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Apolonia Agonoy Stice (left), the star of the short film, "Filipina", directed and produced by Filipino American filmmaker Maribel Apuya (right), at the opening of the Women of Wonders Film Festival in Honolulu. Photo credits: Maribel Apuya

Filipina”, a fifteen-minute documentary which portrays the story of Apolonia Agonoy Stice, a second-generation Filipino American who grew up in the pineapple plantation town of Lanai, Hawaii in the 1940s, opened the 5th Annual Women of Wonders (WOW) Film Festival on 1 March 2018 at the Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theater, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The second of three daughters of a sakada (plantation worker) and a homemaker, Apolonia was born in the sugar plantation community of Spreckelsville, Maui in 1941. The following year her family moved from Maui to Lanai where her father worked in the pineapple fields and her mother tended the children and took in laundry to help make ends meet.

A 1959 recipient of a Dole Scholarship, Apolonia attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Marylhurst College. She pursued a teaching career, which spanned three decades, including a two-year stint with the US Peace Corps in the Philippines.

Holding true to the values her parents impressed upon her, such as respect, perseverance and love of family, Apolonia paved her own path to attain an education, serve her country and raise a family, realizing through her experiences what it means to be a Filipina.

Filipina” is the third firm in the short documentary series “The Sakada Series”, which was produced and directed by Filipino American independent filmmaker Maribel Apuya. Told through the stories of three individuals, “The Sakada Series” provided a glimpse into the world of sakadas and their families who immigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii between 1906 and 1946.

The screening of “Filipina” was attended by members of the Filipino American community, Hawaii filmmakers, writers and creative media art enthusiasts. The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu was represented by Consul Joyleen E. Santos at the event.

The WOW Film Festival is an annual event organized by the Hawaii Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit organization committed to achieving gender equity in filmmaking and other creative media arts, highlights and celebrates the lives and accomplishments of women around the world, and in Hawaii. The festival runs from 1 to 2 March 2018, in celebration of International Women’s Month. For more information, please visit: (END).