While other parts of the world are witnessing lower temperatures, snowmen littered in backyards and a white, frosty Christmas season, O'ahu's North Shore is welcoming something much different. Replacing the winter wonderland is barreling surf, waves 15 feet high, and frothy whitewash. This can only mean one thing, The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. An annual event held on the North Shore of O’ahu, this competition attracts the best of the best in the surfing world. From Kelly Slater to Jeremy Flores, hundreds of fans and spectators came to see what these professionals have to offer when challenged with Hawaii’s killer waves. When I went to the competition, the crowd – tourists and amateur surfers alike – were in awe at how the professionals dealt with the life threatening waves. The massive monsters crashed on the sand with such force and anger, but when the surfers rode them, it’s as if they were tamed, and the surfers owned them. You could feel the excitement and anxiety in the air. I was impressed at how the pros handled the waves and admired their skills. Tourists came in their big tour buses, some drove, and the neighborhood kids rode their bikes, just to see all the buzz. You could feel the elation that the spectators and surfers shared pulse through your every being. It was truly a thrilling experience. The Triple Crown was started in 1983 by State Senator Fred Hemmings and is held from November 12 to December 20 every year. It showcases multiple sponsored competitions that are held in 3 of the North Shore’s famous beaches. The first is at Ali’i Beach in Haleiwa, where the Men’s Reef Hawaiian Pro and the Women’s Cholo Hawaiian Pro is held. Next comes Sunset beach with the men’s O’neill World Cup of Surfing and the Gidget Pro. Last, but definitely not least, is the Billabong Pipe Masters that take place at Pipeline Beach. Even though the competition is an annual event, there is one thing very different this year. That is the loss of beloved Kaua'i surfer, Andy Irons. Irons won the competitions in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most amount of money won in the competition’s history. He was one of surfing’s best. Andy Irons passed away on November 2 at the early age of 32 from a minor flu that turned deadly. He will be dearly missed by the surfing world and his fans. If you haven’t attended the Triple Crown before, then you should definitely go to the 2011 competitions. On a personal note, I think this annual competition is something we, as residents of Hawaii, should be proud of. While everybody else is freezing in snow storms, we are enjoying ourselves in the sun. Hawaii has something quite unique that doesn’t include below 0̊ temperatures and hail storms. We have the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Saint Francis girls Peyton Coronas ('12), Kelsea Guines ('13), Tiffany Trantham ('12), and Kelcee Santos ('11), Skylar Lotomau (6th grade), and Gabriella Bryne (Kindergarden) attended the T.C. Ching Foundation “Inspired in Hawaii” awards banquet. This event was held at Ala Moana Center Stage at 5 p.m. January 19th. Many Saint Francis parents, administration, teachers, and students came to support these students as they walked on stage to receive their certificates and prizes. The students were truly hard workers and deserved every second of fame given to them. Gabriella Byrne, kindergarten winner in the poster division, and Skyler Lotomau, grand prize essay winner in her 4th to 6th grade age group, were awarded cash prizes and gift certificates to Jamba Juice. Both faces lit up as the MC’s announced their position in their division. The cinematography girls of Saint Francis, Peyton, Kelsea, Tiffany, and Kelcee, were grand prize winners in the video division and also received cash prizes and gift certificates. Their video was about kids and drugs. “It was worth all the hard work!” exclaimed the girls. Loud shouting and numerous claps filled the area as the girls were called up to take their award-winning photo. “This is great! This is wonderful!” said Mrs. Batoon. Mrs. McClain and her cinematography students will be appearing on Hawaii News Now Sunrise Show Channel 7 on January 21st.
With every passing year, Saint Francis School holds their annual Penny Carnival. This hour-long event hosts many fun-filled games and delicious food. The whole school comes together and works as a team in order to raise money for Catholic Charities Hawai’i. “Penny Carnival is a very fun way to give back to others who are in more need than us. It is also a great spirit builder for classes to bond.” Mr. Chu said. This year, each division had a specific theme that they followed. The 7th grade division held a ring toss game and also provided pancit and adobo, which are traditional Filipino foods. The 8th grade chose an Italian theme; selling pizza and spaghetti along with hosting ski-ball and criss-cross games. The freshmen served Chinese food and fruit punch. The 10th grade had Hawaiian-themed booths and served pineapples both with and without li hung mui. They had an ulumaika game, and rewarded the winners with a Hawaiian stamp. The 11th grade sold spam musubi and mochi as part of their Japanese theme and hosted a bean bag toss. The winners of the game were rewarded with a silly band. The seniors served enchiladas, supporting their Mexican theme. They also held a water balloon toss, however the catch was that the targets weren’t any old targets.. They were our very own teachers! Mr. Bonning, Mr. Sekulich, and Mr. Takayama were all “sacrificed to the student body” thanks to the plotting seniors. “This year’s Penny Carnival was very exciting. There are a bunch of new types of games. Teacher are getting wet, kids are laughing, and everyone looks like they’re having fun.” describes Sister Joan of Arc. All the money that was raised is donated to Catholic Charities Hawaii. A special check was presented by Saint Francis to a representative of CCH at a special assembly on December 8th. Penny Carnival is a wonderful and brilliant tradition of Saint Francis because all the students work together as a team in order to work and provide for their booths. It brings everyone closer together and it is for a great cause as well. The division that raised the largest dollar amount is the 8th graders, they cleaned out and sold all their pizza and spaghetti in a record time of 20 minutes! The 7th grade raised the greatest per-person amount. They did a fabulous job and truly deserved to be this year’s winners. This year’s Penny Carnival was very successful and fun-filled. Teachers were wet, kids were singing and dancing, people participated in fun activities and games, and everyone enjoyed the wonderful food that was sold. It all gave us a break from schoolwork and acted as a reminder to us about how fortunate we are and how wonderful it feels to give back to the community.
Spirits were high the night of the annual Christmas concert. Despite the cold weather, family, friends and guests filled the seats of the ASC and the bleachers outside, while students from both the elementary and high school warmed up their voices and instruments to help spread the Christmas cheer a little early. To start off the show, the music departments of both the elementary and high school joined together in singing a local favorite, "Mele Kalikimaka". Emcees, Kaulana and Lehua La’a kept the crowd in good spirits while the students got ready for their next pieces. Sophomore Shinichiro Kono blew the crowd away with his opera solo of "Ave Maria." His performance surely impressed the audience and put them in the mood for the rest of the program. The elementary school shared several pieces. Their enthusiastic energy came out in their rendition of “El Burrito Sabanero". From singing in Spanish to playing the ukulele, the elementary kids were a hard act to follow. "I thought they were adorable,” said Casey Cabanas. Then it was the high school's turn to spread the cheer. The show choir brought laughs and smiles with their original choreography and flamboyant tutus in "The Nutcracker." The chorus accompanied by the band and alumni, shared songs of peace and love. "It was entertaining to see my friends and brother perform this year," stated Siarrah Llarinas. Music teacher and conductor of the night, Mrs. Llamedo had this to say about the overall performance of the concert and students hard work; "Everybody was awesome."
“Another mass?” said the seventh grader. “I hope we don’t have to clean up”, said the eighth grader. “It better be short”, said the freshmen. While the lower classmen may be incredulous to the importance of the ceremony, the upperclassmen are ecstatic. The sophomores are anticipating their chance to walk up on that stage next year; the seniors reminisce the moment Sister Joan gave them that beautiful ring. Now the spotlight will once again be placed on the juniors: class of 2012. Junior year is the most important year in high school. The classes and extra-curricular activities you take are checked by colleges all over the country, and will help you shape your future career. The ring’s design represents all the hard work you put in fulfilling your goals. The ring is molded out of silver or gold and is printed with the school’s name and the student’s graduation year. After Bishop Larry Silva blessed the rings, the juniors could not wait any longer. Who could not be eager to receive such a symbolic and beautiful ring? The ring consists of many symbols representing the school. The ring has two distinguished shields, one symbolizing that you are a graduate and the other with a troubadour as the school mascot. The crest on the ring forms the saint Francis coat of arms. It consists the stigmata of Jesus and saint Francis in front of a cross symbolizing that they both were victims of the cross. The crest is surrounded by olive branches to represent peace and victory, and our school motto “Deus Meus Et Omnia” Latin for “My God, My All.” The most bedazzling feature of the ring is the blue spinel tone that the crest is mounted upon. The benevolent blue bears the colors of the Blessed Mother and our school colors. Although the design is simple, the meaning is intricate. It is a great honor for students to be able to wear the ring. It will be a lifetime reminder of all the thrills of high school and how much pride you have for being a Saint Francis School student. Today, juniors will be wearing the ring facing them. On graduation, however, they will turn the ring facing the world. Then they shall become Saint Francis Alumni.