Pamana: World Heritage in the Philippines
The values and diversity of the Philippine people are revealed through this exhibit of five sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. Baroque churches, rice terrasses, the historic town of Vigan, the Puerto-Princesa National Park and Tubbataha Reefs symbolize the heritage, variety of landscapes and the biodiversity of this archipelago of more than 7,000 islands. Called Pamana ("heritage" in Tagalog), this exhibit also illustrates the attachment of this multi-ethnic people, immersed in many cultural influences, to their shared cultural and natural heritage.
The World Heritage Convention celebrates the interdependence of cultural and natural diversity, testaments of human skill and inspiration, and the wonders of nature’s gifts. The Philippines’ context embodies the confluence of cultural and natural patrimony considering its pre-colonial history, periods of colonization, its ethno-linguistic diversity, and its ecologically and biologically rich environs.
The UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Philippines mirror this context, weaving together the stories of its peoples, landscapes, and seascapes. The sites featured here offer an introspective lens to the results of natural and geologic environmental processes, significant to the region’s earth history and testaments to the harmonious relationship between man and nature, seen from the country’s pre-colonial past. These sites also present a window to understanding the heritage of the Philippines as a product of its exchanges with other nations and cultures. Finally, the exhibit will present challenges to conservation and how the the Philippines, along with the international community, resolves to continuously find sustainable means to conserve its heritage.