The Filipino experience

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Tim Llena commemmorates his community’s centennial in the isles with photographic portraits.

(StarBulletin Hawaii) “ONE HUNDRED years is a long time,” begins photographer Tim Llena in his artist’s statement for “FACES: Portraits of Filipinos in Hawaii.” The collection of images, a few of which are featured on this page, are on exhibit at Canon Photo Gallery through Oct. 30.

“Photographs not only bring us back to a bygone era, but they also have the power to reconnect us to our heritage and historical experience. … As we look at them, we reminisce and allow a cathartic understanding of ourselves.”

Llena, a native of Pangasinan in the Philippines, collaborated with the Filipino Centennial Celebration Commission for “FACES.” He says “there is a gap between the sakadas (Filipino plantation workers) of yesterday and the Filipinos today, and I would like to bridge this gap in photographs.”

Llena’s images are also part of other exhibitions around town: Bishop Museum’s “Sentenaryo: 100 Years of Filipinos in America and Hawaii” and “Unguided Tour” at thirtyninehotel. Both shows continue through Nov. 30.

Canon Photo Gallery is located in Ward Plaza, 210 Ward Ave., Suite 200. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Call 522-5930 for more information.

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TIM LLENA – Youngsters from Waialua Mill Camp take a ride around the old mill on a Sunday afternoon. The photograph is among a collection by Tim Llena documenting life for Filipinos in these isles. Llena’s exhibit, “FACES: Portraits of Filipinos in Hawaii,” runs through Oct. 30 at Canon Photo Gallery.

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TIM LLENA – A Day of Valor celebration at the Filipino Community Center in July brought together U.S. veterans. Richard Bibilone, left, and Guillermo Alejo fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

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TIM LLENA – Rossan Esquivel celebrates her First Communion last year at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ewa Beach.

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TIM LLENA – Mario Lagoc, above, is a sugar mill machinist on Kauai.

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TIM LLENA – Break-dance artist Tommy De Castro shows his stuff in the family living room of his Waipahu home.

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TIM LLENA – At far right, Danielle Liana Tomita is radiant after being named Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic in the 2004 Miss Teen Hawaii Filipina contest.

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