Sakada Offspring

Juliette A. Pencerga Rodrigues

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Juliette Rodrigues

This month’s featured Sakada Offspring, Juliette A. Pencerga Rodrigues is very proud of her Sakada Dad, Paterno S. Pencerga. She describes him as a very talented musician, a very effective leader, and a very respected peacemaker within his family and in the community.

Juliette was born in August 1953 at the Pu‘unēnē Hospital, in Pu‘unēnē, Maui, Hawai‘i. She attended Holy Rosary School (K–3rd), Christ The King School (4th through 8th grades). She was Salutatorian of her Graduating Class. She graduated from the Class of 1971 at St. Anthony High School (9th through 12th grades). She majored in Theatre Arts and minored in Music at Immaculate Heart College in California. She received a Certificate from John Roberts Modeling and Finishing School. She also attended Maui Community College now known as University of Hawai‘i Maui College. Juliette is also a Licensed Realtor Associate from the Board of Realtors on Maui.

Juliette Rodrigues

Juliette has very diverse talents. She worked at Bank of Hawai‘i for three years and ten months as a Teller. She was the lead singer for Rebirth Rock Band for a year. She was a Loan Officer for seven years and 10 months at Finance Factors in Wailuku. She was a Realtor Associate – Division II Properties for seven years. She was a Cashier at the Attorney General Office – State of Hawai‘i for two years. At the Water Engineering Department, County of Maui, she worked as a Clerk Typist II. She was a Secretary to DMVL Administrator. At DMVL, Maui County, she was a supervisor Driver Examiner for twenty-eight years. She finally retired on December 31, 2013.

Juliette is married to Colin R. Rodrigues. He is a graduate of Maui Community College, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and received his BA degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. He worked at the County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i – Judiciary as an Administrator—Adult Probation and Administrator—District Court for 44 years. Colin retired on December 31, 2017.

Paterno & Ramona Pencerga

Colin and Juliette have four children. Jody K. Ribao-Makua is a Flight Attendant with Hawaiian Airlines. She is married to Damen Makua. They have five children: Faith, Ka‘ehu, Darius, Jada and Jodi.

Jaime L. Ribao is an Administrator of Wailuku Union Church. She is married to Shannon. They have two children: Kelsey (Lyle) and Cody and one great grandchild, Liam.

Kyle K. Rodrigues is a Recreation Leader III at the County of Maui, Parks and Recreation.

Kurt K. Rodrigues is a Facility Maintenance Administrator for HECO.

Children – Jaime, Kyle, Jody, Kurt

Juliette’s siblings are Paterno A. Pencerga (wife – Teresita) who have two children, Suzette and Peter; Evelyn J. Pencerga (single); Cyrilla M. Pascual (husband – Felix) and they have two children, Rod and Richard Antone.

Juliette received the following Licenses and Certifications: Essential Skills for Manager/ Supervisor (Pryor), High Impact Communication Skills for Women (Pryor), Skills for Effective Supervisor (Pryor), 7 Habits for Managers & DISC Online (U.H. Maui College), Certified Commercial Driver License Examiner Instructor Trainer-SOH, Dept. of Transportation, Certified CDL Examiner Trainer – SOH, Dept. of Transportation, County, Light Vehicle Examiner Trainer – Dept. of Finance, MSF Motorcycle Safety Foundation Driver License Examiner – MSF/AAMVA, Certified Win/Win Communication Strategies, and National Businesswomen’s Leadership Association (Rockhurst College).

Siblings with Mom and Dad, Evelyn, Cyrilla, Juliette and Pete

Juliette is a very active parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and Schools in Wailuku. She held the following ministries: Cantor for Liturgies (30 years), Lector/Reader (30 years), Eucharistic Minister (3 years), Pastoral Council Member (8 years), Liturgy Chairperson (3 years) and Church Choir Member (30 years).

In her spare time, Juliette enjoys singing, dancing, swimming, walking, hiking, baking, gardening and crafting.

Juliette is a daughter of the late Sakada Paterno Pencerga from Calape, Bohol, Visayas, Philippines. He was born on November 12, 1912. He and his cousin Jose Serondo left the Philippines on February 13, 1930 from Manila. They were adventurous men, very excited even though it meant riding on a ship in the rough seas for a month to reach Hawai‘i with a possibility of being seasick along the way. Luckily, both men did not get seasick. They believed eating homemade chocolate candies made by Paterno’s mother they brought along saved them. It also saved others with whom they shared the chocolate.

Upon arrival on Hawai‘i island, Paterno and Jose worked at the sugar plantation in Pāpa‘ikou, Hawai‘i. They did not like working there because it was too wet, too rainy. So they moved to Maui. They worked for the Maui Agriculture Company which later became known as HC&S. Paterno lived in Pūlehu Camp which was located below Pukalani today. Nearby were the Makule Kailua Camp and the Kehua Camp. At HC&S, Paterno worked as an irrigator as well as other jobs like cutting grass. His daily wage was less than $1 per day.

The Pencerga Ohana

When Maui Agriculture became HC&S, Paterno moved to Orpheum Camp in Pā‘ia. He worked at the Pā‘ia Mill as a machinist and then as a Crew Chief until 1977 when he retired. He also worked at the Pā‘ia Hospital as a ward nurse’s aide from 1943 to 1946. The Pā‘ia Hospital was also called the Pā‘ia Orphanage in the 1960s. There were no indoor toilets so the villagers used an outhouse (common toilet outside). They had furo (for hot water bath) heated with burning wood supplied by the Company. They cooked their food on a kerosene stove with free kerosene supplied also by the Company. They were allowed to slaughter animals in their backyard which they shared with each other. Dried Bacalao Fish (cod fish) was plentiful and a very popular food to the Sakadas. They considered it as a delicacy and a treat. There were no catering businesses so the men were the cooks at parties and Paterno helped with the cooking. Some of the men in Orpheum Camp who cooked with Paterno were the late Eufemio and Balbino Pias, Vicente Javier, Jacinto Timario, and Alfredo and Domingo Arrocena.

One day, young and handsome Paterno spotted a beautiful young lady who was walking from the library. He asked his friend Balbino Pias who she was. He found out she was from Kaheka Camp and her name was Ramona Cagasan. Ramona was from a big traditional Filipino family. Since then, Paterno visited Ramona at her home, sometimes unannounced. After so many visits, their love blossomed. Dating to watch a movie at the Pā‘ia Theater was a family affair because they were not allowed to go out by themselves. They continued to court secretly and romantically. Paterno and Ramona would send letters to each other via Patricio Sensano’s shoes. Patricio worked with Paterno at the mill. He would give Ramona’s letters to Paterno at the mill and vice versa.

Paterno and Ramona got married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on July 8, 1945. All the wedding preparations were done the Filipino traditional way. The elders did all the decision making as to how many animals would be slaughtered for the wedding, where the wedding would be held, etc. This was called danon. Their grand reception was held at Ramona’s parents’ house in Kaheka Camp. The famous Molina Brothers played the music at their wedding.

Paterno was an exceptionally talented musician. He was a member of the Islanders Band with the late Pascual Buen and Filbert Secretario. Paterno also played at the Coconut Grove in Lahaina. The Molina Brothers often asked him to play bass for them.

Juliette shared her heart-warming reflections on her Dad Paterno Pencerga and her Mom Ramona Cagasan Pencerga.

Being the youngest of four children (the baby), I was very close to my Dad and Mom. I would always follow them wherever they would go, especially my Dad. I guess you could say I was Daddy’s girl. My Dad was a leader in all aspects. He held a supervisory position at the Pā‘ia Mill and was very active in the ILWU. He was instrumental in organizing a very productive strike with the sugar company to enable the workers to receive better pay and benefits. During the mid-fifties, he also spearheaded another strike and there I was by his side as he led the workers in collaboration to provide food and necessary needs for the workers on strike. I witnessed his leadership first-hand and I was such in awe and proud of my Dad. Besides having leadership qualities, he was also gifted musically. He was able to play any instrument, except the violin and belonged to a string band, the Happy Visayans, and he played bass for the Molina’s Band and various bands on Maui.

Being proficient in speaking Tagalog, Visayan and Ilokano, my Dad had a diverse group of friends. He was highly respected by all which probably explains why we always had visitors stop by our house. Of course, I would always be at his side, even when he played music. I would stand right next to him. A lot of times, I would dance and the audience would throw coins or dollar bills. I was so proud to be my Dad’s daughter. Also, at an early age, I observed that my Dad was a peace maker and would use his expertise in resolving problems within the family or his friends.

My Mom on the other hand, was a true homemaker. She always made sure we had good food to eat, wore clean clothes and were well dressed. My Mom was also an excellent baker, seamstress and an awesome cook, especially, her pinakbet, gandule rice and other Filipino dishes. As an active member of Holy Rosary Church in Pā‘ia, she taught catechism, cleaned and decorated the church and sang in the Church choir for years, as well as cleaning the rectory and making sure the Pastor always had washed and clean clothes to wear. Besides doing all of that, she belonged to the Women’s Club, the Cursillo Women’s group of Maui, sang in the Happy Visayans and was a member of the Santo Niño Club of Maui. When my Dad was at work, I would follow my Mom around visiting her friends or in the yard gardening. I enjoyed listening to her talking stories with her friends and I would play with the other children. My Mom never learned how to drive. Therefore, in my high school years, I would take her with me on the Lurline ship in Lahaina when I sang with Sing Out Maui and to our High School plays where I was actively involved in St. Anthony High School’s Drama Club. My mom was the best!

In my early childhood, there was one incident I will always remember. Unaware that I was around, I heard them talking they were going to the store and I was to stay home. Well, I fooled them. Before they got into the car, I was already hiding in the back seat. As soon as the car started, I popped up my head and my Dad and Mom just laughed. I told them they could never leave me behind.

Throughout the years, my relationship with my Dad and Mom grew very strong and loving. We would have deep and interesting conversations / discussions about any subject you could ever think of. I learned a lot about their upbringing and culture. They both instilled in me many invaluable life lessons. As their journeys were coming to an end, my Dad and Mom entrusted me to be their advocate in carrying out their wishes where matters of their health and other important aspects were concerned and fulfilled their wishes in its entirety. My Dad Paterno S. Pencerga was called to eternal life on August 28, 2002 (a day after my birthday) and my Mom Ramona C. Pencerga was called to eternal life on June 14, 2015. There is never a day that goes by where I am not missing them. But I know they are looking over us and are in our hearts forever. They have both made me the woman I am today. I was truly blessed to have had them as my parents and I am most humbled and honored to be their daughter.

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.