Hawaii’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce marks 68th year as US’ oldest, largest

Hawaii’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce
The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii celebrated its 68th anniversary in August. Photo credits: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and Hawaii News Now

Hawaii’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 68th year of serving the business community as the largest and oldest chamber in the United States.

The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH) is responsible for supporting hundreds of Filipino entrepreneurs across the state where Filipinos comprise the third largest ethnic group in Hawaii.

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FCCH marked its founding anniversary in Waikiki on August 20, 2022, with a banquet attended by Governor David Ige who thanked the Filipino business community for the support of Hawaii’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its establishment in 1954, the Filipino chamber has been providing leadership to the Filipino business community. FCCH’s regular networking meetings, workshops, and outreach trade missions allowed for the continuing perpetuation of the rich Filipino heritage in the Hawaiian islands.

Some of the noteworthy community endeavors that FCCH has helped establish are The Filipino Community Center (FilComCenter), the “A Taste of Kalihi” Festival, and Filipino Entrepreneur of the Year.

Tracing the roots of the Filipino community in Hawaii since 1906, current Filipino Chamber president Rocky Anguay told Hawaii News Now: “And we need to continue to help the new generation grow their businesses so that we can continue the legacy from our forefathers that came here from the Philippines.”

These forefathers were a group of Filipino businessmen who met in 1947 with the desire to unite the then-fledgling Filipino business community.

In its 68 years of leadership, the milestone timeline of FCCH includes the following notable achievements:

  1. The Filipino Entrepreneur of the Year award, launched in 1989
  2. The 1st incoming trade mission from the Philippines with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, held in 1993
  3. The launch of “A Taste of Kalihi” Festival in 2007
  4. Created the Hawaii-Philippines Business Economic Council (HPBEC) to strengthen links between Hawaii and the Philippines in 2009
  5. The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Foundation Scholarship Program 2022

During the pandemic, the FCCH hosted various virtual events and conferences to equip Filipino businessmen on how to protect both their businesses and employees.

When Typhoon Ulysses ravaged in 2020, a Collection of PPEs was organized to provide Kababayan first responders.

Filipinos in Hawaii continuously thrive and bring pride to the Philippines as the immigrant community celebrates its heritage.

Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch, a former president of the Chamber, is the Filipina-born nurse who is the first immigrant to have the University of Hawaii At Manoa School of Nursing renamed in her honor.

The Honolulu Theatre for Youth celebrated the many rich Filipino cultural traditions through a stage play.

Among the members of the Filipino community in Hawaii are the families of 11 World War 2 veterans who recently received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, one of America’s highest honors. The award remembers the sacrifice of more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers who fought side by side with American soldiers in the war from 1941 to 1946.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Hawaii’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce for marking its 68th year as the United States’ oldest and largest!

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Martina is an explorer, a film buff, and an avid pageant fan. She is majoring in Communication to one day work in journalism or a production house to tell stories about life, society, and scenic places. She is also an environmental conservation advocate and firmly believes in humankind’s role as the planet’s caretakers.