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Radio personality opts for surgery to fight obesity

By Ben Wood

LAST UPDATED: 1:53 a.m. HST, Mar 18, 2011

When doctors told Demetrius Oliveira, recording artist and on-air personality for KAHU 91.7 FM on the Big Isle, that with his weight of 550 pounds on his 5-foot-8-inch frame he would have only a couple more years to live, he decided to do something about it.

He chose laparoscopic vertical gastrectomy surgery to reduce his stomach's size. A fundraising drive pulled in $20,000 to enable Demetrius to have the surgery by Dr. Paul T. Cirangle at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center. Demetrius' sister, Norma Oliveira, made the trip. The operation was March 9 and Demetrius flew home Tuesday. He said he feels fine and wants to fight obesity. "I want to go back to work in the next day or two," he said. "If people can learn from what I went through, I will share it. My stomach was reduced from the size of a football to a banana." He is on a liquid diet for two weeks and then will eat soft food for the next three weeks. …

THAT MEANS no loco moco for Demetrius. Loco moco is a favorite local dish made up of a hamburger patty, rice, gravy, and one or two fried or scrambled eggs on top. It is believed to have been born in a Big Isle restaurant. The dish has devotees in Japan, too, thanks somewhat to Alan Wong, who jazzes up his loco moco by putting a large hamburger patty on a bed of tasty fried rice sitting in veal jus. The rice is both brown and white and the ingredients are kalua pig, bacon, eggs, green and white onions, oyster sauce, sesame oil and shoyu, according to Alan's office and Barbara Stange, a manager at Wong's Pineapple Room. Japan publishers ask permission to take pictures of Alan's dishes to run in their publications. A dish frequently pictured is loco moco, with two fried egg yolks on top looking right up at the customer. I have lunch at Pineapple Room in Macy's often and see many Japanese visitors eating loco moco. Waitress Megan Duarte says when she asks them for their orders, some pull out a Japanese magazine picturing the loco moco, point to it and say, "This one!" …

ACTRESS Elizabeth Sung was here last month to film a "Hawaii Five-0" episode that will run April 11. The trip gave her a chance to visit Hilton marketing promotions director Maria Sung. Both Sungs, unrelated, are from Hong Kong and were in kindergarten together. They dined at Hilton's Bali Steak & Seafood restaurant with Hawaiian Air's Colette Sowers. Elizabeth has appeared in "Desperate Housewives," "The Sopranos," "House," "ER," NCIS Los Angeles" and more. She was a regular on "The Young and the Restless" for almost three years. Her films include "The Joy Luck Club," "Lethal Weapon 4" and "Memoirs of a Geisha." …

THE THEME for tonight's Kamehameha Schools Song Contest at Blaisdell Arena is "Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli: A Musical Journey." KGMB will carry an hourlong pre-show at 6:30 p.m. The contest will repeat next Friday at 6:30 p.m. … A musical tribute to the late Alfred Apaka will be held tomorrow at Hilton Hawaiian Village on what would have been the singer's 92nd birthday. It will start with a procession from the main lobby at 3 p.m., followed by a blessing and lei draping at Alfred's statue, and will continue with music by many entertainers at the resort's Tapa Bar near the statue, said Jeff Apaka, the singer's son. …


Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things. E-mail him at

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