Community… in action

Editor’s note: Send your community briefs to This month’s column was compiled by Assistant Editor Alfredo G. Evangelista.


With the renovation of the roof of the Bahay Kubo at Kepaniwai Park completed through a grant from the County of Maui, Department of Parks and Recreation, the next phases will commence according to Zaldy Ugalino, president of the Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation. Filipino accents will be added, the floor will be stained, and the interior art work will be created, along with the landscape renovations. “There’s still a lot of work to be done,” explained Ugalino “and we still need volunteers and funds to complete the renovation. But we’ve made progress.”

Monetary donations can be mailed to Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation, 32 Hapua Place, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Recently, the Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation Board of Directors participated in a Rizal Day celebration at Kepaniwai that will be broadcast as part of Binhi at Ani’s A Virtual Bayanihan Christmas Celebration, scheduled to air on Binhi at Ani’s Facebook page on Sunday, December 20 at 5 p.m.
The bust of Jose Rizal at Kepaniwai was donated to the County of Maui by Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Sevilla in 1979 and (aside from the Jose Rizal statute at the Philippine Consulate) was the first Rizal statue in the State of Hawai‘i.

Members of the Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation Board of Directors pose after a brief ceremony.
Photos: Alfredo Evangelista
The Jose Rizal bust at Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista


Despite the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center being closed since March, the Binhi at Ani Board of Directors has been busy with a number of projects.

Thanks to the sponsorship of Maui Food Bank, the County of Maui, Bayer, Maui Gold, Four Sisters Catering and the many volunteers, the Thanksgiving #BayanihanFoodDistribution held at the War Memorial gymnasium parking lot on November 21 distributed 1000 turkeys and 1008 food boxes containing 19,516 canned goods, 8,026 pounds of produce and 3,072 snacks.

The Christmas #BayanihanFoodDistribution will be held at Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center (780 Onehe‘e Avenue—across from Maui Waena Intermediate School) on Saturday, December 19 from 9 a.m. until supplies last.

To volunteer on Thursday, December 17, Friday, December 18 or Saturday, December 19, please complete the volunteer form at and contact Volunteer Coordinator Nora Cabanilla-Takushi at (808) 276-8861 or Volunteers are requested to dress in festive Christmas colors or costumes.

To date, the #BayanihanFoodDistribution has raised $38,572 and distributed 5,313 food boxes including 4,154 plate lunches, 1,000 turkeys, 45,081 canned goods, 56,774 pounds of produce, 2,189 bags of rice, 10,577 packages of noodles, 1,501 dozens of eggs, 1,868 loaves of bread/pan de sal, 5,600 McDonalds certificates, 11,713 beverages, 18,550 snacks, 2,106 containers of spaghetti sauce, 3,600 Maui Gold pineapples, over 2,500 dragon fruit, and other miscellaneous items such as toilet paper, coffee, goat cheese, and masks.

The volunteers during the Thanksgiving #BayanihanFoodDistribution
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista
The Hawai‘i National Guard played an important role in the #BayanihanFoodDistribution.
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista
Students from Kamehameha volunteered.
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista

Kitchen Renovations

Thanks to two grants from the County of Maui, Office of Economic Development ($25,000 through the Mayor’s Office and $25,000 through Councilperson Tasha Kama’s office) Binhi at Ani’s Kitchen Renovations is well underway and is expected to be completed this month. The Kitchen renovations will allow Binhi at Ani to transition from the #BayanihanFoodDistribution to a #BayanihanFeedingProgram on Sundays, in partnership with Maui Food Bank. The #BayanihanFeedingProgram will start on February 7 and Binhi is looking for teams to volunteer to prepare food.

Volunteers helped load the vehicles with turkeys and food boxes.
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista
Jan Paa, Marilyn Oura and Melen Agcolicol made sure the Thanksgiving #BayanihanFoodDistribution ran smoothly.
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista
The installation of a new air conditioning unit in the kitchen by Johnstone Supply Maui started the kitchen renovations.
Photo: Alfredo Evangelista
Employees from Costa Sales & Service (left) delivered Binhi at Ani’s new refrigerator, freezer and gas range.
Photo: Melen Agcolicol

Takeout Tuesdays

With the closure of Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center as of March, Binhi at Ani has no revenues so a fundraising effort was created by Binhi at Ani president Melen Agcolicol. There have been four Takeout Tuesdays which raised over $10,000. The next Takeout Tuesday will be held on January 26 and will feature a choice of Al’s BBQ Pit steak plate ($15) or Four Sisters Catering Roast Pork ($12). Contact Agcolicol at 205-7981 for more information.

The next Takeout Tuesday will be on January 26 2021

A Virtual Bayanihan Christmas Celebration

Binhi at Ani will broadcast on Sunday, December 20 at 5 p.m. on its Facebook page: A Virtual Bayanihan Christmas Celebration, hosted by Chelsea Guzman, the 2021 Miss Maui USA. The virtual event will highlight Christmas, Sakada Day (December 20 in the state of Hawai‘i) and Rizal Day (celebrated on December 30). Tune in to celebrate!

Chris Rabang.
Photo courtesy Chris Rabang


Congratulations to Chris Rabang, the General Manager of Westin Nanea, who was elected 2021 president of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce.