Golf Tourney Celebrates Hawaii’s Filipino Community


Sharing Notes …Sen. Michelle Kidani

Enriching our cultural heritage

Hawaii’s rich Asia/Pacific ethnic diversity is something that makes our state unique among others in the U.S., and on any given weekend, we are likely to find some kind of event to celebrate and rediscover our multi-cultural heritage.

Such an event took place over the Fourth of July weekend when nearly 200 golfers teed off in the 62nd annual two-day Fil-Am Golf Tournament at Hawaii Prince Golf Course.

Since the early 1950s — well before Hawaii became a state — this tournament has maintained its mission of nurturing pride among Filipino-Americans through the game of golf. The event regularly moves from island to island in a concerted effort to involve as many players as possible from the nine Fil-Am Golf Clubs statewide.

It was my pleasure to join the golfers at the tournament’s opening luncheon and then to help present koa bowl trophies to top players at a Sunday evening banquet.

At the luncheon, my congratulatory certificate from the State Senate noted that July 4 also has special significance in the Philippines, with which so many in Hawaii’s Fil-Am community still maintain strong family connections. In those islands across the Pacific, that day is observed as Philippine-American Friendship Day. And so the annual tournament offers an opportunity not only for leisurely and friendly competition, but also for collective reflection on the freedoms we all enjoy.

Congratulations to Rito Saniatan, this year’s tournament chairman, and his team for organizing a wonderful holiday weekend event.

Kamehameha Highway roadwork underway — at last!

Late last month, we marked the official beginning of the long-awaited resurfacing project along Kamehameha Highway between Ka Uka Boulevard at Waipio and Waihau Street just beyond Mililani.

That’s a portion of the roadway just longer than four miles, but it is so heavily used by motorists traveling both directions that the highway really had deteriorated badly. In fact, the existing roadway was last fully resurfaced in 1991!

In addition to resurfacing and reconstruction, the project will include guardrail safety improvements, traffic signal safety and utility modifications, pedestrian safety improvements, landscaping and new signage.

State funds for the improvements that will be done during the next several months was approved way back in 2011, and delays in implementing these kinds of repairs and maintenance projects were a concern that we expressed to the Department of Transportation during the Legislative session.

Naturally there will be delays and detours along the highway as work progresses, and in the final phase later this year, Kipapa Bridge will be totally closed to motorists for a few weeks — except for “local” traffic.

You can track progress on this work online through the remainder of the year at the State’s highway project website: That’s where you can also find information about the major upgrades to H-1 that aim to improve traffic flow and vehicle safety all the way from town to Waipahu.

State Sen. Michelle Kidani represents district 18, which includes portions of Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Village Park and Royal Kunia. Contact her at the State Capitol, room 228, 586-7100, or email: SenKidani@Capitol.Haw or visit