Monday, June 11, 2001

From left to right, Odessa Pulido, Christorey Udasco and,
in back, Virgie Udasco performed tinikling, the bamboo
dance, yesterday during Araw Ng Angkan (Family Day)
at the Philippine Consulate General on Pali Highway.

Day celebration
teaches youth
Filipino culture

The 7-week-long event gives
insight into the old traditions

By Rosemarie Bernardo

FOR Dwayne Bueno, celebrating Philippine Independence Day is bridging the gap between young and old Filipinos.

"If we don't start learning about our roots, who will teach our younger ones after that? It will no longer be there," he said.

Bueno, 28, is vice chairman of the Philippine Independence Coordinating Committee-Hawaii.

On June 12, 1898, the Philippines won its independence, ending 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

Since joining the coordinating committee, Bueno has learned more about his culture. "I've gained a lot of the history of the revolution of the Philippines and the republic of the Philippines," he said.

"Being a part of the Independence Day, or Rizal Day, is important for us local-born because there is somehow a gap between the culture and the history of the Philippines."

In Hawaii, Filipinos learn about American values, mixed with local and Filipino values, Bueno said. "But it's not the same as the original traditions," he added.

About 30 people gathered at the Philippine Consulate General at 2433 Pali Hwy. yesterday to celebrate "Araw Ng Angkan," which means Family Day in Tagalog.

The festivities are part of a seven-week celebration of the 103rd Philippine Independence Day.

While attendees ate pansit (noodles) and hot dogs, Odessa Pulido, 12, and Christorey Udasco, 16, performed the bamboo dance, tinikling.

The dance originated with a tikling, a heron characterized by its long, thin legs. The bird is often observed standing on one leg in rice paddies in the Philippines.

Jun Colmenares, chairman of the Philippine Independence Coordinating Committee-Hawaii, said, "We realize the children, especially those who are born here, have very little idea of what Philippine independence is."

It is vital to expose them to cultural activities and to educate them about Philippine history, Colmenares said.

At 8 a.m. tomorrow at the Consulate General, there will be a flag-raising ceremony, ecumenical service and a vin d'honnuer celebrating the Philippine Independence Day. Gov. Ben Cayetano, first lady Vicky Cayetano, legislative officials and community members are expected to attend.

Consul General Rolando Gregorio said activities recognizing the Philippines' independence instill pride in local Filipino residents.

"It is one way of giving them the opportunity to express their love of the motherland, their roots, their origin of their cultural heritage," said Gregorio.

Donned in a blue and lime aloha shirt, the consul general said, "It is a basic need of every Filipino who are brought to have affinity and patriotic sentiments toward their native land."

For youths, "without knowledge of our traditions and customs, they're at a loss," Gregorio said.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin