FilCom Honored Sakada Day With A Play

On Dec. 11, the FilCom Center held a play titled “Sakada Through the Years” written and directed by Hawaii Filipino Chronicle columnist Raymund Llanes Liongson. The play was a reennactment of the life of the Sakada—Filipino migrant workers doing manual agricultural labor in Hawaii.

Sakada Day is honored in Dec. 20 as a day of recognition to commemorate the day that first Filipinos arrived in Hawaii over a century ago. The first 15 sakadas arrived in Hawaii on Dec. 20, 1906 and were assigned to Ola’a Sugar Plantation on the Big Island. About 125,000 Filipinos are in Hawaii by 1946 working in sugar and pineapple plantations in Hawaii.

“It’s important for Filipinos to know about their history and where they came from so that they know where they’re going,” said Allan Alvarez, one of the organizers, in an interview with Star-Advertiser.

Sakadas were also involved in the labor movement which resulted in more positive working conditions for plantation workers.

The play featured local actors and singers who depicted the immigration of the Sakada up to present day.

“It’s very important for Filipino people, those who are married to Filipino or have some kind of Filipino influence in their life to know the story,” Alvarez said. “They can also tell their children and hopefully, when we do these celebrations, it continues and it really gives character and identity to modern Filipinos in Hawaii.

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