In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Intramuros Administration and the Quadricentennial of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the Intramuros Administration held the First Intramuros Young Scholars Conference with the theme “Intramuros’ Heritage and Relevance: Trendy, Timeless, and Ever Timely” at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila. Through this platform, a selected group of young scholars and rising stars from various fields of expertise will presented papers that celebrated Intramuros’ long history across the centuries, as well as its continuing relevance today. The conference was open to the public free of charge, and everyone was invited to attend and participate. 

15 August 2019; 8:00AM – 5:00PM; Student Center Auditorium, Colegio de San Juan de Letran

Talk No. 1

Professor of History
Ateneo de Manila University

Hollowed Walls: Intramuros during the American Colonial Period, 1898–1941

The story of Intramuros is about power and glory during the Spanish colonial period, and then it switches to despair and destruction under Japanese occupation. But what happened to the walled city between those periods? This talk ties to answer that question by looking at the mundane stories about Intramuros during the American colonial period (1898–1941). Although not as dramatic as the tales of conquest and warfare, nonetheless the experiences of Manila’s everyday life inside and outside the walls narrate the life of a nation in transition. A new urban plan. The altered walls and moat. Changing political ideologies. Motorized vehicles replacing horse-drawn calesas. Institutions and establishments moving in and out. The American colonial period was an age in motion for Intramuros.

About the speaker: Dr. Michael Pante is an Assistant Professor at the Department of History of the Ateneo de Manila University. He holds the following degrees: BA in Economics, Minor in History; and MA in History at the Ateneo de Manila University; and PhD in Area Studies at the Kyoto University. A prolific writer and author to numerous publications, Dr. Pante was recipient of the Young Historian’s Prize from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2013.

Talk No. 2

Professor of History
De La Salle University Knight Commander
Order of the Knights of Rizal

Humanizing And Historicizing The Walled City: Using Intramuros In The Teaching Of Philippine History

Intramuros is the very first place we bring our foreign friends, not for us to highlight our colonial history as it was first assumed, but because we want them to understand Philippine History. There is a reason for this: Because in this walled city, all important periods of Philippine History can be explained. With the presentor’s experience in being a student of history, tour docent, teacher and a public historian, an easy to follow framework will be presented so we can emphasize important themes in our history using places and things that we see in Intramuros as our jumping points.

Also, if time permits, he will reintroduce a book that humanizes Intramuros to us written by Percy Hill in 1928. These stories can be used as motivational stories that could create interest for students to dig deeper in the “saysay” of Intramuros to us as a narrative that shows daily life as well as the story of liberty.

About the speaker: Sir Michael Charleston Briones Chua, K.C.R., popularly known as “Xiao Chua,” is a Knight Commander of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, as well as an Assistant Professorial Lecturer at the De La Salle University, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines. A distinguished writer and internet personality, Xiao Chua holds an MA and a BA in History from the University of the Philippines.

Talk No. 3

Project Manager
Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties
National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Kabataan ang Pag-asa ng Pamana: Harnessing the youth’s energy to Intramuros and other heritage sites

Pamorada shares an overview of his experiences thus far as a cultural worker and a heritage advocate who, in his capacity as a youth and together with his fellow like-minded friends, took on the challenges and embarked on fun adventures in the cultural heritage preservation movement. Most of these stories focused on his involvement in the revival efforts of some historic neighborhoods in Manila, namely, Escolta, Quiapo, Binondo, and San Nicolas. From this he develops the mantra, “Heritage is People” and “Kabataan ang Pag-asa ng Pamana.”

While the youth in this advocacy is still considered a work in progress, Pamorada strongly asserts that, in the natural course of “PAMANA,” we the next generation of cultural bearers can claim that the best of Philippine heritage is not before us, but rather ahead of us.

About the speaker: Stephen John Pamorada is a cultural worker, and a prominent youth leader in the heritage community. A cultural advocate, he is at present the project manager of the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property Project at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. In 2013 he co-founded the Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista atbp. Lugar, Inc., and from 2014-2016 served as the President of the Heritage Conservation Society – Youth.

Talk No. 4

Vice Rector
Manila Cathedral-Basilica
Archdiocese of Manila

The Manila Cathedral in the 21st Century

Rebuilt after the war, the Manila Cathedral stands as one of the surviving churches within Intramuros. As such, it is not only a witness to history, but a living center for devotion and spirituality. To understand its role as Mother Church of the country, one needs, not only to look back on the past, but to situate it within this time of our history. With first hand experience as Vice Rector of the Cathedral for four years now, Fr. Kali Llamado takes us into a personal peek into the day-to-day life and operations of the Cathedral. He will also talk about the renovations that were done in 2012, and focus also on the continuing restorations and the cost of maintenance of this massive Basilica. The talk will also give a statistical profile of the mass goers and visitors of this important church in the country, and try to analyze how the devotees have changed from its prewar character and the future it is facing. Coming from a Pastoral-Spiritual approach, Fr. Kali will make us appreciate the life of the Cathedral – rooted in its rich history as the first Cathedral of the country, open to the present exigencies of the community, and responsive to the mission facing the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Talk No. 5

Digiscript Philippines, Inc.

Honoring the Past-Conserving the Future: The importance of Technology and Conservation Management Plan in Heritage Management

This presentation explores the use of 3D Reality Capture technology as a method for creating accurate records and detailed architectural drawings of historic walls of Intramuros that serve as primary baseline documentation for conservation projects. This presentation will touch briefly on how the technology works, advantages, and limitations, over conventional methods, the various types of information that can be generated to support conservation activities. Furthermore, it will cover technology trends, how it is used to promote local or international project collaboration, virtual tourism, and serve as a comprehensive digital archive for future reference or studies. The presentation will also include how the technology is being used for the on-going Intramuros Conservation Management Plan project

About the speaker: Aberon Voltaire Palaña is a journalist and a cultural worker. He is at present the Marketing/ Communications Officer for Heritage Projects at Digiscript Philippines, Inc., and previously worked with the Manila Times as an economic journalist covering trade, industry, tourism, investment, and energy sector. Mr. Palaña holds the following degrees: BA in Journalism from the Manila Times College, and an MA in Asian Studies from the ASEAN University Network (AUN) – Chulalongkorn University.

Talk No. 6

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Redeveloping Intramuros: Post-Colonial Legacies, Hopeful Plans, Different Realities

Built heritage, irrespective of its location and establishment, reflects the culture of the time and people who built it. Intramuros, past 1945 was flattened and left in shambles. Whereas Filipino legislators understood the necessity for conservation in the aftermath of World War II, they were faced with greater imperatives during that time—to uplift the social condition of the country, to build an economy and to stabilise the newly independent state. Post-war reconstruction projects on the other hand, commenced as an immediate response to the lack of infrastructure that could be used by the new administration. Significantly, it was in this context that the post-colonial administration realised its role as a responsible custodian of national heritage. Since that time, and especially in recent years, various sectors of society have become more mindful of the existence and value of buildings and spaces that may be considered as culturally and historically significant. During the late 1960s the Philippine government sought to rebuild a Intramuros. But as a fragment of this renewal, numerous remnants of the old colonial city were lost either by new developments, demolition, decay or simply neglect from its stakeholders. This presentation examines the underlying processes that shaped post-colonial urban form of Intramuros.

About the speaker: Claudia Isabelle Violeta Montero is a licensed architect and cultural worker. A prolific researcher, Claudia holds the following degrees: a Masters of Philosophy in History at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; a Masters in Architecture from the University of the Philippines Diliman; a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Management Tools for Climate Change at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands; and a BS in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas.

Talk No. 7

Center for Democracy and Liberalism

Vision 20XX: Future-proofing Intramuros

How will the future of Intramuros and of the world look like? If human history is any indication, the only certain image of the future is one of increased societal complexity and differentiation where technology allowed us to cope with such changes and such changes push the growth of technology. To deal with societal complexity and differentiation, I argue in this presentation that Intramuros must pursue a two-fold “smart” agenda. First, it must adopt or continue adopting quantitative baselining and impact evaluation in its policy design. Second, it must tie up the approaches in the former in a broader strategy of becoming a “smart” city. This will expand the discussion of heritage conservation into the economic realm and equip Intramuros with the language to secure much-belated resources for its development. This approach should also increase private-sector participation that, in turn, will provide Intramuros the resources to cope with the future.

About the speaker: Jed Elroy Rendor is a specialist in development studies and heritage management. He is currently affiliated with the Center for Liberalism and Democracy and has previously served as a consultant for the Intramuros Administration. Elroy holds the following degrees: A Masters in Public Policy from the University of Tokyo; and a BA in Development Studies, Minor in Cultural Heritage, Minor in Filipino Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Fernando Zialcita Award for Cultural Heritage.


Sheena Anjeli M. Botiwey is currently the Sales and Promotions Supervisor at the Intramuros Administration (IA) and concurrently the Technical Assistant to the Administrator of Intramuros where she manages the agency’s branding, special projects, and events. She has been working in the tourism industry for a total of 10 years, in both the government and the private sector. She has previously worked for the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), where she handled promotions of incentives for Tourism Enterprise Zones under the Tourism Act of 2009, as well as serving as project manager for site enhancement efforts during the Philippine hosting of key international events such as APEC 2015, ASEAN 2017, Routes Asia, and Madrid Fusion Manila. Sheena has a BS in Tourism, Cum Laude, from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Program: Morning Session

Program: Afternoon Session

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