In support of the University’s goal of internationalization, the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman received Her Excellency Megawati Manan, Ambassador of Brunei to the Philippines, last 6 October 2023. For the occasion, AC Dean Henelito Sevilla Jr. was joined by other UP officials and Asian Center faculty members. while the Brunei delegation included Third Secretary Fardella binti Md Eusoff.
The occasion marked the first visit of a Brunei ambassador to UP and highlights the Embassy’s interest in forging institutional partnership with UP in preparation for the celebration of 40th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Brunei and the Philippines in 2024. So far, activities planned for the 2024 celebration includes an art exhibit featuring traditional textiles and the weaving industry in collaboration with the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) that will be accompanied by a heritage fashion show, and a screening of a film documentary on the late Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim, “Prince Azim – Son of the Arts.”
Ambassador Manan discussed some activities of academic institutions in Brunei such as the Biodiversity Conference by the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). She also promoted programs that students from other countries may avail of such as the Global Discovery Program, a two to three-month visiting program for them to learn about Brunei’s culture as well as scholarships at Brunei universities.
For the long-term, the meeting between UP and the Brunei delegation explored different areas of institutional collaboration, notably: student, researcher, and faculty visits and exchanges, exploration of social science research collaborations, conduct of lectures for the upcoming anniversary celebration, and academic collaboration on the study of biodiversity.
Together with the Asian Center Dean, Henelito Sevilla Jr., members of the UP community that met the delegation were the UP Film Institute Director Robert Rownd, Institute of Biology Director Dr. Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, School of Library and Information Studies Dean Rhea Rowena Ubana-Apolinario, UPD-Office of International Linkages (OIL) Director Carlene Perpetua Pilar-Arceo, UP System OIL Deputy Director Noel Christian Moratilla, and Asian Center Faculty Dr. Tina Clemente, Dr. Ariel Lopez, and Dr. Karl Cheng Chua.
The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.