Monday, October 19, 2009

Heritage City of Vigan

Vigan City is a case study presented during the last heritage conference in George Town. Participants were given a thumb drive with all Power Point presentation files so we could all go home and study. I did my study and came up with this page.

Vigan City

Sunday, October 18, 2009

World Heritage Sites in Asia Pacific

China and India lead in the number UNESCO of World Heritage Sites they have in their countries. There are 899 sites in total and the number is increasing. A lot of cities are submitting dossiers so that they can qualify. They have to fulfill at least 2 out of 4 criteria set aside by UNESCO. Especially OUV (Outstanding Universal Values).

Cities with heritage sites at their disposals can expect significant growth in revenue in terms of inflated real estate values, as well as becoming a major tourist attraction.

However,after obtaining the title, it is up to the people themselves to make or break this commodity. They have to upkeep their standards because UNESCO officials will come visit again after three years. The title can be taken away if the criteria is lost or not met at this time.

That is why the debate is still going on. How much development can we allow?

We discussed this and more at the recent heritage conference.

Read also part two, sustainable cultural practices.

My regret is that there should be more participants in this conference, a lot of educational organizations simply skipped this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Clan Jetty

The clan jetties are part of Penang Heritage Trail even though they are not
being advertised that much. if you want to see how fishermen in urban area live in Penang, this is where you should go. The people make do with what resources they have.
This community thrive even though a lot of younger people are moving away from here.

Here is my observation.

Clan Jetty
Penang Heritage Trail

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heritage House Tour at Loke Mansion

Still post-conference topic even though in a less serious tone.. here it is, the tour at Loke Mansion. See also China Tiger, a handiwork of the current tenant of the mansion too.

Loke Mansion
China Tiger

Monday, October 12, 2009

Suffolk House gets a UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Disctinction.

Suffolk House played host to the closure of the two day heritage conference. The event was nicely concluded with the award presentation by the representative of UNESCO to Penang Chief Minister.

Guests were treated to a dinner reception and for the first time had the opportunity to roam around the massive building.

Second day of the conference report
First day of the conference report

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Penang International Conference

The two day conference entitled: The Economics of Heritage Revitalisation, organized in collaboration of the state government and several NGOs in Penang was a huge success. We got to learn a lot from other countries' case studies how their own World Heritage Sites were being managed and developed. The keynote speaker was Dr. Tim Curtis, the head of culture unit of UNESCO in Bangkok.

Besides the speeches and the talks, participants were treated to site visits as well as lavish dinner banquets at Pinang Peranakan Mansion and also the newly restored Suffolk House.

For me, it was a very educational experience and I will write an extensive report in due time.

The UNESCO award presentation to Suffolk House was the perfect ending to the conference. Everyone involved left with a sense of accomplishment and pride. I believe for the next conference, George Town should be able to present its success story but we need first to work very hard to come up with a way to measure our progress in a more systematic manner.

Penang International Conference Report (Part 1)
Penang International Conference Invitation Page

Monday, October 5, 2009

Iqra the garden of wisdom exhibition

I was asked by several people if I got paid for blogging or if I get monetary compensation for putting people together through my web sites. The answer is YES and NO.

For example, Equatorial Hotel Penang put up an Islamic Art exhibition last month in collaboration with USM's Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery because their F&B Director, Mr. Abdul Rahman Ahmad, came across my report on Iqra' The Garden of Wisdom Exhibition held at Queensbay Mall last year.

I am very delighted today to find in my mailbox a very nice Thank You card from Mr Hasnol J. Saidon who is the Director of the Museum. Mr. Abdul Rahman, on the other hand, handed out a complimentary Ramadhan buffet for me and my children. We were also sent home by the hotel limo when I was expecting an ordinary taxi. THAT experience is beyond any monetary value, I suppose.

I find that the education level in this country is sadly lacking. Lecturers and teachers are more interested to make extra money elsewhere than concentrating on their teaching profession. As a result, students with money to burn with extra tuition classes are the ones who become tops of the class.

The museum, tries to fill the gap by holding free exhibitions at rural schools. This effort is very much to my liking.

Back to the question, by consistently writing this heritage web site also, people who are Who's Who, active in heritage issues are taking notice of my work. I am being appreciated by getting a complimentary seat to attend an international conference this week regarding sustainable tourism practices. Can that too, be measured in monetary value?

Guess not.

Iqra at Queensbay
Iqra at Equatorial Hotel
International Conference on Heritage