Our Mission

In keeping with the ideals of a diverse and pluralistic Filipino society in the Philippines and in the diaspora, the Filipino Language and Culture Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHMFIL) recognizes its unique location in place and history. We seek to provide an in-depth understanding of the Philippines, specifically its rich linguistic and cultural diversity among heritage and non-heritage students in Hawaiʻi and in the US contexts. We provide training for individuals who intend to learn (Tagalog-based) Filipino, including other Philippine languages such as Ilokano, Cebuano, and Hiligaynon, among others. We nurture the interests of our community members, including students, teachers, and researchers, to become competent language users of Filipino and to develop a deep appreciation and complex understanding of Filipinos’ lived experiences in the Philippines and overseas. We commit ourselves to constantly seeking professional and personal development opportunities in order to lead the field of teaching Filipino language and culture in Hawaiʻi and in the world through relevant curricular offerings and theoretically and empirically grounded pedagogical approaches.



  • To improve the quality of teaching and learning Filipino and Philippine culture to heritage and non-heritage students locally and globally

  • To produce graduates who are competent language users of Filipino and have a deep and complex understanding of Filipino cultures and history

  • To facilitate the identity development of Filipino heritage and Filipino American students who desire to have a deeper connection to their cultural roots

  • To serve the Filipino community in Hawaiʻi and other interested parties through providing support for language learning/access and cultural understanding

  • To provide awareness of complex, unique, and even conflicting Filipino culture, identities, and language use

  • To prepare young generations of Filipinos and Filipino Americans for future educational, community, and leadership roles

  • To graduate students in a timely (if not the fastest) manner

  • To conduct teachers training and other professional development activities for Filipino language teachers in Hawaii, the Philippines, the US, and other locations overseas


We aspire to be locally and internationally known as a leading Filipino Language and Culture Program with robust curriculum and instruction, grounded in our deep appreciation of our cultural traditions and complex history that encourage us to nurture the hopes and aspirations of future generations of Filipinos and Filipino Americans.