Alfredo G. Evangelista | Assistant Editor
Memorial Day is right around the corner and for almost fifty years, Maui’s Barrio Fiesta has been held during or near the Memorial Day weekend.
This year’s 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta, the longest running fiesta in the United States, promises many of the crowd favorites and some new features to encourage folks to attend this Filipino cultural event.
The 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta, with its hashtag #barriofiestamaui2018 will start on Friday, May 25 (from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and continue through Saturday, May 26 (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
There are two new contests with prize money of $500 each that foodies and would-be-chefs will enjoy.
Eat Da Pansit Contest sponsored by RG Electric will be held on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. The Contest is open to all, with the first four participants to eat a pint of pansit moving on to the final round, where they will eat even more pansit. And yes, $500 will be awarded to the first one to eat all their pansit.
Any Kine Sisig Challenge sponosred by Tante’s Island Cuisine will feature up to seven would-be chefs who will cook and prepare Sisig—any style with any kine ingredients—and be judged by a panel of judges and guest judges. The first seven participants to pre-register by emailing the registration form (found at www.facebook.com/barriofiesta) to email@example.com will be eligible. Participants must be at the Barrio Fiesta by 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. The contest will begin at 4:30 p.m. The participants will have thirty (30) minutes to prepare and cook their sisig on stage. The participants must bring all their ingredients, cooking utensils, pans, knives, cutting boards, propane gas stove, hot plate to serve, etc. The prepared sisig must be enough to fill thirty-five (35) portions (2 ounce containers). And yes, $500 will be awarded to the winner!
A new program feature will be The TFC Hour with GELO sponsored by The Filipino Channel. On Saturday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., GELO will host an hour full of TFC games and prizes. Those who follow GELO know he is the host of TFC’s Barangay USA. It should be a fun hour with GELO!
The popular Amateur Karaoke Contest sponsored by Law Offices of Alfredo Evangelista, A Limited Liability Law Company, will return on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Limited to only fifteen contestants, with pre-registration to firstname.lastname@example.org highly recommended. Even with pre-registration, contestants must report to the Barrio Fiesta by 8 p.m., otherwise they will lose their pre-registration status. Each contestant will have a maximum of five (5) minutes to perform. The winner will receive $300.
The Barrio Wear Contest sponsored by Friends of Gil Keith-Agaran will be held on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. There are two categories: male and female, with prizes for the first place in each category at $100 and second place in each category at $50. Pre-registration to email@example.com is highly recomended? What is Barrio Wear? Well, it certainly is NOT Maria Clara, Barong Tagalog, or a terna! It’s what one would normally wear in the traditional barrio.
The Greased Pole Contest sponsored by Four Sisters Catering will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. Limited to youth between the ages of 7 and 13. The first place winner will receive $300 while all participants will share in an additional pot.
Other Children Activities
Youth will have an opportunity to participate in Pabitin! on Friday afternoon at approximately 5:25 p.m. and Saturday morning at approximately 10 a.m.
The Keiki Art Contest sponsored by the Sabado Art Foundation will be held at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, immediately following the Greased Pole Contest.
Both activities are FREE!
Miss Barrio Fiesta 2017 Kimberly Taroma will crown her successor on Friday night at approximately 8 p.m. Who will wear the 2018 crown? Will it be Sierra Perryman or Alexis West? Only one way to find out!
Not to be outdone, Little Miss Barrio Fiesta 2017 Elizabeth Thomas will also crown her successor on Friday night. The pageant will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night so get to the Barrio Fiesta early as you won’t want to miss all the entertainment and pageantry by the five candidates.
And if you want to know who is running for the 2018 Miss Maui Filipina Pageant, they will all be introduced on Saturday night at approximately 7 p.m. You will get to meet all candidates who are vying to succeed 2017 Miss Maui Filipina Gabrielle Gutierrez.
And the Santa Cruzan returns as part of the 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta. In the Philippines, Flores de Mayo, translated as “Flowers of May,” is celebrated during the whole month of May. Flores de Mayo is a religious festival in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and marked with offerings of flowers to the Virgin Mary. On the last day of the Flores de Mayo, a religious procession—the Santa Cruzan—is held. The Santa Cruzan depicts the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who ended the persecution of Christians. At the 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta, the Santa Cruzan will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.
What’s a fiesta without Culture? Boring! The 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta will feature Filipino Folk dancing by the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Filipino Folk Dance Troupe on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Plus on Saturday night, the hotel employees of Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel will perform at approximately 6:15 p.m. Also performing on both Friday and Saturday nights will be Bailes de Pilipinas.
And you won’t want to miss The Barrio Fiesta Experience inside the Center. There you will find a miniature Bahay Kubo and cultural villages from Cordillera [Abra (Itneg), Apayao (Apayao), Benguet (Kankanaey and Ibaloi), Ifugao (Ifugao), Kalinga (Kalinga) and Mountain Province (Bontoc and Kankanaey)]; Ilocos Norte; Ilocos Sur; Pangasinan; Manila; Visayas; and Mindanao.
The Barrio Fiesta Experience is sponsored by Monsanto Hawai‘i, Philippine Airlines, Alexander & Baldwin, McDonalds of Hawai‘i, and The Filipino Channel.
A special treat will be the Kulingtangan Demonstration on Saturday at 5 p.m. performed by Lawrence Pascua of La Galería: Compañía Baile Filipino.
The 9th Annual Veterans Memorial Day Service at the Barrio Fiesta will begin at 12 noon on Saturday. This service will include the solemn POW/MIA service to be led by Major Armenio Salaguinto of the United States Marine Corps.
Another special event will be the Unveiling of the Bahay Kubo Painting housed in the Center. The unveiling of artist Philip Sabado’s depiction of the Bahay Kubo at the Kepaniwai Gardens will be held on Saturday at 3 p.m. The event is coordinated by the Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation and the Sabado Art Foundation. The list of donors who made possible the display of the Bahay Kubo will also be displayed.
The International Housekeeping Awards will be held on Saturday night, beginning at 6 p.m. and will honor outstanding employees in the Housekeeping Department from the Grand Wailea, Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, and the Westin.
The presentation of 2018 Binhi at Ani Scholarship Recipients will be held on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Scholarship recipients must be present to receive their award.
Barrio Fiesta Basketball
And what’s the Barrio Fiesta without the basketball tournament? Coordinated by Donnie Dadiz, the tournament will feature almost twenty teams from O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, and Maui. Games will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Wailuku Gym and War Memorial Gym, and will continue on Saturday, with the championship game on Sunday at the War Memorial Gym.
New stuff; old stuff; something for everyone! And yes, food!
And there you have it! Lots of contests, entertainment, and pageantry! And food! Where else but the Barrio Fiesta can you have your fill of Arroz Caldo, Banana Lumpia, Bangus, Caliente, Cascaron, Chow Fun, Empanada, Gulaman, Halo Halo, Ice Buko, Korean Chicken, Lau Lau, Lechon, Mikki, Pancit, Pinakbet/Chicken Adobo Plate Lunch, Pork Adobo, Pork and Peas, Roast Chicken, Sangkutsar, and Vegetable Lumpia?
These fabulous food and desserts are being prepared by several Filipino community organizations: Binhi at Ani, Alcalanians, Central Maui Catholic Club, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Ilocos Surian Association of Maui, Kings Cathedral, Lahaina Filipino Catholic Club, Magsingal Association of Maui, Maui Filipino Community Council, and San Juan Lapog Association of Maui.
And if you don’t know what a particular food is, such as Roast Chicken, go ahead and Google It!
Grand Prize – Airfare to the Philippines
And if all of that is still not enough reason for you to attend the 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta… At the end of each evening, Friday night at 10 p.m. and Saturday night at 10 p.m., one lucky person, over eighteen years of age, who is present when their name is called, will win a roundtrip airfare from Honolulu to Manila via Philippine Airlines. Yes, you must be present to win, over eighteen years of age, and entry is limited to only one (1) per person per day! [Sign up to enter at the Philippine Airlines’ booth at The Barrio Fiesta Experience inside the Center.] Other restrictions apply. Thanks to Ma. Soledad “Sol” Solleza, Philippine Airlines Area Manager for Hawai‘i, for her generosity.
Celebrating and Sharing Our Culture
The 49th Annual Barrio Fiesta is one of the most important cultural events in the County of Maui—and the longest running fiesta in the United States. The organizing committee, led by Binhi at Ani president Nora Takushi and her co-chairpersons Rowena Andaya, Lerma Santos, and Jeanice Paa, has worked hard to present a Barrio Fiesta all of Maui can support.
The Fil-Am Voice encourages all of you to attend and to share our culture with all of Maui.
Alfredo G. Evangelista is a graduate of Maui High School, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. He is a sole practitioner at Law Offices of Alfredo Evangelista, A Limited Liability Law Company, concentrating in estate planning, business start-up and consultation, non-profit corporations, and litigation. He has been practicing law for 30+ years (since 1983) and returned home in 2010 to be with his family and to marry his high school sweetheart, the former Basilia Idica.
He attended the first Barrio Fiesta in 1970, performed Maglalatik in 1974, and chairs The Barrio Fiesta Experience. But he personally is most proud to continue the tradition of the Veterans Memorial Service at the Barrio Fiesta, that was started nine years ago by his late brother Rogelio Evangelista, who served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.