The Manilatown Heritage Foundation produces a variety of free family-friendly programming at the International Hotel Manilatown Center. As a multipurpose gallery and presentation space that honors the I-Hotel Eviction and Historic Manilatown legacy we are both a museum about this legacy and a home for a variety of present day multi-generational creative voices in the areas of visual art, performance art, education and advocacy. 

Al Robles Birthday Commemoration
Ang Paglalakbay ng Pag-Ibig
Club Mandalay
International Hotel Historical Tours
Kommunity Kultura

Ang Paglalakbay ng Pag-Ibig

Manilatown is pleased to present our current art exhibition by Tony Remington!

Artist Statement: 
This painting started off as a rather mediocre photograph that I hastily took from a car window while on the road to Twin Lakes in Negros Oriental, San Jose, Philippines, where the road is scattered with hamlets. The image was blurry, but I felt the gesture of this mother and child was classic. The metaphor of the road and the lifetime of a mother’s love, as our first experiences of unconditional love.

I’ve chosen this as my title piece for my current exhibit of paintings at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation at 868 Kearny Street in San Francisco.  a “journey of love.” In tagalog Ang Paglalakbay ng Pag-Ibig. 

“Ang Paglalakbay ng Pag-Ibig.” Also looseley refers to my beginnings as a photographer in 1970 as began to develop that “i told you so” kind of sarcasm in my image making, trying to show how evil and cruel the world is. But I’ve come to see it was only an adolescent part of my purview. When in reality, my journey as an Artist has always been my actual love for the world-“A Journey of Love.” My images haven’t changed, but rather my motivation has expanded. I’ve changed.

In the late 70’s I worked with the poet/activist Al Robles. It was immediately after the Eviction and Demolition of the International Hotel, where Al Robles formed Manilatown Senior Center, a series of substitute meeting places for the evicted Manongs and elderly Chinese. My duties were to assist in the daily meal program, deliver meals to the home-bound seniors scattered in nearby SRO housing, and senior escort.

It was during this time I made photographs of Manilatown’s Manongs which I’ve based many of my paintings. It was also during this time, I began my series of photographic essays in the Philippines which have also recently become subjects of my paintings.

Manilatown is an important aspect of my work, one of my intitial major works as a photographer. As I exhibited in the 2018 Pistahan in San Francisco, I realized many new little about the people’s history of the United States, the history of gentrification and it’s historical origins. It is my belief that these avoided facts impede our growth as a species, the fullness of our spiritual potential.

Club Mandalay: Al Robles Birthday Commemoration
Friday, February 15th at 6pm

Come on out and chill out at our Club Mandalay PopUp live music club when we commemorate the Birthday of the late activist poet Al Robles, celebrate the culmination of Media Artist Norman Jayo‘s 10-year Tribute to Al, and say Bon Voyage to the “Al Robles Express: Looking for Ifugao Mountain” documentary team before they leave for the Philippine tribal lands!

This will be a FREE evening of Jazz, Poetry, Talk Story, traditional Philippine culture, Filipino-American Jazz, CAKE, and other refreshments!  And if the spirit moves any visiting musicians, an open jam session too – so bring your axe!

Those of you who are familiar with Media Artist Norman Jayo‘s work know that he will soon be releasing this year’s telephone poetry collaboration honoring the Day Before and the Day Of All Robles’ birthday.  When Norman began this multimedia project he decided to produce his poetry collaborations for only 10 years with February 2019 being the final year. Norman has been gracious enough to provide us with all of the graphics and poetry recordings he created this past decade and we will be presenting these works to the community throughout the evening. We will also be premiering the last of the “Day Before” poems when Genny Lim joins us to present her poem live.

Some of you may also know that the International Hotel received a San Francisco Arts Commission grant to produce a documentary on Al Robles as seen through the eyes and memories of his nephew Tony Robles and his friends Oscar Penaranda, Lou Syquia, Tony Remington and Lauren Benetua as they journey to the Philippine tribal lands in tribute to Al. The name of the documentary is “The Al Robles Express: Looking for Ifugao Mountain”.  As it turns out the ARX team leaves for the Philippines this month as well – February 2019. 

With February 2019 being so momentous and with this month’s Club Mandalay coincidentally falling on the Day Before Al’s Birthday we just knew that this month’s show had to not only commemorate Al’s birthday but also celebrate the culmination of Norman’s multimedia project and send off “The Al Robles Express” team with a bang.

At 6pm the doors open for Refreshments and Mingling and soon after emcee Carlos Zialcita will begin his monthly “Converstions with Mr. Z” program to lead us on a journey of talk story, music, poetry and media art presentations with local poets, travelers and musicians Tony Robles, Lou Syquia, Genny Lim, Nancy Hom, Lauren Benetua, Raymond Bambao, Harold Ohashi, Chris Planas, Jibril Alvarez, Frank Holder, Patrick Tamayo, Daniel Giray and Camille Santana

And when you register ahead of time through EventBrite for this FREE February 15th program, you will also receive a Thank You gift from us:

For more information about Club Mandalay please visit us at: or email us at

“Manilatown Suite” is made possible in part from grants from the California Arts Council and the San Francisco Arts Commission

International Hotel Historical Tours
By Appointment

tourwebDiscover the mystery of San Francisco’s forgotten neighborhood, Manilatown. Witness the merging of time, the past to the present history of San Francisco’s International Hotel. Visit a Filipino arts and culture center in San Francisco. Share in the history of San Francisco’s “rich” history. Manilatown Heritage Foundation offers tours for K-12 students, college, adults, and everyone. Bring your class, student group, organization, club and friends to experience the complex history of Manilatown and the International Hotel. $5 donation per person.

Schedule a tour today! How? Contact for more information on scheduling your visit.

Kommunity Kultura
Saturday, April 13th at 5pm

Please join us for our next beginning “Kommunity Kultura” workshop!

“Kommunity Kultura” is a traditional Philippine music, movement and cultural education program taking place at San Francisco’s International Hotel Manilatown Center once a month on  Saturday evenings from 5-6pm. This program emphasizes instruction on the pre-colonial Philippine cultural traditions.

Saturday, April 13th at 5pm:
 Beginning T’Boli Music & Dance with Frank Holder and Fides Enriquez

For more information about Kommunity Kultura please email us at 

This project has been made possible in part by grants from the California Arts Council and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Surdna Foundation.