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Watsonville resident celebrates 110th birthday

Posted: Friday, Nov 23rd, 2012

Juan Reyes (seated) is making plans to celebrate his 110th birthday Tuesday with the help of his relatives Real Reyes (right) and Nifosima Reyes Tepora at Valley Convalescent and Rehabilitation. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE Juan Reyes came to the United States from the Philippines when he was 24 years old, seeking a good farming job.

But with the beginning of the Great Depression only three years away, and with a wage of only 10 cents an hour, a time of hardship would soon consume him, not to mention the harsh discrimination that he faced as a Filipino in the country.

Born on Nov. 23, 1902, Reyes, a Watsonville resident, celebrated his 110th birthday Friday. A larger celebration with more than 150 people is planned for today.

Reyes arrived in Watsonville in 1930, working in the fields. However, he went back to the Philippines in 1936, marrying Maria, who died in 2000 at 95 years old.

He would not return to Watsonville for 39 years. During that time, he established himself as a successful fisherman in his home country.

For the complete article see the 11-24-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-24-2012 paper.

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