ICOMOS Philippines, the only heritage professional organization included in the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Stakeholder’s Chamber, led the discussion on heritage conservation as a driver for genuine and sustainable societal transformation during the agency’s 1st Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Summit held on November 22 to 23, 2022.
Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales presented ICOMOS Philippines’ PAMANA (Heritage) 2030 Project led by the organization’s SDG Working Group. With only 8 years left to achieve the SDGs by 2030, references to heritage in the global collective aspiration remain alarmingly scarce as evident in the insufficient discussions and practices by local and national government agencies related to heritage promotion and protection.
To bridge this gap, the Pamana (Heritage) 2030 Project of ICOMOS Philippines launched in 2021 aims to further accomplish the following in the near future:
Release a call for case profiles and will produce a policy guidance document with relevant stakeholders;
Gather key local government solutions in addressing societal concerns of inclusive social development, holistic economic development, environmental sustainability, peace and security, and key partnerships within their local realities; and
Provide timely baseline data and policy recommendations focused on the intersection of heritage and the SDGs in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Ar. Harvey Vasquez zoomed in on the importance of efficient pre-disaster recovery planning and concise post-disaster methodological actions in conserving heritage sites through the case of the World Heritage City of Vigan, impacted by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Northwestern Luzon in July this year.
ICOMOS Philippines joined the City Government of Vigan and the multi-sectoral Vigan Conservation Council in the rapid assessment of the damage, made possible by funding from UNESCO Jakarta.
Through the summit, ICOMOS Philippines hopes that more individuals will become aware of the importance of heritage conservation in the present and future, and become involved in this encompassing, holistic, and transformative movement.
To provide how management and conservation of heritage places can give a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future, the People-Nature-Culture (PNC) World Heritage Leadership (WHLP), a capacity-building programme delivered by IUCN, ICCROM, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and other organizations, with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and other partners, is established to equip heritage site managers worldwide.
Among the fully-funded scholars is ICOMOS PH member Dr. Laya Boquiren Gonzales, who was invited to participate and present at the PNC Forum, which celebrated the conclusion of the 2017-2022 Korea-ICCROM Funds in Trust, the approaching completion of Phase I of the World Heritage Leadership Programme (WHLP) and the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The event was held from October 10 – 12, 2022 in Suwon, Republic of Korea (ROK)
Dr. Boquiren – Gonzales presented “How can we establish good governance arrangements that ensure they benefit from the conservation of those places?” on Day 2 under the theme of Who benefits from heritage.
Dr. Boquiren-Gonzales provided highlights on her presentation from the forum:
The conservation of the Santiago Apostol Parish in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga, a National Cultural Treasure, is an excellent case of community-based safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and application of the C’s of Governance, including the following:
collaboration of management actors;
concerted efforts of multiple stakeholders including local champions;
conservation anchored on a sense of collective devotion and pride and not only tourism as the sole motivation;
coordination among a consulting committee;
collaboration of local cooperatives for the safeguarding of ICH;
celebrations that dramatize the significance of traditions and honor collective memory;
contracting technical experts in the conservation of built heritage, a convergence of space of interests;
consensus and coalition-building;
cooperation strengthened by social relationships; and
collective pride rooted in one’s occupational identity and place affinity.
The claiming of public spaces (SDG 11.5 and SDG 11.7), originally intended for disaster mitigation, became an intergenerational significance collective skills formation anchored on place wisdom (the space is now an artisans’ haven and eco park).
Substantial impacts include the integration of woodcarving into the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system by local champions and acknowledgment of the need to integrate heritage into basic educational pedagogy. Heritage, including intangible properties, provide livelihood (SDG 8) entrepreneurial opportunities beyond mere employment (SDG 10), a sense of well-being and contentment, pride, social cohesion, and place affinity. It is life itself.
The conservation of built heritage and safeguarding of craft production unfold in relationships forged over time across levels of the locality. Decisions are arrived at through consensus. Concerted efforts are the product of coalition-building.
Ideally, cooperation is institutionalized or formalized under the coordinated efforts of national government agencies and provincial and municipal governments. When the local government and national government agencies enter the picture, the conservation of built heritage and safeguarding of the intangibles must be achieved through efficient planning and mobilization of resources, and reflected in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); implemented in Programs, Projects, and Activities (PPAS); and audited using the right monitoring and evaluation tools.
Conservation efforts are best protected by legislation and enshrined in the constitution. However, the strength of implementing the terms of such arrangements and the rule of legislation are just as potent as the combined aspirations of communities. Therefore, community empowerment and collective action must persist above all.
Are we prepared to be teaching landscape heritage conservation? We have many cultural landscapes that need to be preserved, but few formally trained practitioners.
The Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development published the research on the Cultural Landscape Heritage Conservation (CLHC) specialization in the Philippines. The study by ICOMOS Philippines’ members Arch. Kenneth J. Tua together with fellow Cultural Landscape specialists LArch. Gabriel Caballero and LArch. Susan C. Aquino-Ong was in coordination with the current four universities offering landscape architecture in the country: the University of the Philippines – Diliman, University of San Carlos, Bulacan State University, and University of San Agustin. Relevant stakeholders were also consulted in the study, such as the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), the Technical Committee for Landscape Architecture, Commission on Higher Education (TCLA-CHED), and the Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC BOLA).
The peer-reviewed article reviews the preparedness of the Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the CLHC specialization and will serve as a starting point to engage discussions with the PRC BOLA in its development of the CLHC specialization currently being planned. The end goal is to develop a training program for landscape architecture students from the current four universities, and landscape architects and heritage professionals.
It utilizes the framework of Harvard professor emeritus Carl Steinitz’s ‘Geodesign’, in formulating a developmental process and validation of the interrelationship and collaborative activity of the identified thematic areas and courses in terms of IT, geographic sciences, design professions and the people of the place.
If a program is created, then the hope is that more technically proficient practitioners can create methodologies and policies to preserve and protect places of cultural and natural significance.
How to balance heritage with the demands of a modern city? In exploring ways to preserve the rich cultural character of Manila, the City Government of Manila invited stakeholders to present their opinions. Among organizations invited was ICOMOS Philippines, represented by Trustee Erik Akpedonu, co-author (with Fernando Zialcita) of “Endangered Splendor: Manila’s Architectural Heritage 1571-1960. “Manila’s Tourism Stakeholder’s Seminar/Workshop on Cultural Mapping and Inventory” was the Tourism Month celebration, the City Government of Manila’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila (DTCAM), held the last September 22, 2022, at Universidad De Manila. Mr. Akpedonu proposed a number of legislative measures to better protect built heritage in Manila:
To legislate (by city ordinance or executive order) that the Office of the Building Official, before issuing demolition, renovation, or redevelopment permits, not only cross-check the proposed development site against the list of officially NCCA/NHCP- or LGU-declared heritage structures (as is currently the case), but to also cross-check against a list of PRESUMED IMPORTANT CULTURAL PROPERTIES (buildings 50 years and older, works of National Artists, etc.) as defined by Republic Act 10066 (The Heritage Act) and as compiled by PRECUP and Manila`s own Tourism Office, before issuing such permits;
To make public by online posting the minutes of all official meetings discussing any variations to any existing zoning laws for specific individual constrictions projects (which to date does not seem to be the case); and
To exempt declared heritage structures and Presumed Important Cultural Properties from Property Tax under certain conditions.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Manila`s Tourism Office and Office of the Building Official, barangay chairpersons, various NGOs (e.g., Grupo Kalinangan, SAHTA, ICOMOS PH) and the academe (e.g., Dela Salle University, Mapua University).
Mr. Akpedonu is co-author (with Fernando Zialcita) of “Endangered Splendor: Manila’s Architectural Heritage 1571-1960 (Volume 1: The Center)”, a complete compendium of Spanish, American and early independence period structures. The book chronicles the story of Manila’s rise during the galleon trade from a small port to the nation’s capital and the evolution of its heritage architecture. It is also a commentary on the current state of our built heritage, with discussions of current restoration practices, revitalization, and proposed economic uses for its preservation and protection. Book Preview: Facebook Watch
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines’s representatives EnP. Chen Reyes – Mencias and Dr. Laya Boaquiren – Gonzales participated in the 2nd Quarterly Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Philippines for the 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR).
The Voluntary National Review (VNR) is a process through which countries monitor and assess their own efforts in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By getting stakeholders together, countries identify gaps and good practices, mobilize partnerships and peer learning to further their progress.
This set the foundation for the mapping of the Stakeholders’ Chamber existing policies, activities, and programs on sustainable development. The expected outcome is as follows:
Member Stakeholders to be united on the flow of the 2022 VNR draft and the discussion of the VNR on stakeholder engagement.
An initial mapping of member stakeholders using the Non-Government SDG-PAPs Mapping tool. This will harmonize the targeted constituencies of member stakeholders, their programs and activities; and
Agreement to submit all inputs by June 3 for the Non-Government SDG-PAPs Mapping tool.
EnP. Mencias and Dr. Boquiren – Gonzales represented ICOMOS Philippines during the 2nd Quarterly meeting held last June 01, 2022, Wednesday, at Astoria Plaza, 15 J. Escriva Dr, Ortigas Business District, Pasig City.
Dr. Laya Boaquiren – Gonzales (left) and EnP. Chen Reyes – Mencias (right) with some of the representatives from some the 40 chosen Stakeholders’ Chamber members.
Photo from Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales
Photo from EnP. Chen Reyes – Mencias
Other present Stakeholders’ Chamber members were Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), Ayala Corporation, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Jollibee Group Foundation, Makati Business Club, etc.
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines’s representative Dr. Laya Boaquiren – Gonzales participated in the 1st day of the Consultation Workshop on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Philippines for the 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR).
The Voluntary National Review (VNR) is a process through which countries assess and present progress made in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the pledge to leave no one behind. The purpose of VNRs is to present a snapshot of where the country stands in SDG implementation, with a view to help accelerate progress through experience sharing, peer-learning, identifying gaps and good practices, and mobilizing partnerships.
The 1st day of the Consultation Workshops captured how the Philippines responded to the demands and challenges of the pandemic in the areas of education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability particularly on the following aspects:
a. Resource Mobilization and Financing. Address financing gaps in SDG implementation, and integrate planning and budgeting to ensure that resources are optimized and allocated for SDG-related programs, activities, and policies;
b. Localization. Develop communications for more effective stakeholder engagement at the subnational level;
c. Monitoring. Enhance accountability mechanisms to ensure proper data monitoring and reporting of SDG progress; and
d. Stakeholder engagement. Development mechanisms to harmonize efforts from different actors on the SDGs
Through the abovementioned aspects, three (3) workshops were divided to tackle the following: Challenges, Best Practices, and Lessons learned / Ways forward / Recommendations.
Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Photo from Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales
Dr. Boquiren – Gonzales represented ICOMOS Philippines during the 1st day of the consultation workshops held last April 26, 2022, Tuesday, at Discovery Suites Ortigas, 25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales provided highlights of the 1st workshop:
“I joined the breakout session for non-government actors, where we highlighted our organization’s programs and projects on heritage education and capacity building. ICOMOS Philippines provides heritage education, continuing professional development, and internships — all with access to a network of international, national, and local specialists in heritage. Partnerships with organizations for skills-based training in heritage conservation, documentation, and restoration work (for job generation and poverty reduction) were also mentioned. That ICOMOS has a seat in NCMS makes it strategically positioned to contribute to collective efforts in attaining the SDGs.”
“The non-government actors of civil society organizations (CSOs) recommended that NEDA produce an AI-enabled platform to map out the efforts and beneficiaries of the CSOs that will be critical in monitoring the SDGs and helping one another streamline efforts in education for nation-building. We were also asked to identify challenges in resource mobilization and financing. We also recommended that since the government is duty-bound as an enabler, it should dedicate human resources to gather and consolidate data and reach out to government actors so that the resource mobilization issues we have identified will be appropriately communicated.”
Other present Stakeholders’ Chamber members were Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., First Philippine Holdings Corporation, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) etc.
To know more about NEDA’s initiative, kindly visit bit.ly/SDGChamber
For more information on ICOMOS Philippines and SDGWG ➡️ (https://tinyurl.com/2sj8k3sb)
Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines has officially become a member of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Stakeholders’ Chamber on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The NEDA Subcommittee on Sustainable Development Goals inaugurated forty-two (42) member organizations from various sectors dedicated to upholding the SDGs in the Philippines.
The Stakeholders Chamber is a platform for the Government to engage Non-Government partners to improve coordination, alignment and understanding, resource management, ownership and facilitate the emergence of well-aligned partnerships for the achievement of the SDGs. The Chamber is the avenue for policy dialogue, stakeholder mapping, increasing awareness and support for the SDGs. The Philippine National Committee of ICOMOS is the sole member of the Chamber whose global expertise works for the conservation and protection of cultural and natural heritage worldwide. ICOMOS is an advisory group of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and ICOMOS Philippines also holds a seat on the National Committee on Monuments and Sites, of the National Commission of Culture and Arts (NCCA).
The membership will be effective for the Fiscal Year 2022, and subject to renewal. The Board of Trustees appointed Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG)’s EnP. Marybeth “Chen” R. Mencias as its Permanent Representative. Ar. Harvey Vasquez and Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales as the Alternate Representatives of ICOMOS Philippines.
Photo prepared by ICOMOS Philippines
EnP. Mencias represented ICOMOS Philippines during the Pledging Ceremony last April 7, 2022, Thursday, at Aboitiz Equity Ventures Head Office, NAC Tower, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Photo from EnP. Marybeth “Chen” R. Mencias
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fellow representatives Ar. Harvey Vasquez and Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales attended the Pledging Ceremony remotely.
In January 2021, ICOMOS Philippines appointed National Representatives to ICOMOS International SDGWG eventually establishing the National Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG PH). At present, it is now composed of ten (10) ICOMOS members.
The Sustainable Development Goals Working Group of ICOMOS Philippines (SDGWG PH) coordinates ICOMOS response to the 2030 Agenda, through advocacy, policy, and localizing of the SDGs. SDGWG PH looks into the important role of culture and heritage as a driver and enabler of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. It believes that Culture and Heritage supports the achievement of all the 17 SDGs. The linkages of Culture and Heritage starts at Target 11.4 to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage to make our cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, but it also enables the achievement of various SDG targets. This belief is anchored from the ICOMOS International Policy Guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals.
SDGWG PH through the PAMANA 2030 (Heritage 2030) Campaign aims to develop a policy guidance document to localize the “ICOMOS International Policy Guidance document for Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals” from 2021 to 2023.
Ar. Kenneth Tua is the Policy Guidance Manager / Task Team Coordinator. With him as Task Team members are LAr. Gabriel Caballero, EnP. Chen Reyes-Mencias, Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales, IDr. Mylene Lising, Ar. Harvey Vasquez, Ar. Claudia Isabelle Montero, and LAr. Cris Justine Ugalino, and as local members are: Ms. April Dopeño and Mr. Nicanor Germono.
Kenneth Tua, Research Intern of ICOMOS Philippines for 2020, did a baseline study of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC). Courses from four (4) Philippine universities were reviewed and thematic areas of study were proposed patterned from identified programs of UNESCO Chairs for Heritage and from other similar programs on cultural landscapes that exemplify course concentrations significant to the curriculum integration of the specialization of LHC. The study also provided a joint SWOT – PESTEL analyses to support the preparation of the ‘Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities’ to be obtained by the students from the LHC specialization.
The study entitled “PHILIPPINE LANDSCAPE HERITAGE EDUCATION: Review of the preparedness of Landscape Architecture curricula in the Philippines for the specialization of Landscape Heritage Conservation (LHC),” was supervised by Philippine members of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes, Mr. Gabriel Caballero, MA (Expert Member) and Dr. Susan Aquino-Ong, PhD (Advisory Member). Both advisors are also members of the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects, which is the national association of landscape architects in the country.
Thematic Areas of knowledge conceptualized to understand and manage cultural landscapes in the Philippines
Computing / Information Technology.The intervention of technology in the advancement of heritage conservation is vital in the future of preservation and restoration. The use of interactive websites, mobile applications, new multimedia and transmedia narratives, 2D and 3D photos, ethno-clips for heritage interpretation, content management system (CMS) and social media, 3D scanning, GIS, BIM or 3D reconstructions are the future of precise and detailed documentation and analysis of landscapes and heritage materials.
Conflictualities and Memory. Geopolitical tensions affecting cultural heritage and cultural landscapes are compounded by the complexity of their management due to potential conflicts of interest. Economic externalities and uncontrolled tourism can pose a threat to the integrity of landscapes and eventually lead to a sociological upheaval in the natural and cultural environment.
Cultural Diplomacy.The emergence of national and international awareness of the laws, policies and guidelines governing the landscapes and the natural environment plays a vital part in the protection against private interests and politics. The skills of cultural diplomatic affairs serve an important role in the pro-creation and amendments specificity of heritage and landscape-related laws.
Cultural Geography.The living cultural heritage of local landscapes are inseparable from its meaning, as it faces problems from social and economic developments such as poverty, loss of culture, endangerment of indigenous language, emigration etc., the establishment of development of the territory through heritage encourages the need for harmonious dialogue. This requires both the skills to pre-emptively evaluate projects and formulate management modalities that take into account the “behaviors” of the various stakeholders, not necessarily rational or concerned with guardianship of the values attested.
Natural Sciences.The continuation of the hardscape and softscape design aspects of Landscape Architecture which integrates traditional skills and indigenous knowledge on local and alternative materials retrieved from landscapes. Collaboration with biologists, horticulturists, geologists, local craftsmen and related professions are encouraged to train professionals in the complex and integrated management of landscapes and nature conservation.
National Citizenship.The Philippines is composed of various native language and dialects. It requires interculturality and transdisciplinary when thinking between micro-cultures in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. When understanding the cultural heritage on these specific localities, it is important to familiarize or at least know the basics of various native language and culture. This also calls for the study of prominent figures and icons in Philippine History like José Rizal, Fernando Amorsolo and the likes who prompted early perspectives and valuing in the local landscapes.
Cultural Heritage Management.The specialization’s focal component which deals with cultural heritage and heritage preservation facets of Philippine landscapes. With the continuing modernization of built and natural landscapes, it is important to strike balance between conserving the physical integrity of the sites and nourishing their educational, historic and cultural values amidst the developing societal industries.
Epistemology. The classical natural sciences and its subsequent extension to the social and behavioral sciences dealing with the origin of history, nature of theories, and investigation of concepts. Further emphasizing heritage through analyzing socio-historical issues and epistemological issues of cultural goods and memory management of landscapes in coordination with conflictualities and memory thematic area.
Sustainability.The notion of sustainability and sustainable development on its application to the cultural landscapes has entered the World Heritage Operational Guidelines as early as 1994, with reference to the “sustainable use” of cultural landscapes. This idea is further stressed on the ‘Budapest Declaration’ which emphasizes the need to ensure an appropriate and equitable balance between conservation, sustainability and development, through appropriate activities contributing to the social and economic development and the quality of life of our communities.
Next Steps and Recommendations
These thematic areas of study are just initial findings of potential knowledge streams that can be taught for landscape architecture students. Further studies in collaboration with the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA), the Technical Committee for Landscape Architecture, Commission on Higher Education (TCLA CHED), Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Landscape Architecture (PRC – BOLA), and the four (4) universities will need to be done to refine the study in the future.
For interested researchers or interns who would like to know more about the confluence of cultural landscapes and education, please get in touch with ICOMOS Philippines for potential continuation of the study. Contact email@example.com
This public lecture provides a colorful, visual overview of the clothing of men and women of varying ages, political positions and occupations in diverse contexts and spaces in nineteenth century Spanish Philippines.
ICOMOS Lighter Side Talk: Clothing and Spaces 11 July 2020 (Saturday) | 3PM Philippine Standard Time
Drawing from a wide variety of iconographic (tipós filipinos, letras y figuras, visual costumbrismo), textual (literary costumbrismo, novels, correspondences), material (actual garments, textiles) sources, the first part presents clothes as social skin and examines the meaning of clothes in different social spaces and situations (e.g. tertulia, paseo, bailé, etc).
The second part focuses on the narratives that can be generated by looking into selected Spanish, French and German heritage or preservation spaces.
The third part discusses how knowledge gained from researching about clothing in selected European repositories can be applied to today’s exhibition scenes and spaces, e.g. bodily, physical, literary, artistic, theatrical, production spaces,etc.
Stephanie Coo is a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Departmento de Historia del Arte, Universidad de Granada, Spain. She holds a PhD in History from Université Nice Sophia Antipolis in France, Master of Arts in History and Bachelor of Science in Management degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University, where she served as Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Internationalization of the Loyola Schools. She is the author of Clothing the Colony: Nineteenth-century Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896 (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2019).
Dr. Stephanie Coo’s public lecture on “Clothing and Spaces” is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754446 and Universidad de Granada Research and Knowledge Transfer Fund – Athenea3i.
The public lecture, “ICOMOS Lighter Side Talks: Clothing and Spaces”, is scheduled this Saturday, July 11 – 3 pm (Philippine Standard Time).