Intramuros Learning Sessions episode no. 25


Intramuros has often been regarded as the most important of Spanish Colonial settlements in the Philippines. Its evolution spans almost five centuries, from the pre-Hispanic “supra baranggay” ruled by Rajah Sulayman, to becoming the center of Government and Religion during the Spanish Colonial, as well as the early part of the American Colonial Periods. Today, it stands as the symbolic heart of Manila, and as is the case in historic cities, it is part of a living, evolving heritage. Thus, it has had to deal with a wide range of issues that involve heritage conservation, public awareness, and cultural tourism, among others. This presentation attempts to understand the built heritage of Intramuros not only by examining its historical morphology, but also by looking at the layers of change in recent years. In particular, the current state of its built environment which includes the evolving uses and access points, as well as the styles and forms that make up the walled city.

  • Guest speaker: Caryn Santillan, Ph.D.
  • Moderator: Rancho Arcilla

About the Speaker: Caryn Santillan, Ph.D.

Caryn Paredes-Santillan has a BS in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas, and an MA and a PhD from the Graduate School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo.

She is a consultant at the UST Center for Conservation of Cultural Property in the Tropics (UST-CCCPET) and was a Project Manager at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). She is also involved in a number of Conservation Management Plan studies, including those of the Walled City of Intramuros, Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, and the Manila Central Post Office Building.

She currently teaches at the College of Architecture of the University of Santo Tomas. Her main research interests include modern Asian architecture, architectural morphology, and phenomenology.

About the Host: Rancho Arcilla

John Paul Escandor Arcilla, known professionally as Rancho Arcilla, is the author of the Intramuros Register of Styles (2021). He is currently the Chairperson of the Intramuros Technical Committee on Architectural Standards (TCAS). As TCAS Chairperson, Arcilla oversees the review of all development, including new constructions, in the Walled City. He is also a PhD student at the Tri-College of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. 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. The architectural provisions of the Revised 2021 Implementing Rules and Regulations of Presidential Decree No. 1616, the main framework and legal instrument in the management of Intramuros District, 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 webinar 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
Leoncio Asuncion’s Iconology and the 19th Century Philippine Colonial Religious Sculpture: An Analysis
See Next ILS Episode
Santo Domingo Church and La Naval: The Intramuros Shrine and Its Rituals

Check out our previous ILS episodes here

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