Jul 29, 2010

Sakada Feature: MARIANO BULOSAN GUERERRO, Following His Father's Footsteps

By Lucy Peros
Sakada Corner
Page 8, Fil-Am Observer July 2010 Issue

MARIANO Guererro came to Hawaii in 1946 together with his brother, Joe Guererro, to join their father, Nemesio Guererro who came in the 1920s. They came on aboard the S.S. Maunawili.

Born on October 1, 1923 from Cadaratan, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, he followed his father's footsteps to find a better life.

As soon as Mariano landed on Maui, he worked at HC & S Company doing variety of jobs. He worked first at the Puunene Mill, helped in surveying the fields, did carpentry jobs, and lastly, drove the planting machine. He retired from his work in 1985.

Mariano and his brother lived with their father Nemesio in Spanish B in Puunene where they had happy memories. There were social events every weekend at the Filipino Clubhouse. Spanish B was a place where everyone knew everybody and cared for each other. Many sakadas like Mariano were able to plant vegetables in the fields by the ditches. They shared those vegetables with everyone. Today, none of these are in existence because of liabilities.

In 1954, Mariano decided to go back to the Philippines to find a wife. Although he had several penpals, none of them attracted his attention. There was one special girl though that he met; it was love at first sight. That attractive young lady was Leonora Cuaresma who was just finishing up her high school education at the Bacarra Provincial High School at that time. They met at her aunt's store after one school day. After that meeting, he courted her, Ilokano-style.

One day, Mariano went unannounced to Leonoras's home to meet her parents and told them his intention of marrying their daughter. Leonora was ver surprised to see him there. Before leaving, he asked Leonora a favor, to mail a letter for him for someone when she would go to the post office. Leonora accepted the letter not knowing it was addressed to her. He had left when she realized this. The letter was a marriage proposal. Leonora and her parents accepted Mariano's proposal. They were married on March 1954 in Pasuquin, Ilcos Norte.

Mariano came back to Hawaii right after their wedding. Leonora followed him in NOvember 1954. Both lived with Nemesio for 5 years. They were blessed with six children who had big dreams.

The oldest is Imelda, a teacher and dental hygienist in Alabama. She is married to Jerry Barron. They have two children, Jeremy and Nathan.

Their second child is Jerry. He worked for the State of Hawaii and lives in Honolulu.

Edna is their third child. She is a scretary with Mason Union. She married to Roy Abe. They have three children: Chelsey, Courtney, and Casey.

Their fourth child is Nelly. She works for Delta Airlines in Los Angeles.

Henry, a civil engineer, is their fifth child. He lives in Honolulu.

And their youngest child is Tracy. She's a registered nurse and works at the Veterans Clinic on Maui. She is married to Garry Aplanalp. They have three children: Cole, Tristan, and Sierra.

Imelda Barron shared these heartwarming memories about theor Dad: "Dad was a good provider and a good fisherman. To give Mom a break from us kids, he would take us to the beach to play, swim, and collect seashells while he goes and spear fishing for eels, octopus and fishes for our dinner. He was a loving a caring Dad. He hardly got upset but he was great disciplinarian to us kids. He was dependable when he got involved with the Filipino Community activities. He was fascinated with outer space and very often looked up at the stars at night. He was a simple man who loved his family very much. " Mariano passed away on April 28, 2001.

Mariano and Leonora were active members of the KFCA [Kahului Filipino Community Asociation]. In fact, Mariano was chosen as an outstanding member of the association.

Leonora, besides being a good and busy mother, also worked in the old Noda Supermarket, Ikeda's Store, and Homemaid Bakery. In 1980s, she even worked at KNUI with the late Mr. Eddie Sales in his Variety Show.

Leonora's advice to young people: "Go to school for a good education because education helps you in getting a better paying job. Respect your parents and older folks."

Her advice to her contemporaries: "Don't despise anybody. Look at yourself first before talking about other people. Don's neglect youself. Pamper and treat yourself well."

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