Oct 16, 2009
I would like to applaud the members of the Hawaii State Legislature who were responsible in initiating and approving HB 3343 declaring October as Filipino-American History Month. This concerted effort is in recognition of the significant contributions of the Filipinos in Hawaii’s history: socially, politically, spiritually, culturally, more so, economically.
Historically, Filipino-Americans have metamorphosed from a mere plantation worker to a CEO of a business enterprise or has occupied the highest position of the Hawaii State government.
We have become the backbone of the workforce especially in the retail and hotel industry. Just to tickle your mind, ”What would happen to the industry if all Filipinos will have to call-in sick on the same day?”
Our newspaper inaugurates yet another development in making it as the outlet for the many voices that we want heard in celebrating our diversity.
In particular, we are commencing a new column for the young people so that we will soon get to hear more and more what they want to tell us—we who have gone past the exuberance of youth.
Aptly titled “Agkabannuag”, the Ilokano term for youth, the column (also serving as a section), will regularly feature the meditations of our young people on their being Americans of Philippine descent and on their courageous navigation of the multilayered identities they have as children of immigrants.
We thank Jeffrey Acido, a young teaching assistant at Farrington High School helping out Ilokano students get past their English as a Second Language skills. Jeff holds a master’s degree in theological studies from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley and finished his bachelor’s in religion from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
At the UH Manoa, he has volunteered his services as a teaching assistant of Dr Aurelio Agcaoili of the Ilokano Language and Literature Program for the course on Philippine Popular Culture. Jeff had been a guest of the public TV program on ‘Olelo Channel 53, “Talkback with Dr Agcaoili”, where he gave an exposition on the possibilities of an “Ilokano Christ”.
Certainly, the Observer is honored to have Jeff on our pool of columnists and writers.
Aloha and Mabuhay!