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Linda Mabalot papers


Linda Mabalot was a Filipino American film maker and community activist. Mabalot was born in Fairfield, California on 1953. She grew up in Liberty Island, a small farming town in the Sacramento Delta. Her Father, Thomas Mabalot, a first generation Filipino American, leased and managed 20 acres of land on the Delta. She spent much of her youth’s years assisting her father harvest beats and tomatoes that grew on the land. Her experiences in the fields, along with the writings of Carlos Bulosan, nurtured an interest in social activism.

After high school, Mabalot attended the University of California, Davis and majored in pre-medicine. During her college career, she was active in the Asian Pacific American student movement.

On 1977, Mabalot joined Visual Communications, a non-profit organization “dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities and heritage through the media arts.” When Visual Communications faced financial troubles in 1985, Mabalot rose to the position of Executive Director.

Mabalot worked on several Filipino American documentaries and projects, including Manong (1977) and Planting Roots: a Pictorial History of Filipinos in California (1981). While working on these projects, Mabalot encountered notable Filipino-American farmworker activists, including Philip Vera Cruz and Willie Barrientos. She was renowned for supporting up-and-coming Asian American filmmakers, establishing the Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival.

Mabalot passed away on May 19, 2003 at the age of 49.

Scope and Content

The Linda Mabalot  papers are organized into four series: Oral Histories, 1978; Photographs, 1930-1994; Publications, 1979-1994; Artifacts, 1930-1950; Scripts, 1991-1992.

The Oral History Interviews feature one of the most significant items in the collection, particularly with material regarding Filipino American Farmworkers and laborers in the mid-20th century. The Oral History accounts feature various interviews conducted by Mabalot, including interviews with Philip Vera Cruz and Willie Barrientos. The oral history accounts detail Filipino immigration into the United States, the Delano Grape Strikes (1965-1970) and Filipino-Mexican relations in the United Farm Workers. 

The Scripts series include various drafts regarding Filipino-American documentaries worked on by Mabalot, most notably for the Domingo and Viernes assassinations. This series will be especially insightful regarding Filipino American cannery workers and longshoreman, and the Marcos conspiracy to subvert Filipino American unions. 

Additional accruals are expected. 

Series Descriptions

1. Oral History Interviews, 1978.

Oral History Interviews are organized alphabetically by name of interviewee.

This series features oral history transcripts of various Filipino-American farmworkers in Delano, California. The interviews were conducted by Mabalot from 1973 to 1978. Interview subjects include Willie Barrientos, Philip Vera Cruz, and an unknown Filipino-American farmer. The oral history interviews contain information regarding Filipino-American immigration to the United States, Filipino-American farmworker and activism history, the 1965 Delano Grape Strikes and Filipino membership in the United Farm Workers.

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 2. Photographs, 1930-1994.     

Photographs are organized alphabetically by subject. 

Currently, only photographs depicting Filipino American farmworker history has been digitized. 

The photographs depict Filipino laborers in both the United States and in the Philippines. Depicted in the photographs include Filipinos farmworkers in the California Central Valley, cannery workers in Alaska, Agbayani Village commemoration events, and various Filipino American social events. 

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 3. Ephemera, 1939-1980. 

Ephemera includes union cards from the Filipino Agricultural Laborers’ Association and the Agricultural Workers Union, along with an anti-Marcos bumper sticker. 

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 4. Publications, 1979-1994.  

Publications are organized chronologically by date of publication.  

Publications include research material used by Mabalot for the various documentaries she worked on while at Visual Communications. Publications primarily encompass newspaper articles from various Filipino American publishers, including Ang Katipunan and the Three Stars. Subjects discussed within the series include the history of Filipino immigration to the United States and the plight of Filipino migrant workers in the Central Valley.

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 5. Scripts, 1991-1992.

Scripts are organized alphabetically by film title. 

Due to copyright restrictions, the Welga! Filipino American Archives can not digitally publish this series at the present time. To access this series, please email a request to ajsarmiento@ucdavis.edu 

Scripts include various scripts from Filipino-American labor documentaries. The majority of the scripts relate to documentaries regarding the Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes murders. The Domingo/Viernes murder documentaries include Activists, Agents and Assassins and Domingo/Viernes: The Untold Story. A shot list of the documentary Travelers: History of the First Wave of Pilipinos is included in the series as well.

Item 1Activist, Agents, Assassins script drafts (1991-1992) 

Item  2: Domingo/Viernes: The Untold Story script drafts, (1991-1992) 

Item 3: Travelers: History of the First wave of Pilipinos scene listing, (n.d.)