Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Oscar Penaranda

Oscar Penaranda

Oscar Penaranda was born on the island of Leyte in the Philipines in 1944, and emigrated with his family to Vancouver, Canada in 1956 when he was twelve years old, and moved to San Francisco in 1961 wehre his father worked as a diplomat for the Philipines government. In 1966, at age 21, Oscar got a job working at the <NN> Cannery in South Naknek, Alaska, and returned every summer for over fifteen years. His jobs varied from being a driver, to being a cooler man, to working in the Fish House. He was one of many Filipino cannery workers and became their liaison with the union and the cannery administration. Eventually, Oscar taught ethnic studies at San Francisco State University and at high schools around the San Francisco Bay Area. He also is a proflic poet and writer about labor and the Filipino experience in Alaska and California, and a civil rights and labor activist. He is a founding member of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), was the first president of the San Francisco chapter, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the national organization. For more about Oscar Penaranda and his writing, see the New Castle Society's webpage, an organization focused on Americans of Philippine heritage. For more about Oscar's experience as a cannery worker in Alaska, see "Pieces of the (Midnight) Sun: Sketches of an Alaskero."

Oscar Penaranda appears in the following new Jukebox projects: