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Author Zos
Partaker
#286 | Posted: 23 May 2021 12:31 
Philippines - Overall I think it has a strong tentative list with 12 have potentially strong arguments for inscription while the rest have moderate chances.
· Seven sites are forests/terrestrial. With the high endemism of the Philippine archipelago, it made sense to forward several sites on this category. There were some discussions on grouping current sites and adding some others. Strongest candidate on the current list are (1) Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park – representative for the diversity for Luzon Island, (2) Mayon Volcano – for its perfect cone, and (3) Mt Mantalingahan – for Southern Palawan biodiversity Area. Mt Malindang can be an extension of Mt Hamiguitan WHS and serially proposed with other sites in Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. Mt Iglit-Baco and Chocolate Hills seems niche. Mt. Pulag has the lowest chances.
· Three marine sites: (1) El-Nido-Taytay is definitely top notch, (2) Apo Reef can be an extension of Tubbataha, and (3) Turtle Islands will have chances if made transnational with Malaysian Island
· Two Mixed Sites: (1) Batanes – overdue for renomination and based on previous evaluation will have higher chance for inscription with better dossier and bigger area by including natural values. (2) Coron Island is definitely top notch and should be combined with El Nido-Taytay – for their marine ecosystem and beauty and for their heritage of Tagbanua people
· Two pre-Hispanic sites. The Spanish Colonization of the Philippines has reduced the indigenous culture to pockets of the archipelago. Aside from the Tagbanua in Coron/El Nido, the Ibaloi people is represented on the list with Kabayan Mummies, which can be argued as top missing. Mummification process of the Ibaloi is very long and involve herbs and drying by smoke before putting in caves. The caves were heavily looted in late 20th century. Butuan Archeological Site is also strong to represent the maritime culture not only of the Philippines but also for the whole Southeast Asia.
· Four Prehistoric sites. I cannot gauge the strength of these sites as these should be comparatively analyzed with other Southeast Asian sites. (1) Paleolithic Sites in Cagayan Valley has merits given the classification of homo luzonensis as a new hominid species and also of megafauna remains. Tabon Cave is one of the first archeological site studied in the Philippine and can have merits. Neolithic Shell Midden Sites and Petroglyphs/Petrographs might be weak compared to similar sites in the region.
· One Spanish Colonial Extension. Spanish Colonial period is already represented by Vigan for town planning and Baroque Churches for religious structure. Still, the proposed extension of the Baroque Churches have strong chances as it expands the geographic distribution of churches and they have elements/style not present on the inscribed ones.

There are still some sites/gaps that may/should be put forward.
·Philippine Volcanoes – Mt. Mayon is already considered but Taal Volcano and Mt Pinatubo have very strong potential OUV by themselves. Other volcanoes can also be put forward for serial nomination.
·Spanish Colonial Period – As I argued in the Top Missing exercise, Spanish Fortifications FTWHS should be reconsidered and reframed together with community-made fortifications. San Sebastian Church FTWS might have some OUV if integrity issues were solved and can represent the late phase of Spanish colonial period
· American Colonial Period – This is definitely a gap. (1) Gabaldon School Buildings to represent the great contribution of the US. It is said that Spain brought religion to the Philippines while the USA brought education to the masses. (2) Sugar Centrals and Related Properties for industrial heritage – there were reports of proposing these sites few years ago. (3) American Period Vernacular Architecture – possibly a serial sites of what was well-preserved/left like Balingasag (Missamis Or), Glan (Saranggani), Sariaya (Quezon) for American colonial houses and Philippine Art Deco or maybe combined with some areas of Ilo-ilo City, Baguio City (those preserved after the WW2/1991 earthquake) and Dumaguete City for urban planning, and (4) Clark Pampanga and Subic Bay for American military structures
· Cultural RoutesGalleon Trade Route definitely have some OUV as I argued on top missing forum. Routes of F. Magellan have strong tangible heritage in the Philippines – there is a rock engraved with initials of Magellan and crew in homonhon, it was discovered in 1930s and got lost in the 70's and found again some decade ago; Cebu has the basilica with the purported image of Child Jesus given by Magellan to the natives; and Limasawa has some associated significance for 1st Catholic Mass of the Philippines.
· Modern Heritage – an out of the box suggestion is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, fully functional with 80s era technology which was completed but never fueled due to an unfortunate and unlikely consequence of Chernobyl disaster. It is definitely a time capsule of a bygone time comp

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#287 | Posted: 23 May 2021 20:27 | Edited by: carlosarion 
Thanks for this Zos!

Zos:
Coron Island is definitely top notch and should be combined with El Nido-Taytay – for their marine ecosystem and beauty and for their heritage of Tagbanua people

- definitely should be combined to make a stronger case for inscription.

Zos:
Batanes – overdue for renomination and based on previous evaluation will have higher chance for inscription with better dossier and bigger area by including natural values

- while I think the natural side is definitely unquestionable, I am worried about the cultural side of this mixed tentative site due to development and the 2019 earthquake

Zos:
Paleolithic Sites in Cagayan Valley has merits given the classification of Homo luzonensis as a new hominid species and also of megafauna remains

- The discovery of Homo luzonensis made its outstanding universal value more pronounced.

Given the biogeographical and biodiversity status of the country, I'd probably give priority to natural sites. Too bad we haven't heard any developments regarding Mount Mantalingahan (I checked with Bernard and it looks like there are no updates regarding the nomination). I'd definitely add Verde Island Passage with Apo Reef as an extension as a representative of the "Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity" within the Coral Triangle (see this article: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1048958). This could also motivate Indonesia to nominate Raja Ampat, which I think needs to be inscribed soon.

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