Photographs of Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado: Through My Father’s Eyes

November 16, 2015



This collection of fifty-one black-and-white photographs taken by Ricardo Alvarado (1914–1976) in Northern California during the 1940's and 1950's will be on view at:


Skyline College Art Gallery

From October 26 through December 11, 2015

Reception: November 12, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. 
Panel Discussion in Gallery: Thursday, November 19, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. 


Panelists: Roderick Magbual, Kimberley Arteche, Grace Burns. Moderator: Rosie Bell 
This event is free, and open to the public.

Presented by the Skyline College History and Sociology Departments 


These photographic images provide a view of Filipino life and history in the United States during the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Ricardo Alvarado arrived in California in 1928 as a 14-year-old in the first wave of Filipino immigrants. Working as a janitor and houseboy, he enlisted in the U.S. Army First Filipino Infantry Regiment in 1942. After serving in combat in the South Pacific during World War II as a medic, he became a civilian cook at San Francisco's Letterman Army Hospital. 

For 20 years he studied the city and nearby rural areas in his free time with his view camera in hand, recording Filipino community life at dances, banquets, baptisms, funerals, and other gatherings. In 1959, Alvarado ended his work in photography and returned to the Philippines to marry Norberta Magallanes. They had two children, Janet and Joseph Alvarado, who currently live in San Francisco.

When he died in 1976, Ricardo Ocreto Alvarado left an archive of nearly 3,000 rare photographs, a vital portrait of early Filipino Americans.

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