Growing up in the Philippines.: Becoming Minnesotan

Addi Batica at Macchu Picchu, Peru, 2004. Minnesota Historical Society, Oral His
  • Name - Adelbert Batica
  • Age at interview - 61
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 01.26.2011
  • Addi Batica reunited with his family after 18 years.

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    Essential Question

    Life in the Old Country: What makes a country a person’s homeland?

    Traditions & Values: What makes up “culture”?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    The Philippines is an island archipelago nation in Southeast Asia, with a tropical climate. Life in the Philippines tends to be centered around the family and the church. The family may be an extended one, with close relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Traditionally the family has been patriarchal, with the father in charge, and the children expected to have great respect for their elders.

    To learn more about Filipino history and culture, visit our Filipino Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Adelbert Batica 1
    4:15 Minutes | 4.1Mb


    Narrator: Adelbert Batica (AB)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: Describe your childhood home and where it was.

    AB: Our home was in the small town of Basey, Samar, just opposite Tacloban, which is the capital of Leyte. And tt was a two-story house. The house had a front yard and a backyard, and there were trees in the yard, coconut, mango, cacao, citrus, avocado. At least those were the trees I can remember.

    LM: Did you climb trees when you were a little boy?

    AB: Oh, yes, coconut trees. [Laughter]

    LM: You must have had a big yard.

    AB: Oh, yes. We also raised chickens in our backyard.

    LM: What did you enjoy doing as a child?

    AB: Just you know, the normal things that a kid would love to do, playing with my friends, especially playing Patintero on moonlight nights.

    LM: I would like you to describe that.

    AB: Well, it’s, how would you call it? It’s a catch-me-if-you-can. There is a starting point and there are kids who guard its point. Until you get to the end of the line, if you’re able to get reach that, that’s your goal.

    LM: Does it have a required number of players?

    AB: If I remember it correctly, there were no required number of players. We just played it. In fact, I remember when I was young; the whole line just stretched one block. That was what we had to navigate when we played. [Chuckles]

    LM: Was it a game for males, a game for females, or was it a game for everyone?

    AB: It was a game for everyone.

    LM: That sounds fun.

    Now, in your household, am I right in saying that there was a time when you had three generations in one household?

    AB: That’s correct, especially during my elementary years. My maternal grandparents lived with us, as well two uncles and one aunt.

    LM: Wow. That’s very, very interesting. What did you enjoy the most about your grandparents?

    AB: Well, I learned a lot from them. Because both my parents were busy with their own lives — my mother was very active in church; my father was always busy at the clinic. So I spent more time with my grandparents. My grandmother was the one who helped me with my homework and she was the one who made sure that I did my schoolwork. My grandfather, taught me...beginning when I was in fourth grade, he started getting me acquainted with the Spanish language.

    LM: It was your grandfather who started..?

    AB: Yes. My father was also fluent in Spanish, but my grandfather’s English was very poor, so he decided to start conversing with me in Spanish, and I started learning it early on.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Adjective: Personally known; familiar.


    Noun: A tree, Theobroma cacao, whose seed is used to make chocolate.


    Verb: To talk; to engage in conversation. (converses, conversing, conversed)


    Adjective: Able to speak a language accurately, rapidly, and confidently; in a flowing way.


    Noun:  1. A period of around thirty years, the average amount of time before a child takes the place of its parents.  2. A group of people who are of approximately the same age.


    Adjective: Related through the mother, or her side of the family.


    Verb: To follow a planned course. (navigates, navigating, navigated)


    Verb:  To need; to call for as necessary.  (requires, requiring, required)


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2114