Eudosia B. Juanitas (interview #2)
Recorded by Ruby de Luna
Track 2: AMBI sound with doorbell and Eudosia saying “coming”
Track 3: Eudosia B. Juanitas
[and what year did you come here again?]
[I want to know when you became a citizen of the US]
Now, let me see, after uh, after the war. After the war, you know the last war.
[How did it feel when you finally became a citizen?]
Oh, it was alright..hahaha
[How did you feel…did you feel happy did you feel sad?]
No, just as usual because I didn’t care where I was going any. See, after I graduated high school, no after I graduated nursing.
[And um, when you first came to the US you weren’t a citizen…so you and your Filipnio friends did you feel sad, how did you feel not being a citizen?]
No, we didn’t feel nothing. I don’t know for him but for me, I didn’t care. That’s why I came here um, we uh, I didn’t really. I didn’t know what to do after I graduated see. Right away, after uh from um, from the place where I graduated in Manila. I came home first and then he took vacation and we meet in our place because he’s also in a townmate see. And uh, it so happened that he was also uh, he went to the Philippines and I went also to my native town for a vacation and then we meet there. We got married right away and then we rode the boat coming here.
[Do you remember um, there was uh, Filipino community here in Stockton and um do you remember if anybody was fighting for their citizenship here?]
No there was no.
[What were people saying because there was a lot of laws at the time when you were here in the 30s and 40s. There was the Tydings McDuffie Act..do you remember that? There were a couple of laws that excluded Filipinos from a lot of things, from some of them were excluding Filipinos from gaining citizenship….]
Oh, I was later, maybe that was before me when there were troubles. Because uh, they could not even get along with the Filipinos. Some Filipinos you know, they came from Hawaii and they are disobedient, so the police they tell them something, sometimes they kick them. Yeah, before. See.
Well, you know, those Filipinos they drink too, they drink. And then when they drink they talk too much and they’re disobedient too, that’s why. Oh they talk and talk to the police or whatever see. So and I.
[What did the police do?]
Oh, just a little bit uh because they were already sitting down there on the ground you know, near the store.
[Who is this]
You know those men, those Filipino men were sitting like, as in the Philippines we down there in the floor there. And some of them were doing that too you know and uh, they were discussing with the police and some they that’s why. But, I didn’t see any harsh thing that they did. They just uh say them, get up get up and go.
[Was there any discrimination against the Filipinos?]
At that time, um, there was no thing, at least they were discriminated by the Filipnos because there were also other nationality that came later. The Filipinos were ahead of any other becase they came from Hawaii in the plantation, the sugar plantation. So many of them uh, went to the States and they had already their job over here before I came you know. I don’t know because it was 1936, Filipinos were here already. From the plantation in Hawaii they move over here see.
[Your husband…did he ever talk about wanting to become a US citizen?]
yeah, he became a US citizen.
[How did he feel when he became a US citizen?]
He was alright because he was first here you know and uh, it so happened that the wife died already and he went home and accidentally we met each other and it didn’t take long because I want to really go any place. Among the brothers and sisters were ten and I was left alone you know. I graduated in nursing and then I felt so sad you know when I uh oh mostly all your elders are all grown you know. Most of them died at that time.
[So you lived in a Filipino community here…can you describe what it was like?]
Yeah, there were few women. Those women came from Hawaii. See they plant in the they work in the sugar plantation together with men see. I had only known, so, little bit of them, little bit. So uh, sometimes we meet only in town because we have our place there over in the ranch..a few miles from here. My husband has a farm already when we came here and uh everytime we had (?) we come to town and we meet those ladies you know, there are very few of the men had wives because there’s very few Filipino women, not until after they uh, they let they’re called Okloy fro Oklahoma did they let them come in and that’s the time they intermarry with them.
[So did the Filipino men…did they date white women?]
Yeah, they call that Okloy from Oklahoma.
[Wasn’t that against the law?]
Oh, well, maybe little by little, later on when I was here. Maybe before you know. But when I was here, they could date them.
[Did you notice any,…because there were riots too at that time…when the Filipno men would get beaten up for dating white women]
No, not at that time, no more. See, before that I don’t know but when I came in 1936 there was not any more riot. No, see.
[Do you remember hearing about Carlos Bulosan?]
[there were a lot of Filipnos who were joining unions…what were they saying about farm labor? Do you remember?
[Why were they joining unions?]
4:09 When I came here you know, they were starting to organize themselves very well. There was no fight about that during at that time. See.
[Can you tell me about that?]
Well, they have first the Filipino community see and those Filipnos uh, with few women, sometimes uh, well it’s hard you know to get a woman because there was no, even white women don’t get acquainted with them except later on when they imported they send some American women, that’s the only time.
[So what about the farm labor unions? Do you remember the farm labor unions? Can you tell me about that?]
Farm labor union. Yeah, there was union and uh, oh, the Filipnos were uh, sort of united that time. See. They, uh I didn’t uh, there was a little bit of something you know but I didn’t notice them very much at that time.
[Were any of your friends involved?]
Yeah, but it wasn’t much now, it was disappearing. There uh the acquaintance with the Americans see. The only thing was the, that they were not treated good because there was uh yeah, dancing place there you know where the women was. And they drink too that’s why. Sometimes they are driven there in the street, because they stay there and talk and then talk loud and have some loud conversation and the police didn’t like that.
[What about the dancehalls can you tell me about that?]
The only thing that I have heard uh, but I was not there before that. But uh, those uh police were kicking the Filipinos, but at my time they were not doing it anymore because the Filipinos were obedient too the only thing when they drink too much, they resist and talking but they usually obey. There was nothing, they weren’t hurt at that time, no more, very cruel to them anymore.
[You think the police were right in kicking them?]
I don’t know, I didn’t see them. They were just talking to me. But they were treated like that before because there was a dancing hall and there was this Filipino also. They drink and uh, they go to the dancing hall and by and by they come out you know and …
They are very noisy, they drink…it was hard to manage them But I was not with them because we lived four miles from here see.
[Were there some place in Stockton where Filipinos weren’t allowed to enter?]
No, there was not at that time.
[How did you get citizenship? Do you remember?]
yeah, we uh, we have a test you know. I dunno if I have a test, I forgot. Because uh, after that yeah, after the war there was uh, they had that um, the nurses have uh, there things you know to take examination before you come in but uh, myself I didn’t have to take examination because I graduated in the Philippines and I didn’t have to take a board examination, see. And they allowed me to go in training right away and then there was a question with the uh superintendent of nurses there see. First they tried me for about, I think uh, one or two years. And they still did not give me my registration thing. And then uh, I was ready to go to Sacramento to complain about it so later on they give me the write, they give me the thing to practice.
[Was this the nursing test?]
See, first you have to, what you call that uh, to work there you know, without any wages or anything, just work. Training first see, but they have certain years already. I think I, I worked there only for three years in the San Joaquin County…..
(about working in nursing) (Group 3: 4)
[Do you remember what year you got your citizenship?]
Oh, (laughs) I forgo. I think uh, it was several years, right away after the war. I applied and then I got it right away, see. That’s why I was able to work, otherwise they won’t allow you, if you have no career see, in the hospital.
[When you first got here, you weren’t allowed to get citizenship…no..did you want to get citizenship when you first got here?]
I was not thinking of it first, I said, I’ll just wait and it so happens that with the war see. Not until after the war, that I tried and then because what they did was they had a favorite with the Filipinos because they were good soldiers, very good soldiers, fighter. So they allowed the Filipinos to be citizens. That was after the war, but before that no. They were so uh, they were so helpful with the Americans see. So the Filipnos were getting better too because they were treated nice and that social hole was there of course you know because there was no Filipina for the Filipnos too. Only few, only few girls from Hawaii see and they are sad too. Then later on the government approved the uh, of those from uh, certain place, certain kind of state that they allowed California and then some of them married them.
[Do you remember how your friends felt when they found out that you could get citizenship]
Oh see there were only about fiver or six Filipinas, sometimes we just met you know. Later on we got away from the ranch you know where we were doing because my husband was working in the field. In that ranch there in Libby and Sitner and then we got the house so that time I was not uh, not mingling with them so much see, because of that. But they are still the same you know.
[So did you like living I the US at that time?] (Group 3: 5)
Well, for me I said in any place, I didn’t care. So long as I get away from my place ther too see. Because uh, just imagine, I was the last you know, that was taking education and uh, they didn’t even care for me, for my studies. And uh, lucky at that time the hospital provide us….(about working in the Philippines…going to school there )
[So you were happy just being here and it didn’t matter if you were a citizen or not?]
I worked hard to be a citizen. It’s better to be a citizen. You see, uh, if you study here it would be nice to be a citizen because whatever they are doing for their own students they will do for you see.
[You didn’t get to vote either, and you’re not able to work, you’re not able to go to school..how did you feel about that?]
I just waited and waited see. And uh, you know the first time you work in the hospital you don’t know anybody and sometimes you know you ask them to help you and some will help but some they have sort of discrimination (laughs)
[Can you talk about that a little bit? How was that?]
Well, like uh, that uh superintendent of the nurses because uh, I had only I think I had not completed my uh, one subject and uh, I have to take that for a year there in the hospital, so she thinks that I don’t know anything about it…(about hospital…not much here to use)
Group 3: 6
[You said that you felt some discrimination from this woman?]
No, the workers only.
[Can you describe a situation that happened?]
Oh well, you know because uh, most of the women are fat so I can’t even move them. Some are nice and some are not, but those are differences in people. So I just keep quiet, but it was hard for me, I could not even uh, let the patient roll, because he’s too fat, I could not carry.
[So what did you do?]
I ask other workers to, and sometimes they pity me you know because I’m new there and the only Filipina there that’s working.
[Was it hard working with white people?]
No, some. I think it’s really individual what kind of woman you are. You help or they will help you see.
[So you didn’t feel discrimination outside of that, not working on the farm?]
Well, you see my husband was a labor contractor. He supplied labor. There was a company called Libby and Sitner….(again, about them working in the farm…not much different from what I got before)
Group 4: 7
I stayed here in Stockton most of my life, since 1936. Mostly, lots of Filipinos here in Stockton. The one that uh, you see, in Hawaii, they got all those places in Hawaii before they were working and as soon as they transferred here, all of them mostly came. (my voice) you see they were not married because the Filipinos in Hawaii, most were men and uh, they came here and they intermarry here, they could not, sometimes they get their women you know but uh, it’s hard when there are a few women and not so many men. And uh, maybe later so that government was trying to place them too to bring some women here from the white…
[What did they do again?]
They get some Filipnos to come here to work here in the packing house like that or in the field.
(more about more Filipino men, not women)
[Overall were you happy to be living in the United States and why?]
Yes, well uh, I was the last to graduate uh I was telling you…(about how her family didn’t pay for her education in the Philippines, etc….so she was just so happy to go anywhere, US or not)
I was the last to graduate, I did not know what to do with my life and I didn’t care about the place I was living in, mostly, all away and I have nobody you know, so I felt so sad about myself.
(about meeting her husband) he was looking for a wife and I didn’t love him, he should know that, I just wanted to leave that place
Group 3: 8
(about her mother and father fighting, father drunk, etc.)
Group 3: 9
[Again, I asked you this before but I’ll ask it again…how did you feel about becoming a citizen of the United States?]
I loved to because uh, there are so many things that they allow you to do when you’re a citizen see. So I, it you will be left away if you are not a citizen and uh of course there are so many of the Filipinos that I know, they didn’t study they just go on and work in the field and they go in the Philippines and they take vacation and they come back. They were allowed to do that but I took the advantage of getting a vacation here see.
[How would you have felt if they didn’t give you citizenship?]
Well, uh, I will not feel anything because it is not the law. Everybody is affected by the law, but once you know, uh, there is discrimination then you get made at it see.
[What would you do if there was discrimination?]
Well, I would just go to Sacramento and discuss it there. I am not afraid yeah,
[And um, did your husband experience discrimination?]
No, uh because his work was only supply labor, he wasn’t affected by those kind see.