Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center, in partnership with UP Office of International Linkages, will hold a World Expert Lecture Series, “The Philippines as Archipelago: Making the Familiar Strange,” on 19 January 2024, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (GMT+8), at the UP Asian Institute of Tourism Seminar Room. The event is free and open to the public.


Small islands have historically been punished by development and modernization. They have been skipped by industrialization. They have witnessed a net exodus of the young and the talented. But the 21st century is witnessing a comeback for islands. It is islands that are showing and telling the world how to live sustainably, nurture safe communities, and protect natural capital.
This is an exciting contemporary scenario for island studies. The location, size, and identity of islands; their distance from respective mainlands; their deep relationship with the sea; and their archipelagic nature ... all this is the stuff of much - but not enough - reflection, scholarship, and public policy.
With its (official) 7,641 islands, the Philippines is one of the world's ONLY FOUR LARGE archipelagic countries. Its geophysical character is a natural platform from which to launch domestic, regional, and international policies and conversations. 'Island-island' comparisons and contrasts, within the country and with other countries, can prove powerful leverages for knowledge. Indeed, it is time for the Philippines to 'catch up' - particularly with its neighbors Indonesia and Japan - in brandishing its multi-island personality more explicitly and forcefully.


Godfrey Baldacchino Ph.D. (Warwick), BA (Gen.) (Malta), PGCE (Malta), MA (The Hague) is a Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology at the University of Malta, Malta. He served as an Island Studies Teaching Fellow, UNESCO Co-chair, and Canada Research Chair in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada, between 2003 and 2020. He is the founding Executive Editor of Island Studies Journal (ISSN:1715-2593) and since 2018 founding Executive Editor of Small States & Territories journal. He served as a Visiting Professor of Island Tourism at the Universita' di Corsica Pascal Paoli, France (2012-2015). He was a Member and Chair of the Malta Board of Cooperatives (1994-2003) and a core member of the Malta-European Union Steering & Action Committee (MEUSAC). In 2008-2010, he was VicePresident of the Prince Edward Island Association for Newcomers to Canada. In 2014, he was elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA). In June 2015, he was elected Chair of the Scientific Board of RETI, the global excellence network of island universities. In 2021, he was appointed (thematic) Malta Ambassador for islands and small states. He served as Pro-Rector for International Development and Quality Assurance (2016- 2021) during the first Rectorate of Professor Alfred Vella at the University of Malta.
His research interests include island studies, small state studies, political geography, sociology of work, international relations, island tourism, entrepreneurship, brain rotation, immigration, labor relations, human resource management, adult education, worker empowerment, and the development of cooperatives.
Prof. Baldacchino has (co-)authored or (co-)edited some 50 books, reports, and monographs; and has authored, since 1993, some 160 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters. His work has appeared in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Swedish (apart from English and Maltese).


UP Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea
UP Asian Institute of Tourism


This event is organized by the UP Asian Center, UP Office of International Linkages, UP Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, UP Asian Institute of Tourism, and UP CIFAL Philippines.
For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 8 981 8500 local 3580.

The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian 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. It also 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. As an area studies institution, 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.