Ideas for Continuing a Heritage Practice amidst Covid 19

ICOMOS Philippines members came together online last April 25 to discuss the topic entitled, “Heritage Practice Amidst Covid 19”. This discussion is seen as the first step in exploring collective strategies to adapt to new challenges amidst the global pandemic for Filipino heritage practitioners. Members living in different parts of the Philippines, United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Germany and Egypt shared their current situation, challenges and prognosis of Covid-19 in their heritage practice during the 2-hour discussion.

INITIAL FINDINGS

While the pandemic has threatened the heritage practice, many still viewed the resulting changes in the new heritage landscape as opportunities. Following were common experiences:

A. Stalled projects due to site inaccessibility and  suspension of government-funded projects or work with local government projects;              
B. The recent memo from Department of Budgets to keep ‘non-essential’ industries alive results in diminished spending for heritage and mass layoffs for the creative industry; 
C. Difficulty in engaging students with online learning 

Continue reading “Ideas for Continuing a Heritage Practice amidst Covid 19”

Heritage Practice Amidst Covid-19: ICOMOS Philippines Discussion

As part of the International Day of Monuments and Sites 2020 theme of “Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility, and Shared Culture”, ICOMOS Philippines is organising a zoom discussion entitled, “Heritage Practice Amidst Covid 19”. The goal of the discussion is to check in with its members and understand how Covid-19 has affected their practice. It will explore collective strategies for heritage professionals in the Philippines to adapt to new challenges amidst the global pandemic.

Continue reading “Heritage Practice Amidst Covid-19: ICOMOS Philippines Discussion”

Internship Experience with ICOMOS Philippines – Carissa Veloso

ICOMOS Philippines is gathering testimonials from researchers, students and graduates of its internship program. The first testimonial comes from Carissa Veloso, who interned with the organization in 2018 and now has become part of ICOMOS Philippines.

In 2018, I completed an internship with my partner Chanelle Custorio at ICOMOS Philippines. While my primary work dealt with research on the PRECUP of the NCCA, I was also able to participate in a couple of other events in partnership with ICOMOS International.

As an intern and in the early stage of my career in heritage, it was exciting to be exposed to these kinds of international events and also be connected to ICOMOS Philippines members who are at the top of their fields in the country.

My mentors for the PRECUP were always approachable and while they provided a lot of guidance, there was a lot of room for me to accomplish my work through my own methods.

It was a full learning experience doing research on something that I felt was meaningful.


Carissa Veloso continues her work in heritage and now serves as the Secretariat of the ICOMOS Philippines. For interested students or new graduates who would like to take internship with the organization, please contact info@icomosphilippines.com

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.

ICOMOS Philippines: New Members 2018

ICOMOS Philippines is very pleased to welcome its new members for the year 2018! Get to know them as we share with you a brief of their profile and expertise.


Vicente L. Rafael

Dr. Vicente L. Rafael is the Giovanni and Anne Costigan Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He obtained his BA from the Ateneo de Manila University and his MA and PhD at Cornell University. He is the author of several books and articles on the history and cultural politics of the Philippines, including “Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule,” “White Love and Other Events in Filipino Histories,” “The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines,” and “Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation,” all published by Duke University and co-published in the Philippines by Ateneo University Press.

He’s also edited “Discrepant Histories” and “Figures of Criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines and Colonial Vietnam”. Rafael also wrote the Introduction to a collection of Nick Joaquin’s stories, “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic” recently published by Penguin Classics. 

He has published numerous essays and articles in journals such as the Journal of Asian Studies, Positions: Asian Cultural Critique, Public Culture, Social Text, American Historical Review, Philippines Studies, Cultural Anthropology, American Literature and many others. He is a regular contributor to various newspapers and journals, including Rappler, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dissent, and Social Text and Public Culture, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Journal of Asian Studies, American Historical Review and many others.

Throughout the years, he has received several awards, most notably The John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford, the Humanities Institute at the University of California at Irvine, Princeton University, East-West Center, University of Hawai’I, Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. He was also the recipient of two National Book Awards from the Manila Critics’ Circle for “Contracting Colonialism” and “White Love.”


Andrea Jalandoni

Dr. Andrea Jalandoni is a Digital Archaeologist specializing in rock art recording and enhancement using photogrammetry and other remote sensing techniques including laser scanning and unmanned aerial systems. She obtained her BA at Ateneo de Manila University, MA at the University of the Philippines – Diliman and her PhD at the Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia where she is Research Fellow on an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship project ‘Australian rock art: history, conservation and Indigenous well-being.’

She received grants for the following projects: “Digital Archaeology and Dating: Innovative recoding methods and the first dated rock art in the Philippines” for 2019 – 2020 and currently working at present on “Guam Rock Art Study” under the Guam Preservation Trust. She has certifications on Remote Pilot at the Federal Aviation Administration, United States, and Advance Nitrox at the Technical Diving International.

She has projects in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Micronesia. Among her recent and notable projects are “How 3D models (photogrammetry) of rock art can improve recording veracity: a case study from Kakadu National Park, Australia”, “Inundation Exposure Assessment for Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands Using A High-Accuracy Digital Elevation Model”, “New Insights into the Rock Art of Anbangbang Gallery, Kakadu National Park”, “An Overview of Remote Sensing Deliverables for Rock Art Research”, “Optimizing the Potential of Research Data through an Integrated Data Management Approach: Considering Research Method, Data Life Cycle, Big Data and Linked Data in an Eresearch Example In Australian Rock Art”, and “A Systematic Quantitative Literature Review of Southeast Asian and Micronesian Rock Art”.

Andrea is also interested in Austronesian migration from Southeast Asia to Micronesia and archaeological sites of cultural identity.

ICOMOS Philippines: New Members 2018

ICOMOS Philippines is very pleased to welcome its new members for the year 2018! Get to know them as we share with you a brief of their profile and expertise.


Lila Ramos Shahani

Lila Ramos Shahani is the former Secretary-General of the Philippine National Commission to UNESCO. Under her leadership (and with the help of other government agencies), her team succeeded in obtaining four UNESCO designations for the country: in Intangible Cultural Heritage, Memory of the World and Creative Cities.

She has taught at the Asian Institute of Management, the Ateneo School of Government and the University of the Philippines. She has published widely, not only academically but as a former columnist for the Philippine Star. In addition, she has published with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, GMA News, Rappler, Business World and the Philippine Graphic.

She also spent many years in New York, where she did editorial work for Oxford University Press, writing and research for the United Nations Children’s Fund, and policy and communications work for the United Nations Development Programme.

She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, her M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and remains a doctoral candidate in Literature at Oxford University.


John Peterson

Dr. Peterson is an anthropological archaeologist with field research experience in the Philippines, US Southwest and Texas, Northern Mexico, Ecuador, Brazzaville-Congo, and the Daiyuan Valley of Jiangxi Province China. He specializes in historical ecology and archaeological heritage management. He took his BA from Antioch College in Environmental Studies, MA and PhD from University of Texas at Austin, USA and has had academic affiliations with various universities – University of Texas at El Paso, University of Hawaii, University of Guam, and University of San Carlos in Cebu, and has had academic honors including two Fulbright awards, an NEH fellowship, is a National Geographic Explorer, and managed large grant programs for NSF, NASA, NIH, and other US funding agencies.

Aside from this academic engagement, Dr. Peterson operated a mixed grain and livestock farm in Ohio, USA and managed a living historical farm where horses, mules, and steam engines were used to recreate mid-19th century farming in the American Midwest.

John Peterson has been involved with ICAHM, the International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management  of ICOMOS since 2008 as a vice president and most recently as president, and has consulted on and contributed to nomination reviews of several world heritage properties.


Stephen Acabado

Dr. Stephen Acabado is an associate professor of anthropology and a core faculty at the Cotsent Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His archaeological investigations in Ifugao, northern Philippines, have established the recent origins of the Cordillera Rice Terraces, which were once known to be at least 2,000 years old. Dr. Acabado also directs the Bicol and Ifugao Archaeological Projects and co-directs the Taiwan Indigenous Landscape and History Project.

He is a strong advocate of an engaged archaeology where descendant communities are involved in the research process. He is a member of the Engaged Research Grant Advisory Committee of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

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 the Ayuntamiento, 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

ICOMOS Philippines General Assembly 2016

Continuing a tradition that started last year, ICOMOS Philippines held its first meeting of the year at this icon of modern Philippine architecture, the home of the late National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio, at 2650 Zamora Street, Pasay City.

The first meeting and general assembly of 2016 (February 6, Saturday) was energetic and productive, with Bojer Capati doing a presentation about heritage fortifications.

The meeting was fueled by the delicious brunch prepared by Malu Antonio Veloso (third from right in photo), champion and protector of her father’s architectural legacy.

IN MEMORIAM: Rene Luis Mata

In Memoriam

Rene Luis S. Mata

August 25, 1953 – January 30, 2016

Arch. Rene Luis S. Mata, was a beloved educator and heritage advocate who molded a generation of practitioners in the field of architectural restoration, history and theory. He served as Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines College of Architecture and has taught at the university since 2002.

Arch. Mata was part of the National Committee for Monuments and Sites, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for several terms, first in 1992, as a representative of Intramuros Administration, second in 2014 as a representative of Heritage Conservation Society and at the time of his passing, he was the incumbent Vice-Head of the said committee as individual member. Arch Mata also served as Vice President for National Affairs for ICOMOS Philippines under the presidency of Arch. Dominic Galicia. Aside from his many institutional roles, Arch. Mata was involved in several heritage conservation projects for heritage towns like Sariaya, Quezon. He also served as an expert reviewer who did World Heritage mission report for ICOMOS International for the Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki, Japan. More information of his publications can be found in the UPCA website.

Jojo, as colleagues will call him, graduated in 2002 as an AECI Scholar at the University of Alcala- Henares in Madrid, Spain, where he took his Masters of Architectural Restoration and Rehabilitation of Patrimony. His graduate research focused on the rehabilitation of the San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He received his undergraduate training in Architecture from the University of the Philippines in 1980.

He was a heritage advocate to the very end, doing an assessment of the historic train stations in Naga and Lucena for possible conservation when he succumbed to a heart atttack. He passed away doing what he enjoyed the most: protecting heritage for future generations. The testimonials of ICOMOS members Dominic Galicia, Ivan Henares, Augusto VIllalon, Patricia Santiago, Tats Rejannte Manahan and Kay Maliliong can be found below.

Jojo is survived by his parents Carmelito P. Mata and Lourdes Sevilla Mata, and his siblings Jennina Elena S. Mata-Joven, Rolando Alberto S. Mata, Ricardo Gabriel Felipe S. Mata, Raphael Vicente S. Mata and Raul Carmelo S. Mata.