Art and Architecture of the Philippines

The collection gives access to almost 2,900 photographs documenting Filipino art and architecture from the early modern to contemporary times. It is special because there are very few scholarly repositories documenting Filipino cultural heritage, which is a growing field of study, whose objects are under particular environmental stress. Information about the approximately 800 objects was gathered by Franz Engel and is structured, defined, and certified according to the newest technical standards. More specifically, we have applied the CIDOC-CRM ontology developed by the Swiss Art Research Infrastructure (SARI) in the EasyDB digital asset management system, which makes the open-linked data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). The initiative aims to support new research on the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Philippines. The collection was built up following personal research interests and under the circumstances of relatively short field trips undertaken by Tristan Weddigen in 2015 and 2017 and by Franz Engel in 2019, through Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Western Visayas. The quantity and quality of the photographs are diverse, and the collection does not represent a systematic or representative photographic campaign, but rather a travel sketchbook. Both photographs and metadata will be refined over time, external contributions to which are welcome.


We thank the following colleagues for their support:
  • Andrea Reichlin, former Ambassador of Switzerland in the Philippines, Manila
  • Charlotte Matter, University of Zurich
  • Denitsa Nenova,, Plovdiv
  • Emiliano Di Carlo, BHMPI, Rome
  • Enrico Fontolan, BHMPI, Rome
  • Jens Baumgarten, UNIFESP, São Paulo
  • Martin Raspe, BHMPI, Rome
  • Michael Manalo, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Manila
  • Patrick D. Flores, University of the Philippines, Manila
  • Regalado Trota Jose, University of Santo Tomas, Manila
  • Rene Javellana, Ateneo University, Quezon City
  • Victorino Manalo, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila
and the following institutions for the funding:
  • BHMPI, Rome
  • University of Zurich
  • The Getty Foundation, Los Angeles
  • Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines, Manila


Project, texts and photographs Tristan Weddigen und Franz Engel

Implementation Tatjana Bartsch

March 1, 2022

This post is also available in: Deutsch Italiano