Ten years later, I visited Hawaii for the first time. Immediately, I knew I was home. The smell. The feel. The taste.
Hawaii was where Daddy lived for a quarter of his century. His youth, his coming into middle-age, his single life. There, in Hawaii, in the sugarcane fields, the streets of Honolulu. There, he lived away from family, independent and free.
Daddy was one of the many young Filipino men who signed a three-year contract to work on Hawaiian plantations. His year to leave home was 1928. A young, handsome man of 23 years. What was it like for him? I cannot even begin to imagine.
His plan was to go back home after his contract was up. But he had made little money after three years. Also, he said, his girlfriend had married someone else. There was no …