The Palolo Community

Kathy Martin, one of the main characters in the film and a former resident of the Gill-Baza, is featured in the Pacific News from Mānoa. In January 2013, Kathy was hired as the resident services associate for Mutual Housing Association of Hawaiʻ i at Pālolo Homes. One of her favorite activities at the housing is the Pālolo Ohana Program. Known in the neighborhood as the “POP Session,” this is a time when the community comes together and “talks story” about issues facing the community, feelings of discrimination and stereotypes as well as desired activities.

Read more in the Center’s Newsletter, Pacific  News from Manoa.

5 Comments on “The Palolo Community

  1. I recently watched your film in one of my classes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I really thought it was a great educational source that the youth in Hawaii should see in public schools. There are so many assumptions and misconceptions that people in Hawaii have about these people. I thought that this film showed how great their hardships are in their everyday life yet they still manage to have hope for the future. I particularly liked the depiction of “promise sisters”. I though that this concept was so similar to the what Hawaiians know has “hanai”. Someone who is not blood related yet is treated as a member of our own family. I also thought that the struggles that we saw the people of gill baza facing are similar to the struggles the Micronesians in Hawaii face. They suffer from so much discrimination in Hawaii as well and it is caused by the same fears and lack of knowledge.

    • Lola and her extended family came to our class to preview Breadfruit and Open Spaces. Let me first begin by saying that I am all in with our Micronesian brothers and sisters. What I enjoyed the most was how Cathy and her father articulated their opinions of Lola. It was refreshing to experience the dynamic of a REAL FAMILY that clearly cares, sometimes argue (according to Cathy) and loves one another.
      The relationships that we nurture in this life are worth so much more, than money can buy. Priceless experience.
      Mahalo nui loa apau

  2. I just wanted to say that I had the privilege of watching the video that Lola made. It really enlightened my view of the Micronesian people as a whole, as well as give me insight to what struggles the people are facing in their daily lives. I was able to open my heart to the people and empathize with them. As a woman of Native Hawaiian ancestry, I too feel the domination of foreign governments and their inability to treat other peoples’ with the justice and freedom that the U.S. was supposedly built upon.

    I would like to thank Mrs. Bautista for giving a voice to the people of Micronesia because they are terribly misunderstood outside of their homeland.

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Lauren Au

  3. Today, we had the privilege of watching Lola’s documentary in our ethnic studies class at UH Manoa. Not only was it a heartfelt piece that showcased a personal and genuine empathy for FAS migrants living in Yigo (Guam), it drew incredibly relevant comparisons to the experiences and reception of COFA people living in Hawai’i.

    As previous comments have noted, perhaps the most poignant of these relations is the receiving community’s unawareness of the contribution that Micronesian people are making to their society. By capturing the joy and productivity in Yigo, Breadfruit and Open Spaces is successful in displaying such migrants positively and as fellow, hardworking and deserving citizens of Oceania, diluting the severely negative and racialized stereotypes that have come to overwhelm their popular conceptions.

    Lola’s work thus inspired in me, a vision of a common Pacific cause- embodied by the concept of Promised sisters and brothers- whereby the arbitrary colonial boundaries that determine the basis for so many racial discourses can be disbanded.

    Breadfruit and Open Spaces is an uplifting glimpse into a future whereby mutual respect, understanding and collaboration among Pacific Islanders are key to achieving each other’s, often elusive, yet inalienable rights for health and belonging.

    Thank you for the insight and for the beautiful imagery.


  4. Aloha and Yokwe!
    Cool…this video was interesting and unique. Professor Lola Bautista did a great job in becoming an advocate for the Micronesian community that she once saw as clients. Moreover, I liked how she was able to share in the video and on her talk with Kumu Ulla’s class how she had come to respect and revere her promised sister, mother, and father. Congratulations on this video and i hope you many more success in your workings with peoples of Oceania.

    It takes a great deal of courage to take a stand against forces that have a vested interest in something and will stop at nothing to get it. I felt this film was in part highlighting that kind of courage, the courage of a few Micronesian women such as Kathy Martin and Justina Hartmen. Of course, it was a breath of fresh air to see how they cared so much about their family. In this i saw how the Micronesian family was a nuclear unit that worked harmoniously together in their plots in the ranch.

    The video showed very real circumstances that Micronesians in Gill Baza faced, I was glad to see chamorros and other Guamanians championing for their success in these rough circumstances….Ultimately, this video and talk has made me a supporter of these peoples. It has also lifted any prejudices i may have had. Thanks so much professor lola and all the contributors of this video:) I hope to see more pacific islanders’ faces on video… telling our stories.
    Mahalo no!

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