Sakada Offspring

Isabelle Paraoan Dela Cruz Bates

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Dela Cruz Bates ‘Ohana

The relationship between a dad and his daughter can be one of the most special relationships of a lifetime. Such a relationship is evident with this month’s featured Sakada offspring, Isabelle Paraoan Dela Cruz Bates and her father, a 1946 Sakada.

Isabelle “Belle” Bates was born in Bil-loca, Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines in September 1951. She and her husband, Larry Bates currently live in Prescott, Arizona. She attended Bil-loca Elementary School, Immaculate Conception Academy High School, Maui Community College, and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she graduated in 1974 with a BS in Nutrition & Food Service Administration. She was very involved in athletics and the arts when she was in her elementary and high years and received several awards.

Belle Bates – Isabelle P. Dela Cruz Bates

In her employment experiences, Belle has worked in many different fields. Starting in the Summer 1971, she was an apprentice seamstress (serger) at the former Ikeda’s Sports Factory in Pā‘ia, Maui. 1974–1975 she worked as Food & Nutrition Ed Instructor (O‘ahu Geriatric Program) Department of Education through Farrington Community School & Catholic Community Services in Honolulu. 1975–1976 she was a Home Economist for Gems Store (Appliance Dept.), Honolulu and Waipahu. While helping a friend at the Shadow Puppet King’s Alley (Waikīkī), she met the love of her life, Larry Bates. Soon after, Belle moved to Los Angeles, California with her best friend in search of better opportunities and full-time jobs. 1975–1976 she was the General Nutrition Centers Manager (Culver City, California). 1977–1979 The Yogurt Place Store Manager then GM (Century City, South Bay, Arcadia). 1979–1981 she was a full time mom and housewife to care for her newborn daughter, Liza.

In 1981, Belle went back to the workforce. From then until 1996, she held several financial jobs such as Transamerica Financial Services: Branch Manager, Security Pacific Finance: Branch Manager, Security Pacific Bank VP in New Accounts & Loans.

1996–2001 Belle tried another venture. She left the bank, purchased and operated a Mini Asian Market, “Bahay Natin Food Mart” located in West Los Angeles, California.

In 2002, Belle returned to Bank of America, in the Premier Banking & Investment Division VP, Premier Client Manager, Wealth Management Sr. Banker. In 2008, Bank of America purchased Merrill Lynch – and Belle became Vice President, Senior Wealth Mgt. Banker, Belle retired in November 2011.

On December 31, 1977, Belle married Lawrence “Larry” Bates. He was originally from Syracuse, New York and a U.S. Air Force veteran. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with B.S. in English. He was a U.S. Air Force Captain and served in the Vietnam War. He was in the MBA Program at California State University. He studied and received his California State Teaching Credential.

Dad and Mom; Dad’s first vacation (1951) 5th wedding Anniversary (Philippines)
Dad and Mom; 10 year anniversary (1956)

Larry’s employment history consists of Management Consultant, 1974–1991, Rapid Transit District (LA Transportation Supervisor/Consultant/Instructor); 1991–1996, Self Employed: Public motivational Speaker 1977–2002; LA Unified School District: Public School Teacher, 2003–2008, Retired in 2008; Tai Chi Instructor, L.A.; and currently in Prescott, Arizona. Larry enjoys Tai Chi, hiking, traveling, reading, listening to music, watching sports and movies.

Belle and Larry have one daughter, Liza Perera (Bates), born and raised in West Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Culver City High School and received her AA Liberal Arts Degree from Santa Monica College. She started as a professional child actress and later shifted her entertainment focus to Polynesian dancing. In 2003–2010, she created and operated a Polynesian Dance Group. She worked as an entrepreneur, Professional Polynesian Entertainer, Casino dealer (supervisor) at a major casino on the Las Vegas strip.

Belle has three adopted brothers, Danny, Lorenzo and Rudy. They are all nephews of Belle’s late Dad. Danny Pascua arrived on Maui in June 1972. He attended Baldwin High School. He was a Supervisor at the Automotive Service Dept at HC&S Co. He is married to Patricia Kaiwi of Hāna. She worked at the Dept of Social Services. They have two children, Filomena “Trisha” Pascua and Dominic Pascua. Sadly, Danny passed away in 2021. Lorenzo Sotto arrived on Maui in August 1977. He was a Pu‘unēnē Mill Machinist at HC&S. He retired in 2016. He is a self-employed certified Plumber. He is married to Theresa “Tessie” Gumanas. She works at the Maui Adult Day Care Center. They have two children, Loren Mae (Pharmacist) and Vernon (Physical Therapist). Two grandchildren are Paityn and Tyran. The third adopted brother is Rodolfo “Rudy” Dela Cruz. He arrived on Maui in August 1977. He worked at HC&S as Sugar Broiler Mechanic Lead Man. He retired in 2016. He is married to Revelina (Revie) Espiritu. Revie worked as a sales associate at Sears. She has a cleaning service business. They have three children, (Rovie, Rodolfo, Jr., and Jordan), five grandchildren (Jayson, Ken, Kharsin, Klover, Kaniela) and one great grandson (Zayne).

Family Photo (1988) – Parent’s 42nd Wedding Anniversary. Back row: Rodolfo “Rudy,” Lawrence “Larry,” Laurence “Lorn” Daniel “Danny” Front row: Rovie, Revelina, Belle, Liza, Dad, Mom, Tessie, Loren, Patricia, Mina “Trish”

Belle received awards from Bank of America Premier Banking & Investments Nationwide Banking: Top Percentage (entire USA), Ascension Seton Northwest hospital: Exemplary Volunteer Service – Maternity & NICU.

Belle’s community involvement includes Ascension Seton NW Hospital Maternity/NICU & Baby Blanket Projects and Volunteered at South Austin Food Bank.

Belle enjoys Zumba, Tai Chi, Hula, picture taking, gardening, hiking, traveling, sewing/crocheting, watching Hallmark movies & HGTV, real estate investing and property renovation.

Family Photo (1990) Mother’s Day at Mama’s Fish House (windy day). Larry, Belle, Liza (a.k.a. Kimie), Mom and Dad

Belle’s father, Benigno Dela Cruz was one of the thousands of Sakadas who came from the Philippines in 1946 to work in the sugar and pineapple plantations of Hawai‘i. He was born on November 2, 1915 in Apaya, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, He is the second eldest child of seven children of Cesario and Lorenza Dela Cruz. He married Belle’s mom, Luciana Paraoan in January 1946, just weeks before he was quarantined in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, a required preparation for his upcoming trip to Hawai‘i. Benigno together with the other Sakadas came to Hawai‘i on a boat. Because of the rough ocean water, it took almost two months to reach Hawai‘i. A lot of them including Benigno got very seasick during their tedious, long journey.

Benigno was hired to work in the cane fields on O‘ahu. He asked to be moved to Maui, however, in search of a better job position. He was pleased his new employer, HC&S Co., provided free camp housing and transportation to work.

They just had to wake up super early to prepare their breakfast and lunch and be ready for their company ride every morning. Although it got pretty lonely at times, he had two roommates so they could all talk stories together while sipping on their beers after work. As an irrigator, he had to move fast to keep the water flowing through the young canes. His job got easier when he was provided a small company truck.

Parents with the grandchildren (Christmas 1995). Back row: Trish, Grandpapa, Loren, Dominic, Grandmama, Liza. Front row: Vernon, Rodolfo Jr “JR”, Rovie

According to Belle, her father was a simple, patient and frugal man. Based on his cost analysis, he could save a lot by going home only every five years. Instead of going home on an expensive airplane ride, he would take the boat instead. He went home to his bride in January 1951. It was then that Belle was conceived. Because of work, however, he returned to Hawai‘i before Belle was born. This situation happened a lot to other Sakadas. Belle did not see her Dad until she was five. Of course, the bonding between them was not there. But eventually Belle and her Dad became close, especially when she and her mom joined him in Hawai‘i in 1969.

Like many of the newcomers from the Philippines, things did not match Belle’s expectations of Hawai‘i. The plantation home they had was no comparison to their house in the Philippines. She was so disappointed and wanted to go back to the Philippines. Her Dad reassured her, however, that things would be better. Sure enough, in 1976, they built a comfortable home on Papa Avenue. There at the Papa Avenue house is where they had the happiest moments of their lives with their extended family.

Belle’s parents were very loving, thoughtful, kind and generous to their families back in the Philippines. They helped bring them and their families to Hawai‘i. The following family members were Sister Dorotea (Rustico) Santos, Brother Gregorio, Sister Esperanza Gouda, Sister Filomena Pascua, Sister Agustina (Andres) Sotto and Laurence, Eldest sister Felonita Aguinaldo and Dino.

Belle’s Family (2021) Liza, Larry and Belle

Like most Sakada parents, Belle’s parents were focused on education. They encouraged her to attend the summer session at Maui Community College. There Belle became good friends with yours truly. We did a lot together. We went to the movies and even church together. We became such good friends we even shared some personal information with each other. We also both transferred to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus, from which we both graduated.

Here is Belle’s Personal Reflection about her Mom and Dad: Tatang and I took time to build a special bond. I understood the time apart for a period of five years during my childhood made him feel deprived of the joys of fatherhood. My daughter’s birth brought so much joy to them. Having seen her grow up gave him a little glimpse of fatherhood.

As strict as my father was and as overly protective my mother was, they managed to teach me how to be strong, independent and self-reliant. Most importantly, I gained my Tatang’s trust. It’s been years since their passing but I still miss them every day. I appreciated the loving sacrifices they made for me and for each other. I am forever grateful for the results of their hard work. I feel blessed for the type of life they have created for me and my family.

My Mom passed away on February 3, 1996, barely making their 50th anniversary. Three years after that, my Dad found someone to love. With my blessings, he married Maria “Mary” Asugui (second marriage for both). She took good care of him and he was happy and content during the last three years of his life. He passed on May 13, 2002. Mama Mary and I are now closer than ever.

I often ponder on my parents’ advice. My Dad said: ‘Stay humble, be patient, live within your means, be mindful of others.’ My mom said: ‘Be the best that you can be, stay persistent, count your blessings every day. Re: A Honey do list, be patient. If you can’t wait, do it but without a grudge. Give proper respect to your mother-in-law; never ever pick a fight with her!’

My parents’ legacy: They paved the way for a better life for Dad’s siblings and their families and inspired their children to do the same.

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.