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The New Officers and Trustees of the Society

The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), a non-stock, non-profit organization advocating the protection and preservation of Philippine built heritage, held its 2016 General Assembly and Elections yesterday, November 12, 2016, in Dumaguete City. Elected to the 2017-2018 Board of Trustees were Conrad Alampay, Anabelle Alcomendas, Johhan Joseph Ararao, Atty. Mark Evidente, Councilor Neil Solomon Locsin, Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong, Ivan Homer Man Dy, Liliane Manahan, Aberon Voltaire Palaña, Isidra Reyes, and Dr. Kristin Louise Treñas.

The incoming board elected the following officers: Mahanan [Chairperson], Evidente [President], Man Dy [VP Internal & Treasurer], Locsin [VP External], Malilong [VP Institutional Partnerships], Alcomendas [Secretary], and Ararao [Public Relations Officer].

After serving as HCS Chairperson for twelve years, Gemma Cruz-Araneta was named Chairperson Emeritus. Outgoing HCS President Ivan Anthony Henares also retired from the board after ten years of service. However, they will both be part of the newly-created HCS Advisory Council, composed of eleven former trustees appointed by the board.

Appointed to the HCS Advisory Council were Araneta, Henares, former HCS Presidents Archt. Augusto Villalon and Archt. Nathaniel von Einsiedel, ICOMOS Philippines President Archt. Dominic Galicia, Archt. Paulo Alcazaren, Dr. Fernando Zialcita, Maria Karina Garilao, former Budget Undersecretary Clare Cattleya Amador, Maria Cristina Paterno, and Silvana Ancellotti-Diaz.

The incoming Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, which will serve from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018, will continue to face the daunting but enriching task of pushing for "a Filipino society that values and preserves its cultural heritage in order to instill pride of place and strengthen Philippine national identity."

HCS continues be the "prime mover and advocate for the preservation of Philippine built heritage resources in order to contribute towards the establishment of a Society that preserves and values its cultural heritage through advocacy and volunteerism, project implementation, education and information."


LILIANE “TATS” REJANTE-MANAHAN [Chairperson] is a surface decorator and a restorer for wall paintings. She trained for revival decorative paint finishes under foremost paint finisher Joanne Day in San Francisco and New York from 1989 to 1994, eventually completing numerous commissions not just locally for residences and business establishments, but also in Singapore, San Francisco and Los Angeles, USA. From 1996 to 1998, she completed courses for lime plaster, fresco, Venetian lacquer and traditional painting techniques at Centro Europeo per la Formazione degli Artigiani nel Mestiere del Patrimonio Architettonico in Venice, Italy leading to her Mastro Certificato in Fresco Restoration at Fondazione Villa Fabris, Centro Europeo per Mestiri del Patrimonio in Vicenza, Italy.

Her completed restoration projects include the color palette and decorative paint finishing at Gota de Leche; the façade of the Pasig Cathedral; the baptistery of Nuestra Senora del los Desampardos, Sta. Ana, Manila. She currently heads the restoration efforts for the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker, Victorias Negros Occidental, which includes artworks by local artisans, the mosaics of Belgian ecclesiastical artist Ade de Bethune and the mural of Fil-Am artist, Alfonso Ossorio. She was workshop facilitator for historical paint decoration techniques at Escuela Taller de Filipinas since its establishment in 2009 until 2014.

MARK RICHARD EVIDENTE [President] is the President and CEO of TwoEco, Inc., a consulting firm focused on sustainable tourism development. TwoEco is active in tourism development planning involving interdisciplinary studies, covering business, economic, environmental and socio-cultural analyses. He previously worked with then Senator Richard Gordon, and led the drafting of Republic Act No. 9593, the Tourism Act of 2009. He has worked as a consultant for the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority and the Department of Tourism in crafting rules in the implementation of the Tourism Act, and he has also worked for the Yale Tropical Resources Institute, UP Institute for International Legal Studies, UP Institute for the Administration of Justice, and Environmental Counselors, Inc., among others.

Atty. Evidente is a Senior Lecturer at UP Asian Institute of Tourism and at DLSU’s development studies program. He finished his masters in environmental management and policy at Yale University, and law and political science degrees at the University of the Philippines.

IVAN HOMER U. MAN DY [Vice President for Internal Affairs and Treasurer] is actively involved in the field heritage interpretation, education and tourism. An active HCS member since 2001, he was a museum docent at the Bahay Tsinoy Museum in Intramuros and eventually became the assistant director of the said institution where he also presented and organized academic talks and exhibits as part of the museum's program. He has also contributed to various broadsheets on articles relating to travel and cultural heritage. In 2005, he established Old Manila Walks, an educational tour outfit that does historical, cultural and culinary walks around Manila's historic quarters. To date, Old Manila Walks is the leading specialist tour provider for thematic and heritage-based tourism modules in Manila and has been recognized by countless local and international media features in its roster. He received his Master of Arts degree in Cultural Heritage Studies from the University of Santo Tomas.

NEIL SOLOMON L. LOCSIN [Vice President for External Affairs] is a City Councilor of Silay City, Negros Occidental. A Master in Public Management graduate of the Ateneo de Manila, he is the chairman of the Tourism, Culture and Heritage and, Business Trade and Investment committees of the Silay City Council, and director of the Negros Occidental Historical Council (NOHC).

LUCILLE KAREN “KAY” MALILONG [Vice President for Institutional Partnerships] is a forest and cultural heritage advocate. She heads the Committee on Monuments and Sites at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). She holds degrees in law and economics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

At the NCCA, Kay pushed for the creation of a system for heritage preservation that would have at its heart a Philippine Registry of Cultural Property that is responsive to the planning needs of communities and local government units. She is a member of various technical working groups at the NCCA, among them the creation of a cultural mapping toolkit, the restoration of the Metropolitan Theater, the creation of a better working relationship between local government units and NCCA, and on research grants. She is also part of the technical working council coordinating heritage issues among NCCA and other cultural agencies.

ANNABELLE G. ALCOMENDAS [Secretary] is currently a researcher for the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) project. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Her advocacy work began in 2014 when she started volunteering for the Heritage Conservation Society-Youth.

JOHHAN JOSEPH ARARAO [Public Relations Officer], a marketing practitioner by profession, is also active with the preservation of historic architectural sites around the metropolis. He is involved in the efforts of revitalizing Escolta, Manila's former commercial, and represents HCS at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Technical Working Committee for the study and declaration of the area as Heritage Zone. He is also part of Las Piñas Heritage Guiding Association, Metropolitan Museum of Manila Guide for the TAV tours, and of the Local Historical Committees Network of NHCP.

CONRAD ALAMPAY is the President of Digiscript, where he is responsible for high definition as-built technology solutions as its Business Unit Head. He is currently one of the country’s pioneer and leading experts for 3D survey technology applications specializing in for heritage preservation and documentation. He is a product of the Asian Institute of Management where he underwent executive education under the Basic Management Program, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Asia & the Pacific (2003).

He was project manager for 3D survey & as-built projects including the Malate Church, Manila Cathedral, Quezon Institute, Taal Basilica, Sta. Ana Church (Manila), Rizal Monument (Luneta), Bonifacio Monument, San Sebastian Basilica, the St. Joseph Chapel (Angry Christ), Negros Occidental, and detailed engineering studies for heritage structures and churches damaged by the 2013 Bohol earthquake & typhoon Yolanda, among other projects.

ABERON VOLTAIRE S. PALAÑA is an economic journalist for the Manila Times covering the energy beat. He used to cover the trade, industry, tourism, and investment. He has a Masters Degree in Asian Studies and Korean Studies from Chulalongkorn University and Seoul National University respectively.

ISIDRA PASTOR REYES has been a heritage advocate since the 1980s when she did research and field work on the history of architecture and interiors in the Philippines. She pursued further studies in the Master's Program on the History of European Decorative Arts of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design, and Parsons School of Design in New York City. There she honed her research, writing, and presentation skills on various fields of architecture and decorative arts.

With the advent of social media, Isidra found an outlet to share her knowledge and interest in history, art, architecture, fashion, photography, design, films, and other topics by constantly posting on these subjects in various Facebook groups. In these groups, she was able to network with other heritage advocates, giving talks on the history of architecture, design, and fashion, and increasing awareness on the value of heritage conservation, going against those who mindlessly destroy our built heritage.

KRISTIN LOUISE G. TREÑAS is a practising physician, environmentalist & social activist, and chairperson of the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC). ICCHCC received the Bayanihan sa Daan award in Malacanang in 2014 for preserving the Carpenter Bridge and turning it into a lateral park which became the seed for the Esplanade which in turn brought life to the Iloilo River. She was named one of the Outstanding Women of Iloilo in 2016 for Culture & Heritage.

Dr. Treñas is also a member of the board of UP Visayas Foundation which funds researches & scholarships, treasurer of the Iloilo Medical Society, secretary of Philippine Medical Association – Western Visayas Chapter, and a founding member of We Heal (Workers for Environment & Health), a group of medical doctors with an environmental advocacy on solid waste management, clean air & renewable energy.


GEMMA G. CRUZ-ARANETA [Chairperson Emeritus] is a journalist, essayist, fiction writer & heritage conservation advocate. She was HCS Chairperson from 2004 to 2016, and President from 2004 to 2010. She graduated from Maryknoll College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Service after which she worked at the National Museum of the Philippines as Information Writer and Chief Docent. In 1968, she was appointed Director of the same institution by President Ferdinand Marcos. Gemma topped the Civil Service Examination for Information Editor in 1964 and shortly after, she won the Miss Philippines title at a contest sponsored by the City of Manila for the benefit of Boys Town.

Gemma represented the Philippines at the 1964 Miss International beauty contest at Long Beach, California, USA. She won and became the first Filipina to bring home an international beauty title. She lived in Mexico for 18 years, after Pres. Marcos imposed martial law. In Mexico, Gemma took her masters on International Relations at the Mexican State University, worked for a presidential think tank, the Third World Studies Center and the United Nations Development Program. She was Secretary of Tourism from July 1998 to January 2001. She is now an editorial columnist of the Manila Bulletin. She is a great-grandniece of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

IVAN ANTHONY S. HENARES [Immediate Past President] is a travel & cultural tourism professional, writer & tourism educator. From a very young age, he has been a staunch advocate for the preservation of Philippine heritage. He is currently Assistant Professor at the Asian Institute of Tourism of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Vice President the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), Secretary of the NCCA National Committee on Monuments and Sites, and Trustee of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation. He was HCS President from 2013 to 2016.

He received his Bachelor of Arts (Economics), Master of Business Administration, and Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning degrees from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. As a college student, he initiated the “Preserving Heritage for Progress Program” in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga in 2001, a program that focused on the protection, conservation and promotion of the architectural heritage of the city. The project was named Galing Pook Award Trailblazing Program and one of the Top 10 Best Practices of the League of Cities of the Philippines. He received the The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for 2012 in the field of Heritage Conservation.

PAULO G. ALCAZAREN is an urban designer and landscape architect. He is Principal of PGAA Creative Design, a professional design firm that offers consultancy services in site planning, urban design, and landscape architecture. With over 25 years of combined experience, the company and the principal’s track record includes close to two hundred completed projects in eleven countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, India, the Philippines, China, Bahrain, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.