Members of the Kultura Kapwa Community of Practice. Courtesy of organization.

Manilatown Heritage Foundation

Filipino/Filipino-American arts and culture

Filipino/Filipino-American arts and culture
Students learning the dance “Pangalay” at a Kommunity Kultura workshop in San Francisco, 2022 Photo: Kenneth Camota.

The mission of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation is to promote social and economic justice for Filipinos in the United States by preserving history, advocating for equal access and advancing arts and culture. The founders were the original defenders of San Francisco’s 1977 International Hotel Eviction and MHF helped to rebuild the current I-Hotel affordable housing complex where the center currently serves as a community multipurpose art gallery and performance venue. In 2014, a concerted effort was made to bring indigenous pre-colonial Philippine culture to the space. Now a hub that regularly brings Kalinga back strap weaving instruction twice a month as well as Mindanao Kulintang presentations and free music and dance traditions by culture-bearers.

Living Cultures


Kultura Kapwa & Komunity Kultura

With support from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program in 2022, Manilatown Heritage Foundation organize Kultura Kapwa, a pre-colonial Philippine music and dance Community of Practice, as well as Kommunity Kultura, its free monthly community education program. The Kommunity Kultura workshops will offer cultural education and hands-on instruction on the music, dance and regalia traditions of the Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug and Kalinga tribes.


Kommunity Kultura

In 2021, a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program will support Kommunity Kultura, an online interactive traditional Philippine music, movement, and cultural education program. The free, family-friendly program is open to all ages and all music and dance levels. Grant funds will also support the continued growth of kulintang ensemble Kultura Kapwa.


Kulintang and Dance Workshops

A 2017 Living Cultures funds will support free beginning level workshops to teach the traditional Kulintang music of the Philippines and its related dances. The workshops will focus on the Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug and Badjao traditions.


Students learning the song "Tungkil" at a Kommunity Kultura workshop in San Francisco, 2022. Photo: Kenneth Camota.

Students learning the dance "Singkil" at a Kommunity Kultura workshop in San Francisco, 2019. Photo: Tony Remington.

Group Photo of teachers and students of a Kommunity Kultura music and dance workshop in San Francisco, 2022. Courtesy of organization.

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