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The Philippine Consulate booth during the Craft Fair and Exhibit with (from L-R): Cultural Officer Ma. Romina Bautista, Madame Araceli Jimeno and Vice Consul Andrea Christina Q. Caymo. (Photo credits: Ma. Romina Bautista)

The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu led the Philippine participation in the 24th Honolulu Festival from 9 to 11 March 2018 at various locations in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Considered to be Hawaii’s premier annual cultural event, the Honolulu Festival was established in 1994 to promote cultural understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. The inaugural Honolulu Festival was held in 1995 and attracted almost 90,000 residents and visitors. Upon the invitation of the Honolulu Festival Foundation (HFF) and the Japanese Consulate General in Honolulu, the Philippine Consulate General participated for the first time in 2006, bringing Filipino culture, arts and entertainment to a wider audience.

To kick off the 24th Honolulu Festival, Consul General Joselito A. Jimeno attended a dinner reception at co-hosted by Japanese Consul General Koichi Ito and HFF President Tsukasa Harufuku at the Japanese Consul General’s Residence in Nuuanu on 8 March.

The following day, on 9 March 2018, Consul General Jimeno and Consul Joyleen E. Santos attended the Luncheon Reception at Washington Place, the Official Residence of the Governor of Hawaii. Hawaii’s First Lady Mrs. Dawn Ige thanked the Festival organizers for the success of the past Festivals in perpetuating longstanding cultural event that highlights the diversity of the Hawaii island state through various scheduled events and exhibits.

In the evening, Consul Santos attended the International Friendship Gala at the Hawaii Convention Center were Festival participants were offered a unique insight into the cultures of the region through cultural performances and regional cuisine by some of Hawaii’s most famous chefs and restaurants including  Stripsteak, 12th Avenue Grill, Nico’s Pier, Eating House and Chef Chai.

For the two-day Craft fair and Exhibit on 10-11 March at the Hawaii Convention Center, the Philippine Consulate set up a booth where Filipiniana cultural items and tourism information were displayed. Flyers on the 12th Ambassadors’ Tour to the Philippines were also displayed at the booth.

The Dabawenyos Community Foundation performs the Manobo dance, making use of Philippine ethnic instruments such as gong and kulintang.

Members of the Fil-Am Club of Farrington High School make use of wooden benches for their performance, “Sayaw sa Bangko.”

Filipino folk dances were performed by members of the Dabawenyos Community Foundation and the Fil-Am Club of Farrington High School at the Waikiki Beach Walk on 11 March.

The 24th Honolulu Festival culminated with the Grand Parade along Kalakaua Avenue on 11 March which featured performers, floats, groups and marching bands from Pacific Rim countries and Hawaii. Joining the parade to represent the Philippines were around 100 participants including personnel of the Philippine Consulate General and several Filipino organizations such as Philippine Airlines, University of Hawaii, Dabawenyos Community Foundation, BIBAK-Hawaii, Bob’s Key Group Sinulog Dance, and Fil-AM Club of Farrington High School.  (END).

Around 100 participants representing the Philippines pose for a photo after the Grand Parade in Waikiki, Hawaii