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POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi 2018

February 17, 2018

“POW! WOW! HAWAIʻI IS A GATHERING OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS THAT ENGAGES WITH THE BROADER COMMUNITY IN THE PROCESS AND CREATION OF ART.”

Each February, I look forward to POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi. It’s one of the coolest events here in Kakaʻako. One of the cofounders is a friend who worked at Kamehameha, Kamea Hadar.

After an early lunch at Karen’s Kitchen (baked spaghetti,) I started to explore the neighborhood. Here are some of the new ones…

This one is in the parking lot of the former Fresh Café on Queen Street (currently Waikiki Brewing Company.) POW! WOW! first started at this exact location in 2011.

Here’s a nice backdrop to a Biki Station. This is at the Fitted Hawaiʻi warehouse on Pohukaina Street.

This mural is on Cooke Street near Honolulu BeerWorks. There are also a few new ones across from Mother Waldron Park.

This one is near the entrance of Lana Lane. The artist is from Vietnam. This event truly is a global collaboration.

This one by Tokidoki is in Lana Lane. Lana Lane is where all the action takes place. (Click to enlarge.)

Be sure to visit POW! WOW! headquarters at Lana Lane Studios. You can pick up the passport and some merch here.

Had an amazing time checking out the murals and meeting a few of the artists. Highly recommend visiting. You can also stop by at one of the many cafés in SALT at Our Kakaʻako. Cool vibe there.

This is one event that I will always support…

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My Funny Valentine

February 14, 2018

Every year I get a Valentine’s gift for that special someone. Unfortunately, that special someone has always been me. Or perhaps fortunately…?

One year it was luggage (travel.) Another year it was golf clubs. And another year it was a longboard skateboard. Last year it was a regift. It’s become an annual tradition.

This year it’s a tea kettle. Yup, yup!

Blessed to have received an Amazon Gift Card from TED-Ed for collaborating on a TED-Ed lesson on Polynesian Wayfinding.

Let me tell you that it wasn’t so easy to spend this “free money.” I learned that I have pretty much everything that I need. It would be wasteful to upgrade on something that I already have (that isn’t “broke.”)

I decided on a tea kettle. I could use it for Yamamotoyama Green Tea or a Cup O’ Noodles. Maybe even some Starbucks VIA. And it also makes me look competent in the kitchen.

Chee! Can’t wait to see what I get (for that special someone) next year…

Chinatown Honolulu

February 3, 2018
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Looking forward to taking our high school’s Mandarin class on a tour of Chinatown in celebration of Chinese New Year. (I was able to take our @KSEdTech Team on a tour back in 2016.)

Background: I started exploring Chinatown after moving to Kakaʻako a few years ago. What started out as exercise (urban hiking) transformed into a deeper sense of “place.” It’s become my Saturday morning ritual. I believe that Chinatown has the best food in Hawaiʻi. Now I want to share my passion for the sights, sounds, (smells,) and energy of this vibrant community…

History 101: Chinese laborers arrive in the 1850s when sugar replaces whaling as the prominent industry.

Chinatown fires: In 1900, there was the bubonic plague. 7000 people were quarantined. 40 controlled fires were set by the Honolulu Fire Department. One got out of control and lasted 17 days. Only a few buildings escaped the fire and still exist today.

WWII: Chinatown becomes a red-light district… ahem.

Statehood: The tourism boom and the opening of Ala Moana Shopping Center lead to the decline of Chinatown.

Revitalization: Chinatown targeted for revitalization in the 70s by Mayor Frank Fasi.

Today: Modern Chinatown flourishes as a hub for art, cuisine, culture, and creativity.

Parking: People have the perception that Chinatown has no parking and that it is dirty. Let me dispel this by saying that there’s a whole lotta parking. In fact, street parking is free on Sundays (however, not all shops are open on Sundays.) The best parking lot is underground, beneath Smith-Beretania Park (next to the old Empress Theater.) As far as being dirty… hmm…

Currency: The best restaurants here are cash-only, have sticky menus, and no one speaks English (not even the customers.)

Public restroom: The only one is on the 2nd floor of Walmart in the Fort Street Mall.


Chinatown is bordered by King Street & Beretania (but includes the Chinese Cultural Plaza,) and by River Street & Bethel.

Let’s start the tour…

The Hawaiʻi Theatre was built in 1922 by Consolidated Amusement. It closed in the 80s, but was renovated and reopened in the 90s.

Bozo: The sign and marquee were created by sign artist “Bozo” Shigemura. He was the only one in Hawaiʻi at the time who could bend glass for the neon signs. He created the iconic signs for Wo Fat Chop Suey and Club Hubba Hubba.

The ARTS at Marks Garage is more than a parking lot. It is a gallery and creative space for local artists to collaborate.

Here is the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park at the entrance of Chinatown. Or at least this is what it used to look like before the water feature was filled in due to the homeless in the area. (Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China, was educated here at Punahou and ʻIolani.)

Maunakea Marketplace is an awesome place to explore. There’s a huge food court, souvenir stands, and a great open market. You can even find old Kung Fu movies on VHS. Mickey Café has the best bubble tea drinks in Chinatown. Instead of powdered sugar, they grind fresh sugar cane.

After exiting Maunakea Marketplace, cross Hotel Street to Kekaulike Market. Here you can get a Hamachi Poke Bowl from Maguro Bros. Amazing stuff! Along Kekaulike Mall, you’ll find the Ying Leong Look Funn Factory.

Cross King Street to Oʻahu Market, the oldest market in Chinatown. You can find the freshest meats, produce, and unusual things there. I saw hanging char siu, roast duck, live crab, beef tongue, pig heads, dragon fruit, and unrecognizable organ meats. Fong’s Meat Market has the best roast pork in Chinatown.

Chinatown is a great place to try a new cuisine, buy produce, and take pics.

Chinatown has awesome sweets and desserts. The Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery on Maunakea is a landmark. I like the gin dui (black sugar) & mooncakes, and I always go home with a bag of something…

The Chinese Cultural Plaza, built in 1974, is where you’ll find all of the dim sum restaurants. Fook Lam is my favorite. (Locals tend to gravitate toward english names like Legend’s and Empress.) You’ll find the older men playing mahjong on the benches along the river.

Our tour ends here, but read on…

Additional information:

For noodles, my fave place is the Hong Kong Noodle House in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. I usually get the Tossed (stewed) noodle. I ordered this one with pig’s feet. Another great place is Papa’s Café on Hotel, behind the bus stop.

Chinatown has the best pizza in Hawaiʻi. Yes, pizza. Only thing, they’re all in bars. JJ Dolan’s and Bar 35 are renown for their pies.

Chinatown absolutely has the best phở in Hawai’i. No need to go to “Phở Row” on River Street. My fave shops are Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine on King Street and Huang Lan in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. Pictured above is Pho My Lan (Rice Paper) which recently closed.

Desserts! Wing’s Ice Cream has homemade flavors. This one is Raspberry with dark chocolate chip. Of course, Lee’s Bakery has the most amazing custard pies.

It’s comforting to know that there are still places that I remember from my childhood. Char Hung Sut still has my favorite manapua & pork hash. Their best item is their pepeiao.

I especially appreciate the traditional ethnic foods in Chinatown. This is the Bún bò Huế from Kim An Vietnamese Restaurant. It comes with blood cake and pig’s trotters. This is my fave bowl of soup noodle in all of Chinatown.

This is dim sum from Happy Garden (made famous by Andrew Zimmern.) The chicken feet are on the way….

Mei Sum is another good place for dim sum. A good “contemporary Chinese” restaurant is Little Village Noodle House on Smith Street.

Chinatown also has the coolest, trendiest places. The Pig & the Lady is one of my fave restaurants. I also believe that it is the “most important” restaurant in Chinatown. Love the Bánh mì sandwiches with the incredible, crunchy bread. Try the watermelon soda.

Lucky Belly is another fave. I enjoy the Bao sandwiches (pork buns) and ramen here. They also opened Livestock Tavern across the street.

Chinatown also has a great skateboard park, antique shops, boutiques, tattoo parlors, and tons of lei stands. Chinatown is where the creatives & makers set up shop.

Festivals: The Chinese New Year Street Festival & Parade is THE event of the year. Thousands gather for this amazing celebration. Chinese New Year will be on February 16, 2018. (This year’s festival, scheduled for Saturday, February 10th has been canceled.) Chinatown also hosts First Fridays, art events, and other block parties.

Definitely my kinda place. Find me in Chinatown…

“THIS IS NOT A DRILL”

January 15, 2018

On Saturday, January 13th, nearly everyone in Hawaiʻi received this text message. What a terrible, horrible mistake. And now everyone in Hawaiʻi has a story…

We were getting ready for a half-day of professional development at Island Pacific Academy in Kapolei. It was a little after 8am when all the phones went off. We were in shock. My initial reaction was that it was a hack. School leaders quickly ushered all of the teachers into a hallway. Everyone started texting their families. I couldn’t find anything on social media.

I stepped outside and looked up at the sky. What a gorgeous morning. I said a prayer. Then slowly, the reality of the situation began to sink in. I could hear the sirens. From initial disbelief, awful thoughts began to creep in. What a horrible feeling. My common sense (or perhaps my lack of processing the situation at hand) was telling me that this was not real. And yet, what if this is it? What if?

At around 8:30, we received word through social media that it was indeed a false alarm. It felt like forever. The crowd of teachers remained very calm throughout the ordeal. We went on with our event without a glitch. I had to regain my focus to emcee the event and deliver the opening remarks. The event was a success, and we celebrated as a team at lunch.

But this was in fact a “drill” for me. What did I learn? For a split second, I did entertain the thought that this was the end. I was calm. Still, it was a sickening feeling. I thought I would be more at peace, because of my faith. I now have a deeper appreciation for life and all the people I love. Life is a blessing. Life is also an opportunity to make a difference. Considering this a second chance.

LIFE IS NOT A DRILL.

My Top 10 Fave YouTubers

January 11, 2018
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Increasingly, I find myself watching YouTube more than TV. There’s a lotta good content out there. You can choose what you want to see, when you want to see it. The old adage “There’s nothing good on TV,” definitely does not apply to YouTube. I am especially interested in travel vlogs. Here are my Top 10 fave YouTubers. (Channel descriptions are in quotes.)

10. The Food Ranger is a YouTuber who has amazing adventures around the world. He has great rapport with everyone he meets. A really good guy. “My name is Trevor James and I live to eat and travel. I live for street food and local food, and I’m traveling to taste it. I’m a hungry traveler that’s currently living abroad in Chengdu, Sichuan China, eating as much delicious food as I can.”

9. CaseyNeistat is a creative genius, storyteller, and movie maker. I am awed by the way he creates. “Hi, I live in New York City and love YouTube.”

8. Travel With My Dear is not necessarily a travel vlog (with an onscreen personality,) but rather a travel channel with visually stunning videos. This channel is an inspiration to me, because most of the vids were filmed with a smartphone. “We live to travel the world, capture beautiful moments on film and choreographing each frame to the music.”

7. vagabrothers are two brothers who explore culture and the amazing aspects of travel. “We’re Alex and Marko. We LIVE to TRAVEL. Our journey of CULTURAL and CULINARY DISCOVERY takes us to some of the MOST INTERESTING PLACES in the WORLD. Stay curious, keep exploring, and we will see you on the road!”

6. uelshannelle is a traveling couple from Australia. They have a very pleasant and refreshing onscreen personality. “We are Uel & Shannelle from Sydney! You may have seen us on such shows as My Kitchen Rules. We love Jesus, cooking, travel, photography & FOOD! Join our adventures as we travel the world and show you a glimpse of what WE see!”

5. arakakizemiTV is a personal favorite. Always cool to see what your friends are up to. “These videos are produced to showcase the various projects and extracurricular activities of the students of the Osaka Gakuin University, especially the students of the Faculty of Business Administration, Department of Hospitality Business Administration.”

4. gabebondoc was an unknown singer-songwriter who became a YouTube sensation. It’s what I like best about YouTube. So organic. “Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter/Dad”

3. Wong Fu Productions of course. What kinda asian would I be if this weren’t on my list? “Short films, sketches, and vlogs! We like to tell stories, whether they’re funny, sad, or thoughtful. As emerging artists and filmmakers, we hope to continue to improve our craft, grow as a company, and reach people with our work.”

2. Strictly Dumpling is Mike Chen’s foodie vlog. Engaging personality and amazing food. “I LOVE FOOD!!!! So you have just entered my food universe where I will show you all the best places to eat and some awesome recipes!!!”

1. Mark Wiens has been a long-time favorite. I first found his channel when I was preparing for my missions trip to Thailand. This guy is passionate about food & travel. And, he has his trademark reaction/expression when eating something delicious. “Food is the reason you should travel, and on my channel you’ll watch videos that feature incredibly delicious food and travel tips. After graduating from university, I decided to travel for food. Eventually I ended up in Thailand, where I met my wife. My wife and I are now based in Bangkok, Thailand, but we travel frequently to find delicious food.”

Hope to appear on my own Top 10 someday…

New Year’s Resolution [Re]imagined

January 1, 2018

Background: After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution from 2008-2012 without success,  I had to rethink it. I replaced my resolution with a bucket list in 2013. I went from incremental goals (i.e. lose 10 pounds) to life-changing goals.

Preface: At 12:05am on January 1st, 2013, I was lying face down in a cul-de-sac in Mililani Mauka after a fireworks accident (don’t ask.) I was thinking, sheesh, can 2013 be over with already? Unlikely as it seemed then, I was blessed to meet up with my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines and walk across the Great Wall of China by year’s end. All things are possible.

This is my current bucket list. There’s a whole lotta travel, which is my passion.

Life Goals:

• Seek after God’s heart
• Go snowboarding
• Appear in a TV commercial
• Create a work of art
• Attend a Red Sox vs. Yankees game
• Learn to cook a fancy gourmet dish
• Get a tattoo
• Own my dream car, a vintage VW bus
• Buy a suit (and actually wear it)

School Goals:

• Tie a kihei
• Attend SXSW EDU

Ministry Goals:

• Go on a missions trip to Japan

Travel Goals:

• Visit Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
• Visit Hong Kong
• Visit Hokkaido
• Eat phở in Vietnam
• Visit London
• Visit Prague in the Czech Republic
• Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
• Travel to Istanbul
• Travel to Marrakech
• Travel to Angkor Wat in Cambodia

• See the Taj Mahal
• Witness the Aurora Borealis
• Attend a World Cup Soccer match

Completed Goals:

√ Visit my sponsored child in the Philippines
√ Revisit New York City
√ Travel to Machu Picchu
√ Walk across the Great Wall of China
√ Visit Barcelona
√ Visit Rome
√ Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
√ Visit Australia
√ Visit Aotearoa (NZ)
√ Learn to skateboard
√ Take a solo (YOLO) trip to Paris
√ Visit my “homeland” of Okinawa
√ Find the best bowl of ramen in Hawaiʻi
√ Launch a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown
√ Run a TEDxYouth event at school
√ Play guitar in a café
√ Publish a TED-Ed lesson
√ Own a condo near Ala Moana Beach (lifelong dream)

Amazing memories! I am also thankful that I have been blessed with things that I never even dreamed of.

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a [re]imagine sesh. I believe that there is intentionality in writing things down. Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well. Dream big!
Happy 2018! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless!

Christmas Card & Year-in-Review

December 24, 2017
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Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Here’s my 2017 card and customary year-in-review blurb. Had an awesome year. Hope yours was too…

Participated in Walk With Compassion at Ala Moana Beach Park with Shirlene and Joan. This charity event raises funds to rescue families out of poverty. Mahalo to all of my friends for donating!

Blessed to chaperone the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus trip to Aotearoa (NZ) during Spring Break. It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Great kids and great “chappies.” Also got to back up the choir on guitar at Hoʻolauleʻa. Humbled & grateful…

Revive (homeless outreach ministry) is still going strong. Iʻm blessed and inspired by the amazing servants on our team. We now go to Crane Park on Sundays following the 11am service. Come join us.

We did it! On May 6th, our TED-Ed Club held a very successful Student Talks event at SALT @ Our Kakaʻko. It was followed by a CPR clinic by our Lifesavers Club. #ProudAdvisorStatus

Our @KSEdTech “dream team” attended the Personalized Learning Summit by Education Elements in San Fran. Good learning, good people, and good food!

The homecoming for the Hōkūleʻa voyaging canoe was a chicken-skin moment. It celebrated the end of the 3-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Met up with friends at Magic Island at 6am. #Historic

Gale and I attended our very first Tamayose Family Reunion on Kauaʻi island. We had the absolute best time making new memories with our fam. Most heartwarming experience of the year!

Our TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort came to an official closing. #OnlyTheBeginning. I learned so much this year and developed such great friendships from around the world. Mahalo to TED-Ed for the amazing ride!
TED-Ed Innovation Project on community engagement.
• TED-Ed Animated Lesson on Polynesian Wayfinding.

Merry Christmas to all!

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Ugly Christmas Sweater?

December 5, 2017

In Hawaiʻi? Not so much. So I rock the not-so-ugly Christmas aloha shirt. Reyn Spooner makes them. I think they’re pretty cool.

Last year, they dropped a Moana design commemorating the movie’s release. I snatched one right away. And after doing a little research on the brand, I discovered that they’ve been issuing a new Christmas Spooner each year under the Mele Kalikimaka label since 1983. (You may be able to find some of their older releases at Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts on Kapahulu Ave.)

The two that I have are from 2013. Now how many Christmas aloha shirts do you really need? I do think you need at least two, in case you have back-to-back Christmas parties.

No sweater? No sweat. You can go rockin’ around the Christmas tree rocking a Christmas Spooner…

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy ThanksLiving

November 22, 2017

So blessed. And I hope to be a blessing…
Here are the Top 10 things that I am thankful for in 2017:

1. Jesus.
2. I am thankful for my family and friends. I do not deserve them.
3. I am thankful for my health. I just need to get in shape. Pears do not count….
4. I attend a wonderful church, Inspire Honolulu. Consider yourself invited.
5. I am blessed to be at the Kamehameha Schools with an amazing team. I laugh everyday.
6. I live in an awesome place. #OurKakaako
7. I am blessed to sponsor a child in the Philippines. It’s the most important thing that I do.
8. TED-Ed. Technologies will come and go. Great ideas never go out of style….
9. Travel. This is my passion. Aotearoa and San Fran in 2017. Japan or Korea next year.
10. Life.

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks….”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Hot Bowl of Goodness”

November 14, 2017
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Every Saturday morning, I walk over to Chinatown from my apartment in Kakaʻako. I like to think of it as exercise (“urban hiking.”) But really, it’s to eat. It’s become a regular, weekly ritual for me. Usually, I’ll order up some type of noodle soup. My term of endearment is “hot bowl of goodness.” Best way to describe it, and best way to start the weekend! So comforting…

You’d expect to find a lotta Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, but outside of the Cultural Plaza, most are Vietnamese. Three of my fave Vietnamese shops are all in a row at the end of King Street near River Street. I get phở from Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine, bún riêu (crab-tomato soup) from Anh Hong, and bún bò Huế (spicy beef soup) from Kim An.

When craving dumpling noodle soup, I head over to Hong Kong Noodle House on the river side of the Cultural Plaza. So good! A couple of doors down you can get Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup from KC Kitchen. A great place on Maunakea Street is Lam’s Kitchen. There you can get a bowl of Beef Flank w/ Tendon & Look Fun Noodle Soup. All good and all affordable.

I am a ramen fanatic, but there is no ramen in Chinatown with the exception of Lucky Belly. The Belly Bowl there is really good. Marukame Udon in the Fort Street Mall is super popular. Very inexpensive and tasty. Only thing is that the broth comes out luke warm. Gotta have it hot.

At Papa’s Café on Hotel Street, you can get Malaysian laksa. Order the combination of brisket & wonton. There is much variety in Chinatown, from pulled noodles to glass noodles, topped with pig’s feet to duck leg to short ribs. Mmm, so ono.

You’ll find me in Chinatown on Saturdays. Look for the guy sitting near the window wearing a baseball cap, stirring chili oil in anticipation of the “hot bowl of goodness” to come…

TED-Ed Lesson on Polynesian Wayfinding

October 26, 2017
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Excited that it got published! I was blessed to be a part of the TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort this past school year. Having met the animators at TED HQ in New York, I saw the potential and reach of this platform. At the time, the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage was taking place and Disney’s Moana was all the rage. The timing was right.

This lesson was a collaboration with Hōkūleʻa crew member Shantell De Silva. We worked on the script with a team from TED-Ed (a writer, a voice actor, and an animator.) The entire process took about 6 months.

I am pleased (and relieved) that the TED-Ed lesson has been well-received. It was an opportunity to introduce a Hawaiian culture-based lesson to the world. I am proud that this lesson shared ʻōlelo and connected a global community of learners to the Hōkūleʻa. My hope is that the lesson will help to tell the story of the indigenous wisdom and “moonshot” achievements of our ancestors.

Here is the link to the full lesson.

Travel Goals Update

October 2, 2017
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Blessed to have traveled to a bunch of cool places in the past few years. Now thoughtfully planning my next trip with very limited resources…

So far, I’ve been blessed to have visited Italy (Rome, Florence,) Spain (Madrid, Barcelona,) and France (Paris.)

Also blessed to have visited Peru (Machu Picchu and the Amazon,) as well as Australia (Melbourne) and New Zealand (Auckland.)

In Asia, I was able to visit China (Beijing,) Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto,) Okinawa, Thailand (Bangkok and Mae Sot,) and the Philippines (Makati.)

Now I am prioritizing my travel bucket list. My remaining travel goals include Marrakesh, Istanbul, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Amazing destinations! But now I am starting to consider places that have a deeper personal connection.

I am considering Hiroshima, Japan for my next trip. My dad’s side is Okinawa. My mom’s side is Hiroshima. Never been…

Hopefully, things will fall into place. Looking forward to the next adventure…

TED-Ed Innovation Project

September 26, 2017
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Our TED-Ed Innovative Educator cohort officially ended this month. Mahalo to TED-Ed for the opportunity and amazing ride! Mahalo to my TIE Cohort 3 fam for the inspiration and support. Here is a link to my TED-Ed Innovation Project.

#JustTheBeginning

Tamayose Family Reunion on Kauaʻi

July 26, 2017

Ramen Dreams: My Top 10

July 7, 2017

I love ramen! What makes it so awesome is the synergy of the broth, the noodles, and the chashu. Such a magical dish. I’ve been searching for my fave bowl of ramen on Oʻahu for the past four years. Hard work, yes. So here are my Top 10 favorite ramen-ya:

10. Goma Tei in Ward Centre has been a long-time favorite. The Tan Tan Ramen is spicy and so, so comforting. One of the first shops to bring “craft” ramen to Hawaiʻi. The curry, the Tatsuta-age Chicken, etc, etc. This shop started it all….

9. Lucky Belly in Chinatown offers up Asian fusion fare and a trendier type of ramen rather than the traditional. The Belly Bowl is flavorful, beefy, porky, and slightly spicy, with hints of miso, ginger, & sesame. Who wouldn’t want a sausage in their ramen?

8. Ramen Manichi, the one on Kona Street (and NOT the one in Shirokiya) is another great shop with long lines. It came at around the same time as Golden Pork Ramen Bar (and that’s why I always confuse the two.) Manichi uses some type of water filtration for their broth. Huh? Either way, tastes really good.

7. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is located at the entrance of Don Quijote on Kaheka. They have a good Shio Ramen and a good Kara Miso, but the one to get is the Shoyu. Nice broth, chewy noodles, and tasty toppings. Good stuff.

6. Tsujita is a newcomer, located in the Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. The Yokocho in my opinion, is the best food court in Hawaiʻi. Tsujita’s specialty is their Tsukemen dipping noodles. Mind-blowing, chewy, toothsome noodles….

5. Wagaya is located across the McCully McDonald’s. I would go for the Tsukemen here as well. The broth is deep, flavorful, & complex, and the noodles are curly and have a great texture. They have the best ajitama egg here. They even have beef tongue on the menu!

4. Agu Ramen Bistro (Isenberg location) is next-level, gourmet ramen. It is expensive, but it is amazing. My fave bowl here is the Spicy Kotteri (level #2 spiciness.) The broth has layers upon layers of flavor. This shop also has great small plates (side dishes) from gyoza, to jellyfish, to pig ears.

3. Menya Musashi is on Pensacola Street. To me, this shop has the best broth, the best noodles, and the best chashu (kakuni.) Disclaimer: when they are on their “A-game,” they are by far the best. By far. But, I have found them to be inconsistent. On an “off day,” ooh not so much…

2. Kiwami on Keʻeaumoku was my go-to place for tsukemen. WAS…. It shut down. I was devastated to see the chains on the door. No more Spicy Tsukemen (medium spiciness with noodles served hot) for me.

1. Japanese Ramen Kai was my hands-down fave ramen-ya on Oʻahu. I was traumatized when they closed as well. The owner got homesick and moved back to Japan, taking all of his recipes with him. Their Goma Cha-Shu Tan Tan was amazing. Their signature Miso Cha-Shu Ramen is now a fading memory. Tear.

I know, I know. My top 2 are sentimental. So I would recommend Menya, Agu, and Wagaya. Check out the Waikiki Yokocho if you can. Happy slurping! Always dreaming of ramen….

Ideas Worth Spreading

May 6, 2017
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We did it! Our Kamehameha Schools TED-Ed Club held its Student Talks event at SALT @ Our Kakaʻako in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It was a great success and a big relief…

The morning started with pre-event music by Chase & Chels. They were awesome and added much “street cred” to our event. Then our president Malia greeted the crowd and kicked us off. Here was our lineup.

• Malia spoke on life-changing lessons learned on her trip to the Galapagos Islands.
• Duke spoke on his summer internship at the University of Pittsburgh studying cancer treatments.
• Sasha shared her experiences as Editor-in-Chief at our school’s newspaper, Ka Mōʻī.
• Jacob shared the emotional journey of his injury at a track & field meet in the pole vault event.
• Sierra talked about her passion and experiences being involved with robotics programs.
• Laʻakea shared about work ethic in making it onto the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Team.
• Keely took us on her journey of auditioning for a Filipino reality show and friendships made.
• Cade, a “speechie,” articulated experiences of competing in speech & debate at the international level.
• Nicole spoke on her passion of exploration & adventure and to recognize opportunities.
• Bailey shared her inspiring story of why she created the Lifesavers Club and how to bring awareness.

They were all amazing! The Lifesavers Club then held a demonstration/clinic on CPR & AED.

It was a huge success and a great day for our students and audience. Mahalo to our student speakers! Mahalo to our president Malia for your hard work! Mahalo to SALT @ Our Kakaʻako for hosting us and for all of your support!

#TEDEdKS

Aotearoa

March 30, 2017
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Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus trip to Aotearoa. March 21-29, 2017.

Pac-Man Lite

March 14, 2017
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Travel is my passion. And packing light is my mission. I only fly with one carry-on.

Why? Two reasons.
1. To eliminate the possibility of lost or stolen luggage. I never check my bag. I just bring one carry-on. Because my vacations are always short, losing luggage on Day 1 would pretty much ruin the trip.

2. To be mobile. As soon as I deplane, I’m out the terminal. Because my bag is a backpack, I do not need to drop it off at a hotel. I can go straight to the museum or café. I also do not use a “rolly” bag, which does not work on stairs or cobblestone.

How does minimalist packing work?

Laundry. I pack clothes for 5 days (not including what I’m wearing on the plane.) This means that I would need to do laundry only one time for a 12-day trip. My t-shirts are Nike Dri-FIT and my socks are SmartWool. My shorts are hybrid boardshorts. Undies microfiber…. ahem. Everything hang dries in a few hours.

The Bag:

I have an Osprey Porter 46 travel backpack. It’s the largest allowable carry-on (22″ x 14″ x 9″) according to most airline restrictions. I like that it opens fully, giving you access to all of its contents. Comes with stow away shoulder straps. It’s been one of my best investments.

Packing cubes:

Packing cubes help keep you organized. They compress your clothes and save a lotta space. I slip a Bounce dryer sheet into each one to keep things “fresh.” Ziploc bags will work.

Travel wardrobe:

I wear my bulky clothes on the plane. I rotate two pairs of dark blue jeans. I am fond of my baseball cap.

Shoes:

I bring just one pair. I know that this is the deal breaker for some. I wear trekker shoes on trips. Great for walking around the city or exploring nature. Super comfortable and waterproof. They’re versatile and can match jeans or shorts.

Jacket:

I wear my jacket on the plane. It’s usually cold. I recommend a black jacket. It’s neutral, and dressy enough to get by.

Electronics:
My iPhone is the only device that I travel with. I’ll bring AC adapters and occasionally a GoPro.

Miscellaneous:

I pack a collapsible daysack inside of my backpack. I always have an umbrella with me. I hate rain. I use a Moleskine notebook for journaling. Toilet paper is an absolute must. I will also bring a Santa Clause hat for my next Christmas card.

Tips:
• My toiletries kit has a hook for hanging. Sometimes there’s no counter space. (Sometimes there’s no counter.)
• I print a copy of my passport for my bag, and I email it to myself.
• I stash an ample supply of Airborne Chewables to stay healthy.
• ChapStick & sunscreen will save you.
• No need to carry a water bottle or heavy flask. Bottled water is available everywhere.
• TSA pre√. Take the express line and never take shoes off again.

Minimalism:
Part of what makes you a minimalist is “doing without.” I do sacrifice a few things that a lot of people wouldn’t. I don’t bring slippers or an iPad on my travels anymore. I also don’t bring back souvenirs and “stuff.” I’m too poor. All of my spending money is for food.

Conclusion:
This kind of packing is not for everyone, but it works. It’s so “freeing.” You should try. Pack light….

Walk With Compassion

March 4, 2017

Took part in this morning’s Walk With Compassion charity walk to end child poverty. The event was held @ Ala Moana Beach Park.

It was a beautiful morning! There were 6 educational stations along the route around the park. There were also food booths, children’s activities, entertainment, and fellowship. It was an awesome day.

I believe that sponsoring a child through Compassion International is the most important thing that I do. Compassion is one organization that I will always wholeheartedly support.

I first learned about the Walk With Compassion event while serving at the MercyMe concert in November. Met a lotta good people there, including the event organizer. Monies raised from the walk will provide funding for disaster relief, medical emergencies, care for unsponsored children, clean water, and much, much more.

We formed TEAMInspire at the Arise Conference last month. My fundraising goal was to rescue one family from abject poverty. Thanks to the generosity of my friends, we were able to rescue two.

If you are still interested in making a tax deductible donation, please click on my link, walkwithcompassion.com/participant/alantamayose by June 2nd. Mahalo & God bless.

POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi

February 19, 2017

“POW! WOW! IS A GATHERING OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS THAT ENGAGES WITH THE BROADER COMMUNITY IN THE PROCESS AND CREATION OF ART AND MUSIC.”

Each February, I look forward to POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi. It’s one of the coolest events here in Kakaʻako. I believe that it started out at Fresh Café in 2011? One of the founders is a friend from Kamehameha, Kamea.

After breakfast at Karen’s Kitchen, I began my tour. I especially enjoy seeing the artists at the completion of their murals.

They are appreciative of the support and are always willing to chat.

Looking forward to seeing the completion of this mural near Ala Moana Blvd. by the car dealerships. Curious to see what happens to the eyes…

POW! WOW! headquarters is at Lana Lane Studios. This is where you can pick up the passport and purchase some of the merch. I only got a sticker for my skateboard. This year’s shirt & cap look really nice.

Half way through my exploration, I took a refreshment break at Village @ SALT.

This one is across from Mother Waldron Park.

On my way home, I was able to meet up with my friends from Wooden Wave.

Had an amazing time checking out the murals and meeting the artists. This is one event that I will always support….

“My Funny Valentine”

February 13, 2017

Every year I get a Valentine’s gift for that special someone. Unfortunately, that special someone has always been me. (Or perhaps fortunately…?) One year it was luggage, another year it was a longboard skateboard. It’s become a tradition. This year, money is tight. So that’s why I’m re-gifting something to myself.

This is my 1970 Martin D-28. I’ve been playing guitar on and off (mostly off) for the past bunch of years. I did have a gig in 2015, but that’s the only time I’ve picked it up since moving to town in 2009.

This spring, I’m blessed to be traveling with the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus to New Zealand as a chaperone. I will also be accompanying them on guitar. I will do my absolute best.

And now I’m beginning to rediscover the passion that I once had. Pretty good gift if I say so myself…

Super Party

February 5, 2017

Every year, about a dozen close friends attend Brian’s super, Super Bowl party in Kalihi. It’s become quite the tradition. I believe that today marks our 20th Super Bowl party!

The party starts at about noon. Brian prints a commemorative t-shirt each year and passes them out upon arrival. The shirts add a special touch.

Then the grilling begins. We try to eat before kickoff, which is usually around 1:30pm (HST.) People brought pizza, chili, and desserts.

My contribution to the potluck was this SUPER haul of poke from Foodland Farms @ Ala Moana.

Then comes the lengthy explanation of the game sheet we play. I’m always pretty bad at this. My excuse is that I’m actually trying to watch the game. Brian always comes up with cool prizes.

Today’s grand prize was a Derek Carr autographed mini-helmet. Last year it was Marcus Mariota. Nice!

We were hoping for a close game, and we got one. It went into overtime. I truly appreciate today’s gathering. So much fun catching up. And it’s all about having your own traditions. Already looking forward to the next one. It was a super Sunday. #SB51

Eat Oʻahu

January 26, 2017
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islandergroup.com

Occasionally, out-of-town guests will hit me up for dining recommendations. Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m happy to oblige.

*  * * D I S C L A I M E R * * *

These recommendations are for visitors staying in Waikiki. As a traveler myself, I truly value convenience and time (i.e., I wouldn’t send someone to Tanioka’s in Waipahu just for a half-pound of poke.)

Waikiki:

Duke's Waikiki

Duke’s Waikiki

Kapahulu:

Rainbow Drive-In Beef Cutlet

Kaimuki:

Kaimuki Superette Hapa Fried Rice

Kaimuki Superette Hapa Fried Rice

Ala Moana Center:

Kakaʻako:

Highway Inn Poi Macnut Pancake

Highway Inn Poi Macnut Pancake

Town:

Zippy's Zip Pac

Zippy’s Zip Pac

Chinatown:

Char Hung Sut's Ma Tai Soo

Char Hung Sut’s Ma Tai Soo

Honolulu Harbor:

Nico's Furikake Pan Seared Ahi

Nico’s Furikake Pan Seared Ahi

Kalihi:

Helena's Short Ribs Pipikaula

Helena’s Short Ribs Pipikaula

Hawaii Kai:

Kailua:

Kahuku / North Shore:

Haleʻiwa:

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Grump

January 20, 2017
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January 20, 2017 was Inauguration Day. Felt kinda weird, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Definitely not a Trump supporter. (I believe he is a clown.) At the same time, I too am done with the status quo. Reflecting back. Way, way back. I believe that the best prez in my lifetime was probably Ronald Reagan.

Yup, an All-American. Hard to compete with nostalgia and the “good ol’ days.”

Still, reality bites. 1459 more days until the next election….

That’s why I’m considering a run in 2020.

“For the times they are a-changin’.” – Bob Dylan

#BeTheChange #YouHeardItFirst #SorryNotSorry #Imua

New Year’s Resolution Reimagined

January 1, 2017

Background: After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution from 2008-2012 without success,  I had to rethink it. I replaced it with a bucket list in 2013. I went from incremental goals (i.e. lose 10 lbs.) to life-changing goals.

Preface: At 12:05am on January 1st, 2013, I was lying face down in a cul-de-sac in Mililani Mauka after a fireworks accident (don’t ask.) I was thinking, sheesh, can 2013 be over with? Unlikely as it seemed then, I was blessed to meetup with my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines and walk across the Great Wall of China by year’s end. All things are possible.

This is my current bucket list. There’s a whole lotta travel, which is my passion.

Life Goals:

• Seek after God’s heart
• Go snowboarding
• Appear in a TV commercial
• Create a work of art
• See a Red Sox vs. Yankees game
• Learn to cook a fancy gourmet dish
• Get a tattoo
• Own my dream car, a ’67 VW van
• Buy a suit (and wear it)

School Goals:

• Run a TED-Ed speaking event at SALT @ Our Kakaʻako
• Publish a TED-Ed animated lesson on the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage
• Tie a kihei

Ministry Goals:

• Go on a missions trip to Japan

Travel Goals:

• Visit Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
• Visit Hong Kong
• Eat phở in Vietnam
• Visit London
• Visit Prague in the Czech Republic
• Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
• Travel to Istanbul
• Travel to Marrakech
• Travel to Angkor Wat in Cambodia
• Visit Aotearoa
• See the Taj Mahal
• Witness the Aurora Borealis
• Attend a World Cup Soccer match

Completed Goals:

√ Visit my sponsored child in the Philippines
√ Revisit New York City
√ Travel to Machu Picchu
√ Walk across the Great Wall of China
√ Visit Barcelona
√ Visit Rome
√ Visit Australia
√ Learn to skateboard
√ Take a solo (YOLO) trip to Paris
√ Visit my “homeland” of Okinawa
√ Find the best bowl of ramen in Hawaiʻi
√ Help launch a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown
√ Run a TEDxYouth event at school
√ Play guitar in a café
√ Own a condo near Ala Moana Beach (lifelong dream)

Amazing memories! I am also thankful that I have been blessed with things that I never even dreamed of.

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a [re]imagine sesh. Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well. Dream big!
Happy 2017! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless!