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Postcards from the past: Images give glimpse in to Filipino community during WWII era

The exhibit showcased images gathered by historian Alex Farbos.

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An art exhibit in Salinas, California, offered a glimpse into the past with several photos that pieced together a look at the reality the Filipino community faced at the time.

The exhibit showcased images gathered by historian Alex Farbos.

Richard Villegas said, "They would just send a postcard and [say] ‘I'm doing fine. I'm doing OK. Here I am. Here is a picture of me.’"

The images showed slivers of the neighborhood from barbershops to kids dressing up and even young men getting ready for war.

Some of the portraits brought back memories of couples, who were young and in love, but also served as a reminder of a harsh past.

"At Fort Ord, during the training for WWII, a lot of the soldiers fell in love with the local women and if they were white, their commanding officer put them on a bus and they went down to New Mexico, got married and came back because you could not marry a white person," Richard Villegas said. "A Filipino could not marry a white person in California."

The exhibit helped reveal a sliver of the neighborhood and what life was like back in those days.

"This was a place where they can kind of be themselves, be around people who understood where they were coming from and it was home to them," Jean Vengua said.