About Us

Mission, Vision and Values:

Logo, Manilatown Heritage Foundation

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.

We subscribe to democratic and liberating values as follows:

  • Bridging cultures and generations
  • Encouraging critical conversations within our community
  • Building community across generations by fostering cultural roots grounded in history and guided by love of community
  • Maintaining organizational integrity and respect

Manilatown Heritage Foundation
Board of Directors:

Board Members:

Staff & Independent Contractors:

About the International Hotel Manilatown Center:

The Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s core program is to maintain the legacies of San Francisco’s historic Manilatown neighborhood and the 1977 International Hotel Eviction by maintaining the International Hotel Manilatown Center as both a memorial to these legacies and as a multipurpose community gathering space for artistic, educational and creative expressions relevant to today’s community.

The International Hotel Manilatown Center is the historic site of the community struggle to save the International Hotel and prevent the eviction of its elderly residents from 1968-1977.  The block at Kearny and Washington Streets, adjacent to Chinatown and the current Hilton Hotel, became a focal point in the creation of the contemporary Asian American movement, especially for Filipino Americans and San Francisco’s housing justice movement.

Filipino American youth from San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley and artists and community activists found their ‘roots’ in the stories and lives of the ‘Manongs’ (respected immigrant elders). The anti-eviction/anti-displacement struggle became a key site for the formation of a distinct Filipino American and pan-Asian American consciousness.

Historians like Estella Habal, a student activist during the anti-eviction protests, frame the site’s history within the context of the broader left politics of the 1970s era, the urban housing movement and San Francisco city politics. ‘The I-Hotel also served as a social network and cultural center that allowed students, artists and community activists to develop their organizing and advocacy skills while also feeling a sense of home,’ she says.

Ultimately, despite mass resistance and solidarity from throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area, the residents were forcibly evicted on the night of August 4, 1977, and the buildings were razed. But the International Hotel Manilatown Center building, completed in 2005 with 104 units of senior housing above, now occupies the site and commemorates the residents and activists who fought for housing and justice for the elderly and self-determination for Filipino and Asian American communities.

Eric Mar
Assistant Professor at San Francisco State Univeristy
Former San Francisco City Supervisor
Former President of the San Francisco Board of Education