Jul 14, 2011

Sakada Feature: URBANO BIO From Abra, He Came to Hawaii and Stayed

[Marcela and Urbano Bio]

Sakada Feature:
URBANO BIO
From Abra, He Came to Hawaii and Stayed

By Lucy Peros
Sakada Corner, Columnist
Fil-Am Observer July 2011 Issue
Sakada Feature, Page 8


THIS is a story of a plantation worker, Urbano Bio and Amanda Bio Patoc, his daughter. Urbano came to Hawaii to work on the plantations. His daughter recalls of her life with her father, and her gratitude to him for paving the way for them to have a life better than they have known in the Ilocos.

The late Urbano Bio was born on July 2, 1917 in Bangued, Abra. He was married to the late Marcela Vasquez

Life was not easy with the Bio family. So Urbano joined the thousands of dirt-poor farmers from the Ilocos  who came to Hawaii in 1946 to work in the sugar and pineapple plantations to find a better life for himself and his family evenm if it meant leaving his young children Vivencio and Erlinda and his pregnant wife. Their daughter was born soon after.

He left the Philippines on board the S.S. Maunawili via Port Salomague, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.


Upon arriving on Maui, he worked for HC & S as planter. After seven years, he went back to the Philippines to visit his family. During that visit, Rodrigo would be born as soon as Urbano got back to Hawaii. Urbano retired from HC &S as an irrigator in 1979. Unfortunately, Urbano and Marcela passed away in March 2005.

Amanda shared his heart-warming comments about her father: "Papa was a perfect Dad. He was very soft spoken. He never argued witha anyone. He was patient, understanding, and always smiling. He was a very caring husband. He was a ver caring father and grandfather. He cooked for his friends when he was still living in the camp. He enjoyed listening to the Ilocano programs on radio. He enjoyed playing solitaire. He also enjoyed going to the Maui Theater, then located where Burger KIng is now, to watch the movies from the Philippines. He had a happy disposition. He was our idol."

At 14, Marcelo and her mom and siblings all came to Hawaii.

The trip took them 17 days with stopover in Oahu, they soon moved to Maui to join her father. Spanish B, the camp where they would stay, was a welcome place. The other workers were fond of the sibling, particularly Amanda; they spoke Ilokano, and would sing in Ilokano, too!

And when sang in Ilokano, they would get a monetary reward.

Amanda attended the old Lihikai School, now the location of Maui Beach Hotel today. Then she moved to Baldwin High for hwer high school. From there, she moved to Maui Community College for her degree in Business Administration.

In 1970, she decided to take a vacation in California but she ended up staying and working at a bank there.

In 1972, she married the love of her life, Carmelo Patoc before moving back to Maui.

She landed on a job with American Security Bank. From there, she moved to GYA, an architectural firm, before transfering to the First Hawaiian Bank in 2001 where she has remained.

Amanda and Carmelo are talented ballroom dancers. They were instructors of the Hawaii Ballroom Dancing Association and participated in various ballroom showcases.

Besides ballroom daning, they are involved  with Christ the King Church, the Marian Choir, the Filipino Cultural Club, Laoag City Association of Maui, Maui Filipino Community Association, the Christ the King Filipino Catholic Club.

Amanda and Carmelo were blessed with a son, Wesley Patoc, who is a sous chef at Cafe Laufer  in Honolulu.

Amanda advice to the youth: "Respect your parents, get involved in church, set a goal for yourself, think of your future and study hard."

Her advoce to the adults: "Be happy and be satisfied with what you have. Live to the fullest everyday. Age doesn't matter as long as you thing young. Get involved in church and in the community."

Thank you Amanda for sharing your story and that of your Dad.*

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