Renie Garo Menor
Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Garo Menor ‘Ohana
A father’s love and advice last forever and leaves an imprint among his children and grandchildren. This month’s featured Sakada Offspring, Renie Garo Menor’s father certainly did leave an imprint to her, her siblings and their children.
Renie was born on February 9, 1975 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. She attended Apaya Elementary School in Laoag City (Gr. 1 and 2). From grades 3–6, she attended Laoag Central Elementary School. For her high school years, she attended INCAT (Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades) in Laoag City. Before moving to Maui, she attended Northwestern University in Laoag City for two years.
When she arrived on Maui, she continued her college education at Maui Community College for two years and received her Associates in Accounting Degree in 1998 and her Associates in Liberal Arts Degree that same year.
Renie is very resilient as far as her employment is concerned. She worked at Minit Stop, Dairy Road (1994–1998) while going to school, started as a cashier and left as an Assistant Manager. In 1999–2006, she worked at Bank of Hawai‘i in the New Accounts and Loan Department. Then from 2006–2008, she became a Mortgage Loan Officer at Amber Mortgage, Company. She then moved to Central Pacific Bank Home Loans from 2008–2010 as a Mortgage Loan Officer. From 2010–2012, she moved to another financial institution, American Savings Bank. There she worked as a Bank Teller. Lastly, from 2012–present, she is a Family Service Advisor at Maui Memorial Park/Nakamura Mortuary. She is also a Licensed Life Insurance Agent from 2012–present.
Neil Barangan Menor, Renie’s husband, works at the new high school, Kūlanihāko‘i High School in Kīhei as a cook. Neil and Renie have three children, Naomi Anela Menor—a Senior at Maui High School, Yzabelle Menor—a Sophomore at Maui High School, and Liam Jake Menor—1st grade at Kahului Elementary School.
Renie’s siblings are: Lurlina (Richard) Gaoiran; they have a son, Renzo James Gaoiran, a Sophomore at UNLV.
Leonardo (Rachel) Garo, Jr.; their children are Leslie Garo (Bryson Alviedo)—Aria (9), BJ (3 months), Charley John Garo—8th Grade at Maui Waena Intermediate.
Robert (Margie) Garo; their children are, Christian Lee (Megan) Garo-Bentley (3) and Kylie Garo.
At Maui Memorial Park, Renie is a Mariner’s Awardee Recipient for the last five years. She is the Star Recipient for 2023.
Renie serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Christ The King Church. She is a member of the Christ The King Filipino Catholic Club. She is a member and officer of Dance International Production. She is also a member of the Mariner’s Club.
Renie is a well-rounded person. She enjoys spending time with family and friends especially a day at the beach. She enjoys gardening, tending her mini garden, cooking, some dancing and singing as well as listening to music.
Renie’s father, Leonardo Ramos Garo was one of the Filipino old timers who paved the way for other Filipinos especially the last batch of Sakadas who came to Hawai‘i in 1946. Leonardo was born in Baranggay 39 Sta. Rosa, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines on November 3, 1909. He was the youngest among nine children of Vivencia and Jose Garo. Renie claims she did not meet any of her Dad’s siblings because he was the youngest and he got married at a later age. Of course, she is aware that she has a lot of older cousins.
Leonardo arrived in Hawai‘i on January 29, 1931. He was only 19 years old at that time. He first worked on Kaua‘i at the Kekaha Sugar Cane Company, as a field laborer. According to Renie, her father shared stories about how he came to Hawai‘i and some of the events that happened when he was already in Hawai‘i. At that time, her father came by ship and it took them a month on the rough ocean journey from the Philippines to Hawai‘i. He even experienced WWII in 1941 in Hawai‘i. He was so scared and they were brought to Honolulu at one point to keep them safe and took them back to Kaua‘i when the war was over.
In March 1968, Leonardo went back home to the Philippines and married Renie’s Mom, Rosita Tangonan Domingo. At that time, it was easier and faster to petition a loved one to come to Hawai‘i. Rosita was able to follow Leonardo just a few months after their wedding. Soon after, they were blessed with three children, Lurlina, Leonardo, Jr. and Robert. In November 1973, when he reached retirement age, the family decided to go back home to the Philippines and build a home there to raise their children. While enjoying their lives in the Philippines, they were again blessed with two more children, Renie and Michael, the youngest. As some Sakadas would humorously say, “Three were made in Hawai‘i and two were made in the Philippines.”
In 1986, Robert who was born in Hawai‘i, came back to Hawai‘i, on Maui. He was followed by Leo, Jr. in 1987 and some of other relatives. Unfortunately, Renie’s Dad passed away in November 1988 in the Philippines. Of course, the two boys had to go back home to show their last respects to their Dad. Following the funeral, in 1990, Renie’s sister, Lurlina and her mom decided to follow the two boys as well. Then in 1994, a great reunion of the Garo family happened. Renie and her brother Michael joined the rest of the family.
Renie lovingly shared her reflection on her father:
Dad was one of a kind. He was such a very loving and responsible father to us (his children). Talk about one hardworking man and a great provider to his family. He would grow vegetables around the house and raise chickens, goats and pigs. He taught us to be helpful, kind, respectful, humble and to love one another.
Dad was known for his kindness, generosity and being humble from our little barrio in the Philippines. Because he was one of the few that owned an automobile (owner type, Jeep), he would offer a ride to those who he passed by walking to go to the market. I remember when an Ice Cream man used to pass our house and hear the Honking sound. I would run to Dad and ask for money to buy ice cream. He always had this little coin purse in his pocket ready to hand it to us when we asked. When he used to drop us off at school, and we passed some kids walking to school, he would stop and offer them a ride as well. The other kids were so excited to ride with us.
I lost my Dad at an early age, I was only 13 years old when he passed on November 27, 1988. He used to tell us he saw and read his book of life and it was written in that book that he would be lucky if he reached the age of eighty. Dad just turned 79 years and 24 days old when he died. We miss and love him so much. He would have been 113 years old today.
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.