Dahil Sa’yo is a commentary on the tourism industry’s relationship with Filipino immigrant workers. The artists honor the work of the hospitality team at the Surfjack through a video installation and a live interactive karaoke experience comprised of workers from Surfjack’s hospitality team. This open work reminds the audience of Hawai‘i’s long history of Filipino immigrants. The first group of 15 sakadas recruited by Hawaii Sugar Planters Association arrive in Honolulu in 1906 and were sent to work on the Ola‘a Plantation on the Big Island.
According to the 2016 Census, Filipinos in Hawaii number about 209,000 and constitute 14 percent of the state of Hawai‘i’s population. According to census figures, nearly 122,000 Filipinos are immigrants, making up 46.4 percent of the state’s foreign-born population. Dahil Sa’yo is Tagalog for “Because of You,” a popular kundiman (folk song) often sang in karaoke; a favorite Filipino pastime.
Photography by AJ Feducia and Kainoa Raponte
Video Production by Gerard Elmore.