Tom and Rose Churma established Kalamansi Books In 1993 to ensure that books from the Philippines and publications by Filipino Americans were adequately represented in libraries and schools and are easily accessible.
They were influenced by the efforts of Morton and Petra Netzorg who operated a similar mail-order bookstore called Cellar Books which was based in Detroit.
With advances in technology, the bookstore evolved from a mail-order enterprise into an on-line advocacy with the intent of “helping global Pinoys discover their heritage” and added “things” to its inventory.
Thomas P. Churma retired from the Hawaii State Public Library Systems as the Branch Manager of the Kaneohe Public Library in 2010. His love for books and libraries started in the 1970s during his stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Baguio City, Philippines. He was assigned to the local YMCA where he established a community library which had become a true resource to the local community. Prior to joining Hawaii’s Public Library System in 1985, he worked briefly as a librarian at Maui Community College Library and the UH Hamilton’s Asia Collection. He has a BA from Michigan State University and a Masters in Library Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Rose Cruz Churma immigrated to Hawaii in 1976. Since then, Rose served in various capacities–first as a file clerk for a bank, a math teacher for St. Louis School and planner for various local firms. In 1987, she established DesignLab, an architecture and planning firm. As its Principal Architect & Planner, the firm completed over a hundred projects in Hawaii, the US Mainland, the Philippines and other Pacific Island nations. In 2010, she served as a Contract Administrator for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority before accepting the role of President and COO of the FilCom Center (2012 to 2014). She received her architecture degree from Saint Louis University in Baguio and is licensed to practice in Hawaii.
To check Ms. Churma’s professional experiences, click this LINK