countries were brought out and the group gathered together in the center of the floor. The Philippines Club then came on stage. Students were dressed in different styles of costumes representing four different festivals and cultures of the Philippines. Beginning was a group dressed as local tribesmen wielding a

shields and spears. Then women in red dresses and gold jewelry took the floor with men wearing gold vests brandishing golden swords. The next group of women came onto the floor with flower props. The last group, dressed in bright neon colors with masks attached to the back of their heads allowed them to dance themselves and use the masks as another person. The groups faded in and out of each other before ultimately coming together at the end. The Singapore and Malaysia Club followed them. As the club members entered the stage, a soothing melody was played on traditional instruments. The dance highlighted a male soloist, dancing in a circle with nine women until they filed out leaving him alone with just one other dancer. The group representing Malaysia then flooded the floor wearing a rainbow variety of colors and performed Bollywood-style dances. Another brief intermission was taken, this time recognizing the hard work of those who work behind the scenes to put Culture Night together. Recognition was also given to Elvin Laceda, student founder of RiceUp, who won this year’s Enactus award. Following the intermission, Mongolia performed. The club began with a hip-hop number. Then switching to a more traditional dance, women dressed in red and green dresses took the floor and finished off the group’s performance. Fiji came next with a performance that told the story of a fisherman falling in love with the chief’s daughter, who was set to marry someone else. After she runs away, the chief

finds his daughter and sees she is truly in love and lets the couple stay together. They are married and the accompanying dance celebrates the joy felt among the performers. Korea then took the floor beginning with a traditional drum performance with buks, janggus, and other drums. A second group of the performance then came to the floor, all women wearing red and pink dresses performed a buchaechum, a traditional Korean fan dance. The dancers synchronized their movements to create pictures and waves. Closing their performance, the women pulled out new fans of red and blue and created a circle in the middle while others on the outside held up flags of black to create the Korean flag. The finale for Culture Night 2018 was Tonga. Before its presentation began, the Tongan Club president thanked everyone for being there and through tears expressed his desire that everyone would respect the hard work and dedication that the students had prepared to show that night and asked audience members to not come down on the floor. The men started the presentation dressed in white shirts and red lava lavas topped with grass skirt. They began with a war dance using spears later in performance. Afterwards, the women came on and performed a dance and the men joined in later. As one of the largest groups, the floor was crowded with people and there was almost no open space. After Tonga’s performance, a member of the club concluded with a prayer and Culture Night came to a close. •

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Behind the drums BYU-Hawaii musicians share the origins of their musical traditions and say Culture Night is an opportunity to share and learn from others B Y GE E N A D E M AI O

Drummers from the Korea Club show their techniques before the fan dancers took center stage. Right: Ninoy Kusuma from the Indonesia Club shows his culture through rhythm. Photos by Alvin Dy 36


usicians said they value and represent cultural pluralism at Culture Night by respecting and showcasing the various clubs’ traditions and sentiments through song at BYU-Hawaii’s 2018 Culture Night. Ninoy Kusuma, a senior from Indonesia studying music with an emphasis in percussion, played for the Malaysian and Indonesian clubs. He said, “I’m excited to introduce our culture to more people in this school. We do it every year, but then new people always come every year so it’s exciting to introduce all this culture and see other cultures and see what they’re doing. “When I play for Malaysia, I have to be Malaysian. When I play for Indonesia, I have to be Indonesian. I used to work at the Night Show for two years. When I play for the Polynesian Cultural Center, I have to be a Polynesian to be able to perform their music.” Pelekina-i’-vaito-’Auaea from Tonga, a sophomore in exercise and sports science, said, “Honestly I feel so excited. Hearing the beat of the drum makes me dance to it. It makes me happy, and every time I just walk somewhere and find something I just start playing and making up a beat. I feel like a drum is a part of me.” Auaea discussed how drums are a part of Tongan cultural identity. “Growing up, drums are known to be a sound of celebration or of fun. When you hear the sound of the drum, you hear that some people are celebrating something and just the sound of it makes people want to have fun and enjoy dancing to the beat of the drum.” Rizal Takin, a sophomore from Malaysia studying business finance, said, “The most important thing to me is I want people to feel what I feel about our culture.” Takin explained how music is connected with Malaysian culture. “Back in Malaysia, we believe in the spirit of rainforests just like people here believe in the spirit of the ocean. Back in Malaysia, we’re surrounded by a lot of forests. “I have a village that is in the middle of the rainforest and for us this kind of music is very soothing to feel. It’s nice, comfortable, and you feel nature. I’m just trying my best to portray my culture.”


“Honestly I feel so excited. Hearing the beat of the drum makes me dance to it. It makes me happy, and every time I just walk somewhere and find something I just start playing and making up a beat. I feel like a drum is a part of me.” - Pelekina-i’-vaito-’Auaea Kris Krisanalome, a sophomore from Thailand majoring in music performance with an emphasis in percussion who plays for the Korea Club, talked about drum technique. “The rhythm is different. Some cultures play really fast and some cultures play really slow and soft. It depends on the history and maybe it’s based on where they’re from. If they are from some place really windy or really loud, then they have to play louder.” Auaea said, “There are specific techniques that you need to know to play drums. The older generation knows how to drum well. They can tell if you know how to play drum or if you don’t know how to play drum by the technique that you use. “Usually the technique that you use for playing drum is you have to stretch out your arms. Sometimes people just play low and they don’t even stretch their arm, which is the wrong technique. But if you stretch your arm and play how you hit from the top down, that’s the right technique to play the drum. When you play drum, you use your whole body. You move, you turn around, and you just feel excited to play. If you don’t play drum with excitement, it doesn’t look right.”

Krisanalome explained, “In Korea we have different dynamics, but mostly we play loud. There is some part when we lower our dynamics to the other group to acknowledge that this group is playing – kind of like we are having a conversation with the drums musically. We talk to each other musically with the drums.” Krisanalome also included, “I want to experience teaching groups how to play the drums, and also I want to learn their culture as well. K-Pop is really popular in Thailand, and I feel like I’m happy to be among those people and learn more about people.” Auaea said, “I play how our ancestors [would] want us to play drums.You need to use everything you have just to play, giving your all to it. I wish that I would be able to help other people as well, just to train them to play drums the right way.” Krisanalome added, “This Culture Night performance has helped me to learn to be more respectful of other cultures. We came from different backgrounds, different cultures, and I learned that as we are humble and respect other cultures we learn more. •

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Behind the backlash Culture Night emcees say they will learn from criticism but were shocked by threats on social media B Y DAN I CASTRO AN D JO SH M ASO N

Emcees Eli Harris and Rebecca Rodrigues said they were threatened after first Culture Night performance. Photo by Wesley Ng

he 2018 Culture Night emcees Eli Harris and Rebecca Rodrigues, members of the Seaside Jesters Comedy Troupe, faced a backlash following their debut performance Friday night. According to the two, the duo received threats after their jokes were perceived by some community members and students as racist or culturally insensitive, though not all of the criticisms were threats of violence. The backlash on social media focused on the way the emcees introduced clubs. For example, comments included complaints




about when introducing the Cook Islands, the two talked about the pink mayonnaise the country has; for Taiwan, they talked about its garbage trucks that play music; for Africa, they impersonated accents from the Marvel movie “Black Panther”; and for New Zealand, Rodrigues impersonated the “Lord of the Rings” character Gandalf with a wizard hat and staff. Rodrigues, a sophomore from Iowa studying marine biology, said there was a mixed response to their performance that “at the best made people laugh and at the worst, unfortunately, resulted in threats of violence

against us. We were two students ... who got shamed for trying to reach out to 25 cultures and cause a smile.” Sullivan Quinn, a sophomore from Utah studying mathematics who used to be in Jesters, said of the emcees, “To be perfectly blunt, I thought it was sad. There was a lot of division that was happening over silly things, and at the same time over serious things. It goes without saying that some of the [jokes], while not intended, were taken racially, and I feel bad. I feel that Eli and Rebecca got way more hassle than actually needed, but I feel

some criticism was needed to avoid any future damage.” During and after Friday night’s performance, audience members were visibly and audibly frustrated with the emcees, with some of them quietly booing when the emcees came on stage. At one moment, Harris joked about the crowd being tired of the emcees and one person in the crowd was heard projecting, “You have no idea!” Tonga Tonga, a sophomore from Tonga studying information technology, said he didn’t think the emcees did a terrible job, but he didn’t get the jokes. “It’s a different sense of humor and I felt left out. They did their own thing, and they did it for us, but we’re not involved – that was the insensitive part. For me, I served in New Zealand, and [the emcees] used a wizard when they talked about the Maori people. The Maori people aren’t wizards, they are warriors. Polynesian people feel hurt and that’s what it takes for someone to stand up.” However, Ringo Pulini, a sophomore from Tonga studying biochemistry, said the emcees did “fantastic” and had their own style. “They were a little awkward. I think it was their personalities and you can’t change that. They were trying to show people what they can do. They weren’t trying to offend anybody.” Prince Owusu, a senior from Ghana studying political science, described the way the emcees introduced Africa Club as “disappointing.” He said, “I looked at my African friend and said, ‘What is she saying? Does she know what she is talking about?’ I wasn’t mad, but I took it as she’s not well connected with the cultures. “Being at BYUH where we are all from different cultures, we can all step on each other’s toes sometimes without realizing it. I felt it shouldn’t have gone to that extent. It wasn’t the right thing and it wasn’t funny, but I was okay with it. It was just lack of knowledge with what she was trying to say. However, she could have been corrected in a better way rather than people threatening her and being so harsh on her.” Other viewers took to social media to voice frustrations or disapproval of the emcees.

On the official BYU-Hawaii Facebook live stream, commentators called the performers “boring” or “unfunny.” A compilation video was posted on Saturday that received more than 4,000 views that highlighted what the user described as the emcees’ “cringiest moments,” which made fun of the emcees’ jokes with GIFs and photos of confused faces displayed after clips of their jokes. After being tagged in comments and posts about the event, Lehi Falepapalangi, who emceed Culture Night the previous four years, posted on his Facebook: “I think these two did the best they could with what they were given. … you cannot be mad at them for sticking to what they knew. “... It’s not fair to judge a fish by their ability to climb a tree. But if you put that fish in front of a group of tree climbers, you can’t not expect to receive negative feedback or criticism. These two are not professional MC’s by any means, nor do they have much stage experience, but my hat is off to these two for having the courage to step in front of hundreds of people and put themselves out there.”


“We knew there was going to be some backlash,” said Harris, a junior from Missouri studying English and education. “We didn’t know how much.” On Saturday, one person said they would throw a shoe at the emcees. He said he saw several comments saying if the emcees said anything disrespectful on Saturday night, people would throw a tomato or shoe at their face. “That’s not a joke. That’s someone threatening me,” Harris stated. The emcees said their script was preapproved by SLS staff, who were in charge of Culture Night. They had also contacted each club president to ask how their club would like to be introduced, but only one responded. “Rebecca and I very easily put in about 30 hours of work into this because every one of our scripts we wrote had to go through [SLS],” said Harris. “It had to go through our own team. At the same time, we wanted to make sure we were accurate.” “Everything that was our own script was approved for appropriateness, non-derogatory,

non-disrespectful, and it was still good. Everything we went through was a lot.” Rodrigues concluded, “We were not out to offend. I am so sorry to those we did. It was never our intention. I am even more sorry that we were the focal point of negativity during one of the most beautiful events on campus.” For Saturday night, the two “had to scrap the whole” script, said Harris. “We scratched everything two hours before the event.” The emcees were escorted by Security personnel and had to read straight from a script written by SLS on Saturday night. “It was a long process and wasn’t easy to let go of. Did all of our jokes land the way we wanted them to? No. For that, I am sorry,” said Harris. L EA R NING FR O M IT

Student Leadership and Services told the Ke Alaka‘i the scripts the emcees prepared for Culture Night were approved twice. SLS Director Alison Whiting said the script was seen to be all fun trivia and had no intention to offend or hurt people. “It was a disappointment to witness some students react in way that were uncivil, mean, and unsupportive, especially on social media. The Jesters’ response to the situation was truly admirable and a representation of cool, true leadership.” She added since Culture Night is for the clubs, when the Jesters expressed interest in participating, they should be given the opportunity. Harris said he thought emceeing would be a great opportunity to represent the Jesters and bring the campus together. “I imagined it would be a good way to unify everybody. Jesters is one of the smaller clubs on campus, and this was a big event where everyone comes together. I hoped that we would celebrate and be on the same team but what happened was contrary to what we expected to happen.” Despite feeling hurt, Harris said he and Rodrigues decided to emcee again the second night. “It broke Rebecca’s heart. It broke my heart,” he said. Harris concluded, “The fact that I have to look over my shoulder and worry about getting home safely, that’s not a good thing. It’s going to take a little bit of time before that goes away.” •

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The metamorphosis of

Hong Kong Hong Kong Chapter’s performance showed the development of a city over time B Y TO M S O N C H EAN G

Hong Kong’s dance performance represents the different historical events their region has gone through. Photos by Alvin Dy

ach scene of the Hong Kong Club’s Culture Night performance presented different periods of time in Hong Kong, said club leaders, starting with traditional Chinese drumming followed by the Lion Dance, Chinese Kung Fu, retro dance, modern suit dance, and ending with a Dragon Dance and light dance. Michelle Lung, the president of the Hong Kong Club, explained, “The most unique characteristics about Hong Kong is the city itself has always been a perfect combination of British and Chinese culture. Many foreigners don’t know the difference between Hong Kong and China. The Hong Kong Club decided to act out the city’s whole transformation from an unknown British colony to an international metropolis.” The first part of the club’s performance was the Lion Dance, which represented Hong Kong in the ancient time before it was ruled by Britain, explained Lung, a junior majoring in TESOL education. Chris Chan, a senior from Hong Kong studying marketing, played the head part of the lion. He explained the Lion Dance has strict physical requirements for performers. “The


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The Hong Kong Club’s dancers and lighted dragon. Photos by Alvin Dy

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head of the lion was heavier than others imagine. It at least weighs 10 pounds.” Oscar Ip, a sophomore majoring in business management from Hong Kong, played the tail of the lion. Ip shared the most tiring part of his performance was the constant twisting of his hips. “In order to make the lion’s tail wave lively, I twisted my hips left and right, up and down, then again and again.” At the end of the Lion Dance performance, Chan jumped on Ip’s knees and displayed a banner with the letters “Hong Kong” written on it. Ip and Chan both said it was the hardest part in the whole performance. Chan said, “I couldn’t see my back and it wasn’t my job to look for the landing spot, but it was Ip who held me and put me on the right spot. All that I did was jump and trust Ip.” Ip shared, “The whole action was done in just one short moment, but it was a moment of strength, coordination and perfect timing.” The Lion Dance was followed by a demonstration of Wing Chun, a type of Chinese



Kung Fu. Ivan Tang, the instructor of the Wing Chun team and a freshman studying computer science from Hong Kong, explained Wing Chun became famous in Hong Kong in the last century. “We want to remind people the place where Ip Man started teaching Wing Chun was Hong Kong. Bruce Lee learned Wing Chun from Ip Man in Hong Kong. So did many other foreigners. With no doubt, Wing Chun is the most representative type of Kung Fu for Hong Kong,” said Tang. After the Wing Chun performance, the background music changed to a Cantonese song from the ‘90s. Members of the Hong Kong Club performed a retro dance with smiles on their faces. Lung explained, “We want to tell people that at the end of the 20th century, the atmosphere in British Hong Kong was joyful. Hong Kongers were living happy lives.” As the beats started getting faster, another group of dancers performed a modern dance with intense movements, which represented

the time when Hong Kong was returned back to China. “Hong Kong was enduring an identity crisis not knowing where they truly belonged to - Britain, China, or Hong Kong. People strived to be more hard working to find their positions on the global level. This is how the fast-paced living in Hong Kong came to be,” said Lung. After the modern dance was the Dragon Dance and light dance. During the performance, the lights on the stage were turned off and the scene went dark. Then the LED lights on the dragon were turned on. Dancers performed a modern light dance along with the LED dragon. According to the Hong Kong Club, when the Chinese dragon shone, it meant that Hong Kong had found its position as Pearl of the Orient. The lights also represented the night view of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, which is considered to be one of the top night views in the world. •


in this section Graduation speaker Atu Falevai to teach about sacrifice based off family experience


JoAnn Lowe retires after 31 years working in academic advising and Admissions


Siblings from Colombia want to change negative perspective of their country


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Graduation speaker

Atu Falevai Through sacrifice and support from family, BYUH student shares his road to graduation B Y H E L AM L AU

Left: Atu Falevai is a graduating social work major from Tonga. Right: Morgan and Atu Falevai said they inspire each other to get good education at BYU-Hawaii. Photo by Gab Batac

ocial work major Atu Falevai from Tonga was selected as BYU-Hawaii’s Winter 2018 Graduation speaker. He shared how his parent’s sacrifice motivated him to study hard, along with support from his family, and how BYUH professors from his country inspired him. He said how he had no idea why he was selected to be this year’s speaker. “I was surprised and overwhelmed to find out I was chosen to be the graduation speaker. I felt inadequate, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. BYUH students have made so many sacrifices [to come to school]. I don’t know if I am able to address every sacrifice everyone has made.” He explained the topic for his speech is on sacrifice. “A lot of sacrifice motivates us to study hard. There are many people out there sacrificing a lot to come here. They have been sacrificing family time to study, so they can have a better life with their children in the future.”




Sharing his own experiences of sacrifice, he said, “I come from Tonga, which is a poor island. People go out to farm,and stay up at night to fish to make money for school. My parents have made so many sacrifices for me to receive an education. They stayed up at night to farm, made fried bread, and sold it in school to earn money. They have inspired me to further my education and reminded me to have a better life.” He said his inspiration to sacrifice his time in obtaining an education was through his mother’s example. “She went back to school at the age of 42 and got her master’s degree. He continued, “I want to finish school fast. I want to start working and help my parents right away. “ Atu’s sister, Elizabeth Falevai, a senior from Tonga majoring in political science, described her brother as “someone who’s very responsible. I admire his sense of responsibility to me, to his wife, to his school and job. He’s

always the type of person who could lift the weight of any task given to him and be able to execute that task successfully to the best of his ability.” Atu’s wife, Morgan Graham Falevai, a senior from Utah majoring in elementary education, shared, “Because we are both students, we often find ourselves busy with school and work. However, Atu always makes time for the most important things in his life such as family. He has somehow managed to strike the perfect balance between school, work, and spending time with our small family. “Some things I admire about him is his ability to make friends with anybody, his dedication to education, and his strong work ethic. I could not be more proud of him and all the hard work, dedication, and time he has put into obtaining his degree.” Describing the influence of his professor, Victor Kaufusi, a social work professor from Tonga, Atu said, “I look up to him as he came

from the same background as me. His parents also sacrificed a lot for him to come to school, so he studied hard with a goal to pay back what they have done for him.” Referring to other instructors from Tonga, Amelia Pasi and Freddy Ika, who Atu Falevai described as inspiring, he said, “They are my biggest influences because they come from our poor island of Tonga and managed to get a degree. They became an inspiration to me.” Regarding the best way to study and become successful in school, he advised, “Put the Lord first. I always told myself I am not that smart. Everything that I achieved is a miracle that God blessed me with. The Lord has a big part in my achievement.” Falevai shared how group studies helped him a lot. “English is my second language, and my group helped me in explaining words I do not know.” He shared the greatest achievements he made at BYUH and what he was most

proud of by saying, “I got to play one of the main characters for my job in PCC back then. I was [also] in the 2017 presidency of Tongan Chapter, and I put together the whole Culture Night.” He expressed his gratitude towards the diversity offered at BYUH. “It gives you the opportunity to see from many different perspectives, ethnicities, and backgrounds.You start to understand different people.” Falevai shared one thing he loves about BYUH is “everyone is so friendly. I remember when I first came here, I got homesick and did not want to be here. During the orientation week, I lost my way and I asked a few kids from here for directions. They had the most genuine greetings and respect I have ever got. Since then, I always tried to be that kind of person. I cannot remember who they are but I am grateful they did that. I also met my wife here.” Falevai encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities and activities

offered at BYUH and to experience the cultures and diversity. “My advice is to enjoy going to school here.You do not get experiences outside of BYUH. I felt like I could have participated in more activities and programs, like Career Fair and working with student leadership.” • GENERAL AUTHORITY SPEAKER Sister Jean Barrus Bingham is the 17th general president of the Relief Society and is scheduled to speak at commencement. She was born in Provo, Utah, but spent her youth in Texas, Minnesota and New Jersey. She met her husband, Bruce, while they were both students at BYU, and they are the parents of two daughters and have five grandchildren. She has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in teaching. •

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JoAnn Lowe

retires after 31 years Family, friends, and co-workers celebrate and thank her for her love and contributions to BYUH B Y E M M AL E E SM I TH­­

YU-Hawaii staff and students came together on March 3 to celebrate the years of service of a long-time BYUHawaii employee, JoAnn Lowe, who worked as an academic advisor and in the Admissions Office for 31 years. More than 50 friends, coworkers, and family members attended Lowe’s farewell party and showed appreciation for her time spent at BYUH. James Faustino, the director of Admissions, said, “In the scriptures, in Alma says, ‘By small and simple things are great things come to pass.’ [JoAnn is] small but not simple. She has the biggest heart I’ve known.” Wendi Sanchez, Lowe’s daughter, said she is always so grateful her mom was able to work at BYUH and have such a great, supportive work environment.




At the event Lowe’s granddaughter, Mikayla Un, performed a Native American hoop dance she learned from her father. While Native American music was playing, she picked up the hoops one by one with her fingers and toes and jumped through them. She also intertwined all the hoops from left to right and held them with her hands and around her neck while spinning. At the event, Lowe’s six daughters and granddaughter performed a hula. Her youngest daughter, Rachel Johnson, shared a message about her mother and the kind of person she is. “We always say she’s like a firecracker because firecrackers come in a small package but are always the life of the party and come with a big boom.” One of her co-workers, Jason Ava, the Admissions technical analyst, asked, “You

guys remember ‘The Incredibles?’ Every morning we’d see JoAnn walk to work and the kids go, ‘Dad that looks like Edna from ‘The Incredibles.’’ I saw [JoAnn] and said, ‘That’s who they made it from. They came to Hawaii when they were doing ‘Lilo and Stitch’ and they saw Aunty JoAnn and they said she’s incredible.’” After their performances, everyone was invited outside where Ava’s Samoan family performed a traditional fireknife dance. Ava said to Lowe, “You light the fire in my life.” The last performance featured a 19 year old who took off and threw his shirt in front of Lowe. While the crowd laughed, Lowe hid her eyes and joined in laughing. Later in the dance, the man invited Lowe to join him. When she did, Lowe and the crowd laughed and shared broad smiles. Afterwards, when they went

Left: Co-workers from the Admissions Office celebrate JoAnn Lowe’s 31 years of service and describe her as small, but a woman with the biggest heart. Right: Lowe stands with friend and BYUH photography teacher, Monique Saenz. Photos by Wesley Ng

back inside, a video by students and staff at the Admissions Office was shown where they described Lowe. They talked about her as a mother, superwoman, a giver, and one who “comforts us and encourages us to be the best we can be through bad and good times.” The Admissions Office team, Ava, Faustino, and Chad Yuen, an Admissions officer, put on wigs and sunglasses and sang “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. They lip synced “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles while swinging their arms out to the sides and bringing them together again to clap to the music. The last song was “My Girl” by The Temptations, where each man gestured toward Lowe one by one as the chorus sang “My girl, my girl, my girl.” After which, Faustino spoke and said he’s worked with [Lowe] for seven or eight years and it’s hard to say goodbye. “It’s been a joy to work with her. She brings the spirit with her wherever she goes.” Faustino presented Lowe with a picture of Jesus surrounded by children “from all over the nation.” Lowe responded, “Oh my gosh, so sad, but I’m going to see you at Foodland, yeah?” Guests laughed at this remark. She continued by thanking Jacob Nihipali, the Event Services and Outreach manager, who gave her a

picture of the temple, which she said she always wanted, and an Edna Mode, talking ornament. Nihipali, who used to work in Admissions as a BYUH student 17 years ago, shared, “Her compassion and kind reminders helped shape how I work in the office today.” Nihipali explained, “She has a big heart and no matter how difficult her day was going, she powered through it and kept a positive attitude. That’s something we all can learn from.” Rachel Johnson then joined her mother and said she was prompted by her dad to go up and thank her mom. Johnson said, “Thank you to everyone at BYUH for being part of her life. Thank you for taking care of my mom. For 31 years, it’s amazing what she’s done.” She said her mom switched to working in Admissions full time when her dad passed away 20 years ago. Because of her mother there was always love in their home, Johnson explained. BYUH students would come over to their house to visit Lowe and her family some days and holidays, she said. Johnson shared, “We were just always ready with extra food because we knew students would just come by and we had to be able to feed them.” She said the Admissions Office became part of Lowe’s family and she is thankful for that. “My mom worked so hard to continue to

take care of my family without my dad, but I know my dad’s been with her along the way. And I know that he’s been here when my sisters and I were supposed to all come together.” Eddie Maiava, an Admissions officer, said, “She is the most service-oriented individual. She puts everything on hold when you see her and gives you all her attention. One could go to her and ask her the same question more than once and she would still explain it just as patient as the first time. She’s very loving and always willing to help. She’s a prime example of service.” Cici Chan, a senior from Hong Kong studying hospitality and tourism management, said, “She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met. I just love working with her.” Chan has been working in Admissions for two years with Lowe. She said, “She is a very considerate person. She cares about every one of us and not just about work but also about our personal lives.” Brenda Okada, a freshman from Brazil with an undecided major who had been working in the Admissions Office for the past two months, said Lowe was the one who hired her and was really patient. “She knows everything. I don’t know how she does it. And if she doesn’t know, she knows who to ask.” •

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F EAT URE Colombian siblings Samuel Jonata De Souza and Melisa Tobon want to represent their country. Photos by Gab Batac

Home Sweet


Colombian siblings say major news events create misconceptions about their home country B Y H E L AM L AU



hile Colombia may be known for its coffee, drugs, or Shakira, siblings Melisa Tobon and Samuel Jonata De Souza said their country is more than that. Tobon, a senior majoring in elementary education, and her younger brother, De Souza, a freshman majoring in business operation and supply chain, said they feel a special responsibility to represent their country because they’re the only Colombians they know of at this school. Tobon said, “Being here is like being the only few church members in the international school back home. My mother reminded us to be good examples.” She smiled and said, “Since not many students here know about Colombia, the way you act, things you say, and even the way you eat matters in representing Colombia.” Tobon said the stereotypes about her country can create a “quite negative” perspective. “I think this is an opportunity to change that. It is a better and safer place.” She explained why people would imagine Colombia as a place that is known for its drug issues. “[Pablo Escobar] used to be the biggest drug lord in history. Therefore, when people think of Colombia, people think of him. He was one of the smartest people in all of history, but he used his cleverness to do something else....He had so much money that he bought himself a zoo. He imported a lot of animals


from Africa and brought them to Colombia. Therefore, there is a zoo that makes you wonder how these animals are here.” Tobon expressed, “I want to be an international teacher not only because I want to teach but mostly to change that perspective. Sometimes it feels like it is too late to change it with older people.” But she added there “is a chance to start with kids who don’t know much about Colombia.” Colombia is a place “full of nature, and there is so many different species of animals,” Tobon described. “A third of them cover the Amazon rainforest. People don’t get to know about them, and I think it is our responsibility … to tell them Colombia is one of the best tourist spots in the world.” Because Colombia is in the middle of the equator, there are no seasons, said Souza. “You can have the same food that you plant throughout the year. In Colombia, 6 a.m. is when the sun rises and 6 p.m. is when the sun sets, which is the same throughout the year.” Tobon said, “Colombia has lots of mountains. Where we live is really high up … so it is colder and not as humid.” The conditions make it so they can grow and sell potatoes, she added. “You can drive an hour and a half down the mountain where it is really humid and hot, where a lot of tropical fruits can be found like bananas, mangoes, and papayas.

“Colombia is a very diverse place which has the ocean, many coastlines, Amazon rainforests, big deserts, jungles, and savannas. There are also big cities. Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is where we live and the second biggest city in South America.” AT T ENDING BYUH

Their older siblings attended BYUH for a few semesters, which motivated Tobon to come. “We live right in the middle of Colombia,” said Tobon. “It takes 18 hours to get to the beach. I wanted to be close to the beach. Personally, church school and the beach are the main reasons for me to study at BYUH. It is like my Hawaiian dream coming true. … When I came here, I loved it so much. It was so easy for me to get adjusted and not homesick. I felt there are lots of things here reminding me of home. I am so happy, and I wanted my brother to come.” De Souza came to BYUH because he wanted to be around family. “Another reason … is I knew that there are students from all over the place, which is something I always liked. We went to international school in Colombia, so we were used to having lots of international people.” Tobon said, “They asked us a lot of questions about how we do things and whether it is safe to live in Colombia. We are alive and Continued on Page 50 APR IL 2018


F EAT URE Continued from Page 49

this is the proof. They also asked about food and weather.You can tell they don’t know much about Colombia, but they are interested.” In response to how students react to their nationality, De Souza said, “Something that I have done here is I reached out to other Spanish speakers. Spanish is the main language in Colombia. Speaking Spanish with them reminded me of home.” De Souza recalled, “Students do not believe me when they hear I am Colombian. They thought I am from mainland because the accent that I have doesn’t sound Colombian.” Tobon added, “Colombians’ Spanish is the most neutral Spanish, and people said it is the easiest Spanish to learn.” “Most Colombians don’t speak English like we do, and you can tell they are from Latin America. We have learned English at a young age, so we don’t have an accent,” she said. F OOD A N D L I F E

“We eat a lot of rice and fried beans,” said De Souza. “Bandeja paisa, arepas, ajiaco are some of the dishes that we eat.” Arepas are a type of pancake but made with corn flour. “It is crumbly rather than spongy. It is really good for breakfast with hot chocolate.” “It depends on where you live in Colombia. Around the mountain, we have lots of soup. For one type of soup, we have lots of chicken, potatoes, as you want to stay warm. Because of the diversity, we always have lots of fruits and vegetables to eat.” For leisure, the people love to dance merengue, bachata, and salsa, said De Souza. “We also do hikes, go to small lakes, play or watch soccer, do paragliding, kayaking, zip lining, camping. We have malls for movies as well.” Tobon explained, “I think in general Colombia is really welcoming and interested in other people. We want to meet and talk to foreigners. We always want to help.” • Top: Samuel De Souza said besides playing soccer, in their home country, they love to eat, dance and more. Below: Melisa Tobon said Colombia is on the equator and so food grows all year. Photos by Gab Batac




in this section New prophet, temples, ministering, and quorum organization announced at General Conference


John Tanner described as strict on obedience but full of love as a mission president


Honolulu Hawaii Mission president shares about commitment and conversion at Visitor’s Center fireside


Filipino students create Bayaw TV, an online broadcast show about music, food, and love


APR IL 2018


L IF ESTY LE Top Left: President Russell Nelson announced the changes in the church. Bottom Left: Members sustained the church leaders. Top Right: Elder Ulisses Soares and Elder Gerrit Gong are called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve. Photos LDS Newsroom

General Conference 2018 Church makes changes as President Nelson takes over as prophet B Y: K E V I N B RO W N AN D ADAM B RACE



hanges to visiting and home teaching, priesthood quorums and temple expansion are exciting changes, according to BYUHawaii students. During General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced significant changes to priesthood quorums and introduced a new program, “ministering,” for church members to improve the way they care for one another. During the Priesthood Session on Saturday, March 31, Nelson announced that effective immediately, Elders Quorums and High Priest groups at the ward level would now be combined into one quorum called the Elders quorum. Nelson said this change would be to “strengthen our priesthood quorums to give greater direction to the ministering of love and support the Lord intends for His Saints.” Will Strong, a freshman from Wisconsin studying business management, shared his excitement for the changes. While Strong commented these changes will not directly change the way young single adult congregations operate, he explained how it will give an opportunity for growth and development in family wards that YSA members will be a part of in the future. Strong said, “For the old guys, they will have the young pumped-up returned missionaries and young dads who are energetic. They’ll be able to get some of that excitement. The young guys will be able to see the experience of the older ones in their prime and be able to learn from them. Having those two age groups work together should really bring out the strengths of both and there should be a lot more work to be done.” Nelson also announced changes to the home teaching program during the Sunday Afternoon Session, removing it entirely. Nelson stated, “We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them. Instead we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ‘ministering.’ Effective ministering efforts are enabled by the innate gifts of the sisters and by the incomparable power of the priesthood.”


Strong shared what the word ministering means to him. “The word ministering makes me think of how Christ ministered unto the Nephites. He wasn’t there to just organize his church and leave. He held the children, he blessed the people and he loved everyone. He handed out priesthood keys and taught them how to baptize properly and everything, but that’s not the only reason he was there. He was there to love and minister unto them. That’s the difference I think of when I think of ministering and home teaching.” In a surprise announcement at the end of Sunday’s Afternoon Session, President Nelson announced plans to construct seven new temples to be built in the following locations: Salta, Argentina, Bengaluru, India, Managua, Nicaragua, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, Layton, Utah, Richmond, Virginia and a major city yet to be determined in Russia. According to, this announcement brings the total number of temples, operating, announced or under construction, to 189 worldwide. The Layton Utah Temple will be Utah’s 19th temple. A first for Russia, the temple will serve more than 23,000 Latter-day Saints in a country where the church was only officially recognized in May 1991, according to President Nelson said in his concluding remarks, “We want to bring temples closer to the expanding membership of the church. My dear brothers and sisters, construction of these temples may not change your life, but your time in the temple surely will.” Encouraging members to “identify” things worth putting aside in order to attend the temple, President Nelson urged members to “spend more time in the temple.” Camron Sharp, a junior from Laie studying biomedicine, said in regard to the changes announced at the conference, “I liked how they spread out all of the changes and announcements throughout all of the sessions as opposed to just having it all in the beginning. It kept it exciting.” For more information on these changes, it can be found at under the frequently asked questions tab. •

APR IL 2018



Serving with

President Tanner Current students said they appreciated the love demonstrated by President Tanner as their mission president B Y HELA M LAU



Sao Paulo, Brazil

Left: Takuya Ogasawara stands with his companion and President and Sister Tanner. Right: Melisa Tobon stands with the Tanners on her mission and during her wedding with her husband, John Dorff, in the Provo City Center Temple. Photos courtesy of Melisa Tobon and Takuya Ogasawara

resident John S. Tanner, the current president of BYU-Hawaii, served as the mission president of the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission from 2011 to 2014. BYU-Hawaii students who served in the same mission with the Tanners expressed their gratitude and lessons they learned from them. Takuya Ogasawara, a senior from Japan majoring in communications, served his mission with President and Sister Tanner in the Sao Paulo South Mission from August 2011 to August 2013. He shared, “My first impression of President Tanner was he was strict. At that point, one area was closed since missionaries got sent home, so I was about to go to open that area with my trainer. When I arrived there, President Tanner wanted to make sure during my first interview with him I was an obedient missionary.” “As I got to know him, my impression of President Tanner changed a lot. When I had a hard time keeping the rules, [the Tanners] always helped me become better instead of scolding me. I felt more mercy and love from them.” He said the Tanners always motivated them to be fully consecrated missionaries. Melisa Tobon, a senior from Colombia majoring in elementary education, served from


2013 to 2014. She shared her love for Sister Tanner. “Sister Tanner was in the Young Women Presidency, and I remember many of her talks she had given. Her words are my favorite quotes.” In regard to President Tanner, Tobon referred to him as “the best mission president I could ever have. He has the perfect balance between love and obedience. The way he tells us to be obedient is with so much love. Instead of feeling, ‘Gosh there are so many rules,’ I felt, ‘I want to do that because I love my mission president.’” She described her first impression of President Tanner as remaining the same because, according to her, he had always been loving and welcoming. “There is one quote he would always say, ‘Obedience brings blessings and exact obedience brings miracles.’ “When I knew he became the school president, I realized I could still call him president. Since the campus is smaller than the mission field, I get to see him more often. I feel like having him here helped me get closer to him. I was able to spend time with him and have dinner in his house together.” Samuel Jonata De Souza, a freshman from Colombia majoring in business operation and supply chain, served his mission from January 2011 to 2013. He shared, “My first impression

of them was they loved me as if they knew me before as parents. I felt so comfortable with them. I felt a lot of love from [President Tanner], so I can trust him. “He was the best mission president for me. He has spent his time helping people come unto Christ. He focused a lot on real conversion. He wanted us to baptize people, but also to help them stay on the path. “I heard when I first got to the mission field that the spirit of the mission changed in a better way with his teachings and example. I had the opportunity to teach with them. The way that he taught was full of love and the Spirit.” De Souza remembered the importance of obedience taught by President Tanner. “He wanted us to be really obedient. I feel like what he believes in is that when missionaries are worthy and keeping commandments, they will be able to help investigators. He focused a lot on real conversion, not only for investigators, but also for missionaries. “I was so excited when I found out he became my school president. My wife and I also felt the love he has for us when he just dropped by our house… just to bring us food.” •

APR IL 2018


L IF ESTY LE President James Bekker speaks during a missionary fireside at the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitor’s Center. Photo by Marcus Joseph

Honolulu Hawaii Mission Fireside:

Commitment leads to conversion Worldwide missionary work can stem from Laie, according to Hawaii mission leaders B Y GE E N A D E M AI O



he Honolulu Hawaii Mission and the Laie community paired up to promote missionary work and personal conversion in a fireside given by President James Bekker at the Laie Temple Visitor’s Center on Sunday, March 11. The Honolulu Hawaii Mission president told the audience, “Becoming converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ means we become committed. Conversion leads to commitment.” Bekker opened the event by welcoming the crowd and highlighting its diversity. “I hope that we are all studying about the gospel of Jesus Christ. … We have investigators here tonight. Some of us are new members of the church. Some of us have been members for a long time. It doesn’t matter where we are or what path, we are all on that path, and it’s important that we keep moving forward.” He explained the distinction between the gospel and the church. “There’s a big difference between studying the gospel of Jesus Christ and studying about the church. The church is an organization that helps us live the gospel.” Bekker proposed a reflective question to those at the fireside. “Are we just going through the motions in life, or are we becoming converted?” Bekker outlined three main ways to become converted: ask with real intent, follow promptings, and follow up and act on those promptings. “I promise you it will work if you ask with real intent, if you follow the promptings, and if you are willing to do what you are asked to do, even if you have to stand alone. ... It will be worth it to know your Father in Heaven, to know your Savior, Jesus Christ, to become converted to the gospel.” Jemesa Snuka, the ward mission leader for the Temple Beach YSA Ward, said, “Our commitment is important to being converted because we show how much we love Heavenly Father, how we respect the atonement, and through our commitment we show how much our covenants mean to us.” Snuka continued, “When people have a way to gage how committed they are, it helps them to understand how much further and deeper their conversion can be when they are committed to a goal or aspect of the gospel, [such as] missionary work.” Elder Stephen Allen, director of the Visitor’s Center, explained how missionary


Top: Laie missionaries Elder Owens and Elder Klaassen. Bottom: Mission President James Bekker and wife, Delsie Bekker. Photo by Marcus Joseph

work in Laie can inspire conversion globally because of the North Shore’s diverse population.“We as members of the church in Laie ought not to see boundaries in Laie or on the North Shore as boundaries, because this community is more international per capita than most.” Allen is a former missionary department managing director at LDS Church headquarters who supervised the development of missionary tools such as “Preach My Gospel,” “The First Twelve Weeks,” and the instructional series “District One.” Allen continued, “The

missionary purpose applies to all God’s children. His message is universal to all people in all places at all times.” Bekker concluded the fireside with his testimony: “In this beautiful land of Hawaii, we couldn’t be anywhere more beautiful to be gathered together on a Sunday evening. The Spirit of our Father is here. I have felt it. I know He lives. I know you feel it in your hearts as well. I pray we can be on that path, that covenant path, and that we can follow the Savior and become converted.” •

APR IL 2018



Musika, Pagkain & Pag-ibig:

Music, Food & Love

Filipino musicians come together to host an online broadcast called Bayaw TV that features music, food, and advice about love and dating B Y DAN I CASTRO

wo summers ago, a group of Filipino friends who said they had fallen victim to boredom, united to celebrate life by appreciating their favorite things that includes food, music, and love for one another. They created an online broadcast show called Bayaw TV, which they strived to stream weekly as their fan base grew. “It started two years ago, during the summer. It was to kill the boredom. We had lots of time,” said Mark Caubalejo, an alumnus from the Philippines. “What we said was, ‘You know what? Let’s gather together, eat food, [and] talk about stuff. We started to live feed it on Facebook and we got positive responses. We decided to bring that back again. This time we made a Facebook page.” Today the Bayaw Team consists of Mark Caubalejo, Ezra Noel Sabaupan, Nathaniel




Gapol, Kinzel Batac, Kyle Batac, and Hyrum Portugal. Nathaniel Gapol, a junior studying graphic design from the Philippines, shared one of the foundations of the show. “It started with our love of music. The first content we were planning was to broadcast us performing some songs. Each one of us plays an instrument. We just wanted to share our music. “Originally it was just Filipino music. Then our friends tried asking us for love and relationship advice. We tried incorporating it into the music. We tried to think of music that would fit and soothe our listeners. Then we took requests and we started to make funny content.” For viewers like Princess Donato Astle, a senior from the Philippines studying exercise sports science, said the music has been a sweet


reminder of past times. She said, “My favorite part when they started was the OPM (Original Philippine Music). It was so nostalgic for me. They played a lot of songs that reminded me of high school, of my first crush for example, and then [Bayaw TV] talks about it.” Another viewer, Elvin Laceda, a sophomore from the Philippines studying political science, commented, “I’m here to support. I love OPM music as well. It reminds me of home and [Bayaw TV’s] advice is really cool. Their broadcast does not only help Filipinos, but it also helps others learn our culture. It gives an avenue for students to go and have fun, listen to music, and relax from their stresses.” Gapol shared one of the aspirations the Bayaw team has. “Our goal is really to make people laugh, help them understand their



Four Filipinos started a local online broadcast program called Bayaw TV to share their culture and advice on love. Now the crew has grown to six people. Photo by Gab Batac

situations, and find someone they can relate to. We are just having fun and having a good time. When you do the things you love, it is the best way to do things. Have fun and make other people happy. At least we put smiles on their faces. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.” Seeking to mend all of the heart, Ezra Noel Sabaupan, a junior studying IT from the Philippines, wanted to express when it comes to their content, “It’s not only love advice. Some of our Filipino friends get homesick, so we give them [homesick] advice as well.” The Bayaw team said they do not have all of the music equipment they want, but despite not having all the equipment, Caubalejo said Bayaw TV has made do with what they have and where they are. “I think our studio is


unique because it’s in the kitchen. For now we are actually not worried about our studio. We try to balance love advice, love of music and food.“ Laceda commented on the influence the Filipino community has at BYUH. “It is important to know [on] campus we are the biggest body of international students. Having this broadcast is a testament that Filipinos are in the mainstream on campus. The [Bayaw] team are an example of [students] who establish peace internationally through music. “I foresee the day when this [broadcast] is not only for music, but it will create more opportunities for Filipinos to be one and help others learn the Filipino culture throughout the world. We have an amazing culture. Them organizing this show is evidence that Filipinos


are smart, Filipinos are world class, and Filipinos have the ability to adapt in any place.” Sabaupan said, “Now we are not just thinking of Filipinos. We are thinking of everyone. What we talk about can relate to everyone. Before we just spoke Tagalog. Now we speak more English so that everyone can understand. We just want the students to know that we care for them. We care for all the students here. We know what’s the feeling of being far from your family and your friends. Sabaupan translated bayaw from Tagalog to help express the theme they hope to grasp. “Bayaw means brother-in-law. Back home, we have names for our friends, and one particular word we use is bayaw. We are a group of friends, so we use that.” •




New Zealand Cub performs during the 2018 Culture Night in the CAC. Photo by Alvin Dy

Ke Alaka'i- April 2018  
Ke Alaka'i- April 2018