Images: Memoirs of Mo

Images: Memoirs of Mo

by Modesto E. Ellano Jr

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Overview

During the last three years of his life, Modesto E. Ellano, Jr. (Mo) wrote this inspiring story of a troubled youth who eventually became a productive and fulfilled man as a university professor, instructing others in the subject and ethics of social work. Growing up in the Depression at a time when Filipinos and other ethnic groups were often oppressed, he found his way without his blood family, educating himself on the streets of the Logan Heights barrio.
Mo wrote this book for others who may also want to make a connection with their past, when the time is right for them. They will see how he came to know himself and his heritage through images from the past presented in this work derived from his experiences, studies and observations.
This book provides a study of the history of life during the depression, the cultural world of Filipinos in the 20th century U.S., the world of farm labor, and development of cultural identity. It can be read as a memoir and is appropriate for cultural and historical studies learning.
This book will motivate young people to dig deep to find their own inner strength, to make wiser choices about with whom they keep company, and how they spend their idle hours , to reach for the top rung of the ladder, even if they are the only ones to believe they can get there.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449042769
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Pages: 456
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.02(d)

Read an Excerpt

Images Memoirs of Mo


By Jr. Modesto E. Ellano, Claudia Ellano, Georgette Bradley

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2013Modesto E. Ellano, Jr.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4490-4276-9


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Poems


Filipino Woman

Filipino woman, who at one time I called "Inay,"
Sino ba ako?
When you gave yourself to my father,
you gave me a heritage that I carry through my veins,
but you left me before finishing your task ...
to teach me who I am.
Inay, sino ba ako? The question plagues me.
I've grown up in the country you chose to replace
the land that was our fathers' fathers.
Sa Pilipinas.
Through the years, I've assumed many masks in my loss of you.
Or what I believe that I've lost in my loss of you.
You had the answer, and I wonder, do I?
I grieve your loss, Inay,
As I search for my "self" that comes from you.
I feel I cannot rest until I find the "self" that you
gave me at birth ... and I lost at your death.
Inay, do I grieve the loss of you ... or of me?

© Ellano: 1987


Ode to a Child

Child, you were a dream. And like all dreams,
you were a wish unfulfilled.
Yet I think of you,
and wonder how it would have been with you.

At times when I see a father
walking hand-in-hand with his child
I feel a tender tug and smile.

At the same time I feel sadness
envelop me like a shroud soon to come.

In you, I saw new life.
And I anticipated sharing with you,
for a while at least, your wonder
as the world opened up
its many splendors to your senses.

To your eyes, the brilliant colors
and shapes of many things.
To your fingertips, the multitude of textures,
from the velvet softness of rose petals,
to the gritty surface of a cold, hard stone.

And to your childish, naÏve question, "What is this?"
I would answer, "This is life."

© Ellano: 1987


Raindrop

While walking, I felt a raindrop.
And for that moment it was the world.

© Ellano: 1983

CHAPTER 2

Shadow Images

[Limited Laughter]


There is a terrific Chinese saying: "A long journey begins with the first step." These are the first steps in my long journey through a life that has traveled many paths—some that were risky, some rewarding, some enlightening. Beginning with partially disclaiming my ethnicity to finally accepting who I am, it has been a journey of discovery, transition, and metamorphosis. From foster child to juvenile delinquent, from gravedigger in a military cemetery to an aircraft-factory worker, from a farm worker to an enlisted man in the U.S. Army back to a farm worker, from a college student to a social worker, and, finally, to a professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach. My life—and shadow images—continually evolved.

I am a second-generation Filipino American, born December 27, 1933, at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California. My mother and father were born in the Philippines. My father—Modesto I. Ellano—was born in July 1902. He was about five feet six inches tall and was a good looking man. He was from Moron Bataan, a Tagalog area in Manila, and had been a cook in the United States Navy. I don't know exactly when he enlisted in the Navy or when he first came to the U.S., but I do know that he joined the Navy in the Philippines. Many young Filipinos also enlisted in the early years of the American occupation of the Philippines, once the Filipino rebellion against American troops had been quelled in 1902 and an American regime was established in the Philippines. My father had arrived in the U.S. before 1933, because that was the year of my birth.

My mother—Leonila Pasamanero—came to this country in 1929 at the age of fourteen, from Iloilo in the Visayas, a group of islands in the central area of the Philippines. The Visayan Islands are the home of the Visayan ethno-linguistic group. She came from a large farming family that was fairly successful. My mother came to this country for two reasons: she wanted to finish her education here; secondly, she wanted to rejoin her aunt, Inday Socorro—whom she called "Iyay"—of whom she had grown very fond. The term for "aunt" in the Ilongo dialect spoken by the people of Iloilo (on my mother's side) is "iyay." As a child I may have heard my mother refer to or address her aunt Socorro as Iyay, but I heard it as "Inday," so that's how I always addressed and referred to her.

Inday had come to the United States in 1927 to live with her father. According to what I had heard in conversations with my Aunt Inday, my mother and father met in the U.S. and were married shortly after my mother had graduated from high school. Written on the back of the only picture I have of my mother and father together is a note that they were married in November 1933, just a month before my birth. My mother looked very slender, not the least bit pregnant, so I must have been a very small baby. In the photo, my mother appeared to be about five feet tall. She was pretty and had the high cheekbones common to most Asians.

My brother Leopoldo was born in 1936, when I was three years old. My mother died shortly after his birth. According to what I had heard, she died of complications associated with Leopoldo's birth. Her death must have been a very traumatic experience for me as I seem to have blocked her entirely from my memory. Even now, I have no recollection of my mother, nor of any experiences with her. I don't remember her pregnancy, nor the birth of my brother. Most of what I know about my mother I picked up from conversations with my Great Aunt Inday.

A major key to understanding and internalizing culture is within the context of the language. Tagalog, now the national language of the Philippines, was my first language. This was my father's language, and my mother made an effort to teach it to me. Had she lived, I know that I would have been fluent. However, this changed when I was three years old because, after my mother's passing, there was no one to speak Tagalog with me. My father was often away at sea. On the few occasions that I did see him, he spoke to me in English. English then became my primary language. Sadly, I lost an important piece of my culture.

My father was in the Navy during World War II. The war worsened and, as a result of his absence, we had very little contact with each other throughout my childhood. Unfortunately, I never developed a sense of closeness with him. Even after the war, my father and I were never reunited as a family, nor did I see him again until I was twenty-seven years old. The gifts he gave me were simply my life and my name.

My birth preceded the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act (TMA) by about four months, on March 24, 1934. Prior to the enactment of the Act, there was no restriction on the number of Filipinos who could enter the country. The TMA set a quota of fifty Filipino immigrants per year. As a consequence, it had an adverse effect on the potential for the development of viable Filipino communities and on the lives of the early Filipino immigrants. Most of the Filipinos already in this country were single young males. Compounding this situation was the 1880 California Anti-Miscegenation Law, which prohibited marriages between Whites and non-Whites and was extended to include Filipinos in 1933. That racist law was declared unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court in 1948, however, for many Filipinos, it was too late.

The place of the Filipino in society was well defined long before my birth. By that time, their place was in the U.S. Navy, serving as cooks or flunkies to high-ranking ship officers. They worked in big hotels and restaurants as dishwashers and busbo
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Images Memoirs of Mo by Modesto E. Ellano Jr.. Copyright © 2013 by Modesto E. Ellano, Jr.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

1: Poems....................     1     

2: Shadow Images....................     5     

3: An Uncertain Beginning....................     19     

4: Youth....................     37     

5: "Juvie" Beckons....................     43     

6: Nelles....................     51     

7: Digging Graves and Building Planes....................     69     

8: Dusty Delano....................     81     

9: Farm Labor....................     91     

10: North to Alaska....................     95     

11: Stockton....................     99     

12: Uncle Frank....................     105     

13: The Army....................     117     

14: More of the Army....................     139     

15: Quonset Life....................     145     

16: Carousing....................     163     

17: Okinawa....................     169     

18: New Cultures....................     179     

19: Fort Chaffee, Arkansas....................     185     

20: After the Army....................     205     

21: America: Land of Opportunity....................     221     

22: A Family of My Own....................     229     

23: The Grape Strike of '65....................     243     

24: Opportunity Knocks....................     249     

25: Higher Education....................     255     

26: A Career in Social Work....................     273     

27: Santa Barbara....................     279     

28: New Vistas....................     293     

29: Vicki....................     297     

30: Life Changes....................     317     

31: Los Angeles....................     331     

32: Gaining Credibility....................     341     

33: CSULB....................     361     

34: Life with Claudia....................     367     

35: Timelines....................     379     

36: Teaching....................     393     

37: Dr. Molley Ranney's Interview of Mo....................     397     

38: Reflections....................     419     

39: Claudia's Comments, and "Missives to Mo"....................     421     

40: Prologue....................     437     

About the Author....................     441     

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