Filipino Love Stories

Dahil Sa Iyo

Dahil Sa IyoFilipino Women's Club of San Luis Obispo County Officers, 1971-1973Christmas Party. First meeting of the San Luis Obispo Women's Club.While marriage brought Filipina women to the United States, these ‌women also created other new social bonds. They raised families, worked, brought Filipino culture and folk traditions through food, songs, and dance, and bridged the gap between the Filipino American community and the larger society through civic participation. Their lives both reflected and facilitated the changing perceptions of Filipinos after the Second World War. They also provided each other companionship and support in a place that was very lonely for new immigrant women. The lines in the love ballad “Dahil Sa Iyo” perhaps express what all these forms of love meant.Filipino Women's Club of San Luis Obispo County Officers, 1965-1967. Arroyo Grande, California, 1964.Above: Filipino Women's Club of San Luis Obispo County Officers, 1965-1967. Arroyo Grande, California, 1964. The Filipino Women's Club was organized in 1955. The 1965 installation of new officers is pictured above. The club is still active today. The club sponsors a yearly luau to raise scholarships for graduating seniors at four different high schools: Arroyo Grande High School, San Luis Obispo High School, Nipomo High School, and Morro Bay High School. The Luau started around 1989, when Lucille Lor became President. Pictured from left to right: Lily Camba (President), Pat Casil (Vice President), Lu Tira (Secretary), Puring de Vera (Treasurer), Board Members: Crispina de Vera (Auditor), Aquilina Penida (Sergeant at Arms), Trinidad Villador (outgoing President and advisor), Lucille Lor (Assistant Secretary). Courtesy of Lucille Lor.

Anghilita Vea with her girlfriends, Carol and Helen Curaza.Right: Anghilita "Nene" Vea with her girlfriends, Virgie and Helen Curaza. Anghilita is expecting. Anghilita was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, then moved to Sonora, CA, when she was about two years old. Her mother, Encarnacion Magbanua, and her stepfather, Genaro Campos, met and married there, then moved to Guadalupe, CA. Anghilita went to kindergarten in Guadalupe, then she and her family moved to the Philippines. She stayed there until about 1952, and then moved to Santa Maria, CA, because “it was hard” in the Philippines. Her reintegration to the U.S. was made easier because of the many young women who befriended her. Courtesy of Anghilita Vea.

Portrait of the women at the christening party for Lilia and Luisa, Benito and Lilia Betita's twins. Arroyo Grande, CA, 1948.Paulo, Patrick, Patrocinia Casil.Above: Portrait of the women at the christening party for Lilia “Lita” and Luisa, Benito and Lilia Betita's twins. Arroyo Grande, CA, 1948. Lita and Luisa were born on November 25, 1947. According to Aida Betita, Benito “Benny” Betita was one of the first of the Reyes-Betita cousins of Arroyo Grande to return to the Philippines after WWII to find a wife, who came to the U.S. in 1947. Felipe Betita went back to the Philippines after Benny and marry Aida, then the rest of the cousins followed, being told “it’s easy there” to find a wife. Courtesy of Juliet Betita.

Left: Paulo, Patrick, Patrocinia Casil. Best friends Pat Casil and Lucille Lor met in high school in the Philippines. They met again in Manila after college, and learned that they were both moving to the U.S. to marry men who had migrated earlier with the first large wave of Filipino migration to the U.S. Then the women realized that their husbands were friends in the U.S., so they continued their friendship. The Casil family also became neighbors to the Lor family in Arroyo Grande. Pat passed away in 2009. Courtesy of Lucille Lor. 

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