Awareness-Raising Seminar Series on the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme- Ayala Museum Leg

The Philippines National Commission (PH NatCom) for UNESCO in partnership with the Center for New Cinema through its Director, Prof. Nick Deocampo, concluded the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Awareness-Raising Seminar Series on Philippine Documentary Heritage at the Ayala Museum on 11 September 2015.


About 90 participants, composed of individuals and groups from the education sector, libraries, museums, cultural organizations, churches, and NGOs, participated in the Seminar.


Ms. Suzanne Yupangco, Senior Manager of the Filipinas Heritage Library in Ayala Museum, opened the workshop, noting the necessity of pursuing the preservation of documentary heritage because the heritage and culture of the Philippines is at par with the world’s great civilizations.

This sentiment was echoed by Ms. Len Barrientos, OIC of PH NatCom, who also spoke of the need to expand the Philippines’ national register, and eventually nominate documentary heritage worthy of the regional and the international registers.
Dr. Bernardita Churchill, President of both the Philippine National Historical Society and the Manila Studies Association, Inc., emphasized that the most important feature of a document is its materiality and further elaborated that these documents are tied to a community’s collective memory.


Meanwhile, Ms. Belina Capul of the Philippine Information Agency delved into the technicalities of the MOW programme and its intended purposes, which are to increase awareness, to facilitate preservation, and to assist in the universal access of these documents.
The afternoon session engaged different document holders and proprietors who shared their collections and asked for advice regarding how to conserve and protect their own collections. Representatives from the National Heritage Library Collection, Kaisa Heritage Foundation, Malacañan, Filipinas Heritage Library, ABS-CBN, and UST Library, among others, each took their turn giving a short overview of their respective collections.


The UP Center for Ethnomusicology likewise shared their best practices in preserving the Jose Maceda Music Collection and making them available for public consumption. Prof. Deocampo delivered a talk on Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?, a film inscribed in the national register of the Philippines. He demonstrated how film literacy may enrich one’s appreciation of history and context, and this can only be done when there are structures in place that ensure that such documents will be preserved and made public. He also discussed the Promotion of the Philippine Documentary Heritage through Education and the Guidelines for Nomination of Documents to the UNESCO Memory of the World Registry. Teaching modules, developed by Prof. Deocampo for each of the MOW Registry (Philippines), were shared to the participants.

Dr. Churchill closed the event by repeating that the Filipino can be proud of his or her heritage through the documents that represent it, and that Filipinos should remember that they represent one nation, no matter how diverse and no matter how different these traditions may be, and documentary heritage provides a good starting point to appreciate that fact.


UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme (MOW) aims to raise awareness and help create systems to help conserve and protect the world’s documentary heritage from destruction and degradation due to natural calamities, war, and social upheavals. The workshops also hope to create linkages for culture and documentary heritage proprietors and producers, in order to share best practices to strive to make the world’s documentary heritage available to the public.


The first leg was held in Iloilo City on 22 August, 2015, while the second one was held in Cebu City on 5 September, 2015.

Awareness-Raising Seminar Series on the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme- Ayala Museum Leg