Darlene Frances Constantino Cachola
Lucy Peros | All photos courtesy Darlene Cachola ‘Ohana
Ministry is not a job or a Sunday routine. It is a privilege to be chosen and used by Jesus. Our featured Sakada Offspring this month, Darlene Frances Constantino Cachola is certainly chosen by Jesus to be working where she is today.
Darlene Frances Constantino Cachola is a 4th generation Sakada offspring of Ruperto and Dionisia Cabacungan (paternal great grandparents), Francisco and Felisa Constantino (paternal grandparents) and 3rd generation Sakada offspring of Francisco and Catalina Bio (maternal grandparents).
Darlene was born and raised on Maui. Her parents are Deacon Patrick and Corazon Constantino. Her siblings are an older brother Cary and younger sisters, Pamela Cravalho and Jamie Kaiali‘ili‘i. Darlene, Pamela, and Jamie attended St. Anthony Grade School, Wailuku Elementary School, ‘Īao Middle School, and are graduates of H.P. Baldwin High School, class of ’81, ’82, and ’85, respectively. Darlene went on to attend Maui Community College (now University of Hawai‘i Maui College) and Heald Business College on O‘ahu.
Darlene met her husband Geronimo Cachola while living on Oahu while she worked parttime and attended Heald Business College. After graduating from Heald College, they got married on Maui in May 1988 and have lived on O‘ahu since. Darlene and Gerry are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Chelsy Cadelinia (married to Joel Cadelinia) and Marisa Cachola. Both daughters are graduates of the University of Hawai‘i. Chelsy has her bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology and is currently employed at Kaiser Hospital and Marisa has her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is currently working at a credit union while studying to get a degree in nursing. They are also blessed with three grandchildren who are nicknamed The 3 Bears: Keira, Reina and Caleb Cadelinia.
For over thirty years, Darlene works for the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawai‘i a.k.a. the Diocese of Honolulu. She worked in the Finance Department before becoming the Administrative Assistant to the Vicar for Clergy and Director of Vocations. She considers her work as her ministry and she is grateful and feels blessed that through her work, she was able to grow as an individual through her faith and by being able to be a witness to Jesus.
Here are examples of her work in the ministry. For the Office of Clergy, she occasionally assists retired priests with paperwork, take them to appointments, and planning socials. She also assists in planning and preparing for retreats, conferences and workshops for the clergy currently serving in the diocese. For the Office of Vocations, she assists the diocesan seminarians with their needs while they are away at seminary and at home for summer assignments.
One of the ways the Vocations Office does outreach is they ask people participating in various marathons, etc. to represent the Vocations Office by wearing their Akua Run shirts and sharing with people about the Catholic Church and the vocations to priesthood, religious men and women, deacons, married life, single life, etc. Their largest support group participates in The Great Aloha Run. They ask those who are not participating in the marathons, etc. to support Vocations in Honolulu by pledging to pray their Vocations prayer and the rosary. Prayers are free and they appreciate everyone’s support through prayers.
Darlene’s maternal grandparents were from Dong Dong La Bangged, Abra, a little town in the Philippines. Her maternal grandfather, Francisco Bio a.k.a. Papa, arrived in Hawai‘i from the Philippines in the early 1940s while her grandmother, Catalina Bio a.k.a. Mama, stayed back in the Philippines with the six children. He stayed in Hawai‘i for about a year before deciding to go back to the Philippines so he could bring his family back with him. Papa Francisco returned to Hawai‘i in 1946 with Mama Catalina and their six children (they eventually had seven children). They lived in several camps—the first a tiny camp known as Ah Fong Camp and moved to Spanish A and later to Spanish B camp in Pu‘unēnē.
Darlene shared her very heartwarming reflection on her grandparents, Papa Francisco Bio and Mama Catalina Bio: As I am a third-generation offspring, I am truly grateful and blessed I have not had to experience the hardships and struggles that my grandparents and parents have. Their faithfulness, resourcefulness, and love for God and family allowed them to persevere. Papa worked for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation on Maui. He started working in the sugar mill and eventually went to work outside in the sugar cane field. Papa worked hard and long hours for so little money and he never complained. He was a quiet man, a simple man and he was a happy man. Here are some memories I have of my Papa: we would wait in the yard for him to come home when the HC&S truck carrying all the workers from the fields stopped outside. I remember being excited to see Papa so we could see if he had a surprise in his kau kau tin (lunch pail) for us. He loved to play Sakura a.k.a. Hanafuda. After dinner at family gatherings, Papa would bring out the Sakura cards. I remember so much laughter around the table. My favorite memory is sharing the same birthday as Papa which also meant our family couldn’t forget my birthday because we always celebrated together!
Papa and Mama Bio’s faith gave them hope and they were able to see it manifest into a promising future for their family. Mama Catalina also worked hard to help provide for their family. She was a housewife but became very resourceful when she had to help supplement the family income. She was resourceful and worked hard preparing and selling cancanen (Filipino desserts), longanisa (Filipino sausage), and roast chicken to name a few, and going out to the neighborhood to sell. Her children (my mom, aunties, and uncles) each had jobs to do in the mornings before school and after school to help Mama prepare the food which was to be sold. I remember helping her and being so proud of her when she learned how to read English. Mama encouraged me and the other grandchildren to study and work hard, to always love and take care of our families.
I am blessed I can share my faith, love and family values that were passed on from my great grandparents to my parents, which was passed on to me, and today I share with my daughters and grandchildren, and our extended families. I encourage my daughters to stay humble, dream big and work hard towards their goals, and love their families. I am proud of the women that my daughters, Chelsy and Marisa are today and the values they are passing on to their children, my grandchildren.
Sharing and listening to stories of how my great grandparents migrated from the Philippines to Hawai‘i, their humble beginnings, how they worked hard to provide for the family, how they kept their faith and hoped for a better future for our family is how we honor our Papa and Mama. Forever grateful and thankful, Papa Francisco and Mama Catalina!
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 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.