Veronica Mae Roslinda Calibjo

Veronica Mae Rosalinda Bio

I was born and raised in Santa Maria, California on August 19, 1942 to Venancio Gadio Roslinda and Sophie Balatindo Curaza. My father was born in Mocpoc Sur Sandingan, Loon, Bohol in the Philippine Islands and my mother was born in Stockton, California. There are ten siblings in this family as a result of my mother being married twice. My mother’s first husband was Andriano Rontal from Stockton, California and she had four children from that marriage. With Andriano she gave birth to Mary, Judylee, Ronly and Richard. Mary unfortunately died at the age of three. With her second marriage to Venancio, she gave birth to myself, Cicilio, Barbara, Gregory, Christine (Tina) and Junior. Cicilio, too, unfortunately passed away at a very young age. I am married to Edgardo Maravillas Calibjo. He is from the province of Antique, on the island of Panay in the Philippines. I met him in San Francisco after I graduated from Santa Maria Joint Union High School in 1960. We were married on December 9, 1962 and had three sons, Edward, Benjamin and Sean.

My husband worked for the Navy at Hunters Point in San Francisco and eventually at Mare Island in Vallejo, California for a total of twenty-six years when he retired in 1991. Edward and Sean work for P G & E and Ben is a building engineer for Able Maintenance Company in Oakland, California.

My father was a sharecropper with the Sheehy Berry Farms for many years. Before he married my mother, he worked in various towns like Stockton, Pinole, and Salinas. After he married my mother, they settled in Santa Maria. A short time later they relocated to Wilmington, Ca. Eventually, time and available work attracted them back to Santa Maria for good.

My parents were very hard workers and had to find other means of income when the berries were not in season. My father used to wash dishes in restaurants and do maintenance for the USO. Iuse to go with my father and help him clean the hall so he could finish his tasks sooner and be able to spend more time with his family. Eventually, my father left the fields to work full time at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Time passed and my father found a new job working for Okonite Cable Company. It is from this company that he retired.

As a young man, my father had every intention on going to school to get an education. Unfortunately, during that time, Filipinos were not allowed to attend the schools and were forced to work in the fields. After World War II, things changed for the better. We, as a people, were not being treated as we once were.

My mother worked as a chambermaid for Hunters Inn. She left that job for a position at Ingles Frozen Foods and held that position until retirement. My mother had a very hard childhood and married very young. Being an only child, she had many children because she wanted to make sure that we did not grow up alone as she did. I loved my parents as they provided a good life for me. Both of my parents worked hard not only at their jobs, but they also worked hard to make sure we were fed, clothed, and graduated from high school.

I worked in the strawberry fields from the fourth grade until I graduated from high school. Sometimes my brothers and sisters and I would have strawberry fights. I would go to work wearing clean clothes and by the time I got home, my sweater was completely stained from strawberries. Sometimes we played tricks on our father where we would lay down in the rows of strawberries and be completely hidden from view. My father would come back from doing an errand and he would not see us in the field, than all of a sudden we would pop up from as if from out of nowhere. There were times when we worked in the field where we had to pour manure into the rows to help fertilize the strawberries. Playing around we would try to throw each other into it. When Dad was irrigating the fields, we would play in water when his back was turned. The family would go to the fields early in the morning and come home late. We worked hard, but had fun at the same time. We would have strawberry picking contests to see who could fill the most crates before the day was over. Our father would pay us fifty cents a crate, which was our spending money. I would spend my money on the movies and bowling.

Through my experiences, you learn to value what you have and achieved. I may not be a doctor or any type of professional, but I learned to be a good mother and gave my sons all the love and care that I could give them. I may not have much, but I hope and pray my sons follow the examples that I have set for them. Giving your children your love and support is more important than all the material items in this world. My parents could not give us much but we had their love and that is what mattered most. As a child, you do not think about those little things, but as you get older you learn to appreciate them.

I spent my school years in Santa Maria. I went to Main Street School and Fairlawn for my elementary years. Then I went to El Camino during my junior high and then to Santa Maria Joint Union High School. After I graduated from high school, my cousin, Gloria Muca, talked me into coming to San Francisco to live with her and work in the city. I have been in the Bay Area ever since.

My first job was working for an insurance company on Montgomery Street. That job lasted approximately a year. I decided to change jobs after a friend of mine told me about an opening at Crocker Bank several blocks away. I stayed at Crocker Bank for a little over one year and then decided to try something new. I got a job at the Telephone Company and worked there for the next two years. While I was working at the Telephone Company, I ran into a friend who I used to work with at the insurance company. She told me they had a position available where she works and asked if I was interested. That position was working for B.A.S.C.A. (Bay Area Shippers Cooperative Association). She talked to her boss and without even meeting me, I was hired. I went in for an initial consultation and was instructed to start work the on January 2, 1967. I worked there for twenty-five years where I did various administrative duties related to transportation.

B.A.S.C.A. shipped freight cross country for various department stores. We handled all the paperwork and had a division that serviced the delivery of the freight. After working for B.A.S.C.A. for one year, we joined the Teamsters Union, Local 856. I enjoyed working for B.A.S.C.A. We all grew up together because we were all young when we started working for the company. We watched each others children grow up to become adults and get married. We were like a family. Then tragedy struck, B.A.S.C.A. went bankrupt. I went to work for another trucking company for ten months and they too suffered the same fate as B.A.S.C.A. After that I went back to the Union Hall for jobs.

A short time later, the ABF office in San Francisco merged with the office in Oakland. A colleague, who I used to work with in San Francisco, contacted me regarding a position in the Oakland office. I worked at ABF as a casual and eventually became a preferred casual. After the retirement of one of the regulars, I was hired on a permanent basis. After five years of services, I became eligible for early retirement and retired on September 30, 1999.

I am really enjoying my retirement. Upon being relieved of my professional responsibilities, I have taken on personal ones. I have been granted custody of my nephew, Nicholas, son of my brother Gregory. I also now have time to participate in my nephew’s recreational activities. Those activities include basketball, bowling, and religious education. As for myself, I have recently joined a bowling league, which meets every Thursday night. But for me, the most enjoyable part of my retirement is that I no longer have to wake up at five o’clock in the morning to go to work.

Retirement is wonderful! Now all I’m waiting for is to become a GRANDMA!!

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