Undiscovered SF to return post-pandemic with 6th season | Inquirer
 
 
 
 
 
 

Undiscovered SF to return post-pandemic with 6th season

/ 10:16 AM October 19, 2022

Chef Harold Villarosa will debut a new pop-up concept at Undiscovered SF; lumpia from The Lumpia Company. CONTRIBUTED.

Chef Harold Villarosa will debut a new pop-up concept at Undiscovered SF; lumpia from The Lumpia Company. CONTRIBUTED.

SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino creative market and food and music festival Undiscovered SF is back in full swing, after a two-year pandemic hiatus, as a “theme park-inspired daytime festival” happening on Oct. 22, from 12 to 6 p.m. in SOMA Pilipinas, Filipino Cultural Heritage District.

“I’m so excited to finally be able to bring Undiscovered SF back after two years of COVID and community isolation,” says Gina Rosales, co-founder of Undiscovered SF and Founder of Make it Mariko.

Created and presented by Kultivate Labs and Make it Mariko, the sixth season of Undiscovered SF spans several locations in SOMA Pilipinas with over six venues, two stages, over 15 food vendors, and over 50 retail vendors. Its focal point is the main stage at the new 5M Park in what used to be parking lots between Minna and Natoma streets.

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 5M Park will be the venue for Undiscovered SF. CONTRIBUTED.

5M Park will be the venue for Undiscovered SF. CONTRIBUTED.

“We first closed down these streets in 2018 and took over three empty parking lots behind the Chronicle building to create a vibrant Filipino night market. Now we’re coming full circle, four years later, where a beautiful park now stands. We’re bringing the same energy of our Filipino American community together to celebrate our culture and support entrepreneurs, small businesses, and artists once again,” says Rosales.

This season’s Undiscovered SF venues includes Kapwa Gardens with a community-curated stage in partnership with SOMA Pilipinas, the CAST Building with an art exhibit by Balay Kreative grantees, Minna Tunnel, Mary Court Paseo, and three full street closures of Minna Street, Natoma Street, and Mary Street.

“Over the years, our production level has been going higher and higher. There’re multiple things to do in one area where you can go with your family and explore,” says Desi Danganan, executive director of Kultivate Labs. “We’ve been really honing in on these different activations and making them better every year.”

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Headlining the festival is platinum selling singer, songwriter, rapper, and Oakland native, Adrian Marcel performing with CRSB. Filipino-American girl group, One Voice, returns to the Undiscovered SF main stage as co-headliners and world renowned DJ, Miles Medina joins this season’s line up of performers.

Joining the over 15 food vendors this season are The Lumpia Company and Señor Sisig with New York-based Bon Appétit Chef, Harold Villarosa, debuting a new pop-up concept.

Undiscovered SF is a non-profit venture that is part of a multi-prong strategy to build a thriving commercial corridor in SOMA Pilipinas. The pandemic not only slowed down progress in this endeavor but also caused the demise of businesses in the district.

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Adrian Marcel and CSRB will headline Undiscovered SF entertainment. CONTRIBUTED.

Adrian Marcel and CSRB will headline Undiscovered SF entertainment. CONTRIBUTED.

In an effort to revive the commercial corridor in SOMA Pilipinas, Undiscovered SF is launching the “Vacant to Vibrant” program with Chef Harold Villarosa.

“The pandemic slowed down our progress to develop SOMA Pilipinas but 2022 will show we’regonna kick start our momentum into overdrive. We are excited to be working with Chef Harold.

“Villarosa and we will be unveiling a new program to fill empty storefronts in SOMA Pilipinas with pop-up retail and food businesses that will jumpstart a new Filipino renaissance in San Francisco,” says Danganan.

The program aims to fill about seven empty storefronts between 6th and 4th Streets SOMA Pilipinas with the help of the Wells Fargo Foundation and the City of San Francisco.

“The pandemic has created a new opportunity for us to create a commercial corridor because the city and landlords are now really open to the idea of pop-ups. Not everything is going to come back to a brick and mortar format. The world of business has changed, so we really have to rethink what is the role of a storefront.” says Danganan. “We’re going to open up the opportunity for artists to do art installations as well.”

Danganan shares that multiple city agencies as well as private funders have come to support the initiative. “The mayor is really banking on arts and culture to revive the economy and to bring people back into the economic core.”

As part of celebrating Filipino American History Month, Undiscovered SF encourages “festival-goers to explore SOMA Pilipinas while connecting with different aspects of Filipino culture.”

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