Jan 5, 2010


By Fil-Am OBSERVER Staff
For having been married the longest and for serving as role models for Filipino parents were bestowed the honor of Outstanding Father and Mother at the First Annual Rice Festival held  on December 20, 2009  at the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center in Maui.

          The honor, Ama at Ina Award, was given to Elpidio, 87, and Alejandra Cabalo, 89   by the festival organizers  and witnessed by a crowd of  about 400.

          The Cabalos, who hail from Cagayungan, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, have been married for about 68 years, tying the knot on May 14, 1941. They currently reside in the small village of Haliimaile on the slopes of Haleakala.

          “We are happy for this award and hope that other couples will reach this far,” Alejandra said with a smile.

          The couple emphasized to their children the importance of education. They used to remind them: “It is a jungle out there. You must have higher education to compete with other nationalities and to have easier and better jobs than us. Pushing pens is easier than pushing plows on the field.”

          Elpidio came to Hawaii aboard the ship S.S. Maunawili in February 1946, leaving behind his wife and two sons, Ben, 4 and Dominick, 1.

          His ship docked at the Kahului harbor on Maui and there commenced his life of labor in the plantations. He belonged to the last wave of sakadas who were contracted by Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co. Maui Land and Pine Company employed him.


He missed his family and visited them in the Philippines for six months in 1949.  It was during that time that Lucy was conceived and was born on March 11, 1950.

          He visited his family again in 1957. His initial idea of moving back to the Philippines didn’t materialize; instead, Elpidio petitioned them to join him in Hawaii.

          Ben immigrated to Hawaii in 1961.  He continued his education at the Honolulu Business College and received a degree in accounting.  He is presently working for Honolulu Ford Lincoln Mercury, fleet sales.  He is married to the former Connie Jamorabon from Bangui, Ilocos Norte.  They have a daughter, Dee Dilwith who graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is a registered nurse at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu.  She has a son, Trey.  Ben also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  He was stationed in Fort Lee, Virginia as a personnel specialist.

          In 1962, Alejandra, Dominick and Lucy came to Hawaii.

          Dominick continued his education at Maunaolu College in Paia, Maui and received his associate of arts degree in 1964.  He then attended the Honolulu Business College and received his accounting degree in 1966.  He is now employed at SHOPO, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and survived the Vietnam War. He is married to the former Gini Laureta from Camiling, Tarlac, Philippines.  They have two sons, Dominick, Jr. and Dylan-Joshua.

          Dominick Jr. graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.  He was the cartoonist for Kaleo, the U.H. newspaper, for four years.  He spent four years with Walt Disney as an imagineering artist and presently works for Universal Studios as a graphic artist and movie animator.  He is also freelancing and marketing his product in the Internet under Domnx.com.  He is married to the former Andrea Thomas of Kailua, Oahu. They have a son, Nicholas.

          Dylan-Joshua graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in business marketing.  He is presently works at marketing and purchasing department of Nordstrom in Ala Moana. He also works part time with Hawaii NEX as a purchaser.


          Lucy, the youngest child, graduated from Maui Community College in 1970 with an associate in arts.  She continued her education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated in 1972 with bachelor's in eduction. She received her 5th year certificate, professional diploma, and a master's in education in 1973. She   retired from the Department of Education after 32 years of teaching. Currently, she is a realtor and now manages Peros Realty Company, Inc. She was married to the late Sylvester Peros, Jr.  who founded the company. They have two children:  Lianne Peros-Busch and Sherman Peros. Lianne graduated from Santa Clara University in California with a bachelor’s and a master’s in business administration.  She is married to Michael Busch.  She is the real estate broker for Peros Realty.

          Sherman Peros graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor’s in biology.  Lianne, Michael, and Sherman are all licensed real estate agents and licensed real estate appraisers.         

          Elpidio and Alejandra are active members of the St. Joseph Filipino Catholic Club, Makawao, the Haliimaile Filipino Community Association Saranay Association, and the Upcountry Seniors Club.

          Elpidio’s advice to the older generation, “Enjoy life while you can. Travel while you are still strong and able to walk.” To the younger generation, he says, “Go to school, go to school, and go to school.”

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