What was Little Manila?

Mancao Little Manila, El Dorado and Washington

El Dorado and Washington Street in Little Manila, Courtesy of Stockton Chapter, Filipino American National History Society (FANHS)

Courtesy of Virginia Catanio

“Little Manila represented the gathering of people, so they would feel comfortable and enjoy each other, and as a little girl I enjoyed being with them because they included you in everything and they made you feel as part of being Filipino. And my father, of course, really enjoyed it because he got to speak about politics with his friends and his townmates and everybody and it made him feel like home. But it felt like home to me because they all welcomed me as part of the Filipino family.” -Virginia Catanio

Courtesy of Minnie Liwanag-Eichele

"Little Manila had the heart of the community itself, the Filipinos that gathered there, they had no choice. They were not allowed above here." -Minnie Liwanage-Eichele

Courtesy of Anita Bautista

"Well, it was a haven.  You know, they felt safe." -Anita Bautista 

Courtesy of Albert Juanitas

"Some people think Little Manila will come back. But [in] my mind, it never will. It’s just a memory now.” -Albert Juanitas

Courtesy of Gloria Nomura

“Little Manila represents an era of Filipino history, where everyone, families, can come together. Whether it was for eating- like I said eating at the Chinese restaurants- for the Filipino men hanging out, for us to go to dances and parties. I think that’s what Little Manila represents to me, a memory, an era, that we can never recreate again. We can only, as we do like Memorial Day, is observe, commemorate the memories that are there and the legacy that the Filipinos made in that time. I mean when I look [at] the Filipino businesses and the fact that we were able to come together, that’s a good thing. Will it ever be the same? No, it won’t be. We just don’t have the money [or] the investors, I think the vision is there but that’s what Little Manila represents to me. An era of my growing up in Stockton.” -Gloria Nomura 


Exhibit by Sarah Kuo.  Content by Jamie Culilap, Sarah Kuo, Kyle Sabbatino, Ronnie Sanchez, Danielle Thomasson, Hannah Tvergyak