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 “DINNER JAZZ” with carlos zialcita
Friday, NOVEMBER 6TH at 6:15pm

Please join us for another evening of Dinner Jazz at Club Mandalay,
the Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s Virtual Jazz Club!


Emcee Carlos Zialcita will be starting this evening off with some local jazz history followed by a set of jazz standards by the I-Hotel’s house band, The Autonomous Region. Holding it down with vocalist Caroline Cabading will be Raymond Bambao on Bass, Chris Planas on guitar, Harold Ohashi on Drums and Imanuel Junaedy on piano.

Register for Club Mandalay via

Kommunity Kultura
Wednesday, november 18th at 6pm

Kommunity Kultura is back at Manilatown via Zoom!
Please join us for our next webinar on Wednesday, November 18th at 6pm.

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 welcoming back Lydia Querian as she presents Intro to Tagalog with Lydia. In this 90-minute workshop Lydia will share fundamental Tagalog conversational structures that can help beginners obtain a basic grasp of the language.

Workshop Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Tagalog – Where are you from?
  • Tagalog as an organic language
  • Basic Questions
  • Basic Directions
  • Days of the Week
  • Basic Vocabulary for Everyday Use

After this workshop attendees who would like to study more seriously will be given the option to register for a 4-session Beginning Tagalog class on Wednesdays at 6:30pm starting on December 2nd.

Register for Kommunity Kultura via

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
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.

Register for Manilatown MovieTime via

REMEMBER, RECOVEr, RECLAIM with dr. estella habaL
resilience and relevance
saturday november 21st at 1pm

Please join us in our third 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 November 21st program will discuss the little known but salient and pivotal role of Filipino American students in the most successful campus strike in United States history and the creation and growth of the discipline of Ethnic Studies and the first College of Ethnic Studies in the nation. We will be speaking to leaders who protested, built the curriculum and fought to maintain it.

Joining Dr. Habal will be a founding member of SFSU’s Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) and the longest serving Judge of  the Superior Court of San Francisco County, The Hon. Ronald Quidachay, Author and Federal Demographer Juanita Tamayo Lott , San Francisco State University Professor of Asian-American Studies Daniel Phil Gonzales, and Ethnic Studies students Sheryl Fontanilla and Marielle Concejo.

Register for this FREE event 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.


The Hon. Ronald Quidachay received a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State College in 1970 and was a founding member of PACE. Judge Quidachay was the first Filipino-American appointed to the bench in Northern California and was the longest-serving judge of the Superior Court of San Francisco County. He was also a founding member of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California and served as President of the California Asian Pacific Islanders Judges Association.

Author Juanita Tamayo Lott is a retired federal demographer/statistician. With Ron Quidachay and Dan Gonzales, she participated in the 1968 San Francisco State College Strike and the planning group for the School of Ethnic Studies. Her latest book is Golden Children: Legacy of Ethnic Studies (SF State, Eastwind Books of Berkeley). The Juanita Tamayo Lott Collection resides in The LIbrary of Congress.

Professor Daniel Phil Gonzales became an active member of PACE while an undergraduate student at San Francisco State College and ultimately became a fully tenured professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. He was an activist during the Third World Strike and helped lay the strong foundation for the College of Ethnic Studies while pursuing his BA at SF State and then completing his Juris Doctor at Hastings College of Law. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his decades of work on behalf of the Asian American community.

Sheryl Fontanilla (she/her/hers), a Filipina San Francisco native, is a senior at San Francisco State University pursuing a degree in Asian American Studies. With her passion for social justice, community empowerment and equity for all, she currently interns at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, a place whose mission aligns with her own beliefs. Sheryl is a Production Intern with Manilatown’s video production leg, Manilatown Media.

Marielle Concejo is Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s Executive Associate and a Production Intern with Manilatown Media. She is a San Francisco native who recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a B.S. in Anthropology and Geography and a minor in Psychology. Coming from a PWI (predominantly white institution) Ethnic Studies had a major impact on her consciousness as a community member.

Image: November 2018 – Ethnic Studies Leaders at the 50th Anniversary of the Black Student Union / Third World Liberation Front Strike. Third from right: Carolyn Sideco; on right: Tracey Noriega. Photo Credit: Rita Takahashi