UNHEARD VOICES PROJECT
and Constance Arzaga
Norma (left) and Constance (right) Arzaga -- identical twins -- were born in 1938. They are the daughters of sakada, Pegelio Arzaga from Laoag, born in 1912, and Mary Solis from Waikapu, born in 1921. The twins and their three sisters were raised in a familiar, loving Filipino family environment on Maui. Pegelio and Mary impressed the value of education and its potential for success on their daughters. This is reflected in Constance’s and Norma’s stories.
As Filipina identical twins and as individuals, their life stories are unique. Neither women were married. Both worked on the mainland for a long period during mid-century. Norma received her Bachelor of Arts degree and Library Science certification from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa. She spent her life as a nun and an educator, and now occasionally enjoys her trips to Las Vegas.
Connie was employed in San Francisco in business services for 12 years. She returned home to work as a family caregiver, a Hawaii Department of Education cook and now enjoys her artifacts collection and family responsibilities. Both are particularly grateful for and proud of their family members. Interviewer Patricia Brown recalls: "It is a pleasure to be in the company of these women. They are proud Filipinas: refreshingly unpretentious, very approachable, independent thinking and quick to share their humorous outlook on life."
Patricia Brown is an educator, psychologist, researcher, writer, and the daughter of a sakada. Formerly director of Chaminade University’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, School Counseling Internship, Patricia is interested in preserving the stories of plantation Filipinas and has presented at conferences on the topics of Hawaii’s Fillipina plantation women. She is currently working on a historical research expected out in print in July 2010.
Patricia is committed to supporting others by promoting educational-emotional-social wellness. She continues to preside and serve on necessary and productive community serving boards and committees. She especially credits, encourages, and assists family and friends in their personal quest to give forward in their communities.
Arzaga Family, 1979 43rd Anniversary, 8/11/1979. Betty, Norma, Nellie, Constance, Judy - Sisters (standing, left to right). Pegelio and Mary Arzaga - Parents (seated).
The views and opinions contained in each oral history are solely those of the interviewee and interviewer and not necessarily those of eFIL, FAHSOH, FilCom, OMSS, HCH or the University of Hawaii.
Historical Society of Hawaii