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My father, Alberto Gorospe Nabor, was born on June 7, 1910 in La Union, Philippines. His parents died when he was very young, so he and his older sister, Victoria, were raised by their maternal grandfather. Because of my father’s upbringing, he was proud of his heritage and homeland and

developed a sincere love for family. In 1920, my father left the Philippines at the age of twenty. He first ventured to the US territory of Hawai'i, where he was employed as a farm worker with many Filipinos and other immigrants. All were searching for better lives and opportunities in this new land. They worked under harsh and grueling conditions. “12-hour days, six days a week” on the plantations, my father recounted the terrible working conditions that existed and were shared by all immigrants. It was their shared journey. Rampant discrimination against Filipino immigrants made life even more tenuous.

While in Hawai'i, my father vividly recalled how he sometimes cried to sleep, longing to return to his beloved Philippines and the comfort of his grandfather’s home. However, he was determined to forge a life in this land of never-ending challenges and hardships. Because of this, he persevered, emphasizing honesty, integrity, the value of hard work, ingenuity, respect, honor, love of family, and courage.

In 1932, during the depression, my father left Hawai'i for the mainland and arrived in San Pedro, California. He lived with other Filipino bachelor farm workers in labor camps throughout California and Arizona, “following the crops.” He recalled how he and his fellow immigrants would work together for the benefit of all— a self-made cooperative. On March 31, 1941, my father registered for the Selective Service in Santa Cruz before the start of World War II. Eventually, he and his fellow Filipinos were allowed to enlist in the US Army. He became a member of the segregated First Filipino Regiment. He saw combat in the Pacific and recalled with gratitude the benevolence of his commanding officer Colonel Robert H. Offley.

My father settled in Santa Cruz County after his discharge, returned to working as a farm worker, and purchased a home in Watsonville. On August 5, 1954, he married my mother, Erlinda Aragon. They began their lives together and were blessed with four children: Bert, Glenn, Valerie, and Steve.

Aside from his love of family, my father tended to his garden and attended his Filipino and other organizational meetings. He was always aware of the importance of being a citizen and maintaining a positive image for the Filipino Community. He was a proud member of The 1st & 2nd Filipino Regiments Association, The American,Legion, Caballeros De Dimas Alang, the Filipino Catholic Association, Freedom VFW, Holy Eucharist Church, Legionarios de Trabajo, Watsonville Filipino Community.

My father was an exceptional man and is missed to this very day.

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