I had to cut firewood; that’s the job they gave me.: Becoming Minnesotan

Victorino Alojado on his 90th Birthday, March 5, 2011.
  • Name - Victorino Alojado
  • Age at interview - 89
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 01.28.2011
  • Victorino Alojado and soldiers at the army fort in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

    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

    The United States took control of the Philippines in 1898, after defeating the Philippines’ original colonizer, Spain, in the Spanish American war. From that point until the 1990s the U.S. maintained a strong military presence in the country, stationing troops at Army and Naval bases, even after the Philippines gained their Independence from the U.S. in 1946. Many Filipinos were recruited to join the U.S. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, and served on these bases.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Victorino Alojado 2
    1:22 Minutes | 1.33Mb


    Narrator: Victorino Alojado (VA)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: Do you remember your very first job when you were young?

    VA: I didn’t work at that time; I was still young. I’m still going to school. But when I get married, when I get my wife with me, my brother-in-law is in the U.S. Army, and he give me a job, as a…

    LM: What kind of job was it?

    VA: I had to cut firewood, for delivering in the Army, and the houses. That’s the job they gave me.

    LM: Do you remember how much you were paid?

    VA: I don’t remember but they paid not by the hour, by the day.

    LM: Were you paid in pesos?

    VA: Yeah, we are getting paid in pesos. That’s like a federal job, federal job. That’s the only job they give me so I can support my family. But I am supported by my parents. I lived with my parents at that time.

    LM: Because you were still young.

    VA: Yeah.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Adjective: Relating to the national government, as opposed to state or local government.


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


    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: 2121