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23/08/2016: PHILIPPINE CONSUL GENERAL GRACES THE 68TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED VISAYAN COMMUNITY OF HAWAII, ONE OF THE OLDEST FILIPINO ORGANIZATIONS IN THE STATE

 

The United Visayan Community of Hawaii, one of the oldest Filipino organizations established in Hawaii , celebrated its 68th anniversary on August 20, 2016 at the United Visayan Community Hall in Waipahu.

The United Visayan Community of Hawaii was founded in 1948 by seven (7) Visayan community leaders under the name, “ Waipahu Visayan Hinabangay Club”. Through the years, the Visayan community grew when Filipino “sakadas” from the Visayas arrived in Hawaii to work in Hawaii’s plantations. In her speech, Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin recalled that the word “sakada” is also a word understood in the Visayas meaning “seasonal farm workers” and that the Visayan region especially Negros province used to be the center of the Philippine sugar industry due to its vast sugar cane plantations employing thousands of Filipino plantation workers. Consul General Jamoralin reminded them that with the signing into law of the historic “Sakada” Bill ( HB 604) by Hawaii Governor David Ige on April 9, 2015 after unanimously approved by the Hawaii State Legislature, the arrival of the first Filipino “sakadas” in Hawaii on December 20, 1906 will be officially commemorated as Sakada Day every 20th of December. She invited them to participate in this year’s 2nd Sakada Day celebration to honor surviving Filipino “sakadas” and their descendants.

Consul General Jamoralin encouraged the United Visayan Community of Hawaii to continue with its mission of fostering unity among its members and preserving the Filipino culture and language. She also praised that despite the diversity of Visayan dialects such as the Cebuano, Ilongo, Hiligaynon, Aklanon and other dialects spoken in the region, Visayans remain united and continue to play an active role in the development and enrichment of of the Filipino community in Hawaii.

The event was also attended by Hawaii State and Honolulu City County officials such as State Senator Clarence Nishihara, State Representative Henry Aquino, Honolulu City Councilmembers Ron Menor and Brandon Elefante. (END).