In 2008, the State of Hawai‘i, with the signing of HB 3343 (Act 15) became the first state in the union to formally recognize the month of October as Filipino-American History Month. It was landmark legislation.
Maui hosts the premier event in the State of Hawai‘i celebrating Filipino-American History Month—the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival® sponsored by the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Maui is also the only County in our State that will raise the Philippine flag—for the whole month of October!
For us here on Maui, we are truly blessed to have a grand celebration that celebrates our history, our heritage, our culture. We celebrate Filipino-American History so the Filipino community’s contributions to Hawai‘i and the United States will not be forgotten. Of course, we have fun doing it, with all kinds of contests such as my favorite–the Any Kine Adobo Contest® sponsored by Tante’s Island Cuisine.
The Fil-Am Voice truly believes in our responsibility to share our community’s history. In Lucy Peros’ Sakada Offspring column, we focus not only on our Sakada roots but also the success stories of the offspring of the Sakadas, including our own staff. This month, Lucy writes about our Distribution Manager Paul Manzano who in turn shares the stories of his 1946 Sakada Dad Jacinto Inigo Manzano from Bugnay, Candon, Ilocos Sur. You can feel the struggles, pain, success, and triumphs of Paul’s family. It’s a story shared by many of us, including my own family, with my Dad Daniel also a 1946 Sakada.
Indeed, our community triumphs and we continue to leave our mark in Hawai‘i’s history books. The We Got History Exhibit® at the Festival attempts to inspire our youth and to dream big by focusing on Filipinos who have succeeded in their profession. Last year’s focus was those in the hospitality industry. This year’s focus is on Filipino doctors, dentists and pharmacists. With many of our children aiming to succeed in the medical industry, it’s fitting the Exhibit strives to inspire more youth to venture into the medical professions.
We look to the past for our history and we look to our youth for our future—and we celebrate both!