Christina (Lucy) Estrada Porte
Lucy Peros | All photos courtesy Lucy Porte
Health care is a human right. Such awareness has resulted in the public labeling nurses as heroes especially during the COVID pandemic. The public recognizes nurses for their courage, bravery, commitment, knowledge, resilience, advocacy and persistence in the face of incredible adversity. This month’s featured Sakada Offspring, Christina (Lucy) Estrada Porte is a registered nurse who dedicated her whole life in the health care industry.
Christina was born on June 12, 1950 in San Esteban, Ilocos Sur. She attended Lihikai School, St. Anthony High School and the University of Hawai‘i Maui College for her Associate Degree and the University of Phoenix for her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. While employed at Hale Makua, Christina floated between the Kahului and Wailuku facilities. She retired from Hale Makua after 33 years of service. At Hale Makua, she held various positions from a staff RN, coordinator, Nursing Supervisor to a Director of Nursing at the Wailuku Hale Makua. While working at Hale Makua, she held other jobs at Maui Medical Group as the urgent care RN, dialysis center and a clinical instructor at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College. She took her early retirement from Hale Makua to care for her grandchildren. She continued, however, to teach the nursing assistant program at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College. In 2019, she assisted Mr. and Mrs. Domingo Gumpal in the creation and development of their curriculum and syllabus of the nursing assistant school, CNA Hawai‘i Institute, LLC (Certified Nurse Assistant). To this date, she continues to teach the nursing assistant program.
Besides being active as a nurse, she also finds the time and energy to join in community clubs, organizations, church ministries etc. Christina was the founding president of the Philippine Nurses Association Maui Chapter (PNAMHI). In 2018, she organized the nurses of Filipino ancestry to become a chapter of the national association, the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA). On May 15, 2019, the PNAMHI became the 52nd chapter of the PNAA. They had a successful 2nd induction on May 29, 2022. During her term as the President of the PNAMHI, they accomplished many activities which included: participated in the Maui County Fair Parade, took part in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, staffed the first aide booth at the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, staffed the first aide station and provided CPR education at the Christ The King Church Health and Wellness, assisted with the COVID 19 screening at Hale Makua Health Services, supported Binhi At Ani in the Food distribution from the beginning to the end, cooked and served the homeless at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on a quarterly basis, participated in the Feeding program at Binhi At Ani and on-going, assisted vaccination clinic for the DOH at the University of Hawai‘i parking lot and at Binhi At Ani, and assisted in the COVID testing.
Christina received several awards: Lokelani Service Award at the 20th PNAA Western Regional Conference on April 30, 2021, Recognition for leadership, community service, and bringing PNAMHI to an excellent standing on May 2, 2021, Pride award for excellent leadership in 2021, Outstanding Leadership award as the PNAMHI founding president, and recipient of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Gintong Pamana Leadership Award on July 13, 2022.
For relaxation, Christina enjoys crocheting and watching NETFLIX movies and Korean dramas.
Christina has one son, Philip Campos—a Real Estate Broker: owner and manager of Island Premier Realty, LLC. Her daughter in law, Allison Yoshimoto, is a Speech Pathologist and owns and manages Valley Isle Therapy Group, LLC. Her grandchildren are Eliana Campos, 9 years old, currently home schooled and Eliot Jay Campos, 7 years old, attending Pömaika‘i Grade School, 2nd grade.
Christina’s siblings are Romulo (Romie) Estrada, a Vietnam veteran married to Jocelyn Estrada. They currently live in Las Vegas. Their children are: Christian Estrada, Romina Estrada Arenas, and Quin Mark Estrada who reside in California.
Christina’s second brother Renato (Rey) Estrada succumbed to COVID-19 in October 2021. Rey was a computer engineer, married to Kathy Estrada (housewife). They have three children, Rachel, Marissa and Jared.
Christina’s youngest brother is James Harold (Jimmy) Estrada, married to Rosemarie Estrada. She is currently employed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. They have three children; Jason, Brandon and Harold.
Christina’s father, Julian Villanueva Estrada was one of the thousands of Sakadas who came to Hawai‘i in 1946 to work in the pineapple and sugar cane plantations. He left his wife Elisea Jarra Estrada and son Romulo in the Philippines. He lived in Camp Keahua, a camp located below Pukalani today. Remnants of Keahua camp can be seen today with coconut trees still standing on the way to Pukalani. Julian was assigned to work for HC&S (Hawai‘i Commercial and Sugar Co.). He worked in the irrigation system department. He was assigned to fields where he oversaw the irrigation system, ensuring they were in good working condition. He returned to the Philippines in 1950 after four years, then he returned to Maui. In 1960, he brought his wife Elisea, son Romulo and Christina to Maui. This was the first time Christina met her father. She claimed it was awkward and uncomfortable but she adjusted. From the Philippines, coming to Hawai‘i, they traveled via the S.S. President Cleveland. It was a culture shock for Christina to be in Hawai‘i especially being in the school system. She learned to adjust to learn and read English. She managed to learn quickly.
Christina’s mom, Elisea also worked at HC&S as a tractor driver until she retired at age 65. Both parents were hard workers. They have done well in providing for their family. They believed to get ahead in life one must attain a college education.
Christina did not experience living in the camps because the camps were being phased out when she arrived on Maui. So their new home was at the 6th increment in Kahului. They often visited their friends and relatives who were still living in the camps like Camp 3, McGerrow Camp, Camp 4, Skill Village, etc. To earn some money for allowances, Christina did laundry for the single men in the camps. She used the old fashion washing machine which has a roller to wring the wet clothes. She even learned to starch and iron all the clothing. Although it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, by doing such a job, she learned discipline, patience and perseverance. She claimed it motivated her to reach out as far as she can get and did not give up.
Christina had this to say about her Dad: “What I remember about my Dad was he was a very patient man, gentle and easy going. He was the cook in our family. He was known to his friends as the knife sharpener. People would come to the house to have their chicken knife sharpened before going to the chicken fight. Jimmy, our youngest sibling continued my Dad’s tradition of chicken fighter and knife sharpener.”
Besides being a busy nurse, mom and grandma, Christina recently joined a pilgrimage to Central Europe led by Fr. Gus Uthuppu, Pastor of Christ The King Church, visiting several countries for two weeks. The highlight of this pilgrimage was attending the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany. It’s a special play about the passion of Christ performed by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau every year from 1634 to 1680 and every 10 years since 1680.
No matter how busy a person is, Christina surely proves that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Lucy Peros is a retired schoolteacher, having taught at St. Anthony Grade School and Waihe‘e Elementary School. Both of her late 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 Senior Center 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.