It’s not expensive to raise nine children, because the children don’t complain.: 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
  • Alojado children with their nanny, 1957. Minnesota Historical Society.
    Victorino Alojado with his wife Ursula, June 1952. Minnesota Historical Society.

    Class & Work

    Education, Family, Filipino, Marriage

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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

    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. Large families have traditionally been very common in the Philippines, especially among working class families.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Victorino Alojado 3
    3:8 Minutes | 3.01Mb


    Narrator: Victorino Alojado (VA)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: How did you meet your wife?

    VA: She was enrolled at the Zamboanga Normal School and I was enrolled in that trade school. Just close; our school is just close to each other, you know. Her father is a soldier, U.S. Army, and my father is also a soldier in the U.S. Army. And we live in the housing. They called it barrio, where enlisted men and the family lives, and they lived just across… We called it Santa Barbara. They lived there. And we used to meet each other during school days. After school days, we’d go home from school, we'd just walk on the boulevard going downtown, going home, every afternoon.

    LM: What’s her name?

    VA: Her name is Ursula Jacob.

    LM: And what was Ursula Jacob studying? What was she going to be?

    VA: You know, normal school, after graduation, they are to be a teacher, elementary teachers.

    LM: So she became a teacher?

    VA: She became a teacher after the war.

    LM: And how many children did you and Ursula raise?

    VA: I’ve got nine kids. Danilo is adopted son; one girl.

    LM: So you had the nine boys…no, eight boys and one girl.

    VA: Yeah.

    LM: So what was it like raising a family of nine children?

    VA: You know, in the Philippines at that time it's really not expensive to raise that kind of…eight or nine children. Because those children really doesn’t complain. Whatever you had, they already contented, you know.

    LM: So you were a happy family?

    VA: Yeah, we are happy and we lived happily with those kids. And at that time, my father is living with me. My father is a widower, so my dad is also a U.S. pensioner and helped me at that time.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun: Spanish word for neighborhood.


    Adjective: Satisfied; happy.

    normal school

    Noun: A school or college for the training of teachers.


    Noun: Someone who lives on a retirement benefit; an elderly person.

    trade school

    Noun:  A school that teaches specific job skills, rather than general academic subjects.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2122