by Cesar Fronda
In my winning essay (a contest sponsored by the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle for its 25th anniversary) I asked the question: Will the Filipino Chronicle be able to continue for another quarter century?
If quality of work is an indicator of future longevity, I’d say the Filipino Chronicle’s future looks promising. Five years after posing this question, the Chronicle hasn’t slowed down any, exceeding expectations I had with their high-quality work.
Clearly there is no scientific way to measure the positive (or for that matter negative) impact a publication might have on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, except by way of testimonials. So I’d like to offer one. Many in our Filipino community looked to the Chronicle during those difficult times for valuable information and inspiration.
As someone in our Filipino community, and as someone who was among your many readers who turned to the Chronicle for information and guidance during the most critical period of COVID-19, I would like to express how grateful I am and offer my deepest and sincerest appreciation for the paper’s work on COVID-19 related matters.
Thirty years of public service to our community is a long time. I believe the HFC has been influential in helping our community be more unified and empowered.
I look to HFC as an institution of sorts. You have been collaborating with public and private entities for years. Your paper has enhanced the lives (I can speak to this personally during COVID-19) of many in our Filipino community. But it’s likely also to others (non-Filipinos) in the state who at one time or another might have read something in your paper and connected to it in some way that was inspirational. After all, the HFC has been around for three decades.
The Filipino Chronicle has indeed made its mark in modern Hawaii history for their positive impact on our Filipino community on the islands.
HFC’s staff have reported on a myriad of other pressing issues (besides COVID-19 mentioned above) from politics, human rights, discrimination, to child abuse, labor rights and immigration, to name only a few.
And it’s not just HFC-staff writing for your newspaper. I’ve read interesting and informative articles contributed to your paper from respected leaders and politicians, educators, social scientists and advocates and experts on various fields.
Just recently, many in our community appreciated your paper’s midterm elections coverage that included valuable voting information, insightful perspectives on many of the issues. I liked the advocacy role your editorial board took on these important issues.
Many in our community who’ve emigrated from the Philippines and were turned off by our negative experiences that we had in Philippines election, were not inspired to vote in U.S. elections even after we became U.S. citizens in our new country.
But I believe HFC has helped to build confidence in U.S. elections and got many of us to start voting here. Your repeated encouragement for us to empower ourselves by voting is convincing.
I appreciate the paper’s role in promoting and preserving Filipino culture to as far back to our pre-Hispanic, indigenous history. Your Philippines’ coverage goes a long way to help bridge FilAms to their ancestral homeland.
In light of your anniversary being so close to Thanksgiving, I would like to say thanks to the entire team at the HFC — the owners, management, editors, writers, columnists.
I predict HFC will be around for many years continuing to do great work.
by Cesar Fronda