Sakada Offspring

Florendo Aguilar Tabios

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Tabios ‘Ohana

Many of the Sakada Offspring who are now in their 60s and 70s came to Hawai‘i during their teen years. Some of them continued their elementary and high school education here in Hawai‘i. This month’s featured Sakada Offspring, Florendo Aguilar Tabios is one of them.

Florendo was born on November 29, 1950 in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He attended Filipinas Elementary School and Ilocos Norte School, and Arts and Trades in Laoag City. When he came to Hawai‘i, he continued his education at Lahainaluna High School, from which he graduated in 1970.

Florendo Tabios

After his high school graduation, he continued at Maui Community College (now called University of Hawai‘i Maui College). He received his degree in Hotel Management. After graduating from MCC, he worked at Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, Kuleana Condo Resort and Kapalua Bay Hotel, all located in Lahaina, Maui.

In 1991, Florendo started to work for the County of Maui with the Maui Police Department as a Public Safety officer and he retired in 2015. He married his wife, Alma O. Echalas on June 2, 1973. Alma worked at Liberty House/Macy’s until she retired in 2014.

Alma & Florendo Tabios

Florendo and Alma are blessed with two children, Floyd Louie Tabios and Alona Lei Tabios Watson. Both Floyd and Alona Lei attended and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Floyd graduated with a major in Ethnic studies while Alona Lei graduated with a Psychology degree. Currently, Floyd resides in Las Vegas with his wife Alyssa Tabios, along with their two daughters, Apolonia and Anna Tabios. Floyd is the General Manager of Eureka Restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas. Alona Lei works at the Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Villas in the Food and Beverage Department. She is married to David Watson and they have two sons. Both sons graduated from Kamehameha School on Maui and are currently attending Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Florendo has several siblings. His oldest sister Erlinda Tabios Delos Santos was married to the late Elpidio Delos Santos. They had three children, Marilyn (deceased), Myrna Delos Santos Kittridge who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Patrick Kittridge and Sam Delos Santos, who currently lives in Lahaina. Florendo’s younger brother, Melandrino Tabios is married to Myrna Alagano Tabios. They reside in Lahaina with their son Myles Tabios. Florendo’s youngest sister, Margarita Tabios Nelson (deceased) was married to Robert Lyn Nelson of Washington, also deceased.

Florendo is currently and actively involved with the organization Annak Ti San Nicolas of Maui as its Vice President. He is also a member of Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in Lahaina. Florendo enjoys gardening, cooking and hanging out with his friends every weekend.

Faustino Tabios

According to Florendo, his Dad Faustino Labutong Tabios was born on February 15, 1922 and his Mom Monica Aguilar Tabios was born on May 4, 1922. Faustino helped his Dad (Florendo’s Grandpa) farm their lands in the town of Dingras, Ilocos Norte, Philippines where he met Monica (Florendo’s Mom). They married in March 1942 and were blessed with their first child, Erlinda on February 17, 1944. Around the same time, Faustino learned they were recruiting people to work in Hawai‘i’s sugar cane and pineapple plantations. Faustino was interested to come to Hawai‘i. He was able to join the last batch of the 1946 Sakadas. At first, Faustino was sent to Wailua Sugar Plantation on O‘ahu. He worked there for a year and was laid off. He then went to work for the Honolulu Railroad until unfortunately he was laid off again. Faustino was so resilient he found work on Lāna‘i for the Pineapple Plantation in the early 1950s. At that time, they had a Labor Union strike, so he decided to move back to the Philippines. After a year in the Philippines, his uncle, Eleno Labutong, who was working for Pioneer Mill Company in Lahaina, sent a letter to Faustino saying there were job offers available. Faustino right away decided to come back to Hawai‘i and worked at Pioneer Mill Company. He used his little savings to buy an expensive airline ticket. Even some of the people at their Municipal Hall were teasing him and told him he should use that money to buy some farming land in the Philippines instead of coming to Hawai‘i. Faustino, however, was a very determined man. He took that chance and worked overtime to make up for the money he spent on his ticket.

Melandrino, Margarita, Florendo, Erlinda, & Faustino

In 1966, the immigration laws were revised to allow legal permanent residents of the United States to petition their immediate families to join them in Hawai‘i. Faustino took this opportunity to bring Florendo along with the rest of his family to Hawai‘i. They arrived in Hawai‘i in October 1967. His oldest sister Erlinda was unable to join them because she was already married. With patience while waiting for the petition process and with an extra prayer together with the help of a brother-in-law, Erlinda along with her three children were able to come and join Florendo’s family in 1974. They all lived in Waine‘e Village (aka Lahaina Pump) for five years until Florendo’s parents were able to purchase their first home in Kelawea Mauka in 1972.

Faustino & Monica Tabios at Margarita’s Wedding

Both Faustino and Monica Tabios retired from the Pioneer Mill Company in 1986. Faustino worked as an irrigator and Monica worked as a seed cutter. Florendo said the following about his parents: My Dad and Mom worked very hard to provide me and my siblings to have a better life in America. In fact, they did not only provide for us but also provided for their families they left behind in the Philippines and helped them come to America as well. My Dad’s sacrifices of working here in Hawai‘i while being away from his family for many years were appreciated. Bless our next generation in living the American Dream.

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.