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The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated five World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
The Philippines, following its ratification of the convention on Thursday, September 19, 1985, made its historical and natural sites eligible for inclusion on the list. The Philippines had its first sites included in 1993, and since 1999, has five sites on the list. Of those five sites, three are cultural and two natural. Twenty-nine other properties have also been submitted to the Tentative List for possible nomination in the future.
|Ilocos Sur||Cultural: (ii)(iv)||Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines, from China and from Europe, resulting in a culture and townscape that have no parallel anywhere in East and South-East Asia.||1999||502|
|Palawan||Natural: (vii)(x)||This park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. One of the river's distinguishing features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.||1999||652|
|Ifugao||Cultural: (iii)(iv)(v)||For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountains. The fruit of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.||1995||722|
|Intramuros, Manila||Cultural: (ii)(iv)||Baroque Churches of the Philippines|
These four churches, the first of which was built by the Spanish in the late 16th century, are located in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay and Miag-ao. Their unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen.
|Sulu Sea||Natural: (vii)(ix)(x)||The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 ha, including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.||1993||653|
The following 29 sites are on the Tentative List for the Philippines, meaning that the government intends to consider them for nomination in the future:
|Agusan del Sur||Natural: (ix)(x)||Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is a vast complex of freshwater marshes and watercourses with numerous small shallow lakes and ponds in the upper basin of the Agusan River and its tributaries which rise in the hills of eastern Mindanao. It is one of the largest and the most contained freshwater catch basin wetland in the Philippines.||5023|
|Rizal||Cultural: (iv)||The petroglyphs are engraved on the back wall of a rock shelter 63 meters wide, 8 meters deep and 5 meters at the highest point. The engravings are in a horizontal plane measuring 25 by 3 meters. There are 127 engraved animate figures, 7~O of which are concentrated centrally. Archaeological work in the area yielded both Neolithic and Paleolithic tools with fragmented pottery, with an estimated date of approximately 2,000 B.C.||519|
|Sulu Sea||Natural: (vii)(ix)(x)||Apo Reef is the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and the largest one in the Philippines. It has a high diversity of corals and has an island covered with terrestrial vegetation. Apo Reef is a submerged platform that is a submerged of a 34 sqkm sub triangular northern m and southern atoll like reefs separated by a 30-m deep channel that is open to the west||5033|
|Bohol||Cultural: (i)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)||Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension)|
This list also covers the baroque churches of Boljoon in Cebu, Guiuan in Eastern Samar and Lazi in Siquijor.
|Batanes||Mixed||Characterized by a complex of terrestrial, wetland and marine ecosystem, the Batanes group of islands consist of 10 small islands. It is one of the last remaining areas in the Philippines having unique natural physiographic features (wave-cut cliffs, cave-like outcrops, secluded white sand beaches) resulting from its position where strong winds and fast currents have etched out its distinct morphology.||521|
|Agusan del Norte||Cultural: (iii)(iv)(v)||There is no other known site in the Southeast Asian region that have archaeological recoveries of a concentration of large, open-water going boats, as that found in Butuan. The fact that the boats are of Neolithic marine architecture is very unique, and which date between the 10th and 13th century AD.||2071|
|Bohol||Natural: (vii)(viii)||Chocolate Hills and its immediate environs are relatively flat to rolling topography with elevation ranges from 100 m to 500 m above sea level. It has been declared the country's 3rd National Geological Monument on June 18, 1988 in recognition of its scientific value and geomorphic uniqueness.||5024|
|Palawan||Mixed: (iii)(ix)(x)||The Island has a rugged topography, generally mountainous and its terrain marked by steep rock and ravines. Almost 70% of the area made up of rocky cliffs, 25% is rolling hills and 5% relatively flat. Large area is composed of Karst formations where swiftlets dwell and build their nest (birds nest). There are vertical limestone cliffs that reach up to 600 meters above sea level and eight (8) brackish lakes and three (3) smaller one's that have underground connections to the sea.||5035|
|Palawan||Natural: (ix)(x)||El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area covers over 36,000 hectares of land and 54,000 hectares of marine waters. It contains towering limestone cliffs, beaches, mangroves, clear waters, unique forests over limestone and neat farmlands. It is home to five (5) species of mammals, including the Malayan Pangolin and 16 bird species endemic to Palawan including the threatened Palawan Peacock Pheasant, the Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Scops Owl.||5034|
|Bohol||Cultural: (iv)||Jesuit Churches of the Philippines (Extension)|
This list also covers the Jesuit churches of Maragondon in Cavite, Guiuan in Eastern Samar and Loboc in Bohol.
|Benguet||Cultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)||The municipality of Kabayan is recognized as a center of Ibaloi Culture that has a long traditional practice of mummifying their dead. Located in the mountain slopes of the municipality of Kabayan, more than 200 man-made burial caves have been identified and 15 of which contain preserved human mummies.||2070|
|Central Mindanao||Natural: (ix)(x)||Ligawasan(Liguasan) Marsh is the largest swamp and marsh area in Mindanao and one of the largest in the Philippines, covering an area of about 288,000 hectares. It is a vast complex of river shannles, small freshwater lakes, ponds, and arable land subject to seasonal flooding in the basin of Mindanao. The area is under water during periods of heavy rainfall.||5025|
|Davao del Sur||Natural: (x)||The 64,053.00 hectares Mount Apo Natural Park is dominated by the highest mountain in the Philippine archipelago, the majestic Mt. Apo, a volcanic mountain rising to 3,143.6 meters above sea level. Mt Apo hosts five (5) distinct forest formations, from lowland forest to low montane forest, high montane forest and finally to summit or scrub forest. In addition to variations in its topography, interactions of other factors, such as, climate, soil, geology, slope and drainage have allowed for the development of a wide diversity in plant community types and associations in the region.||5485|
|Davao Oriental||Natural: (x)||Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao, Philippines is the only protected forest noted for its unique bonsai field or 'pygmy' forest of 100-year old trees in an ultramafic soil.||5487|
|Mindoro||Natural: (ix)(x)||The Park is the habitat of the endemic Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), which is one of the most seriously endangered large mammals. Because of the endangered Tamaraw, the Park was initially established as "game refuge and bird sanctuary". The Park has been declared as an ASEAN Heritage site.||5036|
|Misamis Occidental||Natural: (vii)(ix)(x)||Mt. Malindang is a mountain range rising from 600 meters to 2,404 meters above the mean sea level. The range covers 53, 262 hectares of which about 33,000 hectares is still covered with forest vegetation. Its forest vegetation is composed of highly diverse species of and plants dominated by dipterocarps.||5029|
|Benguet||Natural: (ix)(x)||Mt. Pulag National Park is the highest peak in Luzon and is the second highest mountain in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,922 m. above sea level. The summit of Mt. Pulag is covered with grass and dwarf bamboo plants. At lower elevations, the mountainside has a mossy forest veiled with fog, and full of ferns, lichens and moss. Below this is the pine forest growing on barren, rocky slopes.||5030|
|Cagayan||Cultural: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)||Neolithic shell midden sites are located along the banks of the Cagayan River in the Municipalities of Lal-lo and Gattaran, about 500 kilometers northeast of Manila. The shell middens are in varying sizes and extent; and made up mostly of one type of freshwater clams, Batissa childreni. Carbon dating indicates first and second millennium B.C. for limestone shell midden and ca. 100 AD in the river banks shell midden.||5019|
|Luzon||Natural: (ix)(x)||The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is considered one of the most important of the protected areas system of the Philippines. It is the largest protected area in the country and the richest in terms of genetic, species and habitat diversity.||5037|
|Cagayan Valley||Cultural: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)||Paleolithic sites are located within the Cagayan Valley Basin which is bordered by the Sierra Mountain range on the East; the Caraballo on the South; the Cordillera Central on the west; and the Babuyan Channel on the north. Found in two municipalities of the province, namely, Solana and Peñablanca, Paleolithic sites yielded the earliest stone tools and remains of extinct and extant species of animals.||2069|
|Bohol||Natural: (ix)(x)||Panglao was proclaimed under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) by virtue of Pres. Proc. No. 426 on July 22, 2003. One of the geological features found in the protected area is the Hinagdanan Cave found in Bingag, Dauis which features an underground water source. Panglao Island has no rivers and lakes and has this water source in the cave.||5027|
|Manila||Cultural: (i)(ii)(iv)||The Church of San Sebastian is made of a steel frame and panels and is known for its distinct characteristic - that of being the only neo-gothic steel church in the Philippines and in Asia. It is also the only known all-steel basilica in this part of the world.||518|
|Palawan||Cultural: (ii)(iii)||Spanish Colonial Fortifications of the Philippines|
This list also covers the Spanish fortresses in Romblon, Romblon, Capul, Northern Samar, Dauis, Bohol and Maribojoc, Bohol
|Batangas||Natural: (vii)(viii)(x)||Taal Volcano is an active volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It consists of an island in Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier very large eruption. The main crater lake of the volcano island is four (4) meters above sea level making the island one of the lowest and most active volcanoes in the world.||5026|
|Lanao del Sur||Cultural: (i)(iii)(vi)||The municipality of Tugaya is unique in that this is an entire town that is virtually composed of craftsmen/artisans of various pursuits. Almost every household specializes in some form of art or craft that is part of traditional Maranao culture: backloom weaving, tapestry weaving and various kinds of textiles; brass-making/casting of various forms of vessels, woodcarving, silver/gold smiting, utilizing the Maranao art of decoration - the okir.||5017|
|Palawan||Cultural: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)||The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun Point is located on the west coast of Palawan. This was the site to first establish the presence of humans in the Philippines during the Pleistocene.||1860|
|Tawi-Tawi||Natural: (ix)(x)||The municipality of Turtle Islands is right at the edge of the international treaty limits separating the Philippines and Malaysia. It is part of the Sulu Archipelago which is composed of approximately 400 islands of varying shapes and sizes. The islands are regarded as the only major nesting ground (with more than 1,000 nesters annually of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) in the whole ASEAN Region||5032|