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.
During my internship, I was exposed to the different projects of the Architects Committee–from contributing to their Focus Group Discussions, to researching on the International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C), and to delving into the topics for the proposed CPD Talks on proper adaptive reuse strategies and design principles application to historic buildings. These involvements enabled me to get a better understanding of what constitutes a good conservation and adaptive reuse project. Insights gathered from ISC20C advocacy projects and initiatives, which can be helpful in resolving 20th century structures’ demolition issues, and the various case studies encountered during this research aided the discussion in how to work around the challenges architects may face regarding conservation parameters.
Other than the work for the Architects Committee, I was also exposed to more heritage research by contributing to Project Alexandria and working on the ICOMOS Philippines Online Library which both helped me gain a more comprehensive look into the current heritage conservation landscape in the Philippines. Moving forward with my architectural and documentation work, the learnings that the experience offered to me by ICOMOS, my mentors and its members is something that I am extremely grateful to have.
“Through the guidance of my mentors in ICOMOS Philippines, I was able to get a better understanding of what constitutes a good conservation/ adaptive reuse project. We looked into local and international case studies and discussed what challenges architects face in the process of designing with conservation parameters. I hope to carry these insights and instill them in design principles for my work in Architecture and documentation projects.”
I will be completing my thesis, a proposal on a values-based adaptive reuse guide using a typo-morphological analysis of Avenida Rizal, in hopes to stir the discussion of how heritage values may be better interpreted by designers/architects. I am also taking on projects that create virtual tours for tourist destinations and heritage sites around the Philippines. I hope to get more experience in fields relating to heritage work and eventually return to ICOMOS and contribute more as a member.
With greater amount of online content and communications activities, ICOMOS Philippines is now looking at data protection and intellectual property management for its members. ICOMOS Philippines is happy to share that we will have a third intern working with us for the next months:
Kristen Banaag is an undergraduate student taking up Diplomacy and International Relations with a specialization in East and Southeast Asian Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. She is familiar with project management, and publications and is actively involved in various organizations that are centered on youth empowerment and leadership advocacies in line with her passion to pursue philanthropic and socio-cultural causes.
Kristen wanted to be part of the ICOMOS Philippines internship program because she believes that it will enable her to productively apply the insights and takeaways to her field of study. She believes that it is essential to widen one’s perspective on the cultural diversity of one’s country to successfully imbue a positive impact through her prospective line of work.
Aside from working on content creation, copywriting, and social media management, Kristen will also contribute to developing the intellectual property and copyright protocols and develop a marketing plan to increase the audience of ICOMOS Philippines across potentially interested groups even outside the heritage field . This work will be guided by the Secretariat, Carissa Veloso and Trustee, Kara Garilao. She will also be supporting the creation of the digital library of ICOMOS Philippines under the mentorship of Communications Committee Member, Rancho Arcilla.
Welcome, Kristen! We’re very pleased to have your assistance.
Under the mentorship of Tina Paterno, I had my internship with ICOMOS Philippines in 2018. Together with Sen Roxas, we worked on understanding the state of conservation practices in the country: What sites get conserved? What are the methods being used? With these in mind, we kicked off our baseline research by gathering reports on conservation projects in the country, with emphasis on building typology, regional project distribution, funding, and conservation methodologies and practices.
“The work in ICOMOS Philippines gave me a good starting overview of cultural work being done in the country… The experience that I gained through my research helped prepare me for the challenges that come with setting up a museum, especially the research into an institution’s history.”
From emailing different government agencies, to scouring libraries, and getting access to reports, our work, though arduous, was made more fruitful by the help and insight offered by various ICOMOS Philippines members who willingly shared their experiences, opinions, and suggestion to aid our research. The experience that I gained in my ICOMOS internship has helped prepare me for the challenges of my current work and even beyond.
ICOMOS Philippines’ internship program equipped me with the necessary knowledge and background as I witnessed the work conducted by the National Museum and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Currently, I am part of the development team of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation’s museum project, Museo ng Nayong Pilipino. Thanks to my ICOMOS experience, I am able to handle the challenges faced as we develop our collection and exhibits.
For interested students and or new graduates who would like to take internship with ICOMOS Philippines, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With rising interest on collaborative heritage research, mentorship and the development of communications strategies for the organization, ICOMOS Philippines is happy to share that we will have two new interns working with us for the next three months:
Supitcha ‘Maysa’ Sutthanonkul is a heritage studies student from Thailand who is pursuing her master’s degree in World Heritage Studies in Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany. She has a background in architecture with a major in interior architecture. She has done projects related to history, heritage, architectural conservation and urban development. Her interests include industrial heritage, sustainable development, and adaptive- reuse of architecture in the urban context.
Maysa decided to join the internship program to learn about heritage conservation in a different context from Thailand gaining experience from one of the very active national committees of ICOMOS. She hopes to use skills and advice from her mentors, Gabriel Caballero and John Peterson to develop fruitful research for the heritage field in the future.
Maysa will be researching on the current state of the World Heritage Tentative List of the Philippines for the next three months.
CeireneMalolos is a graduate of Communication Arts from De La Salle University Manila and is currently taking her Masters in ASEAN Studies at the University of the Philippines Open University. Concurrent to her graduate studies, she participated in the ASEAN University Network – ASEAN Credit Transfer System at the National University of Singapore; and she was also a Darmasiswa Scholarship awardee taking Pure Fine Arts (Seni Rupa Murni) at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Denpasar, Bali in Indonesia.
By applying at the ICOMOS Internship Program, Cen intends to grow her expertise and knowledge on Philippine culture and heritage adding to her on-going area studies track, share and raise awareness about the current state of her country’s own culture and heritage – in the Philippines and beyond.
Aside from the advancement of the Project Alexandria research under the tutelage of Tina Paterno, Cen will further develop the organization’s communications strategy, particularly reviewing the video and graphic content to further the objectives of effectively communicating with the public, stakeholders and its members. She will be working with Communications Committee Member, Claudia Montero to further develop the brand of ICOMOS Philippines.
Welcome, Maysa and Cen! We’re very pleased to have your assistance.
Unlike my other work in the private and public sectors, working in ICOMOS PH was the most fulfilling and unique of all. I had the experience to learn from the best of the best in the Philippine Cultural Heritage sector. I felt valued by members, who listened to my ideas for the organization and its stakeholders.
I applied for this internship because my scheduled trips in Asia for my masters degree were cancelled due to the pandemic. Little did I know it would open a huge door of opportunities for me- destiny indeed. I was assigned to the baseline pilot study for the research entitled: “Philippine Landscape Heritage Education: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the Specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC)“. In this study, I was able to reach out and collaborate with stakeholders such as the Philippine Committee on International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL), Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), Technical Committee of Landscape Architecture – Commission on Higher Education (TCLA – CHED), and Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC – BOLA). Moreover, I was able to join committee meetings of ICOMOS PH wherein I was able to contribute and brainstorm to timely and pressing heritage issues, which increased my connection to Philippine Heritage.
The mentorship alone was already a worthwhile learning experience. Additionally, I was able to maximize my professional skills in academic research, stakeholder engagement, and project management. What I treasure the most is the professional and personal relationship I gained from the organization and its highly acclaimed members.
After this holistic internship, I will be continuing on to my final year of my masters degree in Europe and in the future, I will be doing another internship abroad, but this time I know I am more equipped and prepared, all thanks to ICOMOS Philippines.
For interested students or new graduates who would like to take internship with the organization, please contact email@example.com
Kenneth Tua, Research Intern of ICOMOS Philippines for 2020, did a baseline study of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC). Courses from four (4) Philippine universities were reviewed and thematic areas of study were proposed patterned from identified programs of UNESCO Chairs for Heritage and from other similar programs on cultural landscapes that exemplify course concentrations significant to the curriculum integration of the specialization of LHC. The study also provided a joint SWOT – PESTEL analyses to support the preparation of the ‘Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities’ to be obtained by the students from the LHC specialization.
The study entitled “PHILIPPINE LANDSCAPE HERITAGE EDUCATION: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC),” was supervised by Philippine members of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes, Mr. Gabriel Caballero, MA (Expert Member) and Dr. Susan Aquino-Ong, PhD (Advisory Member). Both advisors are also members of the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects, which is the national association of landscape architects in the country.
Thematic Areas of knowledge conceptualized to understand and manage cultural landscapes in the Philippines
Computing / Information Technology.The intervention of technology in the advancement of heritage conservation is vital in the future of preservation and restoration. The use of interactive websites, mobile applications, new multimedia and transmedia narratives, 2D and 3D photos, ethno-clips for heritage interpretation, content management system (CMS) and social media, 3D scanning, GIS, BIM or 3D reconstructions are the future of precise and detailed documentation and analysis of landscapes and heritage materials.
Conflictualities and Memory. Geopolitical tensions affecting cultural heritage and cultural landscapes are compounded by the complexity of their management due to potential conflicts of interest. Economic externalities and uncontrolled tourism can pose a threat to the integrity of landscapes and eventually lead to a sociological upheaval in the natural and cultural environment.
Cultural Diplomacy.The emergence of national and international awareness of the laws, policies and guidelines governing the landscapes and the natural environment plays a vital part in the protection against private interests and politics. The skills of cultural diplomatic affairs serve an important role in the pro-creation and amendments specificity of heritage and landscape-related laws.
Cultural Geography.The living cultural heritage of local landscapes are inseparable from its meaning, as it faces problems from social and economic developments such as poverty, loss of culture, endangerment of indigenous language, emigration etc., the establishment of development of the territory through heritage encourages the need for harmonious dialogue. This requires both the skills to pre-emptively evaluate projects and formulate management modalities that take into account the “behaviors” of the various stakeholders, not necessarily rational or concerned with guardianship of the values attested.
Natural Sciences.The continuation of the hardscape and softscape design aspects of Landscape Architecture which integrates traditional skills and indigenous knowledge on local and alternative materials retrieved from landscapes. Collaboration with biologists, horticulturists, geologists, local craftsmen and related professions are encouraged to train professionals in the complex and integrated management of landscapes and nature conservation.
National Citizenship.The Philippines is composed of various native language and dialects. It requires interculturality and transdisciplinary when thinking between micro-cultures in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. When understanding the cultural heritage on these specific localities, it is important to familiarize or at least know the basics of various native language and culture. This also calls for the study of prominent figures and icons in Philippine History like José Rizal, Fernando Amorsolo and the likes who prompted early perspectives and valuing in the local landscapes.
Cultural Heritage Management.The specialization’s focal component which deals with cultural heritage and heritage preservation facets of Philippine landscapes. With the continuing modernization of built and natural landscapes, it is important to strike balance between conserving the physical integrity of the sites and nourishing their educational, historic and cultural values amidst the developing societal industries.
Epistemology. The classical natural sciences and its subsequent extension to the social and behavioral sciences dealing with the origin of history, nature of theories, and investigation of concepts. Further emphasizing heritage through analyzing socio-historical issues and epistemological issues of cultural goods and memory management of landscapes in coordination with conflictualities and memory thematic area.
Sustainability.The notion of sustainability and sustainable development on its application to the cultural landscapes has entered the World Heritage Operational Guidelines as early as 1994, with reference to the “sustainable use” of cultural landscapes. This idea is further stressed on the ‘Budapest Declaration’ which emphasizes the need to ensure an appropriate and equitable balance between conservation, sustainability and development, through appropriate activities contributing to the social and economic development and the quality of life of our communities.
Next Steps and Recommendations
These thematic areas of study are just initial findings of potential knowledge streams that can be taught for landscape architecture students. Further studies in collaboration with the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), the Technical Committee for Landscape Architecture, Commission on Higher Education (TCLA CHED), Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC – BOLA), and the four (4) universities will need to be done to refine the study in the future.
For interested researchers or interns who would like to know more about the confluence of cultural landscapes and education, please get in touch with ICOMOS Philippines for potential continuation of the study. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ICOMOS Philippines’ intern Kenneth Tua will present his research on Philippine Landscape Heritage Education. This is his final presentation for the Internship Programme.
Philippine Landscape Heritage Education16 October 2020 (Friday) | 8:00 PM Philippine Standard Time
“Philippine Landscape Heritage Education: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC)”
Mr. Kenneth J. Tua is a registered & licensed architect and a sustainable territorial development consultant. He graduated Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas and have acquired professional certifications as a scholar in Sustainability, Sustainable Development, and Innovation programmes from YSISEA in Singapore, APYE in Thailand and Social Innovation Center, Hanyang University, South Korea. He previously worked for the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines – Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) where he handled the research of the proposed Manila Esplanade Lighting Project and low impact development projects. Currently, he is a graduate scholar of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in DYnamics of Cultural Landscape, heritage, Memory and conflictualities (DYCLAM+).
“Philippine Landscape Heritage Education”, is schedule this Friday, October 16, 2020, 8:00 PM (Philippine Standard Time)
ICOMOS Philippines’ past and current interns will present respective research. Dr. Victor Venida from the Ateneo de Manila University will be the discussant for this event.
Project Alexandria28 September 2020 (Monday) | 6:00 PM Philippine Standard Time
“Summary of Conservation Projects in the Philippines: The National Museum and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines”
Ms. Patricia Cecille Monica H. Panganiban is graduated with an Erasmus Mundus Masters in Archaeological Sciences from the University of Evora in Portugal, where she specialized in the study of pigments from Ancient Egpytian funerary masks and sarcophagi. Prior to that, she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. She is currently working with the Nayong Pilipino Foundation on the development of the Nayong Pilipino Virtual Museum.
Ms.Ma. Louisen Manuel Roxas is a graduate of BS Human Ecology major in Human Settlements Planning from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, and she is currently pursuing her masters in Urban & Regional Planning at UP Diliman. Currently, she is working as the Training Manager of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), an internal NGO focused on humanitarian action & community development through open mapping.
“Diagnostic Report of The Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties (PRECUP)”
Ms. Carissa Veloso is the current ICOMOS Philippines Secretariat. Before joining ICOMOS Philippines, she was the Business Development Manager for San Sebastian Basilica Conservation, a non-profit restoration foundation based in Manila (2015-2019). 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.
Ms. Chanelle Custorio is both a registered and licensed chemical engineer and architect. She is an alumni of UP Diliman, worked in the restoration of San Sebastian Basilica, and is now a co-partner for the architecture firm Hiraya Design Studio. She has also attended courses on Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites by ICCROM as well as on Conservation of Japanese Textiles by TNRICP.
Mr.Isaiah Cabañero is a graduate of Community Development at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, working with communities and volunteer organizations which gained him experience in community organizing and people-centered participatory project development. He is currently working hand-in-hand with local coffee farming ati communities in Iloilo.
Ms. Ruby Descalzo is a recent graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Cultural Heritage Studies. She previously served as the President of Baybayin Ateneo, a Filipino cultural student organization. She is currently under the mentorship of Claudia Montero, and will be working with Dr. John Peterson as part of her internship.
Mr. Gio Abcede is a graduating BS Architecture student from De La Salle University, College of Saint Benilde. He has worked with One/Zero Design Co. on the Maestranza Creative Quarters project and collaborated with Digiscript Philippines Inc. with mapping presentations for the Intramuros Cultural Management Plan. He is also a core member and graphic designer for the Heritage Conservation Society. He is currently working closely with the Architecture Committee of ICOMOS Philippines, under the tutelage of Dominic Galicia.
Dr. Victor Venida, ICOMOS Philippines member, completed his M.Sc. in economics at the London School of Economics and a PhD in economics at New York University. He completed a specialist course in International Economics, Trade and Finance at the Instituto Nacional de Administracion Publica at Alcala de Henares, Spain. Currently e is a Professor with the Department of Economics and a Lecturer with the European Studies Program, Development Studies Program and the Law School of Ateneo de Manila University.
“Project Alexandria ”, is scheduled this Monday, September 28, 2020, 6:00 PM (Philippine Standard Time).
My internship at ICOMOS Philippines was a unique one, to say the least. Despite the COVID-19 global health crisis and community quarantine measures in the Philippines, the internship experience at the organization, although entirely conducted remotely and facilitated online, has been very educational and worthwhile. Although I worked remotely, was still able to be exposed to different facets of heritage work and the heritage movement in the Philippines and abroad.
One of the first projects I worked on was the continuation of a study on the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP). Primarily, my task was to interview local government units on how they accomplished their annual listings for this registry. Through this we identified gaps in the processes in which ICOMOS, or the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) itself, could intervene at to help resolve the problem for the better.
Fortunate are those LGUs whose government leaders collaborate with local communities for the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of their local cultural properties and heritage. Others submit the list for compliance, so I think more attention from the NCCA and its allied agencies must be channeled towards these localities for continued education and co-creation of local cultural knowledge of their heritage. They could also benefit from direct assistance in both the technical and logistical aspects of the work.
In one of the webinars that ICOMOS hosted on food security, a farming community that was watching got in touch with me. Today I work hand-in-hand with that farming community. After my internship, I am better equipped to understand the unique local context these communities have lived in, both past and present, and appreciate their continuing traditions and survival of community identity in this rapidly urbanizing world. I am happy to witness their shared appreciation of their local culture and, ultimately, the preservation of this local indigenous Filipino heritage.
For interested students or new graduates who would like to take internship with the organization, please contact email@example.com