Our Continuing Ties to the Philippines

Our Continuing Ties to the Philippines

Yes, it’s almost time for the 50th Annual Barrio Fiesta!

At last year’s unveiling of The Bahay Kubo painting by Philip Sabado.

In just a few short weeks, Maui will gather at the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center for the 50th Annual Barrio Fiesta—the longest-running Filipino festival held in the United States.

Started in 1970 by the Maui Filipino Community Council, the purpose of the Barrio Fiesta was to share the Filipino culture with the rest of Maui County and to also instill a sense of pride in local Filipinos of the rich culture of their motherland.

Fifty years later, the Filipino community has grown significantly and Filipinos and part-Filipinos now make up the second largest ethnic group in Hawai‘i.

The need to share our culture continues. Please make every effort to attend this treasure. You’ll find ono food, culture, fun contests, beautiful pageantry, great entertainment, and even trips to the Philippines sponsored by our friends at Philippine Airlines.

A big Mabuhay! to Binhi at Ani led by its president Nora Cabanilla-Takushi, the food vendors, organizations, sponsors, donors, and the many volunteers who are in the midst of the Barrio Fiesta preparations.

The close ties between Maui and the Philippines continues beyond our 50th Annual Barrio Fiesta. Many of us spend vacations there, including my wife Telly and I who just returned from our annual trip to our home country. But besides the normal sightseeing tours and family visits, there are numerous individuals and organizations involved in missions to the Philippines.

Our own Miss Maui Filipina Vanessa Joy Baldos is set to depart on May 17 for her trip to the Philippines and has focused on a School Supply Drive to help children in the Philippines. Our Co-Publisher Vince Bagoyo Jr. recently returned from a religious mission to Ilocos Sur and Cebu. Staff Sergeant Jim Evangelista of the Army National Guard and others spent over three weeks in the Philippines building a school, rehabilitating a health clinic, and participating in a disaster relief program. And if you ever bump into Rick Nava, he will tell you how the Rotary International network has assisted in providing clean water throughout the Philippines—his next mission will be in January 2020.

In 2017, Telly and I had the honor and privilege of partnering with Vince Bagoyo’s church on a medical mission to Barangay Bungro, in my home town of Magsingal in the province of Ilocos Sur. It was a heart warming experience to be able to assist and the recipients were so thankful… but we barely scratched the surface.

As we continue to share our Philippine culture with others here on Maui, let us also remember to share our blessings with those in the Philippines.

As you can tell, there are endless ways to share our Aloha spirit.

Tante Urban | Editor & President • Fil-Am Voice