Intramuros Learning Sessions episode no. 16


The Philippines is one of the 17 mega diverse countries and most urban residents are unaware of these rich flora and fauna. Metro Manila is one of the megacities in the world and home to over 13,000,000 people. Manila is highly urbanized and is known as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. But within the city are pockets of green spaces that provide a safe haven for native and endemic plants and animals. Rizal park, Arroceros Forest park, Manila Zoo and Intramuros were planted with non-native and native trees which provide shelter and food source for animals like birds and bats. These green spaces also provide a good laboratory area for students to conduct ecology or develop skills on plant taxonomy. Fallen leaves can be gathered and used as materials for fun art especially during the time of lockdown. Going around these green spaces have positive impacts on our well-being. Hopefully more green spaces with native and endemic plants will be created which will form wildlife corridors for native and endemic fauna to survive in the urban jungles.

  • Guest speaker: John Rey Callado
  • Moderator: Rancho Arcilla

About the speaker: John Rey Callado

John Rey Callado is a professional botanist and a licensed forester.

He has a degree in Forestry from West Visayas State University and is currently a Museum Researcher II at the National Museum of the Philippines, Philippine National Herbarium, Botany Division. He is well published in many scientific journals here and abroad, and is one of the authors of the book “Guide to the Pteridophytes of Chiang Mai, Thailand.”

About the moderator: Rancho Arcilla

John Paul Escandor Arcilla, known professionally as Rancho Arcilla, is the author of the Intramuros Register of Styles (2021). He served as Chairperson of the Intramuros Technical Committee on Architectural Standards (TCAS) from June 2022 to May 2024. As TCAS Chairperson, Arcilla oversaw the review of all development, including new constructions, in the Walled City.

Arcilla was also the first Archivist of the Intramuros Administration. With a mandate from Atty. Guiller Asido, Administrator of Intramuros from 2017 to 2022, Arcilla established the Administration’s Archives and Central Records Section, serving as its first Section Head from July 2019 to June 2024.

He has an MA in Philippine Studies from UP Diliman and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Santo Tomas. Arcilla specializes on colonial architecture.

In 2021, Arcilla was instrumental in the development of the Revised 2021 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Presidential Decree No. 1616, the main framework and legal instrument in the management of Intramuros District. The architectural provisions of the IRR and the Intramuros Register of Styles (2021) is based on his MA thesis Walls within Walls: The Architecture of Intramuros (2021).

About the Intramuros Learning Sessions

The Intramuros Learning Sessions (ILS) is the educational lecture series of the Intramuros Administration (IA). The IA is an attached national government agency under the Department of Tourism. 

Topics are interdisciplinary and cover themes related to Intramuros and Manila studies, Philippine studies, as well as cultural heritage studies. Pursuant to IA’s charter, the ILS aims to contribute to the strengthening of the Filipino’s national identity and sense of belonging and pride.

For inquiries contact us at [email protected]

See Previous ILS Episode
Heroes of World War II Part 1: Escoda, Abad Santos, and Lim
See Next ILS Episode
Creadoras: A Tribute to Betsey Westerndorp

Check out our previous ILS episodes here

For more information contact the Center for Intramuros Studies via [email protected]
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