Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PWU Holds Symposium On Sustainable Heritage Tourism

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippine Women’s University (PWU), the first university for women founded by Asians, is inviting students, educators, industry stakeholders and the public for free attendance to a symposium on sustainable heritage tourism to be held on February 26, 2015, 1:30 PM at the Conrado Benitez Hall, PWU campus along Taft Avenue, Manila.

Organized by PWU’s School of Tourism in cooperation with the Tourism Promotions Board, the Department of Tourism’s marketing arm, and the Heritage Conservation Society, the symposium is entitled “The Filipino Youth and their Education: The Role of Culture and the Arts towards Global Excellence and Sustainable Tourism.” It is part of the wide-range of activities in celebration of PWU’s systems-wide Foundation Anniversary and National Arts Month.

“Through this symposium, we aim to increase knowledge and enlighten our youth, within and outside the university, towards global excellence with a strong national identity and pride of place as part of nation-building. We also contribute our share to the University’s support towards the Philippines’ fulfillment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals,” reveals Dr. Evelyn B. Pantig, Dean of the School of Tourism.

“In line with PWU Chairman Dr. Helena Z. Benitez’s pioneering role in the United Nation’s sustainable development programs, the symposium will be a platform for sharing ideas and experiences among the academe, stakeholders and related sectors,” Dr. Pantig adds.

Three prominent speakers in the field of heritage tourism will have their respective presentations.

Gemma G. Cruz-Araneta is the Chairperson of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) and a former Tourism Secretary. During her younger years, she became the first Filipina to win an international beauty contest when she was crowned Miss International in Long Beach, California. With a foreign service degree from Maryknoll College, Araneta took her masters in International Relations at the State University in Mexico, where she lived for 18 years. She worked for the Third World Studies Center and the United Nations Development Program. As a journalist, essayist, fiction writer, public servant, heritage conservation advocate and a great-grandniece of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, Araneta heads the HCS in its daunting but enriching task of pushing for "a Filipino society that values and preserves its cultural heritage to instill pride of place and strengthen Philippine national identity through advocacy and volunteerism, project implementation, education and information."

Ivan Anthony S. Henares is an Expert Member and Philippine Representative to the International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) of the Paris-based International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which is UNESCO’s principal adviser on the protection, restoration and management of the world’s historical monuments and sites. A 2012 TOYM awardee, Henares is a travel & cultural tourism professional, writer & tourism educator. From a very young age, he has championed the cause of Philippine heritage, helping bring heritage conservation to the mainstream, especially the oft-neglected cause to the youth by giving it a younger and more accessible face. He encourages heritage and cultural awareness among the youth through the establishment of school and local chapters of the HCS as well as through social media and his award-winning blog.

Sylvia Lichauco is one of the daughters of former Ambassador Marcial Lichauco, the first Filipino to be admitted to Harvard University. She is the President of the Santa Ana Heritage Tourism Association(SAHTA) for one of Manila’s historically and culturally rich districts, which was relatively spared during WWII destruction of Manila. Her family owns the O’Brien-Lichauco ancestral home, which was built in Santa Ana during the 1850-1860s and has been used by the family for their humanitarian and philanthropic works for thousands of poor people through the years. It was declared the first heritage house by the National Historical Commission.

With SAHTA as one of the charitable crusades involved in uplifting the lives of adults and children within Santa Ana, Lichauco has devised the strategy of community-based heritage tourism that involves the adaptive reuse, conservation of cultural assets, and sustainable care of their shared heritage where local residents can find ways to boost their livelihood too. Her group of heritage advocates conduct performing and visual arts, story-telling sessions, workshops, medical missions, feeding programs, and festivals to help their community by fostering their cultural identity and making them understand that their quality of life could improve by working together and doing their part to preserve heritage that could drive more jobs and better livelihood.

For details, contact the Dean’s office of PWU’s School of Tourism at telephone numbers 526-8421 local 253 or 465-1727.

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