dedicated to our country’s immigrant heritage, is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.The Oral History Program is dedicated to preserving a chapter in US
history by preserving the history of Ellis Island through the stories of those who passed
through.Through its years of operation 1892-1954 it was the major gateway to
We are presently looking for people who passed
through Ellis Island on their way to America
and are able to talk about their memories and their lives in an interview.Interviews
cover memories of life in the old country, the journey to America, Ellis
Island and life in America.We also interview people who worked in Ellis Island, were detained or interned on Ellis Island and were
in the US Coast Guard stationed @ Ellis Island.Those reminiscences are recorded
on audio tape and become a part of the Oral History Collection, available to museum visitors in our listening Room.A CD of the interview is sent to each person interviewed.
are looking for people who came to the US from the Philippines.We
do not have any Filipinos in the Collection and we would like to have them represented.Since many Filipinos worked as crew members on ships bringing immigrants to this country, their stories would be a
welcome addition to the Ellis Island Oral History Collection.
At this time we are only interviewing people with
first hand experience on Ellis Island-however brief or ill remembered.If you
or someone you know is willing and able to talk about his or her life and immigration experience, please contact:
TO ALL LIVING IMMIGRANTS PROCESSED AT ELLIS ISLAND
Mail This Form To:
Janet Levine, Ph.D.
Oral History Program, Museum Services Division
Statue of LibertyNational Monument
Thank you for participating in the Ellis Island
Oral History Program.Please complete the form as thoroughly as possible.You may leave this form in the Ellis
at the Library front desk or mail it to the above address.
All completed forms will become part of the Statue
of Liberty National Monument’s extensive Oral History Collection for use by researchers, students, historians, NPS staff
and interested members of the public.
Completed forms will be reviewed for possible
future interviews.All those interviewed will receive an audiocassette tape of
The oral history staff looks forward to your response.It is understood that not everyone will be able to answer every question but please
try to answer as many questions as possible.Thank you in advance for sharing
your personal memories.It is not necessary for you to have complete or vivid
memories of the Ellis Island part of your immigration experience.
PLEASE MAIL COMPLETED FORM TO: Janet Levine, Oral
history Program, Museum Services Division, Statue of Liberty National Monument, Liberty Island, New York, NY10004.
address & ZIP Code:______________________________________
area code & Phone Number_________________________________
Name (If Any) Including Maiden Name:_______________________
Town, Country of Origin:_____________________________________
members who accompanied you on your voyage (If any):___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Port of Departure:_________________________________________________________
and Year of Arrival____________________________________________
details of your voyage:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
of seeing the Statue of Liberty & New York City for the first time:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
upon arrival at Ellis Island:____________________________________________________________
Memories of facilities and processing at Ellis Island, (such as Medical exams, legal problems, baggage claims, money exchange,
you detained overnight or longer @ Ellis Island? If so why?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
did you go after you left Ellis Island:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
did you settle:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
other details, anecdotes, stories, memories you would like to share about your immigration experience and Ellis Island:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I’m sorry for the delay, my computer has
been down.I’m enclosing an announcement which
you may pass along to the Filipino government consulate and any organizations that you feel are appropriate, along with my
permission.I’m also enclosing an immigrant
questionnaire.It may be duplicated and sent back to me.
Thank you for following up on this.I hope it yields some interviews.It was good to talk with
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Statue of LibertyNational Monument
York, New York10004
May 7, 2008
Dear Ms. Embry;
Your letter was passed along to me from
the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.
I too would like to interview Filipinos
who passed through Ellis Island, worked as seamen on ships en route to Ellis Island or, perhaps, were stationed on Ellis Island in the Coast Guards. We do not have a research staff to track down people on the list that
is the result of you research. There is someone on the staff who is able to do a small amount of research but if you are able
to make contacts through Filipino organizations or newsletters, if people are willing, we would be very happy to conduct any
interviews here at Ellis Island and to place the interviews in our collection and in our Oral History Listening Room.
I hope that this can become a reality.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc
292 Madison Ave
New York, NY10017-7769
Re: Philippines/Filipinos in Ellis Island
I read an article in 2004 that the Ellis
looking for participation of Filipinos in the Ellis Island history (see enclosed copy). I
started my research about this matter and made the necessary annotations in your website for some of the Filipinos I found
who had gone thru Ellis Island.
I hope that you will make it known to the public that we are also
a significant part of the Ellis Island history since hundreds of seamen not only worked in the Ellis
Island ships, but also served and died during the World Wars.
These are some of the Pilipinos & Pilipinas who came thru Ellis Island
U.S. military- Lorenzo Badiola,
Francisco Bongcak, Inocencio Conception, Benjamin Lagon, Daniel Maghanay, Patricio Malilay, Alexandro Matinog, Nicolas Samillano
( WW11 Merchant Marines casualties) , Frederick Cortez, Esteban Villardo (WW11 POW). war veterans Victorino
Abaya (WW11), Bernardo Bunuan (WW1)
Many had entered Ellis Is several
times ex. Daniel Abogadie 27x, Policarpio Cagatan 34x, Timoteo Gironella of Candon 29x (WW1 Veteran & from the same Gironella clan of Hawaii 1906 sakada see http://filipinosgone2hawaii.tripod.com for more info)
More than 133 passenger, cargo, freighter & tanker ships that
entered Ellis Island had employed Pilipino crew members. Most of these ships went thru Ellis Island several times (see list enclosed)
The mariners resided in Philadelphia
and in New York (Brooklyn Filipino Boarding House, 47 Sands
& Washington Sts, # 7 Summit St, etc appeared
in ship’s manifests)
Philippine Presidents: Manuel Quezon & Sergio Osmena
Resident Commisioners (Commonwealth) also officially non-voting members of U.S. Congress: Benito
Legarda, Isauro Gabaldon (w/ son Senen), Teodoro Yangco (w/ his wards-Lucio
& Simplicio Godino, the world famous 1930's Filipino Siamese twins)
Juan B. Alegre,
Felipe Buencamino Jr, parents of Felipe, 3rd (Pres. Quezon's son-in-law)
Lino J. Castillejo,
co-writer of the Philippines 1st
founder of JoseRizalCollege
Gonzalez, daughter of Phil Supreme Court Justice Manuel Araullo
wife of the Nicaraguan Consul General
stepfather of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo
Opiso of the famous law office
Gov of Cavite-1908
de Tavera, father of Dr. Mita, Social Welfare Sect
of El Renacimiento
Rizal, nephew of Dr. Jose Rizal
of Taliba & Laguardia
of Naga relative of Sect Raul Sagarbarria Roco
maternal grdfather of Pres Cory Aquino
Valdes, Phil Sect. of National Defense & Labor (1941-1950)
Bataan Death March & POW survivor Pres. Quezon’s military aide
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Maria Elizabeth Embry
April 1, 2008
Siamese Severed Time Magazine 12/7/1936
In 1908, Lucio & Simplicio Godino, Filipinos,
were born on the Island of Samar in the
New York --- Of the more than 12 million immigrants who had entered the U.S. through Ellis Island, not one was a Filipino?
Researchers at the Ellis IslandImmigrationMuseum’s Oral History Project are seeking to verify this.
Janet Levine, Ph.D. of the Oral History Project, urged the Filipino American media to spread the word: Ellis Island
is looking for Filipinos who may have passed through the historic “Gateway to America”
The first batch of immigrants from
the Philippines landed in Hawaii
work in agricultural lands
“We are presently searching for people who passed through Ellis
Island on their way to America,” she told the FilAm media who visited
the Ellis IslandImmigrationMuseum for the opening of ‘Through My Father’s Eyes: The
Filipino American Photographs of Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado 1914-1976.’
Many ethnicities have come forward with their stories, but “there is no Filipino,” Levine said.
Levine said it is understandable that Filipinos may not figure prominently in the wave of immigrants that swarmed Ellis Island from the late 1800s to the 1950s.The explananation
has to do with geography.
Ellis Island on the East Coast, became strategic landing ground for the
millions of Europeans (mainly from Germany, Ireland,
and Britain) feeing the harsh conditions in their countries to enter the
Asians, on the other hand, would set foot in America
via ports on the West Coast, which faces the Orient.The first batch of immigrants
from the Philippines landed in Hawaii
in 1906 to work in agricultural farms.
This has not deterred the Oral History Project from wondering if somehow, somewhere out there is a Filipino who had
entered the country—passing through the magnificent Statue of Liberty—via Ellis Island.
“At this time we are looking for people with first hand experience, no matter how brief, at Ellis Island,”
said Levine, “Interviews cover whatever the person remembers of life in the old country, the journey to America, memories
of Ellis Island, and life in America:.
Consul General Cecilia Rebong of the Philippine Consulate in New York said she too
would be curious to know if a Filipino had ever been processed at Ellis Island before entering the U.S.
“Let’s look for that Filipino,” she said.
It would be interesting to include this bit of history, she said, as “we celebrate the centennial of Philippine-U.S.
friendship in 2006.”
I'm glad to hear that my edits worked for you. More than likely, the issue will be released
late January. I'll keep you up-to-date.
Regards and Happy Holidays, Brian
Brian D. Joyner National Register
of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks
"m e" <email@example.com>
Re: Filipinos in Ellis Island (e-mail # 1)
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to shine a light on this subject matter. I will try to clear my desk
this weekend and start working on this project. I plan to submit a rough draft to
you by the end of this month. I also want you to know that you are free to edit as much as you want, until the article is
acceptable to you. I don’t mind re-writing it over and over again. I will also study the past publications and thank
you for providing the link for this.
Again, thank you.
I'm attaching a copy of our writing criteria. I'm also available to help as needed crafting the article.
look forward to working with you on this.
(See attached file: CallForArticles16.pdf) Brian
D. Joyner National Register of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks
of the Nation’s Diverse Cultural Heritage
Deadline for articles is October 20, 2008
Heritage Matters, the newsletter of the Cultural Resources Diversity Program of the
National Park Service, is accepting articles for its next issue.The newsletter
addresses historic preservation and cultural resources activities as they pertain to diverse communities.It informs preservation professionals about what is taking place in diverse communities, and offers these
communities information about programs and resources from which they may benefit.
With a circulation of nearly two thousand, Heritage Matters has a broad readership
around the nation.The audience includes National Park Service and other
State, and local cultural resource management staff; private sector partners in the
historic preservation and cultural resource management fields; professors and
students at HBCUs, Hispanics-Serving Institutions, TribalColleges,
and other colleges
and universities; and other interested parties.
Heritage Matters is published twice annually and is available online.Readers
encouraged to submit articles, information on publications and projects, conference announcements, and other notices.Submitted material should be no more than
600 words and should include the author’s name and affiliation.Submitters
encouraged to include color or black and white photographs or slides to accompany
their information (Electronic images are welcome, min. 300 dpi, 8 in.x10 in., visit
our publications page for more detailed criteria).Newsletter items
transmitted in written form or electronically to: Brian D. Joyner, Editor, Heritage
Matters, DOI/National Park Service, 1849 C. Street, NW,
(2280), Washington, DC
First of all, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. I am humbled by your attention to my research.
If it is possible, I am very much interested if you run something about the Filipinos in the Ellis
Island and Dr. Janet Levine's Search for Filipinos Oral History Project. I remain hopeful that some of the former
Filipino U.S.Merchant Marines and Coast Guards are still alive to share their stories with us and what is really needed
is to call attention to this matter. I fully realize how significant the attention your newletter will bring to
My only problem is I am very limited in my writing abilities and as such would need a lot of help. I have not read
any of your newsletters and I am not familiar regarding the format expected from me, therefore I would need writing
guidelines from you. I promise to give you my full cooperation to produce an article that would be acceptable
in your newsletter.
Allow me to post at the end of this e-mail my incomplete listing of the Filipinos and some
of the ships that employed the mariners ( just to give you an idea that many Filipinos really participated
in the Ellis Island history). Additionally, please note that since the resource I used
for my research: http://www.ellisisland.org only listed ship manifests for arrivals until 1924, but Ellis Island effectively
was operational until 1954, it would be fair to assume that the actual list of Filpino Ellis Island entrants
is much more longer than I could ever provide.
This is a fascinating bit of
omitted history you have brought to our attention. Heritage Matters would be
glad to run something about Filipinos and Ellis Island.
Were you interested in seeing an article on the Filipino history at Ellis Island or the notice
of Dr. Levine's call for Filipino immigrations to participate in the oral history
project? Either way, we are happy to assist.
Thank you for contacting us. I look forward to hearing from you.
Brian D. Joyner
National Register of Historic Places/National Historic
Sat, 2 Aug 2008 12:45:38 -0700 (PDT)
"m e" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Filipinos in Ellis Island
Dear Mr. Brian Joyner:
My name is Maria Elizabeth Embry of AntiochCalifornia. I am an amateur Filipino history researcher (also an amateur writer) who had been challenged by a newspaper article
I had read about the absence of Filipinos in the Ellis Island history. However, after going
thru hundreds of ship manifest in the Ellis Island website:
I was able to identify hundreds of Filipinos,
some working as crew members in the ships that brought the European immigrants to the United States. The Ellis Island entrants included two future presidents of the
Philippines, Filipino members of the U.S. Congress as representatives of
the Philippine Commonwealth, students, businessmen and Filipinos in the U.S.
military who had served during WW1 and unfortunately would later become WW11 U.S. military casualties.
I presented my research to Dr. Janet Levine
of the Ellis Island Oral History Project (NPS) who has been very enthusiastic about this search project for quite sometime
now. After spending so much effort to bring this matter to the attention of the Filipino media, Philippine
public officials and others with little success I am sending it to your attention for inclusion in the Heritage Matters
I hope you agree with me that including the forgotten
(actually omitted is a more accurate description) role of the Filipinos in the Ellis Island history will also bring greater
participation from members of other U.S. minority population like the Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, etc. who truly
have roles in the making of the Ellis Island history.
I had posted some of my research in a website
that I had created for this purpose with copies of my correspondence to Dr. Janet Levine and her enthusiastic responses, which
however realistically reflect the limited resources available to the Ellis Island Oral History Department to pursue this matter
more than offering to interview living Ellis Island entrants should they be located and willing to participate in the project.
I had also posted in my website a copy of the open letter I had sent to President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines seeking her assistance in making the search
project known to the Filipinos. I have yet to receive a reply from her office. The names of some Filipino entrants, as
well as the names of some Ellis Island ships that employed the Filipino mariners are also
listed in my website.
Since I would rather spend my precious
little time in research to complete the Filipino Ellis Island database than pursuing the Filipino media personalities, I am
humbly requesting your assistance to make this little bit of history about Filipinos in Ellis Island known to the public thru
Kindly forward the following
to the attention of the Presidential staff.
Maria Elizabeth Embry
An Open e-Letter to:
Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal
President of the Republic
of the Philippines
Dear Madam President:
Greetings to your Honor on
your official visit to the United States . Mabuhay po kayo at ang ating bayang Pilipinas.
Madam, may I revisit my request
for assistance from your office regarding the Ellis Island Oral History Research Project of Dr. Janet Levine?
I am an amateur historian
who does not have media presence. As I had mentioned in my letter to your office last June 15, 2008 that I need your assistance
to make it known to the Filipino public that Dr. Levine is seeking Filipinos who may be willing to be part of the oral interview.
The difficulty in this project lies in the publicity that the Ellis Island foundation is unable to fund. However, thru press
releases or media advisories originating from the U.S. Embassy & Consulate this task becomes possible
I am forwarding copies of
some of my correspondence to the Ellis Island Foundation, as well as my article published by the U.S. National Park Service.
I am also forwarding this e-letter to your Excellency thru the courtesy of Ms. Maria Victoria Dimaculangan of New York Consulate,
My deepest gratitude to your
Excellency and hopefully you will look kindly at my request.
Janet Levine, Ellis Island Oral History Project
Nestor Palugod Enriquez, Filipinos @ Ellis Island researcher
Ambeth Ocampo, National Historical Institute
Re: Filipinos Gone to Ellis Island
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:30 AM
"m e" <email@example.com>
we have replied to this letter already. I have forwarded this to the Historical Institute so they can trace it. Off-hand
I think you have many sources of information in the U.S. more than we do in the Philippines . We would be glad to help in
anyway we can. Ambeth Ocampo Chairman National Historical Institute
Fr: Maria Elizabeth Embry xxxxxHamlin Court Antioch California 94509 tel
Sir, I am not sure if you received a copy of the following letter sent to
me by Pres Arroyo's office. I have no idea how to get in touch with you until I stumbled on the article you wrote Re:
Agoncillo & saw your e-mail address. Anyways, I will paste here the letter here goes:
Office of the
PRESIDENTIAL ACTION CENTER
Manila , July 21, 2008
Office of the President
Manila, July 21, 2008
Respectfully referred to Prof. AMBET R. OCAMPO, Chairman, National
Historical Institute, T. M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila,
for appropriate action, subject to
existing laws, rules, and regulations on
the matter, the attached letter dated June
15, 2008, with enclosures, from Ms. MARIA ELIZABETH DEL VALLE EMBRY of
seeking Presidential intercession on
her request for assistance in obtaining
data on the number of Filipinos allegedly
processed in Ellis Island in going
to the United States of America.
Advice of the action taken hereon
to the party concerned and this Office,
citing GL-JCA-7-10-2008-19, will
be highly appreciated
BOBBY V. DUMLAO, CESO 111
Cc: Ms. Del Valle Embry
Arlegui Guest House,
To: Her Excellency
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo President of the Republic of the Philippines
Re: Oral History
Project Search for Filipinos ‘processed’ at the Ellis Island during 1892 to 1954
Dear Madam President:
I am writing to seek your assistance in making
known to the public that Dr. Janet Levine is looking for Filipinos processed thru the Ellis Island upon entering the United States from 1892 to 1954. The purpose of Dr.
Levine’s search is to conduct a voluntary and an unpaid interview based on the individual’s personal memories
of the passage thru the Ellis Island. The interview will be included in the Statue of Liberty
Museum Division Oral History Program.
Madam President, although in the beginning
this undertaking may sound intimidating due to the lack of awareness amongst many Filipinos that the Ellis
Island event really occurred, however given the power of your presidency and your well-known desire to showcase
our unique history, I personally believe that Dr. Levine’s project is feasible and priceless. We just have a real sense
of urgency in the project because of the anticipated scarcity of the Ellis Island entrants
remaining alive today.
Dr. Janet Levine is an excellent interviewer
who had nurtured her dream of searching for Filipinos’ participation in her project for quite sometime now. I have no
doubt that Dr Levine will bring the elusive cultural nuance and sensitivity to the interview process. Dr. Levine made that
impression during my first telephone conversation with her, even before she told me that Jose Garcia Villa was one of her
instructors during her university days. Now, that is truly a gem. Jose Garcia Villa and his “Have Come, I am Here”
immigrant theme are the guiding light of my website for the Ellis Island Filipinos.
my research, I had discovered that many Filipinos had passed thru Ellis Island. Philippine
Presidents Quezon and Osmena, Commonwealth Resident Commissioners, politicians, pensionados, students, businessmen andhundreds of Filipinos in the service of the United States Merchant Marine. We just
need to find the individuals who would participate in preserving their history, our history for posterity thru Dr. Levine’s
Hoping that you will take my request worthy of your consideration, I am honored
to enclose Dr. Janet Levine’s letter with the Ellis Island’s interview forms.
I am also respectfully enclosing the copy page of my website http://filipinosgone2ellis-island.tripod.com as a voluntary resource and unofficial intermediary to Dr. Janet Levine, the Ellis
Island Foundation and their official website http://www.ellisisland.org
Dear Ms. Embry, While reviewing my
electronic correspondence, I came across your email. Do forgive my not acknowledging it sooner. Your topic of interest in
completely new to me and do go on with your research of this virtually unknown subject.
Sincerely, Gemma Cruz Araneta OIC,
Manila tourism & cultural affairs bureau president, Heritage Conservation
WW1 Hawaii Filipino Sakadas & Filipinos @ Ellis Island
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