THE BOSQUE FAMILY
The Bosque family—including brothers, cousins and town mates—immigrated to the Watsonville area from the Santa, Illocos Sur region in the Philippines during the 1920. Guillermo Cardona Bosque was the first to immigrate via Hawai‘i in 1923 on the S.S. President Wilson. He docked in Honolulu and
made his way to Watsonville. His younger brother, Marcelo Cardona Bosque, and cousin, Dionicio Cardona Bosque, followed in 1929 on the S.S President Lincoln. They docked in San Francisco at Angel Island and were quarantined there for two weeks. Guillermo met them at Angel Island. As they were leaving, the men were tossed a bucket of dry salted fish and a greeted “welcome to America.” Guillermo drove Marcelo and Dionicio to San Juan Bautista. There, they resided in a chicken coop along with a number of other boarders—one of whom was Fermin Tobera.
Throughout the following years, many other Bosque family members made their way to the US. Another brother, Luis Cardona Bosque, and cousin, Policarpo Cardona Bosque followed in 1930 on the S.S President Jackson. They docked in Los Angeles. Cousin, Emiliano Cardona Begornia immigrated on the S.S. President Taft, docked in Honolulu in 1929, and made his way to Watsonville, CA shortly after. After serving in World War II, Emiliano returned to Watsonville and resided there until his passing. All of the family members initially worked at a seed farm, likely Jackson and Perkins. They also worked other crops in the region in the years to follow. In the 1930s, The Bosque manongs moved to a rental home in Watsonville where they boarded with other town mates on Main Street. Eventually, Dionicio and Policarpo left for Delano, Stockton, and areas in between.
Guillermo Bosque was a private and protective father. He rarely shared stories about the struggles that he endured as a new migrant and laborer in the US. Although Guillermo, his wife, and children settled elsewhere, they made many trips to Watsonville to visit family members like Emiliano. His daughter, Sharon Bosque remembers traveling to Watsonville and San Juan Bautista Mission for Easter services. She fondly recalls my dear father, relatives and all of the honorable Manongs— gentlemen of a bygone era. Guillermo was tough without becoming rough. Sharon feels forever indebted to her father, proud of his and other manongs’ accomplishments in the face of adversity that they lived through every day.