Sakada Offspring

Caroline Domingo Sadiri

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Domingo Sadiri ‘Ohana

According to Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, “No one appreciates the American Dream more than a foreigner.” How true it is! The American Dream was in the mind of the father of this month’s featured Sakada Offspring when he came to Hawai‘i in the 1930s to work in the plantations of Hawai‘i.

Caroline Domingo Sadiri was born in November 1972 at the Kapi‘olani Children’s Hospital in Honolulu. She attended Kahului School (K–8). She played Volleyball, participated in Track and Field, and band playing the clarinet. She graduated from Maui High School. She participated in the following clubs and activities: soccer, Leo club, Filipino Club, Spirit Club, Block M, and arts (received various Art awards). She was the 1989 Homecoming Queen. She graduated cum laude in her graduating class. After high school, Caroline attended Maui Community College now known as University of Hawai‘i Maui College and graduated with an A.S. in Accounting.

LEFT: Caroline Sadiri. RIGHT: Bonifacio Sadiri

Caroline is a very industrious individual. In the past, she worked at the E.K. Fernandez game booths, Kutsunai Photo Studio as a studio assistant, with James H. Hattaway DC as Chiropractic Assistant/Receptionist followed by becoming a certified Chiropractic Assistant as well as working at ‘Ohana Hale Chiropractic. For the next 11 years, she worked at Richard Drayson CPA which became Toma & Drayson CPAs as a bookkeeper/tax preparer. After that, Caroline worked at Aloha Eye Clinic for over eighteen years as their Certified Optician/Optical Manager. She is an American Board of Opticianry Certified Optician.

Currently, Caroline works full-time for the Law Office of Thomas R. Cole as their Legal Secretary/Bookkeeper/Office Manager. As her part-time job since, she works at Maui Sunglass Wailea as their Certified Optician.

Currently, Caroline is engaged to Jeffery Grimes who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. As they say, love finds its way. In Jeff’s and Caroline’s case, it was the “Optical Way.” Jeff and Caroline met when he moved to Maui to work for the Maui Police Dept. and he needed eye care and found Aloha Eye Clinic, where Caroline was working in Optical. Jeff is a U.S. Navy Veteran (Navy Military Police, served in Kuwait). Currently, he is a Deputy Sheriff for the State of Hawai‘i Dept. of Law Enforcement. In the past, Jeff worked at the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Dept. in Virginia, Securitas at Honolulu Airport, Maui Police Dept., and TSA Maui. Jeff is a friendly, dedicated and fun-loving guy. He enjoys going to church, spending time with Carol and family, driving, off-road driving, camping, barbecuing, watching football (fave: Kansas City Chiefs) and drag racing.

Bonifacio & Armelina Sadiri’s Wedding photo

Life is full of twists and turns. But to survive through it all, we just need to go with the flow with an open heart and mind. Caroline’s life is no exception. She also had a previous relationship which produced two wonderful children, Kau‘i and Elijah Uweko‘olani.

Kau‘imakamae Uweko‘olani (28 years old), attended Emmanuel Lutheran Preschool, St. Anthony Grade School, Lihikai Elementary, Kamehameha Schools Maui, and Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where she received her B.S. in Exercise Science. Kau‘i is a very sports-minded individual. She participated in a lot of sports activities from middle-school all the way to college. She presently works at Bayada Maui as a full time Registered Behavior Technician, working with special-needs children at their schools. Kau‘i also coaches the Girls Softball team at Kamehameha Schools Maui. She enjoys reading her Bible, loving Jesus, listening to Christian music, doing puzzles, traveling, baking and experiencing new foods, hiking, rock-climbing, family time and sunsets. She resides in Kahului.

Armelina & Bonifacio Sadiri

Elijah Lanakila Uweko‘olani (20 years old), attended Emmanuel Lutheran Preschool, St. Anthony Grade School, Kamehameha Schools Maui and is currently attending college in Spokane studying Criminology. He started playing T-ball for the Wailuku Phillies up until high school. He played Pop-Warner football with Kahului Ali‘i and Wailuku Rainbows. He played baseball and football for Kamehameha Schools Maui, then played college football for Whitworth University. Elijah enjoys Bible studies, playing and watching football, working out, cooking, listening to Reggae music and art (drawing and painting). He resides in Spokane, Washington.

Caroline has three siblings: Tereza Rapoza, Boniface Sadiri and Jennifer Velez.

Carol, Bonifacio (Dad), Tere and Boonie

Tereza Rapoza is a receptionist at Longevity Health Center and Medical Assistant at Hawai‘i Industrial Medicine. She is married to Mark Rapoza. He works at Kihei Garden and Landscaping. They have two children, Matthew and Melissa. They reside in Wailuku. Tereza has four children from a previous relationship, Teryna, Giordan, Terylle and Garrett. They are also blessed with two grandchildren, Gage and Asher. She enjoys watching good movies, cooking, baking and family time especially with her grandchildren. She is a natural caretaker in the family.

Boniface Sadiri (single) is a Warehouse Manager at Slim’s PowerTools. He is a skillful artist who creates life-like portraits and cartoon art. He has a natural gift of repairing tools and assembling things. He enjoys karaoke, airbrushing, camping and assembling models. He lives in Kahului.

Jennifer Velez is Caroline’s younger sister. She is a Dental Assistant for an Oral Surgeon in Kahului. She is married to Roland Velez who works Warehouse at Island Distributing. They reside in Kahului. They have three children, Rylie, Raige and Raecen. Jennifer enjoys the beach, working out, good movies, watching sports, being with family and friends, playing golf, softball and dodgeball.

The siblings; Tere, Carol, Armelina (Mom), Jene and Boonie

Caroline is a very active member of Christ The King Catholic Church in Kahului. She serves in the Worship Committee (Usher Ministry for 8 a.m. Sunday mass), Service Committee (Document and Publishing Ministry taking photos/historian), Faith Formation (Catechist, teacher for 6–12 Reconciliation class), Parish Pastoral Council, Stewardship committee, Fundraiser Coordinator for Maui Charity Walk and Maui Vicariate Disaster Relief Task Force. The money received from the Maui Charity Walk is used for the Outreach Program of Christ The King Church. Many people on Maui who qualify have benefitted from this program by helping them pay for rent, utility bills, gas bills, doctor bills, etc. This program is not only for Christ The King parishioners but also for other parishes as long as they meet the qualification.

In 1990, Caroline was chosen as Miss Sampaguita, a scholarship program. She also danced for Hālau Hula Kamakani Kilio‘opu and was a member of the Haleakalā Lions Club. She enjoys photography, scrapbooking, drawing, painting and reading books. She also enjoys just being a mom, spending time with Jeff and family, church ministries, good movies and nature.

Caroline is the daughter of Armelina Corpuz Domingo Sadiri and the late Bonifacio Ragual Sadiri. Bonifacio was born on June 1, 1909, in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He was a farmer with a minimum education in basic reading and writing. On January 2, 1930 at age 20, Bonifacio came to Hawai‘i on a steamer boat called, S.S. President Lincoln. He landed on O‘ahu. He worked at Ewa Plantation Co. as a laborer in the sugarcane field and then moved on to Wahiawā Plantation and Kunia Pineapple. In the 1950s Bonifacio worked as a Stevedore for McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co. No forklifts back then, he carried loads by hand, loading and unloading cargo.

In 1969, at age 60, Bonifacio decided it was time to settle down and have a family. That was the first time that he returned to the Philippines since he left to come to Hawai‘i. With the help of his Uncle Juan Sadiri, they went to a barrio where his future wife was living. It was a typical Filipino danon, a proposal to marry a girl with her parents’ blessings. Although the girl’s parents gave their blessings, the girl still must make the final decision whether to marry. Bonifacio was persistent in marrying Armelina Corpuz Domingo that he did not want to leave her house until he got a positive answer from her. Armelina finally gave in and said yes (for a better life in Hawai‘i). They got married on January 10, 1970 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Mangato, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Seven days later after their wedding, Bonifacio had to return to Hawai‘i to work. Armelina followed him on June 30, 1970. They lived in an apartment on King Street close to Chinatown where some of their friends also lived.

Carol’s family; Jeff, Carol, Kau’i and Elijah

Their first child Tereza was born in July 1971. In November 1972, Caroline was born so they moved to a bigger apartment in Kalihi. In February 1974, their third child, Boniface was born, followed by Jennifer in June 1975.

In 1973, Bonifacio retired from McCabe, Hamilton & Renny as a stevedore. In 1974, the whole family traveled to the Philippines to visit family and stayed there for a month. When they came back, Armelina’s uncle, Isidro Corpuz encouraged the Sadiri family to move to Maui and promised he would build a house for them to live in. Bonifacio hesitated at first but with Armelina’s encouragement, he agreed to move to Maui.

In 1976, Armelina became a U.S. citizen. While they were waiting for their new house to be built, they lived with the Corpuz family. After four months, they were able to move into their new home. Bonifacio was a stay-home dad while Armelina went to work at Maui Pine, then later at HC&S. Bonifacio worked in his garden growing a variety of vegetables, built benches, tables and cooked all the family meals. While cooking, Caroline remembers him whistling Filipino folk songs. He did the shopping mainly at Noda Market and Ooka Market and drove the children to and from school in his big white station-wagon. He even walked the children to their classrooms when they were little.

In 1976, Armelina and Bonifacio petitioned Armelina’s parents and siblings to come to Hawai‘i. In 1977, they all arrived and lived with them.

In 1982, Armelina and Bonifacio bought their own house on Makali‘i Street in Kahului. Besides raising vegetables, Bonifacio was able to raise chickens, goats and pigs because they had a big backyard with no neighbors in the back. In those days, they were able to slaughter livestock in the backyard. It was a very happy, close-knit neighborhood where everyone shared what they have with each other. In Ilokano, they call it padigo. What fun days to spend one’s childhood!

As Bonifacio got older, he gave up raising livestock but enjoyed joining his contemporaries at the old Kahului Shopping Center under the monkeypod trees playing cards or checkers or just talking stories.

Bonifacio eventually became sick due to his years of smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol. Although he got weaker every day, he was still able to walk his first daughter on her wedding day in 1987 as well as meet his first grandchild Teryna in 1988. Caroline shares her memories of her dad’s last moments: My mom took very excellent care of him until the end. I remember our house was filled with family and friends to visit him and say goodbye to him on his last days. I was only fifteen years old and I remember going in his room that day and sat next to his bed, just he and I having a heartfelt conversation of Thank you’s and I love you’s. His voice came down to a whisper, as he caught his breath and said in Ilokano, to ‘take care of my brother and sisters, of myself and take care of my mom.’ He passed away on March 6, 1988.

Caroline also wants to share her reflection on her dad: “As I look back at my childhood, I am overwhelmed with fond memories of my dad being present in my life. He was a true homemaker and took care of his family first and made a great home for us. What made it special was that he was happy and content. I realize that through his struggles and successes, he lived out his fruitful life and achieved the American Dream. I am forever grateful and I thank God that he made the decision to immigrate to Hawai‘i at a young age. He took the opportunity to work hard as a plantation worker and earn money to help his family back home. I admire his perseverance and determination to overcome the challenge he dealt with, which led him to live the local lifestyle, sharing space with multiple ethnic groups and sharing their different cultures. He became a part of Filipino history in Hawai‘i as a Sakada. Although many of the Sakadas were bachelor men, I am also glad that my dad decided to settle down to marry my mom, Armelina and raise our family on Maui. My dad, Bonifacio, set a foundation for my family and I, as he paved the way for us to attend school, pursue a good job, good career and build a better life here in Hawai‘i. He and my mom instilled in us the core Filipino values of hard work, perseverance, dedication to family and staying humble. I am proud to be a Filipina American second generation and raising a family of my own, as part of our Filipino community on Maui to grow and prosper. We honor our past by perpetuating our Filipino heritage on this beautiful Maui, our home.”

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.