San Francisco officials invest in Filipino cultural district and night market

SAN FRANCISCO — For two seasons, Undiscovered SF, has become a destination for Filipino culture, food, and entertainment, as Undiscovered SF continues to find success. So does SOMA Pilipinas — the official Filipino cultural district of San Francisco.

Over $300,000 in grants from city agencies helped fund the night market, and at the same time support emerging entrepreneurs in the neighborhood.

The office of economic and workforce development and the mayor’s office of housing and community development have been big supporters of SOMA Pilipinas and Undiscovered SF.

“Ultimately what I think what the city sees is that we kind of uncovered a model that is economic development without displacement. So what I believe the city wants to do is learn from Filipino-Americans, so they can help apply this to all other communities that are facing the same situation.”

Executive Director Desi Danganan was awarded a grant of $35,000 to invest in six companies to accelerate their growth.

The six businesses selected were Alchemy, the Sarap Shop, Mestiza, Arkipelago Books, Pinoy Heritage, and Covo.

“The way the program works were not going to write them a check for $35,000. What we’re going to do is sit down with them and figure out where they’re headed as business and how we could help. wW would set you up with an accounting system. We would figure out your branding. We would develop a new website that’s e-commerce ready to really grow and accelerate your business.”

These six Filipino businesses were just a handful of the new wave of Pinoy entrepreneurs who are ready to give back to the community.

“Only now with our collection of people and the generation that’s coming out, people are really coming out and claim their roots along with their creativity,” said Marco Jastillana.

Undiscovered SF returns in December for a special holiday pop-up on Saturday, December 1st from 11 am to 6 pm at Color Bloq located in the South of Market neighborhood.

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