Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees

Maria Cristina Paterno,  President

Tina is an architectural conservator with over 15 years’ experience working with varied historic building materials. She holds a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on conservation of materials, and worked for a decade as a conservator for Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc., in New York City. Projects she worked on during that time include the United Nations headquarters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Apollo Theater. She then established her own consultancy firm in New York, T. Paterno Conservation, Inc., which works with a team of architects, engineers, historians, and other specialized trades. The firm’s work, largely about treatments and repairs to preserve authenticity, relies on archival research, materials diagnosis, documentation, site and materials testing of stone, brick, cast and wrought iron, mild steel, glazed terra cotta, concretes, mortars, and non-ornamental stuccoes. She returned to Manila and co-founded andmanaged San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation, Inc., a SEC-registered foundation that manages the site’s technical restoration, fundraising initiatives, and sustainability programs that build relevance and ownership in the local and national communities. In addition to her day job, Tina’s evenings are spent remotely managing her consultancy firm in New York.

As president of ICOMOS Philippines, Tina acts as the primary spokesperson of the organization to various heritage issues both locally and internationally. She leads long term and short term plans with the Board, including the development of programs to carry out the goals of the organization, and overseeing the implementation, monitoring, and impact assessment of these programs through designated project managers.

Susan Aquino-Ong, Vice President 

Susan is a landscape heritage conservator and has been a member of the academe at the University of the Philippines (UP) for 30 years. She holds a doctorate degree in Environmental Science from UP Los Baños, where she was a full scholar of the Presidential Doctoral Studies Fund, and a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Melbourne, where she was awarded a Colombo Plan full scholarship by the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau. Her research focused on how campus gardens in urban spaces contribute to stress reduction, and on landscape conservation of historically significant sites in Melbourne. Her other passion is assessment of ancient trees across Philippine cities, through which she aims to integrate valuable heritage trees into built structures in selected communities in order to evoke cultural and physical resiliency. She was voted Most Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Professional Regulatory Commission, elevated as Fellow by the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects in 2011, and became a charter member of ICOMOS Philippines in 2008. Susan is also a contributing expert member of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ICOMOS-IFLA) and currently sits as a member of the Executive Council of the Asian Cultural Landscape Association in South Korea.

As the Vice-President of ICOMOS Philippines, Susan’s mandate is to build strong relationships and alliances with various stakeholders. Together with the president, she represents the organization in nurturing relationships with institutions, current and potential members.

Maria Karina Garilao

Kara is the Community-Based Heritage Tourism Program Director of Fundacion Santiago. She is a historian by training and holds a master’s degree in Heritage Conservation from the University of Sydney, Australia. After being a Heritage Consultant at Graham Brooks and Associates, Architects, Planners, and Heritage Consultants, in Sydney where she prepared Heritage Impact Assessments and co-wrote Conservation Management Plans as well as Heritage Assessments, she decided to return to the Philippines to pursue her interests in Philippine history and heritage management. For nearly a decade, she has been promoting and managing Fundacion Santiago’s Community-Based Heritage Tourism program, working hand-in-hand with local heritage stakeholders. She facilitates community-led heritage mapping workshops, designs and implements tour experiences, carries out local history research, leads committee meetings, and co-designs heritage interpretation programs for local residents. Kara’s other industry-related experiences include two and a half years of teaching Philippine History and Heritage Assessment and Interpretation at Ateneo de Manila University, working as a project coordinator and co-author of History of San Pablo Reviewed, Rewritten and Retold, and being an adviser of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. For the past three years, Kara has also been a Trustee of CARD MRI Hijos Tours. She provides guidance on historical research and heritage interpretation for the institution’s in-house, nationwide tourism and heritage education program.

Kara and other members of the Board of Trustees steer the organisation to fulfill its goals. As a group they form strategic plans to accomplish the mission, overseeing and evaluating the plan’s success, and providing adequate supervision and support to the organization. They also institutionalize a fair system of policies and procedures for its members.

Michael Angelo Liwanag

Miko holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines and a master’s degree in Peace Studies from International Christian University in Tokyo, where he was a full scholar of Rotary International. He also has certificates from the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region in Shanghai, the International Peace and Security Institute Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, and the World Heritage Sites Management and Conservation Program of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Hiroshima. He interned at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) in Paris and has subsequently worked on WHC projects such as the Silk Roads Central Asia nominations, the Koguryo Tombs in North Korea, and the monuments of Herat and Jam in Afghanistan. As a Rotary International Peace Fellow and an Ethics Fellow for the Future of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, he developed conflict resolution policy for heritage conservation which has since been published internationally. Miko is currently a Partner at Liwanag & Liwanag, Architecture & Interior Design, and also the President of St. Francis de Sales Hearing Impaired Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports the education of hearing-impaired children.

Miko represents ICOMOS Philippines at the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI). PGBI is a non-profit, voluntary group of professional associations involved with the built-environment who share a common concern with the impacts of global warming and climate change. Its vision is to be the leader in developing a sustainable nation by promoting energy-efficient and environment-friendly design and construction.

Richard Guevarra Daenos

Dr. Richard G. Daenos is a multi-awarded educator and researcher with a special interest in cultural and heritage tourism and teacher education. He completed a number of Certificate Courses on Cultural Heritage Education from reputable universities and institutions in Europe including Arts and Heritage Management from Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Italy, Heritage under Threat from Universiteit Leiden in Netherlands, Cultural Heritage and the City from European University Institute and Global Governance Programme in Italy.

He graduated Doctor of Philosophy major in Educational Management from the Angeles University Foundation and is a recipient of the following accolades: Professional Fellow at the Asia Pacific Institute for Events Management, in Leeds, United Kingdom (2017 – 2021) , International Visiting Professional Fellow (2018 – 2020) and Doctor Fellow at the Royal Institute of Tourism and Education (2019 – 2021), in Singapore. He was also a CPI International Residency Fellow in Seoul, South Korea (2012), and a Rotary Group Study Exchange Fellow, in Denmark and Lithuania (2010). In 2014, Richard was appointed as the Culture and Arts Officer and eventually as the Tourism Officer responsible for the transformation of Angeles City as a “Heritage City.” Through his leadership, the City has gained the following recognitions: Philippine Heritage Award (2018) given by the Philippine Government, Pearl Awards – Hall of Famer (2017) given by ATOP and DOT, and Three-time Grand Prize Winner for Best Practices in Community-Based Tourism – Heritage Conservation Category (2015 to 2017), awarded by ATOP and DOT. Aside from being a Trustee of ICOMOS Philippines, Richard serves as the President of the City College of Angeles while holding key positions in other organizations including; President of ALCU – Region III, Trustee – ALCU National, Trustee – ALCU – COA , and Assistant Secretary to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS).

Richard stepped in to be part of the Board of Trustees to replace Jeffrey Cobilla in early 2019.


Erik Akpedonu, Treasurer

Erik is a faculty member of the Department of Fine Arts of the Ateneo de Manila University teaching Art Appreciation and Philippine Colonial Art & Architecture; and a Research Associate at the Ateneo de Manila University`s Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC). He studied Architecture at the Lippe University of Applied Sciences in Detmold, Germany. Working in architectural bureaus in Germany, Ghana, and Malaysia, he participated in various projects in those countries and in the Middle East. Since his arrival in the Philippines in 2006, Erik has been conducting extensive surveys of historic Filipino architecture, first in Bohol in 2006-2007 and from 2008 in Metro Manila. He has published journal articles and book chapters discussing various aspects of heritage, culture, and architecture. He is co-author (with Czarina Saloma) of the book “Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol” (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2011). As Project Manager of IPC’s `Architectural Heritage of Manila Project, 1571–1961` he is currently working (with Fernando Zialcita) on two 3-volume books on the built heritage of Metro Manila (Ateneo de Manila University Press, in press).

Erik serves as the Treasurer of ICOMOS Philippines and provides financial oversight and encourages the board’s strategic thinking about the short and long term financial vitality of the organization in relation to its advancement of the organization’s mission. He is tasked to develop financial management policies and develops protocols for evaluating financial success of programs.

Gabriel Victor Caballero, Communications Officer

Gabriel is a landscape architect and an independent world heritage specialist. His expertise ranges from sensitive landscape design interventions, cultural landscape research, and world heritage evaluations particularly in rapidly urbanizing areas in Asia. Gabriel is currently an Assistant Vice President for Attractions Development at Mandai Park Development, a development team established to undertake the rejuvenation of the Mandai precinct into a world-class nature-based attraction amidst the protected area of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve in Singapore. In 2017, the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA) gave recognition to Gabriel as a recipient of the GantimPALA Vanguard Award for his contributions in the protection of natural and cultural heritage areas which he integrates in his work as an active landscape architecture practitioner. Gabriel has provided expert evaluations for world heritage nominations and states of conservation for the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO, IUCN and ICOMOS International from 2016 to 2019. He currently serves as the representative of ICOMOS Philippines to the Emerging Professionals Working Group and is a contributing expert to the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes.

Gabriel serves as Communications Officer of ICOMOS Philippines who develops the communications strategy of the organization that is in line with its mission and vision. He stays abreast of organization’s priorities, programs, and activities and disseminates information on local and international events, learning opportunities, conferences, field schools, and heritage publications.

Liliane Rejante Manahan, Ex-Officio Representative to NCMS

Tats is a professional restorer focused on wall paintings and surface decorations. She is the current Chairman of the Heritage Conservation Society and previously served as Board of Trustees for ICOMOS Philippines. Tats received her Masteral Certification for Restoration of Frescos from the Centro Europeo per I Mestieri del Patrimonio in Vicenza, Italy, and she took further training at the Centro Europeo per la Formazione degli Artigiani per I Mestieri del Patrimonio Architettonico in Venice, Italy. Tats has been commissioned to do surface decorations for various private residences and offices in Manila, Singapore and San Francisco. Her restoration of painted walls for the Important Cultural Property of Gota de Leche Building in Sampaloc, Manila was given an Honorable Mention at the 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards. She also serves as Project Head for the Church of St. Joseph the Worker, Victorias Milling Corporation, in Victorias, Negros Occidental, where she took on board the restoration of Alfonso Ossorio’s mural, “The Last Judgement” and mosaic murals by Adelaide de Bethune.

Tats represents ICOMOS Philippines on the National sub-Commission for Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. NCMS’ mandate is to assist the NCCA in conserving Filipino built heritage and its environments and the committee formulates strategies, policies, plans, programs, projects, and networking for the protection of historic structures, complexes, and landscapes throughout the Philippines.


Maria Carissa Veloso, ICOMOS Philippines Secretariat

Before joining ICOMOS Philippines, Carissa was the Business Development Manager for San Sebastian Basilica Conservation, a non-profit restoration foundation based in Manila (2015-2019). She has completed internships with ICOMOS Philippines dealing with research on the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) and with Lopez Museum Foundation for introduction to Museum Climatology. She was also the representative of the Philippines for UNESCO’s young professionals program for the 42nd World Heritage Committee Session. She holds a BS Management degree with minors in Cultural Heritage and Entrepreneurship from Ateneo de Manila University and completed a 9-month Nihongo language course at Communica Institute in Kobe, Japan. 

As the Secretariat of ICOMOS Philippines, Carissa works closely with officers and project managers to provide managerial support and ensure timely accomplishments of tasks. She also supports organisational strategy to cross promote events, products and services with various stakeholders of heritage.