See ICOMOS Philippines position paper here: ICOMOS Philippines position paper for Binondo-Intramuros Friendship Bridge.
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.
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.
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
On 19 August 2015, the world was greeted with the shocking news of the death of Pamana, a Philippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, released in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, in Davao Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines. Pamana’s murder sparked outrage worldwide.
Ironically, Pamana, after surviving gunshot wounds in 2012 and being rehabilitated to good health by the Philippine Eagle Foundation, was released on 12 June 2015 in Mt. Hamiguitan as part of Philippine Independence Day Celebrations, with Pamana’s release a symbol of the country’s right to fly free again. Pamana’s freedom was short-lived, once again cut short by gunshot wounds.
Pamana is the Filipino word for Heritage. Pamana’s death diminishes us all. As a species found only in the Philippines, Pamana is not only a national treasure of the Philippines, but it is part of the world’s living heritage as well. Thus, if the Philippine Eagle goes extinct, it is not only the Filipino people’s loss but humanity’s loss as well; if it goes extinct, the world will never see a Philippine Eagle fly majestically ever again. Ensuring that Philippine Eagles do not go extinct is a global responsibility.
Pamana’s death is laden with ironies: surviving gunshot wounds and being shot again to death inside a declared Wildlife Sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we supposed it would live the rest of its natural life in safety and security. We were wrong. Philippine Eagles need more than a physically secure place to live in. Given their precarious state, they need human understanding that they are better off left alone. We should commit to providing conditions that would ensure that they are left alone and unmolested.
ICOMOS Philippines stands in solidarity with the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Biodiversity Management Bureau of DENR, or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Filipino people in our fight to ensure the survival of the Philippine Eagle for all humanity’s benefit. We also realize that UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, are much more than physical monuments for humanity to enjoy, but are a living heritage that should provide sanctuary to all life found therein. We commit to take positive action that would help ensure that the shooting of Pamana would be the last, and for Philippine Eagles to fly free.
Susan Aquino-Ong on Heritage Trees and the 21st Century Landscape. From the ICOMOS Philippines Heritage Talk Series #icomosph #heritagetalk
Boj Capati talks about cultural landscapes, specifically an indigenous cultural landscape in Mindoro island, the Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park. The lecture touches on the Mangyan-Tamaraw shared space, and the challenges to safeguard a unique mountain grassland landscape.
For the third part of the ICOMOS Philippines 50th Anniversary presentation we have Mssr. Richard Thomas, a French national living in Tacloban. He is a civil engineer by training but he is a lighting specialist by profession. His company specializes in architectural lighting design and landscape lighting.
(Third in a Series of 5)
In this segment of ICOMOS Philppines’ celebration of 50 years of ICOMOS, Architect Villalon breaks down the membership composition of ICOMOS which covers a wide range of professions and relates the humble beginnings of ICOMOS and ICOMOS Philippines and its place in the field of world heritage.
(Second in a Series of 5)
Members and friends of ICOMOS Philippines celebrated ICOMOS’ 50th year at the Calvo Building in historic Escolta, Manila last April 18, 2015. Of the members of ICOMOS, Architect Dominic Galicia, ICOMOS Philippines’ newly elected president, has this to say, “Although many are architects, archaeologists, engineers, archivists, and museum administrators, there are also lawyers, writers, tourism professionals, cultural networkers, and photographers. They are all united by their experience and expertise in whatever field they are in, and the impact they have had on conservation and culture. They are also all united by collegiality and respect for the opinion of the other, even if it may vary from yours. The opinions may differ, but the dialogue abides.”
Watch the full opening address below