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
Club Mandalay Facebook_Eventbrite


Kommunity Kultura
saturday, april 17th at 3pm

Kommunity Kultura Facebook_Eventbrite

Kommunity Kultura is back at Manilatown via Zoom!
Please join “Danny G” for a children’s program exploring Music & Movement Moments
through the Traditions of the Southern Philippines

Saturday, April 17th at 3pm

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.

This month Manilatown is happy to be back in our International Hotel Manilatown Center home where we will be featuring one of the members of our house traditional ensemble Kultura Kapwa. Daniel Giray will be presenting Kul-Kids: Music & Movement Moments through the Traditions of the Southern Philippines.

This family-friendly program geared particularly for our Preschool through 5th grade community members will engage, inspire, move and educate the youth through rhymes, raps, and warm ups. “Danny G” will introduce hand talk and floor work exercises to get the class ready for dances and songs featuring the kulintang gong tradition. Students will learn the geographical location of the Philippines in relation to the rest of the world and then explore the traditions specifically related to the Southern Philippines.

Danny G will introduce the colorful costumes of Mindanao, including the Malong, and its many uses as demonstrated in the Kapamalong-malong dance, the Sagayan sword and shield warrior healing dance, the beautiful Pangalay fingernail dance and an original love bird storytelling dance accompanied by the Saronay instrument. Participants will be introduced to each musical instrument that makes up the kulintang ensemble and will learn basic rhythms that they can play along with the ensemble by clapping the rhythms at home.

This workshop promises to be a very entertaining learning experience for all ages that will inspire an appreciation of the importance of ancestral culture – but most importantly, we will all have FUN!!

Please join us for another enlightening Kommunity Kultura event by registering at

Daniel Giray


Daniel Giray is perhaps better known to children as “Danny G” from his former children’s dance and movement show entitled “Danny G’s Incredible Learning Fun Times”. He is a teaching artist, dancer, musician and choreographer.

Daniel was a Master-Artist for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and was the Artistic Director of the Young Extensions Children’s Dance Theatre. He also taught an outreach program for Zohar School of Dance in Palo Alto, teaching underprivileged youth where he received several California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence awards.

Daniel was a founding member of Citi-Centre Dance Theatre in the 1980’s, performing modern jazz and he also performed for the Berkeley Ballet. He directed a traditional Southern Philippine dance and music ensemble called Kulintang Dance Theatre and was a former student of Kulintang Master Danongan Kalanduyan. He has taught dance at San Francisco State University and for the San Francisco Ballet’s “Dance In Schools” program. He now teaches in the Redwood City and San Carlos School Districts and choreographs musicals for San Carlos Children’s Theater (SCCT). His performing groups from SCCT took First Place at the Redwood City Hometown Holiday Festival twice.

Daniel’s background includes training in jazz, modern, ballet, musical theater, Southern Philippine music and dance, hip-hop and children’s dance therapy. He has choreographed the musicals Footloose, Little Mermaid, Big Fish, In the Heights, Big Fish, 9-5, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat & Pipin to name a few, for high schools around the Bay Area. He is now an active member of Kultura Kapwa, a traditional Philippine ensemble and The Autonomous Region, a Filipino-American Jazz ensemble that rehearses and performs at the historic International Hotel Manilatown Center

Kommunity Kultura is supported in part by the Alliance for California Traditional Artists and the
California Arts Council, a state agency. 

Manilatown Movie Time


Register for Manilatown MovieTime via

Please join the Manilatown Heritage Foundation for an Online Manilatown MovieTime Watch Party of BUSONG (2011) followed by a Panel Discussion and Community Discussion with film director and the executive producer, Auraeus Solito and Jong DeCastro. Upon registration on EventBrite you will receive a link to watch the film at 6:00pm and another link to join the Panel Discussion on Zoom at 7:30pm.

“Busong” is the first Palawanon indigenous film. Busong is the indigenous Palawan concept of “fate” or “instant karma”, where nature reacts instantly to man’s disrespect of nature and other men. In the film, Punay (Alessandra de Rossi), was born with wounds on her feet so that she cannot step on the earth. Her brother, Angkadang, (Rodrigo Santikan) carries her on a hammock, as he searches the changing landscape of Palawan hoping to find a healer. Different people help him carry his sister along the way: a woman looking for her husband, a fisherman who lost his boat, and a young man who is searching for himself. Each one meets their fate or “busong”.

Auraeus Solito comes from a lineage of Shaman-Kings from the Palawan tribe. He is one of the first born outside of his tribal land and is one of the leading independent filmmakers from the Philippines. He is also known as “Kanakan-Balintagos”, his tribal spirit name dreamt by a shaman which means “Hunter of Truths”.

Auraeus Solito was recently chosen in Take 100, The Future of Film a publication which presents an emerging generation of the most talented filmmakers around the world and is a survey featuring 100 of the most exceptional film directors from around the world selected by ten internationally prominent film festival directors. Auraeus’s films have been screened in major festivals around the world including Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Montreal, Pusan, Toronto and Rotterdam.

Auraeus credited his mom, who is from the Palawan tribe, for inspiring him to make “Busong”: “She told me the stories and myths of her homeland when I was a kid. I grew up imagining this world—of shamans and magic; of spells and golden sea turtles, of shape shifters and stick-like demons. She told me stories that nobody knew of. It was a world that was magical and pure.”

The film is divided into three landscapes in Palawan, an island on the southwestern area of the Philippines: Forest, Sea and Mountain. Palawan itself is the main character of this film and Nature is the co-director. The people of Palawan are also called Palawan. Palawan is a landscape; Palawan is a tribe. The landscape and the people are one. Man and nature are one. When man is one with nature, nature respects man. Man respectfully talks to nature, and nature complies. The Palawan landscape is made of pristine islands, sandbars, rainforests, mountains and mangroves surrounded by brackish lakes and the vast sea. That is why the Palawan people developed great magic, to protect the great Palawan landscape. “Busong” serves as a warning. If Filipinos forget what Palawan is all about, its nature and its indigenous people, then the Philippines may end up getting its most tragic “busong”!

“Busong (Palawan Fate)” was officially selected to the Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, May 2011) and was featured in the Directors’ Showcase at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in July 2011 where it won Best Director, Best Sound Design and Best Original Music Score. “Busong” won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival, the Emile Cantillon Tomorrow’s Cinema Award at the Brussels International Festival of Independent Film, and the Merata Mita “Best of All Stories” Award at National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival.

We are deeply honored and pleased to present this highly acclaimed and groundbreaking film to our kababayans here in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and we thank Auraeus Solito and Jong De Castro for creating relevant films about the shared culture between Filipinos and Filipino Americans that we can all watch, understand and enjoy.

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 feature the following:

  • A panel 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
saturday, april 24th 1pm
“hidden treasures:
the jewels within the filipino american center”

RRR Postcard

Please join us for our fifth 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.
Our April 24th program welcomes Filipino American Center Librarian Abraham Ignacio, past San Francisco Public Library Commissioner Ernest Llorente and City Archivist Susan Goldstein, who will lead us into the little known riches found in unexpected corners of the San Francisco Public Library! Whom might you want them to help you find? Generations of Filipino Americans, family histories and poetry perhaps?
We look forward to having you join us for this FREE Family-Friendly program.
Please register via

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.

AbeAbraham (Abe) Ignacio, Jr. is the librarian for the Filipino American Center at the San Francisco Public Library. He received his Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 2014 from San Jose State University. Abe completed his B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. With Enrique de la Cruz, Jorge Emmanuel and Helen Toribio, he co-authored The Forbidden Book: The Philippine American War in Political Cartoons. He is a member of the East Bay chapter of the Filipino American Historical Society.

ErnieErnest Llorente is a native San Franciscan whose parents immigrated to San Francisco after World War II. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in History from UC Berkeley and obtained his Juris Doctor Degree from UC Davis. He served as a Trial Attorney for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office for 22 years then continued his service to San Francisco as a Civil Litigation Prosecutor for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office for ten years. While serving as a government attorney he also served the City as Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections.

Ernest Llorente was one of the seven Founding Members of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC) and served as the FBANC’s second President. He is pleased to say that the FBANC was able to support and mentor new Filipino attorneys including Bill Tamayo, the current Managing Attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the Western Region.

After Willie Brown Jr. was elected Mayor of San Francisco, he appointed Mr. Llorente to the San Francisco Public Library Commission, where he later served as its President. Ernest Llorente considers himself fortunate to have contributed to the development of the Affinity Centers in the new San Francisco Main Library.

susanSusan Goldstein has served as the City Archivist of San Francisco for over 25 years, documenting the city’s official and unofficial history at the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library. The History Center collects and preserves the archives of the City and County of San Francisco, as well as maintains a local history collection, an extensive photograph collection, and a public reading room. Goldstein also spearheads a number of digital projects for SFPL, including the “Shades of San Francisco” project, setting up photo collecting days in different San Francisco neighborhoods in order to add more images of ethnic diversity and representation to the library archives. Previously, Goldstein worked as the Archivist to Senator Alan Cranston for three years and at the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University. Goldstein received her B.A. in American Studies from Brown University, an MLIS from UC Berkeley and her MA in History from UC Santa Barbara.

For more information about the Remember, Recover, Reclaim series or the Manilatown Heritage Foundation please contact us at:

Book Festival Artwork by Ella Romero