About the Office
About the Consulate GeneralThe gracious Southern colonial building at 2433 Pali Highway has been the site of the Philippine Consulate General since 1948. The Consulate was formally opened on 14 November 1948 at a reception hosted by Consul General and Mrs. Modesto Farolan.
The Philippine Consulate was formerly the home of Albert Horner, a sugar executive. Mr. Horner purchased the property in 1913 from the estate of William Pfotenhauer, a German Consul and a Vice President of Hackfeld and Company.
In October 1948, the Philippine Memorial Foundation purchased this property which originally consisted of 57,000 square feet of land. The Foundation sold a portion of the property (11,395 square feet) to the territory of Hawaii for the construction of Pali Highway. The remaining area (now approximately 46,000 square feet) together with the building was sold to the Republic of the Philippines on 19 May 1961. Between the time of its purchase and sale, the property had been rented by the Republic of the Philippines.
The jurisdiction of the Consulate General in Honolulu includes all the islands of the State of Hawaii, namely: Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Big Island or Hawaii. Also part of the jurisdiction are American Samoa and French Polynesia.
The first office of the Consulate General was inaugurated on 30 December 1946 in the Dento Medical Building at 36 South Kukui Street in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. On 05 January 1947, the consular office opened to the public. It then moved to its present address at 2433 Pali Highway after the Philippine Government leased the old Horner mansion in 1948. In 1961, the Philippine Government purchased the property from the Philippine Memorial Foundation Limited, which was a non-profit organization wholly owned by Filipinos in Honolulu.
At its inception in January 1947, the Philippine Consulate General was accredited to the United States. Hawaii was then a trust territory. It became the fiftieth (50th) state of the United States of America on 21 August 1959. More than a dozen Philippine Consuls General have been posted in Honolulu since 1946. The first Consul General was Modesto Farolan. Following is a table of all Consuls General in Honolulu.
|CONSUL GENERAL||DATES SERVED|
|Modesto Farolan||December 1946 to December 1948|
|Aureliano Quitoriano||January to December 1949|
|Manuel Alzate||December 1949 to April 1952|
|Pedro Ramirez||April 1952 to June 1953|
|Emilio Bejasa||July 1953 to August 1957|
|Juan Dionisio||September 1957 to January 1962|
|Alejandro Yango||January 1962 to June 1966|
|Trinidad Alconcel||July 1966 to September 1972|
|Vicente Romero||December 1972 to December 1975|
|Trinidad Alconcel||January 1976 to May 1984|
|Raul Ch. Rabe||June 1984 to April 1986|
|Tomas Gomez III||April 1986 to December 1989|
|Solita M. Aguirre||February 1992 to November 1996|
|Minerva Jean Falcon||December 1996 to November 2000|
|Rolando Gregorio||December 2000 to December 2005|
|Eva G. Betita||January 2005 to 07 December 2005
(as Acting Head of Post)
|Ariel Y. Abadilla||December 2005 to June 2009|
|Leoncio R. Cardenas, Jr.||July 2009 to November 2011|
|Julius D. Torres||December 2011 to present|
The BuildingThe building in which the Consulate General is housed was built by Albert and Florence Horner as a summer mansion in 1905. The building consists of two (2) stories. The ground floor is elevated from the garden level. Part of the building is encircled by a lanai or a terrace, which is considered to be typical of Hawaiian architecture. The building is colonial in style with imposing white columns at the front entrance. The driveway is a wide expanse of road flanked by tall royal palms.
The main doorway opens to a high-ceilinged vestibule. There were four large rooms on the ground floor: the sun room next to the “porte-cochere” on the east side; the large middle room was the social room and entertainment room; the drawing room or music room, and the dining room. The two smaller rooms on the ground floor were the kitchen and a bathroom.
During its heyday, the mansion became the center of social and cultural events where concerts, occasional chamber music, tea parties, gatherings of business associates, and formal dinners were held. German holidays were also celebrated in the mansion in great style.
With the outbreak of World War II, the mansion was leased to another German national in order to avoid U.S. war laws that would have allowed for the confiscation of the property. The new lease was taken over by a German religious missionary who began a religious congregation in the mansion.
After the war, the Horners sold the property to Alan James Marshall through the Bishop Trust Company as trustee.
Shortly thereafter, the Philippine Memorial Limited Foundation was organized. Its membership consisted of Filipino migrant workers. The Foundation was able to raise $45,000.00 from contributions of members who could not remit their pay to their relatives in the Philippines during the war years. With this amount at hand, the Foundation bought the mansion from Alan James Marshall for a total of $80,000.00 and leased the property to the Philippine Government for use as its consular office and as residence of the Consul General. The Foundation made a down payment on the property and used the amount paid by the Philippine Government as rent to amortize the balance.
The Foundation finally agreed to sell the building to the Philippine Government in 1957 for $80,000.00. Philippine Consul General Juan Dionisio completed the purchase of the land and building on behalf of the Philippine Government on 19 May 1961.
In 1959, a portion, 11,395 square feet, of the property was purchased by the City of Honolulu for $28,000.00 for the widening of what became Pali Highway.
The Philippine Consulate General now stands on an area of land that amounts to approximately 46,000 square feet. As of 1993, the Philippine Government has spent approximately $300,000.00 to renovate and refurbish the mansion. Its market value as of 2010 is approximately $ 3.2 million.
Situated on the way to some of Honolulu’s main tourist attractions such as the Queen Emma Summer Palace, the Pali Lookout, the Pali Tunnel, and beautiful scenic routes along the way to Kaneohe and Kailua, the imposing and semi-colonial style mansion is often pointed out by tourist guides.
The district where the Consulate General is situated is sometimes called the “Consular Row” because the Japanese and Korean Consulates as well as the Taiwan Economic Office are also located in the same district.
The Consulate General is only 10 to 15 minutes drive from downtown Honolulu and is 25 minutes away from the Honolulu International Airport.
The Philippine Consular Office in Hilo, Hawaii
The Philippine Consulate General’s office in Hilo was in operation from December 1949 to January 1951. The office was opened to cater to the consular needs of the many Filipino workers in sugar plantations on the Big Island. The Consular Office in Hilo was ordered closed in January of 1951.
About the Consul General
Name: JULIUS D. TORRES
Rank: Chief of Mission, Class I (Rank of an Ambassador)
- Consul General of the Philippines, Philippine Consulate General, Honolulu, Hawaii, 01 December 2011 - present
- Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Philippine Embassy, Amman, Jordan, 20 February 2007 – 30 November 2011
- Consul, Philippine Consulate General, Toronto, Canada 2003-2006
- Consul General & Minister, Philippine Embassy, Koror, Palau, 2000-2003
- Consul General & Minister Counselor, Philippine Embassy, Canberra, Australia, 1997-1998
- Consul General & Minister Counselor, Philippine Embassy, Brussels, Belgium, 1995-1997
- Consul & Principal Officer, Philippine Consulate, Saipan, CNMI, l989-l993
- Third Secretary & Vice Consul, then Second Secretary and Consul, Philippine Embassy, Bucharest, Romania, l984 to 1989
Home Office (Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippines)
- Assistant Secretary, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination (OSPPC), January 2007-February 2008
- Executive Director, Office of United Nations and other International Organizations (UNIO), 2006-2007
- Director then Executive Director, Office of UNIO, 1998-2000
- Director then Executive Director, Office of ASEAN Affairs, 1993-1995
- Assistant Chief, Treaties Division, 1984
- Assistant Chief, Ceremonials Division, 1983-1984
- Acting Chief, Press Division, 1981 to 1983
Other Work Experience
- Lecturer/Instructor, Diplomatic and Consular Practice, Maryknoll College, 1982-1983
- Editor and Information Officer, National Council on Integrated Area Devlopment (NACIAD), 1979-1981
- Editor and Information Officer, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), 1976-1977
- College of Law, University of the Philippines, 1979-1982
- A.B. Journalism, University of the Philippines, 1975-1979
- Enrolled in: B.S. Chemistry 1971-1972; B.S. Geology 1972-1974
- Contributing Editor, The Philippine Collegian, 1976
- Managing Editor, UP Campus Journal, 1978
- Born in the Philippines in 1954
- Married to Dr. Milali Topacio-Torres, with three daughters and two sons
- Languages Spoken: Filipino, English, Spanish, German, French