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Chicago Filipina pioneer, 94, to read from her memoirs

/ 01:41 AM May 13, 2016


CHICAGO — A Filipina elder will read excerpts from her book, “Memoirs of a Manang: The Story of a Filipina American Pioneer” on Saturday, May 14 at the Chicago Public Library.


Readings from the book by Constance Santos, 94, and her daughter Victoria Santos will be in two sites: 1 to 2 p.m. at Archer Heights, 5505 S. Archer Avenue; 3 to 4 p.m. at Uptown, 929 W. Buena Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.

“Memoirs of a Manang” recounts Constance Santos’ journey with her mother from a small provincial town in the Philippines to the urban setting of Chicago in 1929.


She chronicles the joys and heartaches of her immigrant family as they face the Great Depression and World War II, moving effortlessly between two cultures. As the Filipino population grows after the war, Constance emerges as a community leader and advocate, becoming one of the most successful fundraisers for the Jose Rizal Center in Chicago. She is still a trustee of the Filipino community center.

Constance has been part of the Chicago Filipino American community since her arrival in 1929. She may be the oldest if not the only Filipina American surviving from the Twenties.  She has become a primary source for reporting on Filipino community life from that time.

Vicki Santos is president of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) of East Bay. She helped her mother complete her book, which was published in October 2015. It is in the Library of Congress.

The readings are sponsored by Filipino American National Historical Society Greater Chicago Chapter and the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago.

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TAGS: “Memoirs of a Manang: The Story of a Filipina American Pioneer, ” Chicago Public Library, Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) East Bay, Filipino American National Historical Society Greater Chicago Chapter, Library of Congress, memoirs of Filipina immigrant to Chicago from 1929
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