Mamerto Canlas


Mamerto C. (MC) Canlas is a community development strategist for the Filipino American Development Foundation in San Francisco, California, and an active member of the Filipino community in South of Market, the Filipino communities' center of activity in San Francisco. In recent years, the forces of gentrification and urban development have threatened the Filipino identity and culture in South of Market. In response, Mr. Canlas helped form UPON, the United Pilipino Organizing Network, a network seeking to unify the community and preserve its culture. He is the founder of Bahay-Bayanan (Home-Community Project), a housing advocacy and home-preparedness program; the organizer of the Filipino Education Center, a center that seeks to deter the school district's plan to close the newcomer's center and the bilingual/bicultural program; the cultural specialist for the federal-funded Strengthening Filipino Families program; and a senior fellow of the Wildflowers Institute in San Francisco. Mr. Canlas is also involved in historical and cultural research in the Filipino community and writes a weekly column for Manila Bulletin USA. He is the former executive director of Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center and the former center director of the South of Market Teen and Family Center. Mr. Canlas received a B.A. in history from the University of the Philippines.


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