I was paid 200 pesos a month.: 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 working on a bridge project, Ada, Minnesota, summer 1994.

    Class & Work

    Economics, Filipino, Work

    Essential Question

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

    Class & Work: How important is work in defining a person’s identity?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    After World War II ended in 1945 and the Philippines gained independence from the United States, which had governed it as a territory since 1898, the Philippines began to suffer from a slowed economy. The Philippine Refining Company, now known as Unilever Philippines, is a major coconut oil manufacturer. It also makes personal care products like soap and toothpaste and foods like margarine and ice cream.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Adelbert Batica 2
    1:44 Minutes | 1.68Mb


    Narrator: Adelbert Batica (AB)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: What was your first job in the Philippines and how did you get it?

    AB: My first job was as a merchandiser for Philippine Refining Company, which is a subsidiary of Unilever. Our next door neighbor at the time was a sales supervisor for the company and he offered me that job. But, let me back track. Maybe a few months before I was offered this job with Philippine Refining Company, my father died of a heart attack after making his last house call. So, really, the burden of supporting the family fell on my shoulders, being the oldest son and the oldest in the family. So I took this job with the Philippine Refining Company.

    LM: Do you remember how much you were paid for it?

    AB: You won’t believe it, but I was paid the equivalent of 200 pesos a month.

    LM: Two hundred pesos a month?

    AB: Yes.

    LM: What was the dollar equivalent at the time?

    AB: At the time though, 200 pesos would have been maybe 60 to 70 dollars.

    LM: A month?

    AB: Yes.

    LM: That was in the year 1972?

    AB: 1972.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun: A heavy load; a responsibility; a cause of worry.


    Adjective: Similar or identical in value, meaning or effect.


    Noun: A person who buys and sells goods.


    Noun: The unit of currency in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and the Philippines.


    Noun: A company owned by the parent company or holding company.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 2119