SOMA Pilipinas is a cultural district generations in the making: Filipinos have lived South of Market for over a century. After the Manong generation, a continuous influx of Filipino families -- pushed out of our ancestral homeland -- has formed the lifeblood of SOMA Pilipinas. Our struggle to make home, preserve culture, and build community is the story of SOMA Pilipinas.
In April of 2016, the City's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation zoning out a massive stretch of land in San Francisco's red hot SOMA (South of Market) area. Bounded by 2nd St. to the east, 11th St. to the west, and Brannan to the south, SOMA Pilipinas represents a diverse selection of small businesses, parks, and community service groups that have served the thriving Filipino community for decades.
The Future of the Filipino Cultural District
SOMA Pilipinas was the dream of a Filipino community that has fought racism since the early 1900's and displacement since the 1970's. The presence of Filipino culture in Northern California can be traced to the state's Spanish period, and has had a strong influence in the city since 1900, initiated by humble farmworkers and cemented by their children alongside successive waves of immigration.
By the 1960s, many Filipinos immigrating to the Bay Area were educated middle-class professionals. They started families, and spread all over the Bay Area. Their children (a generation sometimes known as "Pinoy 2.0") are now part of the fabric of American society. They occupy positions in government, they innovate in technology, they influence the arts. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, teachers, friends, lovers, social justice advocates, DJ's, artists, intellectuals, business partners, and they are excited to take this leap forward with SOMA Pilipinas.
The Role of Technology
SOMA Pilipinas is also the epicenter of the Tech 2.0. To develop the cultural district we need to engage the tech industry to our cause and find ways to employ more Filipinos in the industry to close the income inequality that casues Filipinos to be displaced from SOMA.