A Really Cool Service Project

Recently, I participated in a really cool service project on the Arizona Memorial.

The Arizona Memorial is one of the most visited “attractions” in Hawaii: more than a million people visit it each year. It is maintained by the National Park Service and is open every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s day.

There is a memorial ceremony held each year on the Arizona Memorial on December 7th, and each year, the National Park Service must get the Memorial spiffed up in time for the ceremony. This means repainting, polishing, and cleaning the Memorial.

It’s tricky because with the number of people visiting everyday, if they do things too early, there’s a chance walls and floors will get scuffed up again and they’ll have to redo their work. And they can’t do things too close to December 7th, because the weather can be rainy and unreliable. To make matters worse, with federal budget cuts, there aren’t enough funds to pay for extra workers needed to do the job.

Enter the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce. Two of its members, Wayne Kato and Jerry Boster, spearheaded an effort to have HJCC members assist with painting the Memorial. Paint and supplies were donated, and over two afternoons (after the Memorial  closed for the day) volunteers from HJCC helped put a fresh coat of paint on the Arizona Memorial, just in time for Veteran’s Day and December 7th services.

Thank you, Wayne and Jerry, for coordinating a really worthy and cool service project!

HJCC at Arizona Memorial


Relief for the Philippines

Many people think of KIKU as “the Japanese station”. We are proud of that image because it reflects our lifetime dedication of bringing Japanese programming to Hawaii.

But we are also proud to be a Filipino station. In case you didn’t know, we broadcast news from the Philippines twice a day every Monday through Friday. We also air America’s first and only daily talk show for and about Filipinos — Kababayan Today — at 3:30pm Monday through Friday. And we have a great line-up of Filipino news and dramas on Sunday afternoons.

So the recent typhoon in The Philippines hit especially close to home because it affects so many of our viewers and friends.

Hawaii has always shown its generosity to victims of disasters around the world, and the people of the Philippines need our support now. If you can, please donate to the relief efforts in The Philippines. Every little bit helps. These are just a few of the many organizations that are accepting donations.

Gawad Kalinga


American Red Cross

World Food Programme

Save the Children

Catholic Relief Services

Caritas Manila

Thank you. Mahalo. Arigatou gozaimasu. Salamat po.

Tribute to our veterans

Tonight, in honor of Veteran’s Day, we are pre-empting regular programming to bring you two special tributes to our veterans:

Daniel Inouye: Journey to Washington airs from 7-8pm and MIS (Military Intelligence Service) airs from 8-10pm.

These special tributes to our veterans are brought to you through the generous support of our sponsors: Nitto Tire, Central Pacific Bank, Hawaiian Electric Company, and Tony Auto Group Association.


What Do You Want To See?

When I was in Tokyo, I attended Tiffcom, which is a showcase for content, such as film, television programs, anime, and music. I met with many different stations and production companies, all interested in having their shows air in Hawaii on KIKU. There are not just a wide variety of titles to choose from, there are also a wide variety of genres to choose from: dramas, documentaries, news, anime, and even old legacy programs like Lone Wolf With a Child.

As a child, I remember going to the theatre to see movies like Lone Wolf With a Child and Zatoichi. How nostalgic would it be to bring back old programs like these? Which got me wondering, am I the only one who feels this way? Would other people like to see old legacy programs too?

So I’m asking for your feedback. What do you want to see? Do you want us to continue to focus on modern dramas like Doctor X and our Wednesday Mystery Theatre? Do you like the variety shows, like Cocorico, Dotchi, and Japan’s Local Secrets? Are you a fan of the taiga drama? Are you interested in seeing some of the old programs, like Lone Wolf With a Child?

Your input would help us as we plan our 2014 so I look forward to hearing from you.

Ja, ne!




What happens in Tokyo…

…doesn’t stay in Tokyo.

Instead, I want to share with you some of the things I experiencedin Tokyo last week.

First of all, two typhoons and one earthquake. Luckily, these three events were relatively minor compared to other disasters Japan has experienced. There was some rain from the typhoons a couple of days, and there was a lot of shaking in the hotel room from the earthquake, but other than that, things were normal.

Second, the food was awesome! From sashimi to tonkatsu to homemade chikuwa to anmitsu to ramen and much, more more, everything was incredibly fresh and delicious.  

The first night, I was taken to an izakaya restaurant in Shinjuku which specializes in fresh fish. The waiter brings a tray of fresh fish to the table. You select which one you want and how you want it prepared and voila!

Fresh fish in Shinjuku

Here’s the tray of fresh fish we could select from.

Fresh fish after being cooked

And here’s the cooked fish, with daikon on the side.

The next day, it was Japanese breakfast at the hotel buffet.

Japanese breakfast

Rice, kinpira, hijiki, salmon, tsukemono, and curry!

Although it may seem like I was only focused on food, I really did work, too, with back-to-back meetings from morning until late night every day. But in between and after meetings, there were incredible meals to enjoy.

Take a look at this fabulous tray of sashimi we had at an izakaya in the Shinbashi area. All this for $20!!!

Shinbashi Izakaya

When I learned how much this cost, I said let’s get one per person!

And who wouldn’t appreciate the beautiful presentation of this kaiseki course?

Kaiseki dinner course

One of eight courses from a kaiseki dinner.


Also, this incredible main course from a French restaurant in Roppongi.

French restaurant in Roppongi

Restaurant J in the Roppongi area.

Sharing a meal is a great way to overcome communication gaps and move a relationship from casual business acquaintances to personal friends.  

Next post, I’ll tell you about the programs we are looking at and feedback we need from you.

Ja, ne!

Tokyo Bound

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of Tiffcom, which is a multi-content festival held in Tokyo. Tiffcom marries the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) with a trade show of programming content providers. (Content refers to products such as film, dramas, anime, documentaries, and music, which are available for licensing on various media.)

Although we conduct most of our business with Japan content providers via email and phone throughout the year, Tiffcom provides an excellent opportunity to see everyone in one place over a short period of time. It’s also a great place to meet new people and seek out new content and content providers. And, of course, nothing takes the place of meeting people face-to-face, reconnecting with business partners, and building relationships in person.

I am headed to Tokyo for Tiffcom and looking forward to connecting with old and new friends.

Ja, ne!

New Friends

What a great week we had last week! Jannelle So was in Hawaii to formally launch Kababayan Today on KIKU. There was a press conference and reception at the Philippine Consulate General on Thursday, October 3rd, attended by Filipino politicians, community leaders, and business leaders. Thank you, Consul General Torres, for opening the doors of the Consulate General to Kababayan Today and KIKU!

There was time for food and fellowship after the event, and it gave us a chance to make a lot of new friends in the Filipino community. To name just a few (besides Consul General Torres), Vice Consul Joy Santos, Jeffrey De Mesa, “Uncle” Joe Lazo, Brandon Dela Cruz, Allan Alvarez, Conrad Valdriz, Annabel Cabebe, Carlotta Ader, Rudy Ibay, and Lilia Santiago.

Thank you, Annabel and Carlotta, for the delicious lechon you donated. It was the highlight of the dinner!

Over the weekend, Jannelle met many more leaders in the Filipino community, and her interviews will be seen over the next few weeks on Kababayan Today, which airs each Monday through Friday on KIKU-TV, from 3:30-4pm.

I cannot end this post without mentioning People’s Cafe. I’ve always known People’s Cafe for their Hawaiian food, but did you know they also have great Filipino food? Thank you, Conrad Valdriz, for the delicious lunch!

Please keep watching Kababayan Today for more of Jannelle’s Hawaii segments, many of which were taped at the Filcom Center in Waipahu. Rose Churma’s vision of a place where the people and culture of the Philippines can be celebrated is alive at the Filcom Center.

Salamat po.

Sayonara, Fat Detective! Hello Samurai Drama!

I’m sad The Fat Detective is ending. The last episode airs this Sunday, October 6th at 9pm. I will miss this drama about loveable and competent Detective Hanazawa, who proves week after week that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I’ll also miss seeing the delicious foods he devours each week.

But there is a new drama to look forward to. Starting the following Sunday, October 13th, we will be airing a samurai drama titled The Inner Chamber. It’s a role reversal drama set in the Edo period. I say role reversal because in this drama, a woman becomes Shogun, and is served by 3,000 handsome male attendants. It’s a drama filled with love, intrigue, and jealousies. Don’t miss it!

Ja, ne!

A Lot Happening in the Filipino Community!

We hope to see you at the Philippine Consulate this Thursday night! The Philippine Consulate General of Honolulu has invited the Filipino-American community in Hawaii to a reception celebrating the launch of KABABAYAN TODAY on KIKU-TV on 3 October 2013 (Thursday) at 6:00 pm. Jannelle So, the host of KABABAYAN TODAY, will be at the event.

For inquiries and to confirm your attendance, please get in touch with Mr. Jeffrey de Mesa at jeffovp@gmail.com or at 808-595-6316 to 19.

And, a free immigration forum will be held at the Filcom Center on Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 12N-1pm. The forum will be put on by the law firm of Aquino and Loew, a firm specializing in immigration law. Following the forum, the firm is offering free private consultations from 1-4pm. Appointments for the free consultations are recommended and can be made at (888) 797-1140, ext. 2 or at info@aquinoloew.com.

We hope to see you at both events!