MANILA RESTAURANT, BROOKLYN, 1938
At the Manila Restaurant, 47 Sand Street, Brooklyn, one Filipino couple dances; others
are seated at tables along the wall.
WPA Federal Writers' Project
November 19, 1938
|Photo ID number:
1939 WPA Guide to New York City:
Navy Yard District, spreading south and west of the yard from the East River, is a shapeless grotesque neighborhood, its grimy
cobblestone thoroughfares filled with flophouses, crumbling tenements and greasy restaurants. It is bounded on the west by
the Manhattan Bridge; while beyond the dull waters of the East River looms the New York sky line, like the backdrop of a stage
set. In the nineteenth century the region was a residential district known as Irish Town, because of the predominantly Irish
population. After the turn of the century, business and industry took over parts of the neighborhood and the pleasant homes
fell into neglect. The population now is largely composed of laborers from local factories and the Navy Yard.
Street is the principal thoroughfare, extending westward from the Navy Yard to the head of Brooklyn Bridge. Once this street,
with its saloons and gambling dens, came close to establishing itself as New York's "Barbary Coast," and during the Prohibition
era parts of it were patrolled to keep Navy men away. Today Sands Street still caters to sailors and Navy Yard workers. Shop
windows display outfits for sailors; bars and lunchrooms, quiet during the day, become alive at night as their customers arrive.
The area north of Sands Street toward the river is crowded with industrial plants, warehouses, and factories which charge
the air with their mixed aroma of chocolate, spices, and roasting coffee. Scattered among them are ramshackle frame houses--notorious
firetraps of squalid appearance. South of the Navy Yard is a residential district of only slightly better character. Around
Sands and Washington Streets is a colony of Filipinos; native food, extremely rare in the eastern part of the United States,
is served in a Filipino restaurant at 47 Sands Street. Among the favorite
dishes are adabong gaboy (pork fried in soy sauce and garlic); sinigang isda and sinigang visaya (fish soups); mixta (beans
and rice), and such tropical fruits as mangoes and pomelos, the latter a kind of orange as large as a grapefruit.
Amazing new research on pioneer Filipino restaurant in Brooklyn
Manila Karihan Restaurant ad in 1927 Philippine newspaper
There was a Filipino restaurant called Manila Karihan Restaurant at 47 Sands St, Brooklyn as early as 1927.
The proprietor, E.G. Lopez, placed an ad in a Philippine newspaper ca 1927. This is the same location as the Manila
Restaurant showed in a 1938 photo we had discovered earlier from the NYC photo archives.
A week ago, Liena Zagare of the Ditmas Park blog stumbled upon and sent me a photo from the NYC archives of a “Manila
Restaurant” dated 1938 taken as part of a WPA Writers project during the depression era (see photo below and previous
blog post). It was just such a tantalizing tidbit of history and we, along with other Filipinos everywhere, were
thrilled to discover a very early Filipino restaurant in all places — Brooklyn!
And that was all we had going for us. After posting the photo on FB, some friends, Alan Benenfeld and Dan Sarmiento,
did some digging and came up with the WPA Writers entry to supplement details about the restaurant located on 47 Sands Street
in the Navy Yard district of Brooklyn.
My friend, Alex Orquiza, a doctoral student of history from Johns Hopkins, presently in Manila finishing up his research
on the Philippine-American food exchange from 1898 (Philippine-American War) to 1946 (Philippine Independence from the US),
gave one good bit of advice. Send the information to Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Assistant Professor of the History Dept
at the San Francisco State University
Before long, Dawn sent me an image of an ad (above photo) from the Philippine
Republic, the back page of which says it has a 10,000 circulation in the Philippines, Hawaii, and “every
Filipino community in the United States, and also has readers throughout the world, wherever there are Filipinos.”
Manila Karihan ad placed among other ads from Washington, Hawaii and Calfornia
From this ad and its placement in the paper, one can glean a few things:
1. The name of the restaurant located on 47 Sands St., Brooklyn was not Manila Restaurant as reported in the WPA Writers
project, but Manila Karihan Restaurant. The term karihan is used for informal roadside eateries.
But to me the term karihan just does not jibe with the 1938 photo because the photo shows well dressed men and women.
Perhaps in 1938, the term karihan might have been dropped and the place became a bit fancier and could have been renamed simply
as Manila Restaurant.
2. The newspaper where the ad was placed, Philippine Republic, is believed
to have been printed in 1927 as there is a story about the 1927 sugar crop that “seems promising.” This
means that a Filipino restaurant was in existence in Brooklyn as early as 1927!
A section of the Philippine Republic issue where the ad was placed giving us a glimpse of how Filipinos
were viewed then
3. The ad states that the restaurant (inspite of being called a karihan) offers American, Chinese and Spanish along
with Philippine dishes. Perhaps they wanted to broaden their appeal to a clientele beyond the Filipinos living in their
neighborhood. This also explains the odd dish called “mixta” that the WPA Writers project noted as
one of the dishes offered in the restaurant. I had never heard of that term and my internet search yielded a reference
to “paella mixta” – a mixed dish of rice, beans, meat and vegetables.
4. The ad also emphasized the restaurant’s motto of “courtesy, cleanliness and satisfaction.” Why
state these? Perhaps to counteract misconceptions about Filipino restaurants and cooking?
From: NestorPalugod Enriquez <email@example.com>
Subject: 100 years of Pinoy Baseball History
Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 8:48 AM
It is October, Filipino American History Month and the final month
of the great American past time. This Saturday,
Filipino Ace Tim Lincecum will pitch for the SF
some time now I have been researching for the first Filipino professional baseball
player when I found Claudio Manela. He never reached the World Series
nor the Major League. He played in the early 1920’s when
major league players were all white. He
started in the Cuban League almost a decade before the great Satchel Paige appeared in the Cuban and Negro League. He lived in Brooklyn
in the late 1910’s and early 1920’s. After being thought to be a Cuban, a Spanish newspaper, he
was described as “chino-Manila" revealing his true identity, the first Filipino. Manela then came to Cuba with the Cuban Stars in the autumn of 1921, the only time he is known to have played in Cuba. He
can be found on a passenger manifest for the S.S. Orizaba returning from Havana
to New York on March 14, 1922. I checked this myself that he was indeed
onboard the ship according to the Ellis Island Passenger List. He was returning to his home address that showed 47 Sands Street
in Brooklyn. Sands
Street in Brooklyn was the early Filipino enslavement according to the old timers I met. A late 1930’s WFA guide to New York’s “Barbary Coast,”
and during the Prohibition era parts of it were patrolled to keep Navy men away. Today Sands Street still caters to sailors
and Navy Yard workers. Shop windows display outfits for sailors; bars and lunchrooms, quiet during the day, become alive at
night as their customers arrive. Around Sands and Washington Streets
is a colony of Filipinos; native food, extremely rare in the eastern part of the United States, is served in a Filipino restaurant
at 47 Sands Street. Did I just say that Claudio lived here at this address? Exactly, the same address of several Filipino
sailors whom Maria
Embry and I found from the Ellis Island registry. Merchant sailors like Nicolas Adonis, Joseph Adra, Lucrecio Advincula and others listed as residents
of 47 Sands Street in the early 1920’s.
Getting back to Claudio, in 1922, he made it to Minor League when he played
for the Hartford Senators. A check of the Hartford Courant confirms that the “C.
Manela” who pitched briefly for the Hartford Senators was the same player C. Manela who pitched in Cuba in the autumn of 1921
and the same Manela who pitched for the Cincinnati Cuban Stars in the 1921 Negro
Manela’s name was mentioned in several articles from March
29 to May 5, 1922. He’s
not given a first name, only the initial “C.” There
is, unsurprisingly, no mention of his work in the Negro National League the previous season. He’s
referred to as Cuban, not Filipino, and was nicknamed “Mike.”
Several times he’s referred to as “the little Cuban
hurler,” and on April 14 the Courant remarks
that he is “about the size of ‘Dickie’ Kerr of the White Sox.” Claudio Manela’s World War II draft card, filled out when he was 49 years old, lists him as 5’6”, 145
is listed by as
5’7”, 155 pounds.
It turns out that there was a dispute over the drafting rights to Manela between Hartford and Jersey City of the International League:
“Owner James H. Clarkin [of the Hartford Senators] yesterday
was assured the services of the swarthy heaver when he was notified by Secretary Farrell that after weighing the evidence
in the contest for the pitcher in which the Jerseys City Internationals disputed the property of the pitcher, he ruled the
Cuban belonged to the Senators.” (Courant 3/29/1922)
Claudio Manela, in fact, had arrived in New York from Havana on
Despite a small amount of hype in the Courant (which
included reprinting a box score for a 3 to 1 victory by Manela, pitching for Almendares, over the Brooklyn
Dodgers in Cuba the previous fall), Manela never got untracked in Connecticut. On
May 4, as the Senators prepared for a road trip to Albany, he was cut loose:
Coffey handed his
outright release. The
weather has handicapped the Manela in his efforts to get into shape and a result failed to show the stuff when assigned to
the mound.” (Courant 5/4/1922)
I probably could have more information had
Jersey City won the right for Manela. However,
the Jim Thorpe was his teammate in Hardford on the team roster I read. Thorpe's achievements received great acclaim from sports journalists, both during his
lifetime and since his death. In 1950, an AP poll
of almost 400 sportswriters and broadcasters voted Thorpe the "greatest athlete" of the first half of the 20th century. Another great player was Lou Gehrig, who played for the Senators on three separate occasions
in 1923-1924 before being a starting first baseman for the New York Yankees.
played when baseball was a highly segregated sport. Jersey City became baseball color integration benchmark on April 18, 1946
almost exactly 100 years after the first official baseball game was played in Hoboken. Jackie
Robinson became the first black player in modern era of organized professional baseball at a field known as Roosevelt Stadium located in Route 440. Roosevelt Stadium did not even exist
when Jersey City tried to sign Manela to play at the Westside Park. Today, baseball is a multi color, names ending in A and
Z indicate foreign born players in the world series.
is a box score. Manela battery against a white semi-pro team featuring
George Halas in the outfield. After the season, Halas was going to work
on his other business, a little something we now call the “National Football
evidently left the merchant marine to settle in New York, where he worked as a musician and played semipro ball.
also filled out a World War II draft card, which gives a birth date of April 12, 1893, and shows him living in Newark, New Jersey. He appears
as a crew member on several ship manifests from 1946 to 1948. And Claudio Manela also appears in the Social SecurityDeath Index, still residing,
at the time of his death in November, 1975, in Newark.
Tim” Lincecum pitches with his right arm while this unknown “little Cuban” Pinoy was the southpaw. Our shortstops are Balcena and Jason Bartlett are worth remembering on this Filipino American History
Tampa Ray lost the division playoff last night. Bartlett played well and got three hits last night.
Nestor Palugod Enriquez
Coming to America
Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery.
Today is a gift,and that's why we call it the present.
Worldwide-Filipino-Alliance] Balangay: A journey to history
Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:37 PM
Balangay: A journey to history
By Izah Morales
-- After braving eight typhoons, sailing for more than 100 days, and traveling 894 nautical miles (from
PhilippinesManila Bay to Butuan City), the Balangay Voyage team proved that yes, the Filipinos can.
“We're here to show the spirit na Kaya ng Pinoy,” said Art Valdez, Kaya ng Pinoy founder
and First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition team leader.
“The voyage is really a journey to history. Children need to be educated
about our glorious history. If you look back, there's so much that we can be proud of ourselves. And that's the most important
for the young, where they can anchor themselves. It develops confidence,” added Valdez .
The team, which has sailed Luzon and the Visayas, sets to complete its journey
in Mindanao by March 15, 2010 together with another balangay from Butuan.
Valdez, along with the Philippine Everest Team core crew, Leo Oracion, Erwin Pastour Emata, Noelle Wenceslao,
Carina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino-Sardena, Dr. Ted Esguerra, Fred Jamili, and Dr. Voltaire Velasco set sail the Balangay, named
“Diwata ng Lahi” last June 27.
The Balangay is an ancient vessel used by Austronesians, believed to be of
Filipino ancestry, in trading and migration before the Spaniards.
On December 6, the "Diwata ng Lahi" reached Butuan City , where it is currently
docked for repair after marine borers from Manila Bay infested the boat's planks.
“Despite being faithful to how it was built by ancestors, modern times
proved that it can't survived due to the pollution in Manila Bay,” said Valdez.
The Balangay was made of apitong wood and was untreated to replicate the old
“Magalaw talaga ang sailing sa balangay but it will bring you safely
to port,” described Valdez .
On Jan. 15, 2010, the Diwata ng Lahi will be joined by the Butuan Balangay
in sailing to 38 more ports to cover 2,136 nautical miles of Philippine waters.
The second balangay, construction of which is expected to be completed by yearend,
is 15 feet longer and can accommodate a larger contingent than the Diwata that can accommodate up to 18 crew members.
“It would really be a challenge since we need to look after each other.
This time, we need a radio for communication and management of the two boats,” said Valdez .
The 6th leg will start in Butuan City port, where the original balangay was
excavated, and will end at Ozamis, Misamis Occidental.
Other ports to be visited are Zamboanga
del Norte, Zamboanga City , Zamboanga
del Sur, Cotaboti City , Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, General Santos City , Davao del Sur, Davao
City , Sarangani Island , and Tawi-Tawi.
“The challenge would be the route from Davao to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi without seeing an island
for 10 days up to two weeks. There would be no island stopover,” said Valdez .
According to Valdez , they have coordinated with the Philippine Navy for security assistance in Mindanao .
Nature's wrath in 2009
Sailing against strong winds and waves challenged the team as they encountered
eight typhoons -- from Labuyo to Vinta.
Valdez disclosed that their patience was really tested by nature as delays
in the schedule were encountered due to the bad weather.
“Nature is really the best teacher as patience is concerned,” said
“Among the typhoons,it was Labuyo that left a big impact on us. We were
hit at Ternate, Cavite and washed back to Manila Bay ,” recalled Valdez
During tropical storm Ondoy last September, the Balangay was docked at Looc,
Romblon, where they conducted disaster
management training among the locals.
Esguerra said they held symposiums on global warming and climate change in
all the 41 ports that they visited. The team also planted mangroves and released sea turtles in support of ecotourism efforts
within the areas.
“Good governance will start when leaders immerse with the children,”
“The people in every port warmly welcomed us. Nakakawala ng pagod lalo
na when you [You lose your fatigue, especially when you] see the kids in the shoreline waiting for you,” added Valdez
Valdez also hopes that their expedition will stir up maritime consciousness
and help boost the tourism industry in the country.
“We're in a paradise. Our country is so beautiful. Through the pictures
that we have in our website, we wanted to show beauty of the Philippines ,” said Valdez .
Conquering Southeast Asia
The KPF is setting its sails towards Southeast
Asian countries as soon as it finishes its journey around the Philippines .
Visits to Sabah Malaysia , Brunei , Kalimantan , Indonesia
, Singapore , Malaysia Peninsular, Thailand , Cambodia
, Vietnam , China , and Taiwan are on the horizin.
“We're expecting to sail for four months. We won't be having a lot of
port stops unlike here in our country. We'll stop in ports where there are a lot of Filipinos like in Singapore ,” said
Website has awesome photos!!
Everest Team retrace Pinoy roots with Balangay
Posted on June 15th, 2009
By Lia M. Maņalac
on the boat
From the mountains
to the seas- they will conquer and make the Filipinos proud, yet again.
the summit of Mount Everest a few years back, the Philippine Mt. Everest
Team is now ready to embark on another journey in a bid to retrace the migration of our ancestors via an ancient vessel known
as the Balangay.
Team Leader Art
Valdez’s vision and dream to reach the summit of the Himalayas was realized when mountaineers Leo Oracion, Erwin Pastor Emata, Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon and
Janet Belarmino-Sardena placed the Philippine flag atop Mt. Everest years ago.
Today, he leads
the same team again, in what he considers his new Everest- to
travel around the Philippines and nearby
countries to retrace the migration of our Ancestors. This dream he wanted to realize in perfect fit, by no less than replicating
the ancient Balangay our forefathers used thousands of years ago.
Bound by manually-tied
The Balangay is
a wooden boat adjoined by carved-out planks edged through pins and dowels.
Valdez says, in the past, our ancestors
who are Austronesian-speaking peoples traveled from the Asian mainland by land
bridges across the continental shelf to the Southeast Asian archipelago. From there they sailed on the Balangay
to as far east as Polynesia or over the central and southern Pacific Ocean, and as far west as Madagascar .
This exact same
route is what the Voyage of the Balangay will take as it begins its journey before this month ends.
the exact Balangay: Mission Accomplished
It will be the
same Balangay they used as they sailed through nations, searching for a place to stay, or for exchanging trade, says Valdez .
One of the
Badjaos putting on
the wood paste
Despite the lack
of funds, the whole team began their search for boat builders.
Later, they reached
the Islands of Sibutu and Sitangkay in Tawi-Tawi in search for boat builders who have inherited the skills from their ancestors
There they found,
10 Badjao brothers led by Mindanap State University Professor Jubail Muyong (from Sibutu) and retired School District Supervisor
Haji Musa Malabong (from Sitangkai) to do the job. These “pandays” are fishermen, who never lost their proud heritage
of boat building.
bigger boats back home, but modern,” Muyong says.
In late April,
the construction began. They based the design on the excavated Balangay in Butuan, Agusan
del Norte and carbon dated to 320 AD.
No modern or sophisticated
equipment was used for this particular Balangay. Made of a type of hardwood apitong locally known as lutanga, the only thing
that binds the boat together are manually tied ropes, wood nails and wood paste.
Every inch of
the construction consistently followed the way the old Balangay was traditionally done as far back as the 4th, 13th and 14th
Century AD- plank built, lashed lug, edge pegged and shell-first.
In just 41 construction
days– it is now ready to sail.
our migration roots
I thought of putting out something that Filipinos can understand. The Voyage of the Balangay is something that is relevant
to us because we live in an archipelago,” Valdez says.
The voyage will
begin from the port in Manila
, then a tour of the Philippine in seven legs to end at the very tip of the Sulu
archipelago before it sails off into foreign waters. The journey around the country will cover a distance of
2,108 nautical miles or 3,908 kilometers. In each of the 75 ports, the team will dock and conduct various activities such
as seminars, medical missions, coastal cleanup and outreach.
From the Philippines , the Balangay will travel around Southeast
Asia until 2010; Micronesia
and Madagascar the following year; across the Pacific onward to the Atlantic and all the way around the world and back to the country from 2012 to 2013.
vessel, replicated for the Voyage of the Balangay
Just looking at
how long the journey will take may already seem difficult, but it is the fun and the adventure of it all says Janet, one of
the first women to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
, that feeds their soul.
for this project comes from the maritime achievements of our ancestors. Sailing along the South
China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the Java
Sea despite the presence of obstacles and dangers, our people considered the seas to be unifying rather than divisive,”
says Valdez .
The Balangay will
navigate by the old method used by the ancient mariners – steering by the sun, the stars, the wind, cloud formations,
wave patterns and bird migrations. Valdez and his team will
rely on the natural navigational instincts of the Badjaos.
Lia on board the
with nature – we will only sail in harmony with nature; Harmony with the boat – the capability of the boat to
travel and sail; and Harmony with the people or teamwork,” he adds.
The boat, 15 meters
long and three meters wide can carry 50 to 60 people. Aside from Valdez and the Phil. Mt. Everest team, the rest of the crew
will be composed of master sailors, academics and scientists.
around the country and visiting every major port will rekindle that maritime spirit in us. The Balangay will become the catalyst
to stir up historical consciousness among Filipinos today, a sine qua non in transporting our people to our cherished goals.
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