Board of Trustees and Officers

Board of Trustees

Maria Cristina Paterno,  President

Tina is an architectural conservator with over 15 years’ experience working with varied historic building materials. She holds a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on conservation of materials, and worked for a decade as a conservator for Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc., in New York City. Projects she worked on during that time include the United Nations headquarters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Apollo Theater. She then established her own consultancy firm in New York, T. Paterno Conservation, Inc., which works with a team of architects, engineers, historians, and other specialized trades. The firm’s work, largely about treatments and repairs to preserve authenticity, relies on archival research, materials diagnosis, documentation, site and materials testing of stone, brick, cast and wrought iron, mild steel, glazed terra cotta, concretes, mortars, and non-ornamental stuccoes. She returned to Manila and co-founded andmanaged San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation, Inc., a SEC-registered foundation that manages the site’s technical restoration, fundraising initiatives, and sustainability programs that build relevance and ownership in the local and national communities. In addition to her day job, Tina’s evenings are spent remotely managing her consultancy firm in New York.

As president of ICOMOS Philippines, Tina acts as the primary spokesperson of the organization to various heritage issues both locally and internationally. She leads long term and short term plans with the Board, including the development of programs to carry out the goals of the organization together with project managers.

Maria Karina Garilao, Trustee

Kara is the Community-Based Heritage Tourism Program Director of Fundacion Santiago. She is a historian by training and holds a master’s degree in Heritage Conservation from the University of Sydney, Australia. After being a Heritage Consultant at Graham Brooks and Associates, Architects, Planners, and Heritage Consultants, in Sydney where she prepared Heritage Impact Assessments and co-wrote Conservation Management Plans as well as Heritage Assessments, she decided to return to the Philippines to pursue her interests in Philippine history and heritage management. For nearly a decade, she has been promoting and managing Fundacion Santiago’s Community-Based Heritage Tourism program, working hand-in-hand with local heritage stakeholders. She facilitates community-led heritage mapping workshops, designs and implements tour experiences, carries out local history research, leads committee meetings, and co-designs heritage interpretation programs for local residents. Kara’s other industry-related experiences include two and a half years of teaching Philippine History and Heritage Assessment and Interpretation at Ateneo de Manila University, working as a project coordinator and co-author of History of San Pablo Reviewed, Rewritten and Retold, and being an adviser of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. For the past three years, Kara has also been a Trustee of CARD MRI Hijos Tours. She provides guidance on historical research and heritage interpretation for the institution’s in-house, nationwide tourism and heritage education program.

As the Corporate Secreatary, Kara is in charge of external responsibilities of the organization including compliance with government mandated requirements and enforcement of the statutes of ICOMOS International, the organization’s parent company.

Erik Akpedonu, Treasurer

Erik is a faculty member of the Department of Fine Arts of the Ateneo de Manila University teaching Art Appreciation and Philippine Colonial Art & Architecture; and a Research Associate at the Ateneo de Manila University`s Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC). He studied Architecture at the Lippe University of Applied Sciences in Detmold, Germany. Working in architectural bureaus in Germany, Ghana, and Malaysia, he participated in various projects in those countries and in the Middle East. Since his arrival in the Philippines in 2006, Erik has been conducting extensive surveys of historic Filipino architecture, first in Bohol in 2006-2007 and from 2008 in Metro Manila. He has published journal articles and book chapters discussing various aspects of heritage, culture, and architecture. He is co-author (with Czarina Saloma) of the book “Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol” (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2011). As Project Manager of IPC’s `Architectural Heritage of Manila Project, 1571–1961` he is currently working (with Fernando Zialcita) on two 3-volume books on the built heritage of Metro Manila (Ateneo de Manila University Press, in press).

Erik serves as the Treasurer of ICOMOS Philippines and provides financial oversight and encourages the board’s strategic thinking about the short and long term budgets in relation to its advancement of the organization’s mission. The treasurer develops financial management policies & protocols for monitoring and evaluating the organization financial performance.


Claudia Montero, Communications Officer

Claudia Isabelle Montero is currently a PhD student in the Department of History at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her MPhil thesis focused on the role of history and culture towards built heritage protection, where it investigated how the 2009 National Cultural Heritage Act has been interpreted and implemented in Manila, Philippines. Her main academic interests are in history and historiography of colonial urban spaces (in the Philippines), built heritage, and heritage conservation practice. She is additionally interested in the articulation of the national politics of memory and identity. In 2018 she was a Junior Fellow for the Global Humanities Campus at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. An active member of the International Committee for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), she has been involved in several heritage activities in the Philippines.

She is a licensed architect and a conservator of historic buildings with applied experience in research documentation and condition survey assessment. She has worked extensively with nonprofit organizations, private clients and government agencies in the Philippines involving research and consultancy in the study of materials, methods, conservation, and restoration works. Additionally, she worked as a project architect for the National Museum of the Philippines in 2013, which aided in the supervision of the restoration works of several National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines.

As the Communications Officer of ICOMOS Philippines, Claudia develops the communications strategy of the organization that is in line with its mission and vision. They stay abreast with the organization’s priorities, programs, and activities and disseminate information on local and international events, learning opportunities, conferences, field schools, and heritage publications.

Kate Lim, EPWG Representative

Kristine Kate Lim is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Geographical Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universitat Berlin. Her on-going research examines the risks and vulnerabilities of Philippine maritime cultural landscapes given natural hazards, climate change, and human activities. For her master’s thesis, she examined an archaeological shell midden in a local coastal site as proxy data to reconstruct past climate and its relationship to human marine adaptation.

Kate is an archaeologist and sits as a board member of several heritage groups such as the Kapisanan ng mga Arkeologist sa Pilipinas Inc. [KAPI], (Guild of Archaeologists in the Philippines), Tuklas (Discover) Pilipinas Society, and Artists’ Welfare Project, Inc. She provides the program direction of Tuklas, a non-profit organization composed of archaeologists and young heritage professionals that apply discovery learning and community engagement principles to mainstream archaeology lessons in the country. As a development worker, she worked in various non-profit and government organizations focused on community development, environmental conservation, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. At present, she is a researcher at the Nayong Pilipino Foundation where she studies the conservation of Philippine cultural heritage sites.

As the EPWG Representative, Kate is tasked to be the official representative of the Philippines to ICOMOS International’s emerging professional working group program. They engage in international and regional teleconferences, and are the liaison for collaborations with other national committees. They are also in charge of establishing the long-term strategies for ICOMOS Philippines’ Internship program.

Liliane Rejante Manahan, Ex-Officio Representative to NCMS

Tats is a professional restorer focused on wall paintings and surface decorations. She is the current Chairman of the Heritage Conservation Society and previously served as Board of Trustees for ICOMOS Philippines. Tats received her Masteral Certification for Restoration of Frescos from the Centro Europeo per I Mestieri del Patrimonio in Vicenza, Italy, and she took further training at the Centro Europeo per la Formazione degli Artigiani per I Mestieri del Patrimonio Architettonico in Venice, Italy. Tats has been commissioned to do surface decorations for various private residences and offices in Manila, Singapore and San Francisco. Her restoration of painted walls for the Important Cultural Property of Gota de Leche Building in Sampaloc, Manila was given an Honorable Mention at the 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards. She also serves as Project Head for the Church of St. Joseph the Worker, Victorias Milling Corporation, in Victorias, Negros Occidental, where she took on board the restoration of Alfonso Ossorio’s mural, “The Last Judgement” and mosaic murals by Adelaide de Bethune.

Tats represents ICOMOS Philippines on the National sub-Commission for Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. NCMS’ mandate is to assist the NCCA in conserving Filipino built heritage and its environments and the committee formulates strategies, policies, plans, programs, projects, and networking for the protection of historic structures, complexes, and landscapes throughout the Philippines.