Maui Arts & Entertainment

Celebrate Filipino-American Pride This Saturday

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By Vanessa Wolf

In November 2009, Congress passed a bill officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month.

On the 1st, Filipino American History Month was officially launched with a formal Flag Raising Ceremony at the County of Maui building. The flag will remain up for the entire month of October, a practice that has only been done on Maui.

In further celebration, the Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation will be presenting the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival this Saturday at the Maui Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year, radio personality Chris D of 99.9 Kiss FM will emcee. A crowd of more than 10,000 is expected, and a variety of events are planned.


“We will showcase Filipino talent and our competitive nature in various fields.  The festival will also feature your favorite Filipino dishes, our colorful cultural dances and will showcase different local businesses,” said Alfredo Evangelista, Event Chairperson from the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We are also giving away round-trip tickets to the Philippines and you can win a trip to Las Vegas, too.”

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. with back-to-back entertainment featuring Dance International Production, La Galeria, Good Shepherd Church Dance Troupe, Maui Filipino Martial Arts Academy, Timpuyog Cultural Group, Sharon Zalsos, Reynaldo C. Ramos, and Paris Sensano.

Participants may register to enter a drawing for free airfare to the Philippines, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines and Philippine Airlines. The victor must be over 18 and present to win.

The festival also features the “Filipino Fashionista” contest. Attendees are encouraged to practice their catwalk strut and wear their best Filipino attire to the festival. The fashion contest is sponsored by Noble Travel, and winners will be awarded airfare to Las Vegas.  The female division is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. and the male division will be at 1 p.m.  A winner of each gender will be chosen by a panel of judges.


In addition to a variety of Filipino food choices for sale, this year’s festival includes the first ever P-Noy Artist Contest under the direction of renowned artist Phil Sabado. Youth may participate in the two-dimensional, three dimensional, and digital artwork categories while adults may participate in the digital artwork and photography categories.  The theme is “Filipino-American Pride.”  To enter, the artwork must be delivered today (Oct. 9) to the Sabado Art Studio at 49 North Market Street in Wailuku.

A balut. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

A “Battle Adobo” awaits as Chef Simeon of Star Noodle, Chef Geno Sarmiento of  Sarento’s on the Beach, and Chef Joey Macadangdang of Roy’s Kahana compete in a cook-off.  The Master P-Noy Chef Cook Off pits top chefs of Filipino ancestry as they engage in preparing an adobo-inspired delicacy, using protein and vegetables traditionally found in Filipino cooking.

Chef Simeon will be defending his 2011 Master P-Noy Chef title. The panel of judges will include – the very grateful/praying she doesn’t have to eat a balut – yours truly from Maui Now.

Squeamish much?


Maybe skip the “Speedy Balut Eating Contest.” The contest is restricted to experienced balut eaters, with 10 participants in each of the three categories: 18-25; 26-50; and over 50.

If you don’t know what a balut is, that probably leaves you out of the “experienced” category, but for the uninitiated, a balut is a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac, they are typically sold by street vendors.

The eating contest begins at 1:30 p.m. and preregistration is highly recommended. Send an email to [email protected] to do so.

Again, many thanks in advance to Chefs Simeon, Sarmiento, and Macadangdang for leaving baluts out of their adobo creations, and see you there!

Are you a local artist – sculptor, poet, mime, slack key guitar player, tattoo artist, photographer, pastry chef, performance artist, sand castle builder or comedian – with an interesting story to tell? Know of a great band, artist, author, filmmaker, or event coming to town? Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you! Vanessa(

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