Appraisal-Significance of the Place
Values/Mission: According to the Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s official website “The mission of Manilatown Heritage Foundation is to promote social and economic justice for Filipinos in the United States by preserving our history, advocating for equal access, and advancing our arts and culture”. In full support of the Filipino community and other community-based organizations, the Manilatown community upholds certain democratic and liberating values as follows:
- Bridging cultures and generations
- Encouraging critical conversations within the community –
- Building community across generations by fostering cultural roots grounded in history and guided by the love of community.
- Maintaining organizational integrity and respect.
Management Assessment: The Board of Directors of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation are the primary stewards of the International Hotel Manilatown Center. They are:
- Tony Robles, Board President
- Caroline Cabading, Vice President & Acting Executive Director
- Theresa Imperial, Secretary
- Desu Sorro, Treasurer
- Chelsea Mariotti, Board Member
- Carmencita Montecarlo Choy, Board Member
- Carlos Zialcita, Board Member
They are responsible for ensuring the continued existence of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation and the programing at the International Hotel Manilatown Center. Constraints: A fundamental constraint that the Manilatown Heritage Foundation faces is the lack of funding. The heritage foundation is currently a non-profit organization and heavily relies on donations to maintain open doors. The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is run primarily on a volunteer staff basis, which leads the foundation to have shorter visitation hours and tour guides available. Another paramount constraint The I-Hotel faces is the reality of the changing demographic. The I-Hotel faces the issue of reaching out to a population that has been physically dispersed over the years as well as broadening their social mission to include individuals who were not part of the initial population group. Opportunities: The Manilatown Center is located on the ground floor of the I-Hotel, serving the community in multiple ways. The space is defined as fluid and flexible place for gathering, remembering, and interacting. Along with displaying new upcoming artists the Manilatown Heritage Foundation also hosts talk stories, book signings, music events, private non-profit rentals, legal clinics, senior movies, performances, and much more. Moreover, there is also an extensive archives program, which digitally documents historic audio, video, photos, and news articles pertaining to Manilatown and the struggle for fair housing.