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Watsonville is in the Heart: Community Digital Archive

Recio Family Collection

Dublin Core


Recio Family Collection


Dioscoro "Coro" Respino Recio, Sr. was born in the municipality of Banga, in the region of Aklan, in the Philippines on August 15, 1904. At age fifteen, Dioscoro married and had two daughters. His first wife passed away due to complications during childbirth. On April 22, 1929, he traveled to the United States in search of work to financially support his family who remained in the Philippines. He worked as a farm laborer traveling up and down California’s Central Coast following the crop rotation before eventually settling in the Pajaro Valley.

In 1967, Dioscoro met a woman named Sally Anne Dalisay. The two were eventually married, though the exact date of their meeting and their marriage is unknown. Sally Anne was born in Fresno County on August 20, 1944. She was legally blind. Her mother, Beatrice Maxeen Reed, migrated to California from Kansas with her family during the Dust Bowl. Her father, Jose Antaran Dalisay, was a Filipino manong who worked as a farm laborer in Fresno County. Beatrice had four other children: Joanne Antaran Del Carlo (b. 1943), Joe Belgua (b. 1948), Lonna Dalisay (b. 1949), and Donna Dalisay (b. 1949). Beatrice and Jose had a difficult marriage. At the age of five, Sally Anne and her sisters were relocated to an orphanage. While her sisters were adopted, Sally Anne remained at the orphanage into adulthood.

Dioscoro and Sally Anne lived in a labor camp on Beach Road in Watsonville. Dioscoro worked as an irrigator at various farms in the Pajaro Valley. Sally Anne stayed at home and took care of their three children: Peter Dalisay Recio (b. 1966), Dioscoro “Roy” Respino Recio, Jr. (b. 1968), and Lynette Dalisay Recio (b. 1975). In 1972, the family moved from the rural labor camp into town. The family's move was facilitated by Rosita Tabasa—a prominent member of the Watsonville Filipino community and the owner of the popular Philippine Gardens Cafe—who assisted them in applying for low-income housing on Green Valley Road. The couple lived in Watsonville for the rest of their lives.

Coro passed in January 2004, and Sally Anne passed in March 2018.


The Recio Family Collection was contributed to Watsonville is in the Heart by Dioscoro and Sally Anne's son, Dioscoro "Roy" Respino Recio, Jr. Roy is the founder of the Tobera Project, a grassroots Filipino American community organization based in Watsonville. The Tobera Project is the community partner for the Watsonville is in the Heart community archive and research initiative. The Recio Family Collection contains five items total. This includes an oral history interview in which Roy reflects on his parents' migration histories, his experience growing up in Watsonville, and his pursuit of community organizing which led him to found the Tobera Project and to pursue a research partnership with the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Dioscoro "Roy" Respino Recio, Jr.

Collection Items

Caballeros de Dimas-Alang Lodge No. 26 Banner
The banner for the Caballeros de Dimas-Alang lodge based in Watsonville, California. This banner was hung during meetings and ceremonies.

Dioscoro "Roy" Respino Recio Jr. interviewed by Toby Baylon and Nicholas Nasser
In this interview recorded via Zoom, Dioscoro "Roy" Respino Recio Jr. speaks with Toby Baylon and Nicholas Nasser, two members of the Watsonville is in the Heart project team. Recio details his childhood experience in Watsonville in the late 1960s…

Dioscoro Respino Recio Sr. on Main Street
A photograph of Dioscoro "Coro" Respino Recio Sr. standing on Main Street in downtown Watsonville. The hand-written description on the photograph reads "When you lost your way" and "is all always like this."

Manong Sitting in front of a Hawai'i Poster at the Philippine Gardens
A photograph of a manong in front of a Hawai'i magazine poster hanging on the wall at Philippine Gardens Cafe. The cafe was located in downtown Watsonville and was a central gathering place for manong and members of the Filipino community. The…

Triptych of Photos from Philippine Gardens
Three black and white photographs were taken by Kurt Ellison of the Register-Pajaronian in 1985. The middle photograph includes Dioscoro "Coro" Respino Recio Sr. watching a card game played by another manong.The photographs were taken at the…

Dioscoro Recio Sr.'s Caballeros de Dimas-Alang Fez
A fez worn by Caballeros de Dimas-Alang members. Dioscoro "Coro" Respino Recio Sr. owned and wore this fez at Caballeros de Dimas-Alang events.

View all 6 items


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