Hawaii movers-and-shakers grace PH consulate Paskuhan
HONOLULU — More than 400 guests representing Hawaii’s state government, the US Pacific Command (PACOM), US federal government, business organizations, media and Filipino community groups gathered at the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu December 16 to celebrate Christmas at the Paskuhan sa Konsulado.
The date December 16 marks the first night of the Misa de Gallo or the Simbang Gabi in the Philippines, a traditional Catholic nine-day novena in leading up to the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year’s Christmas party kicked off with a celebration of the Holy Mass and followed by a traditional “salu-salo” of Filipino food, cultural entertainment program and fellowship.
Philippine Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin said in her remarks that by celebrating the Misa de Gallo, “we bring back the true spiritual message of Christmas – of humility, loving one another, unity and thanksgiving.”
She also said that despite the calamities that have struck the country, “the Philippine government was able to handle the post-disaster response through adequate planning and response. As in Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, the State of Hawaii and the US government, through the USAID and the PACOM, have stood ready to assist the Philippines anytime if Typhoon Ruby/Hagupit had worsened.”
Jamoralin also stressed that “the promotion of Filipino culture and economic diplomacy will be the major goals of my mission in Hawaii. Tonight’s Paskuhan sa Konsulado, is clearly an endeavor to undertake a collaborative partnership with all major Filipino organizations in the spirit of unity and teamwork.”
Various Filipino regional organizations prepared a colorful show highlighting Filipino culture and traditions including the Pandanggo sa Ilaw, Balagtasan, Harana and choral group performances that delighted the audience.
Competitions for the best parol, best choral group among the five Filipino umbrella organizations, best in Christmas attire and door prizes throughout the program added to the event’s festive atmosphere. The night culminated with community singing of Filipino Christmas carols.
Distinguished guests included Lieutenant General and Mrs. Anthony Crutchfield, Deputy PACOM Commander; Hawaii State Representative Romy Cachola; Councilmember Brandon Elefante; Deputy Director of Facility Maintenance for the City and County of Honolulu Ed Manglallan, who also delivered the Christmas message of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; US Citizenship and Immigration Services–Department of Homeland Security (USCIS-DHS) Deputy Chief Counsel and Mrs. David Roy; and leaders of the business and Filipino community in the state.
The Paskuhan sa Konsulado was organized by the Philippine Consulate General in partnership with the five major Filipino umbrella organizations in Hawaii, namely, the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH), Congress of Visayan Organizations (COVO), Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH), Oahu Filipino Community Council (OFCC), and the United Filipino Council of Hawaii (UFCH).
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