Hanama`ulu Town Celebration

Talk Story 2006

Centennial (1906-2006)
2006 Celebration
All-Day Celebration
Talk Story 2006
2005 Celebration
Celebrating the Present: The Parade
Grand Marshals
Celebration Programs
Celebration Gifts
The Land
The Town
Remembering the Past
Kalepa Cemetery
The Chronology
Lihu`e Plantation
Bango At Hanama`ulu
The Camps at Hanama`ulu
Hanama`ulu's Hajime Morita
Hanama`ulu's Peter Rayno Sr.
Embracing the Future
Poetry and Song
Planning Committees

Talk Story Topics To Think About:




Hanama`ulu School | Circa 1925
Photo: Kauai Historical Society


The Kauai Historical Society sponsored a Talk Story at Kekaha on September 16, 2005, and videotaped the event. The society also videotaped a Talk Story at Kealia on January 21, 2006. And on Saturday, October 14, 2006, the society will hold a Hanama`ulu Talk Story.

The Talk Story Series also includes Wailua and other towns.

Hanama`ulu Talk Story:

WHEN: Saturday | October 14, 2006 | 10 AM

WHERE: King Kaumualii School Cafeteria

WHAT ELSE: Potluck | Bring a dish to share.

WHO: Open to all. The residents of Hanama`ulu
will share their experiences and memories
growing up and living
in a sugarplantation community.

The Kauai Historical Societywill record
and preserve these oral histories.

TheOctober 14 event
is also an excellent opportunity
to talk story about Hanama`ulu's future.

Contact Mary A. Requilman, KHS Executive Director
Tel. (808) 245-3373 | Fax (808) 245-6893
E-mail: info@kauaihistoricalsociety.org
Web Site: http://www.kauaihistoricalsociety.org
Address: P. O. Box 1778 -- Lihue, HI 96766

Contact Eddie Sarita | Tel.(808) 245-5359
Or, E-mail: info@htcelebration.org

Regrettably, the Hanama`ulu Town Talk Story detailed above has been cancelled.

Posted Sept. 11, 2006

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Feather Fountain Pen

Growing Up in Hanama`ulu 

Juanita Alimboyoguen Caspillo
Fremont, CA


The Alimboyoguen Family
Juanita is the little girl standing near Dad.

Prior to traveling to poverty-stricken countries like Haiti, Africa, Mexico, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia Herzegovina), and even places across the USA, my thoughts and feelings of growing up in Hanama`ulu were of "toil and hardship." When I was young, I felt that my family was the poorest in town. Rightly so, for my Dad died when I was only 9-years-old, and my seven siblings and I were without parents and welfare was unheard of then.

Having the opportunity to travel and seeing third world countries, I've come to realize what "dirt poor" means. It's not what I thought; the word POOR has taken on an absolutely different meaning. My thoughts of growing up in Hanama`ulu have dramatically changed. On the contrary, I feel very richly blessed for having experienced a beautiful past at Hanama`ulu so long ago.

Who would believe that growing up in Hanama`ulu would be enjoyable? Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise. We enjoyed camaraderie, tranquility, and good old fashion sharing and bonding with our extended families ... meaning, the whole town. The town was racially integrated and neighbors were genuinely friendly. We also knew where everyone lived and what everyone's occupation was. Families shared everything: food, prayers, fun, and sorrow.


There was no lack of healthy fresh food. In our front yard, we had two coconut trees, a mango tree, papaya tree, pomegranate tree and kalamonggay tree. Fresh vegetables grew in our front garden. Eggplant (talong) along with tanglad (lemon grass), green onions and potato leaves were plentiful for that daily Filipino specialty called "sabao" or "utan" or as the Ilocanos would say, "dinengdeng."

In our backyard, we had a row of banana trees, and a grapefruit tree, of which we never ate from because it grew near the "outside toilet." We also had a sour sop tree and an avocado tree. We even had a chicken coop, and I fed those chickens daily with leftover rice. Most mornings before going to school, we feasted on fresh eggs and papayas or mango with rice. We would pick the avocados only to feed Uncle Dencio Sarita's pigs.

Once a month, being the generous man that he was, Uncle Dencio would slaughter one of his pigs and he would share it with the community. While almost daily my brothers brought home fresh fish, crabs, lobsters, opihi, and even frogs, in my mind, Spam, Vienna Sausage, and corned beef were the "cool" food. I knew little of what healthy, wholesome, and nutritious food meant and never realized we had it all along.

Moreover, Grandma Ferreira shared her wonderfully delicious Portuguese sweet bread at Easter. And our next door neighbors, Manang Ikang Duterte and Manang Tina Ababon, frequently gave us homegrown vegetables. Also, Mrs. Jerves, our school cafeteria manager, would let me take home leftover food from the cafeteria.

People lived simply and were happy, kind, generous, and compassionate.


My greatest pleasure were the novenas, a religous custom brought to Hawaii from the Philippines honoring the dead. Respecting the deceased was a serious thing with the Filipinos. It meant nine nights of praying; they called it "panajay." In the evening for nine nights after the panajay, we would ravish the bread and butter served with delicious hot chocolate. We sang songs with Manoy Dencio Ababon playing the banjo and accompanied by Manoy Jimmy and William Sasil on the guitars. On the last day of the novena, we celebrated with a feast.

Hanama`ulu town also celebrated Santa Cruz de Mayo. This was another favorite event. Neighbors gathered together and took a lot of time in preparing for the ninth and final day. The women decorated the makeshift open tent with ti leaves, fresh flowers and crepe paper. The food cooked was out of this world and it took almost two whole days of preparation. I remember that the Filipino men could cook up traditionally "prize worthy" gourmet dishes, especially Uncle Dencio. When he lechoned the pig we could hardly wait to take a piece of the pig's skin. Had he permitted us, we would have eaten the whole pigskin. The Santa Cruz celebration was finalized with a procession of the town's young men carrying statues of the Santo Nino and Blessed Mother. The whole town and neighboring towns, Lihue and Ahukini, would be invited to this festival.


My favorite pastime in the evening was listening to Manoy Pablo Delostrico's spooky tales of aswan (headless ghost), which we thought were true. Before storytelling began, we first had to get rid of the pesty mosquitoes in our open porch. For some reason, those nasty mosquitoes were more prevalent in the evenings and would swarm around us. To eliminate the mosquitoes, one of my brothers would hold a bowl of water close to a single burning light bulb hanging from the ceiling. This method attracted the mosquitoes to the water, temporarily putting an end to the problem. Then, the most horrific ghost stories were theatrically elaborated to fighten us out of our wits into restless sleep of nightmares.


My brothers had more freedom than I did. They could play till dusk or until someone whistled for them. They played with their own homemade kites, slingshots, wooden guns and empty strung tuna cans. We didn't have store-bought toys.

Boys in Hanama`ulu made up games out of milk carton tops and played "ring" with marbles. I believe we called it eggets. We also played cards and Sakura, a Japanese card game of which I was good at. Summer time meant we could go swimming down the beach everyday, and we could count on eating all the plums and guavas on our way back home.

Unlike my brothers, I was not allowed to go out and play. Occasionally, I went with my cousin Steven to hose down the pigs at Uncle's pigpen near the cemetery. After our chores, we would chase the little fishes and crayfish down the stream. Steven always managed to get a few cuts on the bottom of his feet by treading through the stream and we'd end up playing doctor and nurse. Once in a while I could play with my cousins Arlene and Fay. I spent hours on their swing. After school, I spent most of my spare time crocheting, reading comics, and reading many books, especially fairy tale books that I borrowed from the mobile library. The mobile library came only once every two weeks, so I would borrow the maximum 10 books and could hardy wait for the next time the truck came around.


Reminiscing, we weren't poor after all. We had the love of friends, neighbors and family. We were closely knit and bonded. Those were carefree days -- life was a peach. There were no obstacles or influences with TV, radio, or materialistic ambitions standing in our way of fun. We had each other and did we have fun!

As an added bonus in education, we learned to clap erasers, wash blackboards, sweep and mop schoolroom floors. We did cafeteria duty and even tended a garden. Regretfully, it's not the same for Hawaii kids these days with their cell phones and high tech gadgets. It's true, people have progressed much but Hanama`ulu folks still have that same nostalgic friendliness. Hanama`ulu IS the best place in the world for a vacation. We will be back.

Copyright 2006. ️Juanita Alimboyoguen Caspillo.  
All Rights Reserved. 
Posted July 17-28, 2006


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