1977: Faustino Baysa

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Faustino Baysa was born in 1908 in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, and came to Hawaii in 1927 under a three-year contract with the Hawaii Sugar Planters’ Association. He did field work, mill work, and hospital work on the plantation.

FB: I was pretty lucky, because most of my supervisors were good; my first impression to them was very favorable and I tried to make good with them. I didn't have to offend whatever they were thinking at that time. My immediate luna at the factory was Chinese. And the other was Portuguese. They used to call me by first name. And then, I liked it. I felt like I was someone, a human being.
They used to promote credits. The good part of it. if one was known to be a plantation worker, did not have to worry about not having enough money to buy, just go to the store on credit-"jabon" they used to call it or “Dio-Bung". They give credit. And, at the end of the month, the collectors come around and you say. “I don't have enough money." And he say, "Okay. Don't worry. Next month alright." So we used to depend on plantation store.

And then they used to have this other stores in here. Otake stores, Tanaka store and Hiroshige stores. The present Fujioka store was there in the back. But the one that was burned down used to be an old plantation store.

And all you need in there was to present the bango. They used to call "bango.” That's the number given to you and most time they call you by the numbers. And that was the thing I objected to. I wanted my name. not the number.

But, the foreman then was so used to just calling people with their numbers, and they had no objections. So, I must have been termed one of the naughty ones. I used to be.

I didn't like my number. I wanted to be called by my name. So every time I'd tell my friends. "I have my name. If you want anything, call me by name." So these people who understood what I was talking started calling by our names. And then I turned out to be a friend of theirs. And too, whenever I needed some help. I used to ask them for help. Whenever I needed something (talking about the store), I just go in and asked for favors.