An international conference on cultural tourism was held on November 7/8 2012 in the World Heritage city of Vigan, capital of the province of Ilocos Sur on the west coast of the Philippines island of Luzon. The event demonstrated both the rising influence of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) and the energy and sophistication of the ICOMOS Philippines organising team.
Billed as ‘cultural tourism for community development’ and part of the 40 year celebration of the World Heritage Convention, the two day conference attracted more than 200 delegates from around the world, including a large contingent of students from local universities.
ICOMOS Philippines President Augusto Villalon was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, conferred by the Minstry of Culture of France to individuals who have excelled in their fields of endeavor and who have promoted France. Established in 1957 by the French Ministry of Culture and then President Charles de Gaulle, the Order is in recognition of significant contribution to the arts and literature, or the propagation of these fields.
The citation says that Augusto Villalon has worked tirelessly in the practice of architecture and protection of heritage in the Philippines, in France and all over the world through his work as an architect and writer, and also involvement as the NCCA Commissioner representing the Subcommission of Cultural Heritage, as the Commissioner for Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO National Commission Philippines, as the Philippine representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, as the President of the ICOMOS Philippine Committee and as Member of its Executive and Advisory Committees in Paris.
Dr. Augusto F. Villalon, President of ICOMOS Philippines, recently received the Diwa ng Lahi Award from the City of Manila, the highest distinction given by the city. They cited his continuing work in rehabilitating some Manila districts and for advocating heritage conservation. In the photos are Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Head of the City of Manila Tourism and Heritage Office, conferring the award on Dr. Villalon.