Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Steffi San Buenaventura Papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Manuscripts, correspondence, photographic materials, clippings, audiotapes, and memorabilia relating to San Buenaventura's research on Filipino American history. Also included is material on Hilario Moncado and the Filipino Federation of America.
Steffi San Buenaventura was a Filipino American Professor, historian, and author. She was born in Manila, Philippines on August 7, 1941. Her father, Diogenes San Buenaventura, was an architect, and her mother Sylvia Salumbides, was a teacher. She graduated from Manila’s Maryknoll College in 1961 with a major in English literature and a minor in journalism. She did graduate work in the United States, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she met ex-husband Peter Smith, an American academic from Hawaii. The two returned to the Philippines with their infant daughter, Michelle, and San Buenaventura began graduate work at the University of Manila. In 1972, Buenaventura and her family relocated to Hawaii shortly after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and began eliminating suspected dissidents. In 1990 San Buenaventura received her doctorate in American studies from the University of Hawaii and accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA in 1991. In 1994 she was named as an associate professor in ethnic studies at UC Riverside. She became associate professor of Asian American studies at UC Davis in 1999. Her work includes “Filipino Folk Spirituality and Immigration: From Mutual Aid to Religion” in the book New Spiritual Homes: Religion and Asian Americans, which explores religion in the Filipino diaspora of Hawaii and California. She was also the author of many scholarly articles on Filipino American history and experience, such as “The Colors of Manifest Destiny: Filipinos and the American Other(s),” “The Master and the Federation: A Filipino-American Social Movement in California and Hawaii,” and “Oral Histories of Early Filipino Migrants to Hawaii, in Particular Those Who Had Joined the Filipino Federation of America (founded by Hilario Camino Moncado in 1925 in Los Angeles).” Much of San Buenaventura’s scholarly work centered around the Filipino Federation of America and its leader, Hilario Camino Moncado. The organization was a mutual aid society, a voice for Filipino-American equality, a proponent of Philippines independence and also a religious movement who viewed Moncado as a reincarnation of Christ. With active membership across California and on several Hawaiian islands, the Federation’s spiritual branch, at its height in the 1930s, embraced a raw food diet, fasting and withdrawing to the wilderness to seek spiritual revelations. At the time of her death, she was completing a book titled Nativism, Ethnicity and Empowerment: A Filipino American Socio-Religious Movement (1925-1975) to be published by Stanford University Press. San Buenaventura passed away at her home in Davis on November 22, 2002 after a battle with lung cancer. She is survived by her daughter, Michelle Peixinho, four grandchildren, her mother Sylvia Salumbides, and sister Nora Posadas.
100 linear feet
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Collection is open for research.