december ’07
This month we had a great time filming our Christmas Island Moments at the Lewers Lounge of the Halekulani. In keeping with our “jazz theme” we featured the Lewers’ Lounge Bruce Hamada and Jim Howard. Tennyson Stephens, who performs on Saturday nights, gave a chicken skin presentation with guest artist Azure McCall. Also on hand, Jasmine Trias who looked stunning in her cocktail holiday dress. The Society of Seven with Lani Misalucha sent us a greeting and “O Holy Night” on video. Afatia Thompson added an R&B flavor and Albert Maligmat presented his version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

Please check our press release on this and do watch the show --- our holiday musical greeting card for you to enjoy!

Mahalo to the staff and management of the Halekulani for their assistance, support and enthusiasm for our holiday show taping.

november ’07
On November 11th, we had a PBS sponsored Merienda at the PBS studios. About 100 people -- - leaders from the Filipino community --- came to attend the afternoon heavy pupu and refreshment party. Little Albert and Angeli Callo performed along with Rick Trimillos’ Rondalla from the Unversity of Hawaii. Dancers, Rozanne Casamina Manuel and her brother Joshua Manuel performed two Filipino classic dances. Mahalo to Amelia Casamina for helping us with the folk dancers.

And much mahalo to Pepi Nieva, my co-writer/producer who assembled the volunteers and assisted with the entertainment and decorations.

And a big Maraming Salamat to all those at PBS for assisting us with both the broadcast and Merienda --- Robert Pennybacker, Lisa Levine, Laceen Terri, Lucy Ahn, Wendy Suite and all the PBS folks who helped make everything with “Mabuhay with Aloha” a tremendous success!

During this month, we also had several signings at Borders locations on Oahu. At the events, we had music by the Parubrub Sisters, Albert Magligmat, and we gave away Puto—delicious Filipino dessert. It was fun meeting all the customers, family and friends who came to get an autographed DVD of “Mabuhay with Aloha.”

Amelia and Albert singing at Borders event

Later in the month, Hawaii PGA Golfer Dean Wilson came home to Hawaii to play and win the State Open Championships. He earned $7,000 which he then generously donated to the Hawaii State Jr. Golf Association. We had fun watching him play at Hawaii Prince and then later had a family barbecue with his mom and dad Don and Grace Wilson of Kaneohe. Dean is returning in December for the SONY OPEN.

Tia Carrere, her husband, Simon and their two-year-old daughter Bianca came home for Thanksgiving. While here they visited with family and attended the Rell Sunn Surf Meet. Tia is working on a special project on the famed surfer who lost her life to cancer some years ago. Tia is now poised for her Grammy Nomination and we’re excited that her Hawaiian CD has caught the attention of the Grammy Academy.


october ’07
This month we had the privilege of broadcasting “Mabuhay with Aloha — The Hawaii Filipino Experience 1906-2006” on PBS. My long time friend, Leslie Wilcox, now the President and CEO of PBS Hawaii invited me to air the centennial documentary. PBS, under her leadership is hoping to diversify its programming and open themselves to a wider, ethnic audience.

The broadcast on October 22, 2007 was part of their MEMBERSHIP PLEDGE DRIVE. Folks who tuned in and pledged membership to PBS received a DVD of the documentary. We also had 16 members from the community who manned phone banks that evening. They raised over $16,000 in two hours. Mahalo to all the volunteers who came to help us with our PBS event.


  september ’07
Prepping for our next installment of “Emme’s Island Moments” was very exciting! This show was anchored in Santa Barbara — at Santa Barbara City College where Senator Barack Obama electrified a crowd of over 5,000 people at a Sept. 8th appearance.

While there, on the same afternoon, we attended Oprah Winfrey’s gala fundraiser for Obama at her 50 acre Santa Barbara Ranch. The late afternoon into the early evening concert/event in her meadows was surreal. People sat on Obama insignia blankets, sipped wine and ate elegantly prepared picnic food — fried chicken, mini hamburgers, hot dogs, apple tarts, chocolate chip cookies and lots of exquisite wine and other pourings.

Stevie Wonder and BB Wyand performed. Oprah gave a wonderful welcoming speech and introduction to her guest of honor, Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. The Illinois Senator (with Hawaii roots) gave another electrifying speech and energized the crowd of 1,500 people

You looked around and everyone looked familiar. I spoke to Sharon Lawrence of NYPD Blue, Dennis Haisbery of All State Insurance commercials, and had a nice reunion with my long time friend Stevie Wonder who performed at the event.

I saw lots of Hollywood celebs like Cindy Crawford, Chris Rock, Cicely Tyson, Sydney Poitier and Lou Gossett Jr. and others who looked awfully familiar--- you just couldn’t remember their  names--there were so many of them. I also met many other attendees who traveled from all parts of the country to support the Presidential candidate.

I had a chance to say hello to Senator Obama as he arrived. He was happily surprised to see my face in the crowd waiting to shake his hand. He actually pulled me into his circle pass the Secret Service people for an “Aloha hug.” Wendy Crabb who also came from Hawaii gave him a beautiful maile lei on behalf of Punahou School, where Barack attended and graduated from.Two other people from Hawaii were Darcie Yukimura and Jacy Youn — they were decked out with pikake leis and got a lot of attention for their “island wear.”

And finally, yes, I did meet the DIVA OF TALK SHOW TELEVISION, herself! We met backstage while Stevie was performing. She seemed surprised to know there were some of us who came all the way from Hawaii to be at her party. She was busy, but offered a moment to say hello and her signature strong handshake. It was an Oprah-Emme moment! It was all extremely special—especially since my husband and I were there to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. It was like going to Oprah’s party for us with 1,500 strangers, now new friends!

And of course, because of heavy security no cameras were allowed, so these “moments” will have to be snapshots in my mind, but forever in my heart!

Extra special thanks to Hollywood songwriter, composer, author Dean Pitchford,
St. Louis Graduate ’68 who opened up his Santa Barbara home to us. He and Michael Mealiffee have an exquisite property just 5 minutes from Oprah’s!

Portions of my moments will be seen in ‘WITH ISLAND ROOTS’ with guests Tia Carrere, Tadd Fujikawa and island family and friends of Barack Obama.


Barack Obama with Emme

Emme interviewing Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack's half-sister

Emme interviews with 16-year-old
pro golfer Tadd Fujikawa

Island actress Tia Carrere, Emme
and Jim at Tia's CD release party

august ’07
This was a most hectic month! Shortly after moving our EMME Inc. offices, we went to Kauai to address the COVO — Congress of Visayan Organizations Conference. It was nice to be back on the Garden Isle to meet so many people from my dad’s home town (Siquijor) and to meet many new friends from the Cebu region of the Philippines and of Visayan roots. They came from all islands statewide to discuss Filipino issues and to plan for next year’s Visayan Centennial — 100 years of Visayan immigration to Hawaii plantations.

In my speech, I noted that on this island a most significant and historical event took place with 16 Visayan plantation workers in 1924. These young workers were killed in a tragic labor dispute. Today, the Kauai Filipino Community is still searching for their grave site. In their memory, a beautiful marble memorial is erected in Hanapepe Town Park. We just move onward from this tragic incident, but we must not forget these young men and their sacrifices which enables us all to enjoy the life we live today.   [see guest comments]
Plaque remembers 1924 Hanapepe Massacre
JoAnn Yukimura and Emme
  july ’07
It was an honor to be asked by the Farrington Alumni Community Foundation to produce their tribute video. The Governor’s Hall of Fame Awardees were: Developer Bert Kobayashi, CEO and founder of Saturn Electronics Wally Tsuha, Baseball Hall of Famer Wally Yonamine, Kalihi born and raised Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the insurance businessman the late Koon Hin Choy.

The video played during the FACF first Hall of Fame dinner on July 25th at The Coral Ballroom. Over 600 people attended the gala event and raised monies for student scholarships at Farrington High School. The video will also be given to Farrington High School for curriculum use in the classroom. The 30 minute video is also for sale for $20.00 with $5.00 being donated to the FACF. Call #947-6677 for more information.

It was a sentimental month for us at EMME Inc. After 14 years on 1357 Kapiolani Blvd., we moved our offices to Kailua. For the rest of July, my staff and I catalogued and moved over 60 boxes of video tapes into storage and re-organized our Kailua office. You don’t realize how much video tape you can collect over the years—valuable “island moments” that now go into the ‘island moments archives.’ But over the next years, we’ll be presenting segments as a regular feature on our specials.

Thank you to all our clients, friends and EMME Inc. ohana for your support, encouragement and friendship that were developed and nurtured here in suite #1420. And we say mahalo and aloha to a wonderful office space that helped to give birth to “Emme’s Island Moments” and provided a creative space for our projects.

Sincere thanks to the late Pundy Yokouchi for believing in us, and to his building management company — and to the staff of Devland Management who took good care of us — like having family next door.To Stephen, Lei and Gail, we will miss you.

We move to Kailua with much anticipation—Executive Assistant Trudy Rawlins and production intern Joanne Corpuz did a wonderful job helping us make the office transition. It will be business as usual—just a break now and then to discover Kailua restaurants and coffee shops and maybe a run or a walk on Kailua Beach.

Our new mailing address is:  EMME Inc.
                                          111 Hekili St. Suite A #193
                                          Kailua, Hawaii 96734
                                          Phone: (808)947-6677
                                          Fax: (808) 947-6684
  june ’07
It was great to “rediscover” Las Vegas again! I had not been to “the city that never sleeps” in about seven, eight years — (where have I been?) and was pleasantly surprised to see its many changes. Yes, more hotels, more people, but also more choices for restaurants-fine dining, shopping, entertainment and golfing! You can almost come here and do everything besides gaming!

Our show was anchored at Caesars Palace and talk about a one stop shop property. The Forum Shops offered a shopper’s paradise. Café 808 with our dear friend, Chef Jean Marie, was one of the hottest restaurants on the property. I love his food and the name of the restaurant. Guess what zip code that is?
For entertainment, I took in Elton John (superb!) Celion Dion (excellent) and Lani Mizalucha and the Society of Seven at the Flamingo Hotel. Great to see old friends and to experience them in action in Las Vegas!

Stopped in to Summerland’s TPC Canyon, a PGA golf course to visit with Hawaii’s Dean Wilson. Great course with excellent greens, beautiful dessert scenery and cute little bunnies hopping around.

Yes, EMME IN THE NEW LAS VEGAS was a great Island Moments adventure and you can bet I’ll be back there again—especially for Bette Midler who opens up February 2008.

Special thanks to Jason Kina, Stephen Waldeman and Dulce Reyes Takase for all their ‘on location assistance’ on the road.

Emme and Dean Wilson at TPC golf course

Emme, Jason and Dulce
Emme, Elton and friends


Emme in front of Elton's
Red Piano Billboard

may ’07
AUGIE T. TV SHOW — May 1st
It was a blast to tape one of Augie T.’s new weekly tv shows on Oceanic 16.The show which airs: Sundays, 7pm and Wednesdays at 9pm was taped at Dave and Buster’s theatre conference showroom. The half hour show is a colorful blend of comedic sketches and stand up comedy routines that truly depict Hawaii’s zany life–only as Augie T. can capture. I talk briefly with Augie T. about our “Mabuhay with Aloha” DVD and even have time to do the ‘Macarena’ with him.

It was a sad day for Hawaii when it lost its most well known island son, Don Ho. Long time friends of Don Ho–Cha Thompson and John DeFries put on a spec-tacular concert at Queen’s Beach featuring many of Hawaii’s top entertainers who paid an upbeat musical tribute to the legend. Watch for an Emme’s Island Moments Tribute to Don Ho in an upcoming show “Emme in the New Las Vegas.” It talks about Don Ho who also performed in Las Vegas at Harrah’s and Flamingo Hotels.

I was invited to be part of the Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association’s fundraiser which featured a group of celebrities in a “Dancing With the Stars” dance exhibition event.

My partner was Jack Legal (President of Filipino Chamber and Emcee of the event "Dancing With Celebrities") and our dance instructors were Benny Agbayani Sr. and his wife Faith. If the name sounds familiar, YES — that’s the parents of Benny Agbayani, formerly a New York Met who now plays professional baseball in Japan.

It was fun! I met so many wonderful dancers in the community. They were teachers, housewives, bankers, lawyers, and just about anyone you could imagine. Everyone loves to dance–and they’re all very good at it. By the way, in case you’re interested, we did the “CHA CHA” to “Dance with Me.” See our next dance exhibition at the installation of Jack Legal at Filipino Chamber of Commerce on July 7th at the Ala Moana Hotel.

Jack Legal swirls Emme on the dance floor at Pacific Beach Hote


LAS VEGAS — May 13th–18th

My assignment for Emme’s Island Moments: to discover the new Las Vegas and meet up with local people who live and work in Las Vegas!

We meet up with:
•Hawaii pro golfer Dean Wilson who shares with us his home-away-from-home in Las Vegas.
•Renowned local chef Jean-Marie Josselin’s “808” is attracting new and adventurous culinary explorers Hawaii Regional Cuisine at Ceasars Palace.
•The NEW Society of Seven is packing them in at the famous Flamingo Hilton, with Filipina star Lani Misalucha and Hawaii’s own Jasmine Trias.
•We get a rare behind-the-scenes view of the Vegas strip’s longest-running Polynesian show at The Imperial Palace.
•And the scoop on the future of the fabulous Caesars Palace Showroom; “Farewell” to diva Celine Dion and “Hello” to Hawaii’s own Bette Midler in 2008!.
•Plus a fond look back at a man who WAS Hawaii, and who helped pave the way for local performers in this jet-set showcase...our very own Don Ho.x

“Emme’s Island Moments: Emme in the New Las Vegas!”
Airs Thursday, June 28
9:00-10:00 p.m.
KHON Channel 2
and repeats
Saturday, June 30
3:00 p.m.
[see more info]

Pro Golfer Dean Wilson and Emme


Emme with Jasmine Trias


Society of Seven and Lani Misalucha


It was an honor to be the emcee of this event for the second year in a row. The event celebrates the achievements of teachers, educators and special public school graduates who have gone on to make a difference in the world.

This year the honorees were Don Takaki of Hawk International or Island Movers, SERVO Pacific and Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s Restaurant. Chef Wong gave a funny speech about how he used to hide his vegetables in his pants pocket instead of eating them in his elementary school years. He brought out his security blanket: a busted up PanAm bag (blue) but never brought his rubbah slippas. I reminded audiences telling me of his story about ordering fill-it-mig-non in his early years dating. Congratulations to them all!

Emme and Alan Wong
  april ’07
In its third year, Willie K. again hosted this charitable golf tournament at Kaanapali Golf Course for Maui and Oahu businessmen–women and golfers. So far, he has raised over $75,000 for the Maui Memorial Hospital’s oncology unit. His father used these services while he was going through cancer treatment. Manualii Kahaialii died over 20 years ago. It is in his memory that Willie K. puts on this Tournament.

Its always a blast to run away to Maui to kick back and relax with Sam Choy, June Jones, Lehua Kalima of Na Leo just some of the many celebrities who come to this golf tournament each year…best known for the “after golf party” which features many of the celebs and a knockout concert by host, Willie K.

After 30 years with the judiciary, Judge Jim Burns, Chief Judge of the State Appellate Court retired on April 20th–the day after his birthday. The mandatory retirement (at age 70) gave us a great reason to throw him a wonderful retirement bash at the Waialae Country Club on April 20th.

Jim –my husband of nearly twenty years – had many of his law clerks, colleagues and friends toast to his long term career with the State Courts.

Brickwood Galuteria and Judge Gary Chang co-emceed the local style pupu party. Entertainers Willie K, Melveen Leed, Jimmy Borges and Pauline Wilson brought the house down with their music and exquisite jam session.

Thanks to Judge Corinne Watanabe and Jim’s staff Judy, Tammy, Susan and Annette for pulling this great night together. Now Judge Burns is off to golf with buddies, Dean Wilson, Barack Obama and Willie K!!!
Congrats to the new Makaha Studios LLC, originally known as the Waianae Seariders Production Unit. Candy Suiso and the Searider gang are now going full board with their production company. We went to the blessing of their new location and the announcement of their production business at the old Coronet Building in Makaha. They will continue to foster and mentor Leeward Coast students in the world of television, video and film production.

What a way to go you guys! And thank you for your efforts in authoring, marketing and distributing our “Maubhay With Aloha; The Hawaii Filipino Experience 1906-2006” documentary. We look forward to more projects with you!

Keoni Fernandez, Ric Gresia and Bill Evangelista look on as Makaha
Studios is blessed.
  mar ’07
Anekona Development announced the launch of a $40 million renovation facelift of the Ilikai Hotel. They made the grand announcement during its “5-0 Party”. The Hawaii 5-0 themed event was designed to celebrate the DVD release of Hawaii 5-0’s first season and to welcome back to the hotel, the cast members of Hawaii 5-0.

As you know, the penthouse lanai was made famous by Jack Lord in the opening scene of Hawaii 5-0. Today, nearly 39 years after the show began in Hawaii, 5-0 fans around the world watch the popular series in reruns. Many have long waited for the shows to be released on DVD. Among the added features of the dvd is our “Memories of Hawaii 5-0” tv documentary which we produced with writer/co producer Derik Onuma. In it, we interviewed Marie Lord, Zulu, AL Harrington, Herman Wedemeyer and many of 5-0’s principal cast members. At the time, Jack Lord was ailing and the show was a tribute to him.

At the recent Ilikai 5-0 party, many cast members once again reunited for another homecoming of the 5-0 ohana. You can see portions of the celebration and the CBS version of “Memories of Hawaii 5-0” on KHON 2. It airs March 22nd, 9 p.m. and again on March 24th, 3 p.m. Carole Kai, Kimo Kahoano, Remy Abelleira, Doug Mossman, stand in John Nordlum, Elissa Dulce, Eddie Sherman, Carol Keale (wife of Moe Keale), Harry Endo, Christine Ikeda and Margaret Doversola were there to represent Hawaii 5-0. Doversola is now the casting director for “Lost.” We read special greetings from James MacArthur and Rose Freeman, (wife of Leonard Freeman—creator of Hawaii 5-0) and Al Harrington who could not be there.
Donne Dawson of the Hawaii Film Office, Chris Lee (local boy Hollywood Producer) and Mayor Mufi Hanneman offered congratulatory remarks. Everyone paid tribute to the longest running cop show from Hawaii on television—the pioneer of many ground breaking moments in local television history.

jan ’07
It was exciting to be at the SONY Open and to watch little Tadd Fujimoto rev up the Gallery at Waialae Country Club. They shouted when the 16 year old made an eagle on his last hole to make the SONY cut. And, thousands of spectators followed him all three days. Kudos to his parents for raising such a great kid, who is an inspiration to us all and a sensational golfer!!!

Tadd Fujikawa and Emme after his victory at Waialae Country Club