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 co-hosted the inaugural International Symposium on Cultural Tourism and Heritage Studies (ISCTHS) on March 6-10, 2024, at The Evitel Resort Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. This symposium is in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Manila - Museum of a History of Ideas, Springer, The Faura Project, and the Bunga Artslink Multimedia Production.
Organized for scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders, ISCTHS sought to explore the dynamics of culture, heritage, and tourism. A total of nineteen (19) research papers and case studies were presented under six (6) different panels on cultural heritage encompassing tourism experiences in Southeast Asia.
The symposium was graced by the presence of Maria Belen S. Acosta, the  Secretary of the Mindanao Development Authority and the current Philippine Signing Minister of the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), who delivered the keynote speech on the first day of the plenary sessions. Secretary Acosta presented the mandate of the Mindanao Development Authority as well as the programs of the BIMP-EAGA towards sustainable tourism development. Through her keynote speech, Secretary Acosta sparked the discourse on the Mindanao peace and development agenda that can open up opportunities through partnerships with the private sector and local communities.
As culmination to the plenary sessions, Ms. Leijh Hanne Y. Alianza and Dr. Cathe Desiree S. Nadal were recognized as the winners of the Springer Book Prize for Best Paper for their study, “In Recto-spect: Investigating the Present Landscape Character and Public Perception of the Recto-Avenida-Carriedo Strip.” 
In their study, Alianza and Nadal used Landscape Character Assessment tools such as the Environmental Sensitivity and Preference (ESP) and Landscape Preference and Perception Surveys (LPPS) to identify preferences and highlight the historical, cultural, commercial, and transportation significance of the subject areas. Ultimately, their research produced a virtual memoryscape toolkit called Calsada, a mobile application which uses augmented reality to highlight the intersection of landscape planning, digital heritage interpretation, and the past and present landscape character of the sites. The winning authors received 200 EUR worth of book vouchers from Springer. 
To further enrich the experience of plenary speakers and participants, the plenary sessions were followed by study tours in known culture and heritage spots in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia such as the Batuan temple, Tegalalang rice terraces, coffee plantations, sterling silver and batik workshops, and art village and galleries, among others. The study tours were a key component of the symposium as this activity allowed participants to learn more about the tourism plan in Bali, Indonesia and appreciate better the involvement and contribution of locals in the tourism industry.
The Book Prize for Best Paper is sponsored by Springer. The Best Paper was selected based on the following criteria: (a) innovation and contribution to the advancement of the field; (b) clarity and appropriateness of research design, data collection techniques, and analysis methods; (c) Relevance within the existing literature and applicability in the ongoing discourse in cultural tourism and heritage studies; and (d) overall coherence and style of the manuscript. 
The conference was organized by the Asian Center Museum of UP Diliman, Museum of a History of Ideas of the UP Manila, Springer, The Faura Project, and Bunga Artslink Media Production.


PANEL 1: Urban Landscapes

"Experiential Cultural Tourism: Designing sustainable walking tours in the University of the Philippines Diliman"
     Milovy Mariel R. Baduria, Sarah L. Briones, and Maria Rose J. Manalo
     University of the Philippines Asian Institute of Tourism
"In Recto-spect: Investigating the Present Landscape Character and Public Perception of the Recto-Avenida-Carriedo Strip"
     Leijh Hanne Y. Alianza
     Manila Studies Program, University of the Philippines Manila
     Co-author: Cathe Desiree S. Nadal, Ph.D., College of Architecture, University of the Philippines Diliman

PANEL 2: Heritage Studies and Documentation

"Text, Image and Movement: The Legacy of Miguel Covarrubias in Balinese Dance"
     Matthew M. Santamaria, Doctor of Law
     Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman
"Folk or Faux: How Historical Documents Counter the Narratives Promulgated by Leyte Towns’ Historical Tales, Tourism Campaigns, Identity Formations, and Festivals"
     Efmer E. Agustin
     University of the Philippines Tacloban
"The Plant Atriums in the UPM - Museum of a History of Ideas and the Biocultural Heritage of Ermita"
     Honey Libertine Achanzar-Labor, Ph.D.
     University of the Philippines Manilaa

PANEL 3: Local Government Development Strategies

"Expectation vs. reality: Philippine local tourism officers’ perceived constraints in effective tourism governance"
     Sarah L. Briones
     University of the Philippines Asian Institute of Tourism
     Co-author: Reil G. Cruz
"Developing the Tourism Attraction Potential of the Wulla Poddu Traditional Ceremony as Cultural Tourism in West Sumba"
     B. Syarifuddin Latif, Ramang H. Demolingo, Dipa Teruna Awaludin, Molina, and Rai Riya
     Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis Prodi Pariwisata, Universitas Nasional
"Development Strategy of Heritage Tourism Destinations of Surakarta Palace"
     Irma Setyawati, Lisa Sarinah, Heni Suryanti, Rizki Nurul Nugraha, Dyah Handayani Dewi, and Delila Rambe
     Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis Universitas Nasional

PANEL 4: Heritage Policy and Case Studies

"A Case Study on Preserving Cultural Heritage Sites: The Role of Local Government Unit in Naga City, Camarines Sur"
     Anne Marie F. Bagadion, Ph.D., Juan Raul D.L. Relloso, and Juan Bautista Janthe B. Bagadion
     Ateneo de Naga University
"Talapamana ng Pilipinas: A Case Study of Initiating and Operationalizing the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property, 2015-2020"
     Bernardo M. Arellano III
     University of the Philippines Los Baños
     Co-author: Stephen John A. Pamorada, The Heritage Collective
"Batik Cultural Heritage: A Case Analysis of Indonesia and Malaysia’s Trademark and Copyright Laws"
     Elisor C. Guieb, Jr.
     Polytechnic University of the Philippines
"Grassroots-led Cultural Heritage Tourism: The Case of Pasig City’s Cultural Heritage Walking Tour"
     Francis Gabriel O. Santos
     University of Santo Tomas
     Co-authors: Jared Carlo L. Echevarria, Charlon Adrian C. Ruiz, and Genesis Khen A. Demano

PANEL 5: Conservation Efforts

"PUSAKA’ PANGADATTAN BANGSA: Photo and Video Documentation of Tabawan Heritage and Tourism by engaging the community and the Local Government of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines"
     Omarjan I. Jahuran
     South Ubian Local Council on Tourism, Culture and Arts
     Co-author: Paul Allyson R. Quiambao
"The Turumba “Museums”: The Presentation of Religious Art and Treasures of Pakil Church"
     Hanzel F. Gapayao
     De La Salle University Manila
"Museo Sugbo: The museum as a source of pride, a link for intercultural dialogue and a tool for economic development"
     Trizer Dale D. Mansueto
     University of the Philippines Cebu

PANEL 6: Festivals and Intangible Cultural Heritage

"Soul of Place: A Case Study on the Loboc Children’s Choir and the Promotion of the Intangible Heritage of Loboc & Bohol as Part of the Visitor Experience"
     Jess Immanuel J. Espina
     University of the Philippines Diliman
"Festival work as community work: The making of the Adow ne Domaget (Dumagat Day) 2018 Festival in Dingalan, Aurora, Philippines, a case towards a sustainable community-based festival-making practice"
     Roselle V. Pineda
     Aurora Artist Residency Program and Space
"Savoring Culture: Exploring the Origins, Cultural Preservation, and Symbolical Tapestry of Baler Suman (Filipino Rice Cake)"
     Melissa Grace P. Nacino
     Aurora State College of Technology
"The Mari-it in the Selected Twelve Folktales of Malay, Aklan"
     April Rose I. Nalangan
     University of the Philippines Open University


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    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. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.