Friday, August 28, 2015

ICOMOS Philippines Statement on the death of Pamana

On 19 August 2015, the world was greeted with the shocking news of the death of Pamana, a Philippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, released in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, in Davao Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines.  Pamana’s murder sparked outrage worldwide.

Ironically, Pamana, after surviving gunshot wounds in 2012 and being rehabilitated to good health by the Philippine Eagle Foundation, was released on 12 June 2015 in Mt. Hamiguitan as part of Philippine Independence Day Celebrations, with Pamana’s release a symbol of the country’s right to fly free again. Pamana’s freedom was short-lived, once again cut short by gunshot wounds.

Pamana is the Filipino word for Heritage.  Pamana's death diminishes us all. As a species found only in the Philippines, Pamana is not only a national treasure of the Philippines, but it is part of the world's living heritage as well.  Thus, if the Philippine Eagle goes extinct, it is not only the Filipino people's loss but humanity's loss as well; if it goes extinct, the world will never see a Philippine Eagle fly majestically ever again.  Ensuring that Philippine Eagles do not go extinct is a global responsibility.

Pamana's death is laden with ironies: surviving gunshot wounds and being shot again to death inside a declared Wildlife Sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we supposed it would live the rest of its natural life in safety and security. We were wrong.  Philippine Eagles need more than a physically secure place to live in. Given their precarious state, they need human understanding that they are better off left alone.  We should commit to providing conditions that would ensure that they are left alone and unmolested.

ICOMOS Philippines stands in solidarity with the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Biodiversity Management Bureau of  DENR, or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Filipino people in our fight to ensure the survival of the Philippine Eagle for all humanity’s benefit.  We also realize that UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, are much more than physical monuments for humanity to enjoy, but are a living heritage that should provide sanctuary to all life found therein.  We commit to take positive action that would help ensure that the shooting of Pamana would be the last, and for Philippine Eagles to fly free.

Thursday, August 20, 2015



The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts present

Towards a Responsible Tourism for Sagada: A Roundtable Consultation for a Proposed Accreditation Ordinance for Travel Agencies and Tour Operators


Friday, August 14, 2015

Heritage Trees and the 21st Century Landscape



Susan Aquino-Ong on Heritage Trees and the 21st Century Landscape

From the ICOMOS Philippines Heritage Talk Series

#icomosph #heritagetalk

Monday, August 10, 2015

Managing Mountain Grassland Landscapes: The Case of Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park by Boj Capati

Boj Capati talks about cultural landscapes, specifically an indigenous cultural landscape in Mindoro island, the Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park. The lecture touches on the Mangyan-Tamaraw shared space, and the challenges to safeguard a unique mountain grassland landscape.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Richard Thomas: Case Studies in the Lighting of Heritage Sites

For the third part of the ICOMOS Philippines 50th Anniversary presentation we have Mssr. Richard Thomas, a French national living in Tacloban. He is a civil engineer by training but he is a lighting specialist by profession. His company specializes in architectural lighting design and landscape lighting.

(Third in a Series of 5)


Monday, June 01, 2015

Augusto Villalon: A History of ICOMOS & ICOMOS Philippines

In this segment of ICOMOS Philppines' celebration of 50 years of ICOMOS, Architect Villalon breaks down the membership composition of ICOMOS which covers a wide range of professions and relates the humble beginnings of ICOMOS and ICOMOS Philippines and its place in the field of world heritage.

(Second in a Series of 5)


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrating ICOMOS' 50th Year

Members and friends of ICOMOS Philippines celebrated ICOMOS' 50th year at the Calvo Building in historic Escolta, Manila last April 18, 2015. Opening the celebration is ICOMOS Philippines' newly elected president, Architect Dominic Galicia of Dominic Galicia Architects.

(First in a Series of 5)


Friday, April 17, 2015

Defending an Archipelago: the Spanish Colonial Church-Fortress in the Philippines by Boj Capati


Boj Capati presents his paper "Defending an Archipelago: the Spanish Colonial Church-Fortress in the Philippines"

Monday, December 01, 2014

Dominic Galicia is newly-elected President of ICOMOS Philippines

Architect Dominic Q. Galicia was elected President of ICOMOS Philippines by the Board of Trustees at elections held last Saturday. He is Principal Architect of 
Dominic Galicia Architects, a design-oriented practice whose work has been recognized for its sensitive attention to both concept and detail.

Galicia obtained his professional degree in architecture in 1988 from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, where he was a Notre Dame Scholar.  He received a University of Notre Dame Distinguished Asian Pacific Alumni Award in June 2005.  He also studied architecture for a year at Notre Dame's campus in Rome, and pursued graduate studies in architecture at Pratt Institute in New York.

Although a modernist by philosophy, he is deeply concerned with the preservation of historic architectural sites. He has served as Vice President of the Heritage Conservation Society, member of the Executive Council of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI). He represents the Philippines in the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Twentieth-century Heritage (ISC20C), in which capacity he helped to develop “BPO@Escolta,” the public-private initiative to revive Manila’s historic downtown. Ongoing projects include the proposed 20,000 square meter National Museum of Natural History, in Rizal Park, Manila.

Also elected were Architect Rene Luis S. Mata (Vice President for National Affairs), Architect Ma. Joycelyn B. Mananghaya (Vice President for International Affairs), Patricia Maria C. Santiago (Secretary), and Architect Melvin G. Patawaran (Treasurer).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Villalon named Honorary Member, Henares elected ICTC VP, resolution on Rizal Monument approved at 18th ICOMOS GA

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) elevated Arch. Augusto F. Villalon to Honorary Member during its 18th General Assembly last November 15 in Florence, Italy. Honorary Membership is conferred by the General Assembly upon individuals who have rendered distinguished service in the field of conservation, restoration and enhancement of historical monuments, sites, and groups of buildings.

This recognition is given every 3 years during the ICOMOS General Assembly and 6 members have been conferred this year. Arch. Villalon is the first Filipino to be conferred as Honorary Member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites. Congratulations!

For more information, read: Cebuano architect is named to int’l heritage council.

Ivan Anthony Henares, was elected Vice President of the International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) during their annual meeting also held in Florence, Italy. ICTC is the ICOMOS scientific committee which promotes the sustainable development and responsible management of cultural tourism at places of cultural heritage significance – historic towns, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites and cultural routes – including World Heritage Sites.

The post was previously held by another Filipino, Architect Villalon. In announcing Henares' election, Villalon said, "Ivan Henares was just unanimously elected Vice President of the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Committee. I know that Ivan will maintain the strong presence of the Philippines in the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Committee."


During the general assembly, a resolution was passed regarding the historic Rizal Monument. The original version was drafted by ICOMOS Philippines. Senator Pia Cayetano and Ambassador Virgilio Reyes attended the general assembly to push for the resolution. Here is the text of the resolution:

Resolution 18GA2014/31

Protection of Cultural Heritage in Relation to Real Estate Development: Rizal Monument, Manila, Philippines
(submitted by ICOMOS Philippines)

The 18th General Assembly of ICOMOS,

Recalling the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, also known as the Venice Charter, which states, inter alia, that “the concept of a historical monument embraces not only the single architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which it is found the evidence of a particular development or a historical event” and “the conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale,”

Recalling moreover that the Venice Charter provides that “the sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner,”

Noting that the Monument to the Philippine National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal, whose remains are buried in it and near the scene of his execution in Luneta Park, has been an enduring, honored, and iconic site for all Filipinos ever since it was inaugurated on 30 December 1913 in the City of Manila,”

Recalling that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has issued “Guidelines on Monuments Honoring National Heroes, Illustrious Filipinos, and other Personages”, which provides the need to “keep vista points and visual corridors to monuments clear for unobstructed viewing and photographic opportunities,”

Noting with grave concern that construction has begun on a 46-storey residential building located 400 meters from Rizal Park which may significantly compromise key sightlines of Rizal Monument and could have detrimental impacts on the heritage values and on the setting of this national monument,

Encourages all authorities of the Philippines to work in cooperation with ICOMOS Philippines to develop and implement conservation measures for the protection of Rizal Monument and its setting.


For more information, read: Pia Cayetano: Rizal Monument named one of world’s threatened heritage sites.