35th Anniversary ICOMOS Philippines Thanksgiving

On Saturday 16 October 2023, ICOMOS Philippines celebrated their annual Thanksgiving get-together to end the year and to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

ICOMOS Philippines Celebrates Its 35th Year Anniversary at ICOMOS Headquarters in Intramuros

One highlight of the celebration was the granting of the Philippine National Committee’s lifetime honorary membership to Regalado “Ricky” Trota José who had started ICOMOS Philippines in the late 1980s. Sir Ricky, as he’s also affectionately known, reminded ICOMOS that rewards or accolades are not what heritage is about; in fact, the practice of heritage is a reward in itself and is a privilege. 

The lifetime honorary membership was given to by virtue of ICOMOS Philippines Board Resolution No. 5 approved on March 31, 2023 wherein the organization recognizes his accomplishments and contributions which included: being the founding president of ICOMOS Philippines; his contributions leading to the inscription of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines on the UNESCO World Heritage List; his works in elevating local church cultural heritage protection and conservation towards international standards in harmony with the local context, and for being an inspiration and mentor among members of the organization.

José recalled the initial membership of ICOMOS Philippines. He said it was a very small number, an amount you could count on one’s fingers. But it was this powerhouse of heritage pioneers who advocated for awareness and sensitivity for our cultural heritage resources. Within the first two decades along with Rachy Cuna, Ramon Faustmann,  Milagros Covarrubias Jamir, and Rene Javellana, S.J., ICOMOS Philippines was pivotal in the inscription of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, and the Historic City of Vigan.

Awarding of Recognition: Former (and Current) Board of Trustees Members

Also a report was presented for the last six months of work at ICOMOS Philippines which included, among others, the funding of Vigan with the Heritage Emergency Fund, the award of Gawad Maestro for being an exemplary NGO as a learning and development institution, the participation with the Creative Industries Group of DTI, a seminar on Built Heritage and FIRE, and reports from the the General Assembly in Sydney this year. 

Cheek Fadriquela, president of ICOMOS graciously stated:  “A million thanks to all who attended our Thanksgiving party last Saturday. It was an event 35 years in the making! Our heartfelt gratitude to former trustees for gracing the occasion with your presence. Special thanks to Lila Shahani and Tracey Santiago for the books they donated to our library. And to our gracious host, Mylene Lising, we are immensely grateful with your kindness and generosity for not only allowing your Consulate to be the venue but also for making your staff assist and stay throughout the event. Kudos to all who made this event a memorable one! May you all have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!”

Invitation and Graphic of Surveying the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras for Nomination

For more information about ICOMOS Philippines and membership, please contact: info@iicomosphilippines.com

To donate to ICOMOS Philippines so we can continue our advocacy for Philippine heritage, please contact: info@icomosphilippines.com 

UNESCO launches first Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project in the Republic of the Philippines

On October 23, 2023, a landmark initiative unfolded in the Historic City of Vigan, Philippines, as UNESCO Jakarta, in collaboration with ICOMOS Philippines and with the vital support of the Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF), launched a year-long project dedicated to safeguarding of the Historic City of Vigan. The local governmental unit, under the helm of Mayor Jose “Bonito” C. Singson, Jr., welcomed the UNESCO-ICOMOS Philippines project teams and local stakeholders.

The scope of the project concentrates on two pilot sites which represent common building types in Vigan. The two homes identified by ICOMOS Philippines are the Syquia Mansion and the Cabildo Old House. Enthusiastically, the very same day that the HEF was inaugurated ICOMOS Philippines had already started onsite analytic activities which marked the inaugural implementation of the HEF initiative in the Philippines, underlining its significance in addressing the aftermath of such calamities. 

Please see the article in the Philippine Star Lifestyle and Arts section. Read here ➡️ https://bitly.ws/33hPK

This activity is supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

Concerned stakeholders who are interested in providing in-kind contribution, you may contact Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Country Project Director, through kenneth.javier.tua@icomosphilippines.com and cc.: info@icomosphilippines.com. Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together.

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/

#UNESCO #unescoJAKARTA #ICOMOS #icomosPHILIPPINES #HeritageEmergencyFund #firstHEF #WorldHeritageSite #HistoricCityofVigan #PhilippineHeritage #SustainableHeritageManagement #ProtectHeritage

Heritage Conservation Transcending Green Building and Climate Action

On November 10, 2023 the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) held a conference entitled “Beyond Green: Transcending Green Summit.” 

Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede introduced the first cluster of speakers. ICOMOS Focal Point to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero gave a brief overview on what entails sustainable practices. He focused on design and planning— whether it was in heritage conservation practices, local culture, compliance to Sustainable Development Goals, or in circular economies such as furniture design.

Representing PIID, ICOMOS, HCS (the 1st cluster of speakers) respectively. IDr. Lilia De Jesus,  IDr. Willie Garcia, Ar. Michaela Rosette Santos-Tayag,  L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero, EnP. Denise Lagrosa, Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede, Ar. Dinky von Einsiedel

En. P. Denise Lagrosa remarked, “The conference was well represented by professionals who are practicing energy efficiency, sustainability, green design, heritage and culturally sensitive methods from the engineers, architects, urban planners, cultural heritage professional, master plumbers, air-conditioning systems specialists, and fire protection, among others.”

Dr. Cheek Fadriquela, ICOMOS President, delivering remarks during summit

Along with ICOMOS Member L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero, Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede and En. P. Denise Lagrosa, Ar. Michaela Rosette Santos-Tayag (long-time member of PGBI) and Ar. Michael Angelo Liwanag, ICOMOS Ph’s /representative to the Philippine Green Building Initiative, were also in attendance.

ICOMOS Philippines is a partner and fellow organizer with PGBI for the Beyond Green summit.

For more information on PGBI’s event 👉www.greenbuilding.ph

Strategic Planning Workshop for the Creation of Roadmap for Cultural Expressions and Cultural-Oriented Products

The Department of Tourism, the Product Planning and Development Division of the Office of Product and Market Development conducted a Strategic Planning Workshop for the Creation of Roadmap for Cultural Experiences and Culture-Oriented Products on October 25  to October 27 in Pampanga. 

ICOMOS Philippines participated in this three day workshop that was intended to collect and understand the opinions and perspectives of stakeholders for cultural tourism in the Philippines and to use this information to develop a framework and roadmap for the future of cultural tourism in the country. Although ICOMOS does not have any direct involvement, there are members who are part of the cultural tourism committee.

The new National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028 has cultural tourism as an important and robust economic driver. Part of the workshop defined what the concept of cultural tourism is and how that plays into the latest trends for tourism around the Philippines. Cultural tourism takes many forms such as pilgrimages, appreciating indigenous traditions and material culture, and purchasing tourism-oriented products.

During the conference, Dr. Ivan Henares delivered a talk on the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Heritage Charter, and Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales delivered a presentation on cultural sensitivity. ICOMOS Philippines member Ivan Man Dy was also in attendance.

The DOT and ICOMOS Philippines have worked together to promote and preserve the many cultural resources around the country, ensuring that these cultural resources receive the attention that they deserve.

Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together.

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ info@icomosphilippines.com

ICOMOS Ph co-hosting Preserving Legacies: A Future for our Past & Climate Risk

Preserving Legacies is a global initiative supported by the National Geographic Society and funded by Manulife to address climate change. Climate change is the fastest growing threat to cultural – natural sites and the greatest danger to our planet’s most spectacular natural heritage today. One in three natural sites and one in six cultural heritage sites are threatened by climate change impacts like floods, droughts, and rising seas.

To safeguard cultural heritage, there is an urgent need to equip communities worldwide with the tools to accurately anticipate worsening and future climate impacts, and empower them with training to turn that scientific knowledge into action that will safeguard sites, support community adaptation, and plan for unavoidable loss and damage.

For the Preserving Legacies project, about eight sites globally are cadet sites; they have been chosen to fully engage in climate heritage training and a peer-to-peer learning experience. Site custodians from these sites will shadow the full process of pilot sites located at Jordan and the Philippines, including attending their workshops, to better prepare for their own assessments in 2024.

Two primary sites will go through a more robust program to link climate science and site conservation by enabling access to locally downscaled climate change models and organize a community-led workshop of the sites’ climate vulnerability as well as impacts on local communities. Petra, Jordan and the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines are the beneficiaries of the first program. 

The Preserving Legacies leg for the Climate Risk and Resilience at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras conference was from October 11 and concluded October 13. Participants celebrated with the Kiangan rice harvest with eating, rituals, chants, and dancing, a site visit to the Nagacadan cluster of the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, presentations of the sites by farmers and local officials, lectures by Marlon Martin of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), a climate lecture by Dr. Ma Laurice Jamero, leader of the Resilience Collaboratory from the Manila Observatory, and roundtable discussions of the topics that were presented. 

With the knowledge base of both the international site custodians and local Ifugao community, the conference has put forth comparative analyses of climate change around the world, presented suggestions for increased adaptation capacities and mitigation strategies, and  recommendations for ways forwards for an environment that is sustainable and resilient.

6th Annual Gawad Maestro Award Granted to ICOMOS Philippines

ICOMOS Philippines advocates for best heritage practices, and to realize this goal, ICOMOS Philippines offers lectures and seminars to up-skill any interested individual who desires to gain more knowledge about the many disciplines and skill sets that comprise and contribute to the field of heritage conservation. 

On September 21, 2023, ICOMOS Philippines won the 2023 Gawad Maestro Award as a Learning and Development Organization for the NGO category by the Philippine Society for Talent Development. Among the many initiatives, its Photogrammetry Field School was lauded by the said awarding body. The event was held in BNCC Hall, Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Photogrammetry is one of the many advanced technologies that is used for one of the most essential steps in conservation, the documentation of a monument or structure. It is highly accurate and is able to capture and measure structures from photographs. Although it can be used with simple tools such as a smartphone, it can be labor-intensive and requires a mastery of how to use the technology. 

Knowing that this technology is fast becoming a standard practice and there was a lack of practitioners outside of Manila, ICOMOS Philippines offered the first photogrammetry program in the Philippines that was financially sustainable and inclusive of paying and subsidized trainees available across the Philippines.

After the completion of the field school, many participants felt empowered to be able to use the technology on their own. The post-evaluation revealed that 50% could document a room, and over 30% could document a building. 

Four students passed on their skills to their communities through their own training programs. Three of the former students have become so adept at this technology that they now specialize in photogrammetry and have formed a non-profit, Limang Siglo.  

We would like to extend our gratitude to the Philippine Society for Talent Development for recognizing ICOMOS Philippines as a Gawad Maestro awardee. We thank PTSD for celebrating this milestone with us for sending us this kind message: “Your organization’s journey serves as a shining example of what is possible when passion and talent are combIned with relentless determination. The contributions have not only advanced the Talent Development industry but have also inspired and paved the way for future generations in our field.”

ICOMOS Participates in the Extended 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee

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: info@icomosphilippines.com

For information on ICOMOS Philippines please visit our website at: https://philippines.icomos.org/

#ICOMOS #ICOMOSPhilippines #ICOMOSInternational #UNESCO #World Heritage List

Photo credit: Dr. Teresa Patricio, President, ICOMOS International

ICYMI: One of ICOMOS Philippines’s project is featured in today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer article

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.

Arch. Harvey Vasquez is Newly Appointed Representative of ICOMOS Philippines to the National Committee on Monuments and Sites

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines has appointed Ar. Harvey Vasquez as the new Ex-Officio Representative to the National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The NCMS is one of the subcommittees under the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The NCMS has a mandate to assist the NCCA in conserving built heritage and its environments through policy and program creation, and decision-making pertaining to cultural monuments and sites. ICOMOS Philippines has been providing technical advice to NCCA through its seat at the NCMS. 

Arch. Harvey joined the oathtaking of NCMS ExeCon members for 2023-2025 last April 28, 2023. He is joined by other newly appointed members coming from different sectors  and disciplines including architecture, archaeology, cultural landscapes, structural engineering, and heritage preservation advocacy.

Arch. Vasquez is a permanent faculty at the Architecture Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. He is the OIC-Associate Dean of the Environment Studies Cluster of the School of Design and Arts. He was also voted as Director of the NCR Sector of the Council of Deans and Heads of Architectural Schools in the Philippines (CODHASP) for the Luzon Super-region. He finished his master’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines major in Architectural Heritage Conservation. He is a practicing licensed architect for sixteen years and co-founded Kalamaam Design Studio which, aside from commercial and private projects, is engaged in heritage conservation. The studio is currently doing restoration work on the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat – San Beda Church in Mendiola. He has been appointed the Heritage Conservation Consultant of the PNR South Long Haul Project of China Railway Design Corporation. 

Arch. Vasquez is an active cultural worker and a member of ICOMOS Philippines. He is participating in the organization’s subcommittee of Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG). He is also the representative to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)’s Stakeholders’ Chamber on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Philippines.

With his active participation in the past few years as a practitioner in heritage conservation, the recent appointment as the NCMS ex-officio representative for ICOMOS Philippines was a natural progression for Arch. Vasquez.

ICOMOS Philippines expresses its profound gratitude to Arch. Vasquez for having accepted this appointment and is extending its full support to his undertakings and responsibility as part of the NCMS.

ICOMOS Philippines’ members presented in the People-Nature-Culture Forum 2022

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. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales presents the case on the Interlinkages of Built Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the C’s of Governance at the PNC Forum

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.

To know more about the PNC forum, kindly visit this link ➡️ People-Nature-Culture Forum takes a closer look at the benefits of heritage places | ICCROM

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/ 

#ICOMOS #ICOMOSPH #HeritageProfessionals #InAction #SustainableDevelopmentGoals #LikasKayangPagUnlad #PhilippineHeritage #PAMANA2030 #PNCForum2022