THE TABULA FAMILY
When Leonardo Tejada Tabula turned 18-years-old he told his parents in Ilocos Sur Philippines that he was leaving for greater opportunities in the United States. In 1928 he landed in Seattle Washington in search of that dream.
He performed various agricultural and service-oriented jobs in the Seattle and Portland regions. He landed stable employment helping to build naval battleships in preparation for WWII in the Puget Sound area in the 1930s. Later, Mr. Tabula met Mary Skrebenski, a daughter of Polish immigrants. She and her two sisters married Filipino men. In 1942 they had Leonardo Dick Tabula in Portland Oregon. Shortly afterward they moved to Watsonville in 1943 and had Alfredo Frank Tabula where the family lived in a very humble house on San Juan Road until they moved into town in 1960.
Mr. Tabula worked as a farm laborer for Foster Hutchins Farms for many years in Watsonville where he performed a variety of jobs but was best known for his irrigation skills. Mrs. Tabula was a very stern mother who held the household together. She also worked side-by-side with her husband when harvest time came around. She jarred fruits and pickles to save money. Both Dick and Frank had jobs as soon as they could carry a shovel. Dick remembers stringing green beans and picking strawberries as a young child with his parents and brother.
The family enjoyed visiting their friends Leon Lazo, Skippy Ocampo, and Henry Fuentes at the San Miguel labor camp, where they would have picnics and partake in Filipino cultural traditions, like killing and roasting a pig.