Estela Cube wakes up crying some nights, missing her son and two grandchildren living in far-away Washington, D.C. That’s how close she is to her family, says Estela’s husband Antonio Cube Sr.
Antonio is equally close to his two children and five grandchildren. He and Estela, both 72 and of Fairwood, were recently named Washington State Parents of the Year 2008 by the Washington State Parents Day Council. The Cubes received the award July 27 in Seattle’s Seward Park, at the Washington State Parents’ Day Celebration and Pista sa Nayon 2008, a Filipino-American gathering.
According to their certificate, the Cubes were honored “in recognition of their exceptional example as parental role models by demonstrating the finest qualities of unconditional love for their children, spiritual devotion and ministering to the needs of parents and families in the community.”
“It’s really a great honor,” Estela says of the award. “We worked so hard when we were younger.”
Each worked two jobs and fixed up houses to sell to put Antonio Jr. and Mary, now 45 and 43, through the University of Washington — “without a penny of student loans,” Antonio Sr. adds.
And when their children married, the Cubes gave them money to help start new homes.
“That was to start a life,” Antonio Sr. says. “We came from a poor family, so we know how hard it is.”
The Cubes were nominated for the state parenting award by The Filipino Community of Seattle, a nonprofit to which they belong. That organization named the Cubes Parents of the Year in 2000.
In addition to his membership with The Filipino Community of Seattle, Antonio is commissioner of the City of Renton’s Advisory Commission on Diversity and a member of the State of Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct.
He says he and Estela were the first Filipino couple named Washington State Parents of the Year. The couple moved from the Philippines to Los Angeles in 1970, and to Renton in 1977.
Their daughter Mary is now an architect who lives in Kent. Their son Antonio Jr. is national director for The Justice for Immigrants Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Their children are now grown, but the Cubes are still parenting.
“We always guide them,” Estela says. “We are still advising them.”