Vanessa Joy Viloria Baldos Domingo
Editor’s Note: Many on The Fil-Am Voice staff have connections to Sakadas and the plantations. Although we generally hate to be the subject of the articles/ columns, this is the eighth in a series focusing on The Fil-Am Voice staff’s Sakada offsprings.
Lucy Peros | All photos courtesy Vanessa Joy Domingo
A budding writer is in our midst. She is our youngest and newest member of our staff of the Fil-Am Voice. She is none other than Vanessa Joy Viloria Baldos Domingo, a Sakada Offspring. She is also a newlywed, married to the love of her life, Mark Domingo. They have two children—step children to Vanessa—Jarren and Jasmine Domingo. So far, she has been writing on a variety of topics.
Vanessa was born on March 10, 1991 in Wailuku. She is the daughter of Juvy Viloria Baldos from San Juan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines and Danilo Baldos from Castellejos, Zambales, Philippines. She has two sisters Brenda Lyn Baldos and Allison Jane Baldos.
Vanessa and Mark reside in Kahului. She attended Kahului Elementary, Maui Waena Intermediate School, Maui High School, University of Miami, and the University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
When Vanessa was in High School, she was very involved with her school activities. The following are just some of the activities that she participated in: 2008–2009 Maui High School Math League, Maui High School Japanese Club, Maui High School Key Club, Maui High School Peer Mediation Group and Student Liaison and Coordinator (Senior Project). 2007–2009 Maui High Marching Band (2008–2009) as a Section Leader, 2005–2009 Maui High School Symphonic Band (2008–2009 secretary), 2005–2006 Maui High School Concert Band, and 2005–2009 Maui District High School Honor Band.
From 2005–2009, Vanessa was very active with HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) in which she was Maui High HOSA Reporter in 2007–2008. She was the Hawai‘i State HOSA Vice President 2008–2009. Vanessa was also a member of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council 2005–2006.
In addition, Vanessa was active in the High School Student Government in which she was a Freshman Representative 2005–2006 and 2nd Executive Vice President 2007–2008.
Such a well-rounded individual, Vanessa was also involved in the community from 2005–2009 as Hale Makua Long Term Care Center Volunteer, Maui Arts and Cultural Center Student Usher/Volunteer, Mediation Services of Maui Volunteers, Basic Faith Formation of Christ The King Parish, Maui Adult Day Care Center Volunteer, Dance International Production, Kahului Public Library Volunteer and Ho‘omau Music Festival Volunteer.
Vanessa received many awards throughout her High School Days. She was in the Honor Roll and Principal’s List. She received the Maui District High School Honor Band Member Award of Honor, National History Day District Competitor Finalist Award, DOE Comprehensive Health Calendar Winner. Under HOSA, she received Leadership award, Scholarship Awards, extemporaneous Health Poster Competition (all levels) award and Medical Reading Competition award (all levels).
Even when she was attending the University of Miami, Vanessa was also involved in the University activities such as: University of Miami Homecoming Committee, Filipino Student Association Dance Captain, Hui Aloha (Hawai‘i Club President), Council of International Organization, and Asian-American Students Association. However, because of family responsibilities, Vanessa moved back home to Maui after two years at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration at University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
Currently here on Maui, Vanessa is involved with Realtors Association of Maui, Miss Maui Filipina Scholarship Pageant, Read Aloud America, and Maui High School Foundation.
In the past, Vanessa was employed at various establishments such as OfficeMax Impress, Dr. Colleen Inouye/Dr. Frank Baum office as a medical assistant, Resort Host at Andaz Maui at the Wailea Resort, Office Assistant II for County of Maui—Department of Parks and Recreation and Shearwater Tavern Hostess. At present she is a Realtor Associate with Coldwell Banker Island Properties. She is also a very fine Graphic Designer.
Vanessa loves to travel. She traveled throughout the United States as well as the Philippines. She enjoys drawing, graphic designing, Reading, Writing, Dancing, Aerial Arts and Gym.
In 2009, Vanessa ran for the Miss Maui Filipina Pageant. She placed 2nd Runner Up. Ten years later, she ran again and placed 1st Runner Up. However, Joy Tabon who won as Miss Maui Filipina won the State Pageant and became Miss Hawai‘i Filipina. Therefore, since Vanessa was 1st Runner Up, she succeeded Joy Tabon and was crowned as the new Miss Maui Filipina. Running for Miss Maui Filipina was different the second time around according to Vanessa. She felt that since she was older and more mature than the first time that she ran, she had a greater appreciation for her culture and more focused on the tasks that she had to complete. Her advice to future contestants is to stay focused and just give it their best.
As for Vanessa’s Sakada Connection, she shared as much as she could find out about her great grandfather from her mother’s side of the family. Her great grandfather was Agapito Veracion Villalon. He was born on May 12, 1888 and died in November 10, 1973. Agapito was a widower but he got re-married. His first wife was Dorotcha Villalon. His second wife was Emiteria Tolete Villalon. They had a daughter named Brigida, that was Vanessa’s maternal Grandmother. Agapito came from San Juan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. He came as one of the 1946 Sakadas. He lived in Camp One in Pu‘unēnē, Maui, Hawai‘i. He worked for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company harvesting sugar cane.
Vanessa found out that her great grandpa Agapito would eat simple meals to save money so he could buy land in the Philippines. He ate rice with sugar cane juice or coffee. With the money he saved, he was able to purchase a large parcel of land (about 10 acres) that eventually became split amongst his children and later on amongst his grandchildren. After living on Maui after his retirement, he moved back to the Philippines in 1968. He was able to live a better life with the money he had saved. He would walk to the tiendaan (market) with chicharron in his pocket, smiling.
Instead of bringing his family to Maui, he focused on saving money. He felt that life on Maui was difficult. He didn’t want his children to be subjected to the difficulties of life on Maui. Back then, young women were subjected to abrupt marriages with neighbors just to become part of families and help with the cost of living and other living accommodations. He was content with the land that he purchased to give to his children and how they could now enjoy better food in the Philippines.
Eventually, Vanessa’s mother arrived on Maui through her father. In turn, her grandmother arrived in Hawai‘i much later through her uncle.
Vanessa gladly shared how she and her family celebrates Christmas. She said: “Christmas was celebrated with decorating the Christmas tree together and watching my dad put lights up. My mom would cook bibingka and pancit. Back then we had to attend midnight mass at Christ The King Church. My sisters and I would always look forward to it. After attending mass, we would open presents. Before, we used to video record our experiences with opening presents and saying aloud who it was from and then explaining what the present was once it was unwrapped. Now, I’ve learned to celebrate the holidays with games with my husband’s family and doing a potluck dinner with everyone.”
Vanessa was very happy in sharing her personal reflection. She said: “I gravitate towards helping others in life. I feel that we have a responsibility to help others when we can. The experiences that I’ve had in life have taught me to appreciate what I have and to also share so others can experience the same. I always have goals to improve myself. I never feel it is too late to achieve anything. Growing older, my culture has become important to me. I’ve learned cultural dances and learned to cook our Filipino cuisine. Remembering where I came from is crucial to giving me direction to move forward in my life.”
Lucy Peros is a retired school teacher, having taught at St. Anthony Grade School and Waihe‘e Elementary School. Both of her parents, Elpidio Cachero Cabalo (a 1946 Sakada) and Alejandra Cabudoy Cabalo of Hāli‘imaile worked for Maui Land and Pine Company. Lucy now enjoys retirement and has time to join other seniors in the Enhance Fitness Program under the Department of Aging three times a week. She also attends the line dancing class and other activities at Kaunoa and joins other Waihe‘e School retirees when help is needed at the school. Lucy also devotes some of her time to activities at Christ The King Catholic Church. She enjoys writing and reading in her spare time.