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We are grassroots activists passionate about the preservation of Little Manila's legacy.

The Little Manila Foundation was cofounded by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Ph.D. and Dillon Delvo in 2000.

Chairperson
Rhonda Ureta-Villalos

Vice-Chairperson
Brian Batugo

Treasurer
Lailani Chan

Secretary
Sylvia Oclaray

Directors
Joel Juanitas
Debra Panganiban Louie
Lange Luntao
Dawn Bohulano Mabalon
Elena Mangahas
Florence Quilantang
Lorenzo Romano
Juzen Ruelos
Adeline Suguitan
Deborah Vallejo

Executive Director
Dillon Delvo

Little Manila After-School Program Teachers
Brian Batugo
Nikki Chan
Lange Luntao
Aldrich Sabac

Dance Collective Artistic Director
Brian Batugo

us History Teachers
Nancy Huante
Lange Luntao
Anna Nti-Asare

Director Emeritus
Antonio Somera

 


Biographies

Dillon Delvo

Dillon Delvo is a 2nd generation Filipino American, born and raised in Stockton, California. A graduate of Edison High School in Stockton, Dillon went on to San Francisco State University to pursue his passion for filmmaking. It was there where he not only learned about film, but his Filipino American heritage.

In his return to Stockton, he served as the volunteer youth minister of St. George’s Youth Group for which he was a member in his teenage years. In 2000, he led 57 youth from South Stockton on a pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Rome, raising over $100,000 for the trip. The group continues to conduct its annual Recollection Retreats, educates about social justice issues, provides mentorship, and participates in community service projects.

In 2000, Dawn Mabalon, Ph.D. and he created the non-profit organization Little Manila Foundation in response to developer attempts to destroy the historical site. In 2009, Dillon created Little Manila’s Filipino American history after school program for high school students.

He completed his Master’s degree in Asian American Studies at SFSU in 2003. His film “The Game of Solitaire” was his thesis project and is used in university and high school classes to help introduce Filipino American history.

From 2009 to 2012 he served as the Senior Field Representative for Senator Lois Wolk who represented California’s 5th Senate District. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Little Manila Foundation and is in his 20th year as a volunteer youth minister at St. George Church in South Stockton. He is on the governing boards for the Truman Club of San Joaquin and Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton, and has served on the Stockton Unified School District board of trustees and the Filipino American Democratic Caucus of California. He lives with his wife Rebecca and daughters Therese and Genevieve in South Stockton.

Debra Panganiban Louie

As an undergraduate student studying psychology and teacher education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Debbie led the first student directed seminar on Filipino American History.  It was during the research phase of preparing to offer this course, which included reading “America Is in the Heart” by Carlos Bulosan, that Debbie was inspired to visit Stockton, California.  The class included many notable guest speakers that included FANHS Co-Founder Dorothy Cordova, Writer Al Robles, Poet Luis Syquia, and Union Organizer Larry Itliong.  A Stockton native, Manong Larry’s tape recorded lecture is among the archives donated to Little Manila and his voice can be heard as you walk about the Little Manila Center.  It was also in Stockton where Debbie met and made many lifelong friends, including her husband, Clarence Louie, a fourth generation Stocktonian, whose great-great grandfather, Louie Sun Hawk, immigrated from Canton, China in 1882 and made Stockton his American home.  His sons and grandsons, including Clarence’s father, Lung On Louie, owned and operated the Foo Lung Market on Washington Street and after the destruction of Little Manila and Chinatown in the ‘70’s, relocated to the Filipino Center where it continues to do business today.

For the past 25 years, Debra has worked at San Joaquin Delta College and is a Counselor and Professor.

LANGE LUNTAO

Lange Luntao is a third-generation teacher who was born in Stockton and raised in a mixed Filipino-Irish family. An Early College Sociology and Humanities Educator at Aspire Langston Hughes Academy (a charter 6-12 school), Lange is a founding member of the South Stockton Schools Initiative and Chair of the Reinvent South Stockton Education Committee.

A graduate of Lincoln High School, Lange earned his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Harvard College, where he studied Identity Politics in Contemporary America, was elected a Marshal of the Class of 2012, and co-launched the Fair Harvard Fund - a project to motivate Harvard to adopt socially-responsible investment strategies. After returning to Stockton, Lange served as the Field Director for the successful campaign to elect Michael Tubbs as the youngest City Councilmember in Stockton history. 

Lange earned a Fulbright Fellowship to Malaysia and worked in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda for International Medical Corps. He serves on the board of the Central Valley Stonewall Democrats, the County Community Action Board, and is a corps member with Teach for America.

DAWN BOHULANO MABALON

Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon is Associate Professor of History at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses in United States history, race and ethnicity, food history, and US/Philippines relations. She received an M.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA and a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. Her research focuses on Filipina/o American history, historic and cultural preservation, and the Filipina/o American foodways. She is co-founder of the Little Manila Foundation and serves as National Scholar on the Filipino American National Historical Society Board of Trustees. She is the author of Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California (Duke University Press, 2013), which was awarded an honorable mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (best first book) by the Organization of American Historians. Her essay “As American as Jackrabbit Adobo: Cooking, Eating and Becoming Filipina/o American Before World War II,” was published in Eating Asian America, ed. Robert Ku, Anita Mannur, and Martin Manalansan (NYU Press, 2013). In 2013, she was named to the list of the Filipina Women’s Network 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World.

Juzen Ruelos

Juzen Ruelos is a senior technology leader, who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Symantec, Microsoft, and Charles Schwab. With a passion for technology and STEM education, Juzen mentors youths and encourages them to explore careers in the technology industry. 

While living in Washington State for 12 years, Juzen actively volunteered with several community-focused organizations. During her 11 year tenure at Microsoft, she served as chairwoman for Filipinos at Microsoft, a 300-person global diversity group, focused on community outreach and education.  Juzen was also involved with the Filipino Community of Seattle, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Big Brother Big Sister of Seattle, and Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution (IGNITE). 

Since returning to the Bay Area, Juzen continues her community activism as a founding member of Symantec’s Women of DLP, chairwoman of Symantec Women’s Action Network (SWAN) – San Francisco, as well as volunteering with Symantec's Cyber Education and Online Safety programs, and the company's philanthropic and college recruiting teams.

Outside of work, Juzen enjoys traveling, gardening, and reading.  She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and their two cats. In addition to several professional certifications, she has degrees from UC Davis and Stagg High School. 

Rhonda Ureta-Villalos

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Rhonda Neal Ureta-Villalos is a fourth-generation Filipina American born and raised in Stockton, California, where she lives with her husband Doug Villalos and their four children. She has worked at PG&E as a supervisor and in various capacities for almost two decades. She is a graduate of University of Phoenix, where she received her BA in Business Management, and Heald College obtaining Associates degree in Business Administration and Accounting. She has served on the board of the Numancia Aid Association for more than a decade. The Numancia Aid Association, a Filipino American nonprofit based in Stockton, is a mutual aid organization that provides support for people of the town of Numancia, Aklan, Philippines, and people of Numanciahanon descent in the United States. The organization, founded in 1932, is one of the oldest continually operating Filipino American nonprofit organizations in the United States. She has been a board member of the Little Manila Foundation, a Stockton-based historic and cultural preservation advocacy nonprofit organization, since 2013, and was elected Chair of its board in 2015.