2018 ICOMOS Annual General Assembly held in Buenos Aires, Argentina

From the 3rd to the 7th December 2018, members of ICOMOS Philippines attended the Annual General Assembly of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  This meeting is part of a three-year cycle of formal discussions leading to the next General Assembly which will be held in Sydney, Australia by 2020.

ICOMOS Philippines was represented by the following members: Tina Paterno, ICOMOS President, Gabriel Caballero, Contributing Expert of ISCCL and EPWG Commnunications Officer, and John Peterson, ICAHM President.

From L-R: Gabriel Caballero, John Peterson, Tina Paterno

Ms. Paterno attended the Regional Group meeting for Asia-Pacific and presented the current activities of ICOMOS Philippines. Mr Caballero, together with the ICOMOS Board, organised the World Heritage Training Session which was aimed at engaging members about the organisation’s role within the World Heritage system. Mr. Peterson chaired the annual meeting of the International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management . The proceedings of these discussions will be published by ICOMOS Argentina in the months to come.

IN MEMORIAM: Augusto Villalon

In Memoriam

Augusto F. Villalon

May 31, 1945 – May 5, 2018

Through his tireless advocacy, Arch. Augusto Villalon, former President of ICOMOS Philippines, inspired innumerable heritage conservation practitioners and ordinary citizens alike to protect the national patrimony. Although he was practically a lone voice when he helped introduce heritage conservation to the country some 40 years ago, Arch. Villalon zealously promoted heritage awareness through his writing, speaking, organizing, and campaigning. Publications and countless newspaper articles which he wrote helped mold the national consciousness. Organizations which he helped found, such as the Heritage Conservation Society, generated momentum, as did his years of involvement with both the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and UNESCO’s National Commission of the Philippines. By 2009, the groundswell that he helped create finally led to Republic Act 10066, better known as the Philippines’ Heritage Law.

Arch. Villalon was the bridge between the Philippines and the international heritage conservation community, primarily through his work with ICOMOS. He was President of ICOMOS Philippines for 25 years, was called upon to undertake numerous international missions, and was the moving force behind the inscription of the Philippines’ first five UNESCO World Heritage sites. He was Vice President of the International Committee on Cultural Tourism as well as the International Committee on Vernacular Architecture. He was a founding member of the International Committee on 20th Century Heritage, and he also served in both the Executive and Advisory Committees of the organization. He was so revered worldwide as an elder statesman of the conservation profession that ICOMOS awarded him with an Honorary Membership in 2014, just one of his many prestigious international and local distinctions.

Toti, as he is fondly called by family and friends, effected social change beyond the field of heritage conservation as well. As President of the Gota de Leche Foundation, he helped provide milk and nutrition support to indigent children in Manila—an endeavor to which he passionately dedicated himself.

A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Arch. Augusto Villalon leaves behind a loving family, respectful friends and colleagues around the world, countless grateful mentees, and the well-deserved legacy of being the father of heritage conservation in the Philippines.

ICOMOS Philippines Elects its New Board of Trustees

During its annual General Assembly held at the Ayuntamiento in Intramuros last August 19, 2017, members of ICOMOS Philippines elected Maria Cristina Paterno, Ar. Michael Angelo Liwanag, La. Susan Aquino-Ong, Maria Karina Garilao, and Ar. Jeffrey Cobilla as the new Board of Trustees.

Attendees of the 2017 ICOMOS Philippines General Assembly held last August 19, 2017 at theAyuntamiento, Intramuros, Manila.

In a succeeding meeting of the Board of Trustees, Maria Cristina Paterno was elected as President, La. Susan Aquino-Ong was elected as Vice President, and Ar. Jeffrey Cobillawas elected as Assistant Corporate Secretary. Elected as Corporate Secretary was Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong.

For more information about our current Board of Trustees, please click on this link

Dominic Galicia is newly-elected President of ICOMOS Philippines

Architect Dominic Q. Galicia was elected President of ICOMOS Philippines by the Board of Trustees at elections held last Saturday. He is Principal Architect of  Dominic Galicia Architects, a design-oriented practice whose work has been recognized for its sensitive attention to both concept and detail.

Galicia obtained his professional degree in architecture in 1988 from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, where he was a Notre Dame Scholar.  He received a University of Notre Dame Distinguished Asian Pacific Alumni Award in June 2005.  He also studied architecture for a year at Notre Dame’s campus in Rome, and pursued graduate studies in architecture at Pratt Institute in New York.

Although a modernist by philosophy, he is deeply concerned with the preservation of historic architectural sites. He has served as Vice President of the Heritage Conservation Society, member of the Executive Council of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI). He represents the Philippines in the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Twentieth-century Heritage (ISC20C), in which capacity he helped to develop “BPO@Escolta,” the public-private initiative to revive Manila’s historic downtown. Ongoing projects include the proposed 20,000 square meter National Museum of Natural History, in Rizal Park, Manila.

Also elected were Architect Rene Luis S. Mata (Vice President for National Affairs), Architect Ma. Joycelyn B. Mananghaya (Vice President for International Affairs), Patricia Maria C. Santiago (Secretary), and Architect Melvin G. Patawaran (Treasurer).

Villalon named Honorary Member, Henares elected ICTC VP, resolution on Rizal Monument approved at 18th ICOMOS GA

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) elevated Arch. Augusto F. Villalon to Honorary Member during its 18th General Assembly last November 15 in Florence, Italy. Honorary Membership is conferred by the General Assembly upon individuals who have rendered distinguished service in the field of conservation, restoration and enhancement of historical monuments, sites, and groups of buildings.

This recognition is given every 3 years during the ICOMOS General Assembly and 6 members have been conferred this year. Arch. Villalon is the first Filipino to be conferred as Honorary Member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites. Congratulations!

For more information, read: Cebuano architect is named to int’l heritage council.

Ivan Anthony Henares, was elected Vice President of the International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) during their annual meeting also held in Florence, Italy. ICTC is the ICOMOS scientific committee which promotes the sustainable development and responsible management of cultural tourism at places of cultural heritage significance – historic towns, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites and cultural routes – including World Heritage Sites.

The post was previously held by another Filipino, Architect Villalon. In announcing Henares’ election, Villalon said, “Ivan Henares was just unanimously elected Vice President of the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Committee. I know that Ivan will maintain the strong presence of the Philippines in the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Committee.”

During the general assembly, a resolution was passed regarding the historic Rizal Monument. The original version was drafted by ICOMOS Philippines. Senator Pia Cayetano and Ambassador Virgilio Reyes attended the general assembly to push for the resolution. Here is the text of the resolution:

Resolution 18GA2014/31

Protection of Cultural Heritage in Relation to Real Estate Development: Rizal Monument, Manila, Philippines(submitted by ICOMOS Philippines)

The 18th General Assembly of ICOMOS, Recalling the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, also known as the Venice Charter, which states, inter alia, that “the concept of a historical monument embraces not only the single architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which it is found the evidence of a particular development or a historical event” and “the conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale,”

Recalling moreover that the Venice Charter provides that “the sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner,”

Noting that the Monument to the Philippine National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal, whose remains are buried in it and near the scene of his execution in Luneta Park, has been an enduring, honored, and iconic site for all Filipinos ever since it was inaugurated on 30 December 1913 in the City of Manila,”


Recalling that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has issued “Guidelines on Monuments Honoring National Heroes, Illustrious Filipinos, and other Personages”, which provides the need to “keep vista points and visual corridors to monuments clear for unobstructed viewing and photographic opportunities,”

Noting with grave concern that construction has begun on a 46-storey residential building located 400 meters from Rizal Park which may significantly compromise key sightlines of Rizal Monument and could have detrimental impacts on the heritage values and on the setting of this national monument,

Encourages all authorities of the Philippines to work in cooperation with ICOMOS Philippines to develop and implement conservation measures for the protection of Rizal Monument and its setting.

For more information, read: Pia Cayetano: Rizal Monument named one of world’s threatened heritage sites.

ICOMOS Philippines members elected to NCCA NCMS Executive Council

Several members of ICOMOS Philippines were elected to the 2014-2016 Executive Council of the NCCA National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS). They include Atty. Lucille Kay E. Malilong-Isberto (Head), Archt. Rene Luis Mata (Vice Head), Ivan Anthony S. Henares (Secretary), Archt. Carmen Bettina S. Bulaong and Archt. Melva R. Java.

NCMS Officers (seated left to right): Engr. Ruel B. Ramirez (Asst. Secretary), Atty. Lucille Kay E. Malilong-Isberto (Head), Archt. Rene Luis Mata (Vice Head) & Ivan Anthony S. Henares (Secretary); Members (standing from left to right): Rev. Fr. Milan Ted D. Torralba (CBCP), Archt. Christian A. Santamaria (University of Northern Philippines), Archt. Michael T. Ang (UAP), Archt. Wilkie B. Delumen (NHCP), Archt. Richard T. Bautista, Archt. Melva R. Java & Angel P. Bautista (National Museum). Not in photo are Edna N. Aragon (DILG) & Archt. Carmen Bettina S. Bulaong (University of the Philippines, Diliman)

NCMS, under the Subcommission for Cultural Heritage (SCH), is one of the 19 national committees under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the cultural arm of the government. Its mandate is to assist the NCCA in conserving the rich Filipino built heritage and its environments. Its main task is to formulate strategies, policies, plans, programs, projects, and networking for the protection of historic structures, complexes, and landscapes throughout the Philippines.

Ivan Henares named 2012 TOYM awardee for Heritage Conservation

ICOMOS Philippines member and ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) Expert Voting Member Ivan Anthony Henares was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines for 2012. He is the first awardee ever for the category of Heritage Conservation, which makes the honor doubly significant. This is one of the most prestigious professional awards given in the Philippines.

Augusto Villalon awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

French Ambassador Gilles Garachon with Augusto Villalon

ICOMOS Philippines President Augusto Villalon was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, conferred by the Minstry of Culture of France to individuals who have excelled in their fields of endeavor and who have promoted France. Established in 1957 by the French Ministry of Culture and then President Charles de Gaulle, the Order is in recognition of significant contribution to the arts and literature, or the propagation of these fields.

The citation says that Augusto Villalon has worked tirelessly in the practice of architecture and protection of heritage in the Philippines, in France and all over the world through his work as an architect and writer, and also involvement as the NCCA Commissioner representing the Subcommission of Cultural Heritage, as the Commissioner for Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO National Commission Philippines, as the Philippine representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, as the President of the ICOMOS Philippine Committee and as Member of its Executive and Advisory Committees in Paris.

17th ICOMOS General Assembly held in Paris, France

The 17th ICOMOS General Assembly was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France from November 27 to December 2, 2011. Representing the Philippine National Committee were Ma. Joycelyn Mananghaya, Ivan Anthony Henares and David Mason.

Mananghaya and Henares also attended the 2011 annual meetings of the Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) and Cultural Tourism (ICTC) committees respectively. The Philippines will be hosting the 2012 ICTC Annual Meeting in Vigan, Ilocos Sur from November 5 to 10, 2012.

Augusto F. Villalon receives Diwa ng Lahi Award from City of Manila


Dr. Augusto F. Villalon, President of ICOMOS Philippines, recently received the Diwa ng Lahi Award from the City of Manila, the highest distinction given by the city. They cited his continuing work in rehabilitating some Manila districts and for advocating heritage conservation. In the photos are Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Head of the City of Manila Tourism and Heritage Office, conferring the award on Dr. Villalon.