October is Filipino-American Heritage Month!

Act 15 (2008), designates October as Filipino-American History Month throughout the State of Hawaii “to commemorate the contributions of Filipino-Americans to the history and heritage of Hawaii and the United States.”

Now in its sixth year, the Festival is a family event that promotes and perpetuates the Filipino culture. We hope you can save the date and join us!

16 reasons why you should be at Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival

  1. It’s the Last Harvest!

Image result for sugar plantation

This year, the festival will commemorate the last sugar plantation in Hawaii. The Pinoy Artist Contest sponsored by Ben Franklin Arts and Crafts will feature artworks from students on how they would interpret “The Last Harvest: Honoring our Heritage.” The art contest is an opportunity for kids of all ages to showcase their talent. If you are interested, contact Christine at 205-2809.

Pieces from The Sugar Museum will also be featured at the We Got History Exhibit at festival. It will be a great memorable experience for generations to share stories!

  1. Filipino chefs compete with Battle Kaukau tin can – plantation style!


This year’s Master P-Noy Chef Cook-Off sponsored by Alexander & Baldwin will allow defending champion Chef Ritchard Cariaga of Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Wailea to battle against challengers Chef Aris Aurelio of Kō Restaurant, with cuisine inspired by Hawaii’s sugarcane plantation era, and Chef Gemsley Balagso of The Plantation House Restaurant. Chef Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof also returns as the guest celebrity host for the competition.

Because we are honoring the plantation, the chefs will have to creatively use a kaukau tin can as their vessel. How exciting will it be!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: As always, there will be a secret ingredient that will be revealed before the battle. Chefs will have to creatively use the secret ingredient and the kaukau tin can – they might just find themselves in a fishy situation!

  1. Filipino designer Iris Viacrusis showcase


We’re gathering all the queens and kings to model elaborate Filipino attire pieces put together by distinguished local cultural historian and community organizer from the Big Island Iris Gil Viacrusis. Viacrusis owns Iris Gil Designs and is currently commissioned by the Iolani Palace to recreate its royal gowns. The Filipino Fashionista Fashion Show sponsored by Elsa Segal of The Principal previews Viacrusis’ Habi at Baro Collection, showcasing Philippine cultural items. Better not leave your phone at home because this show will be Facebook-post worthy at every angle!


  1. Is your adobo mo’ bettah than mine?


Whether it be chicken, pork, squid, vegetables – we know you can adobo anything! This is for all amateur chefs! Winner takes home $500 and for the name to be put on a perpetual plaque! The Any Kine Adobo Contest sponsored by Tante’s Island Cuisine is in the search for contestants to register for the adobo contest.

It’s “any kine” now, so no ingredient limitations! So go get your grandmother’s cousin’s mom’s recipe from the family archives and put it to the tastebud-test!

Sign-up now – limited slots only for that $500 prize!


  1. That aphrodisiac egg – baluuuuuut!


You know what we’re talking about. That egg with the fertilized duck embryo inside that Filipinos love to eat? The Speedy Balut Eating Contest promoted by Friends of Napua Greig Nakasone for Council is on! Each year we’ve crowned a balut king or balut queen and we’ve wondered who would be next! This is always a crowd favorite and you better register early to get on the list. How fast can you eat a balut?

Mahalo to Paradise Supermart Fast Food & Catering for being the balut sponsor this year!

Psssst! Winner takes home $500 too!


  1. Do you know how to whistle?


Another food contest returning this year is The Polvoron Challenge: Eat & Tweet promoted by Friends of Justin Woodson. Polvorn is a favorite powdery Filipino snack. After eating a whole polvoron, the first to whistle wins! Sounds quite easy, right? But imagine all that powdery delight all over your mouth!

Next time you find yourself in a Filipino store, try get some polvoron to try for yourself.


  1. Months ending in “ber” means Christmas to Filipinos.


The Festival is in October but for our crafts section, anyone will be able to make and decorate their own parol. A parol is decorative star Christmas ornament – it was said to be the star that guided the 3 Kings, which led them to Jesus Christ in the stable.

We’ll have parol kits made of bamboo brought in from the Philippines! The Oh Wow Parol Making Contest sponsored by Kit Zulueta Productions should bring out your creative side!

Make a parol, enter it in the contest and bring it home with you. First 50 parol sets goes quickly so come early!


  1. 8. Baybayin.

That’s ancient Philippine script writing. Our Filipino ancestors created characters based on nature. At the festival, you’ll get to Write Your Name in Baybayin on blades of sugarcane leaves. Don’t worry, we’ll have expert guidance from volunteers from UH Maui College’s Kabatak Club and Baldwin High School’s Kabatak Club.


  1. Traditional Filipino custom of “Mano po”

The festival is a chance to educate our keiki about the fading Filipino gesture of making “mano” to the elderly. This custom is to show respect to elders as a way of accepting a blessing from them.

There will be a Mano Po station promoted by Friends of Yuki Lei Sugimura, where tata and nana will be giving away small treats to keiki who will “mano” to them. We hope you bring your little ones to the festival!


  1. Ice candy


I mean, who doesn’t love ice candy? The Festival organizers will have available for sale the avocado, coconut and melon-flavored cold treats in those slim plastic containers. A favorite Filipino street delight during warm summer days! We’ll be selling them with Mang Pedring’s cart!


  1. Round-trip flights to the Philippines!

Image result for philippine airlines

The raffle of the year – 2 round trip tickets from Honolulu to Manila courtesy of Philippine Airlines, will be given away! You have to be present to win and personally receive your certificate from our PAL agents present!


  1. FILIPINO FOOD, of course.


Why else would you go to a Filipino festival if not for the food?! Let’s talk about adobo, pinakbet, lechon, pancit, halo-halo, pork and peas, chicken papaya – the list goes on. One thing for sure, you better come hungry.

This year we’ll have food for sale from Max’s Restaurant, Tin Roof, CAA Market Place, Randy’s Catering, RM Mini Mart and Vidad’s Restaurant.


Want to score FREE FOOD from our food vendors?


They will give out samples at the Philippine Flag Raising Ceremony on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. in front of the County Building in Wailuku. The flag raising ceremony is open to the public. It’s also kind of a chicken-skin moment seeing the Philippine flag raised for the entire month. Plus, Bistro Manila will also be giving away food at the flag raising!

  1. Need immigration services?


Image result for philippine passport consular services

The Philippine Consulate of Honolulu will be doing their consular outreach on Oct. 15. at the Maui Mall. Guess what, that’s the same day as the festival. If you need immigration services like passport renewals, dual-citizenship or voter registration, the consulate crew will be present for you!


  1. Hosted by Madame Donut


This Filipina entrepreneur with multi-colored hair is our emcee this year! Aside from offering unique and exceptional gourmet doughnuts at her shop, Madame Donut of Donut Dynamite is the bubbly Ilocano-Visayan who will get the party going!


  1. We love to sing and dance!


You know it won’t be a Filipino festival without songs and dances. We’re building our line-up of entertainment this year so check with us if your group is interested!


  1. Pabitin, Pictures, Basketball!


Other than contests, we also have Pabitin at the Fest sponsored by Maui Lifestyle Healthy Choice. Kids love this activity – happening every hour! There will also be a fun photo booth by Litratto to snap a memento with the family and friends from the festival. The Festival Hoops sponsored by Joey’s Kitchen is also still for basketball enthusiasts – most number of hoops within the allotted time wins first place for some $$$!

We want to give our sincerest Salamat Po to our supporters this year. It truly takes a village and we won’t be able to do it without you!


Platinum sponsor:
County of Maui, Office of Economic Development
Alexander and Baldwin

Gold Sponsors:
Monsanto Hawaii
Philippine Airlines

Silver Sponsors:
Yvienne Peterson, KW Island Living
Western Union / Maui Federal Credit Union

Event Promoters:
Tante’s Island Cuisine
Friends of Yuki Lei Sugimura
Joey’s Kitchen
Friends of Justin Woodson
Ben Franklin Crafts
Maui Lifestyle Healthy Choice
Sugar Museum
The Principal
Kit Zulueta Productions
First Hawaiian Bank
McDonald’s Hawaii
Maui Beach Hotel

T-Shirt Sponsor:
Johnstone Supply

Sabado Studios
Max’s Restaurant
Tin Roof
CAA Marketplace
Randy’s Catering
RM Minimart
Vidad’s Restaurant

Volunteers and partners:
TJ Maxx
Maui High School ELL
UH Kabatak Club
Baldwin HS Kabatak Club
Pacific Media Group, 99.9 Kiss FM
Lizada Photography
Mix 105.5 FM
Bistro Manila

How else you can participate in the festival:

  • Advertising space for $100 in our program booklet is available. Ads are due on Sept. 30.
  • Let us know if you want to display a poster at your store. How many do you need?
  • Want to be part of the organizing committee? You’ll get a festival shirt!

Email us at mauifilipinocc@gmail.com. We are online at www.mauifilipinochamber.com/festival.

We can’t wait to see you!

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