Here it is — a brand new year — a brand new President. No, I did not go to Washington, D.C. but instead co-chaired the Aloha Presidential Inaugural Ball at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. With the assist of former Governors George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Benjamin Cayetano and their wives, Jean, Lynn and Vicky, we put on a fabulous event to celebrate President Obama's inauguration. Jim Burns represented his dad, Governor Burns, so we had this historic photo taken at the event.
We also had an exceptional evening with the
performers, Willie K, Azure McCall, Jordan Segundo, Jasmine Trias, Nina Kealiiwahamana and Jimmy Borges. We also danced to the Barack Obama Yes We can Band under the direction of Kit Ebersbach. It will be a night to remember for a very long time!
My production assistant, Joanne Corpuz and office manager, Trudy Rawlins worked extra hard this month as we readied the John A. Burns Documentary for rebroadcast and as a statehood commemorative DVD.
We had retired Jim Burns re-shoot the introduction and close the documentary (which was produced earlier in 2000) at PBS. Robert Penneybacker assisted us in directing Burns to do what he doesn't like to do — get in front of the camera. But it was great to finally get my husband to see what my whole life has been about. He said, "I'll stay behind the camera from now on — you can do your thing. But just this ONE time." . . . Thanks, Dear.
This was the month we launched the John A. Burns Statehood Memento DVD. We also re-aired the nearly decade old hour long television special. We decided to do this to honor the man who was considered the "architect" of our statehood bill.
Jim Burns was quoted in the Honolulu Advertiser "We can't know where we're going unless we know how we got here."
For that reason alone, we felt this 50th Anniversary of Statehood was the perfect time to educate Hawaii on the times, how they’ve changed and what we may need to re-learn from the past.
We also attended Statehood Ceremonies at the State Capitol and had the privilege of seeing all the former Governors and their family representatives.
So far, we have received many, many wonderful and warm emails and phone calls for the program and DVD orders. It's exciting to know the legacy of John A. Burns can be as meaningful now during Statehood's 50th Anniversary as it was when it first aired in 2000 during the 25th Anniversary of his death. For more information or to purchase a copy of the DVD, click here.
Finally, this month, we went out to the set of "You May Not Kiss the Bride" to see two of its co-stars, Willie K and Tia Carrere. Willie plays a Tahitian King — he does a great job! And Tia has the role of a sexy cocktail waitress. We got them in a moment of playing 'SWITCH.' Tia talked to Willie about winning a grammy and Wllie K expressed his difficulty "acting" in the film. But combined they sang a stunning version of "He Aloha Mele." Without a rehearsal, they jammed for our Island Moments cameras. You can see this "island moment" on our first Emme's Island Moments for 2009 airing May 28th at 9pm and May 30th at 3pm on KHON 2.
It was an honor to help Halekulani Hotel celebrate its 25th anniversary — since it was rebuilt in Waikiki. Among the guests were top chefs which included Roy Yamaguchi and Nobu Matsuhisa (seen here with Emme and Priscilla Texeira). It was a nice reunion since 1998 when Roy took us to meet Nobu at his New York restaurant.
We also aired our first Emme's Island Moments 15th anniversary special — the first of three specials for 2009. Tia Carrere talked about her movie about surfing legend, Rell Sunn. Willie K and Tia took us to their movie set "You May Not Kiss the Bride", and our dear friend, Dean Pitchford, took us back to his alma mater, St. Louis School, for a great reunion.
On June 29th I had the priviledge of meeting the Governor of Ilocos Norte, Michael Marcos Keon. It was a nice reunion — I met Governor Keon 30 years ago in Manila when he came from his native country, Australia. Today he runs one of the most powerful provinces in the Philippines.
We gathered with our crew and EMME Inc. team to celebrate our Telly Award at Hiroshi’s at Restaurant Row. Editor Daniel Bernardoni, producer/writer Robert Pennybacker, along with my production assistant Joanne Corpuz and executive assistant Trudy Rawlins were part of the celebration. We received a Telly Award for the Barack Obama “With Island Roots” segment we did before he was President of the United States.
Chef Hiroshi Fukui made a fabulous 6 course pupu menu and Chuck Furuya wine paired each dish—what a night!
It was a whirlwind month which began with a trip to Manila and Cebu! My production assistant --Joanne Corpuz-- and I jetted to the Philippines with the 21st Annual Filipino Chamber Trade Mission.
In the 6 days, we only went to Manila and Cebu to play our documentary trailer for "Mabuhay with Aloha". I also had to emcee two dinners hosted by the Filipino Chamber. The tour continued on to Olongapo and Baguio.
Then, we screened the 90-minute documentary at the University of San Carlos
-- a 300 year old university in the province of Cebu. About 200 students watched the documentary and later wrote papers on the screening.
Pictured below with me are Dr. Erlinda Alburo, Director of Cebuano Studies and panelists which include Deans of neighboring universities.
We also met Bobit Avila, Cebu talk show host and had a nice interview on his program, Straight from the Sky (right photo below).
All in all, it was a most intriguing journey to the second largest city in the Philippines -- Cebu rocks!
On Dec. 9th, EMME Inc. had the privilege of producing a 22-minute video honoring former Chief Justice Bill "CJ " Richardson. It played before a thousand people at the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel at his 90th birthday. Not a dry eye in the house --- all thanks to the crew, production team and Jennifer Hee of the Richardson Law School, who made it all happen.
On Dec. 2nd, we also filmed the “Emme’sChristmas Island Moments 15th Anniversary” before an intimate invited audience at the Road Runner Music Hall.
Willie K, Na Leo, John Cruz, Ernie Cruz Jr., Jimmy Borges and Pauline Wilson were just some of the many musical moments. A stunning and touching hula by Na Wahine O ke Alaula was presented. The dancers are from the Women's Community Correctional Center. This moment truly made my Christmas. They made the other entertainers feel humbled. The inmates said they felt "important." Not once did anyone treat them like "prisoners." Be sure to look at the website for more programming info on this.
From my staff to all of you ---
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