The UST Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST GS CCCPET) collaborated with Department of Tourism Region 8 in conducting the Fr. Ignacio Alcina’s “Bisayan Islands in the 21st Century, online Heritage webinar series, a Quincentenary Celebration of the Philippines.”
The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (ECCHC) supported the partnership. The weekly webinar began on January 20 and closed on March 10, 2021.
The series highlighted the crucial contribution of Fr. Francisco Ignacio Alcina in defining the history of the islands of Samar and Leyte. Fr. Alcina, a Jesuit missionary chronicler, travelled to the islands of Samar and Leyte in the 17th century. His documentation has been enshrined in a three-volume work ‘History of the Visayas Islands’ published by the University of Santo Tomas, and provides a clear illustration of the people’s lifeways.
In addition, the webinar aimed to impress the value of extensive research and documentation in developing meaningful community tourism programs, to illustrate the holistic approach of cultural heritage studies traversing the past, present, and future dimensions, utilizing various credible sources of information and contributing to the quin-centenary narrative of the national government.
The episodes featured specialists and researchers, mostly alumni of the UST Cultural Heritage Studies, where it discussed themes that have been sourced from Fr. Alcina’s historical accounts. The lectures highlighted the discoveries of Alcina during his missionary work and how these elements are evident until today in their original, modified, or derivative Bisayan forms and expressions.
The roster of speakers included: Dr. Rolando Borrinaga (Unpublished Alcina’s works), Dr. Cheek Fadriquela (Wood), Dir. Cora Alvina (Weaponry), Mr. Emil Justimbaste (Townships), Fr. Gilbert Urbina (Evangelization), Asst. Prof. Leo Almeria (Jewelry), Ms. Kinna Mae Kwan (Diplomacy), and Dr. Francis Navarro (Documentary Heritage).
The podcast took place every Wednesday through Zoom and live-streamed on the Facebook pages of USTGS-CCCPET, Department of Tourism Region VIII, and the CBCP ECCHC.