WAIMANALO, Hawaii–Five Ilokano-descended and local born students have been selected to receive the Philippine Airlines Scholarship on Ilokano language and culture immersion and will travel for the purpose
to the Ilocos this coming July.

The PAL Scholarship was acquired through the Ilokano Language Acquisition and Immersion for the New Generation (iLAING), a focused on Ilokano as language and Ilokano culture.

The students, who will spend 11 days in various areas in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, from July 14 to July 25: are Renceh Flojo, Christian Farinas, Tia Go, Share Kaai, and Vanessa Jacob.

Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, coordinator of the Ilokano program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said that nine community members and parents of the students will accompany the five scholars. They are:
Rosalinda Abuel, Janyne Kaai, Trinity Chang, Eugenia Bonoan, Renato Flojo, Jose Jacob, Victor Mariano, James Uy, and Evarista Villanueva.

Program coordinators–Merilla Gonzalez, Felipe Pacquing, and Helen Grace Go–will also join the delegation, including Hon.Gina Jamoralin, the Consul General of the Philippine Consulate of the Philippines in
Honolulu, who will join the delegation at the Ilocos Norte leg.

The five scholars are the second batch of young Hawaiian-Filipinos who completed the heritage language course sent to the Ilocos for immersion, according to Agcaoili, also iLAING curriculum developer and
head of instruction.

It was learned that in 2015, six out of the 15 of their peers, 18 to 23 years old, who underwent the same program were sent to Ilocos Sur and were hosted by Candon City and the Office of Representative Eric Singson.

Initiated by the Philippine Consulate General In Honolulu, the project has its partner organizations that include the Filipino Community Center, Candonians of Hawaii, the Offices of Ilocos Sur Representative
Eric Singson and Candon City Mayor Ericson Singson and sponsors Etrata Foundation, Philippine Airlines and Western Union.

Intensive classes of ILAing run for three months and on Saturdays, 1-5PM at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, once the heart of sugar plantations that employed Ilokano workers.

The instruction pool, aside from Agcaoili, includes Imelda Gazmen Fines, originally from Ilocos Sur, and now with the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Dr. Raymund Llongson, a native of Laoag City, of
Leeward Community College in Oahu. Guerrero Coloma/NPN-northboundasia.com