Photographic odyssey is tribute to first Filipino migrants in Hawaii

November 7, 2013  |   |  1 Comment
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A photo from Ilocandia: A Photographic Odyssey on display at Hamilton Library.

A photo from Ilocandia: A Photographic Odyssey on display at Hamilton Library.

In celebration of Filipino-American History Month, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library, the Center for Philippine Studies and the City and County of Honolulu present the exhibit, Ilocandia: A Photographic Odyssey, A Tribute to the First Filipino Migrants to Hawaiʻi. The photo exhibition by award-winning photojournalist David Leprozo Jr., Kristian Leprozo and Art Tibaldo is on display at Hamilton Library on the first and fourth (Asia Collection) floors until November 30.

The exhibit depicts current lifestyles of the Northern Philippines, the region which most Filipino immigrants to Hawaiʻi came from before the turn of the 20th century.

More on the Ilocanos

The term “Ilocano” was derived from the words “i” (from) and “looc” (cove or bay), which when combined means “people of the bay.” Ilocanos are descendants of mixed races (the Austronesian/Malay, Chinese, Indian and Spanish). Early Austronesian ancestors of the Ilocanos arrived in the Philippines through barangays (boats) and settled throughout the country.

An exploration led by Juan de Salcedo led him to the coastal towns of what is now Vigan, Currimao and Laoag. He found the people living in coves and described them as more barbarous than the Tagalogs in Manila. When he conquered the area, he established a province called Ilocos, which originally was comprised of what is now Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and parts of Abra and La Union.

Ilocanos are the most migrant of all the ethnic Filipino groups. In the 19th century, the mounting population pressure due to substantial population density and the search for better opportunities moved the Ilocanos to leave their homeland.

The Ilocos Region (aka Ilocandia) is located at the northwestern tip of Luzon in a narrow plain squeezed between the barren Cordillera mountain ranges and the South China Sea. Inspired by the promise of a much better life, the Ilocanos immigrated to the United States in 1906.

The first wave of Ilocano migration to Hawaiʻi was from 1906–1919. Most of the Ilocano migrants worked in sugarcane plantations, along with recruits from Germany, Portugal, China, Japan and Korea. The second wave occurred from 1920–1929 and was the largest Filipino migration in Hawaiʻi of about 73,996 Ilocano people. Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Filipinos are reportedly the largest Asian ancestry group in Hawaiʻi.

A UH Mānoa news release

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  1. Alfredo B Macabio Jr. says:

    I’m so proud that I am a Filipino here in Hawaii. Through the petition of my sister, a Nurse before in Wahiawa General Hospital waiting for almost 23 years. My sister petition us a family last 1985 then we came here in America last 2008 with my wife and 2 sons who are under aged and had 2 children living in Philippines becaused they are overage when the time our petition approved to land in America as immigrants. Hawaii is our entry point of my family (Magday-Macabio) because my sister lives here in Hawaii. At the same year 2008, my family went to Utah through the invitation of my sister-inlaws ( Manang Norma Magday Hawpe – my wife’s sister ), because the life style was not expensive, the food, the house and lots of job opportunities. And I said to my family ” go first to see what the condition if is good place to lived, the job and climate. I went there last November 2009, I stayed for 3 months but the climate is not fitted for me because my legs got swollen and my whole body was itchy, so I decided to go in Los Angeles through the invitation of my bestfriend and co-worker in Regal Films Inc., Jonathan del Rosario and also, he is the one who recommended me in Regal Films Inc. to work as a Post-Production Technician in Regal Television where he was working as Video-Audio Editor. My bestfriend’s brother had a Homecare in Vanalden Avenue at Northridge CA, so I went there from Utah to LA 2010 February, working there as caregiver because I studied CNA course here in Hawaii while working as Direct Social Worker at Home and Community Services of Hawaii in Waipahu on weekends and at the same time volunteers in Wahiawa General Hispital-Long Term. For almost one month worked there, I decided to lived out so through facebook I contacted my niece on my father’s side relative. Living out from Homecare, my relatives, The Tolentino’s help me, my foods, my shelters and jobs-help me to find a job, Bonna and his husband gave me a laptop computer on my first day night on her sister Grace, the place I lived in North Hills. I spend 1 year in LA then decided going back here in Hawaii last 2011 because it is cold also. I worked as a Caregiver in agencies Prestige Healthcare, Foremost Healthcare, Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind at Reseda and last at Shalom Elderly Care Inc. Right now, I’m working at Kahala Nui – Senior Community, as a Certified Nurse Aide and at the same time, a student at Kapiolani Community College, planning to take LPN. This is my story as a immigrant here in Hawaii, in Philippines I’m X-Ray Technologists in Dr. Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital at Kamuning Road Quezon City and finished my Associate in Radiological Technology in Ortanez University of Cubao, Quezon City Class 1983. MAHALO! I meet Dave Leprozo Jr. and Art Toledo in Hamilton Library of University of Hawaii, I’m so proud that I meet them while I’m doing my assignments in the Library at that time October 30, 2013.

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