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The Brandenburg 300 Project Honors Paulina Morales, Mother, Civic Leader, War Hero

Mrs. Paulina Morales was one of the most wanted guerillas by the Japanese Army occupying the Philippines during World War II, with the highest price on her head if captured or killed. We don’t know why, but it wasn’t for her cooking skills.

She knew knives, and must have been fierce and relentless.

Morales Family History

Paulina and Clemente Morales, Sr. got married and left the Philippines for work at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The year was 1926. Calvin Coolidge was President, and the wounds of World War I were still healing.

Later they moved to Paso Robles, California to work as a busboy and maid. Clem Sr., though, had studied accounting in college in the Philippines, got promoted, and eventually became a successful labor contractor with a camp in Chualar, near Salinas. Fifty to eighty Filipino immigrants lived in the camp and Paulina Morales cooked for all of them. Later the camp moved to a farmhouse right on the ranch, where Clem drove the car into a ditch while learning to drive, and got it out with a tractor he already knew how to handle.

Mom went to Salinas to have her baby, and Clem Jr. was born on Dr. Jose Rizal Day, December 30, 1931. Dr. Rizal is the most distinguished, accomplished, and famous of the Philippines’ political heroes, and he was executed on December 30, 1896 by the Spanish for pursuing independence from Spain and dignity for all Philippine citizens.

Clem and his family later had a dry cleaning business in Chinatown, across the street from a photographer.

Publication Date


Additional Files

Brandenburg 17-8 Morales.pdf (329 kB)