Joint Statement by the Heritage Conservation Society and the International Council of Monuments and Sites Philippines on the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex

Rizal Memorial Tennis Stadium (c) Manila Nostalgia

The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites – Philippines (ICOMOS-PH), as regards the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC), respectfully state the following:

1. We reiterate our gratitude to the cultural agencies, specifically the National Museum (NM) and the National Historical Commission (NHCP), for their declarations on RMSC as an Important Cultural Property and a National Historical Landmark, respectively.

2. We particularly note with approval the NHCP’s declaration that outlines the significance of RMSC as a historical site – as a venue for the Far Eastern Games and in subsequent athletic, religious. political, and social events; its role in World War II and its reconstruction thereafter; and its architectural design in the Art Deco style by Juan Arellano, one of the country’s most significant architects.

3. Having thus outlined the statement of significance of the site, it is the duty of the cultural agencies, consistent with international best practices, to require the preparation of a conservation management plan (CMP) by qualified experts, under its control and supervision, to ensure that the significance of the site is respected and preserved.

4. A CMP should be prepared prior to detailed site, architectural and engineering development planning, and the CMP should in fact guide and provide the parameters of such development planning, just as the preparation of a environmental impact study and securing an environmental compliance certificate guide development planning.

5. The CMP should then be presented to, and evaluated by, stakeholders in a manner similar to that provided under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10066, (the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009), reflecting the fundamental principles of Sections 4 to 7 of Republic Act No. 7356 (the Charter of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts). Further, any CMP should be defined by public accessibility as provided by Section 40, and provide the parameters of a heritage agreement, as required by Section 18 of Republic Act No. 10066.

6. We reiterate our support for progress and development, and recognize the need for cities to evolve, but in the context of the sustainability of cultural significance through conservation, as provided under Republic Act No. 10066.

This Joint Statement was signed by Mark Richard Evidente, President of Heritage Conservation Society and Dominic Galicia, President of ICOMOS Philippines

Post Script Note: ICOMOS Philippines created a small working group which submitted a World Monuments Watch Nomination for its 2018 cycle. Research findings were shared by Gabriel Caballero at the mASEANa conference in Jakarta that happened in January 2018.

Drafting of the Philippine Heritage Charter with local heritage experts and ICOMOS Philippines

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the International Council on Monuments and Sites Philippines held a consultation with experts and advocates of heritage last September 8-9, 2016, at Silid Darangen, NCCA Building, Intramuros, Manila City.

The consultation session was the first of the series of consultations that will happen all over the country in the coming years. The leveling consultations gathered local experts from NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to work together in redefining Philippine Heritage that is more comprehensible to Filipinos. It was aimed at further understanding of Philippine Heritage sensibilities, priorities, and therefore implementation of a Philippine Heritage Charter. ICOMOS Philippines member Patricia Maria Santiago served as the project director of the initiative.

Source: https://uapnational.wixsite.com/kyponline/single-post/2016/09/21/Philippine-Heritage-Charter—Levelling-Off-Consultation

The said event was participated participated by several ICOMOS Philippines members, which is shown in the photo above: Melva Java, Fernando Zialcita, Augusto Villalon, Dominic Galicia, Tracey Santiago, Kara Garilao, Claudia Montero, Christian Aguilar, Ivan Henares, Tina Paterno, Chen Mencias, Cheek Fadriquela, Markel Luna, Manuel, Singson, Victor Venida, and Richard Daenos.

New Book on World Heritage Sites in the Philippines by Augusto F. Villalon

Living Landscapes and Cultural Landmarks: World Heritage Sites in the Philippines by Augusto F. Villalon,
Photographs by Neal M. Oshima,
Publisher: ArtPostAsia Pte. Ltd, Manila, the Philippines

This attractive book is the first publication to present all five World Heritage properties located in the Philippines in a single volume. Widely acknowledged by the international scientific community as a “biodiversity hotspot”, the Philippines hosts an astoundingly rich and varied network of terrestrial and marine life. Moreover, the distinctive blend of Eastern and Western architectural principles and technology that has evolved in the Philippines has given rise to sites of outstanding aesthetic and cultural values. For example, the Rice Terraces Cultural Landscape of the Philippine Cordilleras, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1995, has been shaped by traditional know-how handed down from successive generations. Furthermore, these magnificent rice terraces provide an exquisite setting for the traditional Hudhud chants of the local Ifugao people, which were recognized in 2001 by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Consequently, this unique yet fragile cultural landscape has come down through the ages as a testimony to the harmonious balance between heritage of humankind – both tangible and intangible – and the environment.

This publication received financial support from the World Heritage Fund. It was launched at UNESCO Headquarters in June 2007 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. UNESCO considers that such activities contribute positively to the ongoing debates on the many issues and challenges concerning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in developing countries.