Awareness-Raising Seminar Series on the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme and Philippine Documentary Heritage

 

The Philippines National Commission (PH NatCom) for UNESCO, in partnership with the Center for New Cinema, conducted the first leg of the Awareness-Raising Seminar Series on the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme and Philippine Documentary Heritage at the Iloilo National High School, Iloilo City on 21 August 2015. About 90 participants, composed of individuals and groups from the education sector, libraries, museums, cultural organizations, churches, and local government, participated in the Seminar.

 

MOW is UNESCO’s flagship programme for protecting and raising awareness of the global cultural heritage in the aspect of the world’s documentary heritage. The programme aims to ensure the preservation and dissemination of valuable archive holdings and library and museum collection worldwide.

 

The Offices of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Mayor Jed Mabilog, and Dr. Nordy Siason Jr. of the Iloilo National High School delivered welcome messages and signified strong support for the preservation of Iloilo’s vast collection of documentary heritage.

 

EnPLindsay A. Barrientos, PH NatCom Officer-in-Charge, mentioned that the MOW International Register includes the following Philippine documentary heritage: the Jose Maceda Collection, Philippine Paleographs (Hanunoo, Buid, Tagbanua and Pala’wan), Presidential Papers of Manuel L. Quezon, and Radio Broadcast of the Philippine People Power Revolution. OIC Barrientos noted that the PH NatCom is gearing towards expanding the country’s contribution to the regional register or the MOWCAP and eventually to UNESCO’s international register. Nomination and inscription to the National (Country) MOW Register are also being encouraged and promoted.

Professor Nick Deocampo, Director at Center for New Cinema and former member of the PH NatCom’s MOW Committee narrated the importance of cultural heritage and their respective documents in shaping local and national identities. Prof. Deocampo, who also hails from Iloilo, believes that the province has a rich resource of documents from pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial periods that are relevant to the country’s national memory. 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.

 

Meanwhile, Atty. Rodolfo V. Cabado, who authored a comprehensive provincial ordinance on cultural heritage, together with anthropologist Dr. Alicia Magos and Prof. Anna Razel Ramirez from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, led a panel on how Iloilo’s documentary heritage can be preserved through cultural policies and researches and programs.

 

Iloilo’s rich cultural heritage was highlighted as the participants revealed that they possessed century-old newspapers, sound recordings of significant Hiligaynon poem readings and chants, videos of world-renowned performances of Ilonggos, and written collections of literary pieces, to name a few. The Seminar ended with affirmation from the participants that nominations shall be forwarded to the PH NatCom for consideration.