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New book highlights Filipino community leaders and their impact on Hawaiʻi

hayas filipino treasures.jpg
FilAm Courier

October is Filipino History Month and to highlight the contribution to Hawaiʻi, there's a new book honoring community treasures. The title is “Hiyas” which means treasures in Tagalog. The book is thanks to FilAm Courier, the oldest publication serving the Filipino community, and it represents 30 years of its cover stories.

The book was the brainchild of FilAm’s Mary Cordero. It highlights 60 community leaders, many of who came from humble beginnings, and through hard work and perseverance rose to the top. Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba and former Gov. Ben Cayetano are among the treasured role models, as are a string of civil rights activists, public servants and beauty queens.

Mila Kaʻahanui, along with co-editor Stephanie Castillo, completed Cordero’s vision, updating a collection of who’s who in spite of their own personal health challenges. Their efforts help to feed an up-and-coming generation, who Kaʻahanui says, are hungry for heroes.

To purchase a copy of the book you should contract the FilAM Courier which marks its 34th anniversary next month. Plans are to distribute copies Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Filipino Community Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. — and later that evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pacific Club.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 19, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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