Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 Next>>


The Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony—one of the Oahu’s most visually breathtaking annual events—returns on Monday evening, May 31, to Ala Moana Beach Park.

If you’ve never seen it in person, it’s a must-attend—Honolulu’s version of Toro Nagashi, a Japanese tradition, which translate literally as “lantern offerings on water.”

Each Memorial Day at sunset, more than 40,000 Honolulu residents and visitors gather along Ala Moana Beach to remember loved ones who have passed away and pray for a peaceful future. At the shore as night falls, they set adrift more than 2,000 candlelit paper lanterns into the calm waters of the sheltered beach. Each floating lantern carries the name of loved ones, with messages of comfort for their spiritual journey.

The Toro Nagashi ceremony was founded by the Shinnyo-en Buddhist order in 1952. In Japan, it is traditionally held in July and August, coinciding with the end of Obon festival season. Hawaii’s Shinnyo-en order has always held the ceremony on Memorial Day—to also honor lives lost in war.


Lantern Floating Hawaii’s 12th annual ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. We recommend arriving much earlier for the best spots on the beach. If you want to float a lantern, a limited number are distributed beginning at 1 p.m., but they usually run out fast so, once again, arrive early. Either way, what you’ll really want for the evening is a camera to capture it all—a point we think should become pretty obvious once you take a look at our slideshow on the next page.

Free parking will be made available at the Hawaii Convention Center, beginning at 9 a.m. that day.  Ala Moana Beach is a short walk walk away. At 4 p.m., a free shuttle begins making roundtrips from the convention center to Ala Moana Beach Park.

Lantern Floating Hawaii is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Lantern Floating Hawaii’s website.

If you can’t make it to Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday evening, Hawaii television station KGMB9 will be broadcasting the ceremony live from 6:30 p.m. (Hawaii time), and streaming it live online. Click this link to watch Lantern Floating Hawaii live online, Mon., May 31.

Next page: Check out HawaiiMagazine.com's Lantern Floating Hawaii photo slideshow

Photos: Lantern Floating Hawaii
Photo slideshow: Dawn Sakamoto and Derek Paiva


Waikiki_International_Market_Place_Update_05282010We continue to get inquiries about the fate of Waikiki’s International Market Place. For instance, reader Bob Brethour wrote:

The last I heard the International Market Place was going to disappear, and then there was some doubt. Could you please provide an update?

From Pat Pattison in Australia, we got a somewhat plaintive email:

My friend who lives in Portland told me that the International Market Place has closed down. Is this true???

The Market Place still stands. But its days are numbered.

Last year, we reported that the landowner—Queen Emma Land Co.—was taking proposals for developing the Market Place’s 6.48 acres in the heart of Waikiki. They expected to be done in several months.

It took longer, but last week Queen Emma Land signed an agreement with Taubman Centers.  Taubman is a Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company that develops, owns and operates high-end malls across the country. For instance, they own Beverly Center in Los Angeles, the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey and Fair Oaks Mall in Virginia.

Taubman is not saying much about the agreement except it “will evaluate the market feasibility of developing the current International Market Place, as well as conduct more in-depth due diligence into physical and regulatory requirements as next steps before moving forward.”

OK. What does that mean? More on the next page.


Hawaii named “Best Value Destination”

hawaii_best_value_destination_awardThe website SmarterTravel.com has just announced something we’ve known all along. Hawaii is currently the best value travel destination on the planet.

SmarterTravel’s finalists for its 2010 Editors' Choice best value destination award were Argentina, Australia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Mexico.

Hawaii beat all the other contenders based on sales and deals. Said the site:

With a three percent drop in overall year-over-year travel prices and a 10 to 15 percent decrease in premium hotel rates, plus four new air routes so far in 2010 and the likely addition of new low-cost carrier service from Allegiant, Hawaii was the obvious choice.

While the summer peak season should be busy, last-minute deals may still be available, as will discounts for the rest of the year.

As we’ve been letting HAWAII Magazine readers know all along, there’s never been a better time to come to Hawaii. Hawaii has always been a good value in terms of the visitor experience. With all the discounts and deals available, it's never been cheaper.

Keep visiting us here at HawaiiMagazine.com, or follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we'll always keep you updated about all of the best Hawaii deals we find.



The first ever Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival begins on Oahu on Thursday, kicking off a four-day celebration of the music of Hawaii and the artists—both past and present—who create it.

The anchor event for the festival is the 33rd annual edition of the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Awards on Sun., May 30—the premier awards ceremony of Hawaii’s music industry. The ceremony is a lot like the Grammys, with lei—a dress up industry event featuring performances by Hawaii’s best musicians, broadcast live statewide and worldwide online.

Leading up to the awards ceremony, however, the Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Fest’s multi-day schedule of live music stages and music workshops aims to entice Hawaii music fans and aspiring musicians into joining the celebration, too.

Na_Hoku_O_Hawaii_Music_Festival_where_to_goIf you’re staying in Waikiki during the fest and want to catch some live Hawaii music, you’re in luck. On the evenings of Fri., May 28, and Sat., May 29, dozens of musicians will be performing at more than 25 venues throughout Waikiki. The list of musicians—many of them past Na Hoku award winners—include:

• Maunalua, 4 p.m., Fri., at Duke’s Waikiki

• Kuuipo Kumukahi and the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Serenaders, 6 p.m., Fri., at the Royal Hawaiian Center’s Helumoa stage.

• Kaukahi, 6 p.m., Fri., at the Outrigger Reef Hotel’s Kani Ka Pila Grille

• Hoku Zuttermeister, 7:30 p.m., Fri., at Chai’s Aloha Tower

• Anuhea Jenkins, 8 p.m., Fri., at the Westin Moana Surfrider Beach Bar

• Olomana, 8 p.m., Fri., at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Bar, 7 p.m., Sat., at Waikiki Beach Walk

• Henry Kapono (pictured, above left) 7:30 p.m., Sat., at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Super Pool

• John Cruz,
8 p.m., Sat., at the Westin Moana Surfrider Beach Bar

Click here, and scroll down to “Musical Performances” to find out where.

At the Hawaii Convention Center, also on May 28 and 29, a full schedule of Hawaii music-related seminars and workshops for fans and aspiring musicians, hosted by past Na Hoku award-winners, includes:

Na_Hoku_O_Hawaii_Music_Festival_where_to_go• A seminar on Hawaiian chant and song led by Kealii Reichel

• Haku mele (song composition) workshops and seminars led by musicians including Moon Kauakahi of the Makaha Sons, Dennis Kamakahi, Mailani Makainai and others.

• Slack key guitar workshops and seminars led by Cyril Pahinui (pictured, above right), John Keawe, Kawika Kahiapo and Dennis Kamakahi

• Meet-the-artist sessions with Jake Shimabukuro, Eddie Kamae, John Cruz, Barry Flanagan of Hapa, part-time Hawaii resident Kenny Loggins and others.

• Hula exhibitions led by Natalie Ai Kamauu (pictured, top of page), Na Palapalai, Hoku Zuttermeister and Uluwehi Guerrero.

Click here for a full schedule of Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival workshops and seminars.

At the end of it all on Sunday, if you can't attend the 2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony in person, catch the red carpet arrivals, live music and awards presentation live on Hawaii TV stations KFVE and KGMB. KFVE will broadcast arrivals at 6:30 p.m., KGMB takes over at 7 p.m. with the Na Hoku awards ceremony.

Can’t be here in Hawaii? The awards ceremony will also be streamed live on the Web at www.hawaiinewsnow.com.

For more info and updates on the Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival, visit www.nahokufestival.com.
Photos: Ruben Carrillo/Na Hoku O Hawaii (top, middle), Cyril Pahinui/Na Hoku O Hawaii (bottom)


I’d seen the leonine silhouette from Kamehameha Highway more times than I could remember.

Perched high up on the mountain ridges overlooking Kahana Bay on Oahu’s lush Windward Coast is the distinct natural rock formation known most famously by its English name, “Crouching Lion.” When the sun is shining just right, its majestic visage can be drawn out perfectly.

Most legends of the landmark’s origins explain that the ancient Hawaiians believed it to be a demigod named Kauahi, sent from Tahiti to watch over the area. Having never seen a lion in the Islands, they considered Kauahi’s form to be that of a large-headed dog, or ilio.


The story goes that though Kauahi wished to explore the rest of island, he never left his post. And over time, his body slowly became one with the earth.

One day, the goddess Hiiaka—sister of the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele—sang with a sweet voice that Kauahi could not resist. He struggled, as he tried to stand up and escape from the kukui tree roots that bound him, but only got as far as a crouching position before he was frozen into stone. Legend has it that he still keeps watch over Kahana Bay, Kaaawa Valley and its people below. 


Last Aloha for "Lost": What cast members will miss most about Hawaii


You sometimes don’t fully appreciate where you live, even in a beautiful place like Hawaii. With the routine and stress of everyday life, you forget how spectacular the place you live in is. What if you were suddenly told that you had only a limited amount of time left in that place?

The cast of ABC’s hit show Lost is finding that there isn’t much time left on the island, and that there’s still plenty more of Hawaii to appreciate and experience before they leave.

In May 2007, midway through its third season, Lost creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse announced that they would be bringing the Island mystery to a close with only three more seasons, ending in May 2010. They wanted a solid, finite ending for their story instead of letting the show continue indefinitely, and risk losing its quality and viewership. (The final episode of Lost airs May 23.)

While a good move for the integrity of the show, having an official end date for the entire series was a doleful moment for most of the cast.

“I didn’t even want to think about leaving Hawaii,” said Jorge Garcia, who plays the affable voice of the audience, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. “I had plans of buying a house in Kailua and making a life here.”

When he moved to Oahu in 2004, Jorge welcomed Hawaii and its culture with open arms. He bought books on how to speak pidgin, found ono plate lunch at Kenenke’s in Waimanalo, and fell in love with Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands off its shore. He was proud to be a local.

When news of Lost’s end date came, Jorge realized that the move back to Los Angeles would be the best decision for his career. “Right now I need to be where the work is,” he says. “Hawaii will still be here, and I definitely plan on coming back. There are a lot of things I want to see and do while I’m still here, though, like seeing Lanai and getting out on the surfboard I bought a few years ago. I need to take advantage of the water a little more. It’s definitely going to be very hard to leave.”


win_Hawaii_Los_Angeles_flights_Hawaiian_AirlinesWant to kick off your summer with a quick getaway to Honolulu? Perhaps you already live in Hawaii and could use a few days of shopping and sightseeing in Los Angeles.

Introducing, the grand prizes of Hawaiian Airlines’ A330 Inaugural Sweepstakes.

Hawaiian Airlines is giving away roundtrip tickets for two on the inaugural passenger flights of its new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in June.

One winner from Hawaii and a guest will receive seats on the new A330’s first flight between Honolulu and Los Angeles on June 4, with three nights at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live tossed in for good measure. One winner from the U.S. Mainland and a guest will receive seats on the A330’s first flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu on June 5, and three nights at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa.

The catch? Well, there really isn’t one, except that you have only one week from today to enter! The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. (Hawaii time) May 26, 2010.

Go to the sweepstake’s official website—www.HaNewEra.com—to check out the five different ways you can enter. These vary from a simple tweet on Twitter, to a post on Hawaiian Air’s Facebook page to an e-mail, etc. Choose one way to enter, or try all five entry options.

Hint: The more the merrier, we always say.

Hawaiian Airlines’ new A330-200 is the first of 27 Airbus aircraft the Hawaii-based carrier hopes to add to its fleet by the end of the decade.

Photo: Hawaiian Airlines new Airbus A330-200 touches down at Honolulu International Airport, May 3, 2010

banana_cream_pie_hawaii_Polynesia_Cafe_recipeHAWAII magazine reader Ronda Rastler e-mailed us on a mission to find the recipe of a favorite island treat from her last visit:

While on Kauai I had the pleasure of eating the banana cream pie at the Polynesia Cafe in Hanalei. It was the most wonderful pie with a coconut macadamia nut crust.  Do you have the recipe?  I would love to be able to make it.

You ask, we answer.

Banana cream pie may not be the first food treat that pops into mind when you think of Hawaii. But for true lovers of fresh-baked, fresh-ingredient filled pie, indulging in a slice while soaking in a Hawaii sunrise—or really anything in the Islands—may be the next best thing to a glimpse into heaven. With banana farms scattered throughout the Islands, it’s no wonder banana cream pie has become such a loved treat here.

So what makes Polynesia Cafe’s recipe so dear to Ronda’s heart?

banana_cream_pie_hawaii_Polynesia_Cafe_recipeWe’re guessing it’s because the recipe calls for a homemade coconut macadamia nut pie crust made with island-grown mac nuts. Or it could be the thick layer of fresh sliced bananas nestled under the sweet filling. Ask Polynesian Cafe owners Jhoane and Thames Goodwin, however, and they’ll tell you the secret to their pie’s flavor is the cafe’s country setting—“Hanalei with the magic of Kauai in the background.”

Jhoane and Thames fell in love on the north shore of Kauai and decided to open up the Polynesia Cafe together. Not only do they offer a killer banana cream pie, but also a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. We rang up Thames, who was gracious enough to dish up the secret recipe to his banana cream pie and its coconut macadamia crust for HawaiiMagazine.com readers.

Mahalo Thames!


Hawaii_Five_O_picked_up_CBS_fall_seasonIt's looking like a hana hou for Five-O.

Entertainment industry trade papers The Hollywood Reporter and Variety are reporting today that CBS has picked up a redux of the classic Hawaii crime drama series Hawaii Five-O for the network’s fall season. An official announcement from the network is expected on Wednesday.

Plans for a new version of Five-O were first announced last October, with CSI: New York executive producer Peter Lenkov and Fringe co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci spearheading the production. A pilot episode for the new series was filmed on Oahu in March with at least four of the classic series' iconic lead characters back on the streets of Honolulu.

Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight) nabbed the plum lead role of Det. Steve McGarrett, originally played to square-jawed perfection by the late Jack Lord. Also cast as revived lead characters: Scott Caan as Det. Danny “Danno” Williams (originally played by James McArthur), Lost's Daniel Dae Kim as Det. Chin Ho Kelly (originally played by Honolulu actor Kam Fong) and Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica) as a female version of Det. Kono Kalakaua (originally played by native Hawaiian actor Zulu).

Rounding out the Five-O cast of new characters is Jean Smart (Samantha Who?) as fictional Hawaii Gov. Pat Jameson, Taryn Manning as Mary Ann McGarrett (Det. Steve’s sister) and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as an as-yet unnamed Five-O unit nemesis.

In recent weeks, a number of Hollywood trade publications had been calling the new Hawaii Five-O a guaranteed lock for a slot on the CBS fall schedule. Media buzz was that the finished pilot had seriously impressed CBS network executives.

In an interview with TV Guide earlier this month, O’Loughlin (pictured above, in a Moonlight publicity shot) said that he was also pleased with the pilot. “One of our main priorities is maintaining the integrity of Hawaii Five-O. We pay homage to the old series, but it is a new, contemporary remake of an old classic,” said O’Loughlin. “I hope fans really like it. … The show has a lot going for it.”

Hawaii_Five_O_picked_up_CBS_fall_seasonDaniel Dae Kim worked on the Five-O pilot between filming death scenes for his character Jin Soo-Kwan on that other extremely popular and long-running Hawaii-filmed series, Lost. The series' sixth and final season ends on Sunday with a 2 ½ hour season finale on ABC.

The original Hawaii Five-O’s 278 episodes were filmed almost entirely in Hawaii during its 1968 to 1980 run. The crime drama was one of the longest-running programs in TV history, surpassed only by NBC’s recently cancelled legal drama Law & Order. Repeats remain popular in syndication around the world and on the Web.

CBS is expected to officially announce its fall 2010 primetime schedule on Wednesday.

UPDATE, 5/19/2010:
CBS has announced that "Hawaii Five-O" will air on Mondays this fall, at 10 p.m. (East Coast/West Coast), 9 p.m. (Hawaii). Here's a teaser trailer:

Photo of Alex O'Loughlin: CBS


It’s been said that a great photo can often capture what words can’t begin to describe. At HAWAII Magazine, we couldn’t agree more. Especially when it comes to the many photos sent to us by our reader ohana (family). 

That’s why we’re encouraging you to send in your best photos taken in Hawaii to our Hawaiimagazine.com Reader Photo of the Week contest.

This is your chance to get creative. Your photo can be of just about anything, as long as it was captured here in the Islands.

From majestic “once-in-a-lifetime” sunsets on Kauai, to extreme action shots of North Shore Oahu surfers, to Big Island fishermen simply casting their lines in a Hilo fishpond, our readers always amaze us with their keen eye and skill at capturing amazing Hawaii moments. Go ahead and check out our collection of Photo of the Week winning shots, collected over the last two years. You’ll feel our readers love for the Islands in every photo.

If you’re inspired, send in your photo!

Coveted spots on our HawaiiMagazine.com homepage and Photo of the Week page, and bragging rights aren’t all our winners get. Each week’s winner also receives a one-pound bag of 100% Kona-grown coffee from Hula Daddy.

Hula Daddy owners Lee Paterson and Karen Jue’s farm in the heart of the Big Island’s Kona Coffee Belt has produced some of the most award-winning coffee roasts on the Island since 2002. Win our Photo of the Week contest and a bag of Hula Daddy Kona coffee will be sent to your doorstep.

Contest rules, more info and the e-mail address to send us your photos are on HawaiiMagazine.com's Reader Photo of the Week page. Just click here.

Good luck! We’re looking forward to seeing your photos!

And remember, through Aug. 6 you can also enter your Hawaii photo into our 12th annual HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest. The grand-prize winner of that contest receives a six-night vacation on Kauai with airfare! For more information, click here.

Photos (clockwise from top): Matt Wunderle, Tony Tryhuk, Robert Mori
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