About Us

The mission of Manilatown Heritage Foundation is to promote social and economic justice for Filipinos in the United States by preserving our history, advocating for equal access, and advancing our arts and culture.

In solidarity with Filipino and other community service organizations, we envision an inspired and self-sustaining Manilatown Heritage Foundation that effectively and creatively enhances the Filipino community’s capacity to shape social, political and economic policies. Our community will be one that has equitable access to resources and opportunities, as well as pride in our culture, history, and traditions.

Statement from Manilatown

Dear Friends,

Manilatown Heritage Foundation, which operates the International Hotel Manilatown Center, has had an enduring and rich history of providing cultural, historical, and educational services to seniors, adults and children in the heart of Chinatown and Historic Manilatown. Our organization for over four decades also represents at its heart, the true stories of activism and achievements of our ancestors, the Manongs and Manangs of the I-Hotel that sprung from that fateful night on August 4, 1977. Those brave people advocated for better lives in housing and senior housing, as well as other services for Manilatown. As the Staff and Board of Manilatown, it is our goal to build on this influential legacy in partnership with the community and as well as our greater San Francisco Bay Area community.  

It is a very exciting time for the center and our organization. We are always committed to lifting each other up and building upon this precious legacy through our archives, showcasing our media and art work at our beautiful space, providing historical tours, engaging visitors and giving culturally relevant programming that empowers us, lending even more rich and artistic work to our shared stories.  We are at the crux of expanding our reach and our stewardship is guided by our commitment to creating an inclusive environment and fostering an equitable society where all ages can gain access to resources that help them enhance their lives and pursue brand new opportunities.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic for the past year, we were able to survive and continue programming our Annual I-Hotel Eviction Commemoration, our Club Mandalay PopUp Jazz Club, our Kommunity Kultura traditional Philippine cultural education program, and our Manilatown Movie Time film screenings via Zoom and virtual streaming. In addition, we premiered our Remember, Recover, Reclaim series of Community Talk Stories on Filipino-American History and finally, we launched our Manilatown Media project.

Now that California is slowly opening up and San Francisco is allowing gatherings to happen in person, Manilatown will also begin to program the Center as a community gathering space once again to revitalize and reactivate our space and the surrounding area in Chinatown.  We do so to honor its historic legacies by opening our doors to the creativity, vibrancy, energy, and artistic expressions that speak to us all today. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon at our beloved International Hotel Manilatown Center.

We invite you to visit us and also, be a partner with us in the community, as well. We welcome any and all ideas, especially your thoughts on the type of programs that will build upon our legacy and enrich the lives of our community. If you are part of an organization, please reach out to us, as well. We are always seeking to collaborate with organizations dedicated to uplifting our neighborhood, who revere and respect its history, and recognize how meaningful it is to our Filipino American and AAPI brothers and sisters, as well.

It is sincerely a true honor to serve the entire community through Manilatown Heritage Foundation and its relevant programming. Please let us know about paying us a visit at the center so you can see what makes our place so special. On behalf of the MHF staff, board of directors, volunteers and longtime supporters,  I want to thank you, humbly giving many “Maraming Salamats”  for being a part of our community and the center’s rich legacy. 

Eleanore Fernandez,
Board Member, Manilatown Heritage Foundation

The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more at http://www.arts.ca.gov and http://www.arts.gov.