Augustina Villa

Augustina Villa
Location of Interview
Collection Name

Kalihi: Place of Transition


This project features life history interviews with present and former longtime residents of Kalihi, a multi-ethnic working-class district located west of downtown Honolulu, which has a long history as a home of island immigrants.

Date of Interview
Biographical Sketch

Agustina (Abaya) Villa, Ilocano, was born in Dingras, !locos Norte, Philippines on August 28, 1893 . The fifth of six children, Agustina helped support the family by taking in laundry from the people of her barrio. She also sewed clothing. Agustina married Antonio Villa in 1913 . In 1924, Antonio left for Hawaii to find work in the sugarcane fields. He was assigned to Lahaina, Maui. Agustina remained in the Philippines and continued sewing and laundering until 1931, when she and two of her children joined Antonio in Lahaina . In the cane fields, Antonio was paid one dollar a day; Agustina, seventy-five cents. In 1943, the family moved from Lahaina, Maui to Kakaako, Oahu. Agustina and Antonio both found jobs at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Agustina worked in a chemical laboratory, washing bottles and cleaning tables for thirty cents an hour. In 1946, they bought a home in Kalihi Kai and have lived there ever since. Today, they own an apartment building on their property. Agustina participates in senior citizens' activities daily. The couple has five children.

Scope and Content Note
A retired government worker answers questions about Filipino lifestyle and customs.

Program Note:  
This interview is part of the Center for Oral History's project Kalihi: Place of Transition. Interviews from this project are available in the Center's ScholarSpace open access repository.

The Center for Oral History (COH), in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawaiʻi. It produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements and Hawaiʻi’s role in the globalizing world, for the widest possible use.

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Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.