Sakada Offspring

Roland James Pacubas

Lucy Peros | Photos courtesy Pacubas ‘Ohana

According to Gary K. Nelson, an American lawyer, politician and former Attorney General of Arizona (1968 to 1974), success means many things to different people. Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose. Conrad Hilton, an American businessman, said success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they do not quit. American author Robert Collier even has a different meaning of success. He says success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. These attributes define our featured Sakada Offspring, Roland James Pacubas and his Sakada father, Pedro Pacubas.

Roland Pacubas

Roland was born in February 1961 at the Maui Memorial Hospital in Wailuku, Maui. He attended Lihikai Elementary School, Baldwin High School and Maui Community College (now known as University of Hawai‘i Maui College) and received his Associate of Science Degree in Agriculture and Horticulture.

Roland worked at the Maui Prince Hotel from June 1986 to June 2006. For the last ten years, Roland has been working at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea. Roland’s wife Maricar R. Pacubas has worked for thirty-one years as a baker at Safeway in Kahului.

Roland and Maricar have one daughter, Tara-Ann Marie Pacubas. She attended Christ The King Elementary School (K-6), Maui Waena (7-8) and Maui High School. Tara-Ann received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa as well as her Master of Human Resource Management, and Technical Teacher Education Alternative and Certification Licensure Track 1. Currently, Tara teaches at Kaiser High School on O‘ahu.

Roland, Maricar, and Tara-Ann Pacubas.

Roland has one sister, Stella Pagatpatan, who has a daughter, Cheyna-Ann, a son, Chaunsey, and one grandson. Roland also has one brother, Roy Pacubas. Unfortunately, Roy passed away in June 1979. Roy was born in the Philippines and came to Hawai‘i with their mother.

Roland is a man of few words. He is a very humble man, good husband, father, son and friend to everyone. He is an exceptionally talented irrigation system engineer whose work is very thorough and dependable. Whenever he is called to do a job, especially when there are irrigation problems, he does not hesitate to come immediately. He volunteers at the Christ The King Foodbank and helps Bobby Moniz with the irrigation system at Christ The King Church. They both make the church ground beautiful with manicured green grass. Roland’s hobbies around his house are taking care of his beautiful garden and taking care of his chickens and ducks.

Pedro Pacubas in his younger days.

Pedro Pacubas, Roland’s Dad was a Sakada who was born in Bulag, Bantay, Ilocos Sur, Philippines on January 7, 1924. Pedro was recruited to come to work in the plantations of Hawai‘i in 1946 with thousands of other Sakadas. They came on board the S.S. Maunawili from Port Salomague in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.

Upon arriving on Maui, Pedro worked for HC&S. He lived with the Sakadas at McGerrow Camp in Pu‘unēnē, located across the Pu‘unēnē Mill. His job description at HC&S was an irrigator until he retired in 1989 at the age of sixty-five. His working buddies were the late Dionicio Tabangcura and the late Silvestre Peros, Sr. An industrious worker, after work at HC&S and on weekends, Pedro worked part-time as a carpenter with his friend, the late Amador Tabon.

Gregoria and Pedro Pacubas’ Wedding

The following information was shared by Roland’s Mom, Gregoria when this writer interviewed her when she was still living. In 1950, Pedro decided to go back to the Philippines to find a wife. There were two prospects but neither worked out to be his wife. It so happened there was an exceptionally beautiful young lady by the name of Gregoria Lopez who lived close by him in Bantay. Whenever Gregoria was invited to go to a dance party, her brother and an Aunty acted as her chaperones. She mentioned the young men raced to ask her to dance when the music began. She claimed her grandfather was extremely strict. Gregoria said she had many admirers but no specific boyfriend. It also happened her cousin was married to Pedro’s brother. So this was one of the connections between Pedro and Gregoria. Pedro’s parents went to ask Gregoria’s parents and her strict grandfather for her hand in marriage. They approved of their marriage and gave them their blessings. Gregoria and Pedro were married on August 16, 1950.

Pedro was able to stay in the Philippines for nine months. In fact, he was contemplating not returning to Hawai‘i. With a change of mind, he decided to come back to earn more money for his family. Their son, Roy was born in 1951 in the Philippines.

Pedro, Cheyna-Ann Pagatpatan, Gregoria, Tara-Ann
Jason Pinhiero, Chauncey Pagatpatan, Cheyna Pagatpatan, Stella Pagatpatan.

Gregoria and Roy followed Pedro to Hawai‘i in 1960. They lived in McGerrow Camp for only three months before moving to Kahului’s 6th increment near Lihikai School. They lived there for ten years until 1970 before moving to their present home in the 11th increment. During that time, Gregoria took her U.S. citizenship and took Georget as her American name. Pedro and Georget enjoyed traveling with their children to Switzerland, Italy, Philippines, California and Las Vegas. Pedro enjoyed going to the biagans (chicken fights) but only as a spectator. Both Georget and Pedro belonged to the Kahului Filipino Community Association. Unfortunately, Pedro died on his birthday, on June 7, 2007.

Gregoria and Roy Pacubas.

Roland said these heartwarming words about his Dad: My Dad was a truly special man. He wasn’t the type to boast or brag. Instead, he showed his unwavering love through his actions. Growing up, he worked really hard to make sure our family had everything we needed. Whether it was his job at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company or building houses on the side, he never complained. But what I remember most about him was his kindness and patience. When his grandchildren came along, he became their favorite playmate. He’d drop everything to take them to the park or spend time with them at home. And when they got sick, he’d wish he could take their pain away. My Dad’s life taught me that being humble, hardworking, and loving is what really matters in life.

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.