We’re Thankful for Progress in Containing Covid; And for Reaching Our 28th Anniversary

Thanksgiving is in a few days and this year we’re grateful the pandemic is far more contained and less deadly than it was last year.

We are thankful the upheaval caused by the pandemic is finally settling to where our communities are moving closer to normalcy month-to-month, week-to-week. We just need to keep encouraging our non-vaccinated population to get vaccinated. With winter approaching and the possibility of another COVID-19 surge, we already know the drill — to practice common sense safety precautions as recommended by health experts.

There are many people and organizations to thank for getting us from the crisis and uncertainty of last year’s Thanksgiving – remember many families even cancelled their annual get-togethers – to the dawn of this one.

The list is far longer than the obvious ones here. Thank you to the scientists and drug companies for creating the vaccine, the U.S. government for leading distribution efforts and providing the vaccines for free. Thank you to our doctors, clinic staff, retail pharmacists and clerks for helping to administer the vaccines. And of course, we have each other to thank, the millions among us who trusted the science, felt obligated to do the right thing for our community’s safety by getting vaccinated.

As of Nov. 11, 2021, the State of Hawaii Department of Health data shows 72.1% (1,025,055 completed doses) of the state’s population is fully vaccinated (75% for Honolulu). Recently, cleared for vaccination are all persons age 5 and older.  Nationally, as of Nov. 10, 58.5% (194,382,921) of Americans had been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s data.

Let’s keep the momentum going, keep optimism high.

HFC Anniversary, Giving Thanks

With our anniversary so close to Thanksgiving, it’s always a perfect time for us to express our gratitude to all our advertisers, readers, Hawaii’s Filipino community, our contributing writers for all your support. We would also like to recognize our many working partners who’ve helped to keep our community informed with a steady stream of press releases and being available for follow-up interviews –  our federal, state and city government officials and departments, the University of Hawaii and other institutions of higher learning, our medical community, professional, business, civic groups and non-profits, and Filipino and Asian associations on the mainland and Philippines.

This November our newspaper is celebrating our 28th Anniversary and we’re pleased to hear from members in our community who say we’ve been a reliable source of information for them particularly this year and last year. News in the public sphere for 2021 (as in 2020) orbited around all-things related to the pandemic. We’ve reported on unprecedented challenges to our health and financial well-being, valuable resources to tap made available through government’s pandemic relief, steps our private and public sectors are making during this recovery and revitalization period.

And as usual, as an ethnic newspaper, we’ve been focused on what people in our community are doing, thinking, and feeling on the broad issues, and others more specific to Filipinos locally and globally.  We’ve provided news on community events, presented features on Filipino movers-and-shakers, and promoted our ancestral culture and history.

As the digital platform is increasingly becoming the standard means for accessing news, one highlight this year was to revamp and improve our website and social media accounts. We’ve been encouraging our readers to visit our website and pleased to report traffic flow is steadily on the rise.

Unique for a newspaper of our size, we’ve also continued to provide tough but fair editorials to make sense of the issues we report on from addressing ways to deal with Hawaii’s physician shortage to demanding Congress pass the For the People Act, a first uniformed prescription on voting.

Through the decades, our editorials have become a de facto voice of our local community particularly when it comes to politics and policy. Our editorials aim 1) to advocate on behalf of our Filipino community, and 2) to give due recognition to deserving Filipino individuals and organizations who often would get overlooked by mainstream media.

Like in other years, 2021 has been financially challenging for the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. Our publishers – Dr. Charlie Sonido and Chona Montesines-Sonido (also our managing editor) say the Chronicle is a “labor of love for our Filipino community.” Year after year our publishers’ commitment to shore up the finances to continue our operation is a shining example of noblesse oblige and truly admirable.

Montesines-Sonido admits the Chronicle should have been closed several years ago. “As a business model, the print media, especially the ethnic media, has seen its better days,” she explained, noting that over 2,000 newspapers have either closed or merged in the recent years that left 1,300 communities without access to local news coverage.

“The internet changed the way people communicate and receive information. The traditional model of newspaper publishing would not stand a chance in today’s generation.

“I thank God we still exist today because we have the Filipino community behind us. I am grateful to all our advertisers, friends and supporters who have helped us in this journey in advocating for the Filipino community. But most of all, I am most grateful to my staff, our contributing writers, columnists and volunteers who have committed their time and service to empower Filipinos through the Chronicle,” said Montesines-Sonido. “As we are nearing our 30th anniversary, we continue to pray that the paper will be stronger than ever.”

Happy Thanksgiving
We all have a lot to be thankful for. On Thanksgiving day, let’s go beyond thinking about why we are fortunate, but to tell our loved ones and those who’ve helped us throughout the year how much they are appreciated.

Happy Thanksgiving to All! May our good Lord bless you and your family. Stay safe and enjoy the great company and food.

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