From January 31 to February 5, 2016, the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School—Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET) hosted and toured visiting officers and members of the International Council for Monuments and Sites Korea (ICOMOS Korea) to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Northern region of the Philippines.

As part of the organization’s annual program, ICOMOS-Korea organized this year’s tour to World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, particularly to the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera (inscribed in 1995) in Ifugao Province; City of Vigan (1999) in Ilocos Sur; and two Baroque Church of the Philippines, Paoay Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte and the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur (1994).

Courtesy calls were made to local and provincial government officials as part of their itinerary to the sites. The local government of the Province of Ifugao through Governor Denis Habawel and the City of Vigan through Mayor Eva Medina presented their reports on the conservation— both discussing issues and development— of the World Heritage Sites under their respective jurisdiction.

Their final stop was at the University of Santo Tomas-Graduate School where to meet the officers and members of ICOMOS Philippines, led by the president Arch. Dominic Galicia. Representatives from ICOMOS Philippines delivered presentations about conservation developments and existing policies and programs for cultural heritage sites in the Philippines, followed by a substantial dialogue about heritage and conservation experiences and practices in both countries. Other members of ICOMOS Philippines presented gifts to their Korean counterparts, received by ICOMOS Korea President Prof. Hae Un Rii.