Mag-Asawa – Couples : Ann & Anthem

Vintage Images (left): George Dela Rosa Calloway and Nieves Beth Buena Calloway, 1940s
Modern Homages (right): Anthem Salgado and Ann Borja, 2013

 George Dela Rosa Calloway and Nieves Beth Buena Calloway

George’s father, Sgt. Major John Calloway, was an African-American raised in eastern Tennessee.  A decorated non-commissioned officer and prominent member of the 24th Infantry of the African American Regiment of the US Army known as  “Buffalo Soldiers,” John was stationed in the  Philippines in 1899 during the Spanish-American war. He was later persecuted by the US military because of a letter he wrote to a Pilipino friend, Tomas Consumji, in which he expressed sympathy for the Pilipinos and stated his opinion that it was “an immoral war.” He married Mamerta de la Rosa, a Filipina from Nueva Ecija. They settled in Manila with their large family.

 Because his father was an American citizen, George and his family were able to come to the US as American citizens in 1945 after the Japanese occupation in the Philippines. They landed in Newport News, Virginia on the U.S.S. Mann. They lived with George’s sister, Elizabeth, in Chicago before they traveled by train to San Francisco. George’s wife, Nieves, worked as a seamstress for some of the big SF department stores and also had her own shop in San Francisco.

 Ann Borja
Administration at Tidemark, a technology start-up company; Photographer

“I moved with my family from Arayat, Pampanga to San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley in 1986. Our family moved around a lot, often sharing homes with other extended families; it was one big party! I grew up with so many Filipinos around me so it was normal and I loved it. It wasn’t until high school where the ‘cool’ kids bought into this idea that it was cooler to be Polynesian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander; it was not as ‘fobby’ or ‘fresh off the boat.’ I didn’t care. I loved being Filipino and was very proud of it. During the day, I was exposed to so many different societal, economical and class issues at Balboa High School. By night, I traveled back to my safe, comfortable home in Daly City and often reflected on these two binary, conflicting worlds. Now, I’m incredibly proud to see the huge representation of Filipinos in SF.

“Anthem and I crossed paths in the theater arts and community scene.  Our core values brought us together.”

Anthem Salgado
Owner/ Entrepreneur, The Art of Hustle; Coach and Marketing/Strategic Consultant for small businesses and nonprofits

“My family is originally from Cuyapo, Luzon, then Baguio, and finally Quezon City. I had aunts and uncles that preceded us to the US.  My immediate family immigrated to the States in 1981 by way of Hawaii and we settled in the suburbs of NY.  I like to tell people I grew up in New York but I became a grown up in San Francisco.  Given the relatively small population of Filipinos in the East Coast, the Bay Area with its diversity of art & culture, its activism, and its sophisticated dialogues on identity and politics is essentially where I ‘became’ Pinoy.

“When I moved to the Bay, I first landed in Redwood City before finding a place in Upper Haight, among my hippified artist kin.  I have since lived in several different neighborhoods, but spent the majority of my residence in the Western Addition, an area that is shrinking/vanishing rapidly due to a surge in gentrification.

“Somewhere in my Americanization, I adopted (ironically) a strong sense of anti-Capitalism which I foolishly muddied with anti-money.  It’s a plague that affects many people of color and artists.  My hope is for all of us to get the hell out of and stay out of starving artistry.  I’d like to get back to parts of my immigrant roots, pretend like I just got here, work hard, build infrastructure, be shameless in my pursuit of economic health, leave something for the next generation, like a Manilatown, whether literal or symbolic.

“It’s definitely pretty cool having the Filipino representation en masse in SF today, to have that recognition. Filipinos have a rich history in California so I’m proud to participate in or even just witness this legacy in continual formation.”

Pictures this case by Peggy Peralta with assistance from Wilfred Galila.

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