Press Coverage

Manong ‘Benny’s Altars’ exhibit bares diaspora’s roots

November 25, 2019
Wilfred Galila,

SAN FRANCISCO – Benny Gallo was a well-dressed gentleman who belonged to the manong (older brother or elder) generation. The manongs were the first wave of Filipino immigrants who came to the United States, starting in 1906 with the importation of Filipino farm laborers by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association. Those who came in the 1920s and 30s and worked as seasonal migrant workers in farms in the west coast and salmon canneries in Alaska.

Many of the manongs came to what was then Manilatown on Kearny Street, a five-block district from Bush Street to Jackson Street of Filipino residences and businesses. The encroachment of the Financial District brought about by the urban renewal and redevelopment movement in the mid-‘60s led to the destruction of Manilatown, including the International Hotel where many of the manongs lived. [more]

A Community Lost, a Movement Born

Historic development battle still shaping San Francisco

August 11, 2017
Brandon Yu, San Francisco Chronicle

As Pete Yamamoto recalls the events of Aug. 4, 1977 — the infamous eviction night at Kearny Street’s old International Hotel — his eyes are closed.

For several minutes, he seems to be trying to concentrate as he recounts what occurred 40 years ago. But after a while, he pauses, bows his head and trembles silently.

Yamamoto is sitting in the International Hotel Manilatown Center on a recent Sunday afternoon. The center is on the bottom floor of the new International Hotel building, serving as a gallery space and community center commemorating the original hotel and the battle over its survival as the last vestige of San Francisco’s once prospering Manilatown. The new I-Hotel, providing subsidized senior housing on its upper 15 floors since it opened in 2005, sits on the same block of Kearny Street at the edge of Chinatown where the original was located. [more]

I-Hotel commemorates 37th year of the eviction of elders and sheds light on the current SF housing crisis

August 4, 2014
San Francisco Examiner

005Advocates and tenants gathered at the I-Hotel on Kearny Street Monday, August 4 to commemorate the 37th anniversary of evictions of elder tenants at the I-Hotel in 1977. Groups such as Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Senior and Disability Action, Bill Sorro Housing Project, San Francisco Tenants Union and Eviction Free San Francisco also joined in on the commemoration to shed light on the current housing crisis and Ellis Act evictions happening in San Francisco. [more]