We get medicine here, to make your life longer.: 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
  • Ursula and Victorino Alojado dancing on New Year’s Eve.
    Victorino and Ursula Alojado with their children on their 50th anniversary.

    Family, Filipino

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opportunities in America: What kind of opportunities does this person see in America that he/she did not have in the homeland?

    Words to look for

    Background Information

    In many countries, including the Philippines, people care for sick or elderly family members in their home, rather than placing them in a hospital or nursing home setting. In the Philippines they are able to do this through hiring household help, which is a very common practice. Many immigrants wish they could continue these traditional practices in their new home, but this narrator was glad for the professional medical help he was able to obtain for his wife.

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

    • Chapter 1

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    Narrator: Victorino Alojado (VA)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    VA: She passed away here in Minnesota. At that time, we were still living in Bloomington. And then, my wife got that disease, Alzheimer’s disease.

    LM: That’s tough.

    VA: I take care her more than a year at home. I take care by myself. The nurse used to visit and recommended that I had to talk to my family to have a short meeting about putting her in the nursing home, because it’s hard for me if I get sick. So we had the meeting, and we agreed and put her in the nursing home. There, she pass away in almost only three months.

    LM: Let me ask you, Papang Torin, if you were in the Philippines and she was sick, the same health problem, we have no nursing homes in the Philippines. Where would she be?

    VA: Well, you know, in the Philippines, if we are in the Philippines, we can get a lot of Filipinos over there and we can hire, you know, we call it like a maid, you know. We can hire. But it’s better here, because we get everything, you know.

    LM: People to help.

    VA: Medicine, everything, get doctor, make your life more longer.

    LM: So you think this is really a better place to stay?

    VA: Better place, yes.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun: Filipino word for father.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 2143