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.


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 was also a contributing expert member of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ICOMOS-IFLA-UNESCO) for several terms and currently sits as a member of the Executive Council of the Asian Cultural Landscape Association in South Korea.


Jeffrey Cobilla

Foom is an architect who has participated in a wide range of conservation projects involving documentation and architectural mapping, the conduct of studies about the spirit of place of heritage sites, towns and communities, the conduct of surveys and studies to determine cultural significance, the preparation of conservation management plans, as well as the preparation of intervention master plans for monuments and sites. As part of his work and studies, his focus is on the various aspects of traditional construction trades, especially for unreinforced masonry and wooden structures. Being in a developing country where the practice of heritage conservation is in its early stages, he believes that the use of traditional knowledge in building construction— particularly in terms of materials, skills, and techniques—is a key factor in preserving Philippine built heritage. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the College of Architecture of the University of the Philippines and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Architecture at the same institution, specializing in the conservation of architectural heritage. Foom is presently the Technical Team Head of Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Inc., where he manages the organization’s various conservation projects.


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. Mutually Reinforcing Institutions’ Hijos de San Pablo program which seeks to make cultural heritage relevant to the organization’s clients and staff.


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.