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Interview with Marietta Andrada



Marietta Andrada, a daughter of Benigno and Belen Andrada of Richfield, Minnesota, was born in 1958. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Growing up as a second-generation Filipino - the importance of family and the Filipino community in the Twin Cities - and discrimination. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Andrada's sister Cristeta was also interviewed for this oral history project.





World Region



Marietta Andrada Narrator Sarah Mason Interviewer November 1, 1978 Richfield, Minnesota

Sarah Mason Marietta Andrada


SM: I’m talking to [Marietta] Tita Andrada in Richfield, Minnesota on November 1, 1978. This is an interview conducted under the auspices of the Minnesota Historical Society. The interviewer is Sarah Mason. Tita, before we get into your life, I wonder if you would talk just a little bit about the use of the term Filipino. And have you always used that term or has your family changed in which term they use? When . . . how did that start? MA: You mean like do we use the term Filipino? SM: Yes. Filipino or [unclear]. MA: We don’t use that . . . I don’t know. We don’t use it that often. SM: You say Filipino, usually? MA: Yes, we use Filipino. But like if you were talking about, you know, other people in our culture or we’re talking about the foods that we eat. SM: Yes. MA: But otherwise it’s not a very . . . it’s not an everyday term. [Chuckles] I mean it’s not part of a . . . SM: So usually in casual conversation you would say Filipino? MA: Yes. SM: But when you’re talking about some of the traditions and so on . . .? MA: We still use Filipino, yes. SM: I see. Are there some groups that use that term more, or more recent immigrants or . . .? 1

MA: Gosh, I don’t know. SM: You haven’t noticed any real distinction. MA: No. SM: I was trying to find out, you know, how different people feel about it. MA: Yes. SM: Well, when were you born and where? MA: I was born on December 25, 1958 in Minneapolis. SM: In Minneapolis. And both of your parents are Filipino Americans? MA: They’re both Filipino. SM: Filipino. MA: Yes. SM: Ethnically. MA: Filipino born, yes. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. And what do your parents do? MA: Okay. My mother is a counselor presently at Minnetonka High School part time. My father is retired. SM: I see. And how many are in your family? MA: I have one sister and three half-brothers. SM: One sister and three half-brothers. So at home now your immediate family is you and your sister and your parents. MA: Yes. SM: What were some of the events that your family takes part in or organizational kinds of affairs that are Filipino American?


MA: Well, there are three Filipino clubs. And I think we’re members of all of them, I’m not sure. But I know we’re members of two of them for sure. SM: Yes. MA: And like, you know, there’s usually dances or programs that, you know, that each of the groups schedule. And we always . . . we always try to go to all of them if we can. And like we have . . . the one group that I’m really active in is the Fil-Minnesotan, because like we started a Junior Fil-Minnesotan, which is just mainly the youth, you know, of the club members. And we’re . . . there’s a program going to be put on in December, I think it is, that is cultural piñon, and that’s, you know . . . unlike . . . unluckily, though, I had to withdraw from participation this year because I just was having a hard time at school and so . . . but it’s . . . you know, it’s just a . . . you . . . it’s a program of dances and there’s always a story, you know, a plot that goes along with it so that, you know, we can teach other people about our culture. And we also have a dance coming up November 18th at the Registry, which is going to be good. SM: That’s sponsored by the Fil-Minnesotan, too? MA: Fil-Minnesotan. SM: Yes. So you usually have taken part in these things then? MA: Yes. SM: Do you really enjoy that a lot? MA: Yes. Because like . . . you know, like before, you know, you’d never . . . you didn’t know who were the other . . . you know, if there were other kids your age that are Filipino . . . or you know Filipino American born. You know, and by going to all these things you get to meet the other kids. SM: Oh, yes. MA: You know, and it’s really . . . it’s really a surprise to see, you know, kids your age. And you know, I didn’t know you belonged to this club, you know, and . . . SM: Are these kids mostly second generation or third or . . .? MA: Yes, I would say they’re mostly second. SM: Mostly second. MA: Yes. SM: Are some of them new immigrants, too? 3

MA: Hmmm. Gosh, I don’t know. SM: Or do they have young children? MA: I’d say most of them . . . yes, I would say most of them are [unclear]. SM: Okay. So most of them are like you. MA: Yes. SM: Second generation. I see. And so it’s usually not until you take part in these organization do you know them or have your families always been friends or . . .? MA: Well, it’s . . . I think, you know, unless, you know, like . . . unless you go to these activities, you don’t really meet most of those people, because like, you know, unless they were . . . their parents were friends of mom and dad, you know, and they got together a long time ago, well, that was before either we were born or when we were little. SM: Yes. MA: And who remembers seeing, you know, the kids you’re seeing now, when you were little. SM: [Chuckles] You were friends when you were babies. MA: [Chuckles] Probably. That’s what, you know, some of the kids I’ve met, you know, are, “Yes, don’t you remember? You used to come to my house.” You know, I don’t remember it. You know, if they’re a little bit older than me, I don’t remember. SM: I see. So you don’t necessarily live close together. MA: No. There aren’t that many . . . SM: Are there many in school? Well, now that you’re at the university . . . MA: Well . . . yes. Now I’m at the U [University of Minnesota] and there are quite a few. SM: Are there quite a few? How many would you think there are? MA: Well, I mean, there aren’t really quite a few. There are only like . . . three, four maybe that I know that are Filipino. SM: And they’re from the Twin Cities area? MA: Yes. 4

SM: What about from other parts of the Midwest or the country? Do you think there are many or . . .? MA: Mmmm. I don’t know. [Chuckles] SM: It’s hard to know. MA: Yes. SM: Well, do you see these four say quite often, like every day or just . . .? MA: Well, like a couple of them I see. Two of them I see, you know . . . no, one of them I see every day. I . . . you know, like if I’m . . . when I’m on my way . . . or I see them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I’m on my way to West Bank, she’s usually coming from West Bank. [Chuckles] So, you know, I end up . . . like we get a chance to stop and chat a little bit before I have to rush over. SM: You’ve known her for a number of years or . . .? MA: Well, I didn’t really . . . I didn’t really know her until like last year when we were in the Filipinana. SM: I see. MA: You know. But I mean . . . but . . . I guess when you’re little you [unclear]. SM: [Chuckles] So most of your contacts are just with the whole population. MA: Yes. SM: But these are sort of special kinds of relations would you say or friends? Do you feel closer to them in some ways? MA: I do. Because like this one that I see, you know, I see her a lot. I . . . I used to work with her too downtown. SM: Oh, I see. MA: And so, you know, like we used to go out to lunch on Saturdays or we’d, you know, take our breaks together. SM: Yes. MA: So it was kind of nice. 5

SM: Sure. MA: You know, but like I haven’t seen her lately, you know, I mean, real . . . we haven’t sat down and talked. But like I have another one that, you know, if we call each other . . . that’s the only time I ever see her is if I call her and tell her, “Meet me here, you know, are you going to be around this area?” SM: Yes. MA: You know, but her and I have done a lot of things together and like, you know, on the weekends. SM: In these clubs and things or . . .? MA: And through the clubs. We can, you know, [unclear]. SM: Well, do you seek out, you know, being with other second generation Filipino Americans or its just some happen to be your better friends? MA: Yes. I don’t . . . you know, I don’t really . . . SM: You don’t make a big [chuckles] effort at it or anything. MA: [Chuckles] No. SM: Well, what would be really interesting, if there’s any way we could put our fingers on it, or you could put your finger on it . . . MA: Yes. SM: Is to try to figure out what kind of identity a second generation Filipino American might have. If you could find some way to identify in what ways you feel Filipino and what ways you feel American. Or whether you pick and choose from the two, you know. MA: Yes. SM: Or whether you feel more one or the other. Or how would you describe it? MA: I’m kind of . . . I don’t know . . . I’m kind of . . . SM: It’s pretty difficult, I’m sure. MA: Yes. But like I . . . I think like one thing that really I consider is kind of more Filipino values that, you know, is the church. 6

SM: Oh. MA: And like . . . you know, like . . . mom and dad never tell us we have to go to church but its, you know . . . SM: Yes. MA: You . . . it kind of . . . you know, just from the beginning that you just start and keep going with mom and dad. You know. Like now, you know, they’re not saying I have to go to church. But you know I know that . . . I know that if I don’t go, then I miss something you know. And in our . . . in my mother’s family, I know that religion is very . . . you know, it’s very important and that I know when we went to the Philippines we went to church every morning with Grandpa. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. MA: And so that was, you know . . . SM: And this was common in the Philippines? MA: Yes. And then like at six o’clock they have a prayer, you say a prayer every day. SM: Mmmm. In the family. MA: To the Virgin Mary, yes. And, you know, and those are . . . and like my father’s a really religious man and he goes to [unclear] Church every day, but now it’s kind of hard . . . SM: He does go every day? MA: Yes. It’s kind of, you know, hard. SM: Yes, it’s hard now. So you associate this with the family tradition and . . . MA: Well, and then also like, you know, we’re a pretty close family. You know, do a lot of things. Well, maybe not now, because [chuckles] you know we’re all growing up. But before we were, you know, we’d do a lot of things together. SM: Yes. Well, the feeling is still there, I’m sure. MA: Oh, it is. Yes. And, you know, and that’s one thing, you know, and I . . . well, kind of from my own relatives and everything we learned that the family is really important and, you know, everybody is, you know, if one person isn’t a problem, everybody isn’t a problem, because everybody tries to help one another, you know, it’s not just, you know, solve it on your own. 7

SM: I see. So anytime a big problem comes up for any member of the family then it’s a group . . . MA: Yes, it’s of concern to the family. I mean, it’s a concern to everybody. SM: Yes. And you think this is more true than say with the families of your friends as far you know? MA: I would think so, because like, you know, I’ve got a closer relationship with my parents than I know a lot of my friends do. You know, I mean, like I can go and talk to them about anything I want . . . you know, whether I know they’re going to disagree with me or not. SM: Yes. MA: You know, it’s not like some of my friends. I don’t think . . . I think most . . . like most kids in the group in high school I knew were kids that . . . you know, they never talked to their parents about things, you know. SM: Yes, that’s common. Right. MA: And if I ever . . . if I ever suggested that it would be a good idea if maybe they talked it over with their parents, you know, they would just say, you know, they don’t understand. But sometimes they do, if you really . . . you know. And I would tell them, you know, that sometimes they do know but, you know, they’re just . . . waiting for you to come to them and tell them that, you know, hey, I’ve got a problem, what do I do? You know. SM: Yes. MA: And I said, there’s some problems that I don’t talk to my parents about. But, you know, that doesn’t mean that I don’t . . . you know, care . . . you know, that I care less about them. It’s just that, you know, there are some problems you do have to work out on your own. But like a lot of the major ones, you know, that you suffer, you know, through school or a job, you know, those are all, you know, probably problems that your parents know more about and they can give you suggestions. They don’t have . . . you know, you don’t have to take anything they say seriously if you don’t . . . you know, or do anything they say. You can do what you please. But, you know, it’s nice to have somebody else’s outlook, I guess, on it. SM: Sure. So you would see this as an advantage in having this Filipino tradition, the close family and . . . I mean, this is something you would consider valuable for yourself? MA: Well, yes. Well, because, you know, like if I ever have kids, I would want them to have to come to me before they start going to other people for help. SM: Sure. Right. 8

MA: You know, because like, you know, like, I mean like I would probably . . . you know, like my parents never tell us what to do. SM: Yes. MA: And they never tell us we have to go to this party. We have to go to this thing, you know. SM: [Chuckles] MA: I mean, if we don’t want to go . . . if, you know, because they don’t want us to go and then be a party pooper. SM: [Chuckles] MA: You know, pout about it and . . . SM: Yes. MA: You know, they would rather us stay home and do what we please than go to the party and pout. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. MA: You know, which is . . . you know. I think that’s . . . SM: So they are . . . they are permissive in some ways and very supportive, too. MA: Yes. You know. And you know I think that . . . you know, that that makes them a good parent because they don’t . . . you know, they’re not . . . they give us a little independence, you know, to make our own decisions. You know, they teach us how to make our own decisions at an early age instead of like some of my friends, they’re just learning [chuckles] how to do that, you know. SM: Yes. MA: You know, and I mean . . . because like now, you know, like I’m almost twenty and, you know, I’m still living at home. And I talked to my mom about it and she said, “You know, you can live at home until the day you get married if you want.” You know, which is . . . SM: [Chuckles] Yes. MA: You know, where like I have a lot of my friends where you know, when you turn eighteen, you’re on your own. You know, support yourself through school and . . .


SM: Yes, and then they’re really sort of pushed out. MA: Yes. You know, or they’re being charged to live at home, you know, pay room and board. And, you know . . . [sighs] I don’t know. I just think that . . . SM: And I’m sure there’s quite a bit of that, yes. So that is a real difference then. MA: Yes. SM: What other ways do you think of . . .? Do you think those are the two main ones? MA: I think, yes. Family and religion. But like . . . SM: I was going to say, what about in the church? Are there Filipino priests or sisters or are there many Filipinos there? Or is it simply the Catholic tradition that . . . that your family has always followed and [unclear]? MA: And I think it would . . . I’m not really sure on that. SM: Yes. MA: But I would basically say it’s the Catholic . . . yes, Catholic tradition. SM: Because it’s always been part of your family’s life, I suppose. MA: Yes, I would think so. SM: Yes. You don’t know of any priests or . . .? MA: Well, we . . . there is one here in Minneapolis, I think [unclear]. SM: Mmmm. Yes. But not at your church, I take it? MA: No. But we had . . . we had one. No. He was at Saint Peter’s or Holy Angels or he said Mass there once. SM: Yes. Do any of the second generation go into the priesthood or sisterhood? MA: I have no idea. [Chuckles] SM: You don’t know any that have. MA: I have no idea, no. SM: What about are there any sisters, do you know? Nuns that are Filipino? 10

Unknown Speaker: [Unclear]. MA: Oh, that one that sings really nice. SM: Where is she? Unknown Speaker: [Unclear] SM: Oh, yes. So there’s just a handful maybe in the Cities. Unknown Speaker: Yes. And [unclear] I think. MA: I think so. Unknown Speaker: [Unclear] is. MA: This one. Does [unclear] in Minneapolis? Unknown Speaker: He is in Minnetonka. MA: Oh, in Minnetonka. Unknown Speaker: He is a pastor of [unclear] church in Minnetonka. SM: Oh, there is one that’s pastor. What’s his name? Father . . .? Unknown Speaker: Hmmm. Rinaldo. R-I-N-A-L-D-O [unclear]. He’s a second generation priest. SM: Oh, he is a second generation. Unknown Speaker: [Unclear] SM: Well, that’s interesting. MA: I didn’t know that. [Chuckles] SM: Well, that’s interesting that you didn’t know. [Chuckles] [Unclear] MA: [Chuckles] [Unclear – simultaneous speech] SM: That was a connection. 11

MA: Somewhere. SM: Well, are there any American values that you prefer? Or that maybe your family has kind of adopted, too? It wouldn’t have to be something really outside your family. But do you see second generation especially as maybe picking and choosing from the old tradition and the American? Or are your values mainly Filipino? MA: Hmmm. Maybe I’m . . . [chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] MA: I don’t know. SM: Tough questions. [Chuckles] MA: Yes. Well, maybe like . . . I know like some of my friends say, you know, like their parents would be happier if they dated Filipino boys. But like . . . SM: Oh. MA: With us, you know, it’s . . . you know, if you really like them then . . . SM: Yes. MA: You know, and I think like one of the . . . I think one thing in the Filipino culture is you know like . . . I feel it’s more important to bring them home and introduce them to my parents before I go out with them. SM: Oh, yes. MA: Where, you know, like I know . . . like some of my friends go out with guys and they . . . or you know, even American friends go out with guys and they don’t bring them home until . . . SM: Right. MA: You know, after they’d gone out a couple times, you know. Or parents start bugging them about meeting them. But like . . . you know, like the guy I’m going out with now, I mean he’s . . . he’s, you’d almost think he’s like a Filipino. He’s very well brought up and he has really good manners. And you know, he’s a gentleman and all. [Chuckles] At all expense he’s a gentleman. SM: Oh. And you like that in him, is that right? MA: Because, you know, it . . . you know, like . . . I don’t know. I just . . . I really like that because it makes you feel more like a person, you know, he treats you more like a person, so . . . 12

you know, and I wasn’t really scared to bring him home and introduce . . . you know, [unclear] guys that I’ve gone out with that I just, you know . . . SM: [Chuckles] MA: I would as soon not bring them home. But I have. I’ve brought every guy that I’ve gone out with has met my parents. SM: Yes. MA: You know, and I’m not afraid to do that whether or not, you know, they really like him or not. You know, but I know my parents really like this one. SM: That’s nice. [Laughter] I see. Well, was he brought up in a particular ethnic group or was he just . . .? MA: Well, his family is very religious. I would say his parents are very religious, you know. And they’re kind of like mine, they don’t tell you what to do, you know. They’re not very strict, but they are strict, you know. I mean, there are certain rules you have to follow by, you know. SM: Yes. MA: But not . . . SM: So there’s some similarities with your family. MA: Yes. Maybe that’s what I like. [Chuckles] SM: That’s pretty interesting. What about when you were little and you went to school, say, first grade or kindergarten or whatever? Were there any unpleasant epithets or things that people said? MA: Well, yes. Because there were, you know, like . . . I got called a lot of names and then, you know, I’d always come home and I’d cry, you know. And then, you know, I’d tell my mom, you know, that [speaks in a high whiny voice], “Why do we have to be different?!” You know, because . . . I mean when you’re . . . you know, when you’re born in a culture . . . you know, when you’re . . . you know, you’ve got your culture of Filipino and you’ve got a culture of American, you know, it’s . . . And when you’re young it’s . . . you know, if nobody explains those . . . the difference between the two and the way they’re the same, to you, you know, you get confused in a way. You know, and that’s why like when I . . . you know . . . I don’t know, I’m not like my sister. My sister has a really good sense of self, you know. She’s very . . . she’s very positive about herself. But for me, you know, the name calling and, you know, the experiences of people who were negative towards me, really . . . they really drew me apart, I mean I was just . . . you know, from that stage on then I had a hard time coping with people, you 13

know. I was so paranoid that everybody thought I was . . . you know, different, you know. And I started really thinking I was different. SM: That really was a problem when you were little then or . . . for you, I mean, it was. MA: It was, yes. SM: Yes. Well, what did your mother say when you said, “Why do we have to be different?” MA: Oh, I can’t remember [chuckles] it’s so long ago! You know, but . . . I can’t really remember what she said. SM: Because it is difficult to know for a parent how to help a child, I think, cope with this kind of . . . MA: But she, you know, she always told me to remember that, you know, that because we are different, that doesn’t make me less of a person, you know. If anything, it should make me feel better. You know, I mean, I should feel . . . I’m just . . . you know, I should think of myself as better than them, you know. I mean . . . SM: Yes. MA: You know . . . I don’t know. SM: Because you’re not calling people names and things, too. MA: Yes, you know. And, you know, I’m not . . . you know, and I . . . because I always say, you know, “Well, what can I say back to them?” But, you know, it doesn’t . . . you know, then, you know, would always think, you know, and she’d tell me, you know, like just to . . . You know, then I thought about it. You know, the Golden Rule always says, you know, “Do unto others as you’d have them done to you.” Because you’re always told that in school, you know. Schools always tell you that. Religion. Go to those religion classes, they tell you that. You know. And so, you know, when you think about it, you know, like I never really . . . I never called people back names, you know, unless it really bothered me and it really got to me. But, you know, after . . . when I got to be about in the fifth or sixth grade, I . . . no, I think junior high. I was able to stand up, you know, stand up for myself, you know. But up until then I’d always been . . . come home to mom and cry about it, you know. And then . . . you know. SM: Well, would that be like a couple times a week or every day or . . .? MA: Well, it . . . you know, it depended on the . . . I don’t know. SM: The school you were going [chuckles] . . . Was that around here? MA: Yes. 14

SM: In Richfield. MA: You know, and it depended just on the kids, you know. SM: Yes. MA: You know, maybe it would last . . . you know, they would tease you for a while and if you’d just . . . you know, I remember she used to tell me to just . . . you know, just ignore them and they’ll quit bothering you, you know. SM: Yes. MA: And so like basically that’s what I . . . you know, I just to do is just ignore them. Even though it really hurt, you know, I would just ignore them and just keep reminding myself that I was better. SM: Well, did you have some special friends that you felt at home with and that [unclear]? MA: Oh, yes. I have a friend that lives down the block and she’s been . . . you know. SM: She’s been your friend. MA: We’ve been friends since grade school so . . . [chuckles] SM: Yes. So there was always someone you felt comfortable with in your class. Would that be true or . . .? MA: Well, see, not everybody was mean to me. I mean it was just, you know . . . SM: Oh, it just takes one or two. [Chuckles] MA: Yes. There were only like, you know, a couple. And they were usually guys that picked on you. SM: Oh, it was usually boys? MA: Yes. And, you know . . . and maybe that . . . you know, I don’t know, maybe that was the way . . . you know, they were . . . you know, maybe they experienced prejudice at home and . . . you know, and saw . . . you know, because there weren’t that many . . . well, I don’t like to classify us as different, but, you know, well, like if I did, if I had to, you know, well, there weren’t that many that were like me, you know, who were of a different race that went to the school. Where now, you know, there are . . . SM: Oh, I see. Yes. 15

MA: More kids, you know, of different races going to all-white schools, you know. SM: Right. MA: Where I was like one in a million. [Chuckles] You know. SM: Yes. MA: I mean, there weren’t that many of us. SM: That makes it harder, yes. MA: There was only like two or three of us maybe, I would say. SM: Oh, two or three in the whole school of minority groups? MA: Maybe at the time when I was in school, you know. I mean because . . . and then, you know, with that, that makes it, you know, what if, you know, kids are taught at home, you know, that blacks are bad, and, you know, anybody of a different than us is bad, then, you know, it takes only one different person [chuckles] to change that, you know, to set those values up, you know, that they believe in. And I . . . SM: So you think it would be easier now in Minneapolis or do you? MA: Well, I think like now . . . you know, like now, people are, you know, more aware of minorities and they’re . . . you know. SM: Right. And the schools are slightly more mixed and I think that helps. MA: Yes. The schools are . . . you know, there are more kids, you know, more minorities in the schools now than there were when I was in grade school and junior high. SM: Yes. MA: And like, you know, when I . . . I don’t know. In ninth grade I made a speech in [unclear] I think it was. A friend of mine and three classmates on prejudice and everything. And afterwards, you know, I felt . . . I was so scared that I . . . you know, I had a lot of support. I mean that there were guys and girls that really supported me and they really were, you know, proud that I was their friend, you know. And that made me feel good. That really, you know, made it easier to get over the . . . you know, the hump of . . . you know. SM: Yes. You mean they came up after the speech and told you they liked it?


MA: And told me, you know, that they were . . . you know, they were proud! I mean they . . . you know, they were glad that I finally stepped out and put my . . . you know, voiced my opinion instead of, you know, sitting back and taking . . . you know. And like I remember like in my sophomore year I had a class where you know I mean I knew . . . you know, by then I was able to just joke about, you know, people could say things and I could just joke about it, you know, and it wouldn’t . . . it wouldn’t . . . you know, maybe it would hurt me a little, what people would say. But you know I wasn’t taking it too seriously as I did when I was littler and, you know . . . SM: This was by ninth grade, you said? MA: Yes. And like I remember in my sophomore year I had a class in social studies and the teacher I had was . . . he’s kind of a bigot. He’s kind of . . . you know. But he was . . . you know, I like him. I mean, I liked the way he taught the class, I liked his personality. SM: Yes. MA: You know, and he used to call me Brownie. And, you know . . . SM: He did? MA: And, I mean it didn’t bother . . . you know, to me, that didn’t bother me, you know. I mean, at first when he’d say . . . you know he used to call me that and it bothered me, you know. And people would . . . you know, but I just . . . you know, I . . . he always said it with a smile, so I knew it was . . . SM: [Chuckles] He just didn’t know any better. MA: Just humor. You know, it just humor. And, you know, there were certain things he’d say, you know. He’d call it little brown people and so on. And I had two guys in my class that stood up and just told him off, you know. SM: Did they, in class?! MA: That they . . . you know, they just said that they didn’t think he was being fair and he shouldn’t, you know, he had no right to call me that, you know, because he made . . . I don’t know. He said something that made fun of me and I was hurt and I stood up for it, you know. And they stood up for me. And, you know, that really made me feel good because it made me feel like, you know, more people are aware that we do have feelings. SM: That’s something that two students would stand up and challenge him. MA: You know, that we do have feelings, too, you know! SM: Did he ever apologize or anything? 17

MA: Well, yes, after class, he apologized. SM: Did he? MA: Because I walked out, so he . . . [chuckles] SM: This was in high school. MA: Yes. I walked out of his class, but he . . . you know, the next day, he saw me in the hall. SM: What did he say? MA: You know, because I wasn’t going to go to class. SM: Yes. MA: But [unclear] you know. See, one of the guys had his locker down the hall from mine, so, you know, he told me what he did and he told me what the other guy did. SM: Oh, I see, because you had left. MA: Yes. And he said . . . and then that teacher came up and apologized to me because I went . . . see, I went to . . . I had . . . you know, I told my mother. And my mother told me, you know, see, she had some friends in the office, right. [Chuckles] SM: Yes. MA: You know, at that time . . . SM: Because she was in the school system herself, is that right? Was she a counselor there? MA: Well, she wasn’t working there. SM: Oh. But [unclear]. MA: But she . . . you know, but through her committee meetings and everything else she joined, you know, she had friends in the district. SM: She [unclear] counselor then. Yes. MA: Yes. She had friends in the district who, you know, I could take it up with and . . . SM: Well, it wasn’t just the children, it was the teachers, too; that is disgraceful. Well . . . well, what did they say, do you remember? 18

MA: I can’t remember. SM: Or do you want to . . .? [Chuckles] But it was something that really offended you, anyway. MA: Yes. SM: But that’s interesting that two students challenged him. Were they minority students? MA: No. They were just . . . you know. SM: They were just plain old students. [Chuckles] MA: And here, you know, and I had always thought of them as, you know. Because they were . . . I mean they were kind of, you know, the popular . . . popular guys, you know. SM: Oh. Yes. MA: And I didn’t think they’d stand up for . . . you know, just stand up for somebody . . . SM: Well, those are the ones that can afford to maybe [chuckles] I don’t know. MA: Yes. SM: Or feel sure enough. MA: Yes. I don’t know. But, you know, and that made me feel proud because . . . you know, it made me feel good because, you know, here are two guys that don’t even know me other than I’m in their class [chuckles] and, you know, and they’re kids like me who are just, you know, follow . . . we just follow the trend, we follow the crowd. You know, we just look up to them because they’re . . . you know, they’re so superior . . . you know, I mean you always think of . . . SM: [Laughing] The popular . . . MA: Kids who are popular, superior to the school, you know. And you think of, you know, the jocks and jockettes, you think of them as the big superiors, you know. And anybody else under that . . . anybody else who’s not a jock or jockette is just . . . you know, one of their slaves. [Chuckles] Well, you know, you think of it like that, you know. And you know I felt really, really good because at least I knew other people were aware of that, you know. SM: Right. That is interesting. Just a minute, I’m going to test this . . . . [Recording interruption]


SM: What about among employers or coworkers? Have you experienced any sort of biased sentiments from them? MA: Well, let’s see. Not . . . not really. Like the present job I have at Donaldson’s at Southdale [Mall] is really nice because, you know, my manager told me that her . . . when she . . . you know, she asked me into her office one day to ask me about, you know, my background and stuff. And it was really weird to find out, I think her brother is married to a Hawaiian or something. SM: Oh. MA: And then her other brother . . . you know, or something. And then that Hawaiian sister in law of hers has ancestors who are Filipino, too, or something. So it was . . . SM: Oh. So she’s familiar. MA: Yes, you know. And it was really weird. But like, you know, I don’t know. There are some ladies in our personnel department that I . . . you know, up in the credit that I . . . at one time I, you know, I just felt like they . . . you know, they’re so mean that I just felt like, you know, I thought it was just me that they were mean to, you know. SM: Oh. MA: I mean, because I . . . you know, but then I found out that that’s the way they were to everybody else. So I . . . SM: That’s always a problem. [Chuckles] MA: You know, then I didn’t worry about it, you know. But you know, for a while there it had me worried, you know, that I thought they were being mean to me, just me, you know. SM: Oh, yes. MA: And so I was going to go talk to somebody about it, you know, and see if they could do something about those ladies because you know . . . you know, it was making me feel paranoid. [Chuckles] SM: Well, I can see how it easily could, because you’d be always extra sensitive. MA: Well, because, you know, I haven’t really had that much trouble since high school, you know, I mean or even junior high, really. And so like now it doesn’t . . . you know, now every little . . . you know if anything happens that was of, you know, that was prejudiced against me, it would probably start that whole thing over again, you know. Because like now I feel pretty good. I mean I feel pretty stable about myself and I can stand up against anybody. 20

SM: Yes. MA: If they have something to say against me, I can stand up for myself. At least I think I can, you know, now. Or a lot better than before. But I just think that, you know, it only takes one bad experience to . . . SM: To start it off for you. MA: To start . . . you know, start it over. SM: Yes. MA: Because, you know, I don’t think of myself as really stable, you know, in my . . . SM: In this respect. MA: Yes. SM: Yes. MA: You know, I mean I . . . I just, I think like, you know, between my sister and I, we are two . . . we are really two different people yet, you know, people think we look alike. You know, we look a lot alike. But, you know, she’s . . . she’s a lot more easygoing than I am and, you know, sometimes I envy that, I really wish I could be like that. SM: Well, part of it might have been a different experience, too. MA: Yes. SM: Were there more minorities in their school when she went to school or . . . .? [Recording interruption] SM: Was she not quite as [unclear]? MA: Well, I don’t know. There aren’t a lot, but, you know, there were a lot more than when I was in grade school. MA: She had a lot more. SM: Oh, yes. So that would make a difference [unclear]. MA: And like her . . . we have . . . our cousins live next door. SM: Oh, yes. 21

MA: And the only . . . the age difference between her and my youngest cousin is only a year, so like they were basically in the same school together. SM: Oh, yes. Oh, that would help. Yes. MA: You know, except for, you know, maybe a year in between, when they . . . the transition between schools. But otherwise they’re in the same school together all the time. SM: Sure. MA: So they have each other to count on you know. SM: Right. MA: And, you know, the other one is really strong . . . strong-minded, too, and so, you know, she would stick up for . . . you know, she’d stick up for herself and she’d stick up for Cristy. If Cristy couldn’t handle it, she’d stick up for her, you know. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. MA: And that’s one thing, you know, we’re really, you know . . . even though we’re considered cousins, we are almost like brothers and sisters. SM: I guess so, because you’ve been around, next to . . . MA: You know, we all take care of each other. We . . . because when I was little I used to be the one who took care of everybody and out of the three of us . . . SM: Now you’re the oldest of all them, is that correct? MA: Yes. So I would take care of my two cousins plus my sister during the summer. You know, and I got paid for it. [Laughter] SM: That always helps. [Chuckles] MA: Yes. SM: Well, what about when you go back to the Philippines? What’s your reaction then? I mean, do you look upon this as your roots and take a pretty strong interest in it or is just like traveling anywhere or . . .? MA: Well, it’s not like traveling anywhere. SM: [Chuckles] 22

MA: But it is like . . . you know, it is . . . the last, our last trip in 1976, I really had a good time because, you know, we’re at the point where we’re almost . . . we’re not . . . we’re never going to be as old as my cousins are, I mean, most of my cousins are older than us. SM: Oh, I see. The ones in the Philippines are older. MA: Yes. But it’s just like we were at a point where we . . . you know, we’ve reached an equal level of age, you know, where they can . . . SM: Oh, yes. MA: Where they can relate to us a lot better than when we went in 1969, you know, where I was eleven years old. SM: I see. Yes. MA: And, you know, which is . . . it really was good because we had a good time, we went discothequing and . . . you know, which is something you don’t . . . you know, you’re just beginning to see here, you know. SM: Oh, yes. MA: It was . . . it was fun. You know, we went out, we went bowling, we did a lot of things that ... SM: That you would do here, it sounds like. [Chuckles] MA: Yes. SM: Is it . . .? What would be some of the bigger differences in your life and your cousins’ lives in the Philippines? Is it pretty Americanized or . . .? MA: Well, here, you know, we don’t have any servants to everything. SM: Oh, yes. That would be one difference. Yes. MA: You know, and that’s like . . . when we go home to the Philippines it’s a treat because, you know, we get waited on. [Chuckles] We’re treated like kings and queens. SM: [Chuckles] MA: And that’s . . . I don’t know. That can be good for, you know, once in a while. Unknown Speaker: We have a driver. Hmmm. 23

MA: Yes, we have a chauffeur. [Laughter] Here I’m the chauffeur! SM: [Laughter] This is the do-it-yourself country. MA: But, you know, but I think though that, you know, I wouldn’t . . . I wouldn’t trade our . . . the way we were brought up here for, you know, for anything. SM: Yes. MA: Because, you know, like . . . I mean, I’m not saying that, you know, that the way they were brought up is bad. SM: Servants are nice for a visit. [Chuckles] MA: But, you know, yes. I would . . . SM: You’re more independent in that way. MA: You know, I think that . . . yes, you have a lot more independence when you don’t have, you know, all those special services, you know. SM: Yes. MA: I mean, because I think like even . . . you know, like some of them, you know, they don’t . . . like now, I have my cousins here and, you know, we had to teach . . . you know, we had to tell them that if you’re going to stay here in the States, you’ve got to learn . . . SM: To wash dishes. [Chuckles] MA: Learn to wash dishes, you’ve got to learn to mow the lawn [chuckles] you know, that’s part of taking care of a house is cleaning, mowing the lawn, taking care of the yard, you know. And, well, they learn fast. SM: [Chuckles] MA: Because, you know, I mean, like my one cousin, she, you know, she really enjoyed mowing the lawn. And that was . . . I took her picture and everything. Because even she . . . she had a good time. SM: Oh. Well, yes, you miss out on a lot of things that the servants do, I guess. MA: But like the difference in the mower. SM: Oh. 24

MA: I mean, you know, they just have one of those old style . . . because, you know, grass doesn’t grow, so . . . it’s not like here, the grass grows every time it rains. SM: Oh. I see. Yes. MA: And if it rains all week, it gets to be long or, you know. And so . . . SM: What about their schools? Are they more or less like American schools here? MA: Well, in the Philippines I guess like my cousins all went to private . . . private schools. SM: Oh, I see. MA: Where like, you know, here, you know, you don’t really have that many to choose from, you know . . . I mean, you have a lot to choose from so, you know, and there you don’t have that many to choose from. SM: Are there not as many public schools or they aren’t as good as the private schools or . . .? MA: I don’t know. I don’t think there are, I’m not really sure. I’m not . . . you know, SM: Yes. These were your mother’s relatives? MA: but I . . . from what I interpret . . . I mean, from what I . . . SM: Gather. [Chuckles] MA: Gather, yes. SM: These were your mother’s relatives, is that right? MA: Yes. SM: I see. MA: And like . . . oh, and I think another thing was like we got to go up where my dad lived. SM: Oh. MA: And, you know, and I really liked that because . . . SM: That’s in the north?


MA: Yes. Because, you know, before we were never . . . you know, mom and dad didn’t want to have to take us up there because we were still young and, you know, they didn’t think that . . . SM: Oh, it’s more in that rural area, is it? MA: It’s . . . yes. And it’s . . . but, you know, I was really . . . I felt really, you know, good that they were . . . glad they wanted to share that part with us, you know. SM: And there was quite a large family group there or . . .? MA: My dad’s family is not as big as my mom’s. [Chuckles] SM: Well, I suppose you’ve only been able to be in as close touch since it’s only recently that it’s easier to go back and forth. MA: Yes. SM: But it still [unclear]. MA: But like I want to go back again. SM: Do you? MA: I want to . . . I wanted to go back last summer, but . . . SM: What do you really like the most about going back? Is there some sort of satisfaction in your psyche or . . .? MA: I think . . . no, I just . . . I like, you know . . . well, now I think because like you know the trip last time was so nice because you know relatives made us feel more like their relatives you know and not just, you know, some people that came to visit them. SM: Yes, because they remember the visit from not too long before. MA: Yes. And you know and we can all joke about our visit in 1969. SM: Oh, sure. MA: And even, you know . . . SM: So you have some common experiences, yes. MA: Yes. You know, we can all joke about it, we can look at the pictures and laugh. SM: [Chuckles] See how you’ve grown. 26

MA: You know, see how we’ve grown, you know. SM: Have they been here? MA: Not all of them. My . . . the ones that came in the summer, this is their very first time they ever leave the country. Well, other than, you know, to like China . . . SM: Hmmm. [Unclear]? MA: I think they’ve been to China, been to Japan. SM: Have they, to the mainland China? MA: Yes. SM: Hmmm. MA: And so, you know, but like other than that, you know, they’ve never been this far and like . .. SM: Well, that’s pretty exciting. MA: Like my . . . our last visit, my one cousin’s married. She’s . . . you know, she sent us, when we went back, with all her clothes, you know, she was sending back clothes. “Oh, you can have this, you can have this . . .” SM: [Chuckles] MA: Because she said, “If I . . . you know, I know I’ll never get to the States but at least my clothes will!” [Chuckles] SM: Do any of them think of coming here for college or studies or . . .? MA: I have one who wants to stay. She really wants to stay, she really likes it now. But, you know, it’s kind of hard that . . . SM: She’s here now? MA: Yes. She’s there in California right now. SM: Oh, I see. MA: She’s having a good time, I guess. She wrote me a letter. 27

SM: Wants to stay. [Chuckles] MA: [Chuckles] Yes, she wrote me a letter and said she wants to stay. SM: She’s in college now or she wants to stay for college? MA: No, most all of them are out of college. SM: Oh, I see. MA: Yes. Most of them are . . . SM: They’re older than you. Right. MA: They’re only like . . . I think there’s one who’s younger than me . . . no, there are a couple that are younger than me, but [unclear] the majority of them are out of college or in college and almost done with college. SM: Yes. I suppose at the U you wouldn’t find much . . . biased feeling, would you? MA: No. I don’t know, I haven’t been there that long, so . . . SM: Oh, you just started this fall. MA: I just started this fall. But like, I . . . you know, last year I went to Saint Kate’s and that was a really . . . it was kind of nice because, you know, there were a lot of minorities there. SM: Oh. MA: You know, and like we had a . . . SM: Is that a Catholic high school? MA: Yes. SM: Oh. MA: And there’s a group there, it’s called Kates International which is all . . . it’s organized by the international students and it’s directed by this Indian lady. She’s . . . you know, she’s the director. And it’s really . . . it’s really nice. SM: I see. MA: Because, you know, I . . . and you know, even though I’m not really . . . I’m not really an international student, you know, but yet they invited me to come. 28

SM: Well, you’re part of that anyway. MA: And they tried to get me to . . . you know, and there were kids that were commuters that were Filipino that went there. SM: Yes. MA: And they tried to get me . . . SM: Wait, was it boarding school, too? MA: Well, yes, it’s . . . you know. It’s a private college. SM: Oh, I see. Did you board there? MA: Yes, I lived on campus. SM: Oh, it’s a college. MA: Yes, so I was . . . SM: Oh, Saint Catherine’s. MA: In Saint Paul. SM: Oh, I see. Oh, and so you lived there. And then . . . oh, then you changed to the U. I see. MA: Then it was . . . you know, the kids there were . . . it was . . . it was fun. Like we had a program and they asked me to emcee because I could speak better English than they could. [Chuckles] SM: Ah. MA: And, you know, that was . . . it was really a good night. SM: Yes. So it was a more close knit group of foreign students and Asian Americans [unclear]. MA: Oh, and what I basically noticed was they basically . . . they, you know, stayed together. SM: I see. MA: I mean, you know, they ate their meals . . . they always sat at the same table, you know, and ate together, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 29

SM: Ah. Yes. MA: And they always sat at the same table. That’s why, you know, where like I . . . I don’t know. SM: And you lived there, too. MA: I kind of felt like, you know, I didn’t really like to do that. I mean, I did it once in a while, but I really preferred eating out with . . . you know, eating with my friends from my floor, you know. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] Yes. Well, you felt more at home there than the foreign students, probably. MA: Yes. SM: Yes. MA: Of course, you know, and like the girls that were on my floor are so nice, you know, we were just . . . and like I never . . . you know, I didn’t . . . see, I usually didn’t stay there on weekends. I was usually home working. SM: Oh, yes. MA: And then, you know, I’d come home. So and that was basically my . . . you know, that’s basically the hardest thing about my . . . about going back. That’s why I didn’t go back because I was really unhappy because I didn’t like being away from home. SM: Oh, yes. So you’d prefer to live here. MA: I wasn’t ready to leave yet, you know. SM: Yes. But is there much of a group at the U of foreign students that stay together or is it separated by country [unclear]? MA: Well, like there are . . . not really. There is an Asian American culture center or it is the Asian Student Center. SM: Right. MA: Asian American Student Center. And so, you know, but like . . . and I’m on this . . . it’s . . . I’m on the board, the advisory board, but right now they’re having a little trouble with the constitution. They haven’t drawn one up yet. And so they’re . . . they’re not . . . the center isn’t really open and they’re . . . SM: Oh, it isn’t open yet? 30

MA: No, it isn’t. I don’t know. I’ve gone there a couple times but it isn’t open. It’s never open when I go there. You know, it’s never open when it’s supposed to be. SM: Oh, [unclear]. But maybe not even then. MA: It’s only open . . . it said they’re eleven to three and it’s never open when I go there, so . . . I don’t know. I’ve never seen it. But, you know, there is a place for the kids to go but like . . . and like I’m in this Martin Luther King program, and see and that is basically, you know, where I see mostly the kids in the room, 19 Johnston Hall. They serve . . . most of the kids are, you know. SM: That’s in Johnston Hall, the Martin Luther . . .? MA: Yes. SM: Well, what goes on there? MA: It’s, you know, it’s the head office where the counselors are and you can go to see . . . SM: Oh, I see. MA: See them for advice on anything. And they have like . . . and like, you know, they have tutors for most of the programs. SM: Well, that isn’t the same as the Minority Resources Center? MA: No. They’re in two different buildings. SM: I see. Well, this Asian American Student Center, is that Asian students and Asian Americans that come here? MA: I guess so. SM: Hmmm. Well, it sounds like it’s more sort of close knit group at Saint Catherine’s, maybe because it’s a smaller [unclear]. MA: Yes, I think so. But like, you know, like I don’t see [unclear]. But I think like the Vietnamese hang around together. And you know and . . . SM: And the Chinese tend to, yes. MA: And the Chinese. You know, they stay very close together. And like they’re always having . . . they have a lot of cultural programs, you know, that are put on by the Mexicans and the Chicanos and the . . . 31

SM: Yes, right. There is always something going on. [Chuckles] MA: Yes. SM: Yes. Well, I suppose maybe when you’re living at home you don’t feel the same need to . . . go to those or . . .? MA: Well, I don’t, because, you know, I have the Filipino groups to go to. SM: Right, in the city that you’re already . . . MA: You know, and there aren’t that many. And most of us that go there are members of these Filipino groups, so we don’t really . . . we don’t really see a need to, you know, go to those. SM: Right. [Unclear.] MA: You know, because we’re . . . you know, we have our own already. SM: Right. MA: And we’re having a hard time setting up our own. [Chuckles] So we’re, you know . . . SM: Yes. Well, that makes sense. Well, what kind of work or study would you like to go into? MA: I want to go into . . . business . . . well, sort of business, hotel management. And so like right now I’m working towards business. Having a hard time, but I’m working towards it. Because I am interested in hotel management. SM: Are you? How did you get interested in that? [Unclear – everyone talking at once] MA: Traveling. SM: [Chuckles] MA: And then I also . . . or else like a travel agent or something. SM: Oh. MA: Because I like to travel. I hate the plane ride. It’s only the taking off and . . . SM: [Unclear] 32

MA: Taking off and landing is all I don’t like [chuckles] but otherwise I like traveling. SM: Have you ever been by boat to the Philippines? MA: We . . . we had the chance to ride the boat when we went from [unclear] to [unclear] from where my uncle lives. SM: Oh, I suppose. Once you’re there you go a [unclear]. MA: Yes, from where my uncle lives to where my mom and my aunt lived. SM: I see. MA: And that was . . . that was an experience. [Chuckles] SM: That must be really beautiful with all those islands and . . . MA: Well, you know, what’s so different about this boat ride was this boat was kind of modern. SM: [Chuckles] MA: Because I remember when I went back when I was really . . . you know, I was only like in first grade, I think it was. And I went with my aunt and my cousin. SM: Oh. MA: My aunt and my cousin because I was only like about two. And I remember when we rode the boat, that there were these [chuckles] the . . . where you go to go to the . . . .