Don Watson correspondence


Don Watson correspondence


Correspondence regarding Larry Itliong and Carlos Bulosan.


Don Watson


Welga! Filipino American Labor Archives




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Email Correspondence





Document Text

Marshall, I was back at the Wayne State archives a week ago and decided to look up a small Larry Itliong Papers collection there. He was born in 1913 in the Philipines. He didn't finish grammer school and he came to Seattle in 1929 as a farm laborer. He came to Delano in the late 1930s. I couldn't find papers for the 1930s or 40s but he belonged to UCAPAWA at Salinas and Alaska. He belonged to a number of Filipino organizations in the 1950s: the Pangasin Association of Northern California in 1952, a Filipino Farm Labor Union - 1956, president of the Filipino Community of Stockton 1959-60, vice-chair of the Council of United Filipino Organizations in Northern and Central California - representing San Joaquin County. He was also active in the ILWU Local 7 whose members migrated between Stockton and Alaska. I now will send you a copy of a revealing letter that Larry sent to Cary McWilliams in response to a request for comments on the Filipino writer Carlos Bulosan.

[Larry Itliong Corespondence] 

Marshall, I have some comments of my own to add: In 1952 I went with a group to Seattle to try to work a season in the Alaska canneries. I  never made it to Alaska but I met the three people mentioned in Larry's letter - Carlos Bulosan, Chris Mensalves and Ernesto Mangaoang. Bulosan
was the education director (I don't remember his exact title), Mensalves was the president of the local and Mangaoan had a major position in the local. I recall the local was totally divided into the Mensalves faction and the Mangaoan faction. I never knew what the split was about. Bulosan, as mentioned by Larry, was close to Mensalves. I had one evening with Bulosan in a bar. He was very frail - he had tuberculosis.

I also copied a roster  entitled "1963 Delano Lodge Membership Roster" It has 33 names listed. This was not AWOC but a Filipino fraternal organization. Pete Velasco was "Worshipful Master" and Larry was "Venerable Secretary." Larry said he recruited Pete into AWOC.

Best, Don

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Date Added
May 28, 2015
Patty Enrado collection
Item Type
Don Watson, “Don Watson correspondence,” Welga Archive - Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, accessed June 22, 2021,