by Felino Tubera
With my apologies to the dictionary authors, and to the Hawaiian people, I am using the word kama`aina to mean something more: by implication, extension and application, to an entity, not a person, by which in my view, is native-born, familiar, local, acquainted and more.
For some 29 years now, or so, we have become aware of the pervasive presence of a land-like child, growing up in our midst. Now it is of age, and big enough to be considered an old-timer hereabouts.
To the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, I assign this sense of the meaning of kama`aina/old-timer as a name tag of endearment.
At 30, yes it is relatively young, still growing, but old enough that we are familiar with and acquainted with. Status granted: it’s here to stay.
The event was coming and it’s here. The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle is marking its 30th year. Its feet are already on the wrung-ladder of the 30s. Not by any stretch should this event be written off as a common day happenstance. It is an ordinary coming-to with an extraordinariness. Age-wise.
Hey, man, some 29 years ago, what were you? An infant. Now you’re 30. What issues and values are we talking about? How well were you growing up all these years? Tell us.
Sensible curiously honest people want and need to know. Which were you with the changing times? Getting lost south or finding your way north? Did you open new doors? Put up sky windows? Did floor makeovers? Hang windchimes and blew whistles?
You did some facelifting changes, you say? Oh, yes! Some healthy good ones. Good. But that was a long time ago. No? You made it a point to come out to the open as frequently and as freely as nobody like you would ever have done.
We noticed you were careful in dotting your i’s delivering all the information we needed to know. You were diligent and very consistent in crossing your t’s, and publishing the truth.
Your impeccable taste in displaying and sharing techno-art and techno-savvy is beyond reproach. You stylishly avoided splitting infinitives to prevent and avoid divisive or unnecessary rifts of any kind. You were wise not to use dangling modifiers, presenting news accounts in a simple straightforward way. You used appropriate punctuation marks in the right places for brevity and clarity.
You took a stand and stood your ground. Editorial integrity, your mantra shines on every page. And when and where necessary, you made discreet use of italics or boldface for emphasis. A work-ethic standard. Bless you. Welcome: You have enough legroom for growth even in this environment of overcrowding and information overload.
You’re flying safely high in cyberspace. You’re accessible online with paperless hospitality. Yet, you’re bone and muscles down to earth, reaching deep into inkwells of cursive and uppercase nuances and appearances: interesting elemental vignettes of human behavior and consciousness.
Headlines that provoke deep thought. Features that leave lasting impressions. Travelogues to exotic places. Cuisine from out-of-the-way food venues. Immigration. Deportation. The Spratley Islands. OFWs. Outstanding and standout Filipino personalities.
You dig in and bring out information, the news realities we’re interested in. Things some people ignore or take for granted. You deliver. It’s good to know. Thank you.
Need we ask: what more and what else can you do? How much more and how else can you be? Besides behaving and acting your age, perhaps, you can spread your wings like an eagle, with keen and watchful eyes over panoramic views and hidden nooks where interesting things can and may happen far deep and wide. The range of possibilities, if not the field of opportunities.
Enough? Think again. How do we measure growth? Age alone is not a reliable yardstick. Numbers tell how deep you can dive, how high you can fly, and how far you can reach. But numbers mean nothing if they leave a footnote of relevance to life.
Impact. It’s how you share your knowledge and experience that gives significance to your mission, and your enterprise. It’s how you bridge the years of your past-present-future work span. Your purpose and direction validate the impact of your existence on relationships that matter.
Last question: do you have the will and energy to sustain your enterprise? Yes with your high points of fervor and integrity, we can exclaim: “Of course, of course.”
Of course, what? Of course, it feels good to be energized and growing well, despite limited resources. The inclination, the desire, the drive to succeed: with these, you have a lot full.
Insight and vision gave you the courage to start. Now you are a tangible presence. A forceful voice. Power, you say? Wait a minute. What’s this? Knowledge is power. We know that. But the power we have in mind is something else. Word power? Mind power?
Power is what we – the readers, the supporters, the advertisers, the critics, the community – generate that gives the raw element of sustenance.
It comes in variant forms of different colors, shapes and sizes. Sometimes it appears in catchphrases like “Happy Anniversary! Congratulations and best wishes! Good job! Well done! More power to you!”
Sometimes power is the dough rolling in without a push yourself for gain. Where do you get the power to do that? The community, the people you serve. Under the lights and behind the scenes, it’s the kind of power that nurtures and strengthens your sense of pride, responsibility and commitment to the task at hand. Your enterprise, our enterprise.
Again, of course, you are on course. With the potential and the leverage for sustained growth. That is reason enough to celebrate.
Kama`aina, native-born: The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. Happy 30th Anniversary! Mabuhay! Mahalo! Maraming salamat! More years, more power, more anniversaries!
by Felino Tubera