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Watsonville is in the Heart: A Community Archive and Research Initiative

Fallorina Family Collection

Dublin Core


Fallorina Family Collection


Mariano Doctor Fallorina was born in Villanueva, Bautista, Pangasinan, Philippines on October 24, 1906. On February 9, 1927, Mariano embarked to the United States aboard the S.S. President Taft. He arrived in San Francisco on March 9, 1927. In his early years, Mariano worked as a migrant farm laborer throughout California and along the Pacific seaboard. During this time, he principally lived and worked in Gonzalez and Soledad, California. On August 11, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific Theater as a member of the First Filipino Infantry.

While in the Philippines, Mariano met Angelina Nicolas through his sister, Ana Fallorina. Angelina was born on December 6, 1922 in Guimba, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. As a young woman in the Philippines, Angelina was involved in the Methodist Church and worked as a teacher. In February 1946, Mariano was discharged from the military and returned to the United States. He continued to court Angelina until he returned to the Philippines in 1952 after which the couple soon married. They traveled back to California the same year.

The couple first lived in Soledad and had a son, Mariano N. Fallorina, Jr. (b. 1952). After Mariano Jr. was born, the family moved to the Pajaro Valley. Mariano and Angelina first worked as strawberry sharecroppers for Reiter Berries on San Andreas Road. They had another son, Daniel “Dan” K. N. Fallorina (b. 1957), and adopted Elizabeth "Liz" R. N. Fallorina (b. 1950) from the Philippines. In 1962, Elizabeth joined the family in California. The family continued to work as sharecroppers in the Pajaro Valley until 1962. Mariano was a farm laborer for various companies including Jensen Apples, Loveless and Sons, and C&V Farms. Angelina worked in the canneries for Frozen Foods, Watsonville Canning, and Green Giant.

The family was active in the First United Methodist Church in Watsonville and enjoyed celebrations with other Filipino families. Mariano and Angelina’s children attended school and worked in Watsonville before pursuing careers outside of agriculture. Elizabeth worked with a behavioral optometrist; Mariano Jr. became a Ford Senior Master Technician for several Ford dealerships in the Monterey Bay area; and Dan pursued work in the tech industry after receiving his B.S. in Industrial Technology from San Jose State University. As an engineer, he worked for National Cash Register, Victor Technologies, Plantronics, Tandem, Compaq, and Hewlett Packard.

Mariano passed away in 1989 at the age of 82 and Angelina passed away in 2022 at the age of 99.

The Fallorina Family Collection was contributed to Watsonville is in the Heart by Mariano and Angelina Fallorina's son, Dan Fallorina, in 2022. The collection contains ninety-two items total. It includes an oral history interview in which Dan Fallorina reflects on his parents' migration and labor histories as well as his own memories of growing up around the labor camp on San Andreas Road, of the strawberry fields where he, his parents, and siblings worked, and of the neighborhood in Watsonville where he lived as he got older. The collection also contains fifty-six individual photographs; many of which depict the Fallorina family working in strawberry fields and at labor camps. The collection also includes handmade material culture objects that represent Mariano Fallorina's skill and craftsmanship, as well as objects he brought back to California after serving in the First Filipino Infantry.


Daniel "Dan" Fallorina

Collection Items

Christmas Clean up
A photograph of Mariano Fallorina Sr. cleaning up wrappers after opening presents during Christmas. He would keep all of it organized and reuse the bows.

Christmas Tree Cutting with Jackie
A photograph of Daniel “Dan” Fallorina, niece Jackie Stours, and Mariano Fallorina Jr. cutting down a Christmas tree up in Santa Cruz Mountains up on Summit Road.

Grandma & niece out for a walk
A photograph of Angelina Nicholas Fallorina and niece, Jackie Stours, out for a walk in the neighborhood.

Christmas with Grandpa
A photograph of Mariano Fallorina Sr. and niece, Jackie Stours, celebrating Christmas and opening presents. The photograph was taken at the Fallorina family home on Jeanette Way in Watsonville.

Laundry Day in the Backyard
A photograph of Angelina Nicholas Fallorina and niece, Jackie Stours, in the backyard doing laundry. They had very clean and white sheets because they used tide and bleach. The photograph was taken at the Fallorina family home on Jeanette Way in…

Garden in the Front Yard (2)
Mariano Fallorina Sr. and niece, Jackie Stours, in the front yard from a different angle. They are planting gazanias in the front yard of the Fallorina family home on Jeanette Way in Watsonviille.

Garden in the Front Yard
Mariano Fallorina Sr. and his niece, Jackie Stours in the front yard of the Fallorina family home on Jeanette Way in Watsonville.

Mariano Sr. and Dan Fallorina in the Strawberry Fields
A photograph of Mariano Fallorina Sr. and his son Dan in the strawberry fields.

Unknown Manong and the Fallorina Family
A photograph of an unknown manong, along with Dan, Mariano Jr., Angelina, and Mariano Fallorina Sr. at a labor camp.

Mariano Fallorina Sr. with His Truck
A photograph of Mariano Fallorina Sr. with his old truck.

New Year's Day Luncheon Party
A photograph of a New Year's Day luncheon party. Listed on the back are Dan and Mariano Fallorina Jr., the Franco Family and the Fallorina Family. Some names are unknown. The writing on the back is Angelina Fallorina's, and the photograph is probably…

Mariano Jr. and Dan Fallorina Playing by the Truck
A photograph of Mariano Fallorina Jr. and Dan Fallorina in the fields by the family truck. Their father, Marinao Fallorina Sr. built the camper shell. In Dan's oral history interview, he shared a memory of he and his brother releasing the air from…

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