PALAFAMALA - THE NAME

Pala fish

Pala fish

I'm not sure if all we ever did was poke fish and paddle back in the day but those are the only memories I have. Maybe I only hold onto the good ones. On special occasions, weddings, funerals, graduations, first year baby parties, and basically anytime there was a big event with a lot of mouths to feed, we would pai pai. These were the times that we would pull together to gather and prepare food. There was always so much to prepare but we would all hope to have fried fish on the pupu line.

Everyone has their favorites. Manini and Kole are pretty popular for the pan but our favorite is the Pala. It has a different name in most areas but in Lahaina it's Pala. It's also known to be a junk fish that curls right when it hits the pan. It usually has a bad smell and a rubbery texture but the reef in lahaina is magical and the Pala is some ono.

When the time was right, Unko Moke would put the word out and everyone would grab their dive gear and head down to Mala. The Keahi's have their family home on the water there. We would surround the fish, chase them into the net and swim the dingy in. As we were taking the fish out of the net Unko Kong would grab the first few Kala and start making soup.

It was cold from being in the water but the Lahaina sun slowly warmed us up. We cleaned fish all day and would be covered in dry salt and crusty fish scales until a nice rinse in the outdoor shower. Hawaiian music was playing, beers were crack'n and Kala soup was ready to go. These were times of pure enjoyment. Good friends and family coming together to support someone's special moment. We hung out, talked story, shared laughs and just enjoyed the day. These are the good times that I remember. These are the times that I want to remember and it was these moments that created the name. The fish (Pala) from the place (Mala), Pala From Mala. Palafamala. 

This name is dedicated to everyone who welcomed me into their lives and who allowed me to have these unreal memories. Most of all I am so grateful and blessed to have lived with and learned from the Keahi Ohana and look forward to making many more memories with good friends and families of the Hawaiian waters.

You don't need live by the ocean on Maui or live by any body of water to have these moments, but it doesn't hurt. Share your moments with us. Send us photos of the memories of where you're from. #PalaLivin

Eh bah, wotchu fry'n? PalaFaMala


"We cleaned fish all day and would be covered in dry salt and crusty fish scales until a nice rinse in the outdoor shower. Hawaiian music was playing, beers were crack'n and Kala soup was ready to go. These were times of pure enjoyment."