Sakada Offspring

Ernielito “Ernie” Deguzman Costello

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Deguzman Costello ‘Ohana

The Sakada parents’ influence is the basis of this month’s Sakada Offspring and his children, their brighter future and successful lives.

Ernielito “Ernie” Deguzman Costello was born in Wailuku, Maui, Hawai‘i in October 1968. He attended Makawao Elementary School and Maui High School. In 1990, he graduated from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in Finance.

Ernie Costello

Most of his professional career has been in the healthcare space. His experience ranged from small medical device start-up companies to large multi-national corporations. He is currently an Executive District Business Manager for Mead Johnson Nutrition. He leads a specialty sales team responsible for the Mountain West region of the United States. Prior experience includes Vice President, Director and senior leadership roles at companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Abbott and Sanofi. He is fortunate and immensely proud to have been involved in two start up medical device companies leading to both having successful IPOs.

Laurie Ann Costello, Ernie’s wife, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of the Pacific and a Master’s degree in Behavioral Analysis from National University. She is a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst and works at ABS Kids in Salt Lake City where she leads a team of Behavioral Therapists working with children with autism spectrum disorders.

Anacleto Costello

The Costello’s have two children, Kyle Matthew Costello and Maile Nichole Costello.

Kyle Matthew has a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Occidental College and is currently working as an Operations Manager at Stanford School of Law in Palo Alto, California. He is currently considering his options to pursue a graduate degree in Business Administration or Higher Education.

Maile Nichole has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Redlands and is currently working as a social worker with Insights Young Parent Services in Portland, Oregon. After gaining additional experience, she plans to attend graduate school to get her Master of Social Work.

Anacleto & Nena Costello at Ernie & Laurie’s Wedding

Ernie received numerous awards in his career for sales achievement and leadership. He is proud but humble in receiving these awards and achievements.

Laurie and Ernie participated in all aspects of the community they live in where they raised their children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since moving to Salt Lake City five years ago, they have slowly integrated into their new surroundings according to Ernie. They are parishioners of Saint Ambrose Catholic Church and are involved with service organizations such as the Utah Food Bank, the Utah Special Olympics, Autism Awareness and Teen Suicide Prevention.

Ernie & Laurie at Snowbird, UT

Ernie and Laurie are both avid tennis players and regularly play competitively on the local tennis leagues for the United States Tennis Association. They both enjoy cooking for family and friends. They enjoy traveling and they hope to do more trips in the near future.

Ernie’s Sakada connection is with his late father, Anacleto Costello who at the early age of fifteen came to work in the sugar cane and pineapple plantations of Hawai‘i. He was born in Dinalawan, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines in October 1912. Anacleto Costello arrived in Hilo, Hawai‘i in 1927. He was sponsored by the long gone O‘okala Sugar Plantation. He decided to come to Hawai‘i to find a better life, to earn money, and for adventure. He did not stay at the O‘okala Plantation very long because of the influence and encouragement of his friends and relatives who were living on Maui, so he joined them on Maui.

Kyle and Maile at Maile’s College Graduation

Upon arriving on Maui, Anacleto was hired at the Maui Pine Plantation earning $2 a day working as a water boy. As a water boy, he was responsible for distributing water to the workers to drink as they worked under the scorching Maui sun. Anacleto was such a good worker, he didn’t mind working as a water boy. He also boxed pineapples.

In 1939, Anacleto decided to go to the Philippines to get married. He was married to the late Eusebia Viloria. They had two children, a son and a daughter. He did not come back to Hawai‘i until 1946 when the influx of Sakadas (about 6,000) men were recruited to come and work at the sugar and pineapple plantations. Anacleto decided to sign up again to return to Hawai‘i. He and the other Sakadas left the Philippines from Port Salomague in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur aboard the S.S. Maunawili. They landed at the Kahului Harbor after dropping some men off on Hawai‘i island. Anacleto and some of the men lived at the Haleakalā Camp located between Pukalani and Makawao. Haleakalā Camp is now a developed subdivision. Most of them worked at the Maui Pine Company. Besides doing other jobs at Maui Pine, Anacleto worked as a truck driver until his retirement in 1974.

Anacleto & Nena Costello

In 1963, Anacleto’s life was a combination of happy and sad. It was sad because his oldest son died in the Philippines. While he was there for his son’s funeral, he met a beautiful young lady by the name of Nena Deguzman from Santa Ignacia, Tarlac, Philippines. It was love at first sight! They had a long-distance courtship because Anacleto had to come back to Hawai‘i to work. Nena’s father gave his blessings to Anacleto to marry his daughter. In May 1967, Anacleto went back to the Philippines and married Nena. On November 14, 1967, Nena arrived in Hawai‘i to join Anacleto. Nena was an incredibly talented seamstress. She could sew simple dresses as well as elaborate terna gowns. She was able to make her own patterns too.

On October 17, 1968, Anacleto and Nena were blessed with a son, which was Ernielito “Ernie” Costello.

Ernie shared his personal reflection on his mom and dad: With the recent passing of my mom, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the incredible life of my mom and dad. Like all the Sakada families, my parents were focused on building a better life for themselves and their families. That life was full of hard work and sacrifices. It was also a life filled with the richness of family, community, spirituality, and happiness. I believe they achieved their goals by setting me up and my family for a brighter future and ultimately establishing an example and standard for future generations to follow. While I have lived away from Maui for all my adult life, I have great satisfaction in knowing that my children have spent a lot of time with their grandparents over the years. I know that my parents’ influence has helped shape who they are as young adults and that they will continue to honor their grandparents in all the things they hope to accomplish in their personal and professional lives. My parents leave an incredible legacy and I am forever grateful for their love, guidance, support and sacrifice.

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.