Annually, ICOMOS invites a global and multidisciplinary panel of heritage experts to assess each country’s nominations for World Heritage Sites. Among that panel was ICOMOS Philippines’ past president Tina Paterno, presenting via video the decision of the ICOMOS World Heritage Panel to inscribe Portugal’s Historic Centre of Guimarães and Couros Zone on the World Heritage List at the Extended 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee at the Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
One of the most important steps in inscription to the World Heritage Site list is the advice that ICOMOS gives to UNESCO. Each work in tandem to process tentative inscriptions from desk reviews, to physical site visits and, if merited, to the final announcement for inscription.
For more information about the ICOMOS Philippines, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
ICOMOS Philippines was tasked by UNESCO Multi-sectoral Regional Office in Jakarta, Indonesia to consolidate findings of several post-earthquake assessments into a situational analysis report on the damage to the Historic City of Vigan in the July 2022 earthquake. National agencies have prioritized several public structures while privately owned heritage houses have had no immediate access to support. Following the assessment, the UNESCO Jakarta’s Heritage Emergency Fund was one of the grants recommended by ICOMOS Philippines for the World Heritage site to apply. Though the fund is limited and cannot cover full restoration work, it is to be utilized to pursue technical scientific studies that can benefit and be applied to most of the ancestral houses, having a ripple effect. These studies will ensure that the majority of the damaged structures will be restored efficiently and be compliant to local and international standards.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Multi-sectoral Regional Office covers Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste. ICOMOS is one of the advisory bodies to UNESCO in the conservation of World Heritage Sites. Please see the article today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle and Arts section.
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.
In celebration of ICOMOS Day 2021, themed ??????? ?????, ??????? ???????, the Philippine National Committee hosts a talk that explores the creation, selection, and preservation of heritage through the kalesa study and the jeepney.
Urban historian ??. ??????? ????? discusses the evolution of the carruaje in pre-War Manila. In the last century, it was perceived as a relic from an “unmodern” past that must give way to newer, safer transportation forms. Today it survives primarily for tourists who seek a nostalgic experience, or perhaps an incomplete interpretation/presentation of the Walled City and other historic districts.
What lessons on heritage declaration and preservation might one draw by studying the case of the kalesa and the jeepney, currently absent from the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property? What insights might be applied to contemporary vernacular architecture, especially those of lower-income Filipinos? What role do heritage managers and cultural workers play in identifying what should be preserved and ensuring that cultural properties, especially those heavily used and meaningful to marginalized communities, endure into the future?
These questions and more will be explored by Dr. Pante and guest discussants ???? ??? ?????????? and ?????? ?????? moderated by ???? ???????.
The webinar will be held via Zoom on 18 April, Sunday at 10:30 AM Hong Kong SAR, MNL time
During my internship, I was exposed to the different projects of the Architects Committee–from contributing to their Focus Group Discussions, to researching on the International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C), and to delving into the topics for the proposed CPD Talks on proper adaptive reuse strategies and design principles application to historic buildings. These involvements enabled me to get a better understanding of what constitutes a good conservation and adaptive reuse project. Insights gathered from ISC20C advocacy projects and initiatives, which can be helpful in resolving 20th century structures’ demolition issues, and the various case studies encountered during this research aided the discussion in how to work around the challenges architects may face regarding conservation parameters.
Other than the work for the Architects Committee, I was also exposed to more heritage research by contributing to Project Alexandria and working on the ICOMOS Philippines Online Library which both helped me gain a more comprehensive look into the current heritage conservation landscape in the Philippines. Moving forward with my architectural and documentation work, the learnings that the experience offered to me by ICOMOS, my mentors and its members is something that I am extremely grateful to have.
“Through the guidance of my mentors in ICOMOS Philippines, I was able to get a better understanding of what constitutes a good conservation/ adaptive reuse project. We looked into local and international case studies and discussed what challenges architects face in the process of designing with conservation parameters. I hope to carry these insights and instill them in design principles for my work in Architecture and documentation projects.”
I will be completing my thesis, a proposal on a values-based adaptive reuse guide using a typo-morphological analysis of Avenida Rizal, in hopes to stir the discussion of how heritage values may be better interpreted by designers/architects. I am also taking on projects that create virtual tours for tourist destinations and heritage sites around the Philippines. I hope to get more experience in fields relating to heritage work and eventually return to ICOMOS and contribute more as a member.
ICOMOS Philippines members came together online last June 20, 2020 for the webinar, “Place-Making and Food Security: Thinking of Heritage Conservation and Food Production”. This is part of the project, ‘Heritage Practice Amidst Covid 19’. Members and specialists provided some perspectives connecting food security and cultural heritage amidst the challenges of the global pandemic.
Three key terms were re-examined namely: food security, food sovereignty, and their relationship to cultural heritage:
A. Food security defined as the supply, the availability, and the stability of price of basic foodstuff in the international and domestic market (World Food Conference, 1974). While Food Sovereignty emerged more than three decades later as the reaction to grass roots movements around the world, and uncovered more clearly the mediators, interactions, and instruments of food production, distribution, and consumption.
Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal – fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just incomes to all peoples as well as the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition.
– Nyéléni Declaration on Food Sovereignty (February 2007) at Sélingué, Mali
B. Cultural heritage acknowledges the central role of change and human culture in shaping food production. The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, the Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila, the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia are just few of the sites representing agricultural practices passed on for generations, later on caters the global market, thus, highlighting the deep connections between food, people, places, and culture in various parts of the world.
Responding to queries – Pursuing a Public Discourse
A healthy public interest in the topic was well-received with questions coming from universities, professional organizations, and national institutions that exposes a need for public discourse in the Philippines on the politics of food.
An example is the Sagada in Northern Philippines which indicates the need for this platform in the public domain, to discuss our changing relationship with nature through food, cultural practices, and tourism.
Responses by the esteemed speakers from the webinar’s questions are shown in the ‘Annex A’ of this report. The questions have been grouped into two broad themes: the first, brings globalization to bear on the Philippine context of food chain; the second focuses on local issues of food, tourism, economic development and intangible heritage.
ICOMOS Philippines hopes that this webinar provides new ideas that can contribute to improving the appreciation for Filipino farmers, and artisans, and improve their commercial prospects. The lack of interest and of involvement in traditional agricultural practices especially by the youth, will lead to a loss of traditional knowledge, and risks destruction of cultural landscapes that are shaped by the dying farming traditions. This holds true for fishing villages, sugar plantations, salt-making regions, and other places where food production is central to these cultural landscapes’ cultural significance
In summary the webinar
illustrates that humanity’s food resources can be secured, while conserving its
most important cultural heritage, based on these three basic principles:
Respect for the environment.
Build an equitable relationship with the primary producers of our food.
Recognise indigenous knowledge systems and practices for the benefit of these communities.
If you would like to know more about this initiative, please get in touch with Gabriel Caballero, ICOMOS Philippines Communications Officer at communications[at]icomosphilippines[dot]com and Estela Duque, Founder of Moulinet Chocolat Limited at http://www.moulinetchocolat.com/
ICOMOS México, through its Scientific Committee of Theory and Philosophy, together with its Secretariat of Academic Development and Youth and Heritage Group, organized last Tuesday, June 23, 2020 an online discussion entitled, “Los Retos de la Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural y Natural Frente a Condiciones de Riesgo”. It discussed on the present challenges of cultural and natural heritage conservation as it faces risky conditions in its continued practice amidst the global pandemic.
The panel in the online discussion included ICOMOS Philippines President Tina Paterno, who shared the current situation of heritage specialists and practitioners in the country on her presentation entitled, “A View Towards Recovery: Focus Group Discussions on Heritage During the Pandemic”.
Ms Paterno shared findings from several local discussions on how ICOMOS Philippines members are seeing the changes in the heritage practice in their fields of expertise. A common emerging theme was the necessity to explore how heritage can be part of recovery, perhaps by linking it to new national priorities. Generally, many ICOMOS Philippines members saw ideas for continuing a heritage practice amidst Covid 19, during in the mandated pause we are all going through, to re-evaluate where the Philippines is in the practice, and identify where structural improvements are necessary. She also shared two success stories from the past discussions.
“We have a chance to do things differently,” Paterno concluded, “and the accessibility of discussions and knowledge moving online is a great ‘democratizer’ for learning. Our hope is that one day, heritage becomes a more mainstream issue and it happened from a time that there was this major pause and painful time from COVID but it was able to give birth to something truly positive.”
WEBINARS & FOCUSED GROUP DISCUSSIONS
Starting June 2020, ICOMOS Philippines held free public webinars to think about heritage in a differently because of the current global situation. The first webinar was entitled, “Place-Making and Food Security: Thinking of Heritage Conservation and Food Production,” which explored the mechanisms that shape rural and urban spaces, private and public, facilitating food production and place-making grounded in community-based participation. It provided various perspectives that link food and the understanding of historic significance of particular places.
The online discussion can be viewed on the official Facebook page of ICOMOS México. ICOMOS Philippines would like to thank Mr. Yoloxochitl Lucio of the Grupo Jóvenes y Patrimonio del ICOMOS Mexicano A.C. and Dr. Saúl Alcántara Onofre, ICOMOS México President for the invitation.
ICOMOS Philippines recognises that the heritage practice in the country has been affected by the global pandemic. Now, more than ever, practitioners need to see the work of conserving heritage in a different light.
ICOMOS Philippines believes that heritage needs to connect to national priorities and be part of a shifting focus on food security, health, well-being, and peace and order, while a viable vaccine is being created.
As part of the project, “Heritage Practice amidst the Pandemic“, ICOMOS Philippines is launching a series of online discussions that will delve with opportunities to explore new ideas for the Philippine heritage practice.
The first webinar is entitled, “Place-Making and Food Security – Thinking of Heritage Conservation and Food Production”, which will explore mechanisms that shape rural and urban spaces, private and public, that facilitate food production and place-making grounded in community-based participation. It will also provide various perspectives that link food and the understanding of historic significance of particular places.
The webinar will focus on providing answers to two main questions:
How can the heritage practitioners improve a community’s cultural, economic, social circumstances while preserving the environment?
How do you facilitate food production and place making grounded in community-based participation?
A dynamic group of heritage professionals, all of whom are members of ICOMOS Philippines, will be sharing their points of view on the integration of food production and heritage conservation:
Dr. Fernando Nakpil-Zialcita is Professor Emeritus, teaching at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Ateneo de Manila University. He has done field research among farming communities in the Ilocos, Northern Luzon, and has done studies on urban heritage and regeneration of Manila. He writes about the interface between the Southeast Asian and the Hispanic worlds in domains of Filipino culture such as traditional architecture, cookery, and popular Christianity.
Ms. Patricia Maria Santiago is a cultural manager with 25 years of experience who sits on the Board of Nayong Pilipino Foundation. She is part of “Sustainable Sagada,” an online support market for local produce of farmers from Sagada which aims to help bring local produce to reach consumers in Manila, to support their sustainability not only during times of economic crisis but even beyond.
Ms. Estela Duque is an architect, historian, social entrepreneur, certified chocolate taster, and chocolate competition judge in Europe. A practitioner based in the United Kingdom, she founded Moulinet Chocolat Limited (UK) in 2015 in order to introduce Philippine specialty cocoa to the world, and since 2017 she has been an adviser to the only craft chocolate event of the Philippines now called Intramuros Chocolate Festival.
Mr. Gabriel Caballero is the Communications Officer of ICOMOS Philippines. He is a Singapore-based landscape architect and independent world heritage specialist whose expertise ranges from sensitive landscape design interventions, cultural landscape research, and world heritage evaluations particularly in rapidly urbanizing areas in Asia. He will serve as the moderator for this webinar.
The webinar, “Place-Making and Food Security: Thinking of Heritage Conservation and Food Production”, is scheduled this Saturday, June 20, 2020 – 6pm (Philippine Standard Time).
This forms part of the project, “Heritage Practice amidst the Pandemic“, which is a series of online discussions that delves with opportunities to explore new ideas for the Philippine heritage practice.
ICOMOS Philippines would like to thank the Intramuros Administration for co-organizing the event with us.
For those who would like to be part of the conversation, please watch the webinar via our Facebook Live where the speakers will be able to get your questions and respond: www.facebook.com/icomosph
“A Framework for Heritage: Comparing Systems, Prospects, and Wins in Developing Countries” by Toshiyuki Kono 12 September 2018 (Wednesday) | 2-4PM (Makati City, Philippines)
ICOMOS Philippines invites you to a talk by ICOMOS President Toshiyuki Kono, a Distinguished Professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, entitled “A Framework for Heritage: Comparing Systems, Prospects, and Wins in Developing Countries” on September 12 (Wednesday), 2-4PM, at the Ateneo Professional Schools Ampitheater, Rockwell Center, Makati City.
As many UNESCO World Heritage sites are in developing countries, where the legal infrastructure and management systems for conservation and protection are still evolving. What are the parameters considered for setting up inventories, incentives, and management systems?
In view of this current terrain, President Toshiyuki Kono will discuss prospects and emerging trends in heritage systems for developing countries, along with sustainable heritage wins and best practices.
We would like to acknowledge the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law for co-presenting this talk with us.
For those who are interested to attend, kindly send us an email at info@icomosphilippines.
The Alliance Francaise de Manille held the Seminar on Heritage Conservation, Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism last March 15-16, 2016, at the National Museum of the Philippines Auditorium, Manila City.
The seminar brought together leading French and Filipino experts who presented different topics on heritage, architecture, urban development, and other related themes. Prof. Eric Zerrudo served as moderator for the two-day workshop.
ICOMOS Philippines was one of the partner organizations that supported the event, with ICOMOS Philippines President Arch. Dominic Galicia doing a presentation entitled, “Escolta, the Conscience of a Mega City”, and also a roundtable discussion on “Urban Planning in the Philippines: The bigger picture” with other members Augusto Villalon and Paulo Alcazaren, together with Julia Nebrija.