canada africa partner reservation FilCom organizes the Flores de Mayo and Philippine Fiesta celebration in Hawaii

FilCom organizes the Flores de Mayo and Philippine Fiesta celebration in Hawaii

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WAIPAHU, Hawaii – The 2024 Flores de Mayo and Filipino Fiesta celebration at the Filipino Community Center (FilCom) on Saturday was a vibrant and joyful occasion, serving as a platform to promote Filipino traditions, culture and resilience.

Long before dawn, organizers, exhibitors and groups both inside and outside the three-story center, nestled in the historic Oahu Sugar Mill in suburban Waipahu, were already immersed in preparations. Known as the largest Filipino community center in the United States and abroad, the bustling venue buzzed with anticipation.

Deeply rooted in the Philippine cultural heritage, the Santa Cruzan stood out as the highlight of the Flores de Mayo and fiesta event. FilCom, in collaboration with the Filipino Jaycees of Honolulu and sponsored by L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, featured young Filipinos ages 5 to 17 portraying various images of the Virgin Mary, culminating in the image of Reyna Elena (Queen Helena), mother of Constantine the big. credited with discovering the Holy Cross.

In addition to promoting Philippine culture and traditions, Consul General of the Philippines Emil Fernandez described the event as a “great way to develop camaraderie and support each other,” especially after challenges such as the Maui forest fires last year.

“Events like this unite the community; they bring us closer together with the common goal of advancing our interests and contributing to the development of the Philippines at home,” Fernandez stated during an interview with journalists participating in the Friends, Partners, and Allies Program.

In addition, in addition to the Santa Cruzan procession, there was a cooking competition aimed at discovering the best adobo recipe among local Filipino families.

The event also included a balut eating challenge, a Sari-Sari store offering a variety of popular Philippine products, and “Habi at Baro,” an exhibition curated by artist and designer Iris Viacrusis, featuring indigenous fabrics, jewelry and artifacts sourced from different regions of the Philippines over a span of three years.