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

Kommunity Kultura

Saturday, October 17th at 4pm

Kommunity Kultura is back at Manilatown via Zoom!
Please join us for our next webinar on Saturday, October 17th at 4pm.

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 we are happy to be welcoming back Ethnomusicologist Dr. Bernard Ellorin as he leads a comprehensive workshop on Kulintang Music for Dance.

Kulintang music from the southern Philippines is part of the larger gong chime traditions found throughout maritime Southeast. Primarily found among the Muslim societies, this indigenous art form has a diverse repertoire found in every regional ensemble: from celebratory, ritual, to dance accompaniment for stage performances.

For this presentation, Dr. Bernard Ellorin, along with members of the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble and dance ethnologists, will discuss how kulintang music functions as dance music in varied contexts. This informative webinar intends to explore how native practitioners work within the parameters of tradition and innovation as a process of cultural conservation.

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Bernard Ellorin PhD., is an adjunct faculty of music at Miramar College and MiraCosta College in San Diego County, California. He received his PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 2015. Ellorin’s academic and community work spans over 28 years of educating Filipino American and non-Filipino American communities on Filipino diasporic performing arts. From 2012-2013, Ellorin was a research fellow with the Fulbright Research and Study Abroad Program conducting a comparative study on the contemporary musics of the Sama-Bajau in Semporna Distrct, Sabah Malaysia and Batangas City, Philippines. He is currently the music director for the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center and its Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble.

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

REMEMBER, RECOVEr, RECLAIM with dr. estella habal
Saturday, september 26th at 1pm

Remember, Recover, Reclaim with Dr. Estella Habal

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Please join us for the  Remember, Recover, Reclaim Manilatown series hosted by Dr. Estella Habal, I-Hotel Original Defender, 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. This series will remember our Filipino ancestors who labored, organized, worshiped, danced, lived and died in San Francisco’s Manilatown neighborhood. We will recover these stories and reclaim our heritage.

In this second discussion, we will talk stories about the Movement and the Moment, from the moment of the anti-eviction battle to the movement for low-income housing in San Francisco, with Jeanette Lazam, former organizer as well as tenant at the International Hotel in the 1970s. We will also talk to Aryssa Alonzo, a young activist of the 2020s, how they organize, what moment inspires them, and to the movement of identities and Black Lives Matter.

We look forward to having you join us for this FREE Family-Friendly program.

Club Mandalay presents “manilatown Music” with carlos zialcita
Friday, october 9th at 6:15pm

Please join us for the Premiere of a new Club Mandalay feature,

“Manilatown Music” with Host Carlos Zialcita!

For many of our early Filipino immigrant pioneers, it was a time of great adversity. The “streets paved with gold and golden opportunities” was simply not there to greet them upon their arrival. On the contrary, despite their status as American Nationals, our Filipino Pioneers faced challenges on almost every level of society, from barriers to housing and employment to signs that explicitly proclaimed “Positively No Filipinos Allowed.”

Manilatown Music
honors the music and contributions made by our early “musikeros” here in the United States. We 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 we 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”.

This First Episode of Manilatown Music
will focus on the music of these early Pinoy big bands beginning with songs from the popular musicals of the days. These songs continue to be part of the “Great American Songbook” that Filipino Americans were familiar with was part of the repertoire of the musicians and singers from the Bay Area including Jo Canion, Primo Kim, Rudy Tenio, Mike Montano, Vince Gomez, George Muribus, and Flip Nunez.
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Manilatown Movie Time
Saturday, NOVEMBER 14th 6pm

Please join the Manilatown Heritage Foundation for an Online Manilatown MovieTime Watch Party of the film LUMPIA followed by a Community Discussion with the LUMPIA Director Patricio Ginelsa.

Upon registration on EventBrite you will receive a link to watch the film at 6pm and another link to join the Panel Discussion at 7:30pm.

Written and directed by Patricio Ginelsa Jr., LUMPIA (2003) takes you back to the late-90s where tension is at an all-time high in Fogtown High School. This becomes the setting for a low-budget movie taken to new heights. Shot in Daly City over a period of six years, this genre-spoofing film delightfully gets out of hand with Leroid David’s deft cartoon panels framing the action and setting the tone for Patricio Ginelsa’s street-level affectionate look at kid-culture among Filipino immigrants.

The plot centers on the conflict between established immigrants, shown here entrenched with a straight-outta-Compton attitude, and the more naive islanders “fresh off the boat”. For those not familiar with the term “F.O.B.”, the term is a negative term given to Filipinos who have recently immigrated to America from the Philippines. For many Filipinos, and depending where you live, there has always been tension among Filipino Americans towards Filipino immigrants. It can be the differences of clothing style, speaking in the native language instead of English, or whatever reason Filipino Americans have used against Filipino immigrants. Unfortunately, this is something that many Filipinos have seen and experienced but “LUMPIA” shows that unity amongst our community members is important, and has to be advocated for.

The cast features a newly-named “James” (Francis Custodio) and his nerdy crew who are always in danger from big cheese Tyrone (Edward Baon), but all James wants to do is get with cute Kelly (Elizabeth Mendoza), while a slow R&B tune plays whenever she appears. The FOBs have a protector — the Silent Avenger (mustachioed Carlos Baon) who has, as a snack or a weapon, lumpia—our world-famous, deep-fried egg rolls.

As teens, Patricio Ginelsa and his younger brother, Dar, were fans of the movie “El Mariachi” by Robert Rodriquez. They joked that they should do a Filipino version of that character. They immediately thought of a guy wearing a barong, who throws lumpia like a ninja star. It felt like the corniest and wackiest idea ever; a concept perfect to shoot a homemade action movie with neighborhood friends.

Realizing the power of representation, “Lumpia” became more than just a B-movie. After graduating from University of Southern California Film School, joining “The Debut” as a producer touring cross-country, and meeting pockets of Filipinos all over the US, Patricio Ginelsa rewrote the end of “Lumpia”. He finally finished shooting it, and premiered a project that started in 1996, in 2003.

We are deeply honored and pleased to present this groundbreaking film to our kababayans here in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and we thank Patricio Ginelsa for creating a film that many Filipinos can 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 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.

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