PIR Puts On a Show


Photo by Miguel Dandan

[Editor’s note: This story has been corrected.]

Madison Choi, who graduated in May, was hosting two visitors last week from Virginia, where she spent two months doing research as part of a diversity program. And she wanted to show those newcomers the Hawaiian and Pacific Island cultures.

So she made sure to come back to Chaminade for Friday’s Pacific Island Review.

“It’s just exciting being back somewhere I spent four years of my life,” Choi said.

Although Friday was met with overcast and ubiquitous Hawaii rain that drizzled off and on, the performers, alumni, friends, family, and students came out to support the three clubs that performed.

Kicking off the night was an opening prayer before guests partook in local Hawaii food. The prayer was lead by Brother Edward Brink. Poke beets, kalbi steak, rice and ube filled the plates of those that attended. After everyone ate, there was a moment of silence for the victims of Super Typhoon Yutu, which devastated many local residents of Saipan and Tinian on the morning of Oct. 25.

At PIR, with the rain still coming down after the meal and moment of silence friends, families, and students filled the top balcony of the Sullivan Family Library. Chairs were lined up under palm trees while others found a spot on the rocks below. Many anticipating a great show, despite the rain, wanted the best seats in the house.  

“I love experiencing different cultures in a cool and diverse setting,” said 19-year-old sophomore Sofia Vela, who was celebrating PIR for the second year in a row. “It feels great to see so much pride and awesome to be around people that can serve their culture well.”

The first club to perform was the Hawaiian Club, then the Micronesian Club and lastly, the Samoan club. Each club stuck out the unpredictable rain of the night.

Pisila Tukia, the student activities coordinator with the Office of Student Activities and Leadership, performed with the Samoan club to end the evening. She is a graduate of Chaminade has participated in PIR before and has participated as staff for the second year in a row.

“When I went here I danced at PIR, so now that I’m a staff member, I get to see what I experienced but now I get to coordinate and see how it has evolved throughout the times and how cultures are changing,” she said.  

Tukia went on to share that cultural traditions never get old but learning about everyone’s culture and where they come from is exciting.

Chaminade celebrates Pacific Island Review every fall and Extravaganza in the spring semester.

[Correction: Sofia Vela’s name was originally spelled as Sophia Vela. The story has been corrected.]