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Press Release


(22 May 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii) The date "22 May 2015" will be etched in the history of the Filipino American community in Hawaii and will be remembered by the thousands of descendants of the early Filipino plantation workers (sakadas), with the enactment of the signing today of House Bill 604 “Relating to Sakada Day” which designates December 20 of every year as “Sakada Day” by Hawaii Governor David Ige.

The ceremony was attended by almost 100 individuals, including a few living sakadas and their families and descendants, Hawaii government officials and members of the Filipino community.

House Bill 604 institutionalizes the legacy of first fifteen (15) sakadas from the Philippines, who arrived in Hawaii aboard the S.S. Doric on 20 December 1906 to work as contract laborers in the plantation industry. It also recognizes the contributions of Filipinos to Hawaii’s diverse and multicultural society as well as the rich culture and proud heritage of the Filipino people and their continuing positive influence in Hawaii.

Governor Ige conveyed that it was a privilege for him to sign the bill to recognize the achievements of the sakadas, who have brought vitality and cultural richness to Hawaii.

In her remarks, Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin, who conceptualized the Sakada Day Bill, expressed hope that the bill “will inspire future generations of Filipinos to take pride in their heritage and will serve as a  symbol of the   enduring friendship  between Filipinos  and the people of Hawaii”. She also read the message of Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. on the occasion.

During the reception that followed, the Hawaii State Legislature presented Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin and the Philippine Consulate General with certificates by the Hawaii State Legislature for their commitment and dedication to enhancing strong relations between the Philippines and Hawaii. Five living sakadas who attended the ceremony and reception, were also presented with certificates.

A short film entitled “A Sakada Story” which tells the story of Cipriano Erice, a sakada who arrived in Hawaii in 1946 was shown during the reception. (END).