Benefits motivate future citizens to study
Student tutors discover in citizenship classes a way to share the struggles of forebears
Name the amendments that guarantee or address voting rights.
What kind of government does the United States have?
Where does freedom of speech come from?
In a conference room at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, several recent and not-so-recent Filipino immigrants gather every Saturday to prepare for the interview portion of the citizenship test.
DAY 1 | SUNDAY
Community Kalihi is home to a community of small businesses that cater to Filipino immigrants.
DAY 2 | MONDAY
Citizenship After four decades in Hawaii, the wife of a sakada is fulfilling a dream: to become a U.S. citizen so she can vote in the next election.
DAY 3 | TUESDAY
Caring A doctor serves her community through an organization that treats some uninsured immigrants for free.
DAY 4 | WEDNESDAY
Patriotism Filipino veterans who fought with U.S. soldiers during World War II are hoping their sacrifices are remembered during the centennial as they continue to push for full veteran's benefits from the U.S. government.
DAY 5 | THURSDAY
Thanksgiving When the Manuel family first moved to Hawaii in 1923, they didn't celebrate Thanksgiving. Sometimes there wasn't enough food on the table. But now the holiday is an important family tradition.
The immigrants are helped by college students, many of whom are Filipino American and see their parents or grandparents in those they help.
"When you interact with them, it just gets personal," said Yvette Cudal, a 21-year-old who is studying political science at the University of Hawaii.
The program is part of a national initiative aimed at helping immigrants -- mostly seniors -- get their citizenship to be able to qualify for welfare and other aid programs. The classes started in Hawaii two years ago and have been well attended since, said UH ethnic studies program chairman Dean Alegado.
The immigrants cite different reasons for wanting to become citizens.
Some want to travel more easily between the Philippines and Hawaii. Others want to apply for state or federal jobs. Jimmy Agludub, a 51-year-old security guard at Honolulu Airport, wants to bring his adult children over from the Philippines.
"Hawaii is a beautiful place," he said, "and the jobs can get you more money."
Agludub immigrated to the islands in 2001 and recently finished a one-year program at the New York Technical Institute of Hawaii. He was petitioned by his mother, who immigrated from the Philippines in 1980.
Though the class is aimed at helping those preparing to applying for citizenship, Alegado said, it has also made volunteers more aware of what it takes for an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen. And it has bridged generations, he added, allowing young tutors to work with their elders and get a taste of Filipino heritage in the process.
For more information on the class, contact coordinators Candice Sakuda at 735-4895 or Dan Dreyer at 291-3364.
Who Are They?
Over the years, Filipinos have made their mark in entertainment, both here and on the mainland. Here is a list of some notable entertainers from Hawaii.
Gabe Baltazar: Musician
Angela Baraquio: First Asian-American Miss America
Rocky Brown: Entertainer and former Broadway performer
Andy Bumatai: Comedian and actor
Ray Bumatai: Actor, comedian and recording artist
Tia Carrere: Movie and television actress, voice of Nani in the movie "Lilo and Stitch"
Noland Conjugacion: Musician, singer/songwriter
Tony Conjugacion: Musician, singer/songwriter
Faustino Respicio: Producer and host of the long-running "Filipino Fiesta" television program
Antonio Ruivivar Jr.: Founder of the Society of Seven show band
Jasmine Trias: "American Idol" finalist and recording artist
Augie Tulba: Stand-up comedian
Orlando and Pat Valentin: Entertainers who founded Pearl of the Orient Dance Co., which showcased Filipino culture in Waikiki
Tonight on KITV-4 News at 10...
Island Television News at 5: Mixed Plate Mabuhay. Pamela Young goes to the Manila Polo Club ballroom for an evening with Manila's frisky socialites.
Island Television News at 10: Meet Tim Los Banos, a fifth-generation Filipino who is keeping alive the story of his Sakada ancestors by becoming the family historian. You'll see his amazing pictures documenting an era gone by.