Ivan Anthony Henares, PhD
is a tourism educator, cultural policy researcher, and advocate for heritage conservation in the Philippines. He is Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM), Commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Asian Institute of Tourism (UP AIT)

At present, he is also Secretary General of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), Chairperson of the Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance (SEACHA), Chairperson of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), Head of both the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH) and National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippine Committee President of the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH Philippines) and, International Correspondent (Philippines) to the Asian Network for Industrial Heritage (ANIH). He was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the field of Heritage Conservation in 2012, and an Asia 21 Young Leader in 2008.

Dr. Henares received his PhD in Hospitality and Tourism Management and Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy from Purdue University (2017-2018 Fulbright-CHED Scholar). He completed his elementary and secondary education at the Ateneo de Manila University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Master of Business Administration and Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning degrees all at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Ivan Henares receives The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for 2012 in the field of Heritage Conservation from H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines; and with fellow 2012 awardees Jiggy Manicad (Broadcast Journalism), Chieffy Caligdong (Sports), Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (Public Service), Dr. Warren Baticados (Veterinary Medicine), Abelardo David (Community Occupational Rehabilitation), and Allan Pineda Lindo / apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas (Contemporary Music).

His advocacy and research interests are in heritage conservation and tourism policy, and cultural tourism in historic urban landscapes, industrial heritage, cultural landscapes, and indigenous communities in the Philippines. His work is currently focused on Pampanga cultural heritage, especially in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and the Sugar Cultural Landscape of Negros Island, where he is working with local stakeholders to protect early 20th century sugar centrals, hacienda houses and plantations, and 19th century sugar mills.

At the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, he also worked with the Agusan Manobo community of Sitio Panlabuhan to create a sustainable cultural tourism program, an alternative and sustainable source of livelihood for neglected but culturally-significant stakeholders in tourism.

Dr. Henares taking his oath as Secretary-General of the UNESCO-Philippine National Commission before Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo

As a college student, he initiated the “Preserving Heritage for Progress Program” in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga in 2001, a program that focused on the protection, conservation and promotion of the architectural heritage of the city. He painstakingly convinced local stakeholders to preserve their ancestral homes, many of which were eventually declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as Heritage Houses. In 2004, the program was named Galing Pook Award Trailblazing Program and one of the Top 10 Best Practices of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

In 2001, he was named Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Youth Leadership in recognition of his leadership in raising cultural awareness in Pampanga. In 2005, he received the United Nations Association of the Philippines Outstanding Youth Leader Award. In 2006, he received The Outstanding Fernandino Award for Preservation of Heritage and Promotion of the Arts. In 2007, his blog was named Best Travel Blog at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards. In 2010, Spot.PH included him in their list of 10 City Heroes You Should Know for his heritage conservation advocacy. In 2014, the UP Alumni Association named him one of the UPAA Distinguished Alumni for Culture and the Arts. He received the Early Career Achievement Award at the 2024 Alumni Awards of the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences.

He ably organized the 2012 ICOMOS International Conference on Cultural Tourism which brought together Expert Members of ICOMOS from around the world to Vigan, Ilocos Sur to share cultural tourism best practices to hundreds of local stakeholders. The feedback from foreign and local delegates was very encouraging, and had contributed to the good reputation of the Philippines as a global leader in community-based cultural tourism.

For several years, he had organized the annual Heritage Conservation Summit which brought discussions about heritage conservation issues to towns and cities around the Philippines.

He championed the cause of Philippine heritage for many years, helped bring heritage conservation to the mainstream by serving as one of the advocacy’s most visible voices, pushed for the enactment of national laws and local legislation for heritage preservation, lectured on the importance of preserving our heritage, monitored heritage conservation issues around the country and ensured the protection of significant historical and cultural sites. He encouraged heritage and cultural awareness among Philippine youth, established school and local chapters of the Heritage Conservation Society, and constantly delivers lectures all over the country on heritage conservation and tourism.

Through the years, Dr. Henares helped move forward this advocacy through innovative promotion via mainstream and social media. This is where he made his unique and indelible mark for his championed cause: his efforts had brought an oft-neglected cause to the consciousness of the youth by giving it a younger and more accessible face. In particular, his use of social media networks and his award-winning blog had given cultural heritage a voice that demands to be heard.

He has certainly given heritage a voice, one that was previously muted by other equally important national priorities. He has and continues to strive for what the Heritage Conservation Society envisions, a Filipino society that values and preserves its cultural heritage in order to instill pride of place and strengthen Philippine national identity. Dr. Henares has always believed that a strong national identity and pride are often disregarded tools for nation-building.


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