A plaque for first Fil-Am woman Olympic gold medalist

/ 01:33 AM September 21, 2013

(From left, Front row) District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, Rudy Corpuz Executive Director of United Playaz, WWII Veterans Simplicio Yoma, SFPD Deputy Chief Mike Biel, Rudy Asercion, Lolita Ramos of the WWII Veterans Widows and Wives, Inc. (From left, Back row) WWII Vets Bernardo Isorena, Leonardo Torres, Aquilino Delen, Reggie Nacua and Mrs. Juana Pailano. ESTER MISA CHAVEZ

SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission on September 18 approved the installation of a bronze plaque describing the Olympic feat of Victoria Manalo Draves.

Victoria Manalo Draves. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ester Misa Chavez

Manolo-Draves won the Gold Medal for the women’s diving competition both in the platform and springboard category in the 1948 Olympiad.


It was a first-ever triumph for women won by an Asian American who grew up as a disenfranchised biracial athlete in a largely segregated community.

A native San Franciscan, the Filipino American Manalo-Draves was born and raised on 10th and Howard streets, just two blocks from the park that now bears her name.


Manalo-Draves Park. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ester Misa Chavez

Rudy Asercion, executive director of WestBay Pilipino Multi-service Center, said the plaque will add meaning to the name Victoria Manalo Draves Park and add self esteem to the Filipino/Asian American children and youth that go there.

Asercion’s students at the Soma After School Academic Enrichment Program initiated the campaign for the plaque’s installation.

Baylan Mejino, an EastBay resident who attended the commission meeting as a community supporter, said that when she has Filipino visitors, she can now give them a tour of San Francisco and show them our “own” park.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Fil-Am, Filipino-American, gold medal, Honor, markers, Olympics, park, San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission, Victoria Manalo Draves
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.