UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term.
The Five Sites
The Philippines has five sites inscribed on the UNESCO List. They are as follows.
- Baroque Churches of the Philippines (1993). These four churches were the first built by the Spanish in the late 16th century. Their architectural style is unique for its reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine artisans. They include:
- Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (1993). These reef is composed of two atolls, the North and South reefs, which house thousands of marine species, many of which are already endangered.
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera (1995). These world-famous rice terraces in Banaue are not only scenes of great beauty, but they also embody the diligence and agricultural knowledge of the Igorot people.
- The Historic City of Vigan (2007). Vigan is the best preserved example of Spanish colonial towns in Asia. Its architecture is the conglomeration of cultural elements from the Philippines, China, and Spain, making it unique to the rest of the world.
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (1999). This breathtaking landscape features a limestone karst with an underground river that emerges directly into the sea, an example of a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem. It also is a significant habitat for biodiversity preservation.
- World Heritage List (2007). UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Accessed on July 16, 2007.