Internship Testimonial: Ruby Descalzo, ICOMOS PH Intern 2020

As an environmental scientist and as a heritage advocate, I find myself eager to learn about the interconnectedness of culture and the environment. Though miles away from the Philippines, I joined ICOMOS Philippines as an intern hoping to broaden my knowledge on our cultural and natural heritage, and likewise to grow as a young professional in the field of heritage. 

I was able to accomplish a variety of tasks during my internship, focusing graphic design, branding, and research work. These included creating promotional materials for ICOMOS Philippines’ talks and webinars series as well as contributing to the mapmaking for Project Alexandria and the archaeological research project led by Dr. John Peterson. My experience was made more fruitful through the mentorship of the Communications Team members, headed by Ms. Claudia Montero as they were able to help me translate my ideas into effective communication materials. Moreover, my involvement in the research work enabled me to be exposed to various heritage conservation aspects as well as Philippine Archaelogy which afforded me the opportunity to learn about facets of history that I would not have come across were it not for Dr. Peterson’s project.

My internship in ICOMOS Philippines was my first exposure to professional heritage work. Throughout the program, I gained a better understanding of various facets of heritage: cultural landscapes, built heritage, as well as the challenges that the Philippine heritage practice currently faces. However, the most important lesson and firsthand experience that I had with the organization was seeing the interdisciplinarity of heritage work exemplified by the members. 

After my internship, I have started working as a research assistant for a research project on lake methane dynamics. While my current work mainly deals with environmental science, I hope to continue contributing in any way I can to our country’s natural and cultural heritage conservation. And in the hopes of improving my knowledge in both environmental science and heritage conservation, I hope to pursue graduate studies on ethnoecology and eventually join ICOMOS Philippines as a member this time.

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