University of Hawaii system takes steps to improve Philippine studies program

HILO, HI — Sulong sulong: this was the theme of the thirty-first annual Pamantasan Conference on the Big Island.
It’s a Filipino term that means to move forward — and in this case it was about education.
“We wanted to make sure that the University of Hawaii, our policymakers and community know that it’s a top priority for the Filipino community,” said Amy Agbayani.
31 years ago, a group of University of Hawaii educators decided that there were issues that needed to be addressed by the university and the community. They noticed the underrepresentation of Filipinos at the colleges and the lack of curriculum content relating to Filipinos.

According to a 2017 Pamantasan report, about 34 percent of UH students are Filipino.

And the university offers classes such as Filipinos in Hawaii, Philippine culture and identity, Rizal’s literary works and the Philippine language family.

Student achievers like Bryan Andaya were presented with the Tagumpay Award at the conference.
“It gives you an insight into your heritage or your history and to who you are, and, and it really gives you insight onto your family and, and your entire community.”
“Learn more about the Filipino culture that we didn’t know before, so that we will keep our legacy as Filipinos.”
Over the summer, a bill was passed in Hawaii providing the Pamantasan council with opportunities and funding to expand the Philippine studies curriculum by adding more courses and offering online classes.
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