Crew Profile

Philamer “Phil” Felicitas


Waipahu, Oʻahu



Phil is a digital storyteller, and itʻs her skills that, in 2021, first brought her on board a waʻa kaulua. She sailed on Hikianalia to Maui, then a year later voyaged from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi. And now on Moananuiākeal helping us to capture video and still photos of the voyage and share it with the world. Phil says voyaging has given her “a new sense of purpose” in the way she documents and tells stories. She also hopes that “voyaging inspires like-minded Filipina and indigenous women from the Pacific who are living in the diaspora to reconnect with their ancestral roots in whatever capacity they can.” Moananuiākea in particular can strengthen connections across the Pacific, she says, and “as an Ilocana, I hope to create and build my relationship to my own family and ancestors.”

Phil looks back at when she “first met Mama Hōkūleʻa. She was a cultural symbol, an ancestral being, a catalyst for perpetuating Hawaiian culture. After getting to know her and other waʻa kaulua, she has become the meaning of community in that taking care all starts by centering our ʻohana.” Phil also says Hōkūleʻa “reminds me to explore and find excitement in all that I do and always recognize the gifts we are given especially the ones we do not necessarily ask for or anticipate.”

Phil promises to take this opportunity sheʻs been given and learn, “and pass on the knowledge and stories I gain with my children and community.” Phil is a mother of a young son. So as much as she loves voyaging - “the solitude, the true immersion with nature, the hands-on place-based learning and the camaraderie amongst the crew” - she always misses her son, “no matter the duration of time, but it was more apparent during my sail from Tahiti.” She craves to hear “my sonʻs laughter” and carries him with her “wherever I go.”