THE YEAR 2006 marks the centennial
of the coming of the Filipinos to Hawaii. The Filipinos, the last ethnic group that the plantations brought to the Hawaiian
Islands, joined the Hawaiians, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese at Hanama`ulu in 1910.
2006 Hanama`ulu Town Celebration is not a part of the centennial celebration per se. However, with the town of Hanama`ulu
being predominantly Filipino, the celebration of the Filipino presence in Hawaii these 100 years was assuredly in the consciousness
of many. And the participation of the Kauai Filipino Centennial Chorale gave the celebration at Hanama`ulu's Peter Rayno Sr.
Park on Saturday, July 15, a centennial celebration touch.
The Filipino Centennial
Celebration Commission has planned a year-long centennial observance throughout the state of Hawaii, with each island having
its own celebration committee.
Kauai Filipino Centennial Celebration Committee and the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce are spearheading centennial events
on the Garden Island.
Chamber brought the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group (Ballet Folklorico de Filipinas), a 30-member Philippine folk dance troupe,
to perform at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center on March 5 and 6. The Centennial Parade on May 6 from Kauai's
historic County Building to the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall set the tempo of the Kauai Filipino Fiesta on May 6 and
7. The Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant, performances by the Society of Seven and by Hawaii "American Idol" contestant
Jordan Segundo made Lihue a very busy town that weekend.
gala, honoring 66 Kauai Filipinos, 20 posthumously, was held on August 19 at the Grand Ballroom of the Kauai Marriott Resort
& Beach Club.
September 9, 1924, Filipino plantation workers staged a strike in Hanapape. Today, we hear the event recalled as a "strike"
or a "riot" or a "massacre." The event started as a strike to increase $1/day wage to $2, in parity with other plantation
workers, and reduce the 10-hour work day to 8 hours. Also an issue was the need for improved living conditions. A clash between
the strikers and policemen ended in the death of 16 Filipinos of Visayan ancestry who worked for Makaweli Plantation and four
policemen. The strike failed, and 76 Filipinos were indicted for riot. In November 1924, a jury declared 56 Filipinos guilty of rioting.
commemorate the September 1924 event, a marker was unveiled at Hanapepe Town Park on Saturday, September 9, 2006, 82 years
after that sad day in the history of labor in Hawaii, as part of the Hawaii-Filipino Centennial observance on Kauai.
|HANAPEPE MASSACRE MARKER | HANAPEPE TOWN PARK
|Photo: Karl Lo | September 9, 2006
MABUHAY AND ALOHA!
(Updated September 12, 2006)