Sep 2, 2011

Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival In Celebration of Filipino American History Month

Good food like pansit, adobo, lumpia, and maybe even a variety of desserts.
Great entertainment featuring the songs and dances of the Philippines.
A martial arts demonstration.
Business booths selling Philippine products, handicrafts and showcasing a variety of services.
Historical displays including a special exhibit from the Sugar Mill Museum.
The Master P-Noy Chef Cook Off, featuring some of Maui’s best Filipino chefs.
Even a Balut Eating Contest!
And a chance to wear your best Filipino attire and maybe win airfare to Las Vegas, courtesy of Noble Travel.

But wait… there’s more!

A drawing for airline tickets to the Philippines, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines and Philippine Airlines.

Where will you find all of this?

At the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at the Maui Mall from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Presented by the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation—the charitable and educational arm of the Maui Filipino Chamber—the Festival will help celebrate the month of October as Filipino American History Month.

“In 2008, Hawaii law (Act 15) designated October as Filipino American History month ‘to commemorate the contributions of Filipino Americans to the history and heritage of Hawaii and the United States’ and the Maui Filipino Chamber decided we should have a festival to share not only our heritage but more importantly to promote Filipino businesses” said Elizabeth Ayson, president of the Maui Filipino Chamber. “After all, the Chamber is here to promote business,” Ayson said.

To help fulfill the goal of promoting business, the great Filipino food will be provided by Maui’s Filipino restaurants, said Teresita Noble, who is in charge of the Food Vendors committee. “We’re happy the following restaurants will participate: Café Central Catering, Local Mocha Café, Four Sisters Kitchen, Home Maid Bakery, TJ’s Food Mart, Randy’s Catering & Fast Food, Family Restaurant Catering, and Paradise Supermart. With such a variety of restaurants you will be sure to find enough to fill your palate. So come hungry, eat a lot, and take home food!”

So what will you do while you eat? Well, listen and watch the entertainment of course! “We have a great line up of Maui’s Filipino entertainers,” said Madelyn Pascua, chairperson of the Program Committee. Scheduled to perform are Dance International Production, La Galeria, Good Shepherd Church Dance Troupe, ELLEK, and Sharon Zalsos. “We will also have a special treat with a demonstration by the Maui Martial Arts Academy under the direction of Brian Aganos” said Pascua.

The program will also include the Master P-Noy Chef Cook Off featuring a few of Maui’s award-winning chefs of Filipino ancestry. Brian Moto, Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, and chef Joaquin Belmonte from the Culinary Arts department of the University of Hawaii-Maui College are spearheading this effort. “There are so many talented chefs of Filipino ancestry in the industry and we felt it was important to feature them as part of the Festival,” said Keith-Agaran “and we hope that this exposure will inspire Maui’s youth to pursue a culinary career through UH-Maui College. Brian and Jake have been so helpful on behalf of UH-Maui College in partnering with the Chamber to present the Cook Off.”

For you shopaholics, if you want to browse around and buy stuff, you can buy Philippine handicrafts and other items from Baskets Galore and Zalsos Aloha. And if you want those funky, stylish T-shirts, don’t miss the Sassy Elegance booth, said Alvin Santander, chairperson of the Business Vendors committee. Other business booths will include Maui Mixed Arts Academy, Stifel Nicolaus and Central Pacific Bank.

And to get a glimpse of history, meander into the display rooms. The Sugar Mill Museum will sponsor a special display of artifacts that help tell the history of Maui’s Filipino community. Reknown artist Phil Sabado will coordinate another display of Filipino art, culture, and artifacts.

And for the adventurous, a Speedy Balut Eating Contest will be held after lunch. Yes, it’s restricted to experienced balut eaters and also limited to the first ten in each age category (18-25; 26-50; and over 50). The winner will be the fastest one to eat a balut!

What, you’re all dressed up in your Filipino attire with no place to go?

Not exactly. “You may win airfare to Las Vegas if you enter the Filipino attire contest” said Jeffrey Dela Cruz, who is chairing the contest with his wife Lydia. “Noble Travel was the first major sponsor of the Festival and decided to provide the awards for men and women,” said Dela Cruz, “so come early with your Filipino attire and be sure to show your grace and personality when you enter the contest and indeed, you may be all dressed up and ready to go to Las Vegas!”

But wait, there is even more!

If an airline ticket to Las Vegas does not meet your fancy, how about airfare to the Philippines? You may be lucky if your name is drawn for one of the three airfares to the Philippines, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines and Philippine Airlines. There are certain restrictions (must be eighteen years of age, only one entry per person, and must be present to win) and the drawings will be held throughout the day, so come early and stay the whole day!

Yes, annak, this Festival has something for everyone—delicious Filipino food to eat and take home, appealing Filipino gifts for your family and friends, challenging contests with prizes, interesting displays, continuous and multi-talented Filipino entertainment—a terrific way to celebrate Filipino American History Month and support Filipino businesses.

“We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of financial support from our corporate sponsors” said Sharon Zalsos, chairperson of the Sponsors Committee. “An event like this cannot happen without their support, especially as this is the inaugural year.” The major sponsors of the Festival include Alexander & Baldwin Foundation, County of Maui, McDonalds, ILWU Local 142, Noble Travel, Hawaiian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Pacific Radio Group, Grand Wailea, and Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

For more information and to keep updated as to the Festival’s program of events, visit the Chamber’s website at, visit the Chamber’s facebook page at www.facebook/mauifilipinochamber, follow the Chamber on twitter at MauiFilipinoCoC, or contact the Event Chairperson, Alfredo Evangelista, at 242-8100 or age-esq

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