Jun 12, 2009

When Love Calls- Julian Calano Sanchez and Madalena

By Lucy Peros
Fil-Am Observer June 2009 Issue
Sakada Feature, Page 7

Julian Sanchez was born on June 18, 1907 in Cabaritan, Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. At 21, in 1928 he sailed for Hawai’i, determined to find a better life for him and his family.

Aboard the S.S. President Wilson, Julian left the Philippines from Port Salomague, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.

When he reached Hawaii, his first job was a field laborer on the Big Island. He worked there for only a short while before moving to Maui.

On Maui, he worked for HC&S, at the Paia Mill, serving as a crew chief, operating the drying machines. He remained on that job until he retired in 1972. While working, he lived in Skill Village Camp in Paia until 1946 when he moved to Rose Crook Camp in Makawao near the Makawao Elementary.

In December 14, 1964, Julian decided to go back to the Philippines to find a wife. Upon arriving in Manila, Philippines, he was met by his brother, Graciano Sanchez and his wife, Luciana.

It so happened that Luciana has a sister, Magdalena Cortez.

Cortez was beautiful, intelligent, and a skilled seamstress. Julian fell in love with Magdalena upon meeting her. She made a big impression on Julian. He told Magdalena that there’s a demand for seamstresses in Hawaii.

After a short visit in Santa Lucia, Julian, together with a nephew, went back to Manila to propose marriage to Magdalena.

With the approval of her sister Luciana and her brother-in-law Graciano, she accepted Julian’s proposal.

Because of Julian’s wish to have Magdalena join him to Hawai’i with him, they decided to have a civil wedding so that they can work on her documents to come to Hawai’i right away. Everything worked well as they planned. Julian and Magdalena arrived in Hawai’i on February 10, 1965. They lived in Rose Crook Camp.

At first, Magdalena was lonely; there were few Filipino ladies where they lived. She worked at home as a seamstress, sewing for women of different ethnic backgrounds. They loved Magdalena’s work for the dresses she sewed for them fitted perfectly.

Julian and Magdalena moved in their new home in Pukalani few years later.

She decided to work in the Maui Pineapple Cannery. That made her happier for she got to know more people. She was a trimmer. She remained in that job until she retired in 1991.

Julian enjoyed gardening. He even raised cows and goats. Both Julian and Magdalena were active members of United Sons and Daughters of Ilocano Regions. Magdalena was even a Rizal Day Queen contestant for that organization.

On April 8, 1997, Julian passed away.

To while away her time, Magdalena, involved herself in the Senior Citizens Union, ILWU. She helps in political campaigning during elections. She is in demand to lead novena prayers during wakes.

Julian and Magdalena Sanchez are blessed with three adopted children:

Their first adopted son is Felix Berto Sanchez (Bert), the owner of Sanchez Variety Store in Wailuku.

Their second adopted child is Myrna Alvarez. She is married to Emilio Alvares. They have four children.

Alex Sanchez is their third adopted child. He is married to Lori Sanchez. They have three children.

Magdalena’s advice to young people: study hard, get a degree to be able to find better paying jobs.

Her advice to older folks: get along well with others. It is important to have friends because they are the ones who give you support when you need them.

Manang Magdalena, thank you for sharing with us your story and that of Tata Julian.***

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