Maui News

Public Invited To Attend Virtual Aloha & Mabuhay Conference Oct. 13 & 14

October 11, 2021, 10:04 AM HST
* Updated October 10, 9:05 PM
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The virtual Aloha & Mabuhay Conference will be held Oct. 13 and 14 via the platform Hopin.

The public is invited to attend the virtual two-day Aloha & Mabuhay Conference, a celebration of Filipino American History Month and the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the United States and the Philippines.

The conference runs Oct. 13 and 14 via the platform Hopin. A conference pass is $25 and students can register for free. Registration and information is available online at hpbec.com.

Philippine Supreme Court retired Justice Antonio Carpio will deliver the keynote address on maritime awareness as a champion of the country’s resolve to take control of the West Philippine Sea. He was among the contingent that took the case to the Permanent Arbitration Court, which rejected China’s argument that it had sovereign and historic rights over the disputed sea region in 2016.

The event Plenary will feature LA-based Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts group, a critically acclaimed non-profit under the leadership of Joel Jacinto, Barbara Ele and Ave Jacinto. For more than 30 years, Kayamanan has committed to presenting, promoting and preserving the richness and diversity of Philippine culture through dance and music, and to educate, entertain and enrich. 

Also a featured Keynote speaker is Maui-based painter Philip Sabado, whose roots are from the plantation villages of Molokaʻi. Sabado is known for his historically accurate paintings depicting his love of nature and Hawaiian culture, which has graced many murals, hotels, schools and hospitals, in addition to a successful studio and merchandise line with Sabado Art & Design. While he has always been spiritually connected to his work and purpose, tracing his roots in the Philippines allowed him to take his journey as an artist, a mentor, and a community advocate to a deeper level.

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Award-winning, Virginia-based Poet Laureate Luisia A. Igloria, who hails from Baguio City, Philippines, will also be featured to share a few verses for conference-goers. 

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Annalisa Burgos and Charles De Gala will serve as hosts for the opening plenary, and Sen. Bennette Misalucha and Allan Alvarez will host the Closing on Day 2.

The conference features eight highly curated panel discussions with speakers from Hawaiʻi and the Philippines to discuss issues and share best practices that are relevant and timely in tracks including political governance, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, people-to-people ties and social responsibility.

For example in the food resiliency panel, Ana Patricia Non will speak about her Community Pantry initiative that has sparked a nationwide movement. Environmentalist Tony Oposa will touch on climate change alongside Hawaiʻi’s Aya de Leon and Rosie Alegado. 

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Pauline Suaco Juan, executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry will be sharing opportunities for trade in the new normal era. Kauaʻi’s Lester Calipjo will be presenting the story of the Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center as a dream realized by the community.

There will be presentations on indigenous healing practices, Filipino talent representation in theater and dance, and initiatives to promote “trade not aid” using social entrepreneurship for community development. Visionary Architect Royal Pineda will share the story behind the Philippines Pavilion in Dubai, with a design inspired by Philippine bangkota, or coral reef.

In the Workforce panel, Sol Solleza of Philippine Airlines will talk about Philippine heritage and culture as tools for workforce training. He is among the speakers touching on cultural roots from sakadas to OFWs and the outsourcing industry.

Those interested in retiring in the Philippines will have access to Philippine Retirement Authority representatives, in addition to speakers sharing their experiences like Toy Arre and Ruth Mabanglo.

There will be a ‘Sinigang poke and mushroom sisig’ demonstration by Chef Yana Gilbuena, as well as a workshop to understand the gap between Baby Boomers to Gen Z’s. A panel of students led by Marissa Halagao will present their initiative to incorporate Filipino American history and culture in Hawaiʻi’s curriculum. 

Other panels can be reviewed at hpbec.com.

Filipino Fashion Showcase

Attendees will get behind-the-scenes and raw stories from four talented designers in an exclusive interview by veteran host Amelia Casamina Cabatu at a Fashion Showcase. The designers include: Iris Viacrusis, who was behind recreating the Hawaiian monarchy gowns on display at the Iolani Palace; Jearson Demavivas, who was behind Miss Universe Catriona Grey’s parol-inspired costume during her pageant; Lydia Querian of Daily Malong, who advocates for the use of handwoven textiles on modern wearables as worn by Filipino influencer Bretman Rock; and Frederick Berches, who has produced intricate traditional and modern pieces of Filipiniana and Barong.

Fashionistas and those interested may have access to the designers at the conference to support their work and for custom designs. 

Attendees may also access a list of vendor booths at the Expo section of the conference, and can connect with other attendees using a fun speed-networking component and through Talk Story Tables designed to allow attendees to interact with one another.

To get the full schedule, learn about speaker bios and to register, go to hpbec.com. Email [email protected] for inquiries.

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