Introducing Supitcha Sutthanonkul and Ceirene Malolos, ICOMOS Philippines Interns – November 2020

New ICOMOS Philippines interns. Supitcha Sutthanonkul (left) and Ceirene Malolos (right)

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.


Ceirene Malolos 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 Claudia Montero to further develop the brand of ICOMOS Philippines.

Welcome, Maysa and Cen! We’re very pleased to have your assistance.

Testimonial of Isaiah S. Cabañero from the ICOMOS Internship Program

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 info@icomosphilippines.com

Insights on heritage from the ICOMOS Internship Program – Chanelle Custorio

Back in 2018, when the work of studying the existing spreadsheets of the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) was given to me and my colleague Carissa Veloso, I got quite excited because the task gave us a chance to have a glimpse of the heritage registry encompassing the whole country. It was a challenge to check and assess over 5,000 entries that led me to uncover the gaps and successes across the different regions.

The analysis gave me headaches and long nights of work, but it was worth the effort. The research was essentially a diagnostic report on the registry of cultural properties across the country. I discovered that even though there were a lot of entries, many regions were underrepresented and numerous listings were problematic, such as listings of corporate establishments as cultural property.

Although I am currently more focused on the mainstream architecture practice, the brief exposure from the heritage field helped me to become more conscious in raising awareness about our built, intangible, and natural heritage in both my designs and in dealing with my clients. I am thankful for ICOMOS Philippines for providing me this opportunity.

For interested students or new graduates who would like to take internship with the organization, please contact info@icomosphilippines.com

Introducing Isaiah Cabañero, ICOMOS Philippines Intern – May 2020

Even with the Enhanced Community Quarantine, heritage work continues. ICOMOS Philippines is fortunate to have a new intern working with us remotely for the next three months: Isaiah Cabañero is an advocate of community development and believes in the agency of the people to effect change in transforming their lives and society for the better. He majored in 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.

Isaiah contacted ICOMOS Philippines regarding an internship because of his interest in cultural heritage conservation which has continued to seep through his work. He believes that “scientific and technological methods in conservation strategies must go hand-in-hand with the economic and socio-cultural knowledge of local communities in order for efforts to be sustainable and become, ultimately, for the people.” He will be continuing the Project Alexandria research which will be done in collaboration with the ICOMOS Philippines Secretariat and Trustee, Kara Garilao. He will also be assisting the organisation with the planned focus group discussions and other communications projects.

Welcome, Isaiah! We’re very pleased to have your assistance.

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