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26/03/2018: 350,000-STRONG FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN HAWAII FETES PH CONSUL GENERAL WITH ALOHA WELCOME PARTY

The 350,000-strong Filipino American community in Hawaii, represented by around 350 leaders and members of Filipino organizations, business communities, academe and civic groups, as well as Hawaii legislators, gathered at the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu on 23 March 2018 to warmly welcome to Hawaii Philippine Consul General Joselito A. Jimeno and his wife, Madame Araceli C. Jimeno.

Veteran Filipino community leaders Joe Lazo and Ms. Bennette Misalucha, Chair of the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH), spearheaded the coordination efforts to organize a Welcome party, reflective of the Aloha and bayanihan spirits of Filipinos in Hawaii, which make up the largest ethnic group in the state.

Consul General Jimeno and Mrs. Jimeno (right of Consul General Jimeno, in a haku lei) pose with the leaders of several Filipino community organizations in Hawaii.
PC: Angie Santiago

State legislators, mostly those of Filipino descent, attended the event, such as Senators Donna Mercado Kim and Will Espero, Representatives Romy Cachola, Henry Aquino and Ty Cullen and Councilmembers Kimberley Marcos Pine and Ernie Martin.

The program for the Consul General included performances of an oli, a Hawaiian chant invoking blessings, hula show by multi-awarded Halau Hula 'O Hokulani and a skit on the meaning of Aloha by the Rizalian Youth Council.

In his remarks, Consul General Jimeno expressed deep appreciation for the welcome dinner tendered for him and Madame Jimeno by the Filipino community. He said that he will continue to closely engage with the community and other relevant stakeholders towards strengthened cooperation in the areas of national and political security, the economy and trade, and in the fields of culture and education.

Acknowledging the many contributions of Filipino Americans in Hawaii, he added, “I will continue to encourage them to carry on in contributing to the relations between our two countries”, noting that “the Filipino diaspora plays a crucial role in reciprocally stimulating the relations between Hawaii and the Philippines.”

He also informed the community of one of the major projects that he will oversee during his term – the renovation of the Philippine Consulate building and the construction of a chancery within the premises, to better serve the Filipinos in Hawaii.

Attendees to the event partook of Filipino dishes prepared by the community, which include four (4) full lechon (roasted pigs), pinapaitan, pinakbet, rice cakes and other Philippine delicacies and sorbetes. (END).