I was already teaching.: Becoming Minnesotan

Belen Andrada receiving an award from the FMA seniors.
  • Name - Belen Andrada
  • Age at interview - 84
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 12.01.2010
  • Belen Andrada's Master of Arts Degree in Education graduation portrait, 1952.

    Class & Work

    Education, Filipino, Work

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    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

    The Philippines were colonized by Spain in the 1500s and taken over by the U.S. after the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Americans started free, public American-style education in the Philippines, which became one of the most educated nations in Asia. After Philippine independence in 1946 the country was free to move their educational system in their own direction, including a move towards teaching in Tagalog or other Filipino languages rather than solely in English.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Belen Andrada 2
    1:36 Minutes | 1.55Mb


    Narrator: Belen Andrada (BA)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: So were you a teacher, a young teacher in the Philippines before you left for the United States?

    BA: Right. I was already teaching. In fact, I had a class that I really followed through from first year to fourth year - the class of 1955. I had them for algebra, geometry, higher algebra, trigonometry, and physics. And this was the class that had their fiftieth class reunion in 2005, and they made sure I was there for that reunion. And yet, many of them are already professionals, and some are in the United States.

    LM: So I would guess that you taught math.

    BA: Yes. My bachelor’s degree was in mathematics and minor in physics. Those were the classes that I was teaching at the high school level. So that when I graduated from my bachelor’s degree in 1950 from the University of Santo Tomas, I taught for four years. There was an interval there because the college also sent me to Manila to work towards my master’s degree. When they were applying for a college – you know, they wanted the high school now to become a college - they needed so many master’s degree graduates and so many PhDs. So I went for three summers and one school year.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun: A period of time.


    Noun: The branch of science concerned with the study of properties and interactions of space, time, matter and energy.


    Adjective:  Describes a specific field of work that requires above average education and a specific set of skills.

    Noun: A person who works in a job that requires a lot of skills or training.


    Noun: The branch of mathematics that deals with the relationships between the sides and the angles of triangles and the calculations based on them.


    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: 2118