The Tobera Project's 2021 "Watsonville is in the Heart" calendar. A 2022 calendar is in the works. —photo by Johanna Miller

WATSONVILLE—For the second year running, a group from Watsonville’s Filipino community is releasing a calendar highlighting family histories. 

The “Watsonville is in the Heart” calendar is part of the Tobera Project, an ongoing project aiming to preserve, honor and celebrate that history, especially those of the generation who settled in the Pajaro Valley in the early 1920s. 

The project has been working to create the calendar as well as an exhibit at the Watsonville Public Library for the past couple of years, among other things. The calendar features a number of local families, with writings and photographs detailing their stories.

Project Manager Dioscoro R. Recio Jr. said it was important to keep the project going despite the pandemic. In fact, more and more people have been contacting Recio to be part of it this time around.

“There’s been an upswell of interest,” he said. “There’s a lot of positivity surrounding the project… to honor and preserve their families’ legacies.”

This year’s calendar features stories from families but also specific groups and locations, such as the Filipino Women’s Club of Watsonville and Philippine Gardens, which served as the epicenter for Filipino-American information exchange on Main Street.

Recio thanked everyone who helped support the creation of the calendar, including Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Ow Family Properties and Eva Alminiana Monroe, as well as all those who contributed photographs and stories. 

“I always say, if we don’t do this, no one will,” he said. “It is our responsibility to preserve our community’s history. That’s what we’re trying to do.”The “Watsonville is in the Heart” 2021 calendar is available at Kelly’s Books and Bookshop Santa Cruz. You can also order online and find more information at

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Reporter Johanna Miller grew up in Watsonville, attending local public schools and Cabrillo College before transferring to Pacific University Oregon to study Literature. She covers arts and culture, business, nonprofits and agriculture.


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