Our Place in the Park


Join us at the Victoria Manalo Draves Park for a free and open to the public festive ritual that gathers intergenerational families, artists and activists for a community celebration. Investment in the positive activation of public space is a proven method to support economic activity, strengthen existing communities, build bridges between diverse groups, and build empathy and connection at a larger neighborhood and city-wide level. It is important to share stories of resilience and community organizing, helping us see a path forward that is more compassionate and inclusive. The location for the mini-fair is significant for the Filipino community because the park itself is named after the Filipina Gold medal Olympic diver, Victoria Manalo Draves, and it is adjacent to the future site of the SOMA Pilipinas Gateway arch, a joyful reclaiming of physical space. The mini-fair will feature a sneak peek of the proposed SOMA Pilipinas Gateway arch, film screenings of Sa Amin: Our Place, It Takes the Hood to Save the Hood, and a few short films from SOMA Sapiens, a series that offers a snapshot of people’s lives in the South of Market neighborhood. In addition to the films, the event will feature food, musical acts by local performers, resource and arts and crafts vendor booths, and a kids’ puppet-making workshop.

Poster designed by Yoko OK


Tito Até Ninong


Francesca Balagtas

Dance Instructor

Tito Ramon

Puppeteer, Artist, Teacher


Jeantelle Laberinto (Moderator)

Community Organizer

Rachel Lastimosa

Music Composer & Sound Design, Sa Amin: Our Place

Dyan Ruiz

Director, Sa Amin: Our Place 

Joseph Smooke

Editor, Sa Amin: Our Place 


Filipino-American visual artist, Franceska Gamez (@franceskagamez) is designing our biggest cultural marker yet in the SOMA Pilipinas – Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Join us for a short walk from Victoria Manalo Draves Park to the intersection of Russ and Folsom to see the site of our incoming District Gateway and learn more about the project’s progress and latest designs.

SOMA Sapiens
USA | 2021 | 15 mins. | Directed by Grant Thompson
SOMA Sapiens is a series of ongoing short films by Grant Thompson in partnership with SOMA West Community Benefit District that offers a snapshot of people’s lives in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco. We aim to celebrate and uplift the stories of the individuals that make this diverse neighborhood into a vibrant community.

It Takes The Hood to Save The Hood
USA | 2021 | 41 mins. | Directed by Harvey Magsaysay Lozada
“IT TAKES THE HOOD TO SAVE THE HOOD” is a documentary short created in partnership with San Francisco-based violence prevention and youth development organization UNITED PLAYAZ. This project explores UNITED PLAYAZ’s role in developing a coalition with community-based organizations in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood and providing mutual aid to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. See firsthand how local s/heros continue to adapt and respond to the community’s needs while processing how the pandemic has personally affected them.

Sa Amin: Our Place
USA | 2022 | 41 mins. | Directed by Dyan Ruiz and Nix Guirre
The “Sa Amin: Our Place” documentary is the untold story of Filipinos in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, the cultural heart of the Filipino-American community. The film tells the story of how Filipino activists, artists and intergenerational families are claiming a right to the city, battling against displacement caused by urban renewal, real estate speculation, and tech booms. It features powerful interviews of current residents and community leaders covering decades of organizing, including Teresa Dulalas who challenged eviction after eviction; teacher and parent, Tina Alejo, who fought to keep open the Filipino bilingual program; and Janine Lacap, part of the next generation of leaders. “Sa Amin” also features archival footage from the 1970s by the late Filipino documentary filmmaker Sam Tagatac, never seen until now. Telling this story will change the larger narrative about San Francisco and help the South of Market’s Filipino community claim physical spaces- to save homes and to sustain it as a cultural hub.