Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Filipino-American Heritage Festival, Oct. 21

October 20, 2017, 2:47 PM HST
* Updated October 20, 2:49 PM
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The 2017 Maui Filipino-American Heritage Festival will take place Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center.

This year’s Festival will feature food, entertainment, flight giveaways, a master chef cook off and eating contest. Photo Courtesy

This year’s Festival will feature food, entertainment, flight giveaways, a master chef cook off and eating contest.

The Master P-Noy Chef® Cook Off will feature Chef Gemsley Balagso of Nanea Westin Hotel returning to defend his title against challengers Chef Jonathan Pasion of Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Chef Jason Carpio of Wailea Beach Resort-Marriott. Guest hosting this year will be Chef Jojo Vasquez of The Plantation House.

The theme of this year’s Cook Off is “Street Food” and chefs will compete in a culinary competition and be judged on execution of the final product, taste and most unique interpretation of the Filipino culinary heritage.

On site, there will be a common pantry that will include a variety of traditional protein used in Filipino dishes (for example fish, poultry, beef, pork, or goat) a variety of dried herbs, noodles, an array of fresh vegetables (for example marrungay, sweet potato leaves, okra, and paria) and a Mystery Basket of ingredients. Each Chef will be allowed to bring one assistant from their own staff and will also be assisted by a student from the UH Maui College. The winner will be awarded a special prize from Kaanapali Beach Hotel.


“The Festival is one of the events that our students look forward to,” said Jake Belmonte who is a Chef Instructor at UH Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy. “It’s a win-win situation for the Chefs, the Academy, and the Festival.”


In the Speedy Balut Eating Contest, participants will complete eating one balut with the first four finalists moving to the final round where they will be required to eat two baluts. The winner will win a $500 cash prize. Part of the preliminary demonstrations of how to eat a balut, Councilman Alika Atay has accepted a challenge from Councilman Don Guzman for a special competition.

The Polvoron Challenge will combine one’s ability to eat polvoron and whistle. The first four to complete eating one Polvoron while “tweeting” will proceed to the final round, where they will be required to eat two Polvoron and tweet. The first one to Eat and Tweet will win a $500 cash prize.

Any Kine Adobo® Contest is a call to all would-be chefs. Dominic Suguitan and Jorge Tirona, who claim to be master adobo eaters are coordinating the event. Participants will be required to make any kind of adobo including, but not limited to, bamboo shoots, chicken, goat, okra, pork, or squid. Participants have the chance to win a $500 cash prize.


Pabitin at the Fest will be one of the children’s activities at the festival. The Pabitin, which also originated from Spain, is a popular game at fiestas and birthday parties. A lattice of bamboo sticks, called a balag, is suspended and lowered and raised quickly. The balag contains bags filled with toys, snacks, coins, and other items. The Pabitin will be held at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.

The Pinoy Artist Contest will be coordinated by rising young artist Matthew Agcolicol. The theme of “Home Sweet Home” was selected in recognition of the Bahay Kubo at Kepaniwai Park. There will be two categories: two-dimensional art (no larger than 24 inches by 18 inches, matting excluded) and three-dimensional art (no larger than 24 inches on all sides). The age categories are: Grades K-5; Grades 6-8; Grades 9-12; and adult. The first place in theme will be awarded $250 in cash while second place in theme will be awarded $150 in cash and third place in theme will be awarded $75 in cash.

Oh Wow! Parol Making Contest will feature participants trying to create a Christmas parol on-site. The first fifty youth will be provided a free parol making kit. Basic materials of glue, crepe paper, and cellophane will be provided and participants may bring their own special materials. The criteria for judging will be originality, workmanship, creativity, and “The Oh Wow!” factor. All parols will be displayed through December at Vidad’s. The first-place winner will receive $250 in cash while second-place will receive $150 in cash and third-place will receive $75 in cash.

Festival attendees can also register for the Philippine Airlines giveaway for the chance to win roundtrip tickets from Honolulu to Manila. Interested persons can register for the Philippine Airlines

Filipino Food

The festival will feature lots of Filipino food from Filipino restaurants across Maui including bbq, pancit, adobo, pinakbet, dinardaraan, pork and peas, chicharon, fried rice omelet, lumpia, halo halo, cascaron, bibingka, puto, sweet rice, and more.

“The Foundation believes it’s important to feature Maui’s Filipino restaurants selling their most popular dishes. Our Filipino restaurants need continued exposure and the Festival will help to expand their markets” said Lydia Dela Cruz, Food Vendors coordinator.

Participating restaurants include Central Mini Mart Fast Food and Catering, Lea’s Halo Halo Sweets & Treats, RM Mini Mart and Fast Food & Catering Services, CAA Market Place, Vidad’s Local Kine Grindz, Paradise Supermart, and Randy’s Catering & Fast Foods.

This year’s festival requires scripts only (vendors will not accept cash). Payment for scripts will be via cash and credit cards; no checks will be accepted.

Back-to-Back Cultural Entertainment

“Our entertainment will showcase Maui’s Filipino talents that will include songs and dances of the Philippines,” said Madelyne Pascua, Program coordinator. “Come early and find a seat because you won’t want to give up your space!” Entertainers will include Amancio Sarmiento, La Galeria: Compania Baile Filipino, Dance International Production, and Angelina Abapo. The opening act will be Sinulog coordinated by the Sto. Nino Organization. Hosting this year’s Festival will be Wayne Aguiran of Epic Entertainment Hawaii.

October is celebrated as Filipino-American History Month throughout the country but Hawaiʻi was the first state to formally recognize October as Filipino-American History Month, with the Hawaiʻi Legislature passing Act 15 (2008). Act 15 designated the month of October as “Filipino-American History Month” to “commemorate the contributions of Filipino-Americans to the history and heritage of Hawaii and the United States.”

Pre-registration for the various contests may be made by email to [email protected] or via fax to 888.411.0834. Telephone inquiries to 808-242-8100.

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