Happy Father’s Day
Tribute to God Our Father and All the Men Who Made a Difference in Our Lives!
Deacon Patrick Constantino | Photos courtesy Dcn. Pat Constantino
Scriptures that lead to my Father’s reflections:
Malachi 4:6 – “He will turn the hearts of the Fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their Fathers; …”
Deuteronomy 1:31 – “… There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a Father carries his Son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
God our Father—our Father who is always with us all the time. Even in time we forget Him. He changed us to become a person like Him, even in our struggles in difficult times to become a people of service, to serve and not be served.
I remembered always when I was ordained as a Deacon and took the Oath from Bishop Joseph Ferrario when handed the Gospel of the Lord and said, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach!” Bishop Joseph Ferrario seals this with a hug and kiss of peace. This has always been my strongest belief and faith for my loving faith in God and Father.
My Father Francisco Constantino came to Hawai‘i during the Sakada years in the 40s. He is from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He married Felisa Cabacungan also from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He worked at Wailuku Sugar Company and then moved to Honolulu where he worked at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard for two years and then returned to Maui and worked at the Malulani Hospital as a Practical Nurse and then moved to the new Maui Memorial Hospital on Malulani St., Wailuku. My dad supported me in my sports activities running track at ‘Īao School and was always sitting and cheering for me and our team in the stands when I played Little League. I loved going fishing with him catching ‘O‘opu or bonog in the river in Waihe‘e and ‘Īao Valley River. He taught me the art of catching them with my hands. I remember when I caught my first bonog with my hands, I nearly crushed it! It was about eight to 12-inches—they were big at that time. I also enjoyed going to chicken fights with Dad and it would be in the camps. We kids would watch under the house so the police would not catch us. This was told to us kids by the adults so we would not get run over if the police came to raid the fights. We had ladies selling food, all kind cancanen, soda, water, etc. We loved it because the kids would eat free on the ono food. I also enjoyed our family trips to the neighbor islands to be with families. And families and friends’ picnics, birthdays, weddings, feasts, etc.—these celebrations made our families and friends closer!
My Father-in-Law Francisco Bio came to Hawai‘i as a Sakada in the 40s. He is from Bangued, Abra, Philippines. He married Catalina Bello also from Bangued, Abra, Philippines. He worked in the sugar mill, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, Ltd., for several years and then decided to do irrigation in the fields. Dad (Bio) was a quiet man with a big heart. He loved to play Sakura. Dad and Mom watched our children while they were young. They learned to talk Filipino and ate Filipino food. We were blessed by Dad and Mom because our children got to know some of our Filipino culture. When we picked them up, they were bathed and dressed to sleep and ready to go home to Kula. I remember when I used to go to the slaughterhouse, Maui Factors, Inc., and brought home bindongo, small and large tripe, hoofs, lopo, brains, utek, milk guts, silet, and Dad would prepare these Filipino specialties till early the next mornings, like 4 or 5 o’ clock in the mornings. When it was ready our family would have a feast!
My grandfather Ruperto Cabacungan came to Hawai‘i as a Sakada in the 40s. He is from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He married Dionicia Acoba also from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He worked at Wailuku Sugar Company as an irrigator in the fields until he retired in the mid 50s. Lelo, as all of us grandchildren called him, was a quiet man who was well-dressed. He would baby sit us and I remember when he was working we used to wait at the work station, where they would drop off and pick up the workers and we would wait at the road side so we could receive his kau kau tin to eat his leftovers he would save for us as kids. When he retired from the plantation, he cooked Filipino food for my family and he would call me to pick it up after work. He was a good cook. He cooked during the plantation strike. Soup kitchen they called it. He was the head chef for parties, weddings, birthdays and baptisms in our camp and other places for family and friends. He had pigs on a stick we helped turn to have it roasted over wooden fires. And what amazed me is how he steamed rice in the silyasse (wok) and not burn it over a charcoal stove and it came out perfect. I remember telling him to burn it so we can eat the ittep, dark brown, it was delicious like candy. He was one we look forward to when he cooked. His food was delicious.
Elmer Cravalho was a Father image to me. He helped me during my younger days. He gave me a chance to experience in private sectors—MDG Supply, Inc. as an Account Clerk the Lumber yards Division, Manager of Kula Community Federal Credit Union as a Manager, Experience working at the State Legislature as Assistant Sergeant of Arms, and as his Executive Administrator to the Mayor as the First Mayor of the County of Maui, First Filipino Treasurer of the County of Maui, also served as First Risk Manager & Grant Administrator. He also sent me to UCLA to get my Credit Union Certificate in Business Management and then getting my Business Administration Degree from American University. This all happened with his guidance and advice. I’ve been blessed with these men in my life. God put them there for a reason and I thank God for all of them! May they all rest in peace!
God bless all our fathers who made a difference in our lives. Ti Apo ket nasayaat nga kankanayon. Apo Jesus agtalekak kenka. Amen!
On July 1, 2022, Patrick Constantino retired as a Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i, after serving for thirty-five years and becoming on June 18, 1987, the first Deacon of Filipino ancestry for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i. For twenty-two years, he served as Administrator at Holy Rosary Church in Pā‘ia, St. Rita Church in Ha‘ikū and St. Gabriel Church in Ke‘anae. His last assignment before retiring was at St. Joseph Church in Makawao.
Prior to his ordination, Constantino was in government—first appointed in 1966 as Assistant Sergeant of Arms by the Speaker of the House Elmer F. Cravalho. When Cravalho became Maui’s first Mayor, Constantino became his Executive Assistant—the first of Filipino ancestry. Later, Constantino became the first County Treasurer of Filipino ancestry and the first County Grants Administrator and Risk Manager of Filipino ancestry.
Constantino is married to his lovely wife Corazon for sixty-one years.