While Miami doesn’t have a significant Asian population, workers from the Philippines flock to the city for contract jobs on the cruise ships. During their two-hour breaks they visit the dozen of Filipino and Southeast Asian businesses scattered around one square block between Flagler Street and NE 1st Street. It’s a little-known micro-neighborhood— a Little Manila— catering to the thousands of Filipino workers who make Miami’s world-famous cruise business run. There they can have authentic Filipino cooking, buy their favorite Filipino snacks to bring onboard, use the WiFi to call home, pick up packages of American goods for their families in the Philippines— and most importantly send remittances home to support their families.
Photos and video by Sydney Walsh for Miami Herald
“Nanay” Linda Blanco (left) assists a customer at the buffet at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
“Nanay” Linda Blanco (left) assists a customer at the buffet at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
A money tree is seen through the window at the register at Manila Kantina, placed to attract good fortune in Asian culture
A money tree is seen through the window at the register at Manila Kantina, placed to attract good fortune in Asian culture
Owner of Manila Kantina Judith Blasco poses for a portrait in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Owner of Manila Kantina Judith Blasco poses for a portrait in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Photos of friends, family and customers are seen on the wall at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Photos of friends, family and customers are seen on the wall at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Remittance is sent by cruise ship workers at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Remittance is sent by cruise ship workers at Manila Kantina in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Royal Caribbean cook Melvin Reyes shops for chocolate for a gift at Filtrip Filipino Store in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.
Royal Caribbean cook Melvin Reyes shops for chocolate for a gift at Filtrip Filipino Store in Miami, Florida on Monday, October 10, 2022.