DISPATCHES FROM THE PHILIPPINES
COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Gov. Linda Lingle watched a demonstration yesterday of textile making in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.
Lingle leaves tour impressed with endurance of Hawaii ties
MANILA » Except for the ox tongue, Gov. Linda Lingle said she had what she called the "trip of a lifetime" during her eight-day visit to the Philippines.
Lingle was scheduled to return to Hawaii last night.
The governor is not going on with the rest of the delegation to Cebu, which has disappointed some members of the group who are from the area.
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.
The governor said it is also a big disappointment to her, but she has to return to Honolulu to prepare for next week's opening of the Legislature and the State of the State address.
"I tell everyone it's a reason to come back," Lingle said.
The wife of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, Vivian, whose family roots are in Cebu, will represent Lingle there.
During her visit, Lingle paid a courtesy call on Philippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, signed an agreement to help improve nursing education at the University of Northern Philippines, and unveiled a statue at Port Salomague in Ilocos Sur dedicated to the sakadas, the first contract plantation workers to come to Hawaii from the Philippines. The port was the departure point for many of Hawaii's Filipinos.
The governor led a delegation of 178 people to mark the 100th anniversary of Filipino immigration to Hawaii.
"I think we were able to strengthen existing relationships between our state and the country," she said.
The governor said she was impressed with the ties that immigrants to Hawaii maintain with the Philippines.
"Clearly Hawaii is very important to the people of the Philippines," Lingle said.
"Our people at home have given dump trucks to the city (Manila.) They've given library materials, computers to the city. The Aloha Medical Mission has built a clinic. It's unbelievable that the ties are that strong, no matter how long they've lived in Hawaii."
COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Gov. Linda Lingle was given a tour yesterday of the city of Vigan in a horse-drawn carriage by Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson. The governor was to return from the Philippines last night.
Yesterday, Lingle and the Hawaii Filipino Chamber of Commerce also met with U.S. chargé d'affaires Paul Jones at the U.S. Embassy. Lingle said she asked Jones to assist businesses with product placement in the Philippines.
Jones was also asked to have the U.S. Commerce Department present during a big Philippine trade expo in December in conjunction with the centennial celebration.
During the many breakfasts, lunches and dinners hosted by mayors and governors, Lingle tasted a variety of Filipino foods.
Liver pork and peas, sliced pork face and ox tongue were among the dishes. The governor said she ate everything that was put in front of her, but thought that ox tongue was "an acquired taste."
$600 raised for girl hit by bus on Lingle tour
MANILA » Members of Hawaii's delegation to the Philippines raised about $600 for the family of a young girl who was hit by one of the buses ferrying the delegation to Pangasinan province.
A witness on the bus that hit the girl on Monday collected the money during the bus ride from Pangasinan to Manila yesterday. Mell Felipe said she felt like "we needed to help her out."
Felipe said she talked to the bus driver who went to the hospital with the girl. She said the driver said the girl had bruises on her head, shoulder and thigh, but appeared to be OK.
The accident occurred as the delegation was traveling in a convoy escorted by police. The bus was the last passenger vehicle in the convoy and had fallen slightly behind.
The driver was following a police car with flashing lights headed south near La Union in San Fernando province when the girl, who appeared to be about 10 years old, ran across the north-bound lane of the two-lane highway and was hit.
Lingle spokesman Lenny Klompus said the governor was not aware of the accident until the convoy made a rest stop about a half-hour after the accident.
He said the governor was concerned about the girl and relieved when she learned the injuries were not serious.