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 

Preserving the Legacy of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

From Oct. 10 to 14 in Banaue, a conference entitled “Climate Risk and Resilience at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras” was organized by Preserving Legacies, ICOMOS International, and ICOMOS Philippines in partnership with Climate Heritage Network and National Geographic Society, and funded by Manulife.

Participants from the local governmental units of Kiangan, Hungduan, Mayoyao, Bangaan, Batad, and Banaue, stakeholder’s organizations, and local community members, along with natural and cultural heritage site custodians from Cambodia, Togo, Colombia, the United States of America, Ireland, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Tunisia were in attendance.

Victoria Herrman, National Geographic Explorer and project director of Preserving Legacies, adds, “[We] firmly believe in the power of cultural and heritage for climate change. This important project will empower communities and site custodians to protect their heritage from the images of climate change. It will also provide them with a platform for their stories and their valuable experiences with the world.”

Photo credit: Philippine Star, November 11, 2023


RE: Col. 1. Par. 2. For “Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras” read/to “Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.”

RE: Col. 2. Par. 2. For “Kiangan rice harvest festival” read/to “Bakle, post-harvest rice ritual.”

RE: Col 3. Par. 1. For “Marlon Martin, founder of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo)” read/to “Marlon Martin, Chief Operating Officer of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo).”

RE: Photo and Credits. For “View of the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Photo by GREG VALERIO, ICOMOS Philippines” read/to “View of the Mayoyao cluster, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Photo by BHONG TAWANA.”

RE: Col. 3. Par. 2. For “Dr. Maria Laurice Jamero, Resilience Coordinator, Klima, Manila Observatory” read/to “Dr. Maria Laurice Jamero, Climate Scientist – Independent Consultant.”

Please see the article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle and Arts section. Read here ➡️ https://bitly.ws/326hC

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

For inquiries about ICOMOS Philippines and the Preserving Legacies Project: Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, please email: info@icomosphilippines.com

ICOMOS Philippines selected as the Implementing Partner of the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund Project for the Republic of the Philippines

On July and October 2022, Northern Luzon was struck by two strong earthquakes, with the epicenter in Abra province. One of the areas heavily affected was the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic City of Vigan, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. Despite immediate aid provided by local and national government agencies, the response could not address all the needs of the damaged areas due to limited funding and a lack of expertise for restoration. During this time, UNESCO Jakarta assigned ICOMOS Philippines to conduct a situational analysis and recommend priorities for repair. This project called “Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment of Vernacular Buildings in the World Heritage City of Vigan” was conducted from August to November 2022 led by Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela.

Onsite survey for the post-earthquake damage assessment situational analysis. Ar. Nico Pilotin, LGU Vigan (left), Dr. Cheek Fadriquela, current ICOMOS Philippines President (left), Ar. Giunno Alonzo, Junior Local Counterpart, Ar. Anjelika Orui, Research Associate, Ms. Cornelia A. Parel, Ancestral Homeowner, Ms. Maria Cristina Paterno, past ICOMOS Philippines President (right).

Following that successful partnership, ICOMOS Philippines applied to the Call For Partnerships (CFP) by UNESCO Jakarta for the project called “Post-Earthquake technical standard enhancement on the conservation and protection of Heritage houses and structures in Vigan World Heritage Site (WHS), Philippines”; the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project to the Republic of the Philippines. ICOMOS Philippines was successfully selected and contracted as the official implementing partner of the said project on August 10, 2023 and September 14, 2023, respectively.  The objective of this project is to provide technical assistance to two representative privately-owned ancestral houses and to assess the recently applied methodologies and conservation techniques for damage assessment, shoring and repair and to recommend technical standards as part of the site’s long – term recovery.

Kick-off Meeting. Present from UNESCO Jakarta are Dr. Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director; Ms. Diana Setiawati, Project Coordinator; Mr. Rizky Fardhyan, Project Assistant; and Mr. Angga Conni Saputra, Project Assistant. From ICOMOS Philippines are Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela, President; Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Vice President; Mr. Joselito Corpus, Communications Officer; and Mr. John Ray Ramos, Heritage Affairs Officer.

This project will allow the implementation of structural, architectural and materials assessments of the Syquia Mansion and Cabildo (Old) house by a pool of experts, including those from ICOMOS Philippines.

The findings of the two pilot site assessments will then be shared with the local government, the ancestral homeowners, and the Vigan Conservation Council through a series of lectures, training-workshops and town hall meetings. Additionally, ICOMOS will work with local stakeholders to update Vigan’s existing 2010 Heritage Homeowners Preservation Manual with an addendum.

Overall, the goal is to apply learnings from the assessment and structural study of two houses to upskill practitioners, craftsperson and homeowners on effective methods of repairs that are compatible with original building systems and materials. This project duration is from September 2023 – August 2024.

Onboarding session of the Key Expert Teams with the ICOMOS Philippines Project Management Team. Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua leads the project as the Country Project Director; Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela as the Materials Conservation Expert; Ar. Michael F. Manalo with MNL Solutions, Inc. as the Architectural Conservation Expert team; Engr. Rodolfo P. Mendoza Jr. and Engr. Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano with Petro Jikken, Inc. as the Structural engineering Conservation Expert team; Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo and Ms. Bev Macayan Bautista as the Heritage Conservation (Training-Workshop) Expert Team; Ar. Fatima Nicetas Rabang-Alonzo and Ar. Giunno Alonzo as the Heritage Conservation (Local Manual Review) Expert Team; Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales as the Heritage Interpretation-Curator Expert; and Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto as the Legal Counsel-Expert (not in photo). 

This activity was 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 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

Technical Forum on Built Heritage and Fire Successfully Held

Built Heritage and Fire: Technical Forum on Fire Protection, Investigation, and Restoration through Engineering” brought together experts, professionals, and stakeholders to address the specific challenges and complexities associated with fire-related incidents and recommended possible strategies for post-disaster restoration this past Friday, August 11, 2023. 

ICOMOS Philippines recognizes that this technical forum is a much-needed response to the devastating fire disaster at the Manila Central Post Office in Manila on May 22, 2023. Fire hazard awareness, policies, response, and restoration are important factors in the protection of our heritage structures and sites across the Philippines. Response and coordination to fire disasters is critical at all levels of government and for all stakeholders, and we know that this forum has enlightened our fellow heritage site advocates and stewards to the importance of this topic. 

Some of the onsite participants of the Technical Forum together with the organizers and speakers.

ICOMOS Philippines thanks our partner, Bakás Pilipinas, and organizers the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP), the Institution of Specialist Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ISSEP), the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for the forum which attracted over 1,000 attendees.

Rodolfo Mendoza Jr., ASEP Secretary (left 1st row), Cheek Fadriquela, ICOMOS Philippines President, Ivan Henares, UNACOM Secretary General and NCCA Commissioner for Cultural Heritage, Rene Escalante, former NCCA Chairman, Tristan Beriña, IIEE Member, Carlos Villaraza, former ASEP President (right 1st row). Giuseppe Abcede, HCS President (left 2nd row), JH Corpus, ICOMOS Philippines Communications Officer, Patrick Lee, NCCA CPPRD Chief, Philippine Post Office Officers (right 2nd row)

To our speakers Christopher Marrion, Erik Akpendonu, Rodolfo P. Mendoza, Jr, Carlos M. Villaraza, Tristan G. Beriña, and Stephen Kelley, we extend our gratitude to your invaluable expertise and time. Thank you Johit Rigyasu for your contributions to Christopher Marrion’s presentation.

To watch the recently concluded Forum kindly check NCCA’s Facebook page ➡️

Part 1 (8 hours): http://bitly.ws/S4Ee

Part 2 (1 hour): http://bitly.ws/S4Ei

Please consider membership with ICOMOS Philippines to get involved in the advocacy of disaster risk reduction management: info@icomosphilippines.com.

#ICOMOS #ICOMOSPH #HeritageProfessionals #InAction #TechnicalForum #BuiltHeritageAndFIRE