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21/11/2017: PHL CONSUL GENERAL ADDRESSES 12TH NAKEM INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII IN MANOA

'The 12th NAKEM International Conference on “Linguistic Diversity and the Future of Nations and States” opened at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Ballroom on November 16 with a welcome address from Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin together with University of Hawaii President Dr. David Lassner, who was represented by Dr. Debora Halbert, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

This year’s conference brought together linguistic scholars  and researchers from the Philippines, Japan, United States and Hawaii with shared interest to the cause of linguistic justice, cultural democracy and emancipatory education. The NAKEM Conference movement was born at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Ilokano Language, Literature and Culture Program in 2006. Its birth coincided with the 100th anniversary or centennial celebration of the arrival of the first Filipino plantation workers or “sakadas” in Hawaii in 2006.

Consul General Jamoralin spoke about the importance of promoting one’s native language even while living in the United States. For this reason, she spoke about the Philippine Consulate General’s initiative called the Ilokano Language Acquisition and Immersion for the New Generation (I-LAING) in cooperation with the UH Ilokano Language Department led by its chair, Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili,  who is also the Chair and Convenor of the 12th NAKEM International Conference. The I-LAING project is a way of reaching out to the 4th and 5th generation of Ilocanos  born in Hawaii who wish to study the Ilokano language spoken by their parents and grandparents. The language project is now on its 3rd year and owing to the success of I-LAING 1 and I-LAING 2,   the I-LAING 3 is now integrated into the Filcom Center’s  regular language programs with grant support from the City and County of Honolulu.

Rev. Dr. Gilbert Sales, President of St.Louis University in Baguio, who was one of the invited guests from the Philippines, was keynote speaker for the three-day conference which will culminate into a Gala night and closing ceremonies  on November 18 at Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu. END