The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, together with the Department of Tourism in Los Angeles, participated in the 20th Anniversary of the Honolulu Festival from March 7 to 9 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Honolulu Festival, Honolulu’s premier annual cultural festival, through its longstanding theme, “Pacific Harmony,” reflects the Honolulu Festival Foundation’s (HFF) vision to share the many cultures of the Pacific region, through an impressive showcase of arts, culture and entertainment. For its 20th year, the HFF adopted the sub-theme “Jubilation, One Heart, One Pacific, One World”.
The Consulate and the Philippine Department of Tourism set up a Philippine booth during the crafts fair at the Hawaii Convention Center from March 8 to 9, which showed colorful roll-up banners of popular and up-and-coming travel destinations to the Philippines. Flyers on the 9th Ambassadors Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTDT), other tourism promotion materials, and some consular forms were also given to interested parties.
Consul General Julius D. Torres and Director Annie Cuevas of the Philippines Department of Tourism in Los Angeles also attended a dinner reception in commemoration of the Festival’s 20th Anniversary. Hosted by Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and HFF President Keiichi Tsujino, the dinner was held to also thank the sponsors and supporters of the Honolulu Festival through the years.
On March 7, Vice Consul Joyleen E. Santos attended the International Friendship Gala at the Hawaii Convention Center to officially kick off the Festival. The gala featured Oahu’s top restaurants such as Morimoto Waikiki, Mariposa, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Roy’s Steakhouse, and exciting cultural performances by Honolulu Festival artists.
The 20th Honolulu Festival culminated with the Grand Parade along Kalakaua Avenue on March 9. The parade featured marching bands, drum and bugle corps, color guards, cheer and dance teams, thousands of performers, and world-class floats from participating countries. The Philippines was represented in the parade by BIBAK Hawaii, Bob’s KFY Group which performed the Sinulog Dance, and Mrs. Hawaii Filipina 2013 and Miss Hawaii Filipina 2013. The Filipino Community Center’s Banda Kawayan also gave an impressive performance at the Honolulu Convention Center before the parade. The parade concluded with a 20-minute Nagaoka Fireworks Show over Waikiki Beach.
The Honolulu Festival is considered to be one of the State of Hawaii’s biggest, grandest and most anticipated festivals, drawing around 5,000 people from more than 150 groups from around the Pacific Rim and Hawaii. The festival has generated an estimated total of $175 million in visitor spending in its 20-year history.
Article and photos courtesy of DFA press release, 18 March 2014.