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Florencio T. Cawaling, “Encio” was born on February 25, 1909, on the Island of Panay in the town of Capiz in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The son of Lorencio and Lapaz Cawaling and eldest of 5 siblings.

At the young age of 18 with only a 5th grade education, he left his family and headed to the United States on March 16, 1929. He and his cousin Eliseo Taytayon traveled together on the SS President McKinley docking on the Northwestern shores of Seattle Washington on April 6, 1929. He traveled to Alhambra California where he would start his life in America.


In the early years of his young age he would spend the next 20 years traveling and working the agricultural fields along the Northern California coast, to the central valley. In 1955 at the age of 45 he traveled back home to the Philippines where he met and married 24-year-old Aladina “Dining” Torres Cawaling. Aladina was the youngest daughter of Ermito Torres and Encarnacion Garcia Torres of Kalibo.

He returned to the United States on March 15, 1956. He would make the trip alone as his new bride who would reunite with him 5 months later. They settled in Watsonville and started their family. The couple had 4 Children: Florencio Jr (Loren), George, Halario (Larry), and Isedro. He continued to work in the agriculture fields in Watsonville working for Shikuma Brothers Ranch, Kenzo Yoshida Farms, and Green Giant processing plant where he worked until his retirement in 1977.

He and his wife were lifetime members of the many Filipino community organizations - Makato Civic League Association, Filipino Visayan Association, and the Filipino Catholic Association. The family lived on Casserly Road and Calabasas Road. They purchased a home on Doering Lane in Watsonville where he and his wife raised their 4 boys.

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