Filipino-Ran Farm Honored By Manoa Heritage Center

In honor of Filipino American History Month last October, the Manoa Heritage Center honored Elpidio and Nobuku Acopan of Acopan Farm, a Filipino-ran farm in Manoa Valley, on Nov. 13.

The event honored the history of Filipino in Hawaii and the Acopan family’s history of farming in Manoa Valley. Guests also enjoyed parol-making and working at the center’s Acopan farm during the event.

Elpidio Acopan was one of the Filipino farmers who immigrated from the Philippines to work on Manoa Valley’s sugar and pineapple plantations. He farmed the land in Manoa for 63 years, caring for ti plants, bananas, Chinese taro, gardenias, heliconia and other tropical plants.

In 1930, Elpidio became the first and only independent Filipino farmer in the valley when he bought the leases of 27.1 acres from a landowner. He then married Nobuku, a daughter of a neighboring farmer. They raised eight children together.

However, in 1977, the Acopans faced eviction from the new landowner who wanted to develop the land. With the help of Manoa residents, neighborhood board and legislative representatives, they rallied and prevented the eviction which supported the Acopans to continue farming until 1993.

There are now four generations of the Acopan family living on the mainland and Hawaii.

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