Artists celebrate the life of theater artist Joyce Juan-Manalo at ‘Don’t Call Me Ate’

San Francisco – It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Joyce Juan Manalo, a cherished member of our community, who peacefully left this world on July 17, 2023. While the community mourns the loss of her physical presence, they also celebrate the remarkable life and enduring legacy she has left behind.

Joyce was born on March 19, 1965 in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila and lived a life filled with passion, purpose, and unwavering dedication to her family, friends, and community.

In 1995, Joyce met her soon-to-be-life-partner Allan S. Manalo during his visit to Manila, and they both eventually settled in San Francisco, where for decades Joyce worked in the Filipino community. From leading the theater group Teatro ng Tanan and multi-disciplinary arts organization Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) to helming Bindlestiff Studio with Allan, supporting countless shows and artists, from co-creating KSW’s Celebrate Your Body fashion show to her favorite project of all, producing the Tagalog festival of plays from 2019-2022, Joyce left an indelible mark on the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District. “The love, care, and respect she had for the Tagalog production was incredibly powerful,” said Nic Feliciano, an actor who performed in Tagalog 2017. “The way she made sure to honor our native tongue and the works we were bringing to life from home is just beyond admirable. She was a true bridge between here and home.”

The public may celebrate her life and legacy on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at two separate venues in SOMA Pilipinas:

‘Don’t Call Me Áte’ : Celebrating Joyce Juan-Manalo

Blue Gayuma Art Market

Date: Sunday, October 15, 2023 Time: 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Location: ARC Gallery

Address: 1246 Folsom Street Admission is free

Blue Gayuma is the name of a gift boutique Joyce opened in Manila back in 2005. She filled the store with artwork she created for sale including pottery, jewelry, handbags, purses, and flowers. Her brother Boni, also an artist, sold his wooden sculptures, epic birdhouses, and paintings. We honor Joyce’s creative spirit by re-staging a Blue Gayuma art market pop-up in support of Bay Area Filipino artisans selling their creations. The afternoon will also feature DIY demos and a scintillating talk about Original Pilipino Music with Roger Rigor of VST you will not want to miss.

Featured vendors include:

Boni Juan (Joyce’s favorite kuya) selling paintings; Habiness, Ilocano handwoven items by Rachel Lozada; Kalingafornia, indigenous backstrap weaving from Kalinga by Jenny Bawer Young; Lyra Ceramics, pottery by Lyra Dela Rosa Dietrich; Mike’s Pottery; Seaweed Holistics, essential oils blend bar by Ana Leano-Williams; Malaya Botanicals, cannabis/hemp designs by Pia Tuason Barton; Diosa Blossoms, florals and gifts; Sariwa Farm, black garlic grown by Lorna Velasco; ISSO SF, curated & clean, reworked vintage fashion

Chokit’s Playlist

Date: Sunday, October 15, 2023 Time: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Location: Bindlestiff Studio Address: 185 6th Street

Cost: $10 toward the Joyce Juan-Manalo Legacy Fund for Pinay Artists

“Chokit” is an endearing nickname given to Joyce by her father who passed away when she was only 9 years old. Whenever she wanted chocolate, she would ask her dad for “chokit!”

Featured performers of Chokit’s Playlist:

Alleluia Panis, respected director, choreographer and nonprofit leader, performs an opening ritual. Musical performances by Bobby Banduria (actor, writer, and standup comedian Kevin Camia), Chicken Joy.ce performing Joyce’s favorite OPM (Original Pilipino Music) songs, Rachel Lastimosa (interdisciplinary artist, producer and performer), Sugar Broth (Joyce’s widow, Allan Manalo on ukulele with his nieces Jazzi and Ava Manalo Sullivan), Omz Velasco (singer with the Spam Keys Band from Seattle), Karenna Slade & Word Salad (music by Karena and Dan Weil), and Joe Wilson (executive director of Hospitality House). Stand-up comedy sets by the hosts of Comedy Before the Debauchery at Slate Bar Rhoda Gravador, Manny Cabrera, and DB, as well as by Oliver Saria (playwright and managing director of Bindlestiff Studio). Performances also include puppetry by Ramon Abad (puppeteer and educator), sketch by Granny Cart Gangsta (an all-female, women-of-color comedy troupe recently featured in Vogue Philippines), and an excerpt from Tagalog Fest.

Joyce Juan Manalo’s passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but we are comforted by the knowledge that she touched our lives in meaningful ways. Organizers invite you to celebrate the beautiful tapestry of her life and the lasting impact she had on many.

Don’t Call Me Áte launches the Joyce Juan Manalo Legacy Fund for Pinay Artists. Tax-deductible donations to honor Joyce and her artistic and community work can be made online.

For more information about Don’t Call Me Áte and the Joyce Juan Manalo Legacy Fund for Pinay Artists or to purchase tickets to Chokit’s Playlist visit:


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