Hawaii governor greeted like rock star in Philippines
Gov. Linda Lingle's trip celebrates the centennial of Filipino immigration to Hawaii
By Craig Gima
MANILA » Gov. Linda Lingle arrived in Manila this morning greeted like a rock star, with about a half dozen local camera crews, newspaper and radio reporters, along with local politicians.
Star-Bulletin reporter Craig Gima is on assignment in the Philippines, where Gov. Linda Lingle is leading an official visit to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Filipino immigration to Hawaii.
About 40 minutes later, another Hawaii celebrity - "American Idol" star Jasmine Trias - arrived on a different flight with fewer camera crews recording her arrival, but with more interest from people in the terminal, who stopped her for cell phone pictures and autographs.
Both are here to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Filipino immigration to Hawaii. The governor is leading a delegation of about 178 state and county officials and ordinary citizens on a visit to sister states and cities. She also will meet with Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday and help unveil a stamp celebrating the centennial of Filipino immigration.
Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson, Mandaluyong Mayor Neptali "Boyet" Gonzales and Congressman Robito Albano welcomed Lingle to the Philippines.
"Aloha and Mabuhay," she told them and reporters.
It's the governor's first trip to the Philippines, and she said she's been looking forward to it for a long time. The trip, she said, is important to Filipinos in Hawaii.
CRAIG GIMA / CGIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Gov. Linda Lingle was greeted by Chief of Staff Bob Awana at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
Later today, the governor was scheduled to meet with Philippines Secretary of Defense Avelino Cruz Jr. and welcome the delegation, most of whom were scheduled to arrive this afternoon.
Trias and dancers from Tihati's Polynesian Review will perform at six concerts in the Philippines as part of the official visit. A concert on Thursday is expected to close Roxas Boulevard, the main street that runs along Manila Bay.
Trias also is a spokeswoman for Dole-Asia, which is sponsoring a dinner in Manila next Tuesday on the governor's last night in the Philippines.
The trip to the Ilocos region north of Manila will be Trias' first outside Manila.
"I'm just proud to be a Filipino," she said of the centennial.
When she arrived, Trias was given a lei made out of Sampaguita, a form of jasmine that is the national flower of the Philippines.