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Interview with Paul C. Borge




Paul Borge was born in 1904 in Narvacan, a town in Northern Luzon, Philippines. His father was a farmer who earned just enough from fishing and raising rice, corn, and vegetables to support a family of eight. Two of Borge's cousins were studying for the Methodist ministry at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and for several years Borge pleaded with his father to let him go to the United States, too. The Borge family was devoutly Methodist, and finally his father agreed to let him go to the United States on the condition that he also study for the ministry. Borge's father sold a cow, a horse, and a piece of land to pay for the trip. Borge arrived in Seattle in 1926 and first worked at several jobs on the West Coast, including farm work with other Filipinos, and labor on the tracks for the Northern Pacific Railroad. In the spring of 1928 he arrived in Minneapolis on a railroad pass. He chose Minneapolis because his cousins had moved there, and because he hoped to enroll at the Northwestern Bible College to fulfill his promise to his father to study for the ministry. As the Depression deepened after his arrival, however, it became evident that he could never earn enough money to make the study possible, and he eventually abandoned the idea. In 1934 he married a Scandinavian American and became a permanent resident of Minnesota. During the 1930s Borge served as a butler in the home of Charles B. Sweatt, an executive of the Minneapolis Honeywell Company, and also in the home of Minneapolis businessman Cavour S. Langdon. In 1942 he got a job as a personal attendant in a railway car reserved for the president of the Great Northern Railroad, and he moved his family to northeast Minneapolis, where many Filipinos were moving in the early 1940s. After World War II the family moved to Columbia Heights, again consistent with a general trend among the Filipinos, many of whom were moving to the northern suburbs. Borge worked for the Great Northern until he retired in 1969. Throughout his many years in Minneapolis and the northern suburbs he had been active in Filipino community organizations, and since his retirement he has also been active in a number of church and civic groups, including the Community Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Club in Columbia Heights. In 1980 he was elected to the National Commission on Race and Religion of the United Methodist Church. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Paul Borge discusses his family background in the Philippines, the family's conversion to Protestantism, and the many stories he heard in childhood about the cruelty of Spanish rule in the Philippines. He also describes incidents of discrimination he experienced on the West Coast of the United States, the difficult economic struggle for young Filipinos in Minneapolis, and his work as butler in the Twin Cities homes of wealthy businessmen Charles B. Sweatt and Cavour S. Langdon. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Borge's experiences are typical of many young Filipinos seeking education in the Twin Cities in the late 1920s who had to take jobs as butlers in the homes of wealthy Minneapolis businessmen. His employment by the Great Northern Railroad in 1942 reflects a decision by the company to replace Japanese with Filipinos in service jobs on the trains because of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II.





World Region



Paul C. Borge Narrator Sarah Mason Interviewer October 27, 1978 Minnesota Historical Society Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sarah Mason Paul C. Borge


SM: I’m talking to Paul Borge at the Minnesota Historical Society in Saint Paul, Minnesota on October 27, 1978. The interviewer is Sarah Mason. Paul, would you start by telling us what year you were born and where you were born? PB: Okay. I was born in 1904, June 25th. My family were farmers. They were not very well-todo; they were just making enough to support a family of three girls and three boys. As the years went by, I . . . I tried to go to a Spanish school, in other words, my folks wanted me to be tutored by a private guy to teach me how to speak Spanish. SM: I see. What did you speak at home? PB: We have a dialect. SM: Yes. PB: Ilocano dialect there already. SM: Ilocano? PB: And the Philippines islands is composed of so many dialects. In the Philippines islands. SM: I see. PB: And too many islands. SM: Yes. Where exactly were you born? PB: I was born in a town called Narvacan in Northern Luzon. SM: I see. 1

PB: Almost on the Northern tip. SM: And Ilocano is the main dialect there? PB: No, Tagalog is the main dialect now. SM: Oh, Tagalog. Yes. How did you happen to speak Ilocano? PB: Well, that’s . . . Ilocano, that’s my own dialect, so I had to speak it. SM: Oh, I see. Tagalog is the main dialect in all of the Philippines. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: I see. PB: And Tagalog . . . I don’t talk too much in that because I . . . I didn’t go to school for that language. SM: Yes. PB: And I didn’t learn there too much in Tagalog. Because I used to live with Tagalogs. SM: Oh. I see. PB: In my early days in the United States. SM: Oh. PB: But I didn’t learn a thing. Well, then I . . . SM: [Chuckles] So you spoke English with them or . . .? PB: Yes, speak English. Yes. SM: Yes. And in the Philippines you spoke English, too? PB: Oh, yes. Absolutely. We are . . . SM: More people speak English then. PB: We are . . . the third largest English speaking people in the world. SM: Oh. That’s interesting. 2

PB: The third largest. SM: That’s very . . . what are the first two? [Chuckles] PB: The United States, Great Britain, and Philippines. SM: Yes. I see. Well, who speaks Spanish in the Philippines? PB: The old timers. SM: The old families? PB: Yes. My father. SM: Oh. Was he from a Spanish family? PB: No, we are not from the Spanish regime, our family, but my . . . we were under the Spanish for three hundred years. SM: I see. PB: You see. SM: Yes. But then since this century more people learned English, is that right? PB: Since America came over. SM: Since America. PB: Right. Right after the war, you know, we fought the Spanish and we won. We got our independence from them. SM: Yes. Yes. PB: And then America came over and we fought them. SM: Right. PB: We didn’t fight to win, we . . . we knew we are not going to win it. SM: Yes. PB: But we just wanted to show the American people that we like freedom. 3

SM: Yes. Did your father talk about this? Do you remember that or . . .? PB: Yes. He used to tell me a story about the Spanish people. SM: Yes. PB: Enforced labor. SM: Oh. PB: Enforced labor. And they used to build bridges by hand, no machines, no machinery. SM: Oh. PB: And any time the Spanish guards see people loafing around or sitting down doing nothing, then they had to beat them up. SM: Oh. PB: Crippled them. SM: Oh. PB: That’s bad. SM: Did your father ever work for the Spanish? PB: Did he what? SM: Did your father know people who worked under the Spanish rule? PB: Yes. He . . . he knew. He knew what it was and he got caught sitting down and, you know, for the punishing . . . SM: Yes. PB: They made him kneel on [unclear]. SM: Oh. PB: And then whipped . . . whipped him. SM: Yes. PB: He used to tell me that story when I was a kid. 4

SM: Oh. Oh, so it happened to himself. PB: Yes. There were . . . it’s just like . . . to me, it was just like Communism because that’s no freedom of speech. SM: Yes. Right. PB: You’re afraid to talk. SM: Right. Why did he want you to learn Spanish? PB: No, he . . . I don’t know. I just . . . because the English school didn’t come up yet. SM: Oh, I see. PB: You see. SM: So this was to be your education. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: Yes. PB: It’s just a private tutor. SM: I see. PB: A fellow in his own house. SM: I see. There was no public school to go to? Or . . . PB: No, I didn’t go . . . when I was a kid I didn’t go to a Spanish public school. SM: I see. So you had a private tutor. PB: Yes, in Spanish. But I didn’t learn enough. [Chuckles] SM: Did he come to your house then? PB: I’d go to his house. SM: Oh, I see. And your brothers and sisters, did they go, too? PB: Oh yes, that’s what they did. 5

SM: Yes. They all went to his house. So it was like a school? PB: Yes, it was just like a school. SM: Oh, yes. Oh, that’s very interesting. PB: And my family, my father is a farmer. SM: Yes. PB: Yes. He was the farmer. SM: Yes. What did he grow? PB: Oh . . . rice, corn, vegetables—varieties of vegetables. SM: Yes. PB: They’d subsist on those. SM: Yes. PB: And go fishing to get some fresh fish. SM: Oh, yes. Did he grow mainly for you to eat or did he sell crops? PB: No sales, just for us. SM: No sales. Just for your own use. PB: Mostly . . . most people are doing that [unclear]. SM: I see. Yes. PB: You’ve got to go to a big, big, big farm to do some commercial things, you know. SM: I see. Yes. Was there a church in your town? PB: Yes. SM: Of your faith? PB: My . . . I was a . . . yes, that’s one thing I’ve got to tell you. 6

SM: Yes. PB: We used to be Catholic. SM: Oh, I see. PB: And my mother used to take me every Sunday to church. We’d walk five miles to go to church. SM: Oh. PB: Five miles. And all I did, when I was at that church, was go from one side of the church, look at all the sculpture images and go up on the other side. SM: [Chuckles] PB: And I didn’t do a thing. My mother was doing her business, of course, she prayed and she’d do all this, you know. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. PB: And I didn’t do a thing. And the Methodist was across . . . a block across from the Catholic Church. SM: I see. PB: And they built a tent in between these two churches. SM: Oh. PB: And I watched them and they sing and they have bible classes. SM: Yes. PB: And that’s what interested me, because they . . . they read the bibles. SM: I see. PB: While the Catholic . . . we don’t read the bibles. SM: Right. PB: I didn’t know what the bible was, was when I was a kid. SM: Yes. 7

PB: And then when I turned Methodist, why, we have regular Sunday School. SM: Yes. PB: We all sing. I like to sing, you know. SM: Sure. So it was lively and . . . PB: Lively and . . . So I joined the church. SM: Yes. PB: A little later on my brothers and sisters joined. And then the last one that didn’t join the Methodist Church was my father. SM: Oh, your mother joined, too? PB: Yes. Yes. But then, when I came to the United States, about a year later, that they told me that my father also joined the church. SM: Ah. That’s interesting. PB: That wasn’t a long time before . . . you know. SM: I see. Was that all run by Filipinos, the church? Or the minister as well, too? PB: Yes. In fact, my cousins are ministers. SM: Oh, are they? PB: Yes. SM: Oh. PB: But the church where I was, I know of him because in my home place the church is just from here to the other room. SM: Oh, very close. PB: And we just walked there. SM: Oh, that was nice. PB: And my sister was the treasurer for a long, long time, for the church. 8

SM: Oh. So several branches of your family are Methodists, too, is that right? PB: We are all Methodist now. SM: All Methodist. PB: Yes. SM: Were they . . . were these other people always Methodist or did they become Methodist after you did? PB: My folks, you mean? SM: Your cousins . . . PB: Oh, yes. They . . . right after I became Methodist. SM: Oh. They all followed you. PB: Yes. SM: I see. Were you the oldest of your brothers and sisters? PB: No, I got . . . my oldest sister died when she was eighty-five. SM: I see. And [unclear]? PB: I visited her in 1973. SM: Yes. In the Philippines? PB: Yes. SM: Oh. PB: And it was very pathetic because she had a stroke. SM: Oh. PB: And she . . . there’s no . . . mobility. SM: Yes. Oh, that’s very hard. PB: Just lie in bed. But because I was there, she . . . she crawled out of bed and . . . 9

SM: Oh. PB: Crawled on the floor, to come and see me. SM: I see. PB: And she cried, she . . . SM: Are you next to her? PB: No. I’m . . . I’m third to the youngest. SM: Third to the youngest. [Chuckles] I see. PB: So she said, “Paul,” she said, “I want to die now that you are here,” she said. SM: Yes. PB: She knew that she’s going very soon. And I cried for that. It was pathetic. SM: Yes. Are the others all living still? PB: Yes, all still living. SM: Oh, that’s very . . . PB: My brother, that’s the youngest, my brother. SM: I see. PB: He’s a retired government employee and used to work . . . is a retired schoolteacher. SM: I see. Are all of them in the Philippines or did some come over here? PB: No, just me. SM: Just you came over. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. So after you went for this tutoring with this tutor, did you go to any other school before you . . .? PB: English school then. 10

SM: Then you went to English school. PB: English school. SM: Oh, how old were you then? PB: Oh, I must be around . . . twelve years old. SM: Oh, just a small boy then. PB: Yes. SM: Or middle small boy. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. [Chuckles] SM: I see. So then you went to English school. And was that a government school, the government runs that? PB: [Unclear]. SM: Or was that a private school? PB: No, it’s not a private, it is a government school. SM: I see. I see. So that was all in English. PB: Yes, all in English. SM: So most people know English in the Philippines, is that right? PB: It’s . . . yes, that’s what I [unclear] so that [unclear] just English speaking [unclear] well. [Chuckles] SM: Yes, right. [Chuckles] How could I forget the [unclear]. [Laughter] Well, how did you happen to want to come to America in the first place? [Chuckles] PB: Well, like this. I kept on asking my father to let me come to the United States for two years. SM: Oh. PB: The first year I . . . I didn’t succeed in convincing him. But he told me he wanted me to be a minister. 11

SM: Oh. PB: And I said yes. So . . . so he hurried up and obtained some money for my fare. SM: Oh, your father did. PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: He had to sell . . . we are not rich, you know. SM: Right. PB: He had to sell one cow, one horse, and a piece of land. SM: Oh. So he really sacrificed. PB: To get the money to . . . to send me here. SM: Yes. I see. PB: So I . . . I arrived in Seattle in 1926, August 1926. SM: Yes. And your purpose was to study to be a minister. PB: To study. Yes. SM: Yes. I see. You didn’t have any relatives over here or friends? PB: Yes, I have a nephew. He’s here in Minneapolis. SM: A nephew? PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: And I have my cousin, he’s a retired minister. SM: Oh. PB: Because that’s . . . third cousin. SM: I see. 12

PB: We’re still close [unclear] Philippines islands. SM: Sure. He was a retired Methodist minister? PB: That’s right. He was a professor, he was a dean. SM: Oh. PB: When he retired . . . he retired from the dean duty at the . . . I don’t know . . . is that South Carolina? SM: Oh. PB: [Unclear] University. Or [unclear], something like that. SM: In South Carolina? PB: In South Carolina. SM: Oh. I see, so he was in the South. PB: He’s a doctor. Yes. SM: Oh. How did he happen to go to South Carolina? PB: Well, when he graduated here in America in 19 . . . in Minneapolis, he got his bachelor of arts . . . master of arts. SM: Master of arts at the university? PB: Yes, [University of] Minnesota. SM: Oh. PB: And three boys. SM: Oh. Three brothers all did that. PB: Well, and see, the other two are ministers. SM: I see. PB: And they got their master’s degree and then they went to Evanston, Illinois to get their doctor’s degree in . . . doctorate of divinity. 13

SM: I see. Oh, yes. And that’s a Methodist school, isn’t it? PB: Yes. SM: At . . . oh, see, what’s the name of that? [Unclear] Seminary? PB: No, it’s the . . . SM: Not that. PB: Northwestern. SM: Northwestern University? PB: Yes. That’s right. SM: Oh, yes. I see. I see. So and then he went to South Carolina after that? PB: And then . . . no. SM: No. PB: They went home. SM: Oh, I see. They went back to the Philippines. PB: They lived in [unclear]. They had their own church. SM: I see. And the engineers and the minister all went back to the . . . PB: No. The engineer stayed back. SM: They stayed here. PB: They stayed in . . . they live in Chicago. SM: Oh. PB: He used to live there, but she died now. He went blind. SM: Oh, I see. But the minister went back to the Philippines. PB: They went back. And they had their own church. 14

SM: I see. PB: And then the war broke out. SM: I see. PB: They were caught in the middle. SM: This is World War II? PB: World War II with the Japanese. SM: Yes. Well, maybe we should go back to your arrival in 1926 from the Philippines. PB: Okay. SM: One thing I was interested in was did recruiters come and try to get you to go to certain places to work when you got [to the U.S.]? PB: Yes. That’s one bad experience I did have in Seattle. SM: Oh. Oh. Could you describe that a little bit? PB: Yes. Okay. We newcomers, you know, there are quite a few of us. And some of these people are . . . take advantage of the newcomers. SM: Yes. PB: We didn’t do a thing, we didn’t know anything. “And we have a job for you,” he said, “And we have the bus all ready for you to pick up.” SM: Oh. PB: So we . . . we went to work. So it’s a job, we . . . we jump. We want to go to work. SM: I see. He said he had the bus all ready for you to get on? PB: Yes. [Chuckles] So we took the bus to Cosmopolis, Washington. SM: Cosmopolis? PB: Yes. Near Olympia. SM: Near Olympia. Okay. 15

PB: That’s a box factory, making boxes for apples and grapes and pears. SM: Oh. Yes. Did everybody go? PB: Everybody went. The bus was full. SM: Oh. PB: And we got there and you know what they did? SM: What? PB: They stopped us on the corner and said, “There is the hotel. And there is the factory.” That’s it. You go and get . . . SM: That’s the whole town. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. We didn’t have any job. SM: Oh. Oh, you didn’t have any job? PB: No. They just told us to go there and ask for a job. They told us where to live. So, see, those . . . all those hazards? SM: And there were no jobs? PB: No jobs. SM: And then did they make you pay for the buses? PB: Oh, yes. We paid before we get in the bus. SM: Oh! PB: That was a racket. SM: Oh, well did the workers get pretty mad at the people on the bus? Were they angry? PB: We were all mad but we couldn’t do a thing, because . . . SM: You were just new. PB: Yes. Well, we just did the best we could and we went and applied for a job and luckily they took us. 16

SM: Oh, they did take most of the people? PB: They took us, all of us. SM: Oh, that’s lucky. PB: And then I was working there for quite a while and then, you know how a factory is all the machinery are going on and you couldn’t hear anything. SM: Oh, yes. PB: And where I was, a pile of lumber fell on me. SM: Oh! PB: And I was buried. [Chuckles] SM: Really? PB: Do you want to put that on your tape? SM: Yes. PB: [Chuckles] SM: But that’s terrible. PB: And I couldn’t get any help. I hollered to the top of my voice, nobody could hear me. SM: [Gasps] Oh. PB: So I waited until somebody came around and I grabbed his leg. “Help me!” SM: Oh. PB: “Where are you?” “I’m here underneath these lumbers.” SM: Were you hurt, too? PB: Oh, yes. I was [unclear]. SM: Oh. PB: So I got up and I went home. I went to up in my room then when I got hurt. 17

SM: Yes. PB: At this time, you know, there is no . . . they didn’t care anything about that. No union yet. SM: I was going to ask whether there was any union there. PB: No union yet. SM: Yes. PB: I stayed home and recuperated for a while and then I had decided after I got well that that’s no job for me there. So I left without telling anybody. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. PB: Limping. So my next . . . SM: Did you still have any money then? PB: Well, I had enough to take me back. SM: Yes. PB: And then I went to Seattle, Washington, again. SM: I see. PB: And I got a job picking apples. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. Yes. PB: Picking [unclear]. Picking potatoes. [Chuckles] SM: I see. And what happened in the other seasons? Is this in . . . PB: That’s . . . and then winter set in. SM: Oh, yes. PB: So we went back to the city. No job. SM: Oh. PB: I roomed with three other boys in one big room. So can you imagine it? One big room. 18

SM: Mmmm. PB: Sometimes you’ve got to sleep on the floor. SM: Right. PB: We took . . . we took turns. SM: Yes. Were these people you had met while you were picking the apples and so on? PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: We made friends together and we suffered together. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. Was the recruiter Filipino then? PB: Yes, he is a Filipino. SM: He could to talk to you and so on. PB: He’s a Filipino. SM: Yes. And so he met every ship. [Chuckles] PB: Yes, he made money out of us. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. That . . . that happened a lot, didn’t it. PB: See, they take advantage of their countrymen. SM: Yes, because they think you’ll trust them. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. SM: Yes. PB: That was bad during those days. But . . . SM: Hmmm. So you lasted all winter? You found a job? PB: I lasted all winter and . . . pretty soon my money was going out like mad. And . . . SM: Yes. This was about 1927? 19

PB: Yes. 1926. SM: Still 1926. PB: Yes, still 1926. SM: So that was hard times already, wasn’t it? PB: Yes, very hard for me. SM: Yes. PB: And every Sunday I’d go on the Avenue. You know, you could see through the window, “Wanted”, “Help Wanted”. SM: Oh, yes. PB: So the next morning [unclear]. SM: Yes. PB: And one time I was looking for a window and some man tapped me on my back and said, “Son,” he said. “Yes, Father,” I said. “Have you gone to church this morning before you came out?” he said. “Yes, I did, Father.” “Which church?” He says as he’s pointing up at this church. But my church was below his church. SM: Oh. PB: So I made a white lie there. “That church there, sir.” But I went to the Methodist church and he’s a Catholic. He’s a Father, you know. SM: Oh, he was a priest. PB: And but the house where we stayed was his own house. SM: Oh. PB: He housed all the new Filipino [unclear]. SM: Oh. Was he Filipino? PB: No, he’s a . . . American. SM: Or just he was Caucasian? 20

PB: American. American. SM: Yes. PB: Very nice to the Filipinos. SM: Oh, he tried to help those newcomers then. PB: To help, yes. So he said, “Do you want to work?” I said, “Yes, Father. I want to work. That’s why I’m here looking at the possibilities, so tomorrow morning I have the [unclear].” SM: Yes. PB: Then he said, “I’ve got a job for you if you want to take it.” SM: Oh. PB: I said, “What kind of a job?” He said, “A job in our sanitarium.” Just . . . what do you call this job? Cleaning up . . . SM: Janitor maybe or . . .? PB: Something like a janitor. SM: Yes, or cleaning person. PB: Cleaning up the bedrooms and dusting the rooms. SM: Oh, yes. Yes. Yes, in a sanitarium? PB: Yes, sanitarium. That’s quite a long ways from where I was. And believe me, I walked . . . because I didn’t have any money to . . . for [unclear]. SM: Oh, boy. PB: But he said, “Do you have a [unclear]?” I said, “No, father.” “I only have one, but you use this.” And then I used it in one way, I walk on, and then coming back I used the [unclear] he gave me. SM: I see. PB: How I lived during those times when I was broke, was . . . the three that I said we was roomed together. 21

SM: Yes. PB: We go to all those places where they gamble. SM: Oh. PB: Chinese places. And they all had Filipino gamblers. SM: Yes. PB: And I’d go there, and when I saw somebody winning I said, “[Unclear].” SM: Oh. PB: And they slipped me fifty cents or twenty-five cents. SM: Oh, I see. PB: And just come a long way, it will take me a long way to . . . SM: You would ask an American . . . PB: It’s very [unclear] or [unclear]. SM: Oh, yes. PB: And I could live on that for two days. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. So you would ask another Filipino [unclear]? PB: Yes. Yes. SM: I see. Boy, that’s a hard time. PB: Hard times then. SM: But none of you had a job, not of those three? PB: Not one of us, no. SM: Oh, yes. For how long was that? PB: Oh, about three months. SM: [Gasps] Oh. 22

PB: Three . . . we’d just go and . . . but really they give you free meals, too, you know, in those gambling places. SM: Oh, the gambling places did? PB: We [unclear] line. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. Oh, that’s interesting. PB: Yes. SM: That was to attract more people there? PB: Yes, that’s right. SM: I see. PB: And then I got that job. SM: Yes. PB: And the people seemed to . . . seemed to like me. SM: I see. PB: I’m a friendly man. Friendly and visit or get along with, you know. SM: Was that a Catholic hospital or . . .? PB: No, it’s a sanitarium. SM: Oh. PB: I don’t know what it was, but it’s a sanitarium, you know. SM: For tuberculosis patients? PB: No, no. Convalescing. SM: Oh, convalescing. PB: Yes. So I took that job for a small amount of money a month. It was not enough but I got to have a job. 23

SM: Yes. Did you support your . . .? PB: Just fifty dollars a month. SM: Oh. Did you support the others, too, on that salary? [Chuckles] PB: No, well, they were on their own. SM: I see. PB: I left them, and you know, when I left the hotel, I didn’t have any money for to pay for my room. SM: Oh, yes. PB: It’s a Japanese hotel. SM: Oh. Hmmm. PB: “So, you trust me Papa?” I said. I called him Papa. SM: [Chuckles] PB: “Sure, I trust you.” SM: Oh. PB: I get . . . I talk like a Japanese now, see. “When I get my money, I come back and pay you, okay.” SM: Yes. PB: He said, “Okay.” SM: I see. PB: They were very nice to me. SM: Oh, so Asian . . . different Asian Americans helped each other? Is that true? Or did they sometimes exploit each other, too? [Chuckles] PB: No . . . they . . . they really don’t help each other but they . . . some trust you, you know, some of them trust you. SM: I see. 24

PB: Right away when I first came to the United States, you know, I couldn’t go to any American hotel. SM: You couldn’t? PB: No. SM: So you went to a Japanese hotel. PB: Japanese or Chinese. SM: Yes. I see. PB: [Chuckles] That wasn’t bad for them. SM: Oh, so and I suppose it was very hard to rent from . . . in a building where Americans lived at, too. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. But you could rent from Japanese or Chinese? PB: That’s right. SM: I see. Hmmm. Did they own quite a few hotels in . . .? PB: Japanese? SM: Yes. PB: Oh, yes! Absolutely. SM: In Seattle they owned a lot. They had come so much earlier. PB: Yes. SM: Hmmm. So then you started . . . did you live at the sanitarium, too? PB: Oh, yes. I had my own . . . I had my own private little cottage beside it, [unclear] house. SM: Oh. Oh, so that saved you some money. PB: Yes, that was good because the manager liked me very much and all the help liked me very much. But I kept on looking for a better job. A good paying job. 25

SM: Yes. PB: And I finally found one that pays me seventy-five dollars a month. That’s twenty-five dollars a month more than what I was making. SM: I see. PB: I had my own apartment, big apartment, and I took care of the furnace . . . you know, believe me, I didn’t know anything about furnaces, but I took care of it. SM: Oh. PB: But I almost blew up the whole building! SM: [Chuckles] This was the new job? PB: Yes. SM: You did the furnace? PB: Oh . . . well, smoke came all out . . . SM: [Chuckles] PB: But I managed to stop . . . the blow. [Laughter] SM: And then you began to understand the furnace better? PB: Yes. [Chuckles] And then as I worked, you know, I vacuumed the hallways, cleaned windows, and did these things. SM: I see. PB: And as I vacuumed I’d be singing hymns from my hymnbook, right. SM: Oh. Yes. Hmmm. PB: And people get out and listen to me. “Oh yes, you are a Christian?” they said. “I’m afraid I have to tell you that I am a Christian, yes.” [Chuckles] SM: Yes. Where was this new job? It was in Seattle? PB: In Seattle, it’s an apartment building. 26

SM: I see. So you were the caretaker of the building? PB: Yes, that’s right. Caretaker. SM: Yes. I see. So that paid a little better. PB: That paid a little better. SM: And you could live right there, too? PB: Yes. SM: Yes. PB: And still I was not satisfied. I was getting lonesome for my Filipino friends. SM: You were getting lonesome for them? PB: Yes. So I went to a farm where there are Filipinos working. SM: Oh. PB: Lettuce farm in Monroe, Washington. SM: Hmmm. Well, did that pay more than the city jobs? PB: Yes, I had fellowship with the other guys and then I got my free board and room and my pay. SM: I see. So you were happier because you were with your friends. PB: Yes, I was very happy there. SM: But did you get more money or less? PB: I got more money. SM: More money, too. PB: In fact, I was the only one . . . of the workers around me, the only one that got money. SM: Yes. PB: Because when they . . . these farmers over there, they [unclear]. 27

SM: Oh. PB: That could [unclear]. SM: Oh. When was that? PB: That’s about the time of the Depression, you know. SM: Oh, yes. So this was what year would you say? PB: 1927 and 1928. SM: I see. So you stayed there quite a while. PB: Yes. Well, in the spring of 1928 I decided to move. SM: I see. PB: I applied for the Northern Pacific Railroad track. SM: Oh. PB: I was a laborer putting ties. SM: Yes. PB: And they moved us from one place to another in the Montana region. SM: Oh, mainly in Montana? PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: There I learned the hard living, hard work. Believe me, that’s hard. SM: How was the pay in that job? PB: Well, the pay also is [unclear]. It was fairly good, better than what I had on the farm. SM: Yes. PB: But I kept on communicating with my cousins that were here. SM: I see. Your [unclear]. 28

PB: First, they were in Chicago. SM: Yes. PB: We lived in Chicago. That was when I wrote them from Phillippines island. And they [unclear] we meet in Iowa. SM: Oh. PB: They were the [unclear] college they were [unclear] there. SM: I see. But from Chicago they went to Iowa then. PB: Yes. But they kept on changing. SM: [Chuckles] PB: Then they choose again, we’ll meet in Minneapolis. SM: I see. So these are the engineers then? PB: Engineers and ministers. SM: And the ministers. PB: Yes. SM: He hadn’t gone back to the Philippines yet, is that right? PB: No. SM: Or didn’t he go back, the minister? PB: No, they didn’t go back yet, no. SM: I see. Okay. PB: They went right after they took their doctor’s . . . SM: Oh, I see. PB: And they had their own [unclear]. SM: I see. Okay. So then in what year did you come to Saint Paul? 29

PB: 1928. In August again. I arrived in August here. SM: In August. I see. PB: Yes, 1928. SM: And did you say you were able to come on your railroad pass? PB: Yes. That’s right. SM: Oh, I see. So they gave laborers passes to travel on it. PB: That’s right. Yes. They had to work for at least six months, then would get their pass. SM: I see. Hmmm. And on your days off you could go somewhere or . . .? PB: Yes, now I carry an all year round pass. SM: Oh, you do? PB: Yes. SM: Since you retired? PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: It’s harder to get a pass now because it’s government controlled . . . SM: Oh, Amtrak. PB: Yes, Amtrak. SM: Yes. But this is with the Great Northern? PB: Yes. SM: I see. Or did you say Northern Pacific, too? PB: Yes. Yes, as a laborer. SM: Oh, yes. Oh, I see. Later you worked for the Great Northern. 30

PB: Yes. Yes. Well, before I railroaded, you know, I had several jobs here in Minneapolis, you know. SM: I see. PB: Do you want to know? SM: Yes. Why don’t you start with when you first got to . . . oh, it was Minneapolis, not Saint Paul. PB: When I came to Minneapolis, I worked at the [unclear] Hotel. SM: [Unclear] Hotel? PB: Yes. And mainly washing sheets and, you know, laundry. SM: Doing the linens then. PB: Linens. SM: Yes. PB: And from there I advanced up as a busboy. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. PB: I was a busboy there for . . . SM: I see. And your cousins were here then. PB: Yes. They’d go to school. SM: So you had some friends. PB: We lived together. SM: Oh, I see. Where . . . what part of the city did you live in? PB: Right near downtown on . . . SM: Near downtown. PB: Well, you know, that Baptist church there on Harmon Place? Do you know where that is? SM: Yes. 31

PB: [Unclear]. Do you know where [unclear] is? SM: Oh, yes. PB: Not very far from there. SM: I see. Was it hard to rent a place? PB: No. Oh, no. It was not hard. SM: Oh. It wasn’t hard for Filipinos to rent their housing. PB: No. SM: Yes, in 1928. PB: There are some people, but I didn’t come to them. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. You knew where to go. PB: [Chuckles] Yes. SM: Oh, I see. So there was some problems if some people were to apply at a Caucasian owned building? PB: Yes, well . . . no, I didn’t come really across that here in Minneapolis. SM: I see. Yes. PB: But I was very skeptical every time I go to a place because once I was rejected, you know, and I always think I’ll be rejected again, but . . . SM: This was for renting then? PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: But in Minneapolis I didn’t bump into one like that. SM: I see. Did your cousins already have a place to live? PB: Yes. Then that was all . . . all I’ve got to do is move in with them then. 32

SM: I see. So you didn’t have to go ask for a place. PB: No. SM: I see. PB: Well, they’re very highly educated guys, I mean . . . friendly like people. SM: Sure. I see. Yes. PB: Very friendly. SM: Well, this . . . it must have been already pretty hard to get jobs by 1928, was it? Or with the Depression coming? PB: It was, but the hotel business kept on getting their help, so it was good for us Filipinos. But a lot of my friends . . . you know what WPA is? SM: Yes. Yes. PB: They were in WPA. SM: Were they? PB: I was not, because you know what I did? SM: What did you do? PB: I went to work in a private home. SM: Oh. I see. Did that pay better or the same? PB: It paid pretty good and they gave you a house to live in. SM: Yes. PB: You know, in Minneapolis Honeywell people? SM: Yes. PB: The founder? Sweatt? SM: Yes. That’s who you worked for? PB: C.B. Sweatt, Senior. 33

SM: Oh. I see. PB: And so his kid grew up. SM: I see. Do you still have contact with him? PB: Oh, yes. They used to . . . ask me to go visit them. And I don’t have to work when I go to visit them then. In fact, I go in the front door. [Chuckles] SM: Ah. PB: And they even serve tea. SM: I see. PB: But then Mr. Sweatt died only last year. SM: I see. Hmmm. PB: I left them for the railroad and they were the nicest people that I’ve ever worked for. SM: Oh, were they? PB: Because they trusted me so much. SM: I see. PB: I didn’t have to worry about anything in the house. SM: I see. PB: They trusted me with everything. SM: Yes. PB: Trusted me. SM: And that’s . . . Filipinos especially liked that idea of trusting people, didn’t they? PB: Yes. SM: Yes. Hmmm. Oh, what years did you work there? PB: 1931 to 1942. 34

SM: You stayed there for eleven years. PB: So I was in good hands during the Depression. I had . . . SM: I see. Yes. Through the worst of the Depression you had that job. PB: Yes. But I saw the troubles. SM: Yes. PB: I saw it all. SM: Yes. What about other Filipinos? Do you remember whether they had hard times then? PB: Yes, lots of them had hard times. That’s why some of them worked in WPA. SM: I see. PB: And get help from the [unclear]. SM: Did quite a few work in the WPA? PB: Yes. There were quite a few. SM: Oh. Did any return to the Philippines in that repatriation movement? PB: No. SM: Nobody from Minnesota did that. PB: No. SM: Yes. Because there were some jobs they could get, I suppose. Like the WPA or . . . PB: The old timers stuck here in Minneapolis. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. Well, was it easier for Filipinos here than on the West Coast? PB: What? SM: Was it easier for Filipinos to make a living here than in the West Coast? PB: To me, it is. 35

SM: Yes. PB: And during that time, you know, out there, that’s a very . . . prevalent . . . discrimination against the Filipinos. SM: In the West Coast? PB: In the West Coast. SM: Was there a little less here? PB: Here? Very little. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] Not much difference? PB: No. No. Very little, I didn’t . . . SM: Oh, very little discrimination. PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: I . . . I didn’t notice too much of it, really. SM: Yes. PB: But the only time I noticed some is when I was going with my girlfriend, who is my wife now. SM: Oh. Well, could you talk about that a little? That would be interesting. PB: Yes. Sure. I walked the streets with her and [unclear] very proud, she’s a Norwegian. SM: Yes. PB: “And oh, look at that sunburned [unclear] with the American,” they said. [Chuckles] SM: Sunburned, they called you, hmmm? PB: [Chuckles] Yes. SM: Was that pretty common that you would hear remarks like that? PB: Yes. There’s some people, you know, I . . . 36

SM: How did you meet your wife, first of all? PB: I don’t know. It’s a very funny thing. SM: [Chuckles] PB: She was a blind date. SM: A blind date, I see. Who arranged it? PB: Another Filipino. SM: Oh. PB: So I don’t know, oh, she got a girlfriend who said, “You want to go for a ride?” And said, “Sure, I’ll go for a ride.” SM: I see. PB: So [unclear]. SM: And was he with a Norwegian, too? PB: Swede, the other was a Swede. [Chuckles] SM: Swede. [Chuckles] PB: So I went for a ride. And we went together for . . . 1931 to 1934. SM: 1931 to 1934. PB: Yes, then we got married in 1934. SM: I see. And when you were just going together before you were married, did people make remarks? PB: That’s what I said. SM: Oh, that’s when they said . . . PB: Yes. SM: What about after you were married then did people . . .? 37

PB: No. Not anymore. You know, we’d go out public places we didn’t have any abuse. SM: I see. So it was better after you were married. PB: Yes. SM: What about her family? Were they . . .? PB: Oh, they . . . her family . . . they are pure Norwegian, they migrated in Fargo, North Dakota. SM: Oh. I see. PB: In fact, my wife was born there. SM: I see. PB: And then they moved to Minneapolis and . . . SM: You said she was a child of immigrants or was she . . .? PB: She was born here. SM: Oh, she was born here. PB: She was born here. SM: I see. So she was second generation. PB: Yes, all of them were born here. SM: I see. And were her family accepting of Filipinos or . . .? PB: Her mother accepted me wholeheartedly. SM: Did she? Oh. Hmmm. PB: But and there were some members of the family that didn’t like me. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. PB: But now I’m . . . I’m an apple of their eye now. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. Oh. So how did this change? [Chuckles] PB: I don’t know, they . . . 38

SM: Just grandchildren or . . .? PB: Oh, well, it changed about a year later. SM: Oh. PB: They found out that I could give as much as anybody else to my wife. SM: I see. PB: In fact, maybe better. SM: Yes. PB: Because I don’t squabble about what she spends. SM: Yes. PB: No trouble there though. SM: Oh. So they thought you were a pretty good husband then. PB: Yes. SM: And you had children, too? PB: Yes. Just one. SM: One child. PB: He’s not our own. SM: I see. PB: We got him when he was two and a half years old. SM: Oh. And you adopted him here in the [unclear]? PB: No, we . . . I tried to change his name into Borge but his father didn’t want to do that. SM: Oh, I see. PB: Because his father, during that time, didn’t have anything to do with him. And so with his mother. And then he went in the army during the war then. 39

SM: Yes. PB: That’s the only time we got support for him, when he went in the army. SM: Oh, from his parents. PB: From the . . . from this allowance from the army. SM: Oh, I see. PB: Yes. After that . . . and before that, we were the sole support of the kid. SM: Oh, sure. PB: We grew him from two years until now he’s forty-two. SM: Oh, I see. PB: He’s married and . . . happily married. SM: Does he live in this area? PB: Yes, he lives in Circle Pines. SM: Oh. Well, that’s nice. Hmmm. Was he a Filipino child? PB: Half Filipino, half American. SM: Oh. PB: Half Swede. SM: Half Swede. PB: [Chuckles] SM: I see. Well, were his parents . . . was his father maybe in the armed services or . . .? PB: He was in the armed service and I think he visited him once here with us . . . three times. SM: I see. PB: He still lives in the United States. He’s in San Francisco and he’s married now again to a Filipino girl. 40

SM: Oh. Oh, he was married to a Filipino girl but they didn’t want the child? PB: No, he was married to an American girl. SM: Oh, I see. Okay. PB: His second marriage is a Filipino. SM: I see. Yes. PB: But the kid knew his father, what his father looked like. And then he visited him within reason, but it’s just pretty [unclear]. SM: Yes. PB: But as far as he’s concerned, the only mother and father he’s got is me and my wife. SM: I see. PB: Because we took care of that kid into a good behaved boy. My wife said, “Come back this time, if he’s not at that time, my wife will be so worried. And she come and have at that time. SM: Oh. Yes. PB: Every time they come home, there is a piece of gum, you know. And you know, kids . . . SM: Yes. PB: They’re all in trouble then. [Chuckles] I’m glad he was our one of them. SM: Oh, yes. PB: Every one of those kids has got a police record. SM: Oh. But not him. PB: Not him. SM: Oh, that’s lucky. Good parents. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. 41

PB: Well, not really bad records but they could see a truck with a Coca cola and they’d [unclear]. [Chuckles] SM: Little things. PB: Yes, little things like that. SM: I see. PB: And they would have been with him also too if you want to come home all the time. SM: Oh, yes. PB: My wife just said, “Leave him.” You know. SM: I see. PB: Don’t come home. SM: So . . . PB: My wife is very immaculate. She’s very strict in [unclear] the house. SM: Yes. PB: Even . . . [chuckles] SM: She sounds very Swedish. [Chuckles] Or Norwegian! Norwegian. PB: [Chuckles] SM: Oh, yes. Well, what religion was your wife then? PB: She was a Lutheran. SM: I see. And, but you were . . . PB: We were married in a church. But . . . SM: In a Lutheran church? In a Methodist church? PB: No. Some other church. SM: I see. The Methodist church? 42

PB: No, it’s not a Methodist church. Some other church, I don’t remember, I don’t even know . . . does not exist now, this church where I got married. SM: Oh. [Chuckles] I see. And her family all came and so on or . . .? PB: No, we just went and got married. SM: I see. PB: And we told them we got married and then when . . . I drove her home. [Chuckles] SM: I see. PB: Some of them. SM: I see. PB: But her mother knew I was going with her, so . . . SM: Oh. Yes. But you thought it would be better to just do it quietly. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: So we got married. SM: Yes. Then what part of Minneapolis did you live in when you . . .? PB: Oh, I lived in so many different places. One time I lived around Clinton Avenue. SM: Yes. PB: And Fourteenth Street, and behind that Lutheran church there. SM: I see. Yes. PB: My first one was on 1118 Harmon Place. The first one. SM: I see. PB: And then I went to work for C.B. Sweatt. Then we had a house of our own there. They gave us a house. SM: Oh, I see. This was after you were married and had your child. 43

PB: Yes. They gave us a house. SM: Yes. [Recording interruption] SM: Well, after you worked at C.B. Sweatt’s then you went to the railroad, is that right. PB: Yes. SM: Great Northern? PB: Great Northern Railroad. SM: Yes. Could you talk about how you got that job and what you did and . . .? PB: Well, yes. You know, it’s that time when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Manila and Midway. SM: I see. It was the world in a war. PB: The war. SM: Yes. PB: And . . . which came around. They needed some Filipinos on those jobs. SM: Yes. PB: So some responded. SM: I see. PB: And they liked them very much and they wanted . . . after that, they wanted some more. SM: Yes. Oh, so they were recruiting Filipinos, especially. PB: Yes. So I went there and applied for the job and they got me. And then I wrote Mr. Sweatt, they were in Florida. SM: I see. PB: You know, in the winter, they go out there. 44

SM: Yes. Oh, they’d go to Florida. PB: They didn’t take me there, because they [unclear] take care of the house. They’d take the maid, second maid, and nursemaid. SM: I see. And then you would stay at the house. PB: I stayed there. SM: Yes. Well, when they were recruiting these Filipinos, was this because so many people had been taken into the army that used to do that work? PB: No, they were recruiting Filipinos because they wanted to get rid of all the Japanese. SM: I see. Okay. And Japanese had been doing those jobs. PB: Yes, I think they’d do them. SM: And then they were being . . . they were put into relocation camps, right? PB: No, these guys that worked in the private cars, they sometimes washed dishes. SM: Yes. PB: But they were not in the camp. SM: Oh, I see. But did they continue to work for the railroad in this then? PB: No. No. SM: No, not [unclear]. PB: They cannot . . . they cannot work for the railroads. SM: I see. PB: That’s a very vital and important part of the United States, transporting troops and army equipment and armies back and forth, you know. SM: Yes. Yes. So did quite a few Filipinos in the Twin Cities start to work for the railroad then? PB: Yes. There were, let’s see . . . There were about a dozen of us. SM: Oh, I see. 45

PB: Working on this railroad. SM: And you knew all of them, I suppose. PB: Yes. SM: I see. Well, have you any idea how many Filipinos there were in the Twin Cities then? Or about how many? PB: During that time? SM: Yes. PB: We were just a few, maybe about three hundred people, Filipinos then. SM: I see. So twelve was quite a few out of that small community then. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: Yes. And they specifically wanted Filipinos for these jobs. PB: That’s right. SM: I see. Yes. Exactly what did you do on this? PB: I was the personal attendant to the president of the railroad. SM: I see. And that meant bringing his food or cooking his food or . . .? PB: Oh, no. He’d got his own cook also. SM: Oh. Okay. He had lots of help. PB: [Chuckles] Yes. SM: [Chuckles] Well, what did . . .? PB: I served the food. SM: Oh, you served the food, I see. PB: Yes. SM: And did you have anything to do with his clothes or anything or just his food? 46

PB: Well, sometimes I pressed them when there are . . . SM: I see. PB: Pressing some suits. SM: Oh, so you were . . . PB: He said I didn’t have to, but, you know, get a good side part of it, of the boss, then I got . . . of course, I was . . . I used to do that during the time I worked for Mr. Sweatt, so . . . SM: Ah. So you were accustomed to doing that. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. Well, there must have been a lot of free time. [Chuckles] Was there . . . were you working all the time or . . .? PB: On the car? SM: Yes. PB: Oh, no. When we ride, we ride. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. PB: That’s not too much work. SM: I see. PB: Just serve the food and clean the car, like, you know, when I’d go and I’d clean the car. SM: I see. And then you cleaned his car and . . . PB: Yes, sure. You have to, just like a house. SM: Ah ha. So just make sure everything is like he wanted it there. PB: Yes. Yes, three or four bedrooms in his private cars. SM: Oh, I see. So it was like a house. PB: Yes. SM: Was his family along or . . .? 47

PB: Well, sometimes when on business trips, he’d take her. SM: I see. So you had to serve their food, too? PB: Yes. Well, I . . . the only one that could come in there uninvited, it’s like a private home, you know. SM: Yes. PB: The dining room only held eight people. SM: Oh, there was a dining room, too. PB: Yes. Oh, yes. They’ve got everything. They’ve got a radio. SM: Oh. PB: [Unclear]. SM: Was this a well-paying job? PB: Very well. SM: Very well paying. [Chuckles] PB: Yes, very well. SM: Less work and well-paying. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. SM: I see. So how many years did you do that? PB: Twenty-nine years. SM: Mmmm. And was this when you also could have some other jobs, you said? PB: Yes, that’s right. SM: Oh. PB: See, during the war, sometimes they won’t go out because they need the railroad track open. SM: Yes. 48

PB: For movement of [unclear] or troops, equipment. SM: I see. So sometimes passenger trains were limited then. PB: Yes. SM: He always went on a passenger train then? PB: Yes. SM: I see. Did he travel quite a lot? PB: Yes, he’d fly a lot. SM: Oh, he flew, too. PB: Yes. He didn’t take it very many . . . to go on business, when he . . . didn’t in the car, he’d just fly. SM: Oh. I see. Who was he? PB: John Budd, have you heard about him? SM: John Budd? PB: Yes. SM: Oh. Hmmm. So he was the president of [unclear]. PB: When I was working there. SM: I see. So you got to know him pretty well? PB: Oh, yes. I liked him so much because he’s not hard to work for, you know. Very nice man. SM: Oh, I see. PB: And I think he liked me. SM: I see. Back in the 1930s . . . to go back just a little bit, when there was this independence movement for the Philippines, what was your opinion on that? Did you hope that it would become independent or . . .? PB: No. My opinion was that I wanted the Philippines islands to be one of the states. 49

SM: I see. And that was so that immigration could go back and forth more easily? PB: Yes. SM: Yes. When that became independent, which it did anyway, was it harder to take trips back? PB: No, it’s easy. SM: It was the same on that. PB: The same. SM: Yes. But new immigrants had a harder time coming. PB: Yes. SM: I see. Yes. So that’s one reason that most of the Filipino men married American wives, is that right? PB: No. SM: That isn’t? PB: No. During those times when . . . our early days here, there were no Filipino girls. SM: Right. Was that because of the immigration difficulties? PB: Yes, I guess so. There weren’t too many Filipino girls to choose from. SM: Yes, so there was no choice. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. [Laughter] You meet girls and you meet girls, you know, and you go out and you talk a lot and . . . [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] That’s right. I see. Well, were there other reasons that Filipino women didn’t come besides the immigration restrictions? PB: Why they wanted to come? SM: Why there weren’t any Filipino girls. PB: During that time? SM: Yes. Yes, or women. 50

PB: We were not restricted then. SM: That’s right. Filipinos were not restricted. PB: Before. SM: Until independence [unclear]. Was that . . .? PB: We could go . . . you could come at any time before, you know. And I don’t know . . . men just liked to travel. Women didn’t want to go. That’s it. SM: I see. PB: They just [unclear] that way. SM: Yes. And the jobs were all jobs for men, I suppose. PB: And we heard that America . . . America is a land of opportunity. SM: Oh, well, where did you hear this? [Chuckles] This is when you were in the Philippines? PB: Yes. SM: I’m interested in that because several people have said that. And was it people that had been there that told you that? Or did everybody think that? [Chuckles] PB: Well, people that were there before would tell us about how nice it is to live here because they call it the land of opportunity. You’ve got lots of jobs. That’s how . . . that’s how most of the people like the old timers came here for that, to work and make a living, a good living. SM: They heard that it would be easier to make a living here? PB: Yes, more money. SM: Was that letters from people in America or people that returned? PB: That’s right. That’s right, letters and people that returned. SM: Do you think sometimes they were exaggerated a little? [Chuckles] PB: I don’t know. I don’t remember what to think about it. SM: When you got here, did you think it was the land of opportunity? [Chuckles] 51

PB: Well, I still think, yes. Yes, absolutely, because although I had . . . I met so many drawbacks, but I still think this country is a land of opportunity for anybody. SM: Do you think the new immigrants have the same ideas about that? Is that why they are coming, too? PB: They are coming in bunches because . . . especially now that we have a martial law in Manila. SM: Yes. So sometimes it’s for political reasons if they don’t get along with the martial . . .? PB: Yes, that’s right. Some of them. SM: Some of them. PB: Yes. SM: Maybe half? Or not so many? PB: Well, half and half, yes, [unclear]. SM: Half and half. So it’s partly for jobs and partly for political . . . PB: Look at all these Filipinos now—doctors, lots of Filipino doctors. SM: Yes. PB: And they’re making tremendous money, amount of money. SM: When they get here they are? PB: Yes, they have their own clinic and they . . . SM: Oh, do they have a Filipino clinic? PB: Oh, they’ve got lots of Filipino clinics here now. SM: Oh. Where are they? [Chuckles] PB: One in South Saint Paul. They’re all over. SM: South Saint Paul. PB: Yes. There’s some there in . . . 52

SM: That have all Filipino doctors? PB: Yes. SM: And do mostly Filipino people go to them or everybody goes? PB: No. Oh, Americans tell me they are good doctors. SM: Oh, yes. PB: And the people inside South Saint Paul actually go to that Filipino doctor. SM: Ah ha. I see. PB: And they are good [unclear]. SM: Well, but are there several Filipino doctors working together in a clinic or just one sets up an office or . . .? PB: Yes. They work together . . . some, they work with American doctors. SM: Oh, some are with American and some with just Filipinos. PB: Some there are, because they’ve got their own. SM: I see. So would these tend to be more coming here for political reasons, the professional people, or not? More of them? PB: And . . . and money besides. SM: And money. So they have the same reasons as the less professionals and so on. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: Okay. Yes, they’re coming in big numbers now. PB: Oh, they are. SM: How do you compare the old timer with the new immigrants? Which ways are they a little different or . . .? [Chuckles] PB: Well, I think with them there was a conflict between the new and the old ones during the first time these doctors came in. SM: Oh. Oh, really? 53

PB: The first batch. SM: Oh. What years would that be, 1950s, 1960s? PB: That should be in the 1960s and 1950s, I’m going to say 1950s. SM: Yes. PB: Because they were higher than us, they have higher education than us old timers here, you know. SM: Oh. PB: All we did was housework and restaurant work. SM: I see. PB: And they didn’t like . . . I shouldn’t say this on your tape. [Chuckles] SM: It’s part of history. [Chuckles] PB: Some of the new immigrants, the first batch of Filipino doctors . . . SM: Yes. PB: They think that we . . . we old timers were just . . . SM: They thought they were a little better? [Chuckles] PB: Yes. Yes, let’s put it that way. SM: I see. PB: We were just working in the restaurants and private homes. SM: Yes. PB: That was the . . . their consensus of opinion that they are better than us. SM: I see. PB: But those things went away, I think, now. I hope. SM: I see. So that’s changed now? 54

PB: That’s changed. SM: So you think that was in about the 1950s when they first came, the doctors and professional people? PB: Yes. Right. SM: Yes. That’s not so long ago, but . . . that would be understandable, but now are they in the same organizations? PB: We all belong to the same organizations. SM: Yes. So now there’s more . . . PB: We have three clubs in Minneapolis now. SM: Oh, yes. How many do you belong to? PB: All of them. SM: You do? PB: Yes. SM: Yes. Which one are those? The Cultural Society . . . PB: Cultural Society, Fil-Minnesotan, and then Filipino American. SM: I see, so you belong to them all. And they have quite a lot of things going on most of the time? PB: All the time. SM: [Chuckles] Every week, do you go to something? PB: Almost every week. In the summertime especially, oh, every week. SM: Oh. Yes. Summer especially. PB: Every Sunday we are doing something. SM: Oh, in the summer it’s every Sunday? PB: Oh, yes. 55

SM: Oh. What about churches here in the Twin Cities? Are there some Protestant, like Methodist churches that have more Filipinos in them than others? Or do they go to all different churches? PB: Very few. As far as I know, there are only three Methodist churches. SM: Three Methodist churches. PB: That I know. SM: Yes, there aren’t too many. That’s right. PB: One in . . . he was in that dinner party last time, the ex-president. SM: Oh, he was the one that was there. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. PB: Yes, he’s very [unclear]. SM: Oh, yes. He seems very nice. PB: Methodist. SM: I see. PB: And two years ago a Filipino girl came here and she got married to a Filipino and they came here and he brought her back here to the United States. SM: I see. PB: And she was looking for a Methodist church around their place. SM: I see. Yes. PB: And they called me up. Sure, bring her in. SM: Yes. PB: So that Sunday she went with her husband, and I was not there. SM: Oh. Yes. What church was that, that she went to? 56

PB: Community United Methodist. SM: Oh. I see. Are there any other Filipinos in the church? PB: Just this Mrs. Samorra and me. SM: I see. So there aren’t very many. PB: And there’s one Lutheran on Fortieth and [unclear] Fortieth Avenue, yes. SM: Forty-seventh? PB: Fortieth, forty, at that First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights. SM: Oh. PB: Just a couple that belong. The rest are Catholic. SM: Are there quite a few Filipinos in Columbia Heights? PB: Yes, quite a few of us now. SM: Oh. PB: They are moving in. [Chuckles] SM: I see. Are there some suburbs that have more . . . are more popular with the Filipinos? Or that more Filipinos move from the city to certain places? PB: It seems to be . . . it seems to me Columbia Heights is getting popular now. SM: Ah. PB: Because there are lots of them moving. SM: What about Anoka or some of those? PB: Yes, there are more Filipinos in Columbia Heights than Anoka. SM: Oh. Yes. PB: And they’re all over. Anoka, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park, and Saint Paul suburbs. There are lots of them. 57

SM: Saint Paul . . . what was that? PB: All the suburbs in Saint Paul. SM: Oh, yes. I see. But are there still quite a few in Northeast Minneapolis, too? In the Northeastern part of the city of Minneapolis? PB: Yes. Lots of Filipinos are there. SM: Oh, yes. And then in the early days, wasn’t that a place where many Filipinos lived, in Northeast Minneapolis? PB: No. SM: Not . . . no, downtown, I mean. PB: Down to the river, all downtown during the old times. SM: I see. PB: I moved in Northeast in 1942, you know, right [unclear]. SM: Oh, in the 1940s. Were there other Filipinos that moved to the Northeast part? PB: Yes. SM: Around that time? PB: [Unclear] is one of the pioneers[?] in Columbia Heights. Me, another guy . . . There were four of us that went there first. And then pretty soon they . . . SM: [Chuckles] Four of you went in the 1940s. PB: Yes. SM: Then a lot more came. PB: Yes, that four came in. SM: I see. Yes. So I suppose . . . tell me if I’m right . . . that most of the Filipinos in Minnesota are Catholic. Is that true? PB: Mostly Catholic. SM: Mostly Catholic. Are there any Filipino priests [unclear]? 58

PB: Yes. SM: Oh. PB: There’s one. SM: Which church is he at then? PB: I think he’s in . . . I don’t know if you know, that church in Northeast Minneapolis anyway. SM: Oh, in Northeast Minneapolis. PB: Yes. SM: Do you know the name of the church? PB: No, the church on Twentieth . . . it’s on Twenty-third, between Central and Jackson Streets. SM: Twenty-third. Hmmm. PB: Kitty-corner from the bank. I don’t know what bank is that. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] I see. Well, did the Catholic church, did that help the Filipinos when they came here? Did they . . .? Like that priest that helped you in Seattle, did the church here try to help the immigrants, do you think? PB: Well, I really don’t know about that now, you know. SM: You didn’t hear anybody say anything about that? PB: No. No. SM: And there weren’t any particular churches that Filipinos went to more than others, of the Catholic churches? PB: No particular church. They go wherever it’s near them. SM: I see. So were they welcomed to things pretty well in the church or did it . . .? PB: Absolutely, they should be welcome in church. [Chuckles] SM: Yes, they should be. I’m wondering if this was, you know, one place where the immigrants felt more at home or more welcome than other places maybe in the early days, when they first arrived? [Chuckles] 59

PB: Well, I didn’t have any hesitation of going to church because I . . . when I first came to the United States, you know, I always looked for a church. SM: I see. PB: I looked for a church. SM: And they usually helped you? PB: And they . . . they did, yes. They were very graciously . . . one time when I was going back in farming time. SM: Yes. PB: In Monroe, Washington. I’m a Methodist, but there was a church closer to the farm, and it was the Nazarene. Nazarene. SM: Oh, yes. Yes. PB: And I went to their church and they kept on inviting me to go again, the father and son there, so I became . . . I became a parishioner in that church. SM: Yes. PB: And they even wanted me to go to school for them, take ministry. SM: Oh. PB: And I didn’t take that advantage. I wish I did. SM: So you felt they really liked you then? PB: Yes. Oh, my gosh, yes. They’d take me on all their doings on Sundays, every Sunday, you know. SM: Yes. PB: We’d go . . . have the other families take me for dinner and all this. SM: Yes. Were any other Filipinos in this church? PB: No. My coworkers on the farm, they would laugh at me because I’d go to church on Sunday. SM: Oh. I see. 60

PB: I said, “Go ahead and laugh.” SM: [Chuckles] They didn’t go to Catholic church or anything then? PB: No, they just . . . some of them don’t go even with the church [unclear]. SM: Yes. I see. PB: When I was there in Washington. SM: Yes. But you did go to this church [unclear]. PB: I’d go wherever there’s a church. And I will even . . . when I traveled on the railroad, I . . . I managed this, to go to church. SM: Yes. And they always welcomed you then, in the churches. PB: Yes, always welcome in church. SM: Yes. You never found any discrimination then in the churches? PB: No. Not at church. But they’re glad to see you. SM: That’s . . . PB: That really [unclear]. SM: Yes. Well, is there anything we’ve forgotten to say? What about all these activities you do now? Because you mentioned you’re so busy all the time. PB: Yes. Well, I . . . when I was railroading I . . . in 1968, 1967, there were some organizations were trying to get me to join a club. SM: Yes. PB: One guy was a Rotarian. One guy was . . . no. But he was not very strong enough to take me. SM: [Chuckles] This was a Rotarian, Rotary? PB: Yes. Yes. SM: Oh, yes. 61

PB: And then another came along and said, “Say, let’s go out for lunch. You’ll be my guest,” he said. For free, sure, I’ll come. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] PB: So I went. And then he said, “Will you come again? The next meeting.” SM: Yes. PB: I will be here, God’s willing. So I went. SM: This is in Minneapolis? PB: Yes. Columbia Heights. SM: Columbia Heights. PB: This is . . . this was the Kiwanis Club I was having luncheon with. SM: Oh, the Kiwanis. PB: Yes. SM: Okay. PB: Say will you consider becoming a member? I said, “Yes.” SM: Yes. PB: So they took that to the board and then I was accepted, you know. SM: Oh, yes. PB: So ever since I was a Kiwanian, 1968. SM: So 1968. Any other Filipino Americans belong to your club? PB: No. SM: You’re the only one. PB: I’m the only one. They call me minority. [Chuckles] SM: [Laughter] They call you minority! Do you like that? 62

PB: No, I . . . SM: [Laughter] [Unclear – rustling noises] PB: You can read that afterwards. SM: Oh. Oh, yes. Oh, I see. This is very recently then. Yes. Well, I’ll read when the tape is not on. [Chuckles] PB: [Unclear]. Yes. SM: And what else do you belong to? Any senior citizens groups? PB: Yes, I belong to a senior citizen bowling league and I belong to the Methodist Men’s Fellowship Breakfast. SM: Oh, that . . . PB: Every week they have a meeting in that. SM: Methodist Men’s Fellowship Breakfast. PB: Yes. And then we have a once a month meeting on the Methodist Men’s Club. SM: I see. PB: I have every written . . . SM: That’s different from the Methodist Men’s Fellowship? PB: The same thing. It’s the same thing. SM: Oh, same thing. PB: But only our regular meeting is once a month on the second Thursday of the month. SM: Yes. PB: Regular meeting. SM: Are you the only Filipino there, too? PB: Right. I’m the only. 63

SM: [Chuckles] They don’t call you minority though, hmmm? PB: [Laughter] No. And I just laugh when they call me minority. I told them, I said, “I love you all,” I said, “I don’t care what you call me.” SM: [Chuckles] You say you laugh when they . . .? PB: Yes, I laugh, they laugh when they call me that. SM: Who sponsors the senior citizen’s bowling league? Is that . . .? PB: I don’t know. I . . . I don’t know who sponsors it. I just joined. SM: [Chuckles] They came to you and . . .? PB: One of my . . . one of the church members belongs and I . . . he asked me to go, that’s [unclear]. SM: I see. PB: That’s all I know. SM: So they . . . all of these, they came to look for you. PB: Yes. [Chuckles] SM: Or what about the Methodists then? Did they ask you to join or did you ask them to join? [Chuckles] PB: Oh, no. I was a . . . SM: You were a member of the church. PB: As a member of our church. SM: Right. PB: No, I . . . I picked my own church. SM: And just naturally went [unclear]. PB: When I first came to Minneapolis, I looked for my church. SM: Yes. 64

PB: I found the West [Unclear] Methodist Church on Grant Street there. SM: On Grant? PB: Yes, you know where that is? SM: Yes. PB: That was my first church in Minneapolis. SM: I see. PB: And then I moved to Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church. SM: And these all welcomed you very nicely? PB: Oh, sure, that’s the house of the Lord, they should welcome you. SM: Well, they certainly should. [Chuckles] PB: And my wife, like I told you, she’s a Lutheran. And . . . SM: Oh, so she continued to be Lutheran? PB: She asked me to join her church. SM: Oh, yes. PB: So I joined the church. SM: I see. So you joined the Lutheran church for a while. PB: Yes, for two years I belonged in that church. And I still feel Methodist in my heart. SM: Yes. PB: So . . . [Chuckles] SM: They’re quite different. PB: So I went back to the Hennepin Avenue again. SM: I see. So you tried it for two years. 65

PB: Yes. SM: But you felt more Methodist. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: Yes. What was it that you didn’t feel so at home in the Lutheran church? The seriousness or . . .? PB: Well, I don’t know. It seems to be there are more fellowship in Methodist to me then when I went there. SM: Oh, yes. PB: In that church anyway. SM: Yes. PB: You know. SM: Yes, a little warmer kind of . . . PB: Yes, warmer reception. SM: Yes. But she kept on going to the Lutheran church? PB: Yes. And then she . . . and then one Sunday she said, “Let’s go to church.” SM: Yes. PB: In the 1950s. About 1954. Where? That church in there. The Community United Methodist. SM: [Chuckles] And you hadn’t joined that Methodist church yet, is that right? PB: Yes. SM: Oh you were a Methodist . . .? PB: Oh, not yet. Not yet. SM: Not yet, I see. PB: So we went to that church. SM: Oh. 66

PB: And you know, you had to register, you know. SM: I see. So she thought she’d like to go to that with you then. PB: Yes. And then after the church service was over, in the afternoon, the minister came to the house. SM: Oh. PB: Right away. SM: My goodness. He was anxious to have you for members. PB: Oh, well, after that, my wife changed. SM: She changed? PB: Yes. SM: To become a Methodist? PB: Methodist. She took the lessons. SM: Oh. PB: To become a Methodist. All I had to do was transfer. SM: I see. PB: So she was a Methodist, just a Methodist. And she [unclear]. SM: I see. PB: And she was very active in church [unclear]. SM: I see. Yes. PB: And then as the years goes on, she was getting older and getting sickly, so she cut all that. She didn’t even go to church anymore. SM: Oh. Well, when it’s too hard to . . . PB: She used to do lots of volunteer work. 67

SM: Did she? PB: Yes. She’d teach Sunday School. SM: I see. PB: But she quit all that because her back . . . this church, everyone sits there for hours. SM: Yes. PB: She got a bad back. SM: Oh, yes. Yes. PB: Somehow she . . . I couldn’t make her go to church anymore. SM: Yes. I see. So you both were members then of the Community Methodist Church. PB: Right. SM: And that was very accepting and . . . PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: Seems like all the churches accept . . . I don’t see abuse. The only thing, the Catholic church, they do not . . . they don’t socialize. SM: Oh, they don’t have social organizations. PB: No. No, you go to church and you don’t know any people. SM: I see. You just go and then you go home. PB: Yes. SM: But do you know the priest? PB: No, you don’t know the priest! [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] Well, you know who he is . . . PB: You just shake hands with him. 68

SM: I see. PB: If you have a chance. SM: Oh, so it’s not so easy to make friends then. PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: In Protestant, you make friends. In all the Protestants. SM: I see. PB: They’re glad to see you. [Unclear] in there, yes, I am glad you are here. Come back again. SM: Yes. I see. So that’s . . . it’s better for an immigrant then. PB: Yes. SM: If they can make friends in the church and . . . PB: Yes. In fact, one of the girls singing in our choir is a Catholic. SM: Oh, but she comes to sing in the choir. PB: She comes to sing with us. SM: I see. PB: Do you know why? [Chuckles] There’s no . . . you don’t know anybody in there, she said. SM: Oh, that’s very interesting. Yes. PB: Just go to church and pray and then . . . that’s it. SM: I see. So in the Methodist church then you go to other kinds of meetings with these people and . . . PB: That’s right. SM: Yes. Do they ever come to your home and you go to their homes? Or was that not . . .? PB: Well, sometimes, once in a while they visit us because of my wife, you know. 69

SM: Oh, when she was sick? PB: Yes. Well, even now, they want to come to visit [unclear]. SM: I see. Yes. PB: Yes, those years of my own experiences in America are really thrilling because I always seek the Lord wherever I go. SM: Yes. So that was a help to you then. PB: Yes. SM: I see. Hmmm. PB: I might be a sinner or a shepherd, but nobody’s perfect but . . . SM: No. PB: Always . . . I’ve always liked to go to church. SM: Yes. Is that a characteristic of many Filipinos? That they are a religious people in general? Or is it . . . or are they pretty much like anyone else, some are, some aren’t? PB: Yes. Same thing. [Unclear] yes. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. Traditionally though, in the Philippines, are the people pretty religious? PB: Very. SM: Yes. PB: And then there is that church [unclear]. SM: Oh, yes. And some are Islam? Mohammedan or Islam? PB: Oh, yes. That’s one thing I didn’t tell you. SM: Any here that are . . .? PB: The Philippines islands is ninety percent Christian. SM: I see. PB: Five is Mohammedan, and five Buddhist. 70

SM: I see. Yes. Are any Filipinos here Mohammedan or Buddhist that you know of? PB: I don’t think so. No. SM: They might have . . . if they were, then they might have changed when they came here? PB: Oh, not that I . . . SM: So maybe not. PB: Not that I know. SM: But it’s such a small number anyway. PB: Yes. I met one when I was in railroading in the early 1920s. SM: Oh. Yes, I see. What was he? PB: He’s from [unclear, he’s from [unclear]. SM: He was Mohammedan? PB: Yes. SM: Oh, yes. PB: I know he was Mohammedan and he’s still got that temper of the [unclear] people. Have you heard about the [unclear] people there? SM: No, I haven’t. I mean, I’ve heard of them but I don’t know much about them. PB: Well, during the early days, you know, they invaded Christian . . . SM: Oh, yes. PB: Yes. SM: Right. PB: But then as the years go by, they are a little bit Christianized and well but they still carry that tradition of sometimes they go amok. You meet one fellow. SM: Yes. 71

PB: You don’t know. You think he’s alright. But I remember that [unclear]. SM: Oh, I see. So you were a little worried then. [Chuckles] PB: Yes. SM: Do you know if any Filipinos in the Twin Cities have been elected to government offices or whether they work in the government, maybe employed by the government? PB: Yes, there is one. I don’t know his name. He works in the . . . I really don’t know him. I should have. SM: But he works in the state government? PB: Yes. He works in the city. SM: Oh, in the city government. PB: He’s a . . . what do you call that there for . . .? I really don’t know his title. SM: Yes. What kind of work does he do? PB: Like . . . I couldn’t even say. SM: Oh, yes. But you think there is one that’s in the city government then. PB: Yes. SM: Do you know any that were elected like to the city council or in the state, do you think? Or maybe appointed by the governor or . . .? PB: No. No. SM: Not yet anyway. PB: Not yet. But in . . . not in Minneapolis, but in California, in Los Angeles, lots of them. SM: Yes. PB: There are lots of them are getting in. SM: Are there quite a lot now? PB: Quite a lot, I think. 72

SM: Yes. So it’s just a matter of time, I suppose, in Minneapolis. PB: Yes. SM: Because there fewer Filipinos here. PB: Chicago. SM: In Chicago there are a lot, too? PB: Also, yes. SM: Yes. PB: They are getting to admit . . . take Filipinos now. SM: Yes. And elect them for public offices and so on. PB: Yes. SM: I see. PB: I’m told [unclear]. SM: Pardon me? PB: I’m told [unclear] they’ll never ask me. [Chuckles] SM: Oh, you never know. [Chuckles] I’m sure there will be one sometime. Hopefully it won’t be too far off. PB: I know . . . I know all the people in the Columbia Heights, those big shots there. SM: Yes. PB: I know all of them. SM: Oh, do you? PB: Oh, yes. SM: I see. PB: In fact, the police that came and helped me, that was . . . I know him. 73

SM: Oh, this morning. PB: Yes. I was surprised to see him then. SM: Yes. So you’re pretty well known there then. PB: Oh, yes. The chief of police, we are just like that, because we travel together sometimes. SM: So you . . . how long have you lived in Columbia Heights? PB: Since 1952. SM: Oh. Oh, you’re an old timer in Columbia Heights then. PB: All the police know me. SM: Oh, yes? Hmmm. PB: Not that [unclear], but . . . [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] How does that happen? PB: Not [unclear] but while going to [unclear] there, you know, and I know so many people and they’ve got . . . you’ve got to be introduced, you know. SM: Sure. PB: And I know the city manager and he’s a Christian. A good Christian man. SM: Is he? Do you think there is more friendships between Filipinos and other Americans than earlier or are most of their friends still Filipinos or is that changing, say, among the old timers [unclear] or among the new immigrants? Is there a difference there of more contacts with . . .? PB: With the American? SM: Yes. PB: Well, I think these new . . . the newcomers have got more contact now because they are younger . . . SM: Through their work and so on? PB: They are working in offices. SM: Yes. 74

PB: And they’ve got more contact now than we do. SM: I see. PB: I know that for sure. Because lots of them have good jobs in banks, accountants, engineers, doctors, nurses. SM: Yes. Well, the old timers must have had some contacts they married then. [Chuckles] PB: Oh, yes, we had contact. SM: Well, where did the old timers meet the Norwegian and Swedish women? PB: [Laughter] SM: At church or . . .? [Chuckles] I’m so curious, you know, how this worked out. PB: I don’t know. I just met . . . not in church. I just met her through a blind date. SM: But how did your friend meet them? Who sets up this blind date? PB: I don’t know, I really . . . [Chuckles] SM: Where did he find them? [Chuckles] At dances? PB: Dances, yes. I think that’s it. SM: Oh, I see. So were there dance halls in the cities where Filipinos and other types of people all came to dance? PB: Yes. SM: I see. So that was probably where they were. Were there other places they met them, too? PB: Other . . . SM: Other organizations or friends maybe or . . . or maybe if one knew one, then another knew and . . . I don’t know. PB: [Chuckles] SM: But you think it was mainly from dances and that kind of thing probably? PB: Well, some from dances, some from . . . casual meeting people from one another, you know. 75

SM: Neighbors maybe? PB: Yes, or neighbors. SM: Yes. What about in church? PB: In church. Yes, in church. SM: Oh, yes. That’s very interesting. PB: I . . . I’m very well . . . I’m not . . . patting my back, but in my church they . . . everybody knows me, but I don’t know all of them. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. Yes. So they are very warm towards you and . . . PB: Yes, that’s right. That’s right. SM: Yes. Well, that’s very good. PB: Well, I . . . to me, church is the only place to find friendship to me because I would go . . . every time I go to church I find a new friend. SM: Yes. PB: They take you as a friend. Friend in Christ. SM: Yes. So that’s been a great help to the immigrants then. PB: Yes. I used to attend revival meetings of these different churches. SM: Oh, did you? Oh [unclear]. PB: Because I just get amazed at their tremendous amount of hours they put on the street, you know. SM: Yes. PB: They’ve got a ten and [unclear] there and they still go a real long time, you know. SM: Yes, they go on for a long, long time. PB: Yes. SM: And they go out singing and . . . 76

PB: Yes. SM: So you took part in revival meetings here in the Twin Cities? PB: In the West Coast. SM: Oh, in the West Coast. Yes. Were there any here in the Twin Cities? PB: No, I didn’t. I didn’t go to a revival meeting here. SM: Did they have any? PB: I should attend Billy Graham’s now. Billy Graham. SM: Yes [unclear] headquarters are. PB: I know Wilson, his right hand man. SM: Oh. PB: Mr. [T.W.] Wilson. SM: I see. PB: He invited me one time to his . . . some big room for the executive meeting place. SM: Yes. PB: We had a breakfast there. The only Filipino invited. SM: I see. PB: And he asked me deliver the invocation. SM: Yes. Who was Mr. Wilson? PB: He’s next in . . . the next highest officer from Mr. Billy Graham’s [unclear]. SM: Oh, I see. He’s one of the officers of that organization. PB: Yes. Yes. SM: I see. Oh, and so you know him pretty well. 77

PB: Oh, yes. Pretty well. SM: I see. PB: We socialize. SM: I see. PB: Kiwanis, [unclear] Kiwanis. SM: Yes. PB: That’s how he heard . . . he heard me deliver invocation once and that’s why he asked me to deliver invocation for his meeting. SM: I see. He asked you to deliver the invocation. PB: Yes. SM: One thing I was going to ask you, too, was whether any of the Filipino Americans in the Twin Cities went into the armed services during World War II? PB: Yes. SM: Were they drafted or were they volunteers? PB: They . . . they just volunteered. SM: They volunteered. And then did that help in becoming citizens? PB: Yes, it sure did. SM: I see. So that would make it a little quicker. PB: Yes. SM: Yes. PB: Me, I had to do it in the hard way. SM: [Chuckles] PB: I . . . let’s see now. I didn’t even go to school for to be a citizen. Some of them go to school. SM: Oh, yes. That was in the later times then. 78

PB: They ask you so many questions and I know the answers. And I know the story of America, and I know the history of the Philippines islands. SM: Oh, you could easily . . . PB: And I know what my governor is and my president . . . all, that’s all of that, you know. SM: That’s all you need to know. [Chuckles] Yes. PB: They ask you that. SM: I see. PB: And the application, like you know you have to tell them how much education you have and ... SM: Yes. Oh, yes. PB: So some of those didn’t have that much education, you know. SM: Yes. PB: So they had to go to school. SM: I see. But it wasn’t too hard. PB: No, not too hard. Just to learn how to become a citizen. SM: I see. Is that a big celebration then afterwards? PB: Yes, they put up a little celebration where you take your citizens. SM: Yes, with their friends and . . . PB: Yes. SM: I see. Yes. Well, is there anything I’ve forgotten to ask you that you wanted to say about your experience here in Minnesota? PB: Well, my experiences, I think it’s . . . it’s a very good experience here in Minnesota. I have always liked Minnesota. Because people are friendly and I couldn’t see too much discrimination. SM: Yes. 79

PB: There might be some, but I don’t notice it too much. SM: Yes. PB: Wherever I go, I make friends and I’m well-liked, that’s for sure. SM: Yes. So you don’t regret coming to Minnesota? PB: I don’t regret coming here. This is my . . . this is my state and this is my home nation. Like the other day I . . . they asked me again to deliver the invocation at our meeting and I told them . . . I told them about how America was given us for our heritage. SM: Yes. Yes. PB: Thank you God for America that you have given us for our heritage. That’s what I told them. SM: I see. Well, Filipinos have contributed a great deal, too, and have contributed a great deal to Minnesota, I’m sure. PB: Yes, they are becoming a part of Minnesota now. Filipino are becoming a part of Minnesota. SM: Right. Very much. PB: You see, there is not much . . . you couldn’t . . . did you ever read about Filipinos being arrested and so on like that? SM: No. PB: [Unclear]? No. SM: No. Doesn’t happen. PB: Yes, we are peaceful [unclear] people. SM: Yes, law abiding. Right. Well, thank you very much, Paul Borge, for telling us about your experience here as a Filipino American. PB: Philippines national. SM: Well, if we think of some more things, we’ll do some more another day. [Chuckles] That’s very helpful and very useful to the understanding of the history of Minnesota, I think. PB: I think that Minnesota . . . I think this is a haven for the Filipinos because of that. 80

SM: Oh, do you think so? PB: Oh, we like it here. We like it. SM: Is that a general feeling among Filipinos? PB: That’s the general feeling. SM: Oh. Well, that’s very good to hear. PB: It is cold but we . . . we get used to it. SM: Yes. Thank you very much. PB: You’re welcome.