HONOLULU – For the first time, The Filipino Community (FilCom) Center is expanding its annual Filipino Fiesta into a week-long Flores De Mayo (Flowers of May) celebration from May 5 through May 11 at various locations across Oahu.
“May is the traditional fiesta month in the Philippines, when towns celebrate with colorful festivities to ensure a successful harvest and planting season, as well as honor their patron saints,” said FilCom President Rose Churma. “With our community partners, we hope to share our culture and traditions as well as offer opportunities for doing business in the Philippines, which is now experiencing more than 6 to 7 percent growth.”
Filcom’s Flores de Mayo is offering three major events free and open to the public:
- Santacruzan Pageant & Parade, Sunday, May 5, 3:30 -7:30 p.m., at the FilCom Center: Beautifully dressed reynas and princesas (queens and princesses) representing biblical characters parade under colorful flower arches with their escorts to commemorate the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. Festive entertainment will take center stage at this traditional Maytime celebration at the Filipino Community Center and surrounding grounds.
- Philippine Trade Forum & Expo, Tuesday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the FilCom Center: The forum will offer key insights into conducting business in the Philippines along with networking opportunities. The event will also showcase products and services unique to the Philippines.
- Filipino Fiesta and Parade, Saturday, May 11, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kapiolani Park: The day-long, 21st Annual Filipino Fiesta and Parade in Waikiki will begin with a lively morning parade along Kalakaua Avenue through Waikiki leading to Kapiolani Park where Filipino food, games, cultural exhibits and live entertainment.
The annual Filipino Fiesta began 21 years ago when L & L Drive-Inn founder Eddie Flores initiated the celebration as part of the awareness campaign to garner support for the building of the FilCom Center. It has since become Hawaii’s largest showcase of Filipino culture with an annual attendance of more than 10,000 people attending each year.
“We’re excited to grow what has become known as Hawaii’s largest Filipino gathering,” says Rose Churma. “This helps expand our outreach and our Center’s mission – to promote and perpetuate Filipino culture and customs in the state of Hawaii and beyond.”
Affiliated events are also being planned including dance completions and Philippine town-specific reunions and gatherings.
For more information and to participate in the Flores De Mayo events, please visit www.filcom.org or call (808) 680-0451.
The FilCom Center is a non-profit organization that provides cultural, social and educational services to Hawaii’s Filipinos as well as the community at large. It is the largest center of its kind in the country.