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I was born and raised in the Philippines. When I came to Hawaii, I became an American Citizen.

Kona has been my home for the last 50 years. I am married to my wife Araceli, we have four children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. My father Daniel Urban came to Hawaii in 1946 to work in the sugar cane plantation. He came to Hawaii looking for a better life.

Five years later he went back to the Philippines to marry my mother, Felicitas Tolentino. They have two children-my sister Donna and I.

After high school, my father petitioned me to come to Hawaii. I rode the ship USS President Wilson on a three weeks voyage to Hawaii. My mother gave me $20.00 pocket money. My mother and sister joined us a year later.

My First Job

My first job at the King Kamehameha Hotel was a bus boy that allowed me to take home $5.00 – $30 in tips and paid me a minimum wage of $2.75 per hour. I attended Hawaii Community College in Hilo and graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1970.

While in college, I rented a room under the house of the Nekoba family on Hualalai Road, behind Hilo Bowling Alley next to K’s Drive Inn.

Every day it took me 20 minutes to walk to and from school. When I had extra money, I stopped at Cafe 100 for their special Loco Moco.

My father told me that I had to support myself through college, so I worked as a dishwasher at the Sun Sun Lau Restaurant on Kinoole Street in Hilo.

On the weekend, I carpooled with the same person I came to Hilo with, sharing gas money on our journey back home to Kona. After college, my culinary career started in Kona and it took me to Honolulu and to the Mainland—having achieved the highest position of Executive Chef.

Who We Are
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My Journey

It has always been my dream to have my own business. In 1986, I started Tante’s Restaurant and it is still going till today.

I am given an opportunity to provide affordable rentals to our community within the County of Hawaii Section 8 guidelines.

In addition, I rent out apartment buildings to non-profit organization specifically to provide “Clean and Sober Housing” for folks who are in recovery from alcohol and/or drug addictions. This program gives our people another chance by improving themselves to become better citizens in our

My Community Service

I will not receive my salary. My salary will be donated to non-profit organizations through a process determined by a Board of nonprofit presidents.

Community involvement: 

  • Member of the Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise, District 5000, 2020.
  • Member of the Filipino Organization of Kona, 2020
  • Member of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, 2019.
  • Founder of the Tante & Araceli Urban Foundation, established in 2016.

Proceeds of over $40,000 have been donated to local institutions such as:  Kealakehe Girls Soccer Program, Kealakehe Boys Varsity Soccer Team, Konawaena Boys Soccer program, Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Partners and Development Foundation, Tutu and Me Program, U.H. Palamanui Campus Culinary Arts Scholarship and graduating seniors from Kealakehe and Konawaena high schools, and West Hawaii Explorations Academy.

  • Affiliated with Hawaii Sober Living and Recovery Center, 2012
  • Provided food and lodging for International Athletes of the Ironman World Championship, 2010.
  • Coordinated a fundraiser to raise funds for an International Athlete whose belongings were stolen during the Ironman World Championship, 2010.
  • Assisted in the formation of the Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise, District 5000, 2009.
  • Organized and became the first President of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Kona, 2007. (Trini’s Mix Plate located at the Kona International Market was the first successfully assisted enterprise.)
  • Member of the Ilocano Club of Kona. Under the leadership of then President Tante Urban in 1984, the club expanded its membership to include not just Ilocanos but the entire Filipino community.  Thus, the Ilocano Club of Kona became the Filipino Organization of Kona.
  • Donated food to the homeless, to various organizations, and to The Food Basket Inc. Hawaii Island Food Bank.
  • Assisted and hosted local, state and federal politicians who aspire to be leaders in the community.

My wife and I established the Tante & Araceli Urban Foundation. Yearly, we sponsor golf tournament with the help of family, friends and the community. This coming October 2020 will mark its 4th Year. We also sponsored a Tennis Tournament in Maui that partnered with Wailuku Jr. Tennis and the County of Maui.

To date, our Foundation has donated over $40,000.00 dollars to Charities, Culture & Arts, Scholarship and School Athletics.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient of the Gintong Pamana Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedicated Service to Maui County, sponsored by
    Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce, 2019.
  • “The Best of Maui” voted by readers of the Maui News – Tante
    Island Cuisine – Best Filipino Cuisine, 2018 & 2013.
  • Winner of The Great Adobo Cookoff sponsored by Philippine Consulate, Honolulu – Tante’s Island Cuisine, 2017.
  • Outstanding Citizen Award, In recognition for your dedication and outstanding leadership & service to the people of Maui County and the State of Hawaii, Rizal Day, 2015.
  • Certificate of Excellence – Tripadvisor – Winner, 2014.
  • Recognized as Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise, 2010.
  • Featured on The Filipino Channel (TFC) Television, ABS-CBN, as one of the four successful Filipino Entrepreneurial in Hawaii, 2006.
  • Featured in Asian Enterprise Magazine, 2005
  • Nominee, Hawaii Entrepreneur of the Year Award nominee by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, 2004.
  • Asian Entrepreneur of the Year, Hospitality Category, Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, 2004.
  • Tante’s Restaurant has been voted 12 consecutive times as “Best Filipino Restaurant” in the annual Readers’ Poll by newspaper West Hawaii Today.

At this stage of my life, my calling is about community service—to share my blessings, and to give back to our community – which has taken care of me for the last 50 years. It has made me the man that I am today from the 18 year old boy from the Philippines who started with $20.00 in his pocket.
My Friends, I humbly ask for your vote in the next election.

Tante Urban
For Mayor, County of Hawaii