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


Club Mandalay
friday, December 17th at 7pm
Club Mandalay FacebookEventbrite

Please join us for an evening of
Live Jazz , Art, Philippine Crafts & Literature at Club Mandalay!

Come on out and Chill Out at Manilatown’s Club Mandalay PopUp Jazz Club on Friday, December 17th at 7pm when we present our Winter Holiday Community Gathering.

We’ll be closing out our 2021 year by featuring live holiday music by the I-Hotel house ensemble The Autonomous Region led by vocalist Caroline Cabading and featuring Raymond Bambaoon bass, Vince Khoe on keyboard, Chris Planas on guitar, Harold Ohashi on drums and Manny Dragon, Daniel Giray and Tony Daquipa on kulintang percussion.

Our gallery will continue to feature the art of I-Hotel tenant Jeanette Gandionco Lazam‘s exhibition: A celebration of Mirth, Myth and MythologyJeanette will be joining us this evening to discuss her work.

Also joining us will be Jenny Bawer Young of the Kalingafornia-Laga weaving circle who will be presenting and selling the weavings of the Kalinga backstrap weavers from the Philippine Cordillera mountains.

Conrad Benedicto will be reading from and signing his debut fantasy novel, Musalaya’s Giftand rumour has it that poet Shirley Ancheta might even grace us with some spoken word!

And last but certainly not least, Roy Recio with the Tobera Project will be joining us with their long awaited 2022 calendar! The Tobera Project serves to honor and preserve the legacy of the Pajaro Valley. It is named after Fermin Tobera, the martyr in the 1930 Anti-Filipino Watsonville Race Riots. The annual calendar features the Filipino family histories of the Manong generation and includes vintage photos and personal essays.

So please join us for a FREE evening of music, history, literature, art . . . and Holiday Shopping!

Please RSVP for this event via

IMPORTANT NOTE: Prior to entering the International Hotel Manilatown Center all attendees will have to show proof of full vaccination, have their temperature taken with our forehead thermometer, apply hand sanitizer and put on their face mask..

Partial funding for Club Mandalay has been provided by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 and Zoo Labs Fund in partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Kommunity Kultura sulu archipelago cultural intensive
friday, january 7th at 6pm
saturday, january 8th at 2pm
saturday, january 9th at 5pm

Kommunity Kultura FacebookEventbrite (2)
Kommunity Kultura is our traditional Philippine music, movement and cultural education program taking place at San Francisco’s International Hotel Manilatown Center. 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.

We’re starting 2022 with a blast: a weekend-long hands-on intensive on the music and dance of the Sulu Archipelago!

Friday, January 7th at 6pm:
Music with Ethnomusicologist Bernard Ellorin, PhD
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We are thrilled to be presenting Ethnomusicologist Dr. Bernard Ellorin as he leads an an introductory workshop on tagunggu’ (gong-chime ensemble) music from the Sulu archipelago, Philippines. This is a hands-on intensive with the basic timekeeping and rhythmic patterns for the larger gong and drum instruments. Exposure to fieldwork footage will provide context to the musical repertoire taught throughout the larger 2-day beginner intensive.

Please join us for this community event by registering at

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 District, Sabah Malaysia and Batangas City, Philippines.


Saturday, January 8th at 2pm:
Pangalay Amilbangsa Method with Peter DeGuzman

image0We are also so happy to be presenting Peter DeGuzman as he leads an an introductory dance workshop on the Amilbangsa Instructional Method to Pangalay. Learn and understand the fundamental warm ups, gestures, postures and aesthetics of Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa’s methodology which she has developed from over 50 years of learning, teaching and sharing the Pangalay dance. Learn about her personal journey into the art form.

Please join us for this community event by registering at

When Peter de Guzman first read Ligaya Fernando Amilbangsa’s book on Pangalay as a teenager he was enthralled with the detail in its content and vowed to meet her someday. Serendipitously in 2005 Peter met Tita Ligaya in the Philippines and studied her technique, the Amilbangsa Instructional Method, during continuous trips to the Philippines and up to the present time. Peter feels blessed to be able to share the fundamentals of Pangalay and the exquisite details found in the Amilbangsa Instructional Method. As the Artistic Director of Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts in Los Angeles, Peter has been keeping Philippine culture thriving and growing with the youth and the community. His vision is to promote culture as well as create culture.

Saturday, January 9th at 5pm:
Pangalay with Ethnochoreologist Desiree Quintero, PhD

DQuinteroAnd last but not least we’re so excited to have with us Ethnochoreologist Desiree Quintero, PhD as she leads an a Beginner Pangalay Workshop. Participants will learn the aesthetics of Pangalay Tausug/Suluk in order to begin to establish a foundation for pangalay dancing that manifests within local cultural contexts. The workshop will include a vital lecture component to bring participants into a better understanding of what the “people of Sug” aesthetically strive for in performing the movement motifs of pangalay dancing.

Please join us for this community event by registering at

Desiree Quintero (PhD) is a lecturer with Leeward Community College on Oahu, Hawaiʻi, in the Asian/Philippine Studies Program and she has lectured in the dance program at the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa campus. As an Ethnochoreologist, Desiree specializes in dances found in the Philippines and Malaysia. Desiree was awarded a research fellowship by the Asian Cultural Council, NYC, which made it possible for her to conduct six months of additional fieldwork in the Philippines and in Malaysia in 2019. Prior to that time, Desiree alternated between residing in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah, Malaysia, as well as in the northern Philippines during her doctoral work from 2011-2016. Her research and dance practice closely align with “movement as culture,” particularly among maritime peoples in Southeast Asia.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Prior to entering the International Hotel Manilatown Center all attendees will have to show proof of full vaccination. 

This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grants for the Arts and The California Endowment. Funding for this program has also been provided by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021.

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For more information about Kommunity Kultura, please email us at


Manilatown MovieTime Presents: ELI AFRICA

SUNday, JANUARY 16th at 6pm

Please join Manilatown for an ONLINE Watch Party of
short films by ELI AFRICA followed by
a Community Discussion with the film director.

NOTE: Upon registration on EventBrite you will receive an email to watch the Zoom Livestream at 6:00pm Sunday, January 16 (PST). The livestream on Zoom is ONLY shown live at that time and will not be available to watch afterwards.


The Impersonator [00:13] Animation. During the Coronavirus outbreak, a character goes on the air.

Bus Wrap Art [01:44] Multimedia. A social media response to SamTrans launching new anti-racism artwork on buses and shelters in support of the AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) community.

Young Frai [03:43] Multimedia. Inspired by the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) around the world who make sacrifices to provide for their families in the Philippines.

Empanada [03:00] Short Documentary. Vigan is famous not only for its architecture and horse carriages but also for Empanada, a delicacy inspired by colonial Spain.

Payatas Peace Park [08:23] Short Documentary. Paul Galang, social advocate, Poet, and Executive Director of ABAKADANG Kayumanggi, coordinates an annual Japanese student study tour group, empowering them to experience, share and learn from social, economic & cultural encounters with the urban poor communities of Metro Manila, Philippines.

Al Robles Express [07:06] Short Documentary. A few Filipino-Americans go on a soul-searching pilgrimage to the Philippines.

Lolo’s Present [05:20] Short Fiction. A Filipino migrant family living in the San Francisco Bay Area welcomes an elderly relative from the Philippines.

The Two Brothers Who Raised Me [04:35] Short Non-Fiction. A story of two brothers whose journeys from the Philippines to California unfold through the years.

Selling Songs of Leyte [14:27] Short Documentary. Best Foreign Short Documentary [2004 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival]. On the Philippine island province of Leyte, market day shifts from town to town where locals flock to get their basic needs. Among a few of the dried fish vendors, wares are sold using the rhythm of the songs they sing.


Eli Africa is a multimedia artist living in El Cerrito, California. He earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and a Master of Arts degree in Multimedia Communications from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Eli was born in San Bernardino, California to Filipino immigrant parents. When his father retired from the U.S. Army, he immigrated to the Philippines with his family and lived there until he graduated from college. Upon moving back to California, he landed visual art jobs as a freelancer and worked in art production houses. During one of his trips back to the Philippines, he was invited to teach at his alma mater, the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, where he taught freshmen and sophomore students for five years.

Soon after he got married and started a family, he moved back to California with his wife and two kids and started from scratch all over again. Drawing faces was something he did for fun as a young art student. In fact, one of his first gigs upon returning to California was drawing caricatures on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. He has since worked with the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Children’s Creativity Museum, Asian Pacific Fund, Youth Speaks, the Exploratorium, de Young Museum, and the University of California Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension. Eli is now a freelancer creating assets for print, short-form video, and the web.


We are deeply honored and pleased to present these wonderful films to our kababayans here in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and we thank Eli Africa for creating relevant films about the shared culture between Filipinos and Filipino Americans that we can all watch, understand and enjoy.

Please join us for this community event by registering at


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 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.

For more information about Manilatown MovieTime or the Manilatown Heritage Foundation please contact us at

Please join us for this community event by registering at