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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday October 17, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Denise Melanie Lagrosa

Denise Melanie Lagrosa

Regional Coordinator for the Philippines , Global Art Project for Peace

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Senior Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Professionals in Focus - Denise Lagrosa

Europeana Network Association Members Councillors have diverse jobs and experience across the heritage sector, but are united by their passion for digital cultural heritage. In our ‘Professionals in Focus’ series, we speak to Councillors about their roles, working lives and plans for their time on the Members Council. Today, Denise Lagrosa speaks about how her work as an environmental planner connects with her love of cultural heritage.

A picture of Denise Lagrosa
Ubud in Batangas
Denise Melanie Du Lagrosa
July 2022
Denise Melanie Du Lagrosa

How did you enter your profession?

As a licensed environmental planner, I completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Planning and Management. This included two years of practical work and experience, passing the professional regulation commission (board examination) for my licence and undertaking continuous professional development. I am now a member of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners. 

As an Environmental Planner, I became interested in the field of heritage and cultural mapping and joined Grupo Kalinangan, a non-profit organisation that innovates on cultural heritage management through a synergy of technology and community.  I became a cultural mapper-facilitator-mentor in cultural mapping courses and heritage tours. 

In addition to this role, I am a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver, Licensed Financial Advisor and professional artist-singer-songwriter. 

What are you currently working on? 

Presently I have a full time role as Team Head of the Sustainability Department of Drink Sustainability Communications. We prepare sustainability reports for different companies.  During the weekend or when time allows, I also volunteer at Grupo Kalinangan. We organise heritage tours and writing retreats among other activities.  

I am also working on a memoir of my journey as an expectant mother.  I am giving voice to my child.  I am journaling and documenting with videos, photos of my visits to old churches deemed heritage sites and significant cultural buildings with patron saints for mothers, babies, safe pregnancy and family.  

What are some of the challenges in your role? What are some of your favourite elements? 

It can be challenging to balance working from home and fulfilling the desire to travel and explore heritage sites. My favourite part is I still get to travel occasionally on weekends to fulfil this desire through heritage tours or online sessions.

What was your motivation for joining the Members Council? 

When I became an official Philippine delegate of Eurotalent Festival, Stars of the Albion, Arts for Peace and International Understanding in London, I became interested in European culture. I discovered Europeana during the pandemic when my email was flooded with sites to visit - perhaps the internet must have known I was interested in Europe. Initially, I was interested in the art and painting archives on the Europeana website. I opened an online gallery through Europeana. It kept my sanity during the pandemic. Then I learned that I could actually join the network; I was motivated to join as a Members Councillor so that I can more actively participate in the Initiative. 

What do you plan to do as a Members Councillor?

I plan to join the General Assembly in person hopefully next year. I plan to connect Europeana to the organisation I work for. Presently, we are working on having a global expansion within the company with a European team. We can work on collaborative projects on digital cultural heritage, digitising sustainable organisations working in the cultural heritage sector in Europe and in the Philippines among others.