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January 2006


Hauoli Makahiki Hou Kakou… as we begin a new year in our lives, let us not forget from when we came: Hawaii, Aina la Hanau (Hawaii, land of our birth)! In this new year, we all need to be concerned, we all need to get involved in issues that are becoming critical to the future of our Hawaiian culture and our people! Hawaiians (OHA, the Kamehameha Schools , et al) have lost some significant court cases in the recent past…..and we stand to lose more unless we, all of us, become knowledgeable about the issues and, more importantly, unless we become involved!!!! It is no longer enough to just wala`au (talk story); it’s time to read and watch and listen and to evaluate the facts…and then to make decisions about what we as individuals need to do! Personally, I would like to see all Hawaiians join hands and create a unified base (such as offered by the Kau Inoa Registration program) through which we can better negotiate with the political powers to be about the status of our Hawaiian people and the future of our culture! More important is that all of us learn about the issues and then get involved….. the sooner the better!

‘Twas the night before Christmas…and all thru the Hale, the keikis were getting restless (pihole) while the papa himeni (choir) was singing favorite carols like “on da first day of Christmas, my tutu give to me, one mynah bird in one papaya tree”…Hallelujah! It was the Wakinikona Hawaiian Club’s 42d Christmas party and everyone was having a blast! The Wakinikona (phonetic pronunciation of “Washington”) Hawaiian Club (WHC) was formed in 1963 to provide a social club for the large number of Hawaiians (mostly sailors and longshoremen) who came to this area to work on Seattle’s docks. There were 36 original WHC members; today only one founding member (Larry Kamahele) remains! Larry says that it has been very interesting watching the WHC evolve over the years from a “seaman’s social club” of 36 to a family-oriented WHC who today has in excess of 150 members. On this cold wintry night in Seattle, the opio (youth) who will be tomorrow’s WHC members were all enjoying the food and fund and presents from Santa Claus. The youngsters came from Hawaiian families like the Awanaws/Shiromas/Bakers/Dahlins/Sturrocks/Julichs/Sithars/Sallis/Leatualii…An added treat was the presence of several young adult/haole members of the Wakinikoa Wa`a/Outrigger Club who came and helped set up/clean up…so heart warming to see folks like Jan Wallace (Kirkland), Erin Cross (Illinois), Nicole Zuniga (San Diego), Roberto Garcia (Oakland, CA) Emily Stewart (Beaverton, OR) and Jason Zimmerman (Sioux Falls, SD) participate in our Hawaiian cultural activities….twas a fun night!!!!

I say “Mixed Plate”…..and you think of food huh? Not….in this case, it is a very appropriate name for a Hawaiian music group: the lead singer and the lead guitar players are Filipino (Jeebo Balao and Ariel Solomon) while ukulele player John Moen is haole as is the steel guitarist; the keyboard/bass player is a Japanese wahine (Lisa Berdin) as is uke player/dancer Diana Lim…how much mo’ mix plate can you get? And these folks are really, really goooooood!!! Soooo….meet Joan Marie Hughes and her “Mixed Plate” gang and the ladies of her Halau “Ohana O ke`alailehua`aha`a.” Joan is a Punahou grad who came up here to attend the U of Washington and never went back home. She has taken hula lessons from Leilani Alama/Kapiolani Butterworth/Pua Case and is now with Kumu Hula Willie Pulawa. After she moved up here, she missed hula so much that she started up her own group in the Lynnwood area, dancing just for the fun of it! Anyway, Joan’s Halau tried to do a fund raiser back in November so that some two dozen of them can take a “Hawaiian Cultural Immersion” trip to Kauai in 2006; many of Joan’s Halau are “mainland born” and they want to immerse themselves in the Hawaiian culture they all love so much! Unfortunately the weather was so u-g-l-y bad the day of their fund raiser that most of you stayed home and missed a great event. 2003 Washington State Holoku Pageant winner Rowena Solomon did a great “Uwehe Ami and Slide” dance and some of the Halau gals (Sherri Gerhardt, Cheryl Carlson, Maria Quist, Kim Vik, Irene Tsoi, Dana Lim and Joan Hughes) did a terrific “White Sandy Beach” hula. Pam Ainahau Borromeo (another dancer) taught at Nanakuli HS for several years in the 1980s. They’ll be having another fund raiser soon and this time, all you guys should go…guarantee it will be fun and enjoyable!

More new kids on the block… a fascinating part of writing my “Holoholo” column is that every time a new place opens up, I get emails/phone calls from folks telling me I should go “check it out” so I went down to Federal Way to check out “Pac Island Grill” which opened up in August 2005. Really nice layout with a very tropical atmosphere (comfortable and attractive rattan furniture all over the place and a huge Hawaiian mural on the back wall.) It’s probably one of the larger Hawaiian/Pacific Islands theme venues in this area with big floor to ceiling windows which gives an airy/wide open space feel. The menu is pretty much what you’d expect (Kalua pig/Kalbi/etc) and the food is good…best news for my Filipino friends like Joe Abad and Roy Delacruz: they have the best Adobo in town! Drop in (2012 S. 320 th St., Federal Way, WA) and say hello to owners Raeleen and Jim Smith and Leianna and David Landon…

Time to hele on…take care until next time……a hui hou…………Danny

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