The Manilatown Heritage Foundation produces a variety of affordable family-friendly programming at the International Hotel Manilatown Center. As a multipurpose gallery that honors the I-Hotel Eviction and Historic Manilatown legacies we stand as  both a museum to these legacies and a community gathering space offering programming relevant to today’s community.

Club Mandalay
Kommunity Kultura
Manilatown MovieTime
Remember, Recover & Reclaim with Dr. Estella Habal

Club Mandalay presents “manilatown music” with carlos zialcita
Friday, december 4TH at 6:15pm

Please join us for another evening of Manilatown Muisic at Club Mandalay,

the Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s Virtual Jazz Club!


From the 1920s to the mid 1960s, the neighborhood of the International Hotel housed the first Filipino community or “village” in San Francisco. The neighborhood eventually became known as “Manilatown” but during its heyday when as many as 20,000 Filipinos lived there, Filipinos referred to it as “Filipino Town” or simply “Kearny Street.” In addition to being a housing and economic center, Manilatown also provided a social network and cultural center. After WWII, Filipinos followed the migration patterns of other ethnic minorities who were drawn to the cities for greater economic opportunities. Filipinos were allowed to become citizens starting in 1943, many of them reuniting with the wives they had left behind, or married “war brides” they had met during their service in the Armed Forces. They were permitted to bring their families with them from the Philippines to become naturalized citizens in hopes of pursuing “The American Dream.”

MANILATOWN MUSIC honors the music and contributions made by our early “musikeros” here in the United States. Host Carlos Zialcita will feature compositions and interpretations of songs popular with Filipino Americans over the many generations, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. The different bands and artists over the years that he will honor and celebrate include “The Manila Swingsters”, a small San Francisco based orchestra that featured Lorenzo Calica and Nestor “Douglas” Regino on saxophones. Other bands from this early era of Pinoy Jazz pioneers include “The Gaylanders”, and the “Manila Serenaders”, who toured parts of the United States in the mid 1930s, and are featured in Fred Cordova’s iconic and groundbreaking book, “Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans”.

Tonight’s performance will be a tribute to the generations of newly arrived immigrants to the shores of San Francisco and other cities where there was a significant emerging Filipino population whose musical tastes were catered to by numerous musicians, singers and entertainers who performed in the San Francisco’s Chinatown and Manilatown..

Register for Club Mandalay via

Kommunity Kultura
WednesdayS, DECEMBER 2ND – 23RD at 6:30pm

Kommunity Kultura is back at Manilatown via Zoom!
Please join us for a 4-Session Beginning Conversational Tagalog class on
Wednesdays, December 2nd – 23rd at 6:30pm.

Kommunity Kultura is our traditional Philippine music, movement and cultural education program usually taking place at San Francisco’s International Hotel Manilatown Center but coming to you on this date online via Zoom. Each of our family-friendly workshops focus on a new topic, are oftentimes hands-on, and are accessible to all ages and levels of ability.

Manilatown is happy to be welcoming back Lydia Querian as she presents a weekly 4-session Beginning Conversational Tagalog class. In this class Lydia will share fundamental Tagalog conversational structures that can help beginners obtain a basic grasp of the language.

Outline of Class:

  • Introduction
  • Tagalog – Where are you from?
  • Tagalog as an Organic Language
  • Basic Questions
  • Basic Directions
  • Days of the Week
  • Basic Vocabulary for Everyday Use
  • Intro to Conjugation through numbers
  • Family tree
  • Basic Pronouns
  • Simple Sentence Construction
  • Mga Gulay (vegetables) – Bahay Kubo!
  • Knowing the Body Parts
  • And possibly more topics based on time and the class members’ interests!

IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE REGISTERING: Since this is a conversational language course Lydia is asking that attendees be willing to actively participate. This means that the Zoom video and audio settings please be “on” for all attendees during the duration of the class so that Lydia can interact with you directly and hear you speak what you are learning.

Register for Beginning Conversational Tagalog via
$35 for the full course of 4 weekly sessions

Lydia Querian is a Dance and Music Artist who left her corporate work to pursue social entrepreneurship. She is originally from the Philippines and has lived in the SF Bay Area for 10 years. She’s spent her time in San Francisco doing several collaborations, performances and has toured both National and Internationally with Dancing Earth, KulArts, Parangal Dance Company and Fusion Dance Project. She was part of the feature in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2017 along with the San Francisco Kulintang Legacy– a group that was put together to honor the late Father of Kulintang in North America, Master Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan. Lydia continuously puts in time to immerse and go on several tours in different indigenous communities in the Philippines to explore cultures around Mindanao and the Cordillera region. She is the founder of Daily Malong, co-Founder of the House of Gongs; the Co-Producer of one of the first and biggest Kulintang Festival in North America – Gongster’s Paradise and the executive producer of Gongs Away Music.

Kommunity Kultura is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at:

Manilatown Movie Time
TBD IN 2021!

The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is proud to present Manilatown MovieTime a series of specially programmed Filipino film screenings and community discussions. Hosted by Carlos Zialcita, Manilatown MovieTime is designed to showcase Philippine and Filipino-American related movies, filmmakers, actors and crews, infusing their art and insight into our vibrant, diverse community through film. Each Manilatown MovieTime screening will features the following:

  • A community discussion led by writer, poet, actor and Ethnic Studies Professor Oscar Peñaranda
  • A presentation on the importance of Filipino Films in the Filipino-American Community
  • Meet & Greets with Actors, Directors, Cinematographers, and Filipino movie enthusiasts.

Register for Manilatown MovieTime via

REMEMBER, RECOVEr, RECLAIM with dr. estella habaL
TBD in 2021

Please join us in 2021 for our next discussion in the Remember, Recover, Reclaim series, hosted by Dr. Estella Habal. This series remembers our Filipino-American community members who labored, organized, worshipped, danced, lived and died in San Francisco’s Manilatown neighborhood and beyond. This program recovers these stories to reclaim our heritage. Stay tuned for our next program . . . and until then, please enjoy our programs from 2020 at Manilatown Media.

Estella Habal, PhD. Dr Habal is an Original Defender of the International Hotel, a San Jose State University Professor Emerita, and author of the definitive book on the International Hotel Eviction, San Francisco’s International Hotel: Mobilizing the Filipino American Community in the Anti-Eviction Movement.