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Puna & The Dragon Goddess – Candace Pacheco

The Spirit of Aloha

The word “aloha” is the most recognized of all Hawaiian words. In its simplest use, it means “hello”, “welcome”, or “goodbye”. But the word, to many Hawaiians, can also be used to convey a much deeper and richer feeling, one that encapsulates a way of living, being, and most of all, treating others. This Spirit of Aloha inspires us to do what we do and influences every facet of every tour we offer at Polynesian Adventure Activities.

We wanted to delve further into this particular meaning of Aloha, so we asked Candace Pacheco what the Spirit of Aloha means to her, as well as some of her favorite things about Hawaii.

Hi, Candace! How long have you been here with us at Poly Ad?
I have been working at Poly Ad for a little over a month!

What does the Aloha Spirit mean to you?
The Spirit of Aloha means to act with kindness, be respectful, and to show love to all. The Spirit of Aloha is all about sharing and helping others when they are in need. For me, it’s the golden rule “Treat others as you would want to be treated”. It also means to take care and respect our surroundings, the land, ocean, air, animals, forests, foliage – everything! These things & actions make up the Spirit of Aloha.

What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?

I enjoy barbecue with my family and children at the beach or even in our front yard, we kanakapila every time we host it.

Kanikapila is Hawaiian for jam session, a free-flowing, unstructured sudden outburst of dancing and singing just for the fun of it. Literally defined, “kani” means sound and “pila” means any string musical instrument or to play music. Unformally, it simply means to gather together and play music.

Landscape view of Na Pali coastline and Kalalau trail, Kauai

What is your favorite Hawaiian story or legend?

My favorite Hawaiian Story is about Puna & The Dragon Goddess… There were 2 main Goddesses worshipped in the temples: Kihawahine and Haumea. When it was time for Haumea to marry, she took the chief of Oahu, Puna, as her husband. She wasn’t aware, however, that Kihawahine wanted to take chief Puna for herself. One day Puna and his people were traveling around the island looking for a good surf spot. They found a fine surf place where a beautiful woman, Kihawahine, was floating on the sea. She called to the chief and said that it was not a good place for surfing, but that if he followed her, she would take him to the perfect place far outside the reef. Thus, the goddess lured Puna out to sea, all the way to Molokai. Puna was taken to Moloka’i, where the “couple” lived together in a cave for quite some time, before he discovered that she was, in fact, a dragon goddess with a cruel temper. Eventually, Puna was able to escape with the help of his brother-in-law, Hinole, and made his way back to his wife, Haumea, though Kihawahine never stopped looking for him.

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