Pacific Islands

What is Guyuria?

Posted on May 5, 2014 in Arts & Culture, Educational, Food, Pacific Islands | 0 comments

Guyuria — a hard cookie made in Guam — just like Alexa Davis remembers them! Alexa will give a mini cultural presentation on Guam at the next Partnership regular meeting, May 27th, 4:30 PM, at the Aurora Municipal Center.  Plan to join us!

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Bayanihan — Being a Hero For One Another

Posted on Nov 23, 2013 in Humanitarian Efforts, Pacific Islands | 0 comments

On behalf of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership, Co-Chairs Duane Wong and Andrea Amonick, and all the members of the Steering Committee, our hearts are grieved by the loss of life, family, friends, homes and businesses in the Philippines.  We commit our prayers and support to Filipinos around the world and the recovery efforts. Our Friends within the local Filipino community have been deeply affected by Typhoon Haiyan, yet, there is much comfort extended by the outpouring of support from the community – people such as yourselves.  Here are links to two upcoming events in December:  December 11th and December 15th — the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) and the Philippine-American Society of Colorado (PASCO).  Please mark your calendars and more information will be forthcoming.  PASCO was also featured in a recent Denver Post/YourHub Aurora article: “PASCO Looks to Aid Typhoon Haiyan Survivors” by Megan Mitchell, as well as several photos of PASCO’s Folk Arts Dance Repertoire rehearsal. Below is an eloquent pouring forth from the heart of one from the Visayas, Joan Cybil Yao, who “Needs to tell you” about the destruction in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan—and the generous support from all over the world: I Need To Tell You… Joan Cybil Yao November 13, 2013 at 5:17pm I need to tell you: The typhoon was worse than any of us could ever have imagined. The Philippines receives 20+ typhoons every year; floods, landslides and partly-blown off roofs are par for the course. Believe me when I say we have never before seen the likes of Yolanda / Haiyan. I need to tell you: Everyday, I read the news and reports from the field, thinking we’ve reached the bottom of suffering and despair, only to find new depths. Just when I think my heart can’t break any further from the stories of loss and tragedy, something new turns up to break it all over again. I need to tell you about the bodies decomposing on tree branches, under piles of rubble from collapsed houses, in churches, on the sides of roads, wrapped in blankets or straw mats. I need to tell you that the news cameras cannot show their faces – features frozen in fear as they died. I need to tell you about the storm surge – the 6-meter wall of water that rose out of the sea, rushed several kilometers inland and crashed over every building and house by the coastline. You need to understand that our nation is made up of 7,107 islands; nearly everything is by the coastline. I need to tell you how the storm surge swept in and out four times during the typhoon. Imagine the tremendous force of the sea, surging forward, crushing walls and foundations – and then that same force, sucking everything back in with it. I need to tell you how children were pulled from their mothers’ arms; how people clung desperately to rooftops or tree branches as friends and neighbors sped by, drowning or screaming for help; how today, bodies are still washing up on shore. I need to tell you about the woman who had to bury 9 of her family members after the typhoon; about the man who lost 30 of his family members to the storm; about the husband and wife who lost their three daughters, and have only located the bodies of 2. I need to tell you about the man who told his wife to stay in their house because it would be safer there. He found her body after the waters had subsided, embracing their dead son with one hand and...

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“Pu’uhonua O Honaunau”

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 in Arts & Culture, Pacific Islands | 0 comments

Artist Dawn Gilbert’s Oil Painting, “Pu’uhonua O Honaunau”, is part of the Kaleidoscope Exhibition July 8 – July 31, 2013 | Arapahoe Community College | Littleton, CO Aloha e kakou,     The Colorado Gallery Of The Arts is again presenting its annual juried show, ‘Kaleidoscope’, located on the Arapahoe Community College campus, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive, in Littleton, Colorado.  A community exhibit for emerging artists, ‘Kaleidoscope’ offers the public the opportunity to see the recent work done by some of the most talented painters, photographers, and sculptors in the greater Denver metropolitan area.  Submissions were carefully scrutinized by the selection jury, and upon acceptance, were handed over to the exhibit’s curators for hanging and display.  The piece receiving the title of Best Of Show will be given the opportunity of having a solo showing of their artwork.     One painting that was accepted for exhibition was “Pu’uhonua O Honaunau”, by Dawan Gilbert.  A 2011 graduate of Metropolitan State University Of Denver with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Dawn’s submission for ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a 36″ X 48″ oil on canvas landscape depicting the area along the shore of the ‘City of Refuge’ located in South Kona of the Big Island of Hawai’i.  In traditional Hawaiian times (prior to 1820), this was a wahi pana, a sacred place, where religion and politics were intermingled with a reverence for the Ali’i Nui, the High Chiefs, who were looked upon as the intermediaries between the cosmic forces of Nature and the common man.  Dawn’s combination of landscape and seascape looks across Kapuwai (“Taboo Water”) Cove from the pahoehoe lava rock bench towards the Hale O Keawe (“House of Keawe”), a mausoleum for the Kings of Hawai’i Island and their close family retainers.  While though today, the Hale O Keawe is empty of its royal remains, it nonetheless retains the mana, the supernatural, divine power, that  has been a part of this area for hundreds of years.     A recurring theme in her art, Dawn Gilbert has a special place in her heart for this sacred place, and it shows in the details of her work.  Like the kolea, or golden plover, she is a frequent visitor to Hawai’i, and they both can be seen clambering over the ropy lava flow, overlooking the tidepools, seeking whatever they can find among the rocky outcrops.  Algae clings to the stones along the ocean’s edge, as crabs and small fish forage for scraps of food in the placid waters.  Offshore, a swell is running, with waves rising out of the deep, their tops caught by the offshore breeze, cresting, and finally breaking onto the rough, lava rock shore.  Nestled by the surrounding grove of ancient coconut trees and the walls of the sanctuary, the simple looking hale pili, or grass house, stands as a lonely sentinel overlooking the brooding ocean, closely attended by a phalanx of ki’i, carved wooden representatives of the Akua that the Hawaiians of old prayed to for their benevolent protection.     Although Dawn prefers to portray her subject matter in a representative, realistic way, she is somehow able to transform these things that are solid into a surreal amalgam of strange shapes and forms, where the observer’s psyche comes into play by conjuring up visions of faces, animals and objects in a manner reminiscent of a Rorshach Test.  Stepping away from the canvas allows the brush strokes to blend and to meld, until the flat surface transforms itself into a window, looking out onto the sacred grounds of the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, in an almost 3-D effect.     For those...

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