Memories to Light
My family's history is inextricably linked with the history of Filipinas/os in Stockton, California. My maternal grandfather, Delfin Paderes Bohulano, immigrated to San Francisco from Kalibo, Aklan Province, Philippines in 1929 and worked all over the West Coast. During World War II, he met and married my grandmother Concepcion Moreno in Palompon, Leyte, when he was fighting with the First Filipino Infantry Regiment, and where my Cebu City raised grandmother and her family were finding refuge on their ancestral land. After the war, my grandparents attended college in the Philippines in the GI Bill and had two children, Delfin Jr. and my mother Christine. My grandfather brought his young family back to California in 1952 and found work as a labor contractor in rural Tracy, 20 miles south of Stockton. Two daughters, Virginia and Adeline, were born in Tracy. My grandmother Concepcion worked in the fields, as the camp cook for my grandfather's workers, in local canneries, and in 1962, was hired as the first Filipina American teacher for the Tracy Unified School District. My grandparents purchased a home in South Stockton in 1955, using the Veteran's loan program. My family's home movies, which date to the mid-1950s, record the many family gatherings my grandparents hosted in their South Stockton home as their extended family grew with increased postwar immigration and the baby boom and with marriages of my mother and her siblings, weekends visiting friends in San Diego, Salinas, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and important family events and parties. My grandparents were also very involved in the local Filipino American community, including the building of Stockton's Filipino Center in the early 1970s. The movies in the 1960s and 1970s record community events, family gatherings, weddings, baby and wedding showers, trips to New York and Washington, D.C., and Atlantic city, my family's emotional return visit to the Philippines in 1967, the funerals and family gatherings o